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Obedience Training


Separation Anxiety

The Shorkie Puppy













The vaccination of shorkies (puppy shots) is one of the crucial steps in assuring the shorkie puppy will have a healthy and happy puppyhood. The who, what, why, when, where, and how of vaccinations are complicated, and may vary from shorkie to shorkie. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine which vaccines are appropriate for your puppy. To better understand vaccines, it is important to understand how the puppy is protected from disease the first few weeks of its life.

Protection from the mother (maternal antibodies)

A newborn puppy is not naturally immune to diseases. However, it does have some antibody protection which is derived from its mother's blood via the placenta. The next level of immunity is from antibodies derived from the first milk. This is the milk produced from the time of birth and continuing for 36-48 hours. This antibody-rich milk is called colostrum. The puppy does not continue to receive antibodies through its mother's milk. It only receives antibodies until it is two days of age. All antibodies derived from the mother, either via her blood or colostrum are called maternal antibodies. It must be noted that the puppy will only receive antibodies against diseases for which the mother had been recently vaccinated against or exposed to. As an example, a mother that had NOT been vaccinated against or exposed to parvovirus, would not have any antibodies against parvovirus to pass along to her puppies. The puppies then would be susceptible to developing a parvovirus infection.

Window of susceptibility

The age at which puppies can effectively be immunized (protected) is proportional to the amount of antibodies the puppy received from its mother. High levels of maternal antibodies present in the puppies' bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work.

The antibodies from the mother generally circulate in the newborn's blood for a number of weeks. There is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow a vaccine to work. This period is called the window of susceptibility. This is the time when despite being vaccinated, a puppy or kitten can still contract the disease.

When should puppies be vaccinated?

The length and timing of the window of susceptibility is different in every litter, and even between individuals in a litter. A study of a cross section of different puppies showed that the age at which they were able to respond to a vaccine and develop protection (become immunized) covered a wide period of time. At six weeks of age, 25% of the puppies could be immunized. At 9 weeks of age, 40% of the puppies were able to respond to the vaccine. The number increased to 60% by 16 weeks of age, and by 18 weeks, 95% of the puppies were protected by the vaccine.

Almost all researchers agree that for puppies and kittens, we need to give at least three combination vaccinations and repeat these at one year of age.

















Neutering  or spaying your shorkie is strongly recommended. Neutering/spaying your shorkie will help prevent disease in later life. Talk to your vet to see what age the do spaying and Neutering.















Obedience Training

Most dogs are joyous, effusive animals and often blessed with lots of energy. For your sake, for the peace of the neighborhood and for the pups own safety, train your pup to respond to the basic commands. There are many obedience classes to which you can take your puppy for training. Talk with your Vet who may have a list of locations.
















Separation Anxiety

To help your pet become accustomed to daily separation, here are some guidelines:

  • Place your puppy in the area he is expected to stay when you are not home. Put on a radio and give him his toys to play with.
  • Leave the house in a calm, upbeat and positive manner. Don't act unhappy or upset at the fact that you must part from your pet.
  • Practice departing. Pick up your keys, put on your coat & say good-bye to the puppy then return in two or more minutes. Gradually increase the length of your absences until you can stay away for an hour or more without causing your pet to whine or chew on things. Repetitions of this sequence will help the pup get used to seeing you leave and understand that you'll be back.
Separation anxiety is an enormous problem in the canine world. This article discusses ways us dog lovers can ideally prevent separation anxiety or at least treat it effectively. 


One of the greatest joys of dog ownership is the tight bond we experience and encourage with our dogs. However, if your dog becomes too reliant or dependant on you, dog separation anxiety can develop.

Dog Separation Anxiety is an enormous problem to an estimated 10% of all puppies and older dogs. Somewhat ironically, it is the major cause for dogs ending up in animal shelters. I wish I could say dog separation anxiety is an easy fix, but the truth is it can be a very difficult and time consuming problem to turn around.

Let's take a look at separation anxiety from your dogs perspective. You are the most important thing in your dogs life. Dogs are very sociable creatures and thrive on company for many reasons. If your dog had a choice he/she would spend every bit of his time with you. So it's only natural that when you go out, your dog can experience varying degrees of distress and anxiety. He becomes confused, vulnerable, doesn't know where you are going, why he can't be with you and if you will be coming back to him. When you are separated all he wants is to be reunited with his pack - which is you.

Punishment is never the answer to treating dog separation anxiety!

Does Your Dog Suffer From Separation Anxiety?

There's every chance your dog is suffering from a Separation Anxiety disorder rather than another dog behavior problem if:

1. Your dog gets really worked up and anxious when you are preparing to leave the house. Things like picking up your car keys or putting on your coat can trigger the behavior.

2. Your dog engages in inappropriate behavior only when you are separated. I expand on this topic further down the page, but behavior such as urinating inside, excessive barking and destructive behavior are common symptoms of Separation Anxiety in dogs.

3. Your dog follows you everywhere you go and immediately becomes distressed if he can't be near you.

4. When you arrive home your dog is over the top with his greeting and takes a while to calm down.

Why Do Dogs Suffer From Separation Anxiety?

There are many theories on this one. In some cases the cause or trigger can be pinpointed to a particular event, but often there appears to be no explanation for the Separation Anxiety to commence. What I can say is that Separation Anxiety in dogs regularly occurs:

  • Straight after a change in routine. Such as your work hours changing or a family member leaves home. Remember dogs are creatures of habit and any changes can be very unsettling to them.
  • If you have been on vacation or unemployed for some time and have been spending heaps of time with your dog. When you go back to work your dog becomes anxious and distressed.
  • Unfortunately dog's rescued from animal shelters contribute a highly disproportionate number of Separation Anxiety cases.
  • After your dog experiences a traumatic event while on his own. If a thunderstorm lashes your home while your dog is alone, this can trigger Separation Anxiety in the future.
  • If your dog is rarely left alone and becomes overly reliant on his pack.
  • When you move house to a new neighbourhood.

How Does Dog Separation Anxiety Manifest Itself?

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Licking
  • Destructive Behavior
  • Chewing
  • Howling
  • Panic Attacks
  • Digging
  • Inappropriate Urinating
  • House Soiling
  • Self Mutilation
  • Escaping
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Jumping Through Windows
  • Crying

What Can You Do To Help Your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety?

The treatment administered to your dogs separation anxiety problem depends on its severity. You will find lots of theories and suggestions regarding the correct way to treat separation anxiety - I'll just inform you of what's worked for me.

The 4 Step Program I Used To Fix My Dalmation's Separation Anxiety Problem

My dalmation Harrison developed Separation Anxiety seemingly for no reason when he was about 7 years old. He would start digging and crying as soon as I left the house, even if my other family members were home. My Veterinarian suggested this training process, it achieved the desired result but took plenty of time and patience.

Aside from the 4 step program listed below, I continued to practice the general day to day duties of responsible dog ownership. By this I mean things like providing a safe and comfortable bed, plenty of exercise and obedience training.

Harry would start to get anxious (his whole body would shake) at the very first sign of me leaving the house. This typically would be putting my shoe's on or turning off the TV or heater. It became a real problem for Harry, myself and the rest of my family, this is how we eventually solved it:

Step 1

Since Harry was always by my side when I was home I had to slowly teach him that he didn't always need to be close to me. I started out by ignoring his attention seeking behavior (jumping up, barking etc.) and then did some solid practice of his down stay. Little by little we extended the time and distance we spent apart, until he was happy to be alone for up to 30 minutes. Of course, we still spent lots of fun time together.

Step 2

The next step was to get him used to being outside when I was inside. Again we started off with very small periods apart and gradually lengthened the time over a couple of weeks. If you try this Separation Anxiety treatment make sure that you don't just leave your dog outside to get all worked up and stressed. The trick is to start out leaving your dog out for a few seconds, then going out and reuniting before he shows any signs of Separation Anxiety. Give your dog a treat or dog toy to keep his mind off missing you. Only initiate contact with your dog when he is calm and quiet.

Step 3

The next step in fixing Harry's Separation Anxiety problem was to eliminate the distress caused by me getting ready to leave the house for work. What I did was write a list of all the triggers that started Harry's anxiety. I then set about desensitizing him to these triggers. I'd put my shoe's on, and not go anywhere. Put my coat on, then sit down to read the paper. Pick up my car keys and just carry them around with me, jangling along as I went about my business. After a while (about 3 weeks) Harry barely offered a sideways glance at my shenanigans.

Step 4

When Harry was completely calm in situations that would have unsettled him in the past, I left the house. At first I just stepped outside, shut the door and came back inside within 20 seconds - before he made a sound. Again this was a slow process, similar to step 2. I extended the time outside the front door and then graduated to starting the car, then driving around the block before I came back inside. You can provide a tasty treat to your dog on your way out the door, something that he can work on for a while. Harry's favorite was a frozen Kong stuffed full of peanut butter and a few liver treats, this eventually kept him occupied for hours. Remember that when you return home, don't make a huge fuss. Come inside, get changed, pour yourself a nice hot coffee, then greet your calm dog.

This process did prove effective for me and my anxious Dalmatian. All up the 4 steps took about 5 weeks to work through and fix Harry's Separation Anxiety problem. My Vet suggested that I supplement this training with some medication. I didn't go down that path, but it would have been my next step if required.

Whichever method you choose to treat dog separation anxiety, be sure to stick with it and don't expect any immediate results.























The Shorkie Puppy

The act of buying a dog is often an impulsive move. When you bring home a pet, you commit yourself to providing affection, play, training, grooming and exercise, in addition to food, shelter and medical care throughout his life. Be sure to think about these responsibilities before making your purchase.

Once you've brought your puppy home, you can't expect him to behave like a perfect house guest until you've invested the time and attention it takes to train him well.

Even through you're excited about your puppy, don't invite the neighborhood over to meet your new dog on his first days home. Spend some time getting to know him and letting him get to know you. Remember, he has just been moved to a new environment. Let your puppy get used to your family and his new environment in a calm, leisurely way. Take time to play, but give him a chance to sleep whenever he seems tired. TEACH THE CHILDREN TO TREAT HIM GENTLY AND TO LET HIM BE WHILE HE'S RESTING OR EATING.

Before your puppy arrives at your home, place his food and water dishes in the area in which you intend to keep him. Have his bed ready which may be an old, soft blanket placed in a quiet corner that's free from drafts. It's a good idea to set up the bed in the room or area where you intend to confine your puppy while away. The ideal would be to place him in a crate. (This is his own special place. As he grows older, he will go there on his own when he wants to rest.) Leave a radio playing to keep him company.

Your puppy will probably cry during his first few nights at home. Although the cries may be heartbreaking, you should leave him alone. After two or three nights, he'll grow accustomed to his new surrounding. Take the puppy to the vet within the first 48 hours that you have him. Even though his health is probably good, this will assure you of his health and it is only fair to the breeder that if anything is wrong, the pup can be returned immediately.

During the first few weeks, a young puppy needs twice the adult requirements of most nutrients. Remember to keep fresh, clean drinking water available at all times. Consult with your breeder on the type of food the puppy is used to eating. The food should be one that is high in protein. The puppy should be fed three times a day. Scheduling his meals make housebreaking easier