What is a Shih Tzu like?
Shih Tzus are extremely trusting around strangers, and love making new friends. They’ll ecstatically leap head-first into the laps of any new friends you bring to the house. The same goes for any other dogs you introduce them to. This abundance of affection is what makes them such amazing companion dogs.
However, this very same happy-go-lucky nature can often trick new owners into thinking they are easy to train. Shih Tzus are highly intelligent dogs, and are generally smarter than most of their toy dog counterparts. They are able to process and digest new information much faster. As a result, they know how to use their unique charms to get their ways around owners. A great deal of patience is required before a Shih Tzu is truly housebroken.
Testimonials: Shih Tzu
Great knowledge and service attitude
Buyer info: Yi Sheng
Dog info: Ziggy, Shih Tzu
Recommended by neighbour
Buyer info: Qi An
Dog info: Jasper, Shih Tzu
Lived up to reputation
Buyer info: Nick Tan
Dog info: Kelly, Shih Tzu
Coexisting with a Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu are strong, compact dogs who are longer than they are tall. They have dark eyes and short muzzles that’ are magnificently framed by the long hairs of their coat. Shih Tzus also have heavily-plumed tails that are curved at the back. They walk with an easy flowing gait.
Their most notable feature is the long, luxurious flowing coats that they wear. Shih Tzus are typically long-haired, which gives them the appearance of an overflowing tress. They look extremely graceful when they walk, and it is of no wonder they are so frequently paraded at competitions and talent shows.
I’ll do best in a home with children aged 12 and up.
I’ll do best in a house with no cats.
Basic profile of a Shih Tzu
01. Exercise Requirements
Whilst Shih Tzu might not be the most active of dogs, they still require their daily doses of exercise. For puppies between the age of 6 months to 1 years old, 20 minutes of daily walk should suffice. As they transition into full-fledged adults, pet owners can start increasing their exercise frequency. These adult Shih Tzus should be taken out for at least two walks a day, each lasting 20-30 minutes.
However, Shih Tzu are prone to overheating, so avoid taking them outdoors in the afternoon. Instead, choose periods with less direct sunlight, such as the early morning or the late evenings, to take them for walks.
03. Potential Health Issues
Much like most other dog breeds with flat faces, Shih Tzu are prone to certain medical conditions. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS) is common within the breed, where problems with the larynx or trachea would cause breathing difficulties. This condition is inborn, and usually does not manifest itself until the dog is between one to six years of age.
Regular health check ups should be absolutely mandatory for Shih Tzus. Pet Adopters should be prepared to take these dogs to the veterinarian at least once a year. This allows for early diagnosis and treatment of any potential problems.
02. Obedience Training Style
Training a Shih Tzu might not be the easiest nor the most straightforward experience. Yet, it is often a highly-rewarding one. Different from other breeds that are difficult to train, Shih Tzus are in fact rather eager to please. Instead it is another trait of theirs, their great affinity with people, that makes them difficult to control. Shih Tzus are incredibly charming, and often have the last say, where they convince their owners into letting them do what they want.
Some patience is required when working with this breed. Positive reinforcement trainings with food treats often work wonders too.
04. Nutritional Requirements
Just like with any other dogs, the best diet is one that is personally customised for the Shih Tzu by you local veterinarian. As a general guideline, however, the Shih Tzu should be fed between 300-600 calories per day. They require at least 25% of protein in their meals, and very much prefer to get them from fish or meat.
Since they are such small dogs, and are not especially active, they do not have high calories requirement. It is important to watch over their diet, and be sure that they are not overeating. Also, refrain from feeding them any artificially processed food.