Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Small Dogs Shaking

Hello Ms./Mrs. Mesmer
Your website is very informative. We've had silkys now for about 3 years and learned more from your site than from anyone we have talked to during that time.
We have a pair, Princess about 3 years and Sammy about 2 years, well one last male from our first litter, little buddy, he's 4 months. We haven't tried to show them, just love them, and have had one litter, making several people very happy.
Your site invited questions, one thing that really bothers us, and the only answer we can get about it is don't worry, they all do that. Perhaps you know the answer...
Both dogs, tremble and shake from time to time, I've began to think Princess uses it to make us feel sorry, so she can get her own way. But Sammy "Yosemite Sam" seems really frightened and shivers and demands cuddled at times and seems to last a few days.
There is no health problem. I did notice once a sharp sound set him off, but most of the time it seems random. One night it was so violent we rushed him to a 24 hour vet. several miles away. who couldn't find anything other than an slight ear infection. Our Vet is only open regular hours.
Anyway, Do you know why they shiver and shake? seems everyone we know, there dogs do the same. Not as bad as Sammy but to some degree.
Thank You in advance. Gordon

Dear Gordon,

I am so glad you like my website. In answer to your question about your dogs shaking:

First of all good for you that you have thoroughly checked out any medical reason why they shiver. That was definitely a good first step.

It sounds to me that your two dogs are simply shy. It would actually cause me to hesitate continuing to breed them, especially together, as they will tend to perpetuate this negative trait in any offspring they have.

However all is not lost. I have occasionally had a shy dog, and I found that it is basically an issue of confidence. A fabulous way to instill general confidence in your dog is obedience training. There are lots of good classes available, from store classes to professional trainer group classes to training clubs affiliated with the AKC. Just be sure to do the training yourself. It does you no good to have your dog confident around his or her trainer, and you will have a lot to learn as well.

Additionally please make sure when you work with your dogs that you don't feed their anxieties. A solicitous voice, bending over them to reassure them communicates to your pet that you are worried that they are okay. They will respond to this by being more worried! Not what you are going for! No, your attitude needs to be: of course they are wonderful, of course they can do this -- you need to be calm and certain. This will give them every chance to be so as well.

Best, Sandy

Thank You Sandy

In 3 years of asking people this is the first real answer. Most of the time I get, "All small breed dogs do that."
Thank You Again

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