Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Aug 17, 2015
My Shih Tzu, Trixie, had a very difficult time with potty training when she was a puppy. I highly recommend to anyone looking into getting a Shih Tzu or any small dog that you begin crate training immediately. For crate training to be most effective, the crate should never be a punishment. A pup's crate should be a safe zone for them that you use to not only potty train, but also to protect your puppy and your home while you are unable to watch your pup.
Jumping and barking was also a huge issue with Trixie. She is a nonstop vocalist because she is very territorial and protective of her home and her family. We discovered that by removing her direct line of sight to the outside by simply rearranging the furniture that the barking was brought down to a tolerable level. We also gave Trixie her own special place in the living room with a large dog sized bed along the wall that she can cuddle up and sleep and feel secure on which seemed to help with her slight anxiety.
I love my Shih Tzu, however, they are a very stubborn breed and as they age, they can get rather irritable and possibly aren't always the best breed to have around small children. They do require professional groom every 6-8 weeks to avoid matting and maintain a healthy coat and skin. They also prefer the cold to hot weather. Trixie will go outside and romp in the snow for hours, but in the summer, it is a task to get her to go outside to do her business in the extreme heat.
Overall, Shih Tzus are an intelligent, though stubborn breed and are anything but low-maintenance. Starting training at a young age and being consistent throughout is the key to having success with this breed.
If there is one thing that I have learned from owning a Calico American Shorthaired cat, it’s that they are extremely intelligent and they know it. My cat, Luckie, is everything from smart to playful to snuggly to demanding at times. She is unlike any cat I have ever had.
Cats in general are very smart and relatively independent, and although calico is not technically a breed, it has been my experience that they are slightly different from your average tabby. Luckie enjoys her cat tree more then any cat that I have owned and she continues to scale it as if she were still a spry young kitten. It also seems that calicos are rather vocal, but every “meow” they make always has a purpose, usually a demand of some sort. I found with my Calico American Shorthair that she is also able to understand communications from me and she knows and responds to her name and the word “no,” although it isn’t her favorite word to hear!
As with many cat breeds, American Shorthairs are self-sufficient in regards to grooming and basic health and hygiene. Luckie is able to manage her short hair and I have trained her to allow me to trim her nails on a regular basis without a fight by giving her treats after each session, even if I couldn’t get every nail. I highly recommend cat owners who struggle with this dreaded task to find something that their cat enjoys such as treats, playing with a certain toy, a little piece of cheese, etc. and make sure to offer this after every trimming session. At first, you may only be able to get done a few nails before the freak out ensues, but still make sure you reward your cat and after doing this consistently, you should be able to successfully trim every nail in exchange for a fun treat!
Cat are all very unique and intelligent creatures and if you listen and watch closely enough, you will always know what they want or need and can build a beautiful bond and a lifelong connection.