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newbiejulie February 17th, 2007 03:53 PM

Completely new to lots of things!
Hi. Although I consider myself pretty computer savvy this is my very first "thread" ever! I have three human children and will soon be a "puppy parent" to a Shi-Poo puppy who will be 8 weeks old when we get him on March 11. Finding the "perfect" pet took about a month but now the real challenge begins. This is my first experience with a puppy-first for any dog at that! I'm starting to get nervous. Any words of advice from recent first time puppy people?

erykah1310 February 17th, 2007 04:55 PM

Hello and welcome.

As for puppies, well puppy proofing your home will be imortant, crates are highly recommended ( IF USED PROPERLY, I cant stress that enough, im not a crating fan, but if you choose to use one as a first time puppy owner, just make sure its not used in a negative manner)
Some good high quality dog food is also a good start.
Expect some crying the first few nights too.

I cant help but notice that you are getting a shih tzu poodle mix, I certainly hope you are aware that if you were looking for a non shedding dog, yours could shed. I am not going to start in on the whole "designer dogs" debate, and I really hope you take the time and look around here for what you *MAY* run into with purchasing from a BYB ( back yard breeder). Other than that, im sure some of the others will be popping in with some good tips and advice.

marsupial mama February 17th, 2007 05:02 PM

Welcome from a fellow-newbie!

I hear ya, although I'm a cat person with a new kitten to keep me busy!

From what little I know, I would suggest remembering the days when you had to TODDLER-PROOF your house, and then some! Pick up all the little bits that could be ingested and cause harm - the vet's office told me they recently had a pup in who had eaten a sock and had to have surgery to remove it. And hide away anything you don't want chewed to bits...

Training is all-important too. A well trained and well mannered dog is a pleasure to have around. No comment needed on the other kind.

Now I shall defer to the dog people on the board ... :dog:

Prin February 17th, 2007 06:27 PM

I agree with Erykah. Be prepared for anything when you buy a mixed breed from a "breeder". Find a vet you trust, because you'll need it in the beginning for deworming, vaccinations, and whatever else your puppy's breeder may or may not have done.

You'll need toys, especially a kong, along with pee pads and a crate, if you've decided on crate training. You'll also need a water dish, a food dish, and some very washable blankets and old (but not ratty) towels.

Your breeder should tell you what they were feeding, so you should buy a small bag of that, and then come here for better food advice (because it's so rare that breeders know anything about good dog food).

Hmm... what else? :D

CyberKitten February 17th, 2007 07:01 PM

I agree with Prin - you have basically bought from a back yard breeder since that mix is not a recognized breed so is not one that comes from a certified breeder. Thus, there are no genetic histories and medical backgrounds and you will have to be cautious - just as you would tho if you adopted from a shelter.

What combo is a the one you are getting? A Shi**tzu with a poddle? Can I ask why you opted for this rather than going to a breeder who would have all the paper work and be able to help you more in terms of the genetic issues? I am not being critical, just curious. I see it as similar to ppl going to shelters tho spending much more money.

I had a poodle and they are wonderful dogs!!! I have no idea what they would be like combined with a shizu (sp incorrect) and really as with any mixed breed dog, no one can tell you since there are no grand champions in the provide some of that info.

Good luck - make sure you puppy proof your home, us as you would for a toddler - and you are bringing home a baby after all. Many ppl find investing in training to be a wise choice and ensuring the puppy knows you and every other human, even the small ones, are alpha is the best way to begin your new adventure!

Congrats on your new family member!

OntarioGreys February 17th, 2007 08:12 PM

Hi Julie, welcome

Just so you understand some of the comments posted above
you should read this


and what is meant by a reputable breeder

I would recommend a puppy wellness visit with the vet within the first week and to have vaccinations done if needed, take a stool sample with you so it can be checked for internal parasites, as a deworming or another deworming may be necessary, normally a reputable breeder would have a pup started on a very high quality food and would make it a requirement that you also feed or the health part of the contract is voided, in the case of chineses crested puppy the breeder recommended Canidae. In the case of your pup it likely has not been fed a high quality food since it was bred for profit rather than to improve or keep the standard of the breed as in the case of reputable show breeders.

I would suggest possibly taking out pet insurance since you won't know if their are genetic health problems could save you a lot of money, and some genetic problems can be very expensive to treat eg with legges calve perthes could cost around $5,000, with VWD that is a blood clotting disorder to be on the safe side when it comes to spaying and neutering have blood testing done prior to surgery, a transfusion may be needed to get the pup safely thru surgery. because of possible renal issues in shih tzu's it is important to feed a high quality meat protein based diet

A list of shih tzu health issues


Gastric Dilatation - Volvalus ( Bloat )
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
Legg - Calve - Perthes
Sepaceous Adenitis ( SA )
Patellar luxation
Von Willebrand's disease ( vWD )
Hip Dysplasia

This is not to say that your pup can't make a wonderful pet, I have had wonderful mutts, just that there are higher health and temperment risks involved. And I am not wording this to crush your happiness just to forewarn you of what you could expect, giving you either the opportunitity to change your mind or at least protect yourself from possibly vet high vet costs by obtaining pet insurance, I have made a couple of mistakes myself and the lessons were hard painful ones, as a result I try to warn others so they do not have to go through the same pain.

Looking forward to pictures of your new baby whether she is this one or another.

TeriM February 18th, 2007 01:21 AM

Welcome to the forum, congrats on your new puppy :) . Don't feel that everyone is jumping all over you about BYB it is just that so many people here are involved in rescue and are passionate about keeping people from supporting unethical persons who breed animals just to make some $ (not saying that is what is happening in your case).

Regarding the new puppy ... you'll need lots of patience, puppies are fun but also a lot of work. If you are totally new to dog owning then consider getting a book like "puppies for dummies" before the arrival. Use the search function here to look up issues like house training and puppy nipping/biting which you will definately run into. Consistancy and leadership will be key in developing a happy well socialized member of your family.

Good Luck :) .

rainbow February 18th, 2007 02:39 PM

Welcome to and I agree with Teri. There is lots of good information here so check out all the different forums. If you have any questions, ask away. And, don't forget to post pics of your new puppy. :D

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