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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I'll take the first section of this post for an introduction, and the second portion for some questions; so if you're not an introduction type, you can skip right on to the second part! :wave:
since nobody knows my Chi yet, I'll mostly focus on a little background for him. His actual name is Thor, which is how we will referred to him in the introduction, but I often refer to him as Churro, which is a nickname that accidentally stuck.

How We Came by Thor
My husband and I came by Thor by complete accident when a family friend's daughter fell under the impression that her father wanted a dog. She did the big nono of getting the dog for him without asking him first.
Said family friend tried very hard to go with it and take care of Thor, but after about 9 months he came to the conclusion that he really just didn't have the time or the money nor the desire for the huge responsibility it brought on.
He noticed how much we adored Thor a few months after he first got him, when he unexpectedly had to take a very long business trip across country, and the plans for Thor to stay with his daughter fell through. Since Thor was already a little familiar with us and there was nowhere else for him to go where he wouldn't be left alone in an unsanitary and unsafe room for the entirety of his stay, he ended up with us. Recalling this experience, 9 months after he had been returned to our family friend, the family friend came back to us while we were visiting him and other family in the area, and approached us with the suggestion that we become Thor's new permanent family so long as his daughter gave her blessing.

Behavioral Progress, Feeding, Potty-Training, etc.
We've had him in our permanent care for about six days now. We've successfully shifted him to a regular feeding schedule and a new food that is healthier and easier for him to eat. He wasn't into food or treats when we first got him, but he gets incredibly excited for his new food, and we finally found a treat that he likes. After rejecting meat flavors, cheese flavors, and veggie.... we found that he loves berry treats! I didn't even know dogs liked berries. :laughing5:

His old owner never had time to potty train or crate train him, but accidentally started Thor on his way to puppy pad training in a 'litter box'. We've been embracing this approach-- partly because it's way too cold for him to be outside right now, and partly because it's tough to potty train an older dog with such bad habits, and since he's already on his way to this good habit, we're hoping it'll make it a little easier for everyone involved. Since I've never dealt with potty training an older dog or one who can't go out in harsh temperatures and doesn't show signs when he needs to go potty, this has been a big learning process for both him and me. which brings me to some of the questions below.... :hiding:

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PART TWO OF THE POST: THE QUESTIONS


so I'll start off with the serious ones and head to the potentially silly ones...

POTTY TRAINING: While we've found some treats that Churro loves, he still prefers affection. This should be fine-- except that he doesn't seem to be THAT driven by affection either. When it was all fun and new, he'd go potty in his box to get praise... but now that he's used to it, he seems to think it's gotten a little old. He stopped going there for the reward of praise, and started going where he pleases again. He didn't get praise when he went elsewhere, but he didn't seem to miss it enough to start going where he was supposed to again. The convenience was more nice for him than the praise and treat attempts he got if he went where he was supposed to. :sad7:
The fact that I seemed a little sad afterwards didn't perturb him much either.
When he stopped responding to treats and praise, someone suggested a gentle scolding-- but when I tried this, he stopped going in front of me all together. Pretty soon this became a huge problem, because he would hold it all day until we had to go somewhere and crate him, and he would constantly be nervous and shaky trying to hold it in until we left. This devastated me, so I finally set in the potty room with him for hours until he couldn't hold it anymore, and praised him heavily for going even though it was on the floor. Shortly after that, he willingly pooped in front of me, and as I praised him he actually stepped into the box before he finished-- though that may have been accidental in his attempt to reach me. Since then, he has been going in the box every time. I am hoping this is progress, and not a fluke... :< but does anyone have any advice?

'SCOLDING': How do you guys communicate to your Chi that they have done something 'wrong'? My Labrador liked it when I used a gentle but firm / instructive tone, and she couldn't stand baby voices... but for Churro, anything other than a baby voice upsets him in most circumstances. For when he tries to take his toys into the potty box, I take them back out immediately and say something like 'uh-uhh! toys don't go in the potty box, no they don't!' in a really cheerful baby voice-- the same one I use for praise, and he seems to do okay with that so far-- but I'm scared to use it when he goes somewhere he shouldn't. Generally, the idea with dogs like this seems to be that either you show them what they should do instead ( which I can't because he pees way too fast for me to move him, ) or instead of teaching them that something is wrong, you teach them that something else is way better-- but since neither treats nor praise seem to be a worthy reward anymore, I'm scared that might not be enough and I don't know what else to do. This second round, he has been responding more eagerly to praise and treats-- but that's how he started with the first round, and I'm afraid it might wear off again like it did the first time....

now for the lighter stuff,
CLOTHING: where do you guys get your clothes for your Chi's, especially for cold weather? The pet store scarcely had anything in his size, and we never found any boots for his tiny paws, or anything that could cover his legs and tail when it was especially cold outside with concerns of frostbite...
I've read that if you can't give them protection beyond a coat that only covers part of their body, you shouldn't take them out in anything lower than 35... which means I can't take him out for most of the winter. Is there somewhere we can get him better gear?

BURROWING + CONCERNS OF OVERHEATING: so I know they love to burrow, and I indulge the heck out of this pleasure for him... but I'm a little worried. Do your Chi's tend to stay under even when they start to overheat?
I caught him panting pretty heavily a few times as if he were overheating, and he felt incredibly warm. I took him out from under the blankets and wouldn't let him go back under and he cooled off and seemed okay, but he's done this two-three times.... anyone had experience with this?

TASTE PREFERENCES: so as I said earlier, Churro only likes a specific brand of berry treats. Do your Chi's have any silly taste preferences like this? I thought it was wacky and adorable and I was kindof curious to hear if others had any interesting findings. :laughing5:


thanks for reading any of this or offering any thoughts! :love5:
 

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Hi and welcome to the group! I'm pretty much a newbie myself, so... I've had Lola for just over a week now, and she's doing wonderfully with potty training - about 11 wks old btw. I got a Kleen Paws Puppy Pad holder and it works great - put some of her urine on it when we started, and positive reinforce with Zuke' Mini Naturals treats every time she makes and it's working well.

Scolding - we are still working through that, but yes the "gentle, but firm approach" is best. I also just remove the item that is causing the problem and replace with a chew toy. She's in the "chew everything" phase right now, which is fun lol...

Clothing - I order pretty much everything online... I shop at Baxterboo and a particular brand I like is Dogo, which you can get at Baxterboo or Amazon. Pet Flys brand is also one of my favorites - they have adorable sweaters! Also just visit local stores - Petsmart last week ran up to 70% off on dog clothing.

I'll also mention carriers - I just bought one from Manhattan Portage and I love it. It's not too expensive, stylish and perfect for Lola once the weather warms up a bit, and has a harness leash so that she can't jump!

HTH....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi! Thanks for the welcome, and welcome to you too! I'm so excited to find a board full of other Chi lovers. I had no idea what amazing dogs they are before I met Churro!

That's so great things are going so well with you and Lola!! I've been doing a similar thing with Churro-- but I've found that he has a weird balance for his potty preferences! :p
He seems to feel better encouraged when there are few traces-- but if there aren't enough or there is too much he acts absolutely appalled and will have nothing to do with it. It's kindof cute in a way. ^^
It seems something has clicked for him over the last day or two.... he's suddenly excited over the treat. He's started looking for them in his bowl, and if one's not there he gets all disappointed-- and in a few moments he goes potty to get one! I'm so excited. Congrats on getting yours trained at a good young age and starting out with good habits!

Hah! I am lucky I did miss most of the chewing-everything stage... We had a little of that when we first puppy-sat him, but we were at a family home where we could afford him to chew a little. That would have been a nightmare in our new apartment. I hope she picks up fast! Churro seemed to learn pretty well for what little time we had him during that stage. I still have to take away all his toys when it's potty time though... otherwise he never goes!

Thank-you for the clothing tips! I'll have to check those sites and the carrier out. I've been considering getting him a new one...
we did stop by Pet Smart, and managed to find him a jacket with nice warm lining and a sweater-- but most of it was pretty picked over, and we still couldn't find any shoes. We got the smallest they had, but they were just too big for him. He's so tiny! We can't find a harness for him either... the smallest they had for small dogs was still too big. We finally got him a cat harness instead, hah! It's a little big, but it works much better than the others we tried did.
That's a big help though, I really appreciate it!!
 

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My dog started bringing toys like this to his potty pads because he started treating it like his bed. This might be the problem your dog is having. I wouldn't scold him for that because he might start to believe going to his box is what you don't like, which can create him wanting to potty somewhere else even more. I'd just take his toys each time and place them back on his actual bed.

My dog can get pretty picky as well. If we are cooking something that smells good he won't eat his food just in case! He's also known to give up his meal just to look for crumbs, it drives me crazy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't scold him, no worries! I just basically tell him he's a silly boy ad move them back out. He's mostly stopped taking them there now.

and wow! I thought I had it bad, but that sounds crazy, haha. I hope he never picks up that habit. I'd scarcely ever get him to eat again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
and in case I wasn't clear, I had NEVER scolded him prior to someone's suggestion with the potty training issue, and I have NEVER scolded him since.
I didn't really scold my Labrador either, so much as I had a more firm and instructional relationship with her, which she actually preferred. I tried the baby voice and less instructional relationship with her when we first got her.... the baby voice highly distressed and upset her, and she got confused and frustrated when we weren't instructional with her. It was just what she preferred.

Also, happy to report that he's been using the box again and has only had two accidents in the past 2ish days-- save for the crate. x:
He pooped twice this morning, peed once, wasn't given water for slightly over an hour before crate time, still pooped and peed in the crate... I know by now he can hold it, since he did it with me for awhile.... and the crate is the proper dimensions. There is a very small bit of space at the back which he can squish out of if he is determined, and I think he is trying to eliminate there, but then he can't avoid it the whole time and ends up getting it everywhere.

My only guess is that he doesn't yet realize that eliminating in the crate has much more serious discomfort for him than it did when his old owner used a larger crate which allowed space for him to eliminate and move to a still decently large area... :/
Like I said, he had pooped twice, had a good long pee, is capable of holding it, and wasn't fussing at all when we left...
 
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