Shih Tzu are very affectionate, happy, outgoing house dogs who love people’s attention and love to follow people from room to room. Since ancient times they have loved people’s lap.
These days pet parents are interested in having these cuties off the field, so they are taking their pooch off their laps and putting them into dog training centres to make them play dog sports, training them to learn obedience, agility competitions and rally.
They are the best family pets who can easily get along with other pet animals and even children until the kid knows to gently handle them and play with a small pup.
Do you know what the name ‘ Shih Tzu ‘ really means? So here you go with an answer, little lion, but wait there’s nothing scary or fierce about them. This little pooch is not a hunter but a lover.
If you are a person who loves or is looking for a small cute and best buddy who can easily adapt to apartment living, shower you with unconditional love, and can join you on the couch for cuddles, this is your dog.
This breed is a huge attention seeker and by seeing them no one can actually ignore this beauty. They are bred to be a friendly companion, they don’t hurt, or guard.
They love nothing but to greet and meet friends and strangers alike, and they are highly adaptable, and well suited to apartments in the city rather than on a country farm. Their love for children and other pet animals is immense. Still, this breed is a sturdy breed and their small size puts them at a disadvantage.
It is highly seen that they should not get hurt accidentally during rough play. Shih Tzu sometimes is called the Chrysanthemum Dog, a nickname given to dogs who have hair growing all over their face out in all directions.
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One of the unique characteristics of Shih Tzu is its undershot bites. Their lower jaw is a bit wider than their upper jaw, and upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, or by preference opposite when their mouth is closed.
Myths Around Shih Tzu
Some say that Buddha travelled with this small dog fitting with the description of Shih Tzu. Many also believe that Fu Dogs who are the guardians of Buddhist temples are the representation of Shih Tzu.
Both males and females are alike, stand at nine to ten or a half-inch tall and their weight is nine to sixteen pounds.
All breeds of dogs have a purpose. Anciently the purpose of this breed was to be friends, and companions and that is all they want to be. Their simple desire is to be with you. Never expect them to guard, retrieve or hunt. All these are not their style.
Getting and seeking attention is their dominant feature, and sitting on their lap is their favourite destination. They stay happy when they are with their family. They are not totally couch potatoes but they are alert and lively, they may bark at newcomers to their place. But then they can be easily friendly with your guests.
Shih Tzu are healthy but like all breeds of dogs, they are also infected with certain diseases and conditions.
Allergies are a common ailment in a dog. These are of three main types: food, which can be treated by eliminating certain food from your pooch’s diet; contact allergies, the main cause is the reaction to a topical substance like flea, bedding, powders, dog grooming kits or any other chemicals and the last category is inhalant allergies, these are caused by the airborne allergens like pollen, dust, or mildew. The treatment for this allergy may include dietary restrictions, environmental change, and medication.
Canine hip dysplasia – this is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can cause lameness and pain
This means dislocation of the kneecap. Sometimes the knee joint slides in and out of place, and this can cause pain.
Bladder Stones & Bladder Infection
This can be caused by many factors like magnesium, excessive protein, and phosphorus in the diet, or a long period of time between urination. These can also be caused by bacterial or viral infections. If your pooch needs to urinate frequently, has bloody urine, or suffers appetite, do take them to the vet for checkups.
This infection strikes the Shih Tzu because their drop ears create a warm, dark ear canal that creates a perfect environment for infection. Checking and cleaning ears weekly avoids these kinds of problems.
Regular Vet Check-Ups
Apart from all these health issues, you have to schedule a vet meeting with your dog every month. Pet insurance can also help you to treat your pooch if suffering from any kind of health issues. You should also take care of your pooch at home by giving them proper care and nutrition. Keeping them physically fit and healthy. By giving them proper attention to keep them happy.
Shih Tzu really doesn’t mind where they live until they live with you. They’re very much adaptable dogs who can get comfortable even in a small city apartment or in a large suburban or country home. They are house dogs and should not be left outside alone, though they enjoy it a little bit.
They are content with short walks every day. They are not active dogs; they’re limited to wandering around the house, playing with their toys, running to the door to greet visitors and their favourite job is to sit in your lap.
They are very much sensitive to heat and should remain indoors in an air-conditioned room or with fans on hot days so that they do not suffer from heat exhaustion. Be extra careful with your Shih Tzu, hold them securely and don’t ever let them jump out of your arms or from any furniture, not even from bed. Give your pooch property a housetrain so that they by themselves will be in extra care and avoid accidents.
It is recommended to give a daily amount of 1/2 to 1 cup of good and high-quality dry food a day. Your dog’s food depends on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolic. Dogs are individuals, just like people, which don’t need the same amount of food. It is common knowledge that a couch dog will not eat like a highly active dog. Everything is different: the quality of food, even the quantity.
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Quality of the Food
The quality of dog food which you buy also makes a difference, the better the dog food, the better nourishment your dog will get. For Shih Tzu feeding do follow the guidelines for buying the right quality of food, how to and when to feed your pup, and feeding your adult pooch.
Silky and long Shih Tzu coat is really very gorgeous and comes in many colours like black gray and white, black and white, or red and white. Highly prized have a white tip on their tail and a white blaze on their forehead. If you are up to buying one of them then you have to be prepared to brush and comb the court of the Shih Tzu every day because it gets tangled easily.
To keep your Shih Tzu coat gorgeous and in demand, you have to daily brush and comb their locks and it is very necessary to prevent tangles, such as infrequent bathing once a week. Usually, Shih Tzu parents hire some professional groomer to clip those long locks short. You have to plan on grooming appointments every six to eight weeks if you want to trim the coat short and in the way you want.
Nails of Shih Tzu should be trimmed monthly.
Ear Care of Shih Tzu
Ears should be checked once a week for dirt, redness, or sometimes a bad odour that indicates infections. Wipe them weekly with a cotton ball gently with the pH-balanced ear cleaner to avoid problems.
Their face needs to be wiped regularly with a soft cloth damped with lukewarm water as they get dirty after eating, and their eyes tear up easily. These small breed pooches are prone to dental problems. It is very important to take good care of their teeth. Regular brushing with a small brush with soft bristles with doggy toothpaste would keep their gums and teeth healthy.
Many Shih Tzu, unfortunately, end up in the care of rescuers because some people did not understand how to handle them at one point of time. So if you feel so, you can find an adoption home for your pet and give them in safe hands. You can also take out a small paragraph about adoption in social media so that people who want a let can easily contact you.
There is not any breed as “imperial” or “teacup” Shih Tzu. These are all the marketing terms which are used by the marketers to highlight these small pups and sell them.
Shih Tzu is very difficult to housebreak. You have to be consistent and not allow your puppy to roam the house unsupervised at least until they are completely trained. You can always go for Crate training as it is very helpful.
Safety from Heat Strokes
You should know that the flat shape of this puppy’s face makes them very much susceptible to heart stroke. And the reason for this is that air going into their lungs isn’t cold as efficiently as it is among longer nose breeds. So you should keep them indoors with a proper air conditioner room during the hot weather.
Shih Tzu is not the best choice for families who are toddlers or very much young children because their size puts them at risk and can get injured easily but Shih Tzu are very trusted with children.
Please remember that dogs of any breed can suffer with health issues throughout their lives but good pet insurance can really help you prepare to give your dog all the care they want at any age.
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Apart from this Shih Tzu is the most comfortable and cutest pup one can ever have. The way they are, their personality is always mesmerising. You can never feel bored with them. They only need your love and care. Keep all these little points in your mind and yes always give them proper attention.
So get yourself a Shih Tzu and make your life even more interesting.
Best of luck Pet Parents
Happy Pet Parenting