The Shih Tzu is a small breed, longer than it is tall, with a sturdy appearance, very distinctively coated with abundant hair and a vaguely lion-like face. The Shih Tzu is one of the Oriental dog breeds characterized by a broad, round head, beard and whiskers. Hair grows upwards on the nose and gives a distinct chrysanthemum-like upshot. It has a short, square muzzle which is flat and hairy, a black, level or tip-tilted nose with wide open nostrils, large, round eyes that are dark in colour and set wide apart, and large, heavily coated sagging ears which blends perfectly into the hair on the neck. It has a broad and deep chest with a level back, efficiently supported by short but straight and muscular front legs and similarly short but muscular back legs. The legs are cushioned to the ground by rounded, firm and well-padded feet with abundant hair. The tail is palm-like; heavily plumed which is carried well above its torso. The Shi Tzu has a silky double coat is long and dense with abundant undercoat that comes in all colours.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Shih Tzu is a small breed that originated in China. The name “Shih Tzu” is according to the Wade-Giles system of romanization. The breed is thought to be the oldest and smallest of the holy dogs that originated in Tibet, revered for its lion-like appearance which is associated with the “Gangs Senge,” the Tibetan Snowlion (a celestial animal of Tibet that symbolizes fearlessness, unconditional cheerfulness, east and the earth element.) It was bred as a companion dog to the Chinese Emperor that possesses a great charm and barks when people or animals approached. The Shih Tzu is believed to be a cross between the “Bei-jing gou” (Pekingese) and the Lhasa Apso (a Tibetan breed.) The breed is also sometimes called the Tibetan Lion Dog or the Chrysanthemum Dog mainly because of its appearance that resembles the flower. The Shih Tzu is also one of the oldest breed as recently identified through advances in DNA analysis (Science, Volume 304, May 21, 2004.) It was a highly esteemed breed in China and favored by Empress Dowanger Cixi, often distinguished by a topknot. Many Shih Tzu were bred and raised during the Ming Dynasty but were destroyed when the British invaded China, but some found their way to England. The breed was initially shown in Chinese dog shows as the Lhassa terrier or Tibetan poodle and became known as the Lhassa Lion Dog in 1935. In the West, it became known as the Shih Tzu.
Like the Tibetan description of the Snowlion, the Shih Tzu is similarly a cheerful breed. It is a gentle lap dog and a very energetic companion. The breed is royally dignified; it expects to be treated as royalty and can sometimes be arrogant. It has a stubborn streak but will typically respond well to patient and consistent guidance. One of its original function is to be an alert watchdog for the Emperor of China, hence, the Shih Tzu is usually quiet when indoors but has a tendency to bark a lot when outdoors. It can be snappish if surprised.
The Shih Tzu is a stubborn breed that needs consistent and patient training from a gentle handler. Socialization at an early age with other household pets is recommended as well as early training not to bark excessively.
The Shih Tzu has a very broad grooming requirement, it has a very luxurious coat requires a good daily grooming using a firm bristle brush to prevent tangles and remove loose or dead hair that gets trap in the coat. A topknot should be tied with a bow to enable the dog to see properly. The round eyes are very sensitive and must always be kept clean and free of obstructions. It sheds little hair and makes a good pet for those suffering from allergies.
The Shih Tzu is a hardy breed with an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. It is considered to be a brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dog which makes it very sensitive to high temperatures. There are few minor medical issues surrounding the health of the Shih Tzu including:
von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) – a bleeding problem
The Shih Tzu will do best on a diet with a mix of poultry, pork, barley, rice, soy and wheat.
It has a moderate exercise requirement where short walks on leash or a session of play in an open but secured area will be enough to meet its daily exercise needs. It is suitable for an apartment life and must be provided with proper physical and mental activities. It loves playing outdoors but doesn’t do well in humid weather condition and must be kept indoors.
The Shih Tzu has a playful attitude and gets along well with older children. This lively little breed is generally good with other household pets.