Shih Tzus are adorable fluffy dogs with soulful eyes and tons of personality.
The origins of this breed are mysterious and lead to Tibet or China.
They are considered one of the oldest dog breeds in the world with evidence being revealed when dog bones were found in China that date back to 8,000 B.C.
A popular story is that Tibetan Monks developed the breed to specifically be given to Royalty in China as a gift.
Growth and Development
This medium-size dog breed can grow to 10 inches tall and weigh up to 16 pounds.
This sweet adorable companion dog has a lifespan of 10 to 16 years.
They generally start out as adorable puppies and gradually grow into adulthood without any development issues.
As mentioned before, these cuties have tons of personality and were bred to be companion dogs.
The best personality traits Shih Tzus possess are affection, friendliness, happiness, and playfulness.
They have a keen ability to comfort and elevate moods in their owners with their kindness and playful attitude.
Overall Shih Tzus are generally healthy.
However, depending on ancestry and breeding this dog breed can be prone to a few ailments such as allergies, eye issues, ear infections, and reverse sneezing.
Your Shih Tzu might never experience these ailments, but if he does they are easily treatable and don’t cause any long-term harm or health issues.
Since Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, pet parents don’t have much stress taking care of these playful dogs.
Generally, you need to provide a healthy diet which includes about 1 cup of dry dog food.
As a pet parent, you want to provide a healthy diet for your dog that is filled with essential nutrients and vitamins.
Your dog will love you even more if his food tastes good too.
You can find high-quality dog food here.
Try to choose organic healthy food for your dog.
You can mix dry dog food with a small amount of wet dog food for added flavor if your dog is a picky eater.
Some pet parents choose to feed their dogs raw diets.
This includes fresh raw meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Discuss the proper amount of raw food to give your dog on a daily basis that will help maintain a healthy status.
Remember as your dog grows, he will need changes to his diet as he adjusts to each new stage in his life.
A licensed veterinarian will be able to determine the proper nutritional guidelines for each stage of life.
Water is essential for your dog to maintain good health.
Providing your dog with plenty of fresh water will keep his overall health in good condition and lessen the risk for kidney issues and other ailments caused by constant dehydration.
Your fluffy little Shih Tzu has plenty of hair that needs to be groomed on a regular basis.
This dog breed has a beautiful long coat that can be various colors such as white and red, white and black, or white and grey.
The coloring marks are determined by the dog’s ancestry and heritage.
As a pet parent of a Shih Tzu, you will find yourself brushing your dog’s hair on a daily basis if you allow the hair to grow long.
This is required to prevent knots and tangles.
Shih Tzus are known to have a beautiful coat when it’s well cared for and shampooed regularly and has won many competitions in dog shows a recognition. For more information on hair care for Shih-Tzus click here.
If you don’t plan to show your dog, you can choose to cut the hair short to lessen the number of brushing sessions needed per week.
Keeping your dog groomed on a regular basis is helpful for pet parents who have a busy schedule and don’t have time to groom their dog on a daily basis.
In addition to brushing and bathing your dog, you will also need to keep the nails trimmed, eyes clean, and ears healthy.
A professional groomer can provide these services for you if you don’t want to take on the responsibility.
However, many pet parents find products online, such as dog nail clippers and dog hair clippers, that allows them to successfully groom their pet at home.
If you have a strong bond with your dog and he allows you to groom him on a regular basis, you will save plenty of money.
If not, locating a reputable groomer that has reasonable prices is recommended.
Family and Kids
Pet parents that have children often wonder if Shih Tzu is a good fit for their family.
It’s essential to have a dog that gets along well with children of any age. Shih Tzu’s are companion dogs that love to be around people, especially family and children.
This breed is playful fun and enjoys cuddling peacefully next to their owner.
If you have children, a Shih Tzu will become a playmate for your children.
The perfect little playmate that will become best friends with your children is an excellent way to describe the relationship.
Shih Tzu’s are playful so they get plenty of exercises indoors.
They are companion dogs so the requirement for exercise isn’t demanding compared to larger dog breeds.
A short brisk walk a few times a day with the correct harness will provide plenty of exercises that will keep a Shih Tzu healthy and happy.
This is beneficial for pet parents who don’t have the time or a lot of mobility to walk their dog for long periods of time.
They normally get a lot of exercise through playing, walking, and running around the house.
Shih Tzu’s are incredibly friendly dogs.
They got along well with kids, adults, other dogs, and strangers easily and comfortably.
However, socialization from a young age is recommended.
Some dog owners keep their dogs indoors and isolated from the outside world except for a trip to the veterinarian office on occasion.
Not exposing this breed to different social settings can deter them from developing an overall comfort level with a variety of different social situations.
An excellent way to socialize this dog breed is to bring him along on outings, trips, running errands, outdoor restaurants, and other events where dogs are welcome.
Visiting the dog park one a week is also helpful. It allows the dog to socialize with other dogs, communicate on a canine level, and learn to successfully play with other dogs.
Allowing others, including acquaintances, to hold and pet your dog will help him get used to people being in close range.
This will prevent social issues or fear of others in the future.
Socializing your pet with people with a variety of ages, including children, teens, adults, and senior citizens will help you raise a socialized dog that feels comfortable and happy in a variety of situations.
Shih Tzu’s are beautiful sweet dogs that make the ultimate canine companion.
They enjoy being close to their owners at all times and bring comfort, love, laughter, and joy to pet parents and families.
If you are looking for a dog that is good with children, easy to care for, requires grooming sessions, and is loyal, a Shih Tzu is the dog breed for you!