Why Should You Get A Shih Tzu?
The real question is, “Why not?” Shih Tzu’s are some of the best, easiest dogs that you can take care of. They are generally very playful; they get along well with both adults and children, and have a whole lot of love to share with everyone in the household. They are also even-tempered, so you do not need to worry about a Shih Tzu going wild on your guest.
Because it is such a small, furry, cute-looking dog, it is easy to pass off the Shih Tzu as just another toy dog that is yappy and spoiled rotten. That really is not the case. It all boils down to training, after all. If you allow your dog to lord it over everyone in your home, if you let it boss you around, then it will become a spoiled little critter, incapable of listening to any commands and doing whatever it feels like. So long as you have a firm hand when you train your Shih Tzu and clearly indicate what and what acceptable behavior is not, your little dog really will become a joy to be with. In addition, none of you has to bow down to its cuteness.
Shih Tzu is one of the cutest dog breeds ever
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that the Shih Tzu is one of the cutest dog breeds ever. There’s just something about their stature, their fur, their compact size, and their facial expression that just grab anyone and make people go, “Awww! How cute!”
But the Shih Tzu is not like any toy dog that you should tuck in a stylish bag when you go out, keep indoors and lolling about on couches all day long. It is true, however, that the Shih Tzu enjoyed a time holding court in China’s imperial palaces and also as a Tibetan holy dog. Its lovely chrysanthemum-shaped face inspired people to name it “Xi Shi quan” after a beautiful Chinese woman named “Xi Shi.” Some even say that its name is a translation of the phrase “little lion,” which was often used to describe its appearance. It is also believed that Shih Tzus were created when the Lhasa Apso was crossed with a Pekingese.
The Shih Tzu has a recognizable look, with its short legs and stature, open, friendly expression, and glittering dark eyes. Shih Tzus have a life expectancy of up to 15 years, and usually have a height that ranges from eight to eleven inches. The Shih Tzu is also notable for its flowing double coat; a wooly layer lies beneath its flowing top coat. Its double coat is well known for being hypoallergenic and is not prone to extreme shedding. This is why the Shih Tzu is an ideal dog for people who have allergies. The amount of grooming Shih Tzus require depends on the length of their coats. Shih Tzus that are meant for showing generally have long, flowy coats and this means a more careful level of grooming in order to keep the coat looking lush. There are also Shih Tzus that can do with a closer, shorter cut. Despite the difference in the lengths of their coats, Shih Tzus will benefit from regular grooming that can simply involve regular brushing, baths, or a trip to the groomers.
Since its earliest days, the Shih Tzu evolved from being a temple dog to one that is recognized for its extraordinarily intelligence. The Shih Tzu is very easy to train and is eager to learn new things. The Shih Tzu requires an active lifestyle to keep it healthy and entertained, although it doesn’t need large yards or a big house in order to enjoy itself. The Shih Tzu’s compact size might make one think that it’s a delicate dog, but don’t be fooled; Shih Tzus are exceptionally sturdy and will be able to hold its own during vigorous playful activities. The owner of a Shih Tzu must remember to keep the dog’s mind sharp and focused with games to test its instincts. It also enjoys plenty of walks, training, and learning new tricks; a Shih Tzu will typically enjoy several walks in a single day. You may be amazed sometimes to find out that your Shih Tzu can pick up all new skills easily.
Apart from being a good companion dog, the Shih Tzu also makes a very good guard dog. Although Shih Tzus rarely bark and are not aggressive, they are extremely alert and attentive, and they will not hesitate to unleash their barks if they feel their turf and their humans are being threatened.
Shih Tzus require not just love, attention, and exercise. They also need to be treated like they are real dogs and not as mere accessories. Training them properly and constantly teaching them something new improves their well-being and turns them into dogs that are highly disciplined and intelligent.
Caring for the Shih Tzu
So you are thinking about getting Shih Tzu puppies for sale. We are not going to sugarcoat it for you; expect a lot of work in taking care of it! It may look like a little furry toy, but Shih Tzu’s actually require a lot of care and exercise. It is simply not just a creature that is meant to sit around looking cute and fluffy. Shih Tzu’s also have the typical canine health issues, and it has a few health problems that specifically affect its breed. As a Shih Tzu owner, you need to be aware of what things could negatively affect the health of your Shih Tzu and make sure that it gets the best care and treatment possible.
The Shih Tzu’s Snub Nose
Like a lot of smaller dog breeds, the shih tzu is brachycephalic, or is a snub-nosed dog, and you don’t need to take a closer look at your furry friend to know that this is true. The shih tzu’s snub nose makes the dog look like it has a somewhat squashed, but cute and friendly face.
It’s not all cuteness for the shih tzu though; its snub nose can cause some serious breathing problems. In fact, on hot days, it causes them some difficulty to pant and keep themselves cool. Even air travel can be a challenge for the shih tzu; while they are generally welcome to travel on airplanes, snub-nosed breeds are discouraged from traveling when there’s a possibility that the lower-deck temperatures of the aircraft will rise above 75 degrees. The altitude may also worsen its breathing, so if you’re planning to fly to your destination with your shih tzu, find out the airline’s guidelines and ask your veterinarian if your dog is fit to travel.
During summer, you can keep your shih tzu puppy cool by keeping it in a room with cooler temperatures. Make sure it gets plenty to drink, but be careful not to give it water in a bowl; when your dog bends over for a drink, water can get into its nose more easily and affect its breathing. You also shouldn’t make your shih tzu stay outdoors. Your shih tzu will feel a lot better during the hottest part of the day by staying indoors and relaxing in the coolest spot in your home.
Have a Firm Hand When Training Your Shih Tzu
Whether you’re training your Shih Tzu puppies to climb up and walk down the stairs, teaching it new tricks, or simply housebreaking it, it can be a major challenge for you. For one thing, the Shih Tzu’s playful personality, adorable appearance, and small size can make you hesitant about laying down the law. You might think that just because it doesn’t look like a big, hardy dog means that it couldn’t handle more forceful training and stronger commands. This is why some Shih Tzus behave in a spoiled manner, refusing to eat unless they’re hand-fed or peeing wherever they please. People tend to adore their Shih Tzus so much that they let them get away with anything.
What you should remember is that Shih Tzus are very strong, intelligent dogs who are eager and willing to learn. They’ve developed the undeserved reputation of being spoiled, yappy, lazy dogs simply because they’re treated like lapdogs and aren’t stimulated enough. What you shouldn’t forget when taking care of your Shih Tzu is that they can be trained and that you shouldn’t be afraid of showing it that you are the pack leader.
Remember that when your Shih Tzu misbehaves, it not only makes things difficult for you, but also casts you in a poor light as a dog owner who has no control over your pet.
Using the Stairs
Using the stairs can be a daunting experience for any dog, but most especially for the small breeds, like Shih Tzus, that may feel dwarfed and threatened by the stairs. Typically, when small dogs sit at the top of the stairs and are unable to go down, they whine, bark, and yap until somebody fetches them and carries them down the stairs. This might not sound like such a big deal especially if the dog is particularly small, but at some point, you will want your dog to learn to go down the stairs and not whimper for you to help it all the time.
Training your Shih Tzu to use the stairs is not a matter of commanding it or, worse, putting it on a leash and forcing it to go down the steps. You have to be careful during the training process and make sure that the Shih Tzu will not find the stairs a threat. Your pet will need your help and support rather than your reprimands.
You can try some different tactics when teaching your Shih Tzu to go down the stairs. One such tactic can involve you enticing your Shih Tzu with its favorite toy. You can lay the toy at the bottom part of the stairs and simply call your dog in cheerful, encouraging tones to come fetch its toy. Another alternative is to put small pieces of its favorite treats at every step, therefore inviting it to go down and take a sniff or even a bite of the treat. Your Shih Tzu may soon get used to the feeling of walking down the stairs that you’ll find it going up and down the stairs with no trouble at all.
Keep in mind that it won’t happen instantaneously, and may even take a few weeks. In which case, always remember that you should be patient, and that you never forget to encourage and congratulate your Shih Tzu whenever it makes progress with its training. Shih Tzus are eager to please people, and they might even become more willing to put in a lot of effort in taking its first steps down the stairs.
The Shih Tzu’s Diet
The Shih Tzu shouldn’t eat differently or have too much treats just because it’s a cute little thing and the usual dog food looks too “indelicate” for it. What you should keep in mind when feeding your Shih Tzu is to choose the best, most nutritious meals that can help them become stronger.
Your Shih Tzu should only be fed once a day; any more and its little stomach will feel too heavy and bloated, plus it’s also not a good idea to make it gain too much weight. The Shih Tzu should only weigh up to a maximum of 16 pounds. Remember to only feed your Shih Tzu healthy, nourishing foods, not junk. Treats are fine for them on special occasions or as rewards during training, but they shouldn’t make up the bulk of your Shih Tzu’s daily meal.
Keep Your Shih Tzu Interested
Like all dogs, the Shih Tzu is very eager to learn. Its cute, fluffy appearance would just fool you into thinking that it wants nothing more than to eat, sleep, be brushed, and carried. Well, that’s all it will want if that’s the only way you will treat it. Remember that you should keep sparking its interest and intelligence by engaging it in games and training. Your Shih Tzu doesn’t have to do anything elaborate. Simple tricks like shaking paws, rolling over, sitting, sitting pretty, and standing on its hind legs are a good way to start. Always give it some toys and balls to play with to keep it moving.