Rambling Starz Kennel

General Information for Chihuahua Lovers

Furthering your knowledge and love of the breed

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Toys for and Training of the

Spoiled Rotten Canine Companion

 

Small dogs require small toys, (essentials, not optionals) however, you must be careful that there are not small pieces which might come off and get stuck in his throat. These are not extras, but essentials for your pet. Chew toys promote healthy gums and teeth. They will also discourage chewing on things of yours!

 

Rawhide toys are favorites, but on rare occasions dog have been choked on a piece of rawhide caught in their throats. When you are not present, do not leave rawhide where your pet can reach it.

 

Chew toys of hard nylon are safe even when no one is around. Gummy-nylon chews are also good. Solid, hard-rubber toys are also safe and fun.

 

Squeaky toys, light rubber or plastic critters with squeakers inside are popular, but safe only when you are supervising, or joining in the fun. Don’t leave it out when you are not present as the squeaker could come out and choke your pet.

 

Flat fleecy toys are popular and machine washable. If they shred, dispose of them and get another. They are safe for your pet when you are not present.

 

Braided rope toys are fun for you and your pet. They help keep teeth tartar free. If you can’t find a small one in the dog section, check in the bird section. They  usually last for years, however, if your Chi starts unstringing it, don’t leave him alone with it. Swallowed strings can cause serious intestinal problems.

 

Fetching toys are always fun for  you and your pet. The soft rubber types should always be put away when you are finished playing. If the rubber begins to disintegrate, dispose of it and get a new one.

 

Don’t let  him  have all his toys at once. Instead, put a few away and rotate them ever few days so he doesn’t become bored.

 

A sweater is a good investment for your Chihuahua to help him avoid chills. If the chi is a female, the more of her bald belly it covers, the better. If it is a male, you won’t want to cover that part due to pee pee activity.

Developmental Stages Of Puppy Behavior

Although feeding time is important, it’s also vital to include petting, talking and playing, in order to help your puppy build good "people-skills." Well-socialized mothers are more likely to have well-socialized puppies. Puppies "feed" off of their mother’s calm or fearful attitude toward people.

Puppies are usually weaned at six or seven weeks, but are still learning important skills as their mother gradually leaves them more and more. Ideally, puppies should stay with their littermates (or other role-model dogs) for at least 12 weeks.

Puppies separated from their littermates too early often don’t develop appropriate "social skills," such as learning how to send and receive signals, what an "inhibited bite" means, how far to go in play wrestling and so forth. Play is important to help puppies increase their physical coordination, social skills and learning limits. Interacting with their mother and littermates helps them learn "how to be a dog" and is also a way to explore ranking ("who’s in charge").

Skills not acquired during the first eight weeks may be lost forever. While these stages are important and fairly consistent, a dog’s mind remains receptive to new experiences and lessons well beyond puppy-hood. Most dogs are still puppies, in mind and body, through the first two years.

The following chart provides general guidelines for the stages of development.

0 - 2 weeks = Neonatal

Most influenced by their mother.

Touch and taste present at birth.

2 - 4 weeks = Transitional

Most influenced by their mother and littermates.

Eyes open, teeth erupt, hearing and smell developing.

Beginning to stand, walk a little, wag, bark.

By four or five weeks, sight is well-developed.

During this period, puppies need opportunities to meet other dogs and people.

By four to six weeks they’re most influenced by their littermates and are learning about being a dog.

From four to 12 weeks they’re most influenced by their littermates and people. They’re also learning to play, including social skills, inhibited bite, social structure/ranking and physical coordination.

By three to five weeks they’re becoming aware of their surroundings, companions (dogs and people) and relationships, including play.

By five to seven weeks they’re developing curiosity and exploring new experiences. They need positive "people" experiences during this time.

By seven to nine weeks they’re refining they’re physical skills/coordination (including housetraining) and full use of senses.

By eight to ten weeks they experience real fear -- when puppies can be alarmed by normal objects and experiences and need positive training.

By nine to 12 weeks they’re refining reactions, social skills (appropriate interactions) with littermates and are exploring the environment, spaces and objects. Beginning to focus on people. This is a good time to begin training.

3 - 6 months = Ranking

Most influenced by "littermates" (playmates now include those of other species). Beginning to see and use ranking (dominant and submissive) within the pack, including humans. Teething and chewing. At four months they experience another fear stage.

6 - 18 months = Adolescence

Most influenced by human and dog "pack" members.

At seven to nine months they go through a second chewing phase -- part of exploring territory. Heightened exploration of dominance, including challenging
humans.

If not spayed or neutered, beginnings of sexual behavior.

Copied from another true breeders page, because no matter what you've heard, this is who we are.
Copied from another purebred breeders' page:
This is so very true.
Dear Past And Future Puppy Owners,
I loved them first. I thought of you years before you even realized. I planned for and cared about your baby long before you started thinking of adding to your family. I worried about your future with that puppy before you knew there would be one.
There were hours upon hours spent researching lines for the parents of your puppies. Going over breeder after breeder, choosing not only my pet but looking for a dog that will make you your pet. Worrying if you'd be happy, if I had chosen correctly and your puppy would grow up healthy and happy. Going over puppy after puppy with fellow breeders, running over my program with as many knowledgeable breeders as I can, determined to not miss anything. Tracing lines back as far as I could, learning the ins and outs not only for my knowledge but so that I was informed, prepared to go over every detail with you, to answer the questions that sometimes you don't even ask.
Then there's years of watching your puppies parents grow. Loving them and enjoying them as part of my family. Taking them every where I can, training them, socializing them, watching how they fill out. Asking myself I had made the right choice in both of them. Scrutinizing their conformation, how they move, and their temperament. There was the stress of health testing. Praying not only that my babies were healthy but that they had the genes to make your baby healthy.
Finally came the time to put your puppies parents together. For the next 63 days I worried, I obsessed, I grew excited. I watched your puppies mom like a hawk. Making sure my baby was ok, monitoring her diet better than I do my own. Concerned that she was getting enough of the right nutrients and that your growing baby was getting the best start possible. I spent hours on the couch, floor, and dog bed with her watching her tummy grow and anxiously waiting. As your baby and mine grew I laid my hands on her tummy and felt the first movements of your puppy. As the time grew close I spent most nights in the nursery with her. Making sure she didn't go into labor without me knowing, in case something went wrong and one of our babies needed help. When labor started my whole life stopped. I spent every second with her. Your baby was born into my hands and I held my breath as I cleaned them up, watching for movement and breathing, cleaning them up, checking them over, and wondering if you'd love them as much as I already did. I helped your babies brother when mom got tired and he was stuck. I cried when your babies sister didn't make it.
For the first 8 weeks most of my life was filled with your baby. Watching them grow and making sure I was doing everything possible to make sure they started their lives the right way. Making sure each one was getting enough to eat, enough socialization time, that they were de-wormed and given their shots. I was the first person they saw when they opened their eyes. I spent my weeks playing with them and keeping them safe.
I searched for you and interviewed you. As you spoke I tried to read your character. Would you love them as much as I do? Would you bring them in as part of your family? Would you care for this tiny life that I brought into this world that I am responsible for? Some of you were turned away but some of you were welcomed into our family. The day you took your baby home was harder than I'd ever let on. I was excited for you but I was also terrified. Had I chosen correctly? Were you who you seemed to be?
My love and worry didn't end there. I thought about your baby regularly, saddened when I didn't get updates, ecstatic when I did. I hoped you were caring for your baby the way I care for mine. I answered your questions happily and answered them again just as happily to your babies siblings new parents. When your puppies sister ate a couch I stayed up that night she was at the vets, waiting to hear that she was ok. When their brothers parents decided he no longer fit in their life I welcomed him home, sorry that I had chosen wrong for him and promised him it wouldn't happen again.
I loved your baby first and I will never stop.
Signed,
Author Unknown

Toenails, when to cut

 

Your Chi’s toenails are too long if they make clicking noises when  he walks or if  they touch the ground  when  he is standing still. Toenails that are too long cause a dog to walk on the back of his feet, causing splayed toes, a poor gait, and  possible back and hip alignment problems if the situation goes on too long. If toenails are not cut for months, the nails can curl under the foot and penetrate the foot pad, causing the dog lameness and more serious problems. Another problem with elongated toenails is the quick (blood vein) of the toenail may extend downward to the end of the nail, causing the dog pain and bleeding if the nail is cut or broken.

 

Don’t try to trim your dogs nails the first week you have him. Instead, get him used to having his feet touched. It’s only fair to warn you that some Chihuahuas are so terrified of having their nails cut, they become micro monsters at the sight of clippers. If so, it may take 2 people to do the job. Remember, the leg you are holding is tiny and fragile, so be careful. IT is breakable. If you can’t do the job at home, let the vet or a professional groomer do it.

 

Picking up puppy

 

Teach your children to pick puppy up properly. Use two hands to pick him up. One hand goes under his chest and the other cups his rear. Check your hands the first few times to be sure you are not applying pressure to front legs, spreading them too far apart or compressing them—habitual spreading or compression can cause permanent damage to elbows, legs or shoulders. Place your thumb on one side of your dog and your little finger on the other, supporting his chest with the middle three. Hold him gently but firmly (puppies wiggle and  jump) against your body with both hands so no part of him dangles.

 

It is better if small children remain seated while holding the puppy, and supervised for both of their safety.

 

NEVER leave your puppy alone in a place where he could fall. If you get off the chair or furniture, automatically place him on the floor.

 

TIP: laundry baskets are not good containers for puppies, they will climb out and fall on their heads—oops.

 

Teach your child how to pet the puppy. On the back, not the head, due to the soft spot. Tell your child not to close their hand on the puppy or squeeze it. Remember, the puppy has only one thing to hold with (not hands, teeth) and he will be playing when you think he is biting!  And when puppy wants to leave, let him.

Honking or reverse sneezing.

 

  

Ok, here's a question for y'all: Does anyone know the cause for so-called  "reverse sneezing" in Chihuahuas (and other small breeds)? All the Chis I have owned have done this - I call it "honking" - and I know that it  doesn't seem to harm them, and usually happens when they are excited. But  it has always been somewhat of a mystery to me.
  
 Right now, I am training/taking care of a little female that gets it  pretty severely, at times sounding like a cough, and causing her to gag a  bit. This seems to be an "outward" energy, rather than "inward", and she  gets it quite a lot. I have one other girl who can occasionally get  "severe" bouts of this, lasting up to 10 minutes or so, but it seems to  have no lasting effects, and does not seem to be collapsing trachea. I  usually try to comfort them in some way during these episodes, but  nothing I've tried seems to lessen them.

 

When you are in the middle of moving the dog around the ring waiting it out doesn't work very good. I have noticed that Jaguar has a post nasal drip sound when he get's this the worst so what your vet and my vet say's makes sense. So the "drip" displaces the palate. Hmmmm. I am going to try Janettes remedy of pusing the nose towards the chest. Sounds good to me. This is why the Benadryl is working.

 

I've used that method as well and teach my dogs to "swallow."  It takes time but they know what to do.  Recently I found a slightly different method that seems to work even better.  I have the dog breathe into my cupped hand (rebreathing the same air) and I still tell them to swallow which they do.  It works really well and they don't mind it as much either.  

 

To help a dog swallow, gently rub the throat.

 

Since some of this is allergy related, try using food with no soy, wheat, or corn as these are the main problems for allergies with dogs.

We signed the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise to show our commitment to our four-legged friends and we hope you will too!

AKC RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNER PET PROMISE

As a dog owner, I do solemnly swear:

* I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog's welfare is totally dependent on me.

* I will always provide fresh water and quality food for my dog.

* I will socialize my dog via exposure to new people, places and other dogs.

* I will take pride in my dog's appearance with regular grooming.

* I will recognize the necessity of basic training by teaching my dog to reliably sit, stay and come when called.

* I will take my dog to the vet regularly and keep all vaccinations current.

* I will pick-up and properly dispose of my dog's waste.

* I will make sure my dog is regarded as an AKC Canine Good CitizenŽ by being aware of my responsibilities to my neighbors and to the community.

* I will ensure that the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation appropriate for my dog's age, breed and energy level is provided.

* I will make certain that my dog is identified with both a collar tag and a microchip and I will adhere to local leash laws.

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

Counting Points at Dog Shows

You have just won your first Winners Class at a dog show. All your hard work has finally paid off, you're ecstatic...your dog is excited...but now comes the hard part. How many points did Blaze actually earn??

Here is a quick and easy guide to calculating points that doesn't require an advanced degree in mathematics.

The American Kennel Club requires a dog to obtain a total of 15 points with two major wins (a major win is worth three points or higher) to become a champion. The majors must be won under different judges and at least one other judge must award some of the remaining points - so you need to win under at least three different judges.

Class, Winners, and Breed Competition

Class dogs are judged in classes against other dogs of the same sex - Puppy, Twelve-to-Eighteen, Novice, Bred-by-Exhibitor, American-bred, Open - are just a few. Classes can also be divided by age (as in puppy) or color. When the judge awards first place in a class that dog advances to the Winners competition of its sex.

During the Winners competition, the judge re-examines all the dogs that have received first place in the classes and picks an overall winner - Winners Dog for males and Winners Bitch for females. Although you may have beaten several dogs in the classes, championship points are only awarded to Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. No points are awarded for class wins or Reserve Winners.

Your Winners Dog or Winners Bitch can also win points in the Best of Breed competition. Best of Breed consists of dogs that have already received their championship. Winners Dog and Winner Bitch also compete with the champions in Best of Breed. There are three possible awards a dog can win at this level:
Best of Breed - Awarded to the best dog in the Best of Breed competition
Best of Opposite Sex - Awarded to the best dog of the opposite sex to the Best of Breed winner
Best of Winners - Awarded to the best dog between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch

Counting Points

Step One: Take Attendance

Count the number of dogs or bitches competing in the regular classes of your dog's sex - novice, puppy, bred-by-exhibitor, American Bred, and Open classes. Remember to include your dog in the total! Don't count any dogs that are absent (no shows), disqualified, dismissed, excused, or have awards withheld. These dogs do not count in computing the number of dogs competing for that show. If you did not keep up with the total number of dogs in the regular classes, ask the ring steward or check the posted copies of the judge's book for a count of total dogs before you leave the show.

Tip: Check the posted copies of the judges' book before you leave the show to make certain your dog was marked as the winner. Mistakes do happen! Also, verify that your dog's AKC registration number is correct in the catalog. If it is not correct, let the superintendent know before you leave the show. In both cases, it's easier to make the correction on the day of the show rather than later.

Step Two: Check the Schedule of Points

Compare the number of dogs competing that day to the schedule of points for your dog's breed and sex located in the show catalog. The schedule is usually listed with the entries for each breed or at the front of the catalog.

If the number of dogs does not match exactly with those listed in the catalog, choose the number of points assigned to the next lowest number.

An example of a point schedule is listed below:

Schedule of Points

1 Point

2 Points

3 Points

4 Points

5 Points

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

2

2

4

5

7

8

10

12

15

19


Remember, point schedules vary by show location. If you are not at the show, make certain you get the points schedule for the event region where your dog won. Refer to the Schedule of Points.

Step 3: Calculating Points for Winners Dog or Winners Bitch

Your dog receives the points according to the number of dogs of your dog's sex competing in the regular classes.

Let's say that Blaze is awarded Winners Dog. After accounting for absent, disqualified, and excused dogs, you determine that a total of 6 dogs competed in the regular classes. Assuming the point schedule listed above, he receives 2 points.

Now it's your turn...

Blaze's sister, Bianca, wins Winners Bitch. Nine bitches competed in the regular classes. How many points did she earn as Winners Bitch?

Answer: 3 points

Winning More Points In the Breed Competition

Your dog can add to the points won in the Winners Class during the Best of Breed competition. If your dog wins:

Best of Breed
Count the total number of dogs in its sex plus the total number of Champions of both sexes entered in the Best of Breed competion to figure the number of points earned.

Best of Opposite Sex
Count the total number of dogs in its sex plus the total number of Champions of its sex entered in the Best of Breed competition to figure the number of points earned.

Best of Winners
This one is a bit different. If your dog is named Best of Winners, he is awarded the highest point level awarded between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. Let's say that Blaze beats out his sister, Bianca, for Best of Winners. If you'll remember Bianca received three points for Winners Bitch and Blaze received only two points for Winners Dog. Since Blaze took Best of Winners, he is awarded three points instead of two and receives one of the majors he needs for his championship.

Now it's your turn...

Using the point schedule and results listed below, compute the point totals for the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.

Winners Dog and Best of Winners: I'm A Perfect Hound

Number of Dogs:
Open: 3
Bred-by-Exhibitor: 1
American Bred: 1

Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite Sex: Three Times A Lady

Number of Bitches:
Open: 4
American Bred: 2

Number of Champions:
Dogs: 2
Bitches: 2

Schedule of Points

1 Point

2 Points

3 Points

4 Points

5 Points

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

Dog

Bitches

2

2

4

5

7

8

10

12

15

19



Points Awarded To:
I'm A Perfect Hound (Answer: 3)
Three Times A Lady (Answer: 3)

Here's What Happened...
Prior to the Best of Breed competition, I'm A Perfect Hound and Three Times A Lady had racked up 2 points each. In the Breed competition, Three Times A Lady won Best of Opposite Sex beating two champion bitches in addition to the six bitches competing in the regular classes. This win increased her points to three. Since I'm A Perfect Hound was awarded Best of Winners, he received three points as well (the highest point value awarded between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch).

Verifying Points

It is important to check on your dog's point totals from time to time. The AKC offers an online service to verify the number of points your dog has accumulated toward a championship. Allow four to six weeks for your dog's win to be recorded in this system.

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