If you are looking for a happy-go-lucky, toy-sized dog breed with an adorable face, then as a Shih Tzu, I am one of your perfect choices. With a lifespan stretch of about, 10-18 years, Shih Tzu puppies mostly love to get surrounded by children who stand. They are my favourite of all companions and I love to spend hours with them.
As I mentioned, I usually appear in a small range of sizes, standing around 9 to 11 inches on the shoulder with the lightest of weight ranging from 9- 16 pounds. This makes it easy for humans to carry me wherever you go. I usually appear in a wide variety of colours giving you a palette of choices. I can wear a coat with unique shades of white, grey, red, gold & black. You can choose at your will.
Even though Shih Tzu puppies are highly playful, active, and charming, their exercise requirement is less when compared to many other breeds. Playing with younger ones is an effective exercise that makes me physically and mentally stable. Although I am a bright & intelligent companion, my stubborn attitude can give rise to contentious situations when you train me.
I was known mainly as a loving house pet, bred for staying as the best dog-companion for humans because of my sparkling traits of loyalty and affectionate love. You can find my hair growing around my face, isn’t that fashionable? This is why humans refer to my appearance to resemble “chrysanthemums”. It is so flattering, I tell you..woof woof!
As I am small in size and need some exercise to keep active, I don’t need long yards and fenced acres of land to play. This makes me a better option if you are staying in a constructed apartment. You know, my name Shih Tzu literally means lion, and many Buddhists hold the concept that there is always a connection between the lion and a goddess. This is the reason we were bred in royal courts.
With my compact size and mini physicality, Shih Tzu Puppies hold high volumes of energy and stamina to stay alert. I am proud of how my loud voice and my eyes can catch something unusual in seconds. I was the most loved pet in the Ming dynasty. They knew me for eternal love towards humans.
Ages ago, breeders around the mansion of a well-known Chinese Emperor bred me. I was a crossbreed of Sino Tibetan breeds -Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso. They were also known as older Chinese breeds in those times. Almost for a count of hundred years, I lived an imperial life. I had the company of loving families and humans. Breeders were even awarded precious gifts and this also made me popular as a charming & affectionate breed.
I lived a luxurious life for many years in the walls of an emperor’s mansion with different families. Playing roles of a loving dog breed and their lap warmer breed till 1930 from where I got exposed to the world around me. Some humans also believed as a breed who would guard the soul of lamas after they attained nirvana.
I became the owner of my name from Apsos to Shih Tzu after the development of the Shih Tzu Kennel club of England in 1935. I even got mentioned in the AKC Stud Book around 1969. This was a turning point in my existence. This helped me become one of the most well-known breeds in the United Kingdom.
The Royal reputation owners of that time include Miley Cyrus and the well known Queen Elizabeth II. They fell for my charm and attitude. They in fact helped me become popular the world over, as a toy-sized well-accepted breed. Shih Tzu Puppies are accepted by many around the world as their most loving, lap warmer breed.
PROS AND CONS
My glossy trait might attract you. Though I’m a playful and active dog, I do well guarding myself against allergic reactions. I can withstand myself and keep allergies at bay, therefore I have classified it as belonging to the hypoallergenic breed. My remarkable adaptability catches the eyes of many humans. I can easily adapt to changing lifestyles where I’m exposed to.
Even though I hold a bit longer silky coat, my shedding is minimal and as an owner, you won’t have trouble regarding heavy shedding and irritation for dog owners. If you are living in an apartment, I’m one of the best choices as I can easily get adjusted within the four corners of your apartments in joy.
My drooling should not be a cause of worry when compared to other breeds such as Saint Bernard and the Mastiff. I’m one of the perfect examples of dog breeds that have lower drooling tendencies. Apart from being a good companion for my owner and his family, I also create an effective bond with other animals, especially with cats. I never get irritated in their presence.
I’m also good at joining hands with other dog breeds. My cleanliness is another attractive trait that makes me stand apart from stickiness and uncomfortable bad odour. I’m a good choice for beginners as I’m a praised family dog who can be controlled with care and love. I’m usually not interested in wandering around and creating trouble.
My silky, long hair needs a professional groomer as it helps to make me look good. In fact, my grooming requirement seems to be comparatively higher than other dog breeds. My hair grows relatively fast so it needs to be cut properly, otherwise there is a risk of eye and ear infections.
Obesity can catch me but usually, my weight gain potential is quite low. But you should pay attention to my diet.
My tendencies to nip or to play bite can also cause difficulties for you.
As I easily create a stronger and affectionate bond with my owner, their absence can make me weak. I may develop separation anxieties and relatable worries too. I’m not a perfect companion for an aged person or an office environment.
HAIR AND CARE
If you lack time to handle my long grooming sessions, I’m not a perfect choice for you. I require a lot of grooming and care for my long, silky hair to stay healthy and shine. I should be groomed and brushed on a daily basis in order to remove dead hair and matts from my body.
To maintain my long silk hair, you need to grab help and get an appointment with a professional groomer. To have a happy grooming session, brushing is a must. This is highly recommended at least once a week. This can help us remove dead hair, ecto-parasites like fleas & lice and matts from our body.
You should brush me with a wide-toothed comb, which you can get easily from a pet shop with circular teeth. Brushing should be done in the direction of our hair growth and in turn, it can help us to spread our natural oil through our body. This helps in strengthening hair follicles thus preventing excess shedding, although we shed moderately.
There are different styles for my hair and Puppy cut, Teddy bear cut, Practical Top Knot, Top Knot Show cut and Lion cut are the most popular styles among them.
Apart from this, our ears and eyes should be cleaned daily in order to safeguard us from infections. Never ever skip flea treatment, as it is a must to confirm that we are in the best of our health. If my nails grow longer it needs to be trimmed at least once a week. You should also provide a bath, not regularly but when it’s necessary. At least every three or four weeks. Our hands and face require regular washing and cleaning to keep us apart from stinkiness and other irritations.
Shih Tzu Puppies love to stay on earth, surrounded by my most friendly human companions for longer days, for that nutrition plays a vital role. Treating us with the right amount of nutritious food can help us to lead a colourful as well as healthy life. I can have both commercial or homemade food but only under the supervision and approval of a veterinarian in order to stay good.
By providing us fish, sweet potatoes, chicken, green beans, or brown rice you can provide us a healthy diet. Chocolates, soda, salt, etc should be avoided from our diet at the maximum to present us a healthy life. High protein content in our diet can help us to stay strong and in muscle development. Always cut short our meal and provide us the required by dividing the meal for two or three times.
Treating us with food containing an essential amount of DHA which holds omega 3 and fatty acids plays an important role in nourishing our brain and vision. It also strengthens our hair follicle development. Along with this, you should also treat us with required anti-oxidants, it’s good for supporting our developing immune system.
Always get an idea from a veterinarian which all human foods suits and what doesn’t work. As mentioned before, some of us are even tracked by obesity, so in order to prevent us from such disease, please keep an eye on our calorie consumption. Availability of fresh and clean water is a must for our better livelihood and to keep diseases at bay.
You can feed me with some snacks or treats, as an allowance. They are not essential for my physical health, but they play a major role in my mental wellbeing. You can encourage me, by giving snacks when I do something better.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
As I’m a playful and less serious dog breed, my training sessions might frustrate you as I get easily distracted and bored. I basically like to have my exercise routine myself, but letting me out by my own is never good for me. Treats are an effective method of getting me on track with the process of training.
Never be aggressive towards me at the time of training because it’s never going to be of any worth and you will end up disappointed. You have to hold a high degree of patience and should provide enough love and care at the time of training sessions. This can only be worked for building up obedience in me. As in many other breeds from my younger age, socializing for me is vital. This helps to make me a well obedient breed.
I don’t require long hours of exercise to keep me active and strong, even though I’m a playful breed. But you have to spend at least 15 minutes on my daily exercise session. Even two walks with my owner or his family through the nearby footpaths or around the home is an effective mode of exercise. It will help me a lot to improve my cardiovascular system and to stimulate my blood circulation. Always use a bit lengthier leash so that I can stretch and run and walk freely and actively.
I enjoy playing fetch with humans and love to chase my toy or anything that you throw far in the form of exercise. Training me regarding canine sports such as agility and obedience is way too important. And after all, I love to run and walk, which needs only a little bit of your time each day. It helps a lot to keep me physically & mentally fit and eligible.
Never provide me food just before or after my exercise session. Being a family pet dog, Shih Tzu Puppies mostly love to play with my owner. Even the small games at the corners of the home are my little joys in life.
HEALTH AND ISSUES
After a period of 10-18 years, diseases seem to catch us, making us weak and they can even take our life. We face many breath related problems at higher altitudes, as we are brachycephalic, due to our small sized nose. Most commonly, restriction of our upper airways due to a collapsed trachea, stenotic nares, or an elongated palate.
This can be easily known as we may start coughing or show heavy breathing, along with our gums turning it’s colour to blue. This happens because of oxygen scarcity. In such conditions you can replace the leash with a collar, it will be more helpful.
Bulging of our eyes may occur and it is commonly known as keratitis. The inflammation of our cornea can further lead to malformation of eyelashes and progressive retinal atrophy. Other than these conditions glaucoma is also common among us. With surgical treatment, we can cure them, unless they may lead to blindness.
Brushing our teeth regularly helps us a lot to stay back from common dental issues like gum inflammation and loose teeth. Other than brushing, routine oral examination, full-mouth radiographic findings under veterinary supervision help to accurately diagnose if there is an oral problem. Otherwise, it may cause several matters like severe pain, reduce food intake, therefore lose weight and immunosuppression & weakness.
As we are toy-sized we are highly exposed to intervertebral disc diseases which occur when there is a rupture or protruding of our spine disc. This further leads to nerve problems and even loss of sensation among us. If at any time you notice any unusual or awkward behavior, seek immediate veterinary advice.
Patellar luxation is another, which appears as the dislocation of our kneecap which in turn changes from its normal position, causing restrictions for our movements and leading to lameness.
Our gestation period ranges from 60-64 days, where we should be treated with enough care, proper nutrients & supplements and the supervision of a veterinarian. Regarding the reproductive cycle of females, there are four phases as Proestrus, Estrus, Diestrus and Anestrus. During these phases, we are shown the physical, mental, and behavioral signs that are relevant to each phase.
From day 1-9, the first 9 days of the cycle is called Proestrus. At this time the females start to attract males and you can notice this phenomenon by swelling vulva and bloody discharge from the vulva.
Then the second phase which lasts the next 3-11 days, called Estrus where our females are receptive to the male. It usually lasts for about the next 9 days, but it can vary according to the mental and physical status of our females from 3 to 11 days. The fertilization occurs during this time. The vulva can be seen as enlarged, and also softens a little. The amount of blood in vulval discharges is decreased.
From the last day of Estrus, the next 2 months (approximately next 60 days) are considered as the Diestrus phase. In this phase our females are no longer receptive to males and you can observe light colour vulval discharge with less amount than the Proestrus. Vulval discharge becomes vivid red because of the less red blood cells.
From the last day of Diestrus, the next six months (approximately the next 180-200 days) are called Anestrus. This phase is a normal period for us and the female mating is further restricted. The vulva is no longer swollen or no vaginal discharge can be seen.
Once we complete a year of reproduction, it’s important to notice that more frequent breeding is not good for our health. Another thing, never buy a dog from a puppy mill where inhumane practices are carried out and puppies are born several times, creating unhealthy ones. Our litter sizes range from 2-5 puppies.
So if you are craving an adorable, joyous, family pet dog who can also be a lap warmer for you, I’m here for you.
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