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Shih Tzu Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Shih Tzu? We asked the experts!
 

NorthStar Shih Tzu Rescue says:

Shih Tzu exude happiness and joy, giving you a smile no matter what! There is just something about these dogs that captures your heart forever.

They do need grooming every 5-6 weeks, but most love to be brushed, which is calming both for you and the dog.

Shih Tzu Rescue of Central WI says:

One important thing to know is just because they are small does not mean they want to be carried around, some Shih-Tzu will tolerate it but some will snap when strangers try to pick them up.

Shih Tzu love to be around their people at home or on the go, they are very affectionate and loyal.

Shih Tzu can be stubborn and housebreaking may be more difficult than with other breeds, a regular schedule is very important for success.

More about Shih Tzu:

The Shih Tzu is a small dog with large round eyes, pendant or drop ears, and a high-set tail carried over the back. They have straight hair that will grow quite long if left unattended.

It is a myth that dogs like the Shih Tzu, who have ‘hair’ rather than fur, do not shed. The truth is that shedding is simply less obvious in these dogs. The hair that is shed is more likely to be trapped in the dog’s coat than it is to drop onto the floor or furniture. Therefore it is less likely to be noticed. For this reason it is essential to brush your Shih Tzu several times weekly to prevent their fur from becoming tangled or matted. Shih Tzu also need to have their coats clipped regularly as the hair will grow quite long. The shorter you keep your Shih Tzu’s coat, the less work it will be to brush it.

Many Shih Tzu love being lap dogs, but they can also be quite spunky and they truly enjoy playtime. Your Shih Tzu or Shih Tzu mix can be kept fit with daily walks, but they also tend to really enjoy interactive games with their people. Given their diminutive size this can be accomplished with simple indoor games or gentle romps in a fenced yard.

Like many breeds with pendant ears, Shih Tzu are prone to ear infections. It is essential to keep their ears clean and dry.

Those who share their homes with Shih Tzu and Shih Tzu mixes often describe them as great family pets who fit almost any living situation. They are charming and lovable, entertaining, and sometimes a bit stubborn! They can thrive in an apartment or condo as well as in a rural setting. These are indoor pets and cannot be expected to survive or thrive living outdoors.

More about the Shih Tzu

Thinking about adopting a Shih Tzu puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Shih Tzu puppy (or, gasp! find a Shih Tzu puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Shih Tzu puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Shih Tzu (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Shih Tzu puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Shih Tzu rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Shih Tzu

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Shih Tzu adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Shih Tzus for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Shih Tzus and Shih Tzu puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Shih Tzu puppy.  Shih Tzu puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Shih Tzu, even a Shih Tzu puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Shih Tzu puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Shih Tzu if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Shih Tzu would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Shih Tzu rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Shih Tzu you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Shih Tzu to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Green Lake Animal Hospital
Seattle, WA

Northwest Airedale Terrier Rescue
Seattle, WA

Saving Great Animals
Seattle, WA

Seattle Animal Shelter
Seattle, WA

Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League
Seattle, WA

Washington German Shepherd Rescue
Seattle, WA

Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption
Seattle, WA

Spots of Seattle Dalmatian Rescue
Seattle, WA

New Rattitude - Washington
Seattle, WA

Down Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue - Seattle Chapter
Seattle, WA

Cute Odyssey inc Seattle
Seattle, WA

Emerald City Pet Rescue~ Seattle
Seattle, WA

Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue
Seattle, WA

Lady's Hope Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Shilshole Bay Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

6dogrees Rescue
Seattle, WA

Fox Terrier Fanciers of Puget Sound Rescue
Seattle, WA

Little Blessings Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

NBRAN Washington
Seattle, WA

Pet Pros Seattle WA
Seattle, WA

Angel Paws Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Healthy Paws Foundation
Belluvue, WA

Red Waggin' Rescue - Connell Chapter
Seattle, WA

Washington Rescue Dogs
Seattle, WA

Pit Bull Project
Seattle, WA

Charlie's Guardian Angels
Seattle, WA

Finally Home Humane Society
Shoreline, WA

Ginger's Death Row Dog Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Mikey's Chance - West-Side
Seattle, WA

AnimalDefense Rescue
Bellevue, WA

Red Waggin' Rescue - Kirkland Chapter
Kirkland, WA

Saint Bernard Rescue
Seattle, WA

Seattle Humane Society
Bellevue, WA

Ferry Dog Mothers
Bainbridge Island, WA

The Furrytale Farm
Bainbridge Island, WA

Pacific Crest Keeshond Club Rescue
Seattle, WA

All Paws On Deck
kenmore, WA

Little Dudes Ferret Ranch
Renton, WA

Animal Aware Northwest
Redmond, WA

Animal Aid & Rescue Foundation
Seahurst, WA

Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Lil' Waif Puppy Rescue
Bothell, WA

Forever Home Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

CARES
BURIEN, WA

Tiny Tails Toy Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
Bothell, WA

Collar of Hope
Kitsap County, WA

Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue - Puget Sound, WA
Bremerton, WA

Puget Sound Italian Greyhound Rescue IGCA
NE Bremerton, WA

Northwest International Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

Basset Rescue of Puget Sound
Woodinville, WA

Greyhound Pets, Inc.
Woodinville, WA

Homeward Pet Adoption Center
Woodinville, WA

Animal Rescue Families
Bremerton, WA

People United for Pets (PUP)
Issaquah, WA

Ribsey's Refugees
Issaquah, WA

Animals In Need
Kingston, WA

Project Buddy Rescue
Kingston, WA

Rescue Every Dog
Seattle c/o Kingston 98346/ Washington State, WA

Irish Setter Club of Seattle Rescue
Port Orchard, WA

Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Vashon, WA

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
Redmond, WA

Boxer Rescue
All of Western Washington, WA

Tiny Dog Rescue
Poulsob, WA

Rescue Pup
Mill Creek, WA

King County Animal Control
Kent, WA

CJ's Dog Rescue
Snohomish, WA

Vizsla Rescue & Referral - Washington
All Cities, WA

Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE)
Silverdale, WA

Kitsap Humane Society
Silverdale, WA

The Big Dog Project
Silverdale, WA

Love A Mutt Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

P.A.W.S. Progressive Animal Welfare Society
Lynnwood, WA

National English Shepherd Rescue
Olalla, WA

BMDCGS Rescue Program
Kent, WA

Bulldog Haven NW
Everett, WA

Top Dogs Rescue
Burley, WA

Left Behind K-9 Rescue
Covington, WA

Rockey's Rescue
Covington, WA

Second Chance Ranch
Maple Valley, WA

American Maltese Association Rescue
Gig Harbor, WA

Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
Bremerton, WA

PVCA Seattle Washington
Gig Harbor, WA

Petsavers
Bremerton, WA

Prison Pet Partnership
Gig Harbor, WA

S.A.F.E. (saving animals from euthanasia)
Everett, WA

Chihuahua Rescue and Referral
Seattle, WA

Heart To Heart small dog rescue - Auburn Chapter
Auburn, WA

K9 Rescue & Rehab
Auburn, WA

Ratbone Rescues (WA Chapter)
Seattle, WA

Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN)
Federal Way, WA

Wolf Pack Animal Rescue
Tacoma, WA

MuttShack Animal Rescue & Response
Monroe, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Reg. 10
Gig Harbor, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
Gig Harbor, WA

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