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Overview of the breed
The Shih Tzu is a breed worth considering even if you are getting a dog for the first time. Shih Tzu means ‘little lion”. It measures only 9 – 10 inches. It is tall fully grown with a weight that falls between 9 – 16 pounds, but there is nothing little about this breed’s personality.
This is an ideal breed for living in an apartment or small home.
What to expect with a Shih Tzu for a pet
Shih Tzus are not as sensitive as other small breed dogs. They are also more comfortable being alone. They are definitely companion dogs though, because they do well in a family with children, and they adjust well to other dogs and even strangers. They love to play and will want to be where the family gets together.
Puppy Petite recommends this breed for families with children and other pets.
The best environment for Shih Tzus
A home that is a hive of activity would be a suitable home for a Shih Tzu. They have a high prey drive, which means they have a tendency to want to chase other small animals such as birds or mice. Puppy Petite highly recommends this breed for you if you want a pet that will be a member of your family in just about every way. The Shih Tzu will cope with being on its own during the day.
The Shih Tzu can be quite mouthy at times but is not really a breed that barks or howls excessively. Shih Tzu needs a fair amount of exercise so a home with a garden or in close proximity to a dog park would make a perfect home for a Shih Tzu.
General Health Considerations
Shih Tzus enjoy generally good health and have very few inherent health issues specific to them. They are prone to gaining weight over time so be sure to feed your Shih Tzu a carefully balanced diet to maintain an optimal weight and level of health.
Caring for your Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus shed hair so a good brush and a home bath once a week are going to be important. Grooming them can be time-consuming so consider that it may be better to have them groomed professionally on a regular basis.
They have a reasonable tolerance for cold weather but not for hot weather. They will need a cool place to get in out of the sun.
Training and socializing
Shih Tzu is an intelligent breed and reasonably easy to train and love to play.
Having enough time to walk your dog a couple of times a week is an important factor in choosing this breed. Shih Tzus are playful and get along well with other dogs or strangers, making a dog park an ideal place for your Shih Tzu to get some exercise and play time with other dogs.
Shih Tzu will adjust well to other dogs in the home. Crate train your Shih Tzu if you have trouble house-training it.
How to select a puppy from a litter or breeder
Only the most conscientious and caring breeders are sourced for Puppy Petite.
When considering the Shih Tzu breed as a pet for your family, it may be wise to take a look at more than just the physical attributes of the puppy. Is the puppy alert, playful and responsive when touched or played with? If so, this is a good indicator of a puppy that will grow into a lovable and engaging adult dog that will be a member of your family in every sense.
A puppy with confidence will approach you without too much coaxing. Ask about the health of the puppy’s parents as this will give you clues to the level of health you can expect for your puppy as it grows into an adult dog.
The Shih Tzu breed has a lifespan of between 10 and 16 years so the new addition to your home and family is going to be with you for a significant period of time. This is a long-term commitment. Be 100% certain that you are able to take care of your pet completely, both physically and emotionally.
Getting a new pet is about more than just having another mouth to feed in your home. You are adding a new member to your family. Just as you would take care of a child, your Shih Tzu pup will require a similar level of attention. The care you exercise in choosing your new pet will enhance the years of love you are going to share with your Shih Tzu. Give this decision the thought it deserves. You are about to embark on a long-term journey during which your new pup will be relying on you for all its needs.
Choosing a pet that will adjust well to the life you live is an act of kindness and care.