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Hi Hilary, Bear's a cutey! I too am in Brisbane, near Morningside/Bulimba and have 4 young Chi's. Could have puppy play days if you're close.

Just treat your Chi as you would any normal large dog, do NOT make allowances for the fact they appear tiny, fragile, simpering, whimpering, pathetic little things - they're not, they're DOGS first, foremost, and always! What Michele said is all great advice.

Feeding the best you possibly can for our tinies is most important, every mouthful must count and therefore you don't want any below-par food entering that little mouth - many of us here feed a raw diet (either self-prepared or Dr. Ian Billinghurst's pre-made BARF) and/or ZiwiPeak (100% dehydrated meat from N.Z).

Bear in mind the ever popular Science Diet, Eukanuba etc. are all considered total crap foods in USA, it's only the idiot Aussie hype we get over here that convinces the uneducated among us otherwise.

Dog Food Advisor, searchable via google will show you good & bad foods from USA and beware of anything that has been irradiated (irradiation creates free radicals - read up on the Orijen dog & cat food saga & withdrawal from Oz due to irradiation levels killing cats by the dozens).

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES feed any treats that have been made in China .... scan packs with magnifying glasses because the b's make the print super tiny, but make them look like they were manufactured in USA - 100's, if not 1,000's of dogs are currently dying in USA from eating Chinese chicken treats.

Make sure you have a harness as opposed to a collar to walk Bear in - Puppia or iPuppyOne are great brands & avail much cheaper out of USA on eBay, as are most things to be honest, the range we have here is ridiculously scant and way too expensive - I get super cheap Kong & other toys out of USA for a fraction of what we pay here.

Search the forums here for desexing and immunisation info i.e. it's possible to have Titer's tests instead of over immunising which can be risky with our tinies due to reactions. I refuse to get any annual boosters whatsoever, they do not need them, it's only revenue raising on the part of the vet. Once immunised, you remain that way for life because the body has created anti-bodies, and they don't simply go away, die or peter off.

YES Chis are notoriously difficult to housetrain, don't even start me on that topic, it's a nightmare & never has been for me before these little monsters who can't aim straight at a pee pad to save their darn lives. Mine are trained to go on pads inside but also have a doggy door to go outside so they do both depending on their whim, which is really slack on my part I'm afraid.
 
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