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Falcon's Mom

New Owner - Lots of questions

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Falcon's Mom

Hi All,

My family and I recently got our first family dog; a male shih tzu named Falcon. He is currently 11 weeks but we have had him since he was 7 weeks old. Someone has always been home with him minus a few 1 hr trips to the store. He is doing great with his crate training. He is in his crate at night but we wake up and take him out at 1am and 4am to go potty and finally getting up at 7. So my questions....

1. Beginning next week on Tues and Thurs he will have to be left alone during the day (8:30am - 4:40pm the latest). I know he is still young so I am not sure what to do. Getting someone to come mid day is not an option so I am trying to decide if a playpen is our only viable option. My concern is the pee pads. Will having pee pads in the playpen twice a week slow his potty training down or confuse him? * Also, fortunately I work for a dog friendly company so eventually I will be able to bring him to work with me on those days so this arrangement will be temporary (1 - 2 months).

2. Right now we have been free feeding him however he tends to barely nibble during the day and then devours his food fairly late at night. Should we start doing scheduled feedings?

3. Our boys are 13 and 4. We are having trouble with our 4 yr old being too rough with Falcon and I am not sure what to do. He is not being malicious but just doesn't grasp how fragile Falcon is (he is 3lbs). Also in turn Falcon is very aggressive towards our 4yr old. Always trying to nip at him more so than anyone else.

Obviously in all we want to be the best pet owners we can be but at times I feel so loss and unsure of what to do. I am sure I have more questions but can't remember right now. 

Attached is a pic of our little guy.


Thanks in advance!

 

falcon.jpg

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Sophie's Haven

Welcome to you and little Falcon. He is adorable. If you could continue to use your crate and put it in an area that you can confine him so you can leave the door open so he can move more freely would be great. I would not worry about the potty pads my guys uses them in the house and also have a outside potty schedule. I am not a fan of free feeding.....my guys get breakfast, lunch snack and a good dinner........In the situation with the boys do you think your 13 year old could give his brother some behavior pointers in how to handle Falcon.......sometimes kids have a way to work things out without Mom looking like the mean one.  How great to have a work situation that you will be able to take Falcon with you.......great way for him to learn to socialize. You will get a lot more advice from other members as some have kids and also work outside the home......I have reached the age of retirement so I am home with my guys. Have fun with Falcon as like our kids they too grown up fast............. 

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PipsMom

:welcomeani: Falcon and Mom...He sure is a little sweety.

I'm a retired stay at home mom also so no advice about pens or crates.

8 hrs totally alone is going to be very hard on him as he is still much like a human baby and Shih Tzu's need human contact more than some of the other breeds.....more than likely any training so far will be lost..hope the others can help suggest something. 

Mine aren't confused about pads vs outside pee either.

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Pawz4me

Welcome! Falcon is adorable.

I'm a stay at home mom (can I still say that if my youngest is 18? LOL) so Yogi never had to stay home alone very long when he was a puppy. But I used wee wee pads and also took him outside. I don't think it confused him at all. In your case I think that's going to be your only option if you leave him home alone that long. That really is a very long time for such a young puppy, and you sure don't want him to have accidents in the play pen. If you don't want to leave him in a play pen you could use a baby gate to contain him in a small bathroom or laundry room, but you'd need to puppy proof the room first, of course. 

Unfortunately, my recommendation for your 4 yo would be that you set a very firm rule that he isn't to touch or interact with Falcon unless you or another adult are right there to supervise. I know that's going to be a gigantic pain, but you won't need to do it forever. Just until Falcon gets a little bigger and they get to know each other better. It's possible the nipping Falcon is doing is because he sees your 4  yo as more of a litter mate/less of a "pack leader" than your 13 yo and adults. But it's also possible it's due to fear--Falcon knows he's small and vulnerable and may be scared by the 4 yo's rough handling (plus young kids often move in erratic, unpredictable ways that tend to make even stable, grown dogs a bit nervous sometimes). Either way, for the protection of both of them all of their interactions need to be directly supervised.

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Crinkly

Hi and Welcome

You have less than a week to get Falcon used to long periods by himself - that is going to be VERY hard on him.  Puppies just aren't emotionally equipped to be left for that long.

If you are already leaving him for an hour at a time, then you need to do that, and add a bit of time every day.  Maybe twice a day, so that it becomes normal for him.   Routine.  It will still distress him, and he will feel abandoned, but if you always come back, and you don't make a bit fuss, so that it all looks casual and normal and laid back, then it will distress him less.  Please don't establish a routine of hugs and goodbye kisses, and treats and and emotional ritual - just treat the whole thing as no different from stepping outside to post a letter.

I would go for the pen option, then he has room to move around.  I penned my pups overnight too, at that age, because I think crates are too small until they are older.  They need a bed area, a pee pad area, a food and drink area, and somewhere to lay out and chew or play.  The chew toys are important too.  Puppies find that chewing occupies the mind, tires them out, and helps with teething pain, so it is a very good way to fill those long lonely hours until Mum comes home!

Hope that helps.

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Missysmom

Welcome Falcon and mom, what a cutie he is!

Wow, that is going to be an extremely long time to leave a puppy alone. I know you said it's not possible for someone to come mid day but is it possible for someone to watch him or take him to a doggie day care on those days? Not only do they need to go out potty regularly, need their pack but they also get into so much and do so quickly.. The last time I had a puppy when working my mother in law lived with us, so she could watch her. Even with that she ate a toy when my mil did leave her alone and got a blockage requiring surgery.. Since that I've never left any type of toy with any of our dogs unsupervised, just something to think about when you puppy proof the area.. On the potty pads- I don't know if anyone else has this or not but our Missy won't use a potty pad twice, she'd rather go somewhere she's not supposed to rather than use a dirty one.. She too isn't confused with the potty pad or going outside.

i also am not a fan of free feeding, I would go ahead and start regular scheduled feedings right away, I know that puppy's need to be fed more often so not sure how that extra mid day feeding would work. Maybe one of those programmed feeders? Never tried one but maybe that's a thought?

i also agree with Pawz I would only allow your 4 yr old to handle the puppy when supervised by an adult. Maybe start again very slowly, just let him gently pet with you there and for a very short time initially. You'll need to rebuild us that trust with Falcon.

good luck please keep us posted how it goes.

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missy dawn

Welcome both of you to chatter

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Anonymous

Are you in the US? Care dot com is great for finding household help. I would try to find someone willing to come in around lunch and give him a run outside and belly rub :) while you are at work. It's amazing, I posted such a minor job on there and I got so many great responders. And with a cute Shih Tzu puppy it should be easy to find someone to help. 

Definitely use a playpen or a puppy proofed gated off bathroom. It won't slow down potty training and it's ok if it does! It's more important that he has enough space to relieve himself on one side and rest on the other.

Congrats on your puppy, he is a cutie!

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Falcon's Mom

Thank you all for the warm welcome and advice! I did go ahead and purchase a nice sized playpen and will work on making this as smooth of a transition as possible. I am thinking about getting a Petzi treat cam so he can at least hear my voice during the day and I can see him.  Has anyone used one before? Again this will be 2 days a week for a temporary time.

We have begun to closely monitor our 4 yr olds interactions with Falcon and hopefully things will calm down soon.

Thank you again, we are glad to be here.

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Missysmom

Some sort of a cam is a great idea, I have a baby monitor where I can watch her when we have to leave and love it!

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minabey

Hello and Welcome.

It looks like you're making great steps with Falcon already and got lots of good advice. Glad that you're supervising your youngest son with Falcon. Kids move too fast and sometimes, it spooks dogs. I'm sure with time, they will be best of friends and grow together.

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