The Complete Guide of Taking Care of Shih Tzu Dog
If you’re ready to dive into the world of Shih Tzu care, this guide is your go-to resource. From grooming tips to training techniques, we’ve got you covered.
With their adorable faces and playful personalities, Shih Tzus make fantastic companions. But don’t be fooled by their small size – they require regular exercise and attention.
So, grab a leash and get ready to embark on an exciting journey with your furry friend. Let’s get started!
- Regular grooming, including daily brushing and regular bathing, is necessary.
- Providing a balanced diet and regular exercise promotes overall well-being.
- Proper house training is essential to prevent accidents.
- Gradually increase alone time to help them adjust.
Welcome to the Shih Tzu Care Guide, where we’ll walk you through all the essential steps in taking care of your beloved Shih Tzu. In this section, we’ll discuss important grooming tips and health concerns specific to Shih Tzus.
Grooming is a crucial aspect of Shih Tzu care. Their beautiful, long coats require regular maintenance to keep them healthy and tangle-free. To keep your Shih Tzu’s coat in top condition, it’s important to brush them daily. This not only helps to prevent matting but also distributes natural oils, keeping their fur shiny. Additionally, regular bathing is necessary to keep their coat clean. Be sure to use a shampoo that’s specifically formulated for dogs, as human shampoo can be too harsh for their sensitive skin.
Apart from grooming, it’s essential to be aware of common health concerns in Shih Tzus. This breed is prone to certain conditions, such as brachycephalic airway syndrome, which affects their breathing, and patellar luxation, a knee joint problem. Regular visits to the veterinarian can help catch these issues early and ensure proper treatment. It’s also important to provide a balanced diet and regular exercise to maintain their overall well-being.
Now that you’re familiar with Shih Tzu grooming tips and health concerns, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll guide you on how to take care of a Shih Tzu, especially if you’re a beginner.
A brief overview of the history of Shih Tzu.
The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed with a historical background. It is believed to have originated in Tibet and was highly regarded by Tibetan Buddhist monks and Chinese emperors. It was bred to be a companion animal, as well as for its beauty and loyal nature.
Training and Exercise
Once you’ve got the basics of grooming down, it’s important to start training your Shih Tzu. This breed is highly intelligent and can be easily trained with patience and consistency. Positive reinforcement is usually most effective for Shih Tzus as they are sensitive to harsh punishment. Introduce basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it early
Throughout the centuries, the Shih Tzu has been admired for its regal look and laid-back personality. Today, these dogs are still popular family pets due to their friendly nature and ability to get along with other animals. Whether you’re looking for a loyal companion or a show dog, the Shih Tzu is a breed that won’t disappoint. In 17th century China, the Shih Tzu was frequently given as a gift of friendship and good luck. Nowadays, they make excellent companions for any home.
Exercise is also an important element of Shih Tzu care. While these dogs don’t require hours of activity like larger breeds, they still need to get regular exercise to stay healthy and in shape. Daily walks are essential for their physical and mental health.
Top 10 Breeds of Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is a dog breed with a long history and has been popular among royalty and noble families for centuries. They are known for their charming personalities, adorable faces, and friendly dispositions. Shih Tzus come in an array of colors including white, black, brown, red, cream, and silver. Below are the top 10 breeds of Shih Tzu.
1. Imperial Shih Tzu: The Imperial is a small-sized, toy dog breed that looks similar to the Maltese and Bichon Frise. These dogs have a square body shape with a short muzzle and long, straight coat.
2. Teacup Shih Tzu: This breed is the smallest of all Shih Tzu varieties. They weigh up to 7 pounds and stand no more than 9 inches tall. Teacup Shih Tzus have a long, soft coat and an endearing expression that makes them especially popular.
3. Golden Retriever Shih Tzu: The golden retriever Shih Tzu hybrid is a mix of two popular breeds. These dogs have a loyal and friendly personality and are known for their intelligence and energy.
4. Black Shih Tzu: The black Shih Tzu is a very popular breed due to its striking coloration. These puppies have a medium-length coat that can be either curly or straight, depending on the parent breeds.
5. White Shih Tzu: This breed is the rarest and most expensive variety of Shih Tzu. They have a light-colored coat that can range from off-white to cream and are extremely gentle and loving.
6. Blue Shih Tzu: The blue Shih Tzu is distinctive for their deep blue eyes and steel-blue coat. These dogs have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming , but they are loyal and make great family pets.
7. Shih Tzu Mix: A Shih Tzu mix is a combination of two purebreds, such as a Maltese Shih Tzu or a Poodle Shih Tzu. These designer dogs often have the best traits of both parent breeds and can make wonderful companions.
8. Red Shih T zu: The red Shih Tzu is a unique breed with a bright red coat that can range from deep cherry to strawberry blond. They are an active breed and require plenty of exercise and attention.
9. Brindle Shih Tzu: This breed has a medium-length coat that is usually black with streaks of tan or brown. They have an outgoing personality and make great pets for families with children.
10. Chocolate Shih Tzu: The chocolate Shih Tzu is the most eye-catching of all the Shih Tzu colors. They have a silky, chocolate-brown coat and are highly intelligent and loyal dogs.
Grooming a Shih Tzu is an important part of their care. While they don’t require extensive grooming, regular brushing and the occasional trim will help keep their coat in top condition. Their long, shiny coats are prone to mats and tangles so it’s important to brush them at least twice a week. A professional groomer can provide advice on the best way to care for and
How to take care of a Shih Tzu for Beginners
To ensure the well-being of your Shih Tzu as a beginner, it’s important to consistently and attentively provide proper care and attention. Taking care of a Shih Tzu requires a combination of grooming and training techniques to keep them happy and healthy.
Here are some Shih Tzu grooming tips to keep in mind:
- Regular brushing: Shih Tzus have long, luxurious coats that require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Use a slicker brush or a comb specifically designed for their coat type.
- Bathing: Shih Tzus should be bathed every 2-4 weeks using a mild dog shampoo. Be sure to use a tear-free formula and avoid getting water in their ears.
- Eye care: Shih Tzus are prone to eye discharge and tear staining. Clean their eyes daily with a damp cloth and keep the hair around their eyes trimmed to prevent irritation.
- Nail trimming: Trim your Shih Tzu’s nails regularly to prevent them from becoming too long and causing discomfort. Use a sharp, dog-specific nail clipper and be careful not to cut the quick.
When it comes to Shih Tzu training techniques, consistency and positive reinforcement are key. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start early: Begin training your Shih Tzu as soon as you bring them home. This will help establish good habits and prevent unwanted behaviors from developing.
- Use positive reinforcement: Reward your Shih Tzu with praise, treats, and affection when they exhibit desired behaviors. This will motivate them to repeat those behaviors in the future.
- Keep training sessions short and fun: Shih Tzus have a short attention span, so keep training sessions brief and engaging. Use treats, toys, and playtime as rewards to keep them interested.
Can Shih Tzu be left alone in the house
Can you leave your Shih Tzu alone in the house? Well, it depends on a few factors. Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate nature and love to be around their owners. However, with proper training and gradually increasing their alone time, they can learn to be left alone for short periods.
Shih Tzus require proper house training to ensure they don’t have accidents while you’re away. Establish a routine for bathroom breaks and reward them for good behavior. This will help them understand where they should do their business and prevent any messes in the house.
Another important aspect to consider is Shih Tzu separation anxiety. These dogs are prone to developing separation anxiety and may become distressed when left alone for extended periods. To prevent this, start by leaving your Shih Tzu alone for short periods and gradually increase the time as they become more comfortable. Provide them with toys, treats, and a cozy space to help alleviate any anxiety.
Here’s a helpful table to summarize the key points:
|Factors to consider||Tips to help|
|Proper house training||Establish a routine|
|Shih Tzu separation anxiety||Gradually increase alone time|
|Provide toys and treats|
|Create a cozy space|
How do I take care of my Shih Tzu puppy
Taking care of your Shih Tzu puppy starts with providing a loving and nurturing environment. As a new Shih Tzu owner, it’s important to understand the specific needs of this adorable breed. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your Shih Tzu puppy:
- Regular grooming: Shih Tzus have a long, luxurious coat that requires regular grooming. Brushing their coat daily will help prevent tangles and mats. Additionally, regular bathing is necessary to keep their coat clean and healthy. (For more information on grooming, refer to the upcoming section on ‘how often should you bathe a Shih Tzu’.)
- Positive reinforcement training: Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs, but they can be a bit stubborn. Using positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, will help you train your Shih Tzu effectively. Consistency and patience are key when teaching your puppy basic commands and house training.
- Socialization: Shih Tzus are social dogs and enjoy being around people and other animals. Introduce your puppy to different environments, people, and pets from an early age to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and friendly dogs.
By following these Shih Tzu grooming tips and training techniques, you’ll be on your way to providing the best care for your adorable puppy. Remember, a happy and well-cared-for Shih Tzu will bring you years of joy and companionship.
Now, let’s move on to the next section and answer the question, ‘how often should you bathe a Shih Tzu’.
How often should you bathe a shih tzu
When it comes to keeping your Shih Tzu clean and fresh, you should bathe them every three to four weeks. Regular grooming is essential for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s coat and overall health. Bathing your furry friend too frequently can strip their coat of natural oils, leading to dryness and skin irritation. On the other hand, waiting too long between baths can cause matting and tangling, making grooming a more difficult and time-consuming task.
To ensure a successful bath time, it’s important to follow some Shih Tzu grooming tips. Before bathing, brush your Shih Tzu’s coat to remove any tangles and mats. This will prevent them from becoming worse when wet. Use a gentle dog shampoo specifically designed for Shih Tzus or for dogs with sensitive skin. Avoid using human shampoos as they may contain harsh ingredients that can irritate your pet’s skin.
When bathing your Shih Tzu, make sure to use lukewarm water and rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo. Leaving shampoo residue on your dog’s skin can cause itching and discomfort. Be extra careful when washing their face, as Shih Tzus have a short nose and can easily inhale water. Use a washcloth or a small sponge to clean their face instead of pouring water directly on it.
After bathing, gently towel-dry your Shih Tzu and use a hairdryer on a low setting to complete the drying process. Make sure to keep the hairdryer at a safe distance to avoid burning your pet’s skin. Once your Shih Tzu is dry, brush their coat again to prevent any tangles or mats from forming.
Are Shih tzu easy to take care of
Taking care of a Shih Tzu is generally considered relatively easy. These adorable little dogs have a calm and friendly temperament, making them a joy to care for. Here are some reasons why Shih Tzu are easy to take care of:
- Low grooming needs: Unlike some other breeds, Shih Tzus have hair rather than fur, which means they shed less and are hypoallergenic. Regular brushing is important to prevent matting, but their coats don’t require frequent bathing. Clipping their hair short can also reduce grooming time and keep them comfortable in warmer weather.
- Compact size: Shih Tzus are small dogs, typically weighing between 9 to 16 pounds. Their size makes them suitable for apartment living and easier to handle compared to larger breeds. They don’t require as much exercise as some other dogs and are content with daily walks and playtime.
- Generally healthy: While all dogs can have health concerns, Shih Tzus are generally a healthy breed. However, it’s important to be aware of certain health issues that are more common in Shih Tzus, such as eye problems, dental issues, and respiratory problems. Regular vet check-ups and proper dental care can help prevent these issues.
Overall, taking care of a Shih Tzu is a rewarding experience. They’re small, low-maintenance dogs that thrive on love and attention.
Now, let’s dive into the topic of whether Shih Tzus are high maintenance and explore some specific aspects of their care.
Are Shih Tzu high Maintenance
Caring for a Shih Tzu can be time-consuming, but with proper attention and regular grooming, they can be a low-maintenance breed. When it comes to grooming, Shih Tzus require regular brushing to keep their long, flowing coat tangle-free and healthy. You can use a slicker brush or a pin brush to gently remove any knots or mats. In addition to brushing, regular bathing is also important to keep their coat clean and smelling fresh. It’s recommended to use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for Shih Tzus.
Shih Tzus are prone to certain health concerns that require attention to maintain their overall well-being. One common health issue in Shih Tzus is dental problems. Their small mouths often lead to overcrowding of teeth, which can result in tooth decay and gum disease. Regular brushing of their teeth and providing dental treats can help prevent these issues. Another health concern is their sensitive eyes. Shih Tzus are prone to eye infections and irritations. It’s important to regularly clean their eyes with a damp cloth to remove any discharge and prevent infections.
To keep your Shih Tzu healthy, it’s essential to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian. They’ll be able to provide vaccinations and check for any underlying health issues. Additionally, a balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for their overall well-being.
While Shih Tzus do require regular grooming and attention to their health, they’re a loving and affectionate breed that makes excellent companions. With proper care and attention, they can be a low-maintenance breed that brings joy and happiness to your life.
Coat Grooming Shih Tzus have long, flowing coats that require regular grooming to keep them healthy and tangle-free. They should be brushed at least a few times a week using either a slicker brush or pin brush. Bathing is also important to keep their coat clean and smelling fresh. It’s recommended to use a mild, dog-specific shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for Shih Tzus.
Health Care Regular visits to the veterinarian are essential for monitoring your Shih Tzu’s health. Vaccinations and check-ups can help to identify any underlying issues. Additionally, providing a balanced diet and regular exercise is key for their overall well-being. It’s also important to pay attention to common health concerns such as dental problems and eye infections. Regular brushing of their teeth and cleaning of their eyes can help to prevent these issues.
Prevent your dog from preventing your dog from engaging in unwanted behaviors can be achieved through several techniques:
1. Consistent Training: Establish a training routine that focuses on reinforcing positive behaviors and discouraging negative ones. Use positive reinforcement such as treats, praise, and playtime whenever your dog exhibits desired behaviors.
2. Set Boundaries: Create clear boundaries and rules for your dog’s behavior. Teach them what is and isn’t allowed, and be consistent in enforcing these rules.
3. Supervision: Keep a close eye on your dog to catch any unwanted behaviors before they occur. This can include using baby gates or crate training to limit access to certain areas of the house.
4. Physical and Mental Stimulation: Dogs who are mentally and physically tired are less likely to engage in unwanted behaviors out of boredom or excess energy. Provide them with regular exercise, interactive toys, and mental stimulation through puzzle games or training sessions.
5. Redirect and Distract: If you notice your dog engaging in a potentially unwanted behavior, redirect their attention to a more acceptable activity or toy. This helps them learn alternative behaviors and prevents them from forming bad habits.
6. Consistency and Patience: Consistency is key when it comes to preventing unwanted behaviors. Set clear expectations and be patient with your dog as they learn. Do not resort to punishment or force, as this can lead to fear and anxiety.
7. Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling to prevent certain behaviors or if your dog’s unwanted behaviors are causing significant issues, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide guidance and customized techniques to address your specific concerns.
Overall, Shih Tzus are a low-maintenance breed that require regular grooming and attention to maintain their overall well-being. With proper care and love, they can be wonderful companions that bring joy to your life.
How often should i bathe my shih tzu
You should bathe your Shih Tzu every two to three weeks to keep their coat clean and healthy. Regular bathing is essential for maintaining their overall hygiene and appearance. Here are some important points to consider regarding the bathing frequency and Shih Tzu grooming techniques:
- Bathing Frequency:
- Bathing your Shih Tzu too frequently can strip their coat of its natural oils, leading to dryness and skin irritation.
- On the other hand, infrequent bathing can cause dirt, debris, and matting to accumulate in their fur, which can lead to skin problems.
- A bathing schedule of every two to three weeks strikes a balance between keeping their coat clean and preventing excessive dryness.
- Shih Tzu Grooming Techniques:
- Before bathing your Shih Tzu, make sure to brush their coat thoroughly to remove any tangles or mats.
- Use a high-quality dog shampoo that’s specifically formulated for Shih Tzu’s sensitive skin.
- Gently massage the shampoo into their coat, paying extra attention to areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears and under the legs.
- Rinse their coat thoroughly to ensure all shampoo residue is removed.
- After bathing, use a towel to gently dry their fur, making sure to pat, not rub, to avoid tangling or damaging their delicate hair.
By following these bathing frequency guidelines and using proper Shih Tzu grooming techniques, you can help keep your furry friend’s coat clean, healthy, and free from skin problems.
Now, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll discuss the top 10 accessories for Shih Tzu puppies.
Top 10 accessories for shih tzu puppies
To ensure your Shih Tzu puppy is well-equipped, consider these top 10 accessories for their needs. Grooming and training are essential aspects of caring for a Shih Tzu, and having the right tools can make these tasks easier and more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.
- Grooming brush: A high-quality grooming brush is a must-have accessory for your Shih Tzu puppy. Their long, silky coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and keep it looking its best. Look for a brush specifically designed for Shih Tzus to ensure effective grooming.
- Nail clippers: Keeping your Shih Tzu’s nails trimmed is important for their comfort and health. Invest in a pair of nail clippers designed for small breeds to safely and easily trim their nails.
- Shampoo and conditioner: Regular baths are necessary to keep your Shih Tzu clean and smelling fresh. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner formulated for dogs to maintain their coat’s health and shine.
- Training treats: Positive reinforcement is key to successful training. Stock up on small, delicious treats that your Shih Tzu puppy loves as rewards for good behavior. This will help motivate them to learn and obey commands.
- Training leash: A sturdy and comfortable training leash is essential for teaching your Shih Tzu puppy how to walk on a leash. Look for a leash with a comfortable handle and a length that allows for controlled, yet flexible movement.
- Crate: Crate training can be beneficial for both you and your Shih Tzu puppy. A crate provides a safe and secure space for them to rest and relax, as well as aids in house training.
- Chew toys: Shih Tzus are known to be avid chewers, so having a variety of chew toys on hand is essential. Choose toys that are durable and safe for your puppy to chew on, helping to prevent them from chewing on furniture or other inappropriate items.
- Water dispenser: It’s important to keep your Shih Tzu hydrated throughout the day. Invest in a water dispenser that ensures a constant supply of fresh water for your puppy.
- Potty training pads: Potty training can be a challenge, especially for small breed puppies. Potty training pads provide a convenient and hygienic solution for indoor accidents while your Shih Tzu is still learning.
- Travel carrier: Whether you’re going on a road trip or visiting the veterinarian, a travel carrier is a must-have accessory. Look for a carrier that’s comfortable, secure, and well-ventilated for stress-free travel with your Shih Tzu puppy.
Kinds of Coat Maintenance
Shih Tzu dogs have long, beautiful coats that require regular maintenance. This breed of dog has a double coat that is made up of a thick, dense undercoat and a long, silky outer coat. While this type of coat helps keep them warm in the winter, it can easily become matted and tangled if not properly taken care of. To keep their coats healthy and looking great , it’s important to brush your Shih Tzu at least two to three times a week. During brushing, pay special attention to the areas around the neck and behind the ears, as these are common sites for matting. Additionally, regular bathing is essential for keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat clean and free from skin problems. It is recommended that you bathe your dog every four to six weeks.
Double Coat Maintenance: To ensure your Shih Tzu’s double coat stays in tip-top condition, it’s important to use a mild dog shampoo when bathing and brush regularly with a high-quality brush. Additionally, trim the hair around the eyes and ears to prevent matting and keep their vision clear. Finally, take extra care with grooming during the shedding season to help reduce excess shedding.
When is the right time to go see a Veterinary?
There are several reasons why it may be appropriate to take your dog to a veterinarian. Here are a few common situations:
1. Regular check-ups: It is recommended to take your pet to the veterinarian for routine check-ups at least once a year. This helps ensure that your pet is healthy and can catch any potential health issues early on.
2. Vaccinations: Pets require vaccines to protect them from infectious diseases. Veterinarians can advise you on the appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet and administer the necessary vaccines.
3. Illness or injury: If your pet is showing signs of illness or has sustained an injury, it is important to visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. Common signs of illness include changes in appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, or limping.
4. Behavioral concerns: If your pet is displaying unusual or concerning behaviors, it may be worth visiting a veterinarian. They can help determine if there is an underlying medical condition or provide guidance on how to address behavioral issues.
5. Preventive care: Veterinarians can provide preventive care measures such as flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, dental care, and parasite control. Regular visits to a veterinarian can help ensure your pet’s overall health and well-being.
It is important to note that the appropriate time to visit a veterinarian may vary depending on the specific circumstances, so if you are unsure, it is best to check with your vet directly.
The life span of Shih Tzus
Shih Tzus are small, lovable, loyal dogs that make great family pets for their affectionate natures and low maintenance needs. They are known for their long, flowing coats that require regular grooming, and they have a long life span of between 10 to 16 years. This is slightly longer than many other breeds of the same size, and makes them a popular choice for those looking for a long-term companion. Shih Tzus are relatively low maintenance, and require only regular exercise, a healthy diet, and regular grooming to keep them healthy and happy. With proper care and attention, your Shih Tzu can bring years of joy and companionship into your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Shih Tzus Be Left Alone for Long Periods of Time?
Yes, Shih Tzus can be left alone for long periods of time, but it’s important to consider their needs. Use positive training methods and provide toys, puzzles, and interactive games to keep them entertained.
How Can I Prevent My Shih Tzu From Developing Separation Anxiety?
To prevent your Shih Tzu from developing separation anxiety, start by gradually introducing alone time, use positive reinforcement, provide interactive toys, and establish a consistent routine. These strategies help with separation anxiety prevention and management.
Are Shih Tzus Prone to Any Specific Health Issues?
Shih Tzus can be prone to specific health issues. The prevalence of hip dysplasia is a concern, but with proper care and management of allergies, you can help keep your furry friend healthy.
What Are Some Common Grooming Challenges Faced by Shih Tzu Owners?
To manage a Shih Tzu’s long hair, grooming challenges may include tangles, matting, and frequent brushing. Use these Shih Tzu grooming tips: regular baths, trimming hair around the eyes, and keeping their coat clean and well-maintained.
How Can I Properly Socialize My Shih Tzu Puppy?
To properly socialize your Shih Tzu puppy, expose them to different people, animals, and environments. Use positive reinforcement training techniques to teach them how to interact and behave appropriately. Friendly disposition is key for a well-socialized Shih Tzu.
Exercise Requirement: Shih Tzus are active and energetic little dogs that need regular exercise to stay healthy. Taking your pet on daily walks, having playtime in the yard, or engaging in activities like agility or obedience training can help keep them fit and happy. If your pup is not getting enough physical activity they may become bored and restless, leading to behavior issues.
Nut ritional Needs: A balanced diet is essential for the health of your Shih Tzu. Make sure to provide them with high quality, grain-free kibble that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It’s also important to avoid overfeeding your pup, as obesity can lead to a number of health issues.
What are the common issue associated with caring for a Shih Tzu?
Caring for a Shih Tzu can be quite an undertaking, as they are high-maintenance dogs that require frequent grooming, exercise, and medical care. Like other small breeds, Shih Tzus are particularly prone to dental problems, so regular brushing is essential. In addition, their long fur requires daily brushing to prevent tangles and mats. They also need occasional professional grooming to keep their coats in top condition.
In conclusion, caring for a Shih Tzu is like tending to a delicate garden. Just as a gardener must nurture and protect their plants, a Shih Tzu owner must provide love, attention, and proper grooming to ensure their pet thrives. A human company , a healthy diet, and regular exercise are also essential to keep your pup happy and healthy. With the right care, Shih Tzus can become loving companions that will bring joy into your life for many years to come.
This breed may require a bit more maintenance, but the rewards of their companionship and affection make it all worthwhile. So, embrace the role of a caring gardener and watch your Shih Tzu bloom into a beautiful and cherished companion.
I’m Jenn! I’ve always been captivated by the world of pets, especially our fluffy Shih Tzus. Growing up surrounded by nature, my passion led me to curate the treasure trove that is ShihtzuCenter.com. When I’m not sharing tips and tales about these adorable pups, I’m out rescuing birds or reveling in the great outdoors. Dive into my digital haven, and let’s celebrate the charm of Shih Tzus together! Drop me a line or a friendly woof!