What a sweetheart this little dog is! It may weigh under 15lbs, but has the air of an aristocrat! In fact, you should know that this dog expects you to understand that it is a blue blood and deserves your respect.
The Shih Tzu once lived in the imperial palaces of China and was considered a sacred breed. It has had several nicknames, one being Little Lion and another, in England, Chrysanthemum dog.
The breed was recognized in England in 1934, the AKC recognized the breed in 1955 and when a Shih Tzu won Best in Show first time out in New Brunswick in 1960, the American public were charmed by the breed. Since then, the dog has become super popular because of its versatility and sweet affectionate nature.
If you want the Shih Tzu to be all it can be, the moment you take the pup home, show him or her just how special your new puppy is. The pup will warm quickly to your affection and delight in squeaky toys and balls. This little dog is bright. It will happily play all by itself, creating fun games to enjoy, but if you offer to join in, you will be so welcome.
Training is best done with a kind and positive hand. A Shih Tzu could not handle bullying or harsh voice training. The pup would become confused, and grow up to be stubborn and difficult if handled in the wrong way. You will find the pup is eager to learn, seeing it as another game in the offering, and if your demands are not excessive, will fit in as a happy family member. You’ll need patience with potty training.
A Shih Tzu’s coat is complicated. For show, its hair reaches the floor and a groomer is strongly advised if you want your dog to have the “show” look. If you do not want the “show” hair-style, and prefer the shorter-hair look, especially in the summer, take the dog to be clipped. You can decide how short the dog’s hair should be. If you have skills in grooming, the Shih Tzu is quite cooperative. Brushing the dog’s coat often, even daily, is a good idea as tangles form quickly in its fine hair and if not removed by brushing, become painful. Playing in the back yard, the dog will also pick up all kinds of debris which will need to be brushed out.
If you plan on taking the dog to the groomer monthly, a brush is all you would need.
This little dog loves it’s food, but just as you have to wipe a toddler’s face after eating, you will have to do the same with your Shih Tzu. Food in the dog’s eyes could cause an infection. Another tip is to get a rabbit water bottle in hot weather for the dog to lick at when thirsty. If it is hot, the dog tends to gulp and get water up its nose.
Babying your dog only applies to eating and drinking, though. It is hardy, active and loves to go for walks. A Shih Tzu is willing to be all the family’s bff.
For interested people, the Shih Tzu was recommended for Leo in AstroPups, available on Amazon Books in paperback or Kindle.
If you are looking to rescue a Shih Tzu, there are several options with eager volunteers to help you and definitely needy Shih Tzu purebred and mixed. The North America’s largest non profit adoption website is www.adoptapet.com/s/adopt-a-shih-tzu. If you prefer an adult dog and want to avoid the chewing, potty-training needs of a Shih Tzu pup, this is one of the ways to go.
Lone Star is looking for foster mums/dads for Shih Tzu as they do not have a shelter and depend on volunteers and foster parents. Maybe you live close enough to help them. Check Lone Star out at www.shihtzu-rescue.com
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