shih tzu?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

Duke -Rest- In Peace-

My mommy and- daddy miss me :(
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 1:37pm PST 
A neighbor is giving away their 2 yr old shih tzu. I've been wanting a small dog so I've left a message with him so I could meet the dog.

Is there anything I should be aware of? I read up on the health issues they may have and their activity level doesn't seem to be too bad. What were they breed for? I haven't really found much besides they originated in China.

*insert fart- noise*
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 2:02pm PST 
I beleive they were bred to be compainion dogs for the Chinese Rulers, you know... like a lap dog. Mostly something nice to look at. There are different theories as to the origen of them, but that's pretty much a common factor. They were small companion dogs that looked nice smile
Most Shih Tzuz I have met were not too active, but still need a nice walk, they're were all very friendly and had adorable personalities.

I love Ashlyn/Go- Donny Osmond Go
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 2:20pm PST 

We are nice dogs to have

Duke -Rest- In Peace-

My mommy and- daddy miss me :(
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 2:25pm PST 
lol sounds like the dog for me. I like a nice walk, Duke had me doing marathons haha. They don't have a strong prey drive do they?

*insert fart- noise*
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 2:35pm PST 
I have never heard of them having a strong prey drive, but even if they do it is completely up to that individual dog. Check to see if they get along with any other animals you may have before adopting them.

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 2:37pm PST 
If you have children or you have frequent child visitors, you might also check to see whether the dog likes (or at least tolerates) them.

Multo en Parvo-A- lot in a little!
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 4:13pm PST 
I help my husbands aunt pick out a shih tzu at the local kill shelter. She is a great dog. Not very active at all but very cuddly and sweet. She does like walks as long as the are not marathons. Even with the minimal training she has recieved from my husbands aunt, who spends all day wiht her but doesnt train, she is a very good girl.

Cookie Monster
Barked: Fri Feb 27, '09 5:59pm PST 
Bingley is a great combination of cuddley and playful. He's not even a year old yet, so he loves to go running on his walks.

They were bred as companion dogs, so they like to be by their person a lot, and cuddle.

It's up to the personality of the dog if they have a strong prey drive, but since they were not bred as hunters, they don't generaly want to hunt, but I have read of Tzus that liked to hunt chipmunks. Bingley doesn't care about the little critters when he's out, he's all about his adventure, walking and sniffing and running and finding sticks to carry.

And grooming. They need regular grooming; they are a double coated, long haired breed. They lose their hair like any other dog, only you have to actually brush the loose hairs out, because they will catch in the coat, so they call them a "non shedding" breed, because you won't end up with little hairs all over your clothes or furniture. I brush Bingley every day, and take him to the groomer about every 4 weeks.

Seriously, just- leave me alone.
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 3:58pm PST 
Shih Tzu's definitely need regular grooming, the simplest thing is to keep them trimmed in a "puppy cut," rather than allowing the coat to grow out to the full length (like a show dog). The show coat takes a ton of work, I tried it with Fred, but man, the brushing is constant! If you find a good groomer, they will keep the tail long and ears well trimmed, but not shaved or close cut.

Personallity wise, they can have some issues. Fred is a biter. He actually bit my friend's daughter a few weeks ago, and it is definitely getting worse as he ages. Shih Tzu's have a bit of a reputation for not being tolerant of children, unless they're raised with them. They are also prone to urinary tract infections and bladder infections.

While I love Fred, I'm curious as to why your neighbor is giving away his 2 year old... is he peeing in the house? Is he aggressive with the kids? Are they moving? I'm not saying these problems can't be dealt with, they are something to consider. If housetraining is an issue, I'd start with a trip to the vet, a simple urinalysis can confirm a UTI (which is likely if the dog was trained but is having accidents)...

But, they are great, affectionate dogs towards their owners. Fred is definitely a one person dog. (well, maybe 2 people, he loves me and my uncle.. shrug ) They are great companion dogs who just like to be near you.

edited to add: Shih Tzu's definitely don't have a strong prey drive. They are completely different from terriers. While they love the walk, they are content with a walk around the block (or down to the park and back, which for me is about 3/4 mile.) While at 2, this is still a young dog, they are not super active like most terriers... the opposite, to be truthful. They were originally bred as companion dogs.. Fred is a pretty good watch dog- the only time he really barks is when someone comes to the door.

Edited by author Mon Mar 2, '09 4:02pm PST