Shih Tzu belongs to most unique breed. Yes, I would definitely recommend for first time owners. Owners who don’t have any experience in dog training or it’s they’re first ever dog. But few things to consider being a first time Shih Tzu owner. Will it match your lifestyle? Well, I will dissect most of the Shih Tzu traits, you be a better judge.
- Activity – They love to go for short daily walks and play indoor games. They also love to play outside.
- Socialization – Being a Shih Tzu owner is always a proud feeling. Shih Tzu never leaves you alone. Whether you are in kitchen or couch, they need to be next to you. In order make them a better Social dog, its recommended to make them meet other dogs(vaccinated and good-tempered) and a lot of friends & family. They learn appropriate behavior around people and dogs they don’t know.
- Potty Training – Shih Tzu takes longer than other dogs to toilet train. Spending that extra hour to teach them daily is worth. Being a small sized dog, their bladders are small. While it’s being a puppy, you are prone to mistakes. Be ready for spending some extra time to teach.
- Inside Dog – Shih Tzu is not kennel dogs. They love being inside the home. They require company and human contact being in the house with you. They love your couch (not because they love it, they want your company, want to be right next to you always). If you don’t like them to sit on your couch, make sure to get comfy beds and place right next to a couch or where ever you sleep. It should not be too far away at your sleep time.
- Do not leave your Shih Tzu alone for long hours(not more than 8 hours). They are companion friendly dogs. They can spend extra long hours on their toys or munching on some peanut butter. But they expect humans to be around.
- Dislikes Heat – If you are in part of the country where temperatures are soaring, better keep them air conditioned. Shih Tzu’s don’t like temperature. They like to keep cool and search for the place where the temperature is relatively low even inside the house.
- Small size – Puppies are physically more fragile, emotionally more vulnerable to teasing and other behaviors that a child may display. Therefore, if children are taught how to handle, speak to, and interact with a Shih Tzu, this breed will do just fine with youngsters of any age.Know What is Teacup Shih Tzu or Imperial Shih Tzu
- Snore – Yes, Shih Tzu does snore. They have a flat nose so they can’t help it.
- Guard dogs? No way it’s a guard dog, but it will bark for every sound at your doorstep. Whether it’s being a mailman or squirrel. It can be anyone who walks by at your walkway. It’s not guarding capability. But it’s just letting you know that there is a stranger on your property. May have a tendency to bark excessively, so socialization is very important.
- Grooming – Last but not least commitment to grooming your Shih Tzu to be kept at high priority. If you can’t maintain their long silky hair, better have a haircut. Keep the coat short else it’s more frequently their coat will matt if you give less care to grooming. Keeping coat short has a lot of advantages, it reduces grooming time, you can skip grooming at least one or two days, keeping away from a lot of infections caused due to dirty hair. If you decide to have a full coated Shih Tzu – their hair can scratch their eyes and cause blindness, due to the nose not being long enough to keep the hair out of their eyes
Know Shih Tzu’s history, temperament, health, how much a Shih Tzu eat and know their hair color in the previous post.
Certain traits that would fit your lifestyle, Shih Tzu makes a
- Excellent companion
- Needs minimal exercise
- Sweet, playful, and friendly
- Alert, curious, and busy
- Good around other pets and dogs
- Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over
However, no dog is perfect! You may have also noticed these characteristics
- An indoor dog that doesn’t do well in the heat
- May have a tendency to bark excessively
- Can be aggressive, fearful, or snappy if not socialized properly
- Can be difficult to house train
- Fragile and easily injured due to the small size
- Needs frequent attention from her family
Regardless what breed you choose, the basic principle to choose a pup is explained below
- don’t choose the “pick” of the litter, the most enthusiastic, agile, friendly pup, walking and climbing all over others to welcome you. That’s the most obvious emotional choice, however, you’ll have a super energetic, hyper dog, and your life will be a true roller coaster for the first years or all his years.
- don’t choose the dog that growls or picks on other puppies. He’s not “brave”. You’ll have a bully. You’ll need to break fights, avoid any normal dog interaction before he’s fully trained, and work hard, TOO hard to keep him social: sometimes you will be able to, sometimes you won’t, and it’s heartbreaking.
- don’t choose the puppy that is sitting in a corner with sad eyes, pushed by the rest of them. He’s most probably fearful temperament, and fear is the main reason for aggression in dogs. While he can melt your heart, it’s one of the most difficult dogs to have, ever. As a new owner, leave that up for someone with experience. Same – sometimes humans will be able to grow his confidence, sometimes they won’t be.
Where to find Shih Tzu puppies
If you want a puppy, be sure to get it from a reputable breeder who chooses the breeding pair carefully, breeds infrequently, and does all necessary health and orthopedic tests before breeding. A good breeder will always be available to answer your questions and help you establish and maintain a great relationship with your dog. A good breeder will take the dog back should you no longer be able to keep your pup. If you prefer an older dog, consider getting one from a rescue or shelter, or rehome one whose owners cannot keep it anymore. Never buy a dog from a pet store or flea market vendor.
Consider few tips to bring home a healthy Shih Tzu Puppy
- Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You’re more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to housetrain puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills. Puppy mills also advertise through Internet sites, so never deal with a breeder who’ll ship anywhere to anyone with a credit card.
- Find a responsible, careful breeder if you have your heart set on a purebred Shih Tzu puppy. Begin at the website of the American Shih Tzu Club, where you’ll find a referral list for breeders who have agreed to be bound by the club’s Code of Ethics – which, by the way, prohibits its members from selling puppies to pet stores.
- Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health and behavior problems in Shih Tzus aren’t apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. In addition, Shih Tzus can live to be quite old, so an adult dog will still be a part of your family for a long time to come.
- Puppy or adult, take your Shih Tzu to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues. Ask specifically about dental care, as most toy breeds suffer from dental problems. If your dog is still a puppy, discuss monitoring for renal dysplasia with your veterinarian.
- Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and resources.