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Kate and Goldie (Bonded girls)
Shih Tzu Terrier (Unknown Type, Small)
Kate and Goldie (Bonded girls)
Shih Tzu Terrier (Unknown Type, Small)
Learn about about Shih Tzu basics like where Shih Tzu come from, how many different types of Shih Tzu you can find, and what other breeds mix with Shih Tzu.
“Shih Tzu” means “lion dog” in Chinese. This breed earned the moniker due to its lion-like appearance and regal demeanor, resembling the traditional Chinese lion.
Shih Tzus typically live between 10 to 18 years. Proper care, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups can significantly influence their longevity. Individual factors such as genetics, health care, and overall well-being can also impact their lifespan.
No, there is just one type of Shih Tzu. Slight differences may exist based on the dog’s lineage or intended purpose, but there is one recognized breed standard for Shih Tzus. There are variations of Shih Tzu in size, coat texture, and appearance nuances rather than distinct types.
Shih Tzus were bred to be companions and lap dogs for royalty. They were highly revered in Chinese and Tibetan cultures and served as loyal companions to the emperors and nobility. These pups have been known as companion animals and trusted household pets for centuries.
Shih Tzu is a small yet sturdy toy breed dog known for its luxurious double coat, a distinct underbite, and a friendly, affectionate temperament. Their flowing coat, pleasant personality, and endearing expression have made the Shih Tzu a beloved household pet and a popular breed in the toy group.
Shih Tzus usually stop growing around 10 to 12 months old. While they may physically stop growing by their first year, their behavioral and mental development may continue for a little longer. Maintaining a healthy diet, proper exercise, and consistent care during this growth phase is essential for them to become healthy adults.
Yes, Shih Tzus are considered hypoallergenic due to their low shedding. However, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic as allergens are not solely from shedding. People with allergies may have fewer reactions to Shih Tzus, but it varies from person to person. Regular grooming and cleaning can help minimize the spread of allergens and minimize potential allergic reactions.
Shih Tzus are commonly mixed with a Poodle (Shih-Poo), Bichon Frisé (Shichon), Maltese (Mal-Shi), and Yorkshire Terrier (Shorkie), among others. These combinations result in unique appearances, temperaments, and characteristics inherited from both parent breeds.
The Shih Tzu originates from China, dating back thousands of years. Bred as a companion dog and a symbol of royalty, they were favored by Chinese royalty during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Revered for their graceful appearance and charming nature, Shih Tzus were treasured as lap dogs in the imperial palace and revered for their graceful appearance and charming nature.
Learn about about the Shih Tzu general appearance like their size, colors, and grooming needs.
Shih Tzus come in gold, brindle, liver, black, red, and blue. They also come in various combinations like black and white, liver and white, or blue and white, and even tri-colored combinations. These dogs may exhibit different shades, and their coats may change over time, especially during their first few years.
The rarest color of Shih Tzu is the lavender or lilac shade, which is a diluted silver color with a slight purple hue. However, it’s essential to note that the concept of rarity might differ based on individual opinions and the perception of the particular shades of the breed’s coat.
Shih Tzus weigh between nine to 16 pounds when they reach adulthood, with some variances based on their specific lineage and gender. Typically, male Shih Tzus tend to weigh slightly more than their female counterparts, and individual dogs can fall outside this average weight range.
No, Shih Tzus are not considered a low-maintenance dog, but they’re not extremely high-maintenance, either. Shih Tzus generally require moderate maintenance due to their long coats, which need regular grooming and brushing to avoid tangles and matting. While they may need a fair amount of care in terms of grooming, they adapt well to apartment living, making them easy to manage in other aspects.
Shih Tzus have hair that grows continuously, similar to human hair, rather than fur that sheds. Their double coat consists of a soft, luxurious undercoat and a longer, silky topcoat. The absence of an undercoat reduces shedding, but their hair requires regular grooming to prevent matting and maintain its health and appearance.
Yes, Shih Tzus shed, although their shedding is relatively low compared to many other dog breeds. Their hair grows continually rather than entering specific shedding seasons. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional trimming, can help manage the shedding and maintain their coat’s health and appearance.
Shih Tzus are small dogs with a distinct appearance, characterized by a dense, luxurious double coat that hangs straight down. They have a short, broad muzzle with large, dark, round eyes giving them a sweet, warm expression. Their ears are covered with hair and hang down close to their cheeks. The breed is known for its elegant and distinctive gait, and their tail curls over the back, covered in a profuse plume of fur. They typically have a sturdy, compact body, a short neck, and a small head relative to their body size.
Learn about about the Shih Tzu temperament and how well they fit into your lifestyle, home environment, and family.
Yes, Shih Tzus are known to bark a lot. They often use barking as a means to communicate or as a response to different stimuli in their environment. However, with proper training and socialization, this trait can be managed and minimized. Early obedience training and positive reinforcement techniques can help in curbing excessive barking tendencies in Shih Tzus.
Yes, a Shih Tzu can be a service dog. Their small size might limit their suitability for some specific service roles, but Shih Tzus can excel in medical alert and emotional support roles due to their affectionate nature. Ultimately, whether a Shih Tzu can be a service dog depends on the specific needs and requirements of the individual seeking assistance.
No, Shih Tzus are not known to be easy to train. They are known for their independent nature, which can make training a bit challenging. While they are intelligent, their independent streak sometimes causes them to be less eager to please, making training more time-consuming. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods are crucial for training Shih Tzus.
Yes, Shih Tzus are smart. They are known for their intelligence, although they might not be top-tier performers in obedience or training when compared to some other breeds. However, their intelligence is evident in their ability to understand and respond to their pet parent’s emotions and needs, demonstrating a strong ability for empathy.
Yes, Shih Tzus can be good with cats when introduced and socialized properly. Their friendly temperament makes it possible for them to live peacefully with other pets, but the success of their relationship depends on gradual introductions and fostering positive interactions. Supervision is recommended during their initial interactions to ensure a safe and friendly relationship between a Shih Tzu and a cat.
Yes, Shih Tzus are good with kids when raised and socialized in a family environment. They have a friendly and affectionate nature and enjoy the company of children. With proper guidance and training, Shih Tzus can form wonderful and loving relationships with kids.
As with any breed, it is recommended that your child is always supervised when interacting with your Shih Tzu to keep both the child and dog safe.
Yes, Shih Tzus make excellent house dogs due to their small size, adaptability to indoor living, and affectionate nature. They are well-suited for apartment or house living and require moderate exercise, mainly indoor play or short walks. Known for their loyal and loving disposition, Shih Tzus thrive in close contact with their human families and enjoy indoor companionship. However, their grooming needs and potential for separation anxiety are aspects that should be considered when welcoming a Shih Tzu into a household.
Yes, Shih Tzus can be taught to swim with patient training and a gradual introduction to water. However, Shih Tzus typically aren't natural swimmers due to their small size and short legs, making it difficult for them to stay afloat. Their physique requires supervision around water to ensure their safety.
Learn about about the Shih Tzu health outlook and what diseases they may be prone to at various stages of their life.
Shih Tzus might shake a natural response to cold temperatures, excitement, fear, anxiety, or even happiness. Sometimes, shaking could indicate pain or health issues, so it’s essential to observe and seek veterinary advice if the shaking becomes frequent or out of the ordinary. If the shaking is continuous or associated with other symptoms like weakness, appetite loss, or unusual behavior, it’s crucial to consult a vet to rule out any underlying health concerns.
Shih Tzus should be groomed daily to prevent tangles and mats. Daily brushing and regular bathing, around once every three weeks, helps keep their coat clean and in good condition. Additionally, their facial hair needs routine cleaning to prevent irritation or eye problems, and professional grooming every four to six weeks can maintain their coat’s health and appearance. Regular nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning are also necessary for their overall health.
Yes, Shih Tzus have health problems despite being a fairly healthy breed. Shih Tzus can be prone to certain health issues, including:
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): This condition leads to bulging or rupture in the discs between vertebrae, causing pain, nerve damage, and potential paralysis. While mild cases might improve with rest and medication, severe cases may require surgery or a wheelchair cart. Signs of trouble walking, refusal to jump, incontinence, loss of appetite, or anxiety should prompt an immediate vet visit.
Eye problems: Shih Tzus are prone to severe eye injuries due to their eyes not sensing contact with objects and their bulging size. Conditions include corneal ulcers, dry eye, keratitis, proptosis, distichiasis, ectopia cilia, and progressive retinal atrophy, which may lead to blindness.
Hip and elbow dysplasia: These skeletal issues involve abnormal hip or elbow joint growth, causing pain, lameness, and secondary osteoarthritis. Surgery can correct joint abnormalities if diagnosed early. Vet check-ups are essential, especially if adopting a Shih Tzu, to assess any predisposition to these issues and manage their activity level.
Portosystemic Liver Shunt (PSS): This is a hereditary problem causing blood flow obstruction to the liver. Without proper detoxification, toxins circulate to vital body parts, leading to severe symptoms such as behavioral changes, stunted growth, and even life-threatening issues if left untreated. Antibiotics, diet changes, and ultimately surgery are the potential treatment options.
Others: Shih Tzus can face additional health problems including hypothyroidism, gum issues, bladder stones, labored breathing, epilepsy, patellar luxation, allergies, and ear infections. Veterinary examinations including thyroid, blood, and eye tests are vital for early detection and management.
Learn about about acquiring a Shih Tzu – the pros and cons of adopting versus going through a breeder, and associated costs.