And then there were three...

sweetchastityJuly 22, 2010

When we got Peanut and brought her home, she would come to me with her head low and seemed calm and submissive. She had spunk like puppies do but it wasn't as bad as it is now.

My father would visit and sit on the floor (back pains) and rough-house with our puppy. Now she bites our fingers and is much more excited and bolder. When she wants down she squirms, she doesn't listen well but then we have only started to train her to sit and all. But she seems more willful, she wants to do what she wants to do. I got Cesar's book "How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond" after we got her so I'm working my way through the book.

My father brought us two more puppies, Shi-Poos, so now she has friends to play with but I'm concerned about her behaviour towards the two new male pups. When she first tried to engage them in play she'd get right into their face and snap at them (she's also curling her lips and showing a bit of teeth when she does this). She would also jump up and try to hit their faces with her paws. I stopped this because they were new to our home and tentative at first. When one wanted to play I brought her and closely supervised play and redirect and block when I thought it was a bit rough.

Now that they've been here a few hours they can be together but I still watch them carefully. Outside in the grass they'd play and roll around and make growling sounds but sometimes their grows become louder and more intense. Again I break/distract to reduce the intensity and they go back to playing. Inside the house our girl Peanut went up to the smaller of the two males (no names for them yet) and they stood face to face and his lip was curling up. I distracted/broke that up too.

I've watched tons of DW and so when I introduced them I held her and let them sniff her butt, she squirmed like mad to get away to play with them. I have a small room of the house set aside for them, puppy-proofed and with 2 kennels for them (one for brothers, one for her). I project a calm-assertive behaviour, advising my mom when she's sharing excited/nervous/anxious energy but the techniques I'm trying don't seem to get through to her. I can sometimes redirect with food or a toy but if she's too excited she will ignore them. I try the 'tsssst' (works for my brother's high-energy, excited/dominant beagle and a doberman we had for a weekend) but its like she's clueless. I try to project my energy to her but its like nothing I do will draw her attention to me. I'm sure much of it is that she's a puppy but Cesar's approach works for so many dogs, is it possible that the touch, snap, tsssst won't work on a puppy too young? I tried to put her on her side and she squirmed and squirmed to get free and does not calm down or submit. I try holding her by the scruff of the neck, supporting with my other hand, but that doesn't seem to calm her either.

I'll continue reading and working with her but we've always had big dogs and I never installed discipline, that was my father, anyone with experience for such a young small dog have a suggestion for correcting her behaviour? Just the method to tell her that is wrong since she seems oblivious to my touch/tsssst while I read through the book. I skipped to house-training for a quick check but I'd like to read the book from front to back.

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It sounds as though your puppy has inherited more the personality of the fox terrier than the chihuahua. Read up on the temperament of fox terriers and how to train them. Obedience training is key to making them a good pet.

Your dad needs to stop all rough housing since she is already showing signs of nipping and as you've discovered this is not a dog to 'roll over' or use other methods of force with.

Unfortunately, I honestly don't think the Shi-poos have much of a chance against Peanut's strong personality and you may want to consider finding them a new home. Otherwise, I see lots of conflict in your future and much stress for the Shi-Poos. Fox Terriers make wonderful pets, but they can become biters and they're often most happy as the only pet.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Sorry......forgot the link!

Here is a link that might be useful: terrier

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:42AM
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Do you know whether Peanut is a toy fox terrier or a regular fox terrier? If you weren't told, her size should give you a clue. Toys are between 3.5 and 7 pounds as adults. Mine is 6 pounds and only weighed about a pound and a half when we got her at nine weeks old. There are some basic differences in the personalities of the two breeds, which would influence how she should be handled.

Toy fox terriers generally get along well with other pets in the family and are not as dog aggressive in general as the standard fox terrier. Mine loves the dog we had when we got her and gets along great with the puppy we got when she was 4.5 years old. The two of them love to play fight and get very aggressive about it at times, but as long as no one is getting hurt I let them go. The puppy often initiates it and they take turns chasing each other growling ferociously at times. Part of what you're seeing is the beginning of determining who will be the pack leader in the future and it's something they will have to work out, although they should be supervised. I wouldn't leave them together in a pen or crate when you aren't home.

If they get too rowdy in general while playing or get in the habit of yapping at every noise together, you can get their attention by shaking a can with a few pennies in it. It stops mine in their tracks every time.

The issues I had with my tft as a puppy, was she would try to demand I do as she wanted by snarling at me in a threatening way. For example, if I was at my computer and she wanted to be picked up she would whine a couple of times. If I didn't respond, she would begin to snarl. The inclination is to laugh at this little thing trying to scare someone so much bigger than her, but this is where I had to give her a firm "no" and refuse to give in.

Tft's are very sensitive to their people and it doesn't really take much for them to get the message that you won't be pushed around. Once they know that, it isn't an issue of having to fight a lot of battles. They just accept it and when you need to clean teeth, trim nails or whatever, it's no problem and no snippiness.

We were able to allow our dog to play fight with us. She loves it and she seemed to always understand the difference between play fighting and biting us for real. She has never, ever attempted to bite anyone in anger. I don't think I would play that way with any full-sized terrier, though, since they are much more aggressive by nature.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 12:31PM
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I've mentioned this on the forum numerous times, that my husband and I were 'terrier' people. Some households appreciate and cope with them well, and some don't. I just sort of said 'uh oh' when I saw that you added two more pups to the mix and please don't get me wrong, I wish you all sorts of success but I see several things making me concerned.

Terriers do not have 'off' switches. Yes, they are hard wired into certain traits and one of them is they have no idea they are diminuative. Our schnauzer would instigate situations with my daughter's GSD and Ridgeback. He was anything but a lap dog, although he was our constant companion. He was a clown, but his antics would drive owners of a working breed nuts in short order. IOW you want a breed who doesn't be a couch potato? Get a terrier. This dog may be so unlike your dear old Misty you'll think it maladjusted, when in fact it's typical. Let's call them a very interactive dog. They are however exceptionally intelligent and loyal animals and the very best dogs I have ever had and the special ones in my life were terrier mixes. They're a challenge but worth the effort. Most of them aren't bad, just terriers. LOL.

I have a feeling that adding two more pups to the mix is going to be overwhelming to say the least. You're going to have your hands very full for a year or two. Yes, I know you are planning on training, but please realise that it takes everyone in the house on the same page, and for a year or two you are dealing with the doggie equivalent of children. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 2:40PM
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Calliope made some very good points! After I posted, I realized I probably should have added that your Mother should decide what type personality she wants in a dog and if she's willing to participate in ongoing training. If she's wanting a lap dog, you may want to consider re-homing Peanut and keeping the Shi-poos.
Terriers are great dogs but as calliope said, they're not for every dog person.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 4:40PM
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If it were me, I'd keep Peanut and re-home the shi-poos. LOL. That's how much I love chis and terriers. I just find it hard to wrap my mind around losing the kind of dog Misty must have been, (since I was g'ma to a wonderful GSD and love them too) and then having her place taken by three handfuls. Just one of them will be a culture shock, for sure.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 4:56PM
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Thanks guys for all the replies. This morning when I got up mom was a nervous wreck and crying. She couldn't imagine the costs involve with 3 new puppies when Misty's vet bills are still fresh in her mind and wallet :( Even before she told me she wanted to rehome the puppies I had come to realize we just couldn't take on the responsibilities of 2 more puppies, both financially and physically. Mom's retired and its too much to try to house-break three puppies. After she broke down in front of my dad he said ok, sell the puppies.

We will be keeping Peanut, she will only mature to 5-10 lbs so I do think she's a Toy Fox Terrier. Thank you for the link annz! I did read up a bit on the breed and part of me does think that one of the other pups would be easier to manage. But my mom can walk an hour or half and I started walking too. I love the idea of agility training her and challenging her breed so she's fulfilled and happy. While she might not become a lap dog I do hope she's affectionate. Mom never snuggled with Misty for long periods but she loves being able to pick them up and hug and kiss them.

I am a bit concerned looking at some of the tft traits, mostly I don't want her to escape our yard or run off if we are outside. I believe in leashing a dog but if I stepped outside with Misty I could call her back and she'd listen. Can I expect the same if I train her well? If she has some terrier characteristics will they be reduced by the mixing of breeds, like some greyhound mixes still love to run but aren't as fast as a full-blooded greyhound? Will she always challenge or can setting the foundation in puppy-hood make it easier when she's older?

A small part of me is telling me that she may be too high-energy for us but I hoped with exercise, discipline and mental-challenges that she would become a well-behaved dog that we could handle. I also know that she's a puppy and will have boundless energy, my brother's Beagle has mellowed out some, so I'm hoping she'll be a bit calmer when she's a bit older. I know I would do more of the challenging but I find that fascinating and I'm looking forward to it. I read about them being rat hunters and was already thinking of ways to challenge this side of her. My mom follows my lead when I can tell her and show her what to do. When I had my brother's excitable Beagle behaving better in the kitchen and around food mom started to follow my example.

Calliope I would love any advice you or anyone else who's raised a terrier/terrier-mix could offer. How do you catch the attention of a dog that's ignoring you? I tried to put her on the side to calm her down a bit. Dog's don't have timeouts but that is what I feel she needs sometimes, to chill/tone down a bit so she listens to me. I don't know if mom wants a lap dog or just an affectionate dog who'll sit on the sofa with her. Peanut absolutely loves to curl up on my chest/neck/shoulder area and sleep there. I love it too so I let her but I also put her in her crate to sleep. I will discuss with mom that we may need to consider keeping one of the Shi-poos but are their any particular traits of those that we should consider. Honestly they are louder and are growling more or start it while she's trying to play. Are they couch-potatoes? Do they enjoy going for car rides? They also look like they need more grooming and mom really doesn't want another dog with long fur (she would brush and brush Misty and still the fur would be shedding). I see good reasons for keeping both but Peanut is the one we choose, the one we made a commitment to, and the one we've bonded with.
Here are the new pups, lol. We all do.

Uploaded with

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:37PM
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I feel for you and know that this is a difficult position you're in, but now is the time to make changes while the pups are still young.

The S/Poos will look their best if groomed/clipped every 6-8 weeks, but it is something you could learn to do. I used to clip my poodles, especially once they reached their senior years.

As for shedding........there would be little to none since both breeds are considered non-shedding dogs.

I've included another link............

Here is a link that might be useful: shihpoo

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:15PM
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If Peanut is a tft, she will be a wonderful dog with just some basic rule setting and not letting her become the head of the household. They are very much a combination of terrier and toy. I always say my Jasmine is a terrier on the floor and a toy in my lap. They love to run and play rough, but then they will sit in your lap for hours and snuggle. She, too, used to love to curl up on my shoulder to sleep, but eventually I had a six pound dog perched there and she had to move to my lap : ) She is one of the sweetest, most affectionate dogs I've ever owned, as well as, being loads of fun. They will retrieve a ball as long as you'll keep throwing it.

As I mentioned in my other post, they are not dog aggressive and get along well with other dogs in the family. They are also not as determined as most terriers and can be deterred from digging and other typical terrier behaviors to some degree. When they are racing around the house, their small size makes it much less obnoxious than it would be for a 15-20 pound dog.

Toy fox terriers do very well in obedience competition and agility, so they are very trainable. However, they can be easily distracted and mine will bolt when she sees a rabbit or even a bird and won't seem to even hear me calling her. I don't risk letting her out unleashed, although she will stay with me unless she spies some type of potential prey. I guess the terrier part takes over. I have never intensely obedience trained her, though, and maybe that could be trained out.

Being playful dogs, Peanut would probably love having another dog in the family, but it would be much easier to add one once she's over a year old, housebroken, and more calm. I've found two puppies to be more than double the work of one because of the tendency to become partners in crime. What one doesn't think of, the other will and then they join together in eating the chair leg or whatever wonderful activity they've come up with. I prefer some age space between my dogs and it helps to not have old age medical issues and bills for more than one at a time.

This article points out the difference between the tft and standard fox terrier:

Here is a link that might be useful: Toy fox terriers

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:23AM
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Thanks Deb 18 and Annz!! I feel much better about keeping Peanut now. My sister-in-law saw the picture of the pups and said I can't send anymore or she'll end up taking one. So we are bringing all three over to visit their daughter Sydney and dog Jackson! Sydney knows we were expecting two more pups and she would be heartbroken if she didn't get to play with them at least once :D They really are a busy family and Jackson is not always included in their plans so it would be good company now that Jackson is over a year old and calmer. And Lee-Ann had a Shi-tzu so she loves the breed. Even if they don't want one they do know lots of people and might find someone who'd want one.

We're canvasing our friends to see who would like one because mom's attached to them and wants to be able to keep tabs or even visit them and both of us would feel more secure if we knew who was taking them home personally.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:30PM
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I think deb brought up some really good points about adding dogs, but spacing them a little like succession planting. The older ones then are often mentors and good examples for the pups. Housebreaking comes to mind as the pups will often follow an older dog out and copycat them.

I also agree that two pups are more than twice the trouble of one because they are indeed partners in crime. My DD took in a pregnant beagle who then had five living mixed breed offspring. She found homes for all but two, so kept them and their Mom in addition to her two other dogs. She often uses the term partners in crime. And their hands are very full right now with all the activity surrounding pupdom.

I also think you'll have much better luck placing the shi-poos than the sweet little FT/chi mix. You don't know if she is mixed with toy or standard FT, but I don't think it's an issue even if it is a standard. It's a hybrid and you really don't know what breed it's going to get its genes from. Toy FT are bred off standard FTs and even if it's a toy, you could get the genes off the standard.

I suspect she has the potential to turn into a very fine little dog and have no doubt she'll be as intelligent as her predecessor. She'll be worth whatever you have invested in her, and you're going to be in for an excellent adventure. I'm looking forward to pics down the road as she grows and stories.

My little shelter dog we got last year was listed as an Italian Greyhound. I'm sure he's at least half by his conformation, but he screams fox terrier and suspect that's the other half of the equation. So, I'm sold on FTs too.

Here's his picture.

And here's a pic my DD photoshopped of him. Let's just say it describes his personality. Never a dull moment. He's a three ring circus.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:51PM
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Oh he's adorable Calliope! When I saw him I thought he might be a Jack Russel terrier. I kinda pictured my brother as a JRT type of guy but they got a Beagle. Then my mom and I dropped by to visit with the puppies and I think he was falling for the larger of the two males, lol. Of course my sister-in-law and niece would take both and he was glad he was home so no family decisions were made without him but I think they may decide to take one. We hope so because we would get to see one of them and sometimes puppy-sit. My brother also took a picture of the pups with his phone to show the guys/gals he plays baseball with. We would feel so much more comfortable if we knew who they were going to rather than a stranger.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:03AM
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