If you’re thinking of getting a Shih Tzu for a family pet then it’s important to do your research. Shih Tzu are cute but are they good family pets?
Are Shih Tzus Good Family Pets? Shih Tzu loves human company and is a very loyal and bright and affectionate breed and ideally suited as family pets. Shih Tzus are probably the funniest, most endearing little creatures you could ever come across, they’re great companions, once you’ve had a Shih Tzu you’re spoiled for life.
Shih Tzu Images
They’re great companions, once you’ve had a Shih Tzu you’re spoiled for life. I’ve been in the breed now for eleven years, I’ve got six now. So they’re very collectible.
Its small size sweet appearance and great intelligence have made the Shih Tzu one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. The main traits of the Shih Tzu breeds are its long thick coat and its charming expression which make it easy to confuse with Alaska Apso.
Shih Tzus are also recognizable by their wide rounded head covered by shaggy hair over their eyes and muzzle that looks like a beard and thick mustache. As a fun-packed, you should know that the hair on their nose grows upwards giving their face a chrysanthemum shape.
The Shih Tzu has a wide set of large round and dark eyes with a loving expression, their ears are also large drooping and covered in thick hair. Their tail is covered by feathery fur and it curls over their back.
Shih Tzu Dogs Personality
This breed is characterized by its intelligence and sociable cheerful temperaments. Shih Tzu love being with people and they’re always ready to play and show their affection, this is why this breed is easier to socialize than others as Shih Tzus is friendly by nature.
However, it’s still important to start the socialization process at the puppy stage if you want your shit suit to get along with other dogs and animals. Shih Tzu’s are the perfect choice for people who can spend time with them since this breed doesn’t tolerate spending many hours home alone.
The Shih Tzu is a sturdy little dog boast a silky luxuriously long coat they are known to have a bit of an arrogant look about them which often makes these dogs even more endearing.
The Shih Tzu has a long dense outer coat and a moderate undercoat that should never be wooly in texture, some dogs have a slight wave in their coats which is permitted under the KC breed standard.
It is worth noting that the length of the Shih Tzu whose coats should never be that long that it interferes with the movement nor should affect a dog’s vision, either which is why it’s common practice to see Shih Tzus have a top knot.
Shih Tzu’s are energetic lively little dogs to thrive on human companionship and for decades they’ve been among the most popular family pets and companions throughout the world. and for good reason. They’re bright, alert, smart and loyal to their owners.
Where Do Shih Tzus Come From?
The Shih Tzu’s exact origins remain mysterious because the breed has been around for thousands of years, and the details of its development are lost. There are Chinese paintings dating back to around the year 500 C.E. that depict dogs believed to be Shih Tzus. There are also documents describing the dogs as gifts to China from the Byzantine Empire.
The history of the Shih Tzu shares many aspects with that of the Pecha’s knees, just like that breed the Shih Tzu was first bred in Buddhist monasteries where it was considered a sacred dog and a companion for Chinese novelty.
The Shih Tzu was originally developed in Tibet. Shortly after moved to China where it was further developed. They are one of the original palace dogs, so they are used to being around people and have a lively outgoing nature.
They were highly prized for thousands of years by Tibetan monks. From time to time these dogs were called Tibetan lion dogs and were sent as gifts to Chinese emperors where they were kept in the Imperial Palace.
The full name of this adorable dog breed is Tibetan Shih Tzu Kou which literally means Tibetan Lion Dog. It was named “lion dog” because of its resemblance to the lion.
The Shih Tzu is also often known as the “Xi Shi Quan” which was based on the name of one of the most beautiful women of ancient China – Xi Shi.
Shih Tzus and similar breeds were present in Tibetan Buddhist temples, where Tibetan monks revered the dogs as holy. More than just companion animals, these Shih Tzus worked beside the monks, acting as guard dogs or alarm dogs, and even turning prayer wheels during daily Buddhist prayer rituals.
The breed was almost completely destroyed by the Communist Party after 1949. All surviving Shih Tzu today descended from 14 dogs, one of which was a Pekingese.
What Color Does The Shih Tzu Come In?
Their coat is long with black to wavy hair, it’s very thick with a good undercoat. According to official breed standards Shih Tzu’s can be of any solid color or color combination.
They come in just about any color and color combination, with particolored Shih Tzus having a white blaze on their foreheads and white tips to their tails. Shih Tzus are high maintenance when it comes to keeping their coats looking sleek and their skin in good condition.
This lovely-looking dog comes in different colors, such as shades of gold and white, solid silver, brown, solid black, black mask gold, black and white, liver and white, brindle and white and silver and white and the rare solid blue. The American Kennel Club says all colors are acceptable.
What Environment Do Shih Tzu’s Like?
They are very much into being with people. They are not the kind of breed you’d want to put in a kennel. They love their home environment, their sofas, and their chairs. In fact, as soon as you get out of your chair they’re into it.
How Lively Are Shih Tzu’s?
Shih Tzus are lovely little dogs. They’re quite lively for the size of them with medium exercise demands. They like to go for really long exercise and really long walks. A fit Shih Tzu will need up to an hour a day.
Road walking is good because they build up muscle, but they are free spirits so they like to have some open spaces to move around in as well.
And although they’re little dogs, they do like to keep up with the bigger dogs running around in the park.
But I think the minimum a day is half an hour and again it depends on what age they are and how fit they are.
How Much Exercise Do Shih Tze Need?
How Much Exercise Do Shih Tze Need? This dog breed needs quite a lot of exercise to stay in its proper weight range and cover their playtime, however, you need to take into account the Shih Tzu size and plan the intensity of the walks accordingly.
Are Shih Tzu Easy To Train?
Shih Tzus are a delight to train. We’ve had many through class doing absolutely stunning heelwork, they’re a beautiful little companion dog. They’re very sweet but they’ve got a real personality so they’re good fun to train.
If you find what their motivation is, you’re onto a winner. And it’s either in the form of some food or a toy, Usually a squeaky toy.
Obviously, you can train them because we have them doing what we want them to do in the show ring, and they are very good at agility and heelwork to music.
But again, it really does depend on the individual dog and the ability of the person who’s training them.
I think it’s more a stubborn-ness that they have. And an aloofness sometimes. I can call my dogs and sometimes they’ll all come running together depending on my tone of voice – and others it’s as if I’m not there.
Are Shih Tzu’s Easy To Groom?
Do Shih Tzu Dogs Have Hair or Fur? The only area that I’d be careful to train early on is – they’ve got coats – quite a lot of coat that needs grooming. So you need to think about getting them to handle early, particularly by a kind groomer.
You should be looking around their eyes and their ears and their paws. Lots of people get the dog used to handling the front paws, but what they don’t do is handle the back paws. You need to be handling your Shih Tzu from all over as soon as you get it. Finding a really nice groomer to take it to.
Are Shih Tzu’s Independant?
Shih Tzus are intelligent but they do boast a bit of an independent side to their characters which means training and socialization must start as early as possible. They can also be a little stubborn at times and often give owners the impression it is beneath them to do certain things asked of them.
With this in mind, a lot of patience and consistency are needed when training and educating a Shih Tzu to be obedient, although they do tend to have a mind of their own and will often choose to ignore a command because they think they know better.
Shih Tzu’s learn quickly and willingly and it will be easy to teach them lots of different things, to get a Shih Tzu to learn basic orders and tricks it will be very important to use positive reinforcement and plan short but fun training sessions.
Are Shih Tzus Easy To Toilet Train
Shih Tzu’s are Toy breeds and can have special problems when house training. However, just because these dogs are small, it would be a major mistake to think of them as a baby or as part human. Have the same expectations of these dogs as you would if it were a Golden Retriever or Great Dane.
How to potty train a Shih Tzu and house train a dog to poop outside.
- Locate a designated spot for your dog to go outside. This helps your pet to recognize their designated bathroom area outdoors.
- 30-minutes after your pet eats and 10-minutes after they wake up from sleeping, take them out to this designated pooping area and wait until they go.
- When they go, praise them and give them a treat. Now, don’t let your doggie fool you by only going a little bit just to get the treat. Some dogs are clever and will do just a little to get that treat and when they get back to your home, they let it all out.
- Take your pet out every 2-3 hours and wait until they go. I know this sounds like a pain, but pooping or peeing in your house is worse.
- If you plan on being out of the house or sleeping for 2-3 hours, put your dog in a cage or enclosed area — lined with paper. The paper will discourage your pet from going and if they go anyway, your clean up job will be easier how to potty train a Shih Tzu doggie and house train a dog
This 4 step method is just one of many ways to house train your dog.
It does take a little bit to toilet train them once they’ve gone to their new homes. And that’s just about being vigilant and getting them out like any puppy after they’ve had some play or food or sleep. So you do need to be very aware that a Shih Tzu may take a little longer than other breeds. But it’s not impossible.
Are Shih Tzus Good For Apartments?
We would re-home with most families. They are nice, good popular dogs and I think they’d fit in anywhere really.
I think because they’re really gregarious, and they like to run around and have fun you should have a good-sized house or apartment.
Shih Tzus need lots of company so they’re not the kind of dog to live in a garden or back yard they need to enjoy being surrounded by the human family inside the home.
Who Should Own A Shih Tzus?
They’re a very fast dog so maybe not suited to elderly people – but maybe if they’re rehomed and they are elderly themselves then they’re lovely lapdogs. Really depending on what age they are, what you want to do with them – they can fit into almost any household.
Shih Tzu Dogs Grooming
This is a breed that does need grooming. And obviously, if you want to keep them in a long coat you do need to do that religiously every day otherwise mats will form. They grow a lot of hair in the pads between their toes – so that has to be trimmed regularly.
Even road walking won’t take that off. So you do need to look out for that, otherwise, it will matt between the pads and that will be very uncomfortable for them. You do need to attend to their nails and pads twice weekly just to make sure you’re keeping it under control.
With the clipped off Shih Tzu, that’s a lot easier. And most people who want a Shih Tzu as a pet will go for a pet trim. You still have to check the eyes, ears, and faces because they do – even when they’re trimmed – keep quite a lot of muzzle hair on – so you have to wash that regularly.
Some of them have quite prominent eyes, so you do need to check especially in the summertime that no dirt or seeds or little spikes or dry grass have got in there because they can end up with ulcers in their eyes. And that’s one of the things that not all Shih Tzus have, but the ones with prominent eyes do tend to suffer from that.
The coat of this shit suit tends to get tangled so it will be necessary to brush and comb your dog daily, although you can choose the kind of haircut you prefer it’s strongly recommended to keep the hair over the eyes short to help them see.
You do need to clean their ears out- some of them get a lot of wax in their ears and others don’t.
How Healthy Are Shih Tzus?
Healthwise they’re sturdy, fit little dogs. They don’t have to be tested for anything at the moment, so they’re pretty sturdy.
They have a long, thick dense coat that requires a certain amount of attention, but they are very much a family dog, with an active and outgoing personality and do make an ideal pet in the right environment.
This breed doesn’t have any alarming rates of common canine diseases. Shih Tzu’s tend to suffer from Entorsion, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and ear or eye infections.
To prevent them and to enjoy the company of a healthy and happy dog it will be necessary to keep their vaccinations and deworming schedule up to date as well as getting regular veterinary checkups.
Are Shih Tzus Good On Their Own
If they have been properly socialized Shih Tzu’s don’t show any behavioral issues. However, if they’re on their own for hours they can bark become destructive and even developed separation anxiety.
They thrive on human contact and are never happier than when they are around people. They are great joys of first-time owners because they are intelligent and always willing and eager to please, the downside to that is that they do not do well when they’re left on their own for any long periods of time.
Shih Tzu Dogs Weight
Both the males and females grow 20 to 28 centimeters, weigh in at just four to seven point two five kilos.
Are Shih Tzu Dogs Good With Kids/Babies
They get along with children and babies as long as they don’t hurt them. The Shih Tzu is known to be a lively, confident, outgoing little dog and a character that boasted real extrovert side to their natures.
There is nothing they like more than to be part of a family and just love being involved in everything that goes on in a household which why they’ve consistently been a popular choice as family pets and contending dogs.
Are Shih Tzu Dogs Hunters?
The Shih Tzu’s name is Chinese for “Lion” because it resembles the depiction of lions in the traditional Oriental art but that is far as it goes when it comes to hunting.
Shih Tzu’s are bread as a companion pet dog for families so it is not suitable to be a hunter or guard dog. The only way you might think of it as a guard dog is when they hear something unusual they do tend to bark.
Shih Tzu Dogs Lifespan
Shih Tzu’s lifespan is between ten to sixteen years but because of their health problems, this can be shorter if they are not looked after correctly.
One of the things that can affect the lifespan of a Shih Tzu is genetics and although each dog is different environmental factors can make a difference.
There are things that you can do for your dog to extend their lifespan and one of those is exercise.
Exercising your dog is one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy and therefore extend their lifespan.
Shih Tzu’s are already a lively dog despite the inbred small nature of the breed and are always up for a run in the park so indulge them to keep them fit and healthy.
The second thing you can do to increase the lifespan of your Shih Tzu is to visit the vet on a regular basis. This way the vet will spot any health issues and provide you with the appropriate supplements if needed.
When Are Shih Tzu Dogs Full Grown
Normally a dog any dog of that size as an adult you can expect them to stop growing close to a year maybe 14 months, they’re certainly not going to put on very much size after that unless we spay or neuter and then we may put on some weight later on.
The Kennel Club standards layout that the Tzu breed is fully grown when it is between eight to eleven inches at the withers.
The American Kennel Club suggested length for the Shih Tzu is a little longer than the height of the dog from the withers to the base of the tail with the weight being between nine to sixteen pounds.
Are Shih Tzus Descendants of Wolves?
Shih Tzu is one of the 14 ancient breeds of dog according to DNA studies which indicate that it has a close genetic relationship to wolves. Other Asian breeds include the Chow Chow, Tibetan Terrier, Lhasa Apso, and Shar-Pei.
Are Shih Tzus a One Person Dog?
A Shih Tzus can be a one-person dog but because of their playful friendly nature they are also good dogs for families even with your children or even babies.
Shih Tzu Dogs Pros And Cons
In conclusion, the positives are that they’re totally people orientated, they’re great first-time dogs for novice owners and they get on well with children Of all ages. They’re social by nature and they make wonderful companions because they are so kind natured.
Negatives can include the high-maintenance with grooming. They hate being left on their own and suffer from sex separation anxiety.
They can bark excessively when left alone and can be a little bit stubborn and willful at times and they’re known to suffer from quite a few hereditary health issues.