The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that originated in China. They are known for their large, round eyes, long muzzle, and lush coat of fur, which can be many different colors. The breed was originally bred to be companion animals and they remain loyal and affectionate today. Shih Tzus are known for being friendly with both people and other animals.
Shih Tzus are friendly, outgoing, and confident dogs that are typically easy to train. They enjoy being around people and can be good with children when introduced and socialized from a young age. Although these little dogs might appear fragile, they have a lot of energy and intelligence. With the right training, they can learn tricks quickly and become excellent watchdogs. They don’t bark excessively, but they can be vocal when excited or alert.
Shih Tzus need regular grooming to keep their coats in good condition. They should be brushed several times a week and bathed every six to eight weeks. Their fur should also be trimmed regularly to keep it from becoming matted or tangled.
The average lifespan of Shih Tzus is 12-15 years. With proper care, they can live even longer. Regular visits to the vet are also necessary to ensure their health and wellbeing.
Shih Tzus make wonderful companions for those looking for an intelligent, loyal, and loving pup. They are relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming and exercise, making them a great choice for busy households. If you’re looking for a lap dog with a lot of personality, the Shih Tzu might be the perfect choice for you.
The AKC has Shih Tzu as the 20th most popular dog in 2022.
Shih Tzu Information
- Average Height: 8 to11 inches
- Average Length: between 8 and 11 inches
- Average Weight: 8 to16 pounds
- Coat Type: Double coat that can be long or short
- Coat Appearance: Longer and silky or shorter and thicker
- Coat Colors: Black, white, golden, red, chocolate and brindle, liver and parti-color
- Grooming Needs: Regularly
- Shedding: Low
- Brushing Requirements: Daily brushing
- Sensitive to Touch: Very sensitive
- Excessive Barking: Moderate
- Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
- Good Pet: Yes
- Safe with Children: Yes
- Good with Other Dogs: Yes
- Good with Other Pets: Yes
- Suitable for life in an Apartment: Yes
- Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
- Training: Difficult to train
- Exercise Needs: Minimal
- Weight Gain: Easily
- Health Concerns: Cataracts, glaucoma, tracheal collapse, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, reverse sneezing allergies, obesity, seizures, urinary tract infections
- Allergies: Yes
- Life Span: 10 to18 years
Physical Appearance of a Shih Tzu
Physical Appearance of a Shih Tzu: The Shih Tzu is a small dog with a short muzzle and large eyes. They have a double coat that can be either long and silky or shorter and thicker. Common colors include black, white, golden, red, chocolate, brindle, liver and parti-color. Their ears are long and floppy and their tail is curled over their back.
Temperament of a Shih Tzu
The temperament of a Shih Tzu is that of a lively and affectionate companion. They are deeply devoted to their owners and enjoy attention, cuddles, and playtime. They love to be the center of attention and can become very possessive towards their owners if not socialized properly. Shih Tzus are also quite alert and curious by nature which makes them great watch dogs. They are known to bark in order to alert their owners of intruders, however they can also be very vocal when bored or anxious.
Training a Shih Tzu
Training a Shih Tzu requires patience and consistency. The breed is known to be intelligent but can also be stubborn and difficult to train. Training should start as early as possible, at around 8 weeks of age. When training a Shih Tzu, it’s best to focus on basic commands such as sit, stay, come, down, and leave it. Positive reinforcement works well with this breed; using verbal praise or treats for good behavior helps reinforce desired behaviors.
The temperament of a Shih Tzu is friendly, outgoing, and loyal. They make great family pets as they are good with children and other animals. However, they can be vocal so they might not be best for those living in close quarters. They are also known to be quite sensitive so it’s best to use positive reinforcement when training.
Obedience Training Classes
Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. The amount of time you spend trying to stop your Shih Tzu barking at strangers can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them.
Early Socialization Training
Early socialization training can help your Shih Tzu become more comfortable around people and other animals. This should be done as early as possible, ideally before they’re six months old. Socialization can involve introducing your dog to different people, animals, environments, and noises in a positive way. It’s important that the environment is one that the pup finds comfortable and safe, so they can learn to associate these new experiences with positive feelings.
Socialization should be done gradually and in a controlled way to ensure that the pup is not overwhelmed. With early socialization, your Shih Tzu will be better adjusted and more comfortable around people and other animals.
Kennel training works very well with Shih Tzu. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.
Shih Tzu need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.
If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.
Their Compatibility with Children
Shih Tzus are generally very affectionate and loyal, making them great companions for children. They are known to be patient and tolerant, which makes them excellent playmates. However, their small size can make them more likely to become injured so it’s important to supervise children when they are playing with a Shih Tzu. It’s also important that the pup is socialized from an early age so that they are comfortable being around children. As long as the pup is well trained and socialized, they can make a great addition to any family.
Best Climate for a Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are a breed that prefers warmer climates. They don’t tolerate the cold well and can become uncomfortable in temperatures below freezing. The best climate for a Shih Tzu is one with mild winters and warm summers, such as the Mediterranean climate of Southern Europe or Southwestern United States. In these climates, they can easily adapt to outdoor activities such as walks or playing fetch.
The Attention a Shih Tzu Needs
Shih Tzus are a breed that loves to be around people and get lots of attention. They thrive best in households where they can receive regular love and affection from their owners. While they can live happily with minimal interaction, regular playtime and snuggles will keep them happy and healthy. It’s important to remember that Shih Tzus need daily exercise to stay fit and healthy so be sure to include plenty of walks or playtime in their routine.
Shih Tzus are generally a healthy breed, but like all purebreds, they can be susceptible to certain health issues. Some of the more common health conditions that can affect Shih Tzus include eye problems, respiratory problems, hip dysplasia, and allergies. It’s important to keep up-to-date with regular checkups and vaccinations in order to catch any health issues early and to ensure that your pet remains healthy.
Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness. Cataracts occur when the lens in an eye becomes cloudy or opaque, blocking light from passing through to the retina. This can lead to decreased vision, or even complete blindness.
There are several causes of cataracts, including genetics, diabetes, trauma, and certain medications.
Cataracts can be a serious condition, but with proper treatment, your dog can regain their vision and live a happy life.
Glaucoma is a painful condition and can lead to blindness if not treated early on. Symptoms include:
- Watery or red eyes
- Discolored cornea
- Watery discharge
Pet owners might not notice the pain but the disease can be extremely painful. If you see your dog with any of the above symptoms or with swollen eyes, take them to a vet.
Collapsed trachea is a condition that causes a dog’s windpipe, or trachea to collapse. This condition is usually caused by the cartilage rings weakening that normally help keep the trachea open. This weakening can be due to genetics, obesity or other medical conditions such as heart disease or respiratory infections. Signs of collapsed trachea include a dry, “honking” cough, breathing difficulty, and exercise intolerance. If you think that your dog has a collapsed trachea, please contact your veterinarian for evaluation and treatment.
Symptoms of Canine Collapsed Trachea
The most common symptom of collapsed trachea is a dry, honking cough. This type of cough is typically worse after exercise or excitement and can be heard from a distance. Other signs include:
- Difficulty breathing especially during exercise
- Intolerance to physical activity
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.
Patellar luxation is another joint problem that dogs can develop. Patellar luxation happens when the knee joint slides in and out of place. This can be painful for some, and can cause lameness or abnormal walking. Dogs with this problem will usually hop or skip a few steps while walking. Patellar luxation can be painful for some but most will be able to live normally even after having this condition. The disease can lead to arthritis.
Depending upon the severity of their disease, surgery could be needed to treat patellar luxation. This problem seems to affect smaller dogs more than larger dogs.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common but potentially serious health condition that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. UTIs occur when bacteria enter their urinary system, usually through the urethra, and cause an infection in the bladder or other parts of the urinary system.
If left untreated, a UTI can lead to more serious conditions, such as kidney damage or bladder stones. The good news is that UTIs are usually treatable with antibiotics and other medications prescribed by your veterinarian. Certain lifestyle changes might help prevent future infections.
Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. It’s estimated that up to 40% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to a number of health problems, including joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes.
The most common cause of obesity is overfeeding. Dogs need a balanced diet with enough protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If a dog is fed too much, or given treats too often, they can become overweight.
In addition to overfeeding, not enough exercise can also contribute to obesity. Dogs need regular exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. Taking your dog for a walk or playing fetch are great ways to get them moving and burning calories. Having your dog running around is also great for their mental health.
If you think your dog might be overweight, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a diet and exercise plan that is tailored to your dog’s individual needs. With the right diet and exercise plan, you can help your dog achieve a healthy weight and live a long, happy life.
Canine seizures can be a frightening experience for owners and their dogs. Unfortunately, seizures are quite common among many dog breeds and can occur for a variety of reasons. Seizures can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. In order to understand seizures, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention techniques.
Common causes of seizures include genetic predisposition, ingesting toxins or poisons, head trauma, brain tumors or lesions, neurological diseases such as epilepsy or encephalitis, metabolic issues such as liver failure or kidney disease, and electrolyte imbalances.
Symptoms of Canine Seizures
Symptoms of seizures vary from dog to dog, but can include:
- Shaking or tremors
- Losing consciousness or awareness
- Frothing at the mouth
- Confusion or disorientation
- Uncontrolled muscle spasms and movements
- Changes in their heart rate or breathing patterns
It’s important to note that these symptoms might not always indicate a seizure; they could be indicative of other medical conditions as well. If you believe your dog is having a seizure, it’s important to get immediate veterinary attention.
Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning
Shih Tzus have long, silky coats that need regular grooming and bathing. It’s important to brush your puppy’s coat daily in order to keep it clean and free of tangles. Regular baths are also recommended in order to keep their fur soft and shiny. When bathing your Shih Tzu, it’s best to use a mild shampoo or one specifically designed for dogs. After bathing, dry their coat thoroughly with a towel and brush it out to remove any tangles or mats.
Feeding A Shih Tzu
Feeding a Shih Tzu is relatively simple and straightforward. This breed does best on a high-quality dog food that is rich in lean proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. It’s important to ensure the food is age-appropriate so that your pup gets the right nutrition for their age and size. It’s also important to give them variety in their diet to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. Treats can be given in moderation and should always be healthy and low-calorie.
How Often Should I Brush My Shih Tzu’s Coat?
It’s recommended to brush your Shih Tzu’s coat at least once a day in order to keep it clean and free of tangles. It’s also important to bathe them regularly with a mild shampoo or one specifically designed for dogs. After bathing, dry their coat thoroughly with a towel and brush it out to remove any tangles or mats.
What is the Best Climate for a Shih Tzu?
The best climate for a Shih Tzu is one with mild winters and warm summers, such as the Mediterranean climate of Southern Europe or Southwestern United States. In these climates, they can adapt to outdoor activities such as walks or playing fetch.
How Much Attention Does a Shih Tzu Need?
Shih Tzus are a breed that loves to be around people and get lots of attention. They thrive best in households where they can receive regular love and affection from their family. While they can live happily with minimal interaction, regular playtime and snuggles will keep them happy and healthy. It’s important to remember that Shih Tzus need daily exercise to stay fit and healthy so be sure to include plenty of walks or playtime in their routine.