Far-like fluffiness and companion-like behavior is the center of attention when we talk about Shih Tzus, an awesome breed to play on your lap. But these are not the only traits we need to talk about Shih Tzus, there are a lot more to discover.
So, this will be an in-depth lookout to learn about a bit of history of this breed, a lot of facts and personality traits of the breed, and the probable care it’s gonna need. Whether you are a proud owner of a Shih Tzu or going to have one, treat reading this article as an investment for the betterment of your cute little pooch.
Shih Tzu Overview
Shih Tzus are perfect companion dogs. They were bred to be the playing partner of people of all ages and classes, from child to adult, from a street worker to a king. With a pretty flat face and nose, Shih Tzus become the most playful and cheerful housedog you can ever have.
They have a high preference for affection and socialization which makes them adjust with kids or other dogs much easier. This trait often can go out of the boundary so the owner might need a strong hand to harness it.
Talking about Shih Tzus physical dimensions, they stand 9 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder which makes them the perfect dog to be on your lap or fit inside the small house you live in. Unlike other larger dog breeds, Shih Tzus don’t require a lot of space for living or playing.
Shih Tzus are highly playful and can keep them busy all day long even with a single toy. Another favorite toy of them is the cheer of their own person. Shih Tzus smell your sadness and will always be there to elevate your mood with their activities to make them the best companion dog.
An adult Shih Tzu can weigh between 9 to 16 pounds depending on the size, coat, and other aspects. Shih Tzus are a healthy breed and live from 10 to 16 years.
This is a general overview of Shih Tzus and yet there is a lot to come. We will go down deeper to extract the secret facts you never knew about Shih Tzus. Make your way along with us to discover how charming Shih Tzus can be and how much can they give in return for a little care.
History Of Shih Tzus
The origin of the Shih Tzus is covered with the unrevealed mystery that leads us to the ancient age, as before as 8000 B.C. Shih Tzus are considered to be one of the 14 oldest dog breeds and a part of the Ming Dynasty.
But the more popular myth about Shih Tzus is they were bred by Tibetan monks and presented to the Chinese royalty. A lot of studies have revealed the presence of Shih Tzus in ancient paintings and arts. Though the origin of this breed isn’t clear, the trademark face of Shih Tzus is pretty common in history.
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to bore you with the history of Shih Tzus. Let us inform you more about the personality traits of this historical dog, one of the best companion dogs human could ever have.
Shih Tzu Personality
The first thing you will notice about Shih Tzus is their perky and happy temperament that makes them the perfect companion for anyone. Shih Tzus are very affectionate and love to be the center of attention, whether you are home or in a friendly gathering.
As they are playful, they are not the right choice to be the hunter or guard dogs. Rather they like to spend time walking around you or sitting on the couch beside you staring with cute little eyes. But they aren’t inactive at all. Shih Tzus like to be active for a certain period every day and need to be exercised regularly to keep them fit and happy.
They don’t need much space for exercise like other larger and agile dog breeds. So, if you even live in an apartment or suburban home, you can easily exercise them by roaming around or taking them on a brief walk.
Besides their happy and friendly personality, they can also bark a lot but don’t fear that at all. They socialize with people much quicker than most other breeds and make good friends. This applies to all, whether it is your family member or a stranger. They just need attention all the time and quickly turn your mood on.
About Shih Tzus Health
Shih Tzus are a very healthy breed that rarely faces some serious problems that can be treated easily. This gives Shih Tzus a better lifespan than most other breeds. Let’s shortly check the diseases your Shih Tzu can suffer from.
Allergies are the most common ailment for dog breeds and they face different types of allergies. For Shih Tzus, it mostly comes down to three types which are food allergies, contact allergies, inhalant allergies.
Food allergies in different dog breeds are very common. Often Shih Tzus are seen to have allergies to a certain food item which you need to avoid immediately. Better talk with your veterinarian about a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet for your pet if you want to keep it happy and healthy.
Among other allergies, Shih Tzus might come in contact with allergens through their bedding, toys, or chemicals used for grooming. So, if you notice any inconsistency in their behavior, note it down and talk with your vet for the proper solution. Also, don’t forget to wash the bedding and toys of your Shih Tzu regularly to keep them clean and free from microbes.
Shih Tzus can also catch allergies caused by dust or pollen so make sure the place your Shih Tzu lives and roams around is neat and clean. If there is any sign of allergies, contact your vet right away to make your pet feel better and safe. They deserve to be in a fresh and healthy environment.
Shih Tzu Care
Shih Tzus are comfortable in any place provided that you give them the care and attention they need. They will need a lot less care in terms of exercise but more in terms of grooming and diet than other dog breeds. Let’s find out how far you should go to care for your Shih Tzu.
Like other short-faced breeds, Shih Tzus shouldn’t be exposed to excessive heat for a long time which can cause heat exhaustion to your favorite pet. As Shih Tzus don’t need a lot of outdoor exercises, you need to be careful when exposing your dog to direct heat.
This should also be followed when selecting the living place of Shih Tzus. It is better to have a lot of air circulation inside the room where your Shih Tzu lives. Whenever you take your dog out for a bit of exercise or playing, keep this in mind.
Shih Tzus are very friendly and active animals. But the socialization should be started from puppyhood so that they become more docile as they grow. Socialization from a young age is necessary so that your dog becomes mentally healthy to accompany your perfectly.
Shih Tzus should also be trained about other things like eating from a certain place and using dog litter so that they don’t break the charm of the house. It is pretty easy if you start from an early age as Shih Tzus learn very quickly.
All these little cares will ensure you have a well-mannered dog through its lifespan. Other pieces of training like socialization with other dogs are also necessary so that they don’t make enmity with any other dog which increases the chance of unwanted injury.
Now is the time to concentrate on the feeding of Shih Tzus.
Feeding Shih Tzus
Feeding your Shih Tzu with high-quality dry dog food is essential as it will ensure the perfect growth of your pet. But people often seem to be confused about what should be fed and what not. According to most dog owners and nutritionists, Shih Tzus intake about 1 cup of dry food every day provided that the food goes with their taste.
Some Shih Tzus might be very choosy about their food so it is a great idea to mix wet food with dry foods to increase the taste. As Shih Tzus are comparatively smaller in size than most other breeds, they need a lot less food every day.
But the amount can vary from one dog to another as every dog has its own demand for food depending on its age, muscle to body ratio, and metabolism. Daily activities also affect the diet of the Shih Tzus.
It is always better to consult your nutritionist for a balanced diet plan for your Shih Tzu. Also, remember the food items your dog has an allergy to keep him safe and sound. Another must-to-do is cleaning the food and water bowls so that your pet doesn’t get caught by harmful bacteria.
Grooming Of Shih Tzus
Grooming of Shih Tzus starts with grooming the long coat to be smooth and shiny. Shih Tzus can have a coat of different colors but make sure you brush them very well on a daily basis if you want to keep the coat long and tangle-free.
Shortening the coat of Shih Tzus will lessen the effort of grooming. It might feel a bit tougher at an early age when your pet has a fluffier coat that is more prone to shedding which stabilizes over time. Make your Shih Tzu adjust with the brushing from his puppyhood.
Then comes the bathing of Shih Tzus which is very crucial as Shih Tzus catch dirt pretty quickly due to their long coat. Give them thorough bathing once a week to keep them free from dirt and bacteria. Use good quality shampoo to wipe any dirt off your dog.
Give attention to clipping the nails of your pet regularly so that they don’t get injured accidentally or harm any member of your family, especially kids. Due to the shape of their ears, Shih Tzus can often have an ear infection so check for that as well and clean the ears regularly with a good ear cleaning solution.
It is a good idea to take your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer for his necessities but it will be better if you do the grooming on yourself. It will strengthen the bond between you and your pet for a lifetime.
As grooming your Shih Tzu isn’t that tough and all the equipment for grooming like hair and nail clippers, brushes, etc. are available online, you can take some time to care a bit more about Shih Tzus to make it feel more adorable.
With not that much strong body, Shih Tzus are prone to injuries while jumping off inside your house, like from furniture to furniture. This can also happen when someone engages the dog into a play that requires a lot of high-altitude activities.
Keep in mind that our normal height can be a high altitude for Shih Tzus as they are pretty small in size. It will be better to keep them close to the floor while playing which will decrease the chance of getting injured accidentally.
Also, the kids at home should be trained on how to play with a Shih Tzu. A simple stroke in their eyes can cause fatal consequences in this case. To keep your Shih Tzu safe and sound, make everyone in the house habituated to handle the dog with care when carrying it or traveling with it.
If anything, unwanted happens, rush to your vet to ensure proper treatment for your pet which keeps you happy all day long.
This was pretty much all about Shih Tzus. A breed that was introduced to be the companion dog in ancient times is still maintaining its ancestry even in this modern age. This little dog only needs a bit of careful grooming and a lot of attention to give you a playful companion in return.
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