Originally Answered: Questions about my new Shih Tzu puppy?
1. Yes. This is the only way for the worms to be removed from the dog's body.
2. As I understand it, they are "supposed" to have top knots, but it really isn't necessary unless you plan to show her.
3. Leave her in the crate. If you give in and take her out, you're just reinforcing the behavior and teaching her that crying gets her what she wants. She will continue to cry in the crate and will also start crying for everything - attention, toys, etc. It may not sound like a big deal, but I've had first hand experience with this and it gets very annoying, very quick.
4. Yes. Once a dog starts seeing their crate as their "den," they will not go to the bathroom in it because it's instinct to keep their den clean. This will teach her to hold her bladder for longer periods of time.
5. As long as you're feeding her a quality dog food, vitamins aren't necessary. I suggest researching this more. The supermarket brands (Iams, Pedigree, Purina, etc.) are actually the worst you can buy. Two of the best brands are Canidae and Innova. You have to go to Petsmart/Petco to get them and they are more expensive, but good dog food saves you money on vet bills in the long run.
6. I'm against any chemical flea treatments. What people don't realize is that you're essentially putting pesticide on your pet. It's not unheard of for dogs to have allergic reactions to them. Garlic keeps fleas away - feed Mia about 1/4 clove of garlic, minced, every day. If she won't eat it, just put it on the back of her tongue the way you would a pill. Build this amount up slowly; start with an itty bitty amount of garlic and feed that to her for a few days, then go to 1/8 of a clove for a week or so, then go to 1/4 clove.
7. I looked up the ingredients for Red Flannel, and no, it's not good. The ingredients list "chicken by-product meal" (basically the icky parts of chickens that no human being or dog should ever eat - ground up feathers, bones, etc.) and "ground yellow corn" (corn is hard for dogs to digest). Wheat should also never be in the first 5 ingredients, as many dogs are allergic to it. So, it's not absolutely terrible, but it could be better. Several great dog food brands are: Innova, Canidae, Life's Abundance, and Nature's Finest.
8. It sounds to me like Mia was from a backyard breeder (BYB). They are breeders who breed more as a hobby or a way to make money; while a reputable breeder shows their dogs in confirmation shows, breeds solely because they love and want to improve the breed, and always register their dogs. Now, BYBs are not good, but you honestly didn't know. I got my first dog from a BYB because I had no idea about any of that at the time.
9. Puppies get a series of shots in their first several months of life. She will be given shots, although I can't for the life of me remember which shots come when.
10. Yes, most dogs change color (though they might get darker or lighter) as they grow. I'm not sure if this is true for other breeds, but I know that with Golden Retrievers, the color of their ears is a good indication of the color they will be when they're adults.
11. This is for all breeds, but start training now. Do not wait until Mia is older and has already picked up bad habits. Start obedience training - sit, lay down, stay, come, the basic commands.
Also, a few common diseases in Shih Tzus are: Patella luxation (a disorder of the knee joint), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland, but easily treated), Intervertebral Disk Disease (a spinal problem), and general respiratory disorders. Just some things to be aware of. The fact that the breeder was most likely a BYB makes Mia more susceptible to these disorders, but it doesn't automatically mean she will get them.
Also, 7 weeks old is too young to take a dog from it's mother. At the very least, a puppy should leave its mother at 8 weeks, but in small breeds it is safer to take them away at 10 weeks. Just something to keep in mind, because dogs who are taken from their mothers too early are more likely to develop health and behavioral problems.
12. There are a lot of factors that can influence how dogs react to children. Some dogs are naturally wonderful with kids, and some just aren't. Since Mia is still very young, there is a good chance that she will love your son if you introduce them in a positive way. Generally, if puppies grow up around children, they will be more accepting of them than an adult dog who has never been around them before. You will have to teach your son, when he's older, how to play with and be around Mia. A toy breed like a Shih Tzu can get hurt very easily by a toddler. Any dog can become aggressive if provoked, so teach your son to be very gentle with her - no pulling her tail or anything like that :)
Good luck with your new dog! xx
Originally Answered: Questions about my new Shih Tzu puppy?
You should take Mia back to her breeder and demand your money back. She's too young to be away from her mother (small breeds should stay with their mother for 10 to 12 weeks, no dog should leave their mother before 8 weeks), she's infested with worms and fleas, you didn't get any papers about her shots or deworming.. This woman didn't care about the dogs she was breeding, just your money.
1)You'll have to see the vet on that one. It does sometimes take 2 or 3 doses to get rid of worms completely depending on the severity and type of worms.
2)From my understanding, top knots are a grooming issue. This pup likely isn't very well bred and might well end up with a bad coat that won't ever have a proper top knot. You won't know until her adult coat begins to grow in somewhere between 6 months and a year old.
3)Leave her in the crate as long as you're sure she doesn't need to potty. Going to her will jsut teach her that if she cries, you come. A tough habit to break.
4)I never crate train and have never had a problem potty training dogs. Just remember she still needs to go every 3 to 4 hours at night at this point.
5)Give her a good quality dog food and she won't need any vitamins.
6)She's too young for flea treatments. Talk to your vet.
7) Havn't heard of that food. You want her on a high quality puppy food with meat as the first ingredient and as little as possible fillers.
8)Mia is from a back yard breeder. You will likely never get papers for this dog.
9)Wether or not they start over the shot series depends on your vet. A lot of times when pups come in in the condition you're talking about with the backround you've described here they start completely over. A lot of back yard breeders never actually give shots or deworm the dogs even though they say they have.
10)Shih Tzus do get lighter as they age. How much depends on the dog.
12) That depends entirely on how you raise them together. If you train the dog and teach both the dog and the baby how to interact with each other there shouldn't be a problem.