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Question about puppies....

lbbaber

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Feb 18, 2011
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691
I am getting a Shih tzu puppy soon (not from a mill, my brother's dog is having a litter due next week). Does anyone find a difference in personalities for males compared to females? I am not sure if I should take a boy or a girl. We have a 7 year old male yellow lab and I have 2 young sons. I am so used to boys that I just assumed I should take a boy puppy but I am curious if maybe a female would be a better fit for my family. I am looking for a dog that we can cuddle and spoil!! Thanks for any help or advice.
 

iLander

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lbbaber|1304691216|2913892 said:
I am getting a Shih tzu puppy soon (not from a mill, my brother's dog is having a litter due next week). Does anyone find a difference in personalities for males compared to females? I am not sure if I should take a boy or a girl. We have a 7 year old male yellow lab and I have 2 young sons. I am so used to boys that I just assumed I should take a boy puppy but I am curious if maybe a female would be a better fit for my family. I am looking for a dog that we can cuddle and spoil!! Thanks for any help or advice.
I've always had an easier time with girl animals (cats and dogs). They're more easy-going, IMO.
 

Todd Gray

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I don't think it makes a difference whether the puppy is a boy or a girl, each puppy will have a personality all its' own regardless of sex. Try to spend some real time with the puppies, just watching them explore their surroundings and pay attention to how they interact with each other, people and toys - this will provide insight into whether they are shy, playful, aggressive, bold, timid, etc.

Picking a puppy is a very personal thing because every household has a different set of requirements based upon the needs and activities of that household... you mention that you want a dog which you can cuddle and spoil, but also mention that you have two boys; is the puppy intended to be a playmate for the boys? If so, you might want to select one which seems more playful and curious and that does not necessarily mean cuddly. My one year old German Shepherd puppy is quite playful, but not so cuddly...

Here is an article about testing the temperament of a puppy that might provide some insight:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4857783_test-puppys-temperament.html
 

dragonfly411

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I find girls to be a bit more affectionate at times, esp in small dogs. My girl I'm almost POSITIVE is half shih tzu. She is more loving. She's also a diva though. The shih tzus are smart, and they train their people, so be prepared for that. I think in terms of potty training girls are also easier. Boys are a PAIN to potty train, at least in my experience.
 

MonkeyPie

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Apr 23, 2008
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I agree that personality doesn't rely as much on gender as, well, personality. Hang out with the puppies a couple times, and watch how they play like Todd suggested. I once had someone tell me that most people want to pick the puppy that charges over toward them and demands attention - super playful and hyper. And that those ones tend to be the hardest to train. He said to look for the puppy sort of in-between, a little less quick to come to your hand, but not super shy or timid. Good luck! Post pictures! :appl:
 

texaskj

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Aug 31, 2010
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A great test is to pick up the puppy and roll it over in it's back and try to hold it like a baby. Does the puppy fight you? How fast? How hard? I did this on my boyfriend's hunting dog when we picked him out and the puppy I didn't pick has been nothing but hell for his owner.
Here's some more:
http://www.dogskool.com/puppy-temperment-test.html
 

pixies

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Jun 10, 2010
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I have two male chihuahuas. My step-mom has female chihuahuas. I've interacted with them enough to know all our pups love their attention/affection! My boys are very affectionate. The smallest one always wants to sit on my shoulders/lay behind my neck when I'm on the couch. He's my shadow when I do chores. My older chihuahua looooves attention and wants to be petted constantly. He is like the princess and the pea. It's not good enough just to sit on the couch, he needs to sit on a stack of pillows on top of the couch (if the opportunity presents itself :wink2: ). He's very prissy. I don't think there is a big personality difference between male and female dogs. Each dog just has their own personality. My two dogs are very different. The younger one is high-energy and playful. The older is more mellow (lazy) and easy going. Anyway, boy dogs will let you dote on them. I agree with the other posters that it has more to do with the individual personality of the dog than the gender (aside from the breed).
 

shihtzulover

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I got my shih tzu about 2.5 years ago, and I couldn't be happier (as you can probably tell by my screen name). Mine is a male, and he is the first shih tzu that I have ever owned, so I'm not sure how the females are. He had two brothers and no sisters in his litter, but the breeder warned me that he was the rambunctious one. :)

He is seriously like my child. I think that shih tzus always do seem to find their way into everyone's heart. Even my dad gets embarrassed because he knows that he totally spoils my dog, but he is just so difficult to resist. :)

He has always loved to play, but it has actually increased as he got older - I would say it really started to kick in when he was around 5 or 6 months old. When he was younger, he would just kind of stay where I put him, but now he gets into everything. He thrives on attention, and he has about a bazillion toys. Whenever he has disappeared into another room and is being quiet, I know that he's in trouble - much like a kid! :)

He doesn't really destroy anything, and I'm not sure about other shih tzus, but he never really chewed on anything, other than his Nylabones. He loves his squeaky toys, because he loves finding the squeakers and then making them squeak by himself.

He also does love cuddling and laying with me, but he has to be in a more sleepy mood. When he feels playful, he definitely isn't in the mood to cuddle!

When I got him, I knew nothing about the shih tzu breed. Honestly, I never knew that a dog could have so much personality, and I really think that I got lucky when I picked this breed. :)

Just keep in mind that these dogs need a lot of attention - or at least that has been my experience. Mine is very dependent on me, and he becomes sad whenever I leave him. It isn't so bad if someone else is home, but when I had my own apartment and had to go to work every day, it was a bit more of an issue.

Mine also eats EVERYTHING that he finds on the floor. I have heard other people say this about theirs, so I think it might be a shih tzu thing.
 

violet3

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I think it depends on how your dog interacts with other dogs - i have a 5 year old male, who definitely has some alpha dog in him. When we were looking to get another dog, we definitely knew he would do better with a female. Some male dogs don't react well with other males. Having said that, I truly prefer the personality of male dogs to females in general. (I love my female dog equally, i just think male dogs are a little more loyal, and girls can be more independent)
 

Haven

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Feb 15, 2007
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I like the idea of spending time with all the puppies to get a better idea of their personalities. I don't really think gender has much to do with it.

I just want to say that we inherited our 8-year-old Shih Tzu WIllie in October and he is wonderful! I absolutely adore him. I call him my little monster because he does have a bad habit of barking at me if he wants something (he was never trained before he came home to us) but he really is the best little guy ever. I get a huge kick out of him, and I'm sure you'll adore your Shih Tzu, too. He's my first small dog and I'm in love!
Here's a picture, this pretty much sums it up:
Willie.jpg
 

lbbaber

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Feb 18, 2011
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OMG, Haven!!! That photo is to die for! Your doggie is adorable. Now I am even more excited :D

Thanks for all the advice. The dog will be a "family dog" but really its more for me. I have wanted a small dog since I was a child and I had dreamed about having a shihtzu. My SO had been begging to rescue a greyhound but 1 big dog is all my house can handle--lol! (at least that is what I told him :lol: ). My lab is a rescue from Hurrican Katrina.

I get 1st pick from the litter. Originally I had thought that I would only look at the male puppies (assuming she has some) but now I will look for personality and not even consider sex. My lab plays w/a female mixed small dog that lives in our neighborhood. He is pretty good with all dogs though so I am not too worried about him.

I guess when the time comes, one of these little guys will steal my heart and I will "know". Thanks for all the help....you guys have given me alot to think about.
 

violet3

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labs have such great laid back personalities! We had a HUGE yellow lab who loved every human and dog that ever came his way, male or female, adult or child. My sister's lab is the same way -- I agree that you should look at the personalities of the pups. When we got our second dog, we knew our older dog was REALLY not into puppies. We went to visit and asked that they bring out only the pups that weren't obsessed with playing with the other dogs....there were two that were interested in the other dogs, but also independent. Our dog, Rhonda, now goes to the groomer for playdates with her rescued sisters - she's clearly a beta dog, becuase some of her sisters are agressive, but she just rolls over on her back and lets everyone (every dog) lick her to death :love:

p.s. Haven - i LOVE willie!!!!
 

Gothgrrl

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I don't have information except to say that I have 2 male dogs. It was my goal in life to be surrounded by males. :Up_to_something:
 

Izzy03

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Dec 10, 2007
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I can say that as far as little goes, it is TYPICALLY easier to potty train females. Little dog syndrome + male dog = lifting their leg on the furniture!! I have a 10 year old poodle/shih tzu mix who still lifts his leg in the house sometimes. My neighbor has two super sweet boy shih tzus and they also lift their leg in the house occasionally.

My advice is to pick the dog that seems to have the best personality for your family because there will be bad and good dogs with each gender. Start puppy training very early, BE VERY CONSISTENT, and spay/neuter as soon as your vet tell you it is safe (seriously, removing hormones from the equation often makes a BIG difference). Crate training for the first year also increases the success rate of potty training/behavior training.

My poodle/shih tzu was not properly trained because of inconsistency. I got him in high school when I was living with my parents, and my mom let him get away with everything. Just like a toddler, consistent discipline and positive reinforcement is crucial!
 

Todd Gray

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Izzy03|1304961045|2916379 said:
I can say that as far as little goes, it is TYPICALLY easier to potty train females. Little dog syndrome + male dog = lifting their leg on the furniture!! I have a 10 year old poodle/shih tzu mix who still lifts his leg in the house sometimes. My neighbor has two super sweet boy shih tzus and they also lift their leg in the house occasionally.

My advice is to pick the dog that seems to have the best personality for your family because there will be bad and good dogs with each gender. Start puppy training very early, BE VERY CONSISTENT, and spay/neuter as soon as your vet tell you it is safe (seriously, removing hormones from the equation often makes a BIG difference). Crate training for the first year also increases the success rate of potty training/behavior training.

My poodle/shih tzu was not properly trained because of inconsistency. I got him in high school when I was living with my parents, and my mom let him get away with everything. Just like a toddler, consistent discipline and positive reinforcement is crucial!
Crate training is awesome! My one year old GSD was crate trained beginning immediately when we brought him home (3 months) and he considers the crate his "safe spot" and still sleeps in it for at least a little while every night even now that he's allowed to roam the house freely at night... what good is a protection dog if locked in his crate at night? I sleep much better with him roaming freely...

Potty training a male... well, let's just say that it wasn't difficult at all, but I'm glad that my neighbors can't see into our backyard because my fiance who once worked at a vet insisted that I take the dog out and "show him" how and where to pee - so yes, the dog learned how and where to pee by relieving himself right alongside me in the backyard! And that required my getting up several times per night and taking him outside to ensure that he didn't have any accidents in his crate... and it means using baby gates to reduce the space he's able to freely roam (as a puppy) in the living area of the house when we were at home with him and taking him outside at least once an hour and keeping a very close eye on him. One of the books I read pointed out that it's really our fault when a puppy has an accident in the house because we're the ones in control of the door and responsible for keeping an eye on them, so if we don't learn to recognize the signs that "I have to go!" we're to blame and thus we shouldn't get mad at the puppy...

I think we had 3 - 4 accidents during potty training and my personal favorite of all time was in the car... oh that was unfortunate! And a lot of fun to clean up, but here again, I knew that it was about time for him to go and tried to go the extra few miles to complete an all day drive rather than stop at one more rest stop and try to convince him to go...

Oh and yea, Duscha still gives me a funny look when I use the bathroom indoors... It's like you can see the wheels turning inside of his head as he curiously looks on... it's like, oh man, you're going to get in SO MUCH trouble for that! :-o
 

Izzy03

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613
Todd Gray|1304965218|2916451 said:
Potty training a male... well, let's just say that it wasn't difficult at all, but I'm glad that my neighbors can't see into our backyard because my fiance who once worked at a vet insisted that I take the dog out and "show him" how and where to pee - so yes, the dog learned how and where to pee by relieving himself right alongside me in the backyard! And that required my getting up several times per night and taking him outside to ensure that he didn't have any accidents in his crate... and it means using baby gates to reduce the space he's able to freely roam (as a puppy) in the living area of the house when we were at home with him and taking him outside at least once an hour and keeping a very close eye on him. One of the books I read pointed out that it's really our fault when a puppy has an accident in the house because we're the ones in control of the door and responsible for keeping an eye on them, so if we don't learn to recognize the signs that "I have to go!" we're to blame and thus we shouldn't get mad at the puppy...

I think we had 3 - 4 accidents during potty training and my personal favorite of all time was in the car... oh that was unfortunate! And a lot of fun to clean up, but here again, I knew that it was about time for him to go and tried to go the extra few miles to complete an all day drive rather than stop at one more rest stop and try to convince him to go...

Oh and yea, Duscha still gives me a funny look when I use the bathroom indoors... It's like you can see the wheels turning inside of his head as he curiously looks on... it's like, oh man, you're going to get in SO MUCH trouble for that! :-o
I seldom hear about problems potty training large dogs. It's those little suckers that LOVE to mark their territory. I can only caulk it up to "little dog syndrome" :confused:

Crate training is absolutely the way to go. Also, do not let the puppy out of your sight until he/she is potty trained. In other words, if you can't watch the puppy like a hawk, the puppy should be in his crate. Once they start having accidents in the house, it is much more difficult to keep them on track with going outside!!! When you are home, take the puppy outside every hour. If you are super diligent, the puppy will likely be potty trained by the age of 4-5 months.

Oh yeah, and those pee pads......BAD IDEA! Sure, the puppy will use the bathroom on them, but you are teaching the dog that it is okay to use the bathroom in the house. They seriously hinder potty training, and I see it all the time......
 

lbbaber

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Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
puppy4_0.jpg
puppy3.jpg
puppy1.jpg

Thanks again for the extra advice. The puppies were born last night!!! There are 5 to chose from. I am SOOOO EXCITED! I can not wait until they are older and able to play.

My experience with dogs is limited to my lab so I am going to do ALOT of reading over the next couple months. The good thing is that I am a SAHM...I have A TON of free time so I will be able to train the dog right. My lab is crate trained (all though we never use it anymore). I am going out today to get some books about training Shihtzus.

Funny about "showing" the dog how to pee outside. My 6 year old will LOVE THAT!! We have an extremely private yard and he has been known to use the back yard for a tinkle now and then :lol: I will let him do the "showing" LOL!

I added some pics of the pups...that chocolate one is to die for. I hope his personality matches his looks!! Heck, they are ALL adorable though :D
 

Izzy03

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Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
613
I have only seen one chocolate shih tzu before, and I see TONS of shih tzus!!!!! Screw personality! Get the chocolate one!!!! So cute!
 

lbbaber

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Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
So I wanted to update everyone that has helped me. This is my new puppy "Chewbacca" or "Wookie"...haven't quite decided which yet--(Star Wars is a big deal around my house).

I went with the the chocolate boy Shih Tzu (how could I not---LOOK AT HIM!! :D ). He is so sweet and gentle. He is still too young to come live with me but he is in good hands for now. Thanks for all the advice. It has been a real help. I am getting my home ready for my new baby. Lots of reading about Shih Tzu's. Lots of puppy-proofing my house.

I do have one more question. Any advice about how to handle integrating my new baby with my 6 yr old yellow lab? I am not so worried about Ramsey (the lab) not treating the puppy right or being aggressive...he is SOOOOO good with other dogs. I am just concerned that Ramsey will get jealous and feel left out. He has adjusted well to my 11 month old son but he certainly was jealous of the attention the baby got in the beginning. Any tricks for making it an easy transition for my older furry baby? TIA

wookie.jpg
wookie2.jpg
 

lbbaber

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Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
I wanted to add this too....I have read all of the replies and appreciate all who have taken the time to help me. I am still new to public forums and didn't realise until recently that it is polite, or proper protocal, to answer each person :oops: :oops: :oops: . I do not want anyone to think that I am not appreciative. Thank you Ilander, Todd, dragonfly, MonkeyPie, texaskj, Pixies, Shihtzulover, Violet, Haven, Gothgrl, and Izzy. I have read and reread all of your posts and I will be sure to try some of the tips that you all have given me.

Shihtzulover, everytime I seee your avatar, I get excited for my new baby :D What a cutie you have!!
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 17, 2009
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Your pup is so adorable!!! Please post more pics when you get this sweetie home. Ack, this pooch is tempting me to get another dog!
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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What a cutie!!!!!!! And I LOVE the Star Wars-themed name!

No advice on integrating, unfortunately (I never had to) but good luck, and I can't wait to see more pictures of him!
 

iheartscience

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Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
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He is precious! I vote for the name "Wookie"! :cheeky: And I'm a cat lady myself so no advice to the dog integrating. Hopefully someone with pups will chime in soon.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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But if she names him Chewbacca, she can call him Chewie! :)

ETA: I'm a Star Wars fan :razz:
 

sba771

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Jun 1, 2008
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887
So cute!! I had to chime in when I heard the name as my little guy is Darth Vader and it suits him.
 

lbbaber

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Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Thank you Junebug, BEG, thing2, and sba....I am really excited to get him!!!

He is SOOOO sweet and gentle. He gets playful with his brothers and sisters but isn't aggressive. One of the pups is too fiesty and one is too mellow (doesn't even play much). This one is a perfect mix of both. And to be honest, I was hoping there would be a brown one in the litter bc we wanted to name him after our favorite Wookie.

My 6yr old son wants to call him "Chewy" but for some reason I keep saying "Wookie".

SBA, this dog's dad is mostly black and his name is "Darth Vader"...I LOVE your dog's name! They also have a "Stripe" and a "Gizmo" that look just like the Mogwais in the movie "Gremlins"--(can you tell I grew up in the 80's? :lol: )

Thank you again for the kind words. I'll be sure to post pics when he comes to live with me!
 
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