Shih Tzus can be a joy or a pain depending on your situation, and like any breed there are pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider:
Pro: They have the ideal temperament for singles or couples with older kids are people dogs – outgoing, confident and alert. While they may appear somewhat arrogant on sight, the breed usually possesses a sweet-natured temperament. can go from being the ultimate TV-watching couch potato companion to playful pet at the dangling of a toy or toss of a treat. These little guys seem to know they’re irresistible and enjoy being treated like royalty. But all the spoiling their owners lavish them with is returned a hundredfold with their fierce loyalty.
Con: They are not always good for babies or young children
Because are used to being the center of attention, they can get jealous of babies or young children who constantly need adult supervision. And an older Shih Tzu may snap if bothered by boisterous kids who are not respectful of its space. But some are more tolerant, and if pup and child are introduced properly at an early stage, they may get along swimmingly.
Pro: The breed requires minimal exercise
Unlike other action-loving breeds, are usually content with a short walk around the block or indoor play sessions. If you have a yard, letting your out for brief periods during the day will thrill him, but this breed is also well suited for apartment dwellers.
Con: High maintenance when it comes to grooming
The is a long-haired breed, and without regular brushing, it can become a matted, knotted mess. If you can’t commit to setting time out daily to comb your dog’s fur, you’ll have to make regular appointments with the local dog groomer for frequent trims to keep his coat short and clean. also require a weekly bath and nail clipping.
Pro: A storied history
If you want a piece of history ambling about your house, look no further than the. Based on the breed’s appearances in ancient Chinese paintings, it is thought that have been around since 624 AD and while the breed’s origin is a subject of much debate, they were known to be part of the Chinese court.
Con: A history of health problems
While generally healthy creatures, Shih Tzus are subject to a kidney disease called renal dysplasia. Also, because of their short faces, this breed has to be handled with more care than some other breeds – a Shih Tzu’s respiratory system is compromised by his short nose, so don’t smoke or use strong chemical cleaning products around him. Also, short-faced dogs have a high risk of heatstroke, so minimizing your dog’s outdoor activity during the summer is essential.
Pro: All the cool kids have
Because are awesome, they have been a staple in the American Kennel Club’s Top 10 Most Popular Breeds since 2004.
Con: All the cool kids have Shih Tzus
The burden of any popular breed is abuse by puppy millers and backyard breeders, who damage the gene pool by mass mis-breeding dogs for profit and not for the betterment of the breed.
So if you feel a Shitzu is for you, please start your search with a breeder referral from the AKC or a breed-specific club (in this case the American Shih Tzu Club) – these resources will steer you in the right direction. Never buy a puppy off the internet with a “buy it now” tab. Instant gratification is all good and well until you find your puppy is replete with health problems from poor breeding.