I’m Looking Into Adopting a Shih-Tzu! Any Help to Answer Basic Q’s?

Okay! Hey everyone! Havin a good Wednesday? (:

My name is Mackenzie & me and my mom were on our way to a cafe this afternoon
when a man came outside with his puppy who was only a few weeks old. We played with her
for about 10 minutes and I FELL. IN. LOVE.
I want a shih tzu so badly now! The problems are that I’m 13 and my mom says little dogs like that have problems, etc etc.

So these are my questions;

1- How much are they typically? I don’t need an official purebred or anything. No champion bloodline. Just a shih tzu! XD What’s the lowest, most realistic price?

2- What are their typical health issues? I know some have several problems. I mean not for the super duper pure-bred kinds that are all wacky morphed to be perfect. So what are the usual health problems?

3- I know they are very sensitive to heat. I live in New England so it’s really not bad, but the summers can get pretty hot. What does that mean, "sensitive"? What will happen if they are exposed to too much heat???

4- My puppy would never be a show dog. So I want her hair fairly short. Not buzz cut but not loooong Rapunzel-puppy. Just slightly shaggy(: Can I trim her hair from home? Is it very hard? How often would I need to trim her hair?

5- Names! What should I name it? If I get it, of course! It will be a female, I love the mix of colors. Like mainly white with black and brown or something. I like Lulu or Tess. Any other sweet names?

Thank you very much!

PS; Answers provided by actual shih tzu owners would be super awesome!
BYB Have Gigantic Hunts;
Excuse me, please don’t twist my words. I never said I didnt care about health issues, if I did why in the world would I be asking about health questions? Silly.
I just meant I dont need a Champion or rare kind.

Dreamer;
Yes, haha, of course I know it takes research!
Of course of course! I just have been interested in
this puppy for about, hmm, 3 hours? So considering
I’ve already asked several questions about this I’m off to
a good start. I know what their personality is, as well, already.
Thank you.

1 - So you don’t care about quality or health, just a breed name and that it kinda resembles the puppy you saw? Then you can get an unhealthy poorly tempered dog from any backyard breeder or puppy mill. Just don’t come back to us when you can’t housebreak the pup and it has massive hip and eye problems. Prices for these types of dogs start at about $350 and go up to $3000.

If you want a healthy puppy, then prices will generally start at about $750 and go up to $2000. http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/ can help you locate a responsible breeder.

Rescue shih tzus can be anywhere form $25 up to $500, depending on where the dog is rescued from. http://www.petfinder.com and the link above can help with that.

2- Epilepsy, sinus problems, eye problems, hip problems, liver shunts, are a few of the inherited problems. Shih Tzus actually have a HIGHER rate of Hip Dysplasia than German Shepherds do! Buying a healthy dog from a responsible breeder that does the proper health testing will reduce these risks.

3- Sensitive to heat means that you can’t work them hard in heat and you shouldn’t leave them outside when it’s hot.

4- You can keep the dog in a puppy cut. You can certainly try to do this yourself with a pair of scissors and shears, but it’s usually much easier just to have a groomer do it. It’s done once every month or two.

5- Natasha

I’m sorry, my goal was not to attack you, just to wake you up a little bit. I’m not sure you understand the importance of bloodlines and purebred status. Good breeders breed healthy dogs - these dogs are papered and have excellent bloodlines. Each litter will consist of pets AND show dogs. In unpapered poor bloodline dogs, inherited diseases are more common.

6 Responses to “I’m Looking Into Adopting a Shih-Tzu! Any Help to Answer Basic Q’s?”

  1. BYB's Have Giantic Hunts says:

    1 - So you don’t care about quality or health, just a breed name and that it kinda resembles the puppy you saw? Then you can get an unhealthy poorly tempered dog from any backyard breeder or puppy mill. Just don’t come back to us when you can’t housebreak the pup and it has massive hip and eye problems. Prices for these types of dogs start at about $350 and go up to $3000.

    If you want a healthy puppy, then prices will generally start at about $750 and go up to $2000. http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/ can help you locate a responsible breeder.

    Rescue shih tzus can be anywhere form $25 up to $500, depending on where the dog is rescued from. http://www.petfinder.com and the link above can help with that.

    2- Epilepsy, sinus problems, eye problems, hip problems, liver shunts, are a few of the inherited problems. Shih Tzus actually have a HIGHER rate of Hip Dysplasia than German Shepherds do! Buying a healthy dog from a responsible breeder that does the proper health testing will reduce these risks.

    3- Sensitive to heat means that you can’t work them hard in heat and you shouldn’t leave them outside when it’s hot.

    4- You can keep the dog in a puppy cut. You can certainly try to do this yourself with a pair of scissors and shears, but it’s usually much easier just to have a groomer do it. It’s done once every month or two.

    5- Natasha

    I’m sorry, my goal was not to attack you, just to wake you up a little bit. I’m not sure you understand the importance of bloodlines and purebred status. Good breeders breed healthy dogs - these dogs are papered and have excellent bloodlines. Each litter will consist of pets AND show dogs. In unpapered poor bloodline dogs, inherited diseases are more common.
    References :

  2. Dreamer says:

    You need to do some serious research- just because you think one puppy is cute doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy a dog!

    The realistic price for a dog with any type of decent health and breeding is around $800+.

    This breed has a LOT of health issues. If you pick one out of the newspapers for cheap, you’re looking at all sorts of eye problems, cherry eye, respiratory problems, dental problems, heart problems, joint problems… pretty much every type of problem imaginable. A well bred dog has less risk, but there are still risks. Again- research, which doesn’t mean asking other people to tell you! Get on google and find webpages to read for yourself, and talk to breeders.

    Dogs with short faces have a hard time cooling themselves properly when they pant. This means they can overheat much more rapidly than other dogs. New England doesn’t have a big risk for this, just don’t leave the dog in a car or outside in the hot sun.

    I do NOT suggest attempting to clip your dog yourself. At best, you’ll have a horribly uneven, choppy looking dog. At worst, you’ll seriously injure it in your attempts. Clippers and scissors are extremely sharp, and most dogs are not terribly cooperative about the procedure. In addition to which, grooming is more than just cutting hair- ears have to be cleaned and plucked, nails trimmed, anal glands expressed, etc. With a dog like this, you are far better off leaving it to a professional- that’s what they’re there for.

    Bottom line, do breed research first, and make sure that this is really the breed for you. Considering you didn’t ask a single question about the temperament or personality of the breed, I have a feeling you have no idea what you are getting into and are just after a cute fuzzy puppy. If you get through all your research and are still interested, start researching reputable breeders in your area and get on a waiting list.
    References :

  3. Kelliejh says:

    I absolutely love shih tzu’s and have had them all of my life! I recently became the proud owner of a new shih tzu puppy two weeks ago!! So from experience here is what I know:

    1- My new puppy is an "imperial" shih tzu which is a small breed of shih tzu and he was $300. females always cost more so your pup may be a little more expensive. My shih tzu I grew up with was about the same price, maybe a little less but that was 12 years ago. (plus I live in Oklahoma so the prices may be cheaper here from breeders)

    2- The most usual problem for shih tzu’s are allergies. all of my shih tzus have had allergy problems. Research how to avoid the problem, for instance food with too much corn or way too much protein tends to give them skin allergies. As well as tap water oddly enough sometimes gives them skin allergies. My new puppy right now is already having an allergic reaction to his flea and tick medicine, and it breaks my heart because I know he is going crazy! (but he is asleep right now after having an antihistamine so it is calming down! ) They also tend to have heart problems when they get older. Our last shih tzu we had to put down passed away from a bad heart murmur.

    3- Like I said I live in Oklahoma and the summers here are brutal. Our shih tzus have done great in the heat but they also live in inside. Their coats are puffy and thick so they do get hot very easily. keep your pup inside majority of the time and she should be fine!

    4- I am looking for the same hair cut with my pup. Right now his hair body at 12 weeks is not growing that quickly but the hair around his face and "potty area" grows real quick. I have been trimming it back very carefully with hair trimming scissors. Our older shih tzu goes to the groomer every other week for a hair cut. Not so much because the hair gets super long but because he starts to stink a little so he needs a good bath! So you could probably wait about 3 weeks to a month for a groom if you are willing to give her baths yourself : )

    5- My shih tzu is a brindle color and i think it is the most gorgeous color!! He is a boy and his name is Milo, but i think lulu is adorable (my roommate has a puggle named lulu ) I am not very good with dog names, I am not that creative!

    Hope any of this helps. They are way worth it! They are such good little companions with great personalities! Enjoy the pup if you end up getting her and good luck!
    References :
    personal

  4. *julie*-->away<-- says:

    -From a shelter, $75-$300. this includes spay/neuter,vaccinatons, first bag of food, microchip, collar/leash(At most shelters atleast)
    -I believe they are prone to eye problems. Don’t get a pet store dog, you will most likely end up with a dog that has MULTIPLE health issues in the future
    -They can get heat stroke, dehydrate and possibly die if they are left in heat for longer they can handle(it can only be a few minutes in a hot car) and they can die
    -Don’t know any names

    You and your mom need to talk more about this. Don’t just get a dog because of its looks. You should research alot of other breeds that you AND your mom like and agree on one. You should also talk to her about financial commitment. A puppy’s first year can cost around $1,000-$2,000 and they need alot of training/socializing..basically alot of your time so you and your mom need to talk about this so you don’t end up having to get rid of the dog because its more than what you expected.
    References :

  5. Pixie says:

    Temperment;
    Shih Tzus are intelligent, playful, affectionate, self confident and outgoing. Shih Tzus make great apartment dogs and companion dogs for the elderly. These charming and personable dogs are devoted to their owners and their families. Shih Tzus are outgoing and friendly and like just about everyone. They make great traveling companions and rarely show any aggressive behavior toward strangers or strange animals. The breed is easily cowed by toddlers and small children who are too rough for this small dog. However the breed gets along extremely well with older, considerate children. Shih Tzus respond very well to reward-based (food and praise) training for the small amount of training they require. However the breed is extremely difficult to house train (see our free Report on Puppy Training) and if you are still having some problems after 3 months – get professional help. This breed loves to be the center of attention and will take all the pampering you can provide.

    Exercise:

    Shih Tzus enjoy a daily walk but like most short-faced dogs do not do well in hot and humid weather. The breed is very adaptable and if you are a keen walker, then the Shih Tzu is quite happy to accompany you but it is also quite happy if you want to stay home. Shih Tzus make great apartment dogs and can adapt to being left alone during the day as long as they get plenty of attention and play time before and after work.

    Grooming:

    A Shih Tzu requires a lot of grooming to keep it looking good. The double coat needs to be brushed and combed thoroughly every day to prevent tangles. The long hair on the head can scratch the dog’s eyes and should be tied up with a hair band. The beard and moustache should be combed daily and the dog’s bottom checked for cleanliness. Shih Tzu owners who are not planning to show their dogs should consider getting their coats trimmed and clipped to a 4 inch length every six weeks. Although this will change the breed characteristics, it is better to have a clipped Shih Tzu than one that is full of tangles. Remember to check the eyes and ears on a regular basis.

    Health Issues:

    Shih Tzus can be expected to live for 10 to 14 years. The breed has a number of common health problems including: brachiocephalic syndrome (respiratory problems); eye and eyelid disorders such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, KLS (dry-eye), entropion, ectropion, and eye lacerations; orthopedic problems such as patellar luxation and intervertebral disc disease; kidney problems; von Willebrands disease (mild bleeding disorder); and ear infections. Information on some of these genetic diseases can be found in our article Hereditary Diseases in Dogs. Prospective buyers should ask for the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test results and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.
    References :
    http://www.dog-breed-facts.com/Breeds/shih-tzu.html

  6. ?Love My Shih Tzus? says:

    Hi Mackenzie Im a proud owner of 3 shih tzus Bella 2years old and 2 puppies that will be one year old next month. Shih tzus are excellent pets,

    1- typically a shih tzu puppy from a reputable breeder will cost anywhere from $300.00 to $1,000.00 + just for a pet quality puppy.

    2 - Health problems Patellar Luxation, Stenotic Nares, Cleft Palate, Umbilical Hernia, Bleeding Disorder,
    Renal Cortical Hypoplasia, Harderian Gland Prolapse (Cherry eye), Hypothyroidism, General Respiratory Problems, Intervertebral Disk Disease - Back Problem, are some of the typical health issues.

    3 - Shih Tzus are brachycephalic (short-muzzled) dogs and are very sensitive to high temperatures. Many airlines that ship dogs will not accept them for shipment when temperatures at any point on the planned itinerary exceeds 75 °F A brachycephalic skull is relatively broad and short (typically with the breadth at least 80% of the length). Dog breeds such as the Pug are sometimes classified as "Extreme Brachycephalic".

    4 - I keep my shih tzus in the longer coat which requires daily grooming no matter how short or long their hair is. I groom my shih tzus at home I have a set of professional clippers at home but being that you are only 13 years old I highly doubt your mom will let you butchure the dog. Professional grooming can be quite expensive for these little dogs I spend about $500.00-$700.00 a year on professional grooming. along with home trimming in between.

    5 - I like the names you choose Lulu is perfect. My shih tzus are named Gracie, Bella Scooby and I like these names Paisley, Pixie, Sophie, Lacey, Macy, Maisey, Bailey.
    References :
    Owner of 3 shih tzus and 1 yorkshire terrier

Leave a Reply