So you have seen the fluffy and adorable youngsters and want a TM? Forewarned is forearmed!! Are you prepared for the barking.. even when there is nothing outside, their hearing is acute. They bark at anything and everything and if you arent fortunate to live in a detached property, you are going to upset the neighbours unless you bring them in frrom the garden when they start!!
Then there is the chewing.. They love wood! Adore it!! Are you prepared for little nibbles on your wooden furniture? Or indeed large gnawed remains.. They love christmas lights too so you always have to be one step ahead and if not crated, unplug everything!!! If left unsupervised as youngsters, you might find yourself with a chewed piano and a sofa with the upholstery and padding torn out, which was what I experienced.
Then there is the digging!! They love holes!! Sometimes small ones but they do like to create a crater too. Extremely accomplished gardeners which can save you time if you are planning on doing some digging in that part of your garden!!
Are you prepared for the fact that unless your fencing is robust and tall enough, you may have an escapologist on your hands, particularly if they smell a female on heat. Your fences may need checking and securing. Your gate locks need to be TM proofed. As well as being amazing jumpers, they are very territorial and your 'softie' of a TM, can swiftly change if on someone else's land that they view as their own. Not a nice thought. In 2005, I heard a sad tale of a TM who was being looked after by a friend, who escaped onto train tracks and was run over by a train. I shudder even now at the thought of losing one of mine.
They blow their soft inner coats around March every year and all the text books tell you it lasts for 3 weeks. It doesnt, it comes out in tufts and comes out when it is ready to come out. For those who show at Crufts, usually in Crufts week!! But at home, it is everwhere and you will need a robust hoover.. and hard wood floors rather than carpet or the hoovering can become quite onerous. Shaving your TM isnt a good idea as you are robbing them of the chance to protect theirselves against sunburn and insect bites.
A teenage TM will try to push boundaries. Males particularly more so than females though I have known some feisty females give their owners a hard time too. They will growl, become possessive over food and toys, jump up (which isnt a problem when they are little, but is a challenge when they are full grown) and are capable of making the family's life a misery if you arent firm and have boundaries. I crate trained my dogs which did help a lot, but being firm and boundaried is essential.
In a nutshell, they grow, they climb, they have a hefty set of lungs on them and they can chew for Britain. They have very fine teddy bear hair that comes out once a year but seems to take forever to be removed. The good things? They are loyal, affectionate, there is no such thing as an ugly TM! They will protect you, love you unconditionally and they never answer back! Actually, scratch that, my youngsters answer me back!!
Acknowledgements and grateful thank you's go to the following owners/breeders for allowing me to use their photographs on this page.
Photo 1 - Ingrida Gierkena with Lady. The roof isnt high. Lady can get down easily enough but the photo highlights how flexible TM's are!
Photo 2 - A 9 week old Lolha discovering the joy of wood and boy, they love wood!
Photo 3 - Monika Wahlstedt's 2 TM's rescuing Santa! They are a very gentle, caring breed!
Photo 4 - Artful Dodger high fiving me. TM's are very trainable with food!
Photo 5 - Doris learning that creeping into the bedroom when the door is open pays off handsomely!
Photo 6 - All dogs owned and loved by Jimmy and Gaynor Parry. This fence is just under 5 foot.
Photo 7 - Lynda Sallis and Cubby who jumps on tall surfaces
Photo 8 - Lynda Sallis and Dinky who can fell a dog bed into snow in one easy tug!
Photo 9 - Lynda Sallis and Dinky who likes to climb to look out of windows!
Photo 10 - Lynda Sallis and Cubby who still thinks he's small enough to sit on the dining room chair!!
Photo 11 - Sierra's Disa joy to Bod Khyi (Disa) Owned, loved and photographed by Monika Wahlstedt
Photo 12 - Amanda and Artful Dodger... They like to negotiate but always aim for a win win!!! :-)