Throughout history, dogs have been a man’s best friend. These creatures have not only offered man love and affection, but have worked together with their human counterpart for thousands of years. One breed that has won the hearts of many pet lovers is the Shih Tzu dog.
This breed is one of the most popular breed of dogs in the world and is well-known for having a plentiful energy and effervescent splendor.
The Shih Tzu dogs can survive well without a garden or yard, and enjoy a great play, which will help burn off their excess energy.
Origin of the Shih Tzu Dog
The Shih Tzu is a very old breed of dog whose history goes back more than 1000 years. This breed is a sacred dog and kept well-maintained in temples in Tibet.
Eventually, it was taken to China where it became the court’s favorite. The Chinese regal house favored them and the native stock got crossed with Pekingese in order to produce the breed that we see today.
China refused to let any Shih Tzu dog leave the country for many years until the 1930s when the first dog left for England.
Shih Tzu Description
The Shih Tzu dogs weigh 9 to 14 pounds (6.35 kg). They are small, strong, and long bodied dogs that grow long flowing fur in various colors. The coat may be black and white, gray and white, red and white, gold or black.
Unlike other breed of dogs, Shih Tzu dogs don’t need a lot of exercise, and usually are very proud, dignified, yet jovial and playful.
The only pitfall to owning these beautiful dogs is that they suffer separation anxiety and may become destructive if left alone for a long time.
Carrying himself with a proud, snobbish bearing, yet having a cheerful, sweet-natured personality, this breed is less destructive compared with other breeds.
Although built, energetic and playful, he doesn’t need more exercise than that. Shih Tzu is a lover of comfort and attention and loves cuddling on laps and into soft pillows.
He makes excellent companions for the elderly people as he is less demanding. Most Shih Tzu dogs are friendlier with strangers and are also at peace with other pets. Though he is sometimes stubborn, Shih Tzu does not get into a lot of trouble.
Health of the Shih Tzu Dog
Each breed of dog has its set of health issues. For Shih Tzu, however, his list of health worries is pretty short. The most common health problem with this dog is a condition known as Renal Dysplasia.
It is a genetic disease that can stop the kidneys from working if it’s not treated early. Shih Tzu can also experience back and neck problems, the most common one is intervertebral disk disease.
Because of his short face, he is not only prone to visual problems, but also respiratory diseases like heatstroke. When temperatures rise, it becomes difficult for short-faced pets such as the Shih Tzu to breathe well.
Because Shih Tzu has a very long coat, it is important to groom him from time to time. Shih Tzu grooming is an absolute must in order to keep her healthy and happy.
Most Shih Tzu owners prefer to have their pets professionally groomed in order to achieve a beautiful look. But if you choose to groom him by yourself, patience is critical so your pet can become acquainted with the process.
While he may have a “high maintenance” appearance, grooming isn’t time-consuming or difficult. A daily quick brushing and combing will do. Some owners tie the coat on his head up.
Owing to the stubbornness present in Shih Tzu’s temperament, housebreaking him may take anywhere between 6 and 8 months. It is vitally important to train your pet during this time by using a range of items like clickers, commands, and reward treats, to name a few.
Training a stubborn and proud dog such as Shih Tzu requires consistency in tone and schedule. You can get a breeder to do the housebreaking for you. Even then, all dogs act differently in new environments and so you need to offer him with training for your home.
The Shih Tzu does not mind where he lives, provided he is with his owner. He is a very adaptable pet who can be content in a confined city apartment or a large country home.
His temperament is great enough to get along with other pets. Though he loves a bit of garden play, he is a house dog and shouldn’t be left in a kennel outside.
These breeds love being close to its owner without whom it can suffer from separation anxiety. The Shih Tzu also prefers places with cold weather, since its thick hair makes it more sensitive to heat.
The Shih Tzu is a very energetic breed, but is also susceptible to laziness if given the chance. Therefore, you must ensure that he gets his every day stroll and get involved in play.
They enjoy a stroll in a secure, open area, such as a spacious, fenced-in garden. The Shih Tzu doesn’t need a huge amount of activities.
He loves being a house dog, and he is by no means in need of vigorous exercise like hiking, biking and climbing.
While the Shih Tzu may seem flimsy, with his long, falling coat, he is a tough dog. The Shih Tzu has a life span of around 16 to 18 years, but in order for them to live this long, proper care is paramount.
Although daily walk is enough as their exercise, you need to play with them from time to time for your bonding moments.
Diet also plays an integral role in increasing their life span. Because the Shih Tzu is a small dog, do not overfeed. This breed is susceptible to obesity, so you need to monitor portion sizes.
The Shih Tzu is an excellent dog that makes a wonderful companion, especially for introvert people. He revels in the attention you give him and needs nothing more than to be near you, which it demands all the time.
If trained early, he can be a most affectionate buddy in your home and never let a boring moment in your life.