Shih Tzu Dog History, Traits, Health Care and Training
Shih Tzu dog is a small dog breed that has its origin in China. This breed is also known as Chrysanthemum Dog and weighs just 4-8 kilos when fully grown. It is believed that this breed must have originated in the Tibet and developed in China. This is a beautiful dog with a short muzzle and big dark eyes.
The name Shih Tzu dog has the meaning little lion in English. Unlike its name, this breed is a happy, affectionate and lovable dog. They are bred to use as companion dogs and they follow his family everywhere. In recent times these dogs are into various dog sports, agility competitions, rally and obedience training.
Vital Statistics of Shih Tzu Dog
Other names: Chinese Lion Dog and Chrysanthemum Dog
Male Weight: 4–7.25 kilograms (8.8–16.0 lb)
Female Weight: 4–7.25 kilograms (8.8–16.0 lb)
Male Height: 20–28 centimetres (7.9–11.0 in)
Female Height: 20–28 centimetres (7.9–11.0 in)
Colour: Gold, White, Dark/Light Brown, White, Black and Grey
Litter size: 1–8 puppies
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Detailed Overview of Shih Tzu Dog
Shih Tzu is a majestic small dog with a distinctive face and long locks that can melt anyone’s heart instantly. This breed has a classy background as royal Chinese families used Shih Tzu as pets during the Ming dynasty. These dogs are very beautiful, lively, friendly and devoted companions.
They are the most appealing dog breeds in the world and are hard to resist from making it as the pet. As this dog is bred to be a friend to humans these do not guard, hunt or herd. They love a lot to meet and play with his family, friends, and guests.
This breed has a friendly personality and temperament that is affectionate and loyal. Though they are stubborn at times, this dog is very active and is excellent watchdogs if dog care is provided.
One can take Shih Tzu wherever they go as it is very small and easy to carry. This small dog breed suits well for apartment and condo lifestyle. They love to play and get along with everyone.
Owners must supervise Shih Tzu when he is playing with children as they may accidentally get hurt. The dog is named as Chrysanthemum as the hair on his face grows on all directions. His face literally looks like a beautiful flower with its nose at the centre.
Highlights of Shih Tzu Dog
- Small dog breed like Shih Tzu is very stubborn when it comes to training. So it is better to train them at their younger age to avoid the difficulty of training them.
- Many unscrupulous breeders try to sell Shih Tzu with different names like teacup or imperial Shih Tzu. In fact, there are no such breeds and are just some marketing terms used to indicate large and small Shih Tzu.
- Shih Tzu’s are hard to housetrain. One has to be consistent with dog care and training methods and should not allow him to roam the house until he is trained fully. Owners say crate training has given them good results.
- Due to their flat nose, they are more prone to heat stroke and are very sensitive to hot weather. The reason is that the air that is inhaled isn’t cooled before going into the lungs. Whereas dog with long noses doesn’t have this problem as the air gets cooled when it passes through their big nostrils. So make sure that it always stay indoors and live in air-conditioned rooms.
- Owners should brush and comb Shih Tzu’s hair regularly as they may get tangled easily.
- Care must be taken as these dogs are more prone to dental problems. Also, they snore and wheeze a lot.
- Like other dog breeds, Shih Tzu is more prone to eating their own or other dog’s faeces. So owners must control this habit and should always keep them away from faeces. Clean up your pet’s poop right away to avoid this problem.
Shih Tzu Dog Health Care:
- To get a healthy pet home, never try to buy a Shih Tzu from a backyard breeder, pet store or from a puppy mill. Find a trusted and reputed breeder who takes a lot of dog care and precautions to breed dogs. This is an important step to get a dog with a good temperament and avoid dogs that have genetic health problems.
- Get clearances from the health conditions like Canine hip dysplasia, Allergies, Patellar luxation, Bladder stones and bladder infections, Juvenile renal dysplasia (JRD), Ear infections, Eye problems, Retained baby teeth and tooth and gum problems, Umbilical hernia, Snuffles, A portosystemic liver shunt and Reverse sneezing etc. Make sure that you should not compromise for any of the above health problems.
- This dog should not be kennelled outside or tied at your backyard. These are meant to stay close with people. It doesn’t matter which place you live in as long as you stay with him.
- As this is a small dog breed, small walks and little physical activity is perfectly fine. Make sure you play some dog sports in your backyard regularly.
- Most owners say that Shih Tzu loves to jump a lot. They usually jump from your bed or chair which can end in injuries. To prevent your pet from doing it and proper training should be given to control their urge to jump.
- Provide a litter box for your dog as it may get difficult to take him out in hot or cold weathers. Also, it helps you to avoid rushing out whenever they want to poop.
Shih Tzu Dog Training
These small dog breeds are generally good students as they are very wilful to learn and intelligent. It can be easily trained with consistent, repetitive and patient training.
They can learn all basic obedience commands like come, stay, stand and sit down very easily. They get easily distracted and are stubborn at times, but if trained patiently they very soon learn all commands provided you never use harsh or rough training methods.
They respond very well to positive and non-violent training methods and participate in training sessions with so much enthusiasm. Make sure you include lots of fun, encouragement, praise, and rewards for their best response.