The Shih Tzu breed is almost instantly recognizable due to small and cute stature. Renowned for being an incredibly loyal companion, the Shih Tzu stems from a long royal heritage. By nature, a Shih Tzu is commonly fearless and bold, possessing mountains of energy and affection for their owner. Although often loved due to their adorable features, they are also a well loved companion for both individuals and as part of a family.
As is common with many small dog breeds, the Shih Tzu is very confident and is not afraid of larger or louder dogs, loving nothing more than to bark at passers by or other canines. He is incredibly well natured and strives to please his master although can often sport a somewhat stubborn streak at times.
The Shih Tzu is a member of the Toy and Herding dog group which is apparent based on it’s small and almost ‘teddy bear’ like appearance. Due to their heritage, a Shih Tzu is a small dog, weighing between 9 and 16 pounds, standing at just 11 inches at the shoulders. However, this being said, they are incredibly lively dogs. In an attempt to make their presence known, a Shih Tzu loves to bark, but will predominately bark to alert its owner of any passers by outside the home or unknown people entering the home, making him a great watchdog. However, with family members or loved ones, he will be incredibly sociable and friendly and is good with other pets, if brought up together. The same came be said in regards to children. Although Shih Tzu’s are friendly dogs, they do not react well to taunting or mild abuse, making them unsuitable for families with young children. Children of an older age who can treat a Shih Tzu with the politeness he likes will find they will make a great bond with their Shih Tzu. Due to their stubbornness, it can be hard to train your Shih Tzu at first but by adopting a gentle training tactic, you will find they excel at learning and will thrive on the praise you give him.
In terms of care, a Shih Tzu requires and desires to be groomed regularly. Due to his long coat, a Shih Tzu can become prone to matting, so daily brushing is often a must. However, on the plus side, a Shih Tzu does not molt as much as other breeds, meaning that maintenance of the home is not as strenuous. Nevertheless, due to this, your Shih Tzu will require coat trimmings every few months. Shih Tzu’s are known for being snobby at times, meaning they like to spend time in doors. This being said however, as with all dogs, it is important to give him regular, daily exercise in order to keep him healthy and happy. You should maintain to walk him at least once a day for at least 15 minutes. Should you abide by regular exercise and a healthy diet of dog food and the occasional dog treat, your Shih Tzu could live to be 15 years old or even more.
For a first time owner, a Shih Tzu is the perfect choice. Cute, adorable, loving and curious, this small companion is ideal for those who wish for love and affection.
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