Archive for April, 2011

Special Tips For Shih Tzu Training

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Affectionate, energetic and loyal - these are just some words that can best describe a shih tzu. However, a common misconception about this breed is that the dog is arrogant, yappy and demanding. Like any other four-legged furry friend, a shih tzu’s temperament will depend a lot upon the amount of shih tzu training it receives.

A shih tzu, also known as a Chinese Lion dog and a Chrysanthemum dog, is a breed that weighs around 8.8 to 16 pounds or 4 to 7.25 kilograms. Originating from China, they are famous for their long silky hair characterized by a soft double coat. Their short muzzles and deep large dark eyes are just some of the qualities that have made this breed well-known all over the world. Traditionally, the coat reaches the floor. This requires a brushing routine everyday to avoid tangles.

Contrary to popular belief, the shih tzu is a very intelligent creature and a capable student. In fact, with some patience and diligence, shih tzu training will prove to be beneficial and advantageous not only to the owner or handler but also to the people the dog may come in contact with. Basic shih tzu training should start when the puppy is brought home. Puppy socialization should commence as soon as possible. By doing this, the dog will soon get used to children, other pets and even strangers.

When it comes to this breed, house training or potty training can prove to be time consuming and frustrating. The good news is that it can be achieved quickly if the owner sticks to a solid potty training schedule. Take the dog outside after eating, drinking, upon waking up, before bedtime and every 2 hours throughout the entire day. Taking the dog to the same spot every time helps them in making the association that this is the place where they should do their business because they can smell their scent there.

This clever breed can learn basic commands such as “come,” “sit,” and “stay.” Knowing these commands will keep the dog well-behaved and it will also improve the relationship between the canine and the owner. Keep in mind that your training should only involve positive reinforcement, which consists of treats, pats and praises. There should be no scolding, yelling or slapping.

All in all, a shih tzu is the perfect dog for those who want a small, sturdy and strong dog. In addition, it is great for those people who have busy schedules and are constantly entertaining guests and visitors. This is because this breed does not need much outdoor exercise and tends to be less noisy than other toy breeds.

Are you looking for effective dog training information? Be sure to visit my site to find out how to handle Jack Russell barking and other Jack Russell problems.

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Things To Know About Dog Bark Collars

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

No one is upset when a dog barks for a serious reason. People appreciate watchdogs. However, some dogs bark with no important reason. If your own dog started to annoy the neighbors, then it is time you did something to correct the problem. Constant barking can significantly increase a person’s distress. You might be used to your dog’s annoying barking, but this does not mean that everybody shares your attitude.

Stopping The Barking

It is possible for you to find a simple, easy solution to your dog’s barking. Some of these are: finding the underlying cause of the barking, using positive training techniques, or using clicker training to help the dog learn to only bark on command. If you hit a dead end with any of the aforementioned strategies, you need to consider hiring a professional dog trainer.

Many owners have success when using special collars for their barking dogs - they can be very effective at changing dog behavior!

What Types Of dog bark collars You Can Choose From

Citrus spray (or citronella) collars work because most dogs do not like citrus smells. It can stop the dog from barking by surprising the dog when it starts to bark. Some versions of citrus collars can issue a warning hiss before spraying, so that the smells can be avoided once the dog gets familiar with the collar.

Other devices use the ultrasonic or sonic technique; they produce sounds that people usually do not hear. Because the sound occurs suddenly, your dog will either be surprised or annoyed and it will stop barking.

Another efficient device is the electric collar that sends mild shocks when the dog beings to bark. Contrary to popular belief, these are no more dangerous than the shock from static electricity.

Some dog bark collars come with a combination of these methods, for example, sound and shock together. Some bark collars for dogs gradually increase the sound until the dog stops barking. These tools are very popular among dog owners as they only produce the sound intensity that is necessary for your dog to stop its behavior.

All these methods work really well, so you can choose any of them as soon as possible and begin the training. Your neighbors will thank you!.

After all, they are the ones that suffer the most due to the constant noise. There are behavior modification methods, but even easier is using dog bark collars. These collars come in many versions and you can choose the one you like.

No one is upset at the barking of watchdogs, but when a dog barks all the time with no particular reason, it is time you resorted to dog bark collars. Bark collars can be very efficient and come in many variations, so you can pick one that suits your needs best. You can choose among a collar that uses sound mechanisms, one that spraying a citrus smell or a collar that gives the dog a milk shock when it starts barking. If you want to read more about these great bark collars for dogs, then please click this link.

Shih Tzu Breeders - Are You Ready to Raise Shih Tzu Pups?

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The Shih Tzu breed is undoubtedly cute, but you should worry about buying them from Shih Tzu breeders with dubious backgrounds, who may sell you unhealthy pups. You may fall victim to the many puppy mills operating, and so some Shih Tzu breeders you may take to be legitimate may in fact be con artists selling you unhealthy pups bred runt on runt. Legitimate breeders, you need to know, are usually a member of breeding clubs. When you find out that a breeder is a member, that’s a good sign - they can provice your with documentation pertaining to the pups’ legitimate bloodline.

If you’re particular to a specific Shih Tzu breed, a good breeder is your best bet. There are stories of pet owners who adopt pure bred Shih Tzu from animal shelters and rescues, but that’s a rare occurence. If you’re also looking for puppies to raise, then a breeder is what you’re looking for. Almost every dog that finds its way into the facilities of an animal shelter or rescue has a sad story or neglect and abuse, which is why the shelter’s staff have stringent screening processes, including interviews, to make sure the abandoned dogs do not get into the hands of abusive/neglectful pet owners - this may not be the fastest way to get Shih Tzu into your home. Also, if you intend to participate in dog shows, which of course has certain conformation rules to adhere to, then getting legitimate breeds from a reputable breeder may be the only way to go.

Breeders of the legit line usually have references you can check. When you interview breeders, wait to be provided references you can check, as the reputable ones will usually volunteer them to dispel suspicions they are part of those puppy mills. You will not be the only one asking a lot of questions, during that interview, as the breeder will also ask you questions. The breeder wants to find out if you are qualified to take care of such a breed, so he will not sell his dogs to pet owners who buy on impulse and later have them adopted.

A home that’s ready to take in new pets should have clean and sanitary areas for the pups, relatives that understand this breed, an owner financially prepared to shoulder the needs (pet bedding, premium dog food, vet check ups, inoculations, deworming sessions, medical procedures, grooming items, etc.), and a devoted heart on the part of the owner. All of these are vital since this breed has its own share of health problems and a personality that makes it a challenge to house train.

Grooming itself and needing to take the Shih Tzu out to do its business takes some space in one’s calendar. That’s the reason you might be subjected by the breeder to a series of question - he’s not just going to sell these dogs to a waller with no heart. That choosiness and reluctance to simply earn a buck are signs you’ve found yourself a good breeder.  

A boom in the popularity of toy dogs has encouraged unethical Shih Tzu breeders to take part in puppy mills to produce whatever in vogue breed is asked for. This type of breeding that cares not for the health of the produced puppies can result in unhealthy breeds. To make sure you acquire healthy pups or adult dogs from reputable Shih Tzu breeders, make sure these breeders are part of breeding circles and that they provide references you can check.

Tips on Shih Tzu Grooming Styles

Friday, April 29th, 2011

There are many Shih Tzu grooming styles to choose from. However, some pet owners will choose to reflect their dog’s personality in the style.

For some dog owners they find that the up keep of their dog’s grooming is too much hassle and they opt to keep the hair trimmed. Keeping the hair trimmed is much less time consuming for the owner.

Daily grooming is required for the fun loving Shih Tzu, if the owner has opted not to keep the coat trimmed. It is recommended that a steel comb or bristle brush is used when grooming a Shih Tzu. If the owner finds a lot of tangles or mats, then a plastic comb can be used.

Trimming can be done by using a good set of dog trimmers and trimming the hair all one length. Normally owners will leave the hair at the head and around the neck a little bit longer than the rest of the body.

The Top Knot style is for owners wishing to keep the hair of their Shih Tzu full length, they will pull back the hair around the eyes and pin it on the top of the head.

This ensures that the dog will be able to still see. Owners will often times pin the hair around the mouth as well. You can put a pin in or some choose to braid the hair and then put a pin in. As you can see, there are many different varieties for the top knot.

Shih Tzu grooming style is more of an owner’s preference. However, if the Shih Tzu is older or is sick, it is recommended that the hair is kept short and trimmed.

Most important to remember is if the owner allows the hair to stay long, they must pin the hair back from the mouth and eyes so the dog can maintain vision and easily access their food.

Visit us to learn more about Shih-Tzu grooming styles, or to gather more information on Shih-Tzus.

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How long does it take for a Shih Tzu’s coat to grow from shaved to full length?

Friday, April 29th, 2011

I adopted a Shih Tzu who had to be shaved because she was so matted, I want to grow her hair long. Not necessarily full show coat, but long.. how long does it take to grow out?

A show Shih Tzu reaches full coat length at around 18 - 24 months of age.

So around a year and a half.

Shih Tzu - a Dignified Small Breed

Friday, April 29th, 2011

If you’re thinking of getting a Shih Tzu, you’ve opted for a popular but possibly difficult to take care off breed. This particular small dog breed has a strong sense of self, which is one reason it also goes by another name - the Imperial Shih Tzu. As a companion pet, however, it is a superb one.

The tests to restore the original function of different dog breeds

There have been conducted tests for dogs, to check if what they were bred for are the expectations they can live up to. And so there were developed tests for hunting dogs, herding dogs, ground tests for terriers, lure events for sight hounds, water and draft tests, and even stamina tests. Dogs that pass the tests assigned to the breed they belong to were judged adequate to expectations associated with their breed.

These tests of performance, appropriate they may be for some breeds, is not need for the toy dog breed, a breed which has a different set of expectations associated with them. Many toyy dog breeds perform well in the job they are expected to do, namely, be great companions, lively pets, and healthy company.

The Shih Tzu personality - treat it like a king

This breed is often outgoing and friendly, but it’s got a brat persona that wants only to be spoiled. It has a great sense of self, which is probably why many owners notice this breed is not good with other pets and little kids around. But for older kids, especially those who adore combing its long, fine coat, the Shih Tzu is a fine companion.

Because it’s often alert and vigilant, Shih Tzu are actually great watchdogs. If a Shih Tzu is prone to snapping at other people, it may not be of a pure breed or may not have been trained well to avoid excessive barking. A smart dog, the Shih Tzu can be trained, although not as easily as other dogs. You need to be persistent when training it, as it can be stubborn. Be careful with punishing it, since it can shut down and do the opposite of what you want to train it to not do.

A short list of Shih Tzu health problems

Renal dysplasia (a kidney disease), slipped stifles or kneecaps, and large eyes that are prone to injury - that’s a quick glance at the Shih Tzu’s health problems. The muzzle, being short, is also prone to wheezing. The Shih Tzu’s coat, or poor maintenance of it, results in other health problems - the badly maintained coat shows tangles, hot spots, skin infections, painful mats, and (in the worst case) maggot infestation. You need to groom a Shih Tzu every other day, at least. If you can’t do that you need to choose another breed.  

To be sure that the Shih Tzu a breeder may be offering for sale is a genuine one, you need to the check the breeding standard. It’s not surprise that puppy mills abound, what given the popularity of the Imperial Shih Tzu and the demand for both puppies and adults of this breed. You want to get in touch with reputable breeders that are connected with breeding clubs before you seriously consider buying a Shih Tzu.

You Can Train Your Shih Tzu to Stop His Endless Barking

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Barking is part of a dog’s normal behavior, but excessive barking can become a nuisance and make you very unpopular with your neighbors. It is best to acknowledge the problem and to let your neighbors know that you are working on the problem. You can even ask your neighbors to help you in this regard, as they will be able to tell you when the barking occur, as you may be at work and unaware of the problem.

Determine the reason for your dog’s barking.

The first step to rectify excessive barking is to determine the reason for the barking. Dogs bark because they seek attention, are bored, suffer from separation anxiety, are scared or are protecting their territory.

Attention seeking starts at a very early age and it is important not to pay attention to your dog every time he barks. If you do, he will associate the barking with getting attention and that will create a lot of problems later on in life.

To limit a bored dog’s barking, you need to introduce excitement into his life. Take him out for short walks, play games with your dog, teach him new tricks and introduce toys into his life. It will take a bit of your time, but remember Shih Tzu were bred for companionship in the first place, so you owe it to your dog. Exercising is not only good for your dog’s health, but you will find that a tired dog also barks less than a dog full of energy. Just keep the walks short as a Shih Tzu gets tired rather quickly due to their flat noses. If your dog is alone you may think of getting him a companion.

To stop your dog barking at children in the street it is best to take your dog to an area where he cannot see the children. This is not always possible and you may need to try something else. When your dog starts his barking tell him to be quiet. When he stops tell him good boy and reward him with a treat. If he continues you need to take more drastic measures like shaking a can filled with stones - dogs hate the sound. Another drastic measure is to throw water in your dogs face. The technique may sound harsh, but it works. He will quickly associate the quiet command with water in his face and stop his barking.

If your Shih Tzu is very territorial and protective (this is highly unlikely), you can ask a friend to walk in the street approaching your home. If the dog doesn’t bark tell him good boy. Ask your friend to come closer and keep on praising your dog if he doesn’t bark. The friend can eventually enter your premises and be sure to give your dog a huge bonus if he allows the friend to enter without barking. Also ask the friend to pat the dog. If you repeat this enough times your dog will learn that people are not a threat and that there is no reason for his barking.


There are collars on the market that will produce an offensive smell or an irritating noise or electrical impulse each time your dog barks. The problem with collars is that it does not address the underlying reason for your dog’s barking. When you remove the collar barking will generally return. However, citrus collars do work and you may want to try it if the other techniques do not work.

Chris Boshoff is a Shih Tzu lover, researcher and enthusiast. Visit his website to learn how to train shih tzu dogs to stop biting or how you can train your Shih tzu puppy social skills. You will also be able to sign up for a ten day mini course.

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Most Common Shih Tzu Health Problems

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Different dogs are genetically prone to develop certain diseases and the Shih Tzu is no exception. If you know what condition to look for you can act before it is too late or before serious damage is done.

The most common Shih Tzu Health problems include the following:

Eye Problems

Shih Tzu have big protruding eyes that make them more vulnerable to eye problems than most other breeds. They also have long hair that can irritate the eyes and you should try to keep all hair away from the eyes. Specific conditions include the following:

1. Dry Eye

It is a condition where the tear glands do not produce enough tears, especially the watery part of the tear. If there are no hair irritating the eyes, but your Shih Tzu’s eyes are permanently irritated, you should take him to the vet for a simple test to determine whether he has Dry Eye. You should take the condition seriously, as it can do serious damage to the cornea of the eye, and that can lead to eventual blindness.

2. Juvenile cataracts

It is a genetic condition mostly found in younger dogs and it can lead to blindness. Dogs with this condition shouldn’t be bred - so choose your breeder wisely.

3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This condition is also genetic and it mainly affects older dogs. It can also lead to eventual blindness. Good breeders have their dogs tested by a veterinary ophthalmologist to certify that they are disease free and you should ask the breeder for the certificate.

4. Cherry Eye

Cherry Eye will be visible as a large swollen lump on your Shih Tzu’s eye. Fortunately it looks worse than it actually is and your vet will be able to fix the condition by way of minor corrective surgery. It is nothing more than a tear gland that comes loose and bulge out from under the eyelid.

Joint Problems

1. Hip dysplasia

It is a degenerative condition where the hip bone does not fit tightly into the socket. This condition will be more visible as the dog ages and arthritis is not uncommon.

2. Slipping kneecap

This condition causes the kneecap to slip out of place causing discomfort to the dog. The dog will often yelp and will not put any pressure on the leg. The kneecap normally slips back into place when the dog stretches his leg, but corrective surgery is required in more serious cases.

Juvenile renal dysplasia

This is a serious condition that can eventually cause your Shih Tzu’s death. The dog is born with underdeveloped kidneys that never function properly. This is a genetic disease and you should ask a breeder whether a genetic test was performed on the parents, as this condition is unfortunately very common in Shih Tzu.

If your puppy urinate excessively and has an excessive thirst, you should have him tested for this condition, especially if the urine is clear. Your dog may also grow slowly, have no appetite and be very weak.

Dental Problems

Shih Tzu do not have a lot of space in the mouth and crooked or missing teeth are not uncommon. Miniature Shih Tzu in particular suffer from problems with their teeth due to the limited space. Other dental problems include gum disease and tooth decay. It is preferable to brush your dog’s teeth as part of the grooming routine, but as a minimum, have the teeth checked out by the vet at least once a year.

There are of course more health problems affecting the Shih Tzu. One of the problems not to overlook is Shih Tzu allergies and you can find out more by visiting

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Are Bark Collars Safe To Use?

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

There are three different types of dog bark collars that are very popular at the moment among dog owners. All of them work, but there is some debate as to whether these collars are ethical to use. If you have a dog that barks very often, then you must have all the information of these tools you can use on your pet.

Collars That Use Citronella Spray

These no bark collars use a strong citronella smell when the dog barks persistently. Because dogs really don’t like the smell of citrus, this can be very effective as a no bark collar. Some citronella collars use two methods to prevent the dog from barking - first they make a warning hissing sound, prior to the spraying itself. If the dog stops barking, the spraying will not occur. These no bark collars are considered ethical by experts, as there is no pain involved, just a mild annoyance for the dog.

Collars With Ultrasonic/Sonic Mechanisms

These collars produce a sound that only dogs can hear. This sound is like the one created by dog whistles. Most humans can’t hear it or be annoyed by it, but dogs can and will stop barking once they realize that when they stop barking the high pitched tone goes away. Is this considered ethical by the experts? Yes. Again, the dog feels no pain whatsoever, but it is only annoyed by the noise. Note: This type of no bark collar is considered the least effective, as the dog can become used to the sound over time.

Bark Collars With Electronic Devices

An electronic bark collar reacts at the dog’s barking by sending it a mild shock. The shock does not threaten the health of the dog and produces a discomfort comparable to the static shocks felt by humans. Once again, mostly just an annoyance - but this is the type of no bark collar that some people believe is unethical. Their opinion is based on the fact that, unlike the other types of collars, this electronic device does more than annoying the dog - it applies a physical stimulus. Many condemn the use of such devices. Nonetheless, the electronic dog collar is extremely efficient so, if you own a dog that barks all the time, you may consider it a viable solution.

There are three options you can choose from in order to deter a dog from barking. There are no bark dog collars that use sonic or ultrasonic sounds, citrus smell or shocks. All people agree with the use of citronella spray and the ultrasonic device; yet, many are against using the electronic collar because it produces shocks. None of these methods are considered dangerous for dogs.

no bark collars have gained more and more popularity lately, because of their efficacy in teaching your dog how to behave. However, some people consider the electronic dog collar unethical, because it uses electronic shocks to calm the barking. It is up to you to choose the most proper method to educate your dog. You should know that no matter which dog collar you choose, it will not harm your dog, but merely annoy it. If you want to read more about no bark dog collars and why they are so safe for your dog’s health, click this link.

What is the difference between a Chinese Imperial shih tzu and a normal one?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

I have been browsing looking for puppies and often it comes up that there are Chinese Imperial ones and just Imperial ones. I just wanted to know the difference.

the "Imperial" shih tzu are just under sized shih tzus. Some breeders say they are a new breed but they are basically like the runt of a litter.