Getting to Know Our Pet Dog Smoothy

We’re happy with the way Smoothy has responded to some basic training we have been teaching her 🙂  And over the past months, I have personally began to notice how Smoothy’s personality as a dog is really influenced by her breed. Smoothy is a mix breed of Shih Tzu and Japanese Spitz. 

I have observed that Smoothy loves to follow Daryl or me around the house. For instance, in the morning if she is inside the house with us, she follows Daryl or me to the dining area when we eat breakfast or drink coffee/tea. After Daryl leaves for work, Smoothy will then follow me to the kitchen as I wash the dishes or back to our bedroom if I need to make our bed. She even follows me to the bathroom! As I close the bathroom door, she waits by the door 🙂  A research on the Shih Tzu breed showed me that this is how Shiz Tzu dogs behave. They are indeed the type of dog which follows you from room to room.

I have also noticed that Smoothy is a “very participative” dog. I often tell my husband, a teacher, that Smoothy should win the “most participative award”.  For instance if, Daryl approaches me on the sofa to kiss me good night while I am still watching TV, Smoothy will run towards me, stay by me on the sofa and even raise herself on her feet as if expecting Daryl to kiss her, too 🙂  She will also attempt to kiss me as well. I think this is part of being a Shih Tzu wanting to be involved in what is going on around her. The Shih Tzu is the kind of dog which wants to do things with you.

Now, we have also noticed how intelligent Smoothy is. Sometimes, we feel like we have a human with us. She has learned to obey the words/commands we have taught her. We have also noticed how she zealously guards and protects our home. She is a small dog but is tough to anyone who comes near to our house, reminding them that this is our property (apparently this means the property of my husband and me and her). She does this by barking and is only pacified when we assure her that the person coming near is a friend or well, the mailman. She loves to play, run. Throw a toy and she would run after it fast and bring it back to you, waiting for you to throw it again and for her to get it. The intelligence, the guarding and protecting streak and the playfulness — I have learned that these are really Japanese Spitz traits.

I appreciate how resourceful Smoothy can be, perhaps part of being an intelligent Japanese Spitz. Check out the photo of Daryl below as he was taking a nap on our living room sofa before dinner. Smoothy had tried to sleep with him on the sofa but Daryl will not allow that. But as you can see on the photo, she found a way to climb on the sofa and found a small corner to sleep on, as near to Daryl as possible! And this desire of doing things with us is well, a Shih Tzu trait as well. Her resourcefulness, her desire to do things with us is really amusing. I had to snap this photo and show it to Daryl 🙂 Needless to say, what she did as seen in the photo below made us both smile.

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Training Our Pet Dog Smoothy

I have mentioned in a previous post about our dog, Smoothy, and that I am not really that familiar in taking care of dogs. I find it really good then that aside from asking some tips from a veterinarian, we can also get information from other friends who are also dog owners as well as get information available from legitimate pet or dog sites in the internet.

Smoothy, a Shih Tzu and Japanese Spitz cross-breed, has been with us for 6 months now and with some patience, we have trained her with some simple things:

  • Potty training. Training her in this area was surprisingly easier than what I expected. By observing when she is about to pee or poo inside our house and bringing her to the toilet, we have successfully managed to train her to do these deeds there 🙂   When she is also outside the house, she already has a specific place where she does them as well. I have to say here that I find it quite fascinating whenever she stops what she is doing, gets up and goes to the toilet by herself to do her deed there 🙂 I mean, I feel like I’m watching a human being, a kid 🙂
  • Staying still. By just saying the word “Stay” with a firm voice and raising one finger, we have trained her not go outside our gate whenever we step outside ourselves. We also use the word whenever she attempts to go inside the house with us and we prefer she stay out.
  • Stopping and following. I would say “let’s go!” three times with a clap of my hand whenever I want her to stop what she is doing and to follow me where I am going.
  • Waiting. We say the word “Wait” when we are about to feed her so that she will not jump on the food as we are placing it on her food container or jump and hold on to our legs in anticipation of the food. We also use it when she tries to scratch on the screen door to go inside or outside the house and to wait for us to open it for her. She also loves to grab on Daryl’s socks when he attempts to take them off, she manages to behave when we say the word wait.
  • Getting down. Smoothy, at times, would climb our sofa especially when we let her inside the house with us, perhaps out of excitement. She would always come down the sofa, however, when we say “Down” and point to the floor.
  • Staying put in front of the house or patio. We have just added it this year (2017). We say this whenever she becomes restless as we leave the house. Dogs are intelligent. Smoothy knows when we are dressed up and would be away for a couple of hours and she whimpers and gets restless when we attempt to get out of the gate. We say “Stay. Watch the house.”  This has had a calming effect on her, assuring her that we will come back and so she stops whimpering and being restless.
  • Bringing her toy. This is something we have just taught her this year (2017) as well. When we say bring, she picks up one of her toys and then follows us if we go inside/outside the house. The logic here is that she needs to bring her own toy inside or outside the house, that we won’t be picking it up/bringing it for her.
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Smoothy with the hubby during a recent visit to a beach resort.

How we do it. To make these words and actions part of her system, we do our best to reward her whenever she obeys. This has been especially important during the first few times when we were training her. Her reward is either food, petting her (especially scratching/touching her neck, behind her ears and her belly which she seems to really love), or playing with her (giving her a toy or throwing it to her to catch).

We are still adding some more commands and vocabulary for Smoothy but so far, I am personally happy that she knows these basic things, making our time with her quite enjoyable and stress-free 🙂

We Call Her Smoothy

Last December, we received a “living” bundle of joy.

This breathing bundle is called Smoothy (or Smoothie, if you don’t mind thinking of that cool beverage along with her).

My husband has always been a dog person and early on in our marriage, he already asked me if I was open to having dogs. I was not that keen with the idea because in my mind’s eye, I was picturing the bigger breed of dogs. I have also grown up with asthma and allergies and had always been discouraged by both doctors and my parents to stay away from dogs and cats. We did have dogs in our home when I was a child but I was not really allowed to play with them that much, just a bit sometimes and only by my mother.

When our friend and Smoothy’s dog owner showed us a photo of Smoothy, I found myself agreeing to have her. She looks cute, of course, unlike the bigger dog breeds I had imagined would be roaming our small kingdom 🙂

I found myself warming up and eventually enjoying Smoothy. She’s a lovely addition to our pet fishes at home. My hubby and I are learning how it is like to care for this dog, a cross-breed of the Shih Tzu and Japanese Spitz. And I would be sharing some of these learnings right here in this blog, as well as our experiences with our pet fishes.

Check out Smoothy’s lovely look below 🙂

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Smoothy is here! (December 2015)
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Smoothy with her reflective look 🙂 (March 2016)