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Old 05-14-2010, 04:36 PM
 
Location: OCEAN BREEZES AND VIEWS SAN CLEMENTE
19,899 posts, read 15,904,033 times
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Hi everyone, know nothing about this breed at all, hoping those of you that do can enlighten me. Tommorrow, we have a chance of getting a very expensive Shih Tzu, for free, the owner is moving overseas. He is around 4 years old, absoutely adorable, with an all white body, black face, with some silver or grey. What are there temperment like, how much do they eat. Do they get along with other dogs, are they a one person dog, or do they love the whole family. Need to know what ever i can before tomorrow. Thanks so much, really need to hear from you, that own this breed. Do i have to keep the hair long on this breed, or can i get a teddy bear cut, i think it is. Please enlighten me. Thanks again.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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have to make this fast, my 13-year old shih tzu is calling me to an early bed time!

for starters, each shih tzu is different, obviously, each has his/her own personality... but in general this is what i have noticed over the years in the shih tzus of my friends and family, and, of course, the one who has owned me he was six weeks old.

they are smart and also stubborn... vocal... social... cuddlebugs (although i know one who does not like to cuddle at all). they need regular exercise just like other dogs... don't let the small body and short legs fool you into thinking they don't need regular walks.

you need to watch them in the heat b/c of the short noses and thick fur... b/c of this, i have always preferred a puppy cut. (some people will tell you the fur insulates them during the summer. from personal experience, i would say this does not appear to be true. once you cut that thick fur off, they practically sigh in relief.)

healthwise, they're prone to ear infections, eye infections, and itchy skin. also, over the long-term, you want to keep them off stairs and help them on/off couches and beds. that long back/short leg combo can set them up for disc disease in their backs.

as far as food, any decent-quality food is fine (unless the dog has health issues that dictate a particular food), and he'd probably eat around a cup a day, depends on how big he is.

whether he would get along with other dogs, cats, children, etc, will depend on how he has been socialized. if you already have a dog, your dog and the shih tzu need to meet on neutral ground, but i think you probably know that.

here's a link to the akc history, which talks about their origins in china, etc... American Kennel Club - Shih Tzu History

check out the akc site for breed standards to find out more about the shih tzu.

good luck!

oh, p.s., in general these dogs need a lot of love and affection and a lot of time spent on them. don't underestimate the sheer amount of time you will need to spend with one of these guys.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Small Town USA Population about 15,000
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I have had my male since he was 5 weeks old, he will be 2 in July. He is great..loves car rides, my cats, and loves to play. He is stubborn only on certain stuff but I have found he listens and learns fast. Took me 1 month to house train. I free feed him and had him fixed about a month ago and he is not as aggresive. He does bark at people he does not know. He does not like his leash but that is partly my fault. ON the good side he loves to sleep with me is good with kids and my childrens friends once they have been in the house for a little while. He is very protective of me. The one thing I have not broke him of is taking off out the front door to go to a little dogs friends house.
Just love him and it will be very rewarding.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Southport, NC
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We have 2 Shih-Tzus that are the joy of our lives! Dalai will be 3 in June - we've had her since she was 8 weeks old and Abby is a rescue who will be 4 in August (we've had her for a year). They are both so so different. Dalai is totally laid back, quiet, docile and very submissive. She is a gentle little soul that loves every human being she comes in contact with. Abby is, well, "in your face".....lol...she is has an exhuberant personality, wakes up every morning raring to get on with her day. She is also very lovable but demands constant attention. This may be due to the fact that her previous owners kept her crated almost 24 hrs/day for the first 2 and 1/2 yrs of her life!

Shih-Tzus were bred specifically to be companion dogs for Chinese Royalty. They are devoted friends who love being part of a family. Both of our girls love our cat and greet each and every visitor with glee "pet me! pet me! I love attention!". Dalai actually gets a bit miffed if she is ignored by a guest or someone on the street we may stop and chat with.

As Barndog said, they do not tolerate heat very well. They require minimal exercise (we walk our girls about 1 mile in the am and 1/2 mile in the pm but this is the most they can tolerate). I say "take the dog"!!! As long as your newly adopted boy has been well socialized, he will work his way into your heart and become a forever loving companion.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:27 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,448 posts, read 31,537,716 times
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My gf raised Show Shih Tzu with her Show Dobies for decades.... NONE were Kenneled All home raised! They were also raised with her 5 kids & their friends & other kids trouping thru. & Friday nite poker nites with hubbies friends. They were all well adjust dogs. Only thing I ever heard her talk about as far as food was she Always fed JOY dog food. But I have no clue if the formula is the same or if its even on the market. After they became Champions she kept them strip clipped. 1 yr she tried a lion clip I laugh soooo hard.... Well the male was quit upset at me hehehehe She finally gave up & finished stripping him so I would quit laughing & he would come out of hiding.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Texas or Cascais, Portugal
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My eldest is a Shih Tzu and she is the queen. They are very affectionate dogs, she gets along with everyone although if she encounters an annoying house guest, whether it be a dog or person, she acts as if they do not exist. This dog has the highest self esteem I have ever seen in a dog. People laugh because of the manner in which she "carries herself". She doesn't walk, she prances everywhere like a show dog in a competition. Very bright, and very stubborn. A shih Tzu is not going to do anything they don't want to and they ARE going to do whatever they want. I used to have Jack Russell's and thought that was a stubborn breed but my shih tzu RULES. That said, they are people dogs, up until the last year (she is 18) she followed me everywhere I went all day (even to the bathroom). They do not do well alone, they need constant human companionship. She gets along well with other dogs but she is a people dog first and foremost. Eats like a horse, never gains weight! I would get another shih tzu in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:02 AM
 
7,376 posts, read 12,891,605 times
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in short they are awesome family dogs
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:13 AM
 
4,541 posts, read 13,132,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
My gf raised Show Shih Tzu with her Show Dobies for decades.... NONE were Kenneled All home raised! They were also raised with her 5 kids & their friends & other kids trouping thru. & Friday nite poker nites with hubbies friends. They were all well adjust dogs. Only thing I ever heard her talk about as far as food was she Always fed JOY dog food. But I have no clue if the formula is the same or if its even on the market. After they became Champions she kept them strip clipped. 1 yr she tried a lion clip I laugh soooo hard.... Well the male was quit upset at me hehehehe She finally gave up & finished stripping him so I would quit laughing & he would come out of hiding.
OMG - I also had the idea to Lion Clip my black & white Shihtzu years ago. When I picked him up from the groomer, I couldn't stop laughing either!
(My dog really got mad at me for laughing at him, too)

Maybe the "Lion shape" looks better on a fawn Shihtzu but... oh my it was funny!

Regarding the OP,

Shihtzus are wonderful dogs. They are very intelligent dogs. Mine had a flea allergy so I also kept him trimmed short.

It is most important to keep their hair out of their eyes at all times and to use an eye ointment to prevent eye injuries due to hair.

Last edited by World Citizen; 05-17-2010 at 10:22 AM..
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