Hi, new chow owner here.

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Zyrl
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Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby Zyrl » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:26 am

Hello everyone, I'm a first time chow owner. My older sister has a friend who is a breeder, a month back it had a litter of around 7 pups. We took one in, and currently she's been with me for two nights, I've never had a pure bred pup before and so this is quite a new road for me.

This is Furbee, or Bee for short;

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She's absolutely lovely and is pretty much the life of the house. She's currently 5 weeks old (this is such a young age from what I've read, to be separated from it's litter and I do know this now-- but I doubt returning her to spend a few more weeks with her siblings is not optional at this point as I don't know if they're still there or if they've also been given to their proper owners).

Now, I do know that taking care of such a young chow would pose a lot of challenges, and I've been reading a few topics here and there to help give me an idea as to what I should do. I've been simply observing her and trying to get her to socialize with my family members (and she's been really great and friendly), however I do have a few concerns (ones that I don't think would necessitate a visit to her vet, but I will be visiting this weekend to get her additional vaccines) and some questions that might really help if answered;

#1: We feed her during mornings (around 7-8AM) and around (6PM), we give her a few snacks in between but nothing too heavy as we were advice not to feed her so much as my family members has a tendency to do that. I've made it clear we need to be responsible about her health seeing as she is very young. I wanted to know if this schedule is okay? Or do we need to feed her three times instead?

#2: How cold is cold? I have an air conditioned room and most of the time she stays with me, I live in a tropical country so most days it's warm/hot outside specially now that it's bearing summer. I know chows are particularly vulnerable to heat, but how cold does a room need to be so they can be comfortable but NOT cold?

#3: I've seen several topics regarding this as well, and I realize now that of course, they're still very much babies and would need a lot of attention. Bee cries in the middle of the night and for the past two nights I've been woken up several times at around 2-3am and 4-5am again, she cries and I would take her out of the house for a potty, which is kind of impressive considering she'd cry until I wake to take her out and hold it. She does do her normal potty schedule from after she's eaten. At around 8am, we try to wait until 15-30 minutes before taking her outside for her potty break, and around 2-3PM I take her outside again and give her a little walk around the garden, and the same process continues after she's had her 6PM feed. I just want to confirm if this behavior is normal? And I do love her very much but I do have work and some days I have 12 hour shifts which really requires me to get at least 7 hours of continuous sleep. At around what age should I expect her to continuously sleep through the night and wake up with me in the early morning instead? But tonight after I've taken her inside when she woke me up at 3AM, she kept pawing at my door and wanting to be let out to the rest of the house. I normally would not be opposed to this however I don't want to leave her outside of my room with a very huge imposing space.

#4: A LOT OF PEOPLE WANTS TO CARRY HER. But I'm scared of getting her stressed by a lot of people constantly wanting to pet her. We live in a compound inside the university I work in, and so sometimes when I take her out for walks and pass by my students/faculty, they all want to take their time with her. Will this stress her out and affect her health? As much as I want to help her socialize starting early on, I don't want her to be sick because of it.

I have a few more queries I might add later but I'd really appreciate any response and help any experts on taking care of chows could give me, thank you and I hope you all have a nice day.

linhnguyen2210
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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby linhnguyen2210 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:25 am

Hello, your puppy is so cute. But as you might know, she is too small to be separated from her litter.
I recently had a puppy myself and based on my experience and what I have learned, I can give you some advice and hope this will help.
1. As a puppy, you should try to feed her 3 or 4 times per day. This is because she cannot each much per meal so she would need regular meals to provide enough nutrition. Also, you need to pay attention to the amount you feed her. Puppies actually need to eat a lot in order to grow. My puppy is now 5 month old and I feed her 2 cups of dry food per day. For puppyhood, you shouldn't be worried much about overweight.
2. I am not sure about how cold Chows could bear but I am sure it's beyond human capacity. So if you can tolerate the cold, I am sure your puppy could bear too.I live in England, its winter now and gets pretty cold, but sometimes my puppy still feels hot even outdoors when she is playing. But to be certain, put some lightweight towel/blanket to her sleeping area, if she feels to hot, she will try to push the blanket to one side and sleep it another side. If she feels cold, she will shiver. You just need to pay more attention to see how she reacts and you will know.
3.Your puppy is too small and crying for puppies is normal. I can understand why she would continuously cry at night, not just because she needs to go potty but also because she is too small to stay through the night by her self, she would certainly feel stressed when you are not there.I have been through what you have been through and I would advise you to be patient with her until she gets a bit bigger. Another thing you could do is to put her in the same room with you, maybe you could put her in the crate to avoid potting accidents. If you dont want her to sleep in the same room with you, you can put one of your unwashed t-shirts in her crate so that your scent can calm her down during the night. Also, when she cries, not matter how annoying it is, try not to reach to her and pet her. This makes her condition her cry with your presence and sometimes she just cries to attract your attention and presence. Wait until she becomes silent that you check her out and may be give her potty break. If she cries non-stop, put her to potty break but make it as quick as possible. If she doesn't eliminate in 10 or 15 minutes, put her back immediately. Do not pet her or play with her. At night when you leave her, make it as few fuss as possible. Maybe give her some stuffed Kong (search Kong toy for dog, the only one essential toy that you will need if you decide not to buy her any toy at all), the actions of sucking, licking and chewing the Kong resemble suckling from mother and will put her in sleep more easily. While she is enjoying her Kong, slip out of the room as silently as possible. These above tips will help, but remember she is only a baby and plus she is too small. Give her lots of patience, love and care. It will soon pay off. My puppy now sleeps through the night without complaints,she even looks forward to night time to enjoy her Kong!!
4. In terms of socialization and petting, even though allowing her and new people to interact as much as possible is good, picking up by strangers may be extremely stressed for her and can make her scared of picking up by people later on. I would recommend any one to pet her and especially picking her up to spend a while to let her get to know them, let her smell, play with them, after that they can pet her and pick her up. But do it as slowly and pleasantly as possible. You may bring some treats for people to feed her so that she associates meeting new people with positive experiences. The key is ALWAYS give her a choice of whether she wants to interact with those people or not. Do it right and you will have the most socialized and friendly dog as these weeks are critical for her learning, do it wrong, you may damage her emotionally.

As I said, I just had a puppy recently myself and the above tips worked for my puppy, not necessarily all. But I am happy to help,if you have questions I can answer, I will try my best. All your bests with your puppy.

oliwia88
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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby oliwia88 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:37 am

My story with Maks is like yours. Sisters friends gave me a little dog and I fell in love. Your puppy is so beautiful! What a lovely dog! I remember when Max was a little boy. ;) He was very crazy. I think that you should spend time with puppy in places where there are people. In future he will be very friendly. My friends when meet me with Max, gave him some food and today he likes them very much. :)

Rory's Dad
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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby Rory's Dad » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:12 pm

Please keep asking questions and looking for advice. It seems like you have the right intent. Breeder releasing a pup at just 5 weeks is really not the right way to do things, and without any instruction on feeding regimen or training objectives it even worse.

As Linh says, 3-4 times a day for feeding with a young pup. Better to go frequent feedings with smaller amounts. Make sure whatever you feed is geared toward young puppies, they need the extra nutrients.

I wouldn't worry so much about the temperature extremes. Chows are well equipped to deal with colder temps. But at that age they shouldn't be left unguarded outside at any time. An air conditioned room is not an issue whatsoever.

A whining Chow baby should also not be an issue. You want to address the need to 'go outside', but as a chow grows they develop an ability to wait and hold it (no different than any other dog breed, usually better). You don't want to develop a dog that does that for attention though. They need to be independent to some degree and shouldn't rely on you to respond to every whimper. While chows are very loyal to their owners, you don't want to end up with the 'needy' dog.

Zyrl
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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby Zyrl » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:12 am

Thank you so much for the responses guys, I really truly appreciate every single one of you taking the time to reply. I haven't had the time to make a reply and a progress report as to how she's doing because it has been a very hectic month for all of us (graduation is nearing and there's the requirement to submit grades and such at work), anyhoo. She's gotten rather big now!

Almost 9 weeks, and she's more or less completely comfortable with the house now, my parents even refer to her as their grandchild sometimes. *exasperating shake of my head*
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I've more or less continued researching about how I should treat my puppy but as she's growing older, I have some particularly pleasing news and a few concerns. She seems very comfortable with other people and I think she relishes on the attention-- not sure if this is a good or a bad thing but if my pup is comfortable with having guests over I guess it's a good thing?

A few rather small questions I need to know next:

#1: About bathing. How many times should I bathe her? She doesn't necessarily spend a lot of time outside so there's very little chance of her being exposed to smelly things, and if I do, does the water have to be warm or cold?

#2: Rapid breathing, I've been told/and have read that rapid breathing is normal to puppies when they're asleep, but when she's got a particular case of hyperactiveness and have been running around so much, she's doing this rapid breathing with her mouth open and tongue lolling out and MAYBE i'm just being a little bit paranoid but I sometimes worry about it when she does that, we have water around her 24/7 so she drinks on her own. It's pretty normal right? Also, some days in here could get particularly hot and I've noticed a few days when she wasn't really doing much activity but she still had that rapid breathing.. would an ice pack on her help as she lounges on her bed?

However, my main concern about her right now is trying to teach her bite inhibition. I've only recently learned about this and I've been reading topics in this site and off site about how to deal with your puppy just wanting to bite EVERYTHING. My slippers, her toys, the chair inside my room, her towel, etc. what alarms me more is the fact that she doesn't seem to mind play-biting my hand and I'm wondering if there's anyone in the house that lets her do this (and I've warned them not to let her do that) because when she does it I always tell her no bite with a stern voice and not give her attention (as from what I've read) but she can't seem to get the idea that biting human skin is a no-no, she always thinks I'm playing when I tell her no. When she's playful she growls and hops in between my feet trying to get my attention and play-biting, she actually takes to commands really well though, I only spent an hour or so the other day to teach her the sit command and she already responds to the command easily when she's paying attention.

If anyone could please let me know how to help my puppy behave more properly about this, I'd really appreciate the time and the effort anyone would take to do so.

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Laura
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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby Laura » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:14 am

Your pup is a true baby. She was taken from her mom and siblings too early so she missed out on some of the teaching they would have provided like bite inhibition. First off she will grow out of the play biting and wanting to chew on everything in your house. In the mean time you must baby proof. Keep shoes, remotes, wires, plants, everything out of her reach. Provide her with a lot of toys and appropriate items to chew on. She is teething and needs to chew. She is a baby and needs to play. My Shug was a big play biter so I always tried to use a toy between us when he was ramped up and when he did get skin a high pitched yelp and play would stop for a bit. No need to yell, never ever hit, only use positive reinforcement training, and remember they are springs so if you push them away they literally bounce back.
Socializing her is your top priority. It is great that she loves everybody and you must reinforce this. Take her places to meet people and dogs/cats. Let her experience all types of noises and items she will come into contact with in life. Have people over. Have them bring their safe pets over. The first 6 months are huge in experiences and socialization. If you can afford it put her in a puppy class at your local petsmart or the like. You want to raise a confidant, well socialized Chow, not a leery, scared, aggressive one.
It is adorable your parents call her their grandchild and having family members who love her and who she loves will be great for when you need someone to care for her while vacationing or if you become ill, etc!
Bathing is different for everyone and every Chow. But you need to brush her often-daily. She needs to get used to grooming because it is going to be a big part of her life. If you plan to use groomers then start now so she is used to the experience. (just be very picky about the groomers and don't let them clip/shave her!)
The breathing issues are probably normal as long as you have her under the care of a vet getting her shots, exams, worm checks, and so on.
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Chloe (left) Shuggy (right)

rmb
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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby rmb » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:55 pm

Your baby is absolutely adorable. My current dogs were adopted at 1 year and 2 years old so it's been a long time since I've started with a puppy. However, on the temperature issue, I know that drinking ice water can be very dangerous for an overheated dog so I wonder about icing her at all. On the grooming front, I find with regular brushing, baths are needed only once or twice a year. My furkids smell good and have healthy skin . Don't know if I'd bathe a white dog more often. I have always thought too much bathing was not good for the skin and coat and I've never had a dog who liked a bath so - why put them through it unless it's needed? Brings to mind a youtube video out there somewhere of a woman dragging a small chow by its front legs into the bathroom for a bath and he gets away and runs out and she pulls him back by the legs again and over and over. I guess she thought it was funny, I found it abusive. I am not suggesting you would do any such thing but again, I never met a dog who liked a bath.
Best of luck with your cutie!

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Re: Hi, new chow owner here.

Postby Rory's Dad » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:18 pm

I agree on the icing. No need for that, except for the occasional cube for a teething issue or as a chew treat. Don't worry so much about the air temperatures. Chow are built with a double lay of fur. It works quite nicely in the cold insulating their bodies, and in the heat it ventilates. Unless the temps are extreme, they are fine. In those temps usually all they need are to not be left outside for long periods of time (cold), or a nice tile floor to lie on (heat). They will regulate quite nicely.

On bathing, worst you can do is overdo it. The bathing will remove natural oils from the skin and fur. If they are dirty or smell, then bathe. Otherwise, every couple of months is sufficient. As RMB said, most will not love it. But if introduced as a regular routine, they tolerate quite nicely (brother of my pup Toby actually lays down for a nap in the tub). Luke warm water is fine. Try not to make it too stressful. Mine actually love to be blow dried afterwards and 'play' with the drier air.

Chewing is an issue best dealt with by replacement therapy. You need to teach what is acceptable, and what is not. If the pup grabs a shoe, instruct to drop (important basic command). Practice that command with a ball and make it a game of fetch/return. Once she drops, give her a puppy toy, chew, or treat. Praise when she gets something appropriate to play with.

Nipping at people...not so fun with a pup, dangerous with a grown dog. You are right that this is your most pressing issue. Since she was taken from the litter at an early age the yelping thing may not mean much to her. I would try ignoring her. If she starts to nip, its usually because she is excited or in a play mood. Again, redirect that. Start with a command...No Teeth. Turn away and walk to a different area. Somewhere she can't follow. Wait for her to calm a bit. Then return and give normal attention. With a puppy, the nip is usually just a mouthing thing, as they get older they will tend to bring the front paws up. Use your knee to nudge her back if she hasn't gotten the No Teeth instruction yet.

I never introduce any sort of tugging/pull toys with my Chows. They have only knotted ropes so that we don't encourage any sort of contest. When giving treats or food, don't allow them to reach for the item. Have them sit/lie/paw, whatever. No jumping up to take the treat and they should be relaxed. You should be able to almost place it in the mouth and not worry about a tooth scrape. May sound like that moves ahead a bit, but its all interconnected.


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