Camelot, My Jack Tzu (Shih Tzu and Jack Russell Terrier

by Grams
(Houma, LA)

Camelot is a rescue from a family who could no longer keep a dog. He is actually a Jack Tzu ( a mix of Shih Tzu and Jack Russell ). He is a 6-year-old male dog. I was searching for a "guard" dog since I am 72 years old and live alone.

When I first adopted him, he had no hair. The previous owners had shaved him. He scratched himself continually to the point of having sores.

It took about 4 months for Camelot to become very friendly toward me. He actually was aggressive and growled at me a lot. At first, I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep him because he acted vicious and defensive. And, he did NOT bark at all. I wanted a dog that barked to be a guard dog for me.

After a few Vet visits we cleared up his skin condition, and his hair began to grow. I did not punish him when he growled or snarled. I treated him with only love and acceptance. Now we are best friends. He is at my side constantly when I am home. He has become to trust me and knows that I love him.

I feed him only grain free foods, and I give him Omega 3 daily. His itching is gone; except for when we walk out in the field, and he gets all sorts of stuff on him. Since we do this almost daily, I bathe him at least once a week. He loves a bath. He sits in the water and lets me do whatever I need to clean him well.

Every day I realize more and more how smart (and shrewd) he is. He has learned how to manipulate me into giving him treats.

Funny story: I give him a treat whenever he goes out to potty. He scratches on the back door or just sits there until I pay attention to him and let him out. This night he scratched on the door every 10 minutes. He will turn back to see if I am watching him. If I am not, he runs back in the house waiting for his treat.

LOL, I think he is training me more than I am training him. I would love to retire so that I could be home with him 24-7. I am 72 years old, and this is the first pet I have had since I was a little girl. My job duties would not permit me to have a pet because of travel. I have no idea what he may have experienced with his first family, but he is truly the King of our household.

When I read about the temperament of the Shih Tzu all the articles are correct. They are smart, and they can be stubborn. Camelot and I have learned how to read each other's minds, and we communicate well with each other.

Oh, and he is beginning to bark. My daughters have dogs that bark a lot, and Camelot loves for them to visit. He will bark when they do - proudly, I might add. So, we are getting there.

I think that he may have been punished for barking before. Don't know. He actually "talks." When I take him places, he will talk to people. They laugh and talk to him just like a baby. He loves getting out and socializing.

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