BREED PROFILE: Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu’s are an adorable toy breed which is a popular companion and house pet. Known as the ‘Little Lion Dog’ the breed is said to have originated from Tibet (although this is not set in stone) and has a rich history going back over 1000 years. The small breed was also developed as a companion dog in Chinese palaces including the prestigious, Chinese Imperial Palace.
They are a sturdy breed that is known for their lively character and alert nature. The breed is bold and energetic and will tend to stand their ground when needed; truly proving that size is no matter for this brave and proud ‘Little Lion’.
Shih Tzu’s were bred for one purpose; to be a faithful companion to those who adored them. Needless to say the Shih Tzu is most certainly a people-dog and is very affectionate and loyal towards the humans they love. Because of this it is important to carefully consider the training methods used on this breed. This dog breed respond to positive training with rewards and praise rather than punishment.
Being a people-loving breed, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They thrive on attention from children and adults alike, and do well in homely and loving environments. If they do not have adequate attention from their loving humans, bad habits, may surface. So before choosing this breed it is important to understand their need for companionship and love.
The breed has a luxurious long coat that will need to be groomed daily to ensure good health. Many owners opt to have their dogs clipped every six to eight weeks, due to the high-maintenance needs of their long beautiful coats that tend to tangle easily.
Due to their coats and short faces, they also do not tolerate heat and care must be taken to ensure they are kept cool during the hot summer days. Plenty of water and a cool place to relax.
Exercise it not a big thing with this breed but they will benefit from a nice walk on a cool day. The breed will get most of their exercise following you around the house! A good diet is imperative. Shih Tzu’s should be kept at their ideal weight.
The Shih Tzu is usually a very healthy compact little dog with few problems. However, due to the breeds’ popularity it is important to ensure you purchasing a pup from a reputable breeder. For more information on this breed visit your local breed affiliated club who can also give you a list of breeders.