Shih Tzu Dog Breed

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Description: The Shih Tzu is considered a toy breed of dog. The Shih Tzu weighs between 9 and 14 pounds and reaches about 10 inches at the shoulder. This beautiful breed has a long, silky coat that reaches the ground. The coat can be grey and white, gold, black, red and white, or black and white. The muzzle is short and sports a long beard and moustaches. The dog’s tail curls up over its back. The Shih Tzu should be a muscular, compact dog. This breed is also called the Chrysanthemum Dog or the Tibetan Lion Dog.

History: The Shih Tzu is a very old breed of dog that traces its lineage back to the Lhaso Apso of Tibet. It was considered to be a sacred dog and housed in temples there. It was eventually taken to China where it became a court favorite. The Chinese royal house particularly favored these dogs and the original stock was crossed with the Pekingese to produce the dog that is familiar today. The Chinese refused to allow any dog out of the country for many years. The first dog only made their way to England in the 1930s.

Temperament: The Shih Tzu is a friendly dog with what many consider to be a regal bearing. This is a happy dog with a great deal of personality. They are lapdogs and are most content when lying in the lap of one of their human friends. This breed loves to be with its human family and gets along well with children and other dogs. They do, however, have an obstinate side that can make training somewhat difficult.

Health Issues: A very serious health concern with this dog breed is a condition called Renal Dysplasia. This is probably a genetic ailment that causes the kidneys to eventually stop working. They can also develop bladder and kidney stones, which are treatable. This breed can also experience spinal problems because of its long back. Because of their short faces, they can also have breathing problems and often snore or wheeze.

Grooming: Although the Shih Tzu has what is considered to be a hypoallergenic coat, grooming is going to be an important part of this dog’s maintenance. The long coat needs to be brushed every day. Many owners tie the hair on the dog’s head up into a topknot. The eyes of this dog are delicate and should be cleaned every day. Most are kept as pets and are given a puppy cut for ease of care.

Living Conditions: The Shih Tzu is a perfect dog for an apartment, as well as for a house. This dog loves to play inside so only short walks are needed to maintain its condition. This breed enjoys being near its family and can experience separation anxiety. This dog wants to be a member of the family. This puppy or dog should definitely be protected from extremes of temperature and, despite its long coat, must be allowed to sleep indoors.

For more information on the Shih Tzu breed, Training and Puppies visit my pages below.

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How to Find Reputable Shih Tzu Breeders

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Although the prospect of raising your own Shih Tzu is nice one to imagine, impulsively buying them from the first Shih Tzu breeders you come across may not be. No one is dismissing the possibility that you can get discounts, or a good deal, when buying puppies from Shih Tzu breeders, but you need to be sure you’re buying from legitimate ones. Legitimate breeders, those who breed dogs according to healthy breeding standards, are often part of breeding clubs. Such breeders are capable of providing you with registration of the pups’ bloodline and even the inoculations and deworming sessions they’ve undergone.

For those who are really interested in specific dog breeds, legitimate breeders should be your first option. There are stories of pet owners who adopt pure bred Shih Tzu from animal shelters and rescues, but that’s a rare occurrence. If you’re planning to raise Shih Tzu pups yourself, you have a higher chance of find that with Shih Tzu breeders than trying your luck with dog shelters. Shelters may at times have some abandoned puppies one could adopt, but most of the time they take in adult pups that are abandoned, orphaned, left on the street cold and hungry and homeless. Plus, if you usually take part in dog shows - and enter your best dogs there - getting in touch with a legitimate breeder increases your chances of your dog’s passing the show’s conformation standards.

Breeders of the legit line usually have references you can check. A trustworthy breeder will volunteer right away, when you interview them, their references which you can of course check - they want you to see right away they are not part of some puppy mill that’s after only profit. They will also be asking you a lot of questions, mostly about your experience in raising the Shih Tzu breed. This is understandable: the breeder wants to know if you can actually take care of the breed, and not just be able to buy them - it’s a good policy that reduces the chances of selling dogs to people who care for them in the beginning and later neglect them.

A good home includes having clean and sanitary space for the pups, a family that understands the needs of this breed, an owner with the finances to shoulder the expenses (pet bedding, quality dog food, check ups, inoculations, deworming sessions, medical procedures as needed, grooming paraphernalia, and so on), and a big heart to devote to raising the pups. 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 this small dog breed and the necessity to routinely bring it outside (or to the designated area) can take up a lot of time. So now you understand why a breeder would ask you all those questions - he wants to know if the dog or dogs will be in good hands. 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.

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Ten Dangerous Dog Foods Your Shih Tzu (Or Any Other Dog For That Matter) Should Never Eat

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

You may like to spoil your dog and I certainly cannot blame you. With those loving eyes who can resist? But when it comes to the food you give your Shih Tzu you need to be careful, as you can harm your dog without even knowing it. Please go through this list and make sure you don’t feed your dog any of these foods. Some of the foods may even surprise you.

Fast Foods

Pizza, hamburgers and similar foods contain a lot of dead calories. It can add a lot of kilos to your mid riff and the same is true for your dog.  A small dog like a Shih Tzu does not have to eat a lot of junk food before the extra kilograms begin to show. Even worse, once your dog takes a liking to junk food, he may want it all the time and your dog will not get all the eating these type of foods can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition and being overweight can have serious long term consequences to your dog’s health.


The ingredient in chocolate that is toxic to your dog is theobromine. It takes roughly 150mg per kilogram of body weight for theobromine to cause a toxic reaction. Bakers chocolate is the most dangerous because it contains 390mg theobromine per ounce. Semi sweet chocolate is less dangerous with Milk Chocolate being the least dangerous. Another reason to avoid chocolate is because it has been known to cause depression in dogs.


Onions contain thiosulphate that will lead to haemolytic anaemia. It means the red blood cells actually burst while circulating in the body. Scary!


Garlic is family of onions and will affect your dog in the same way, but to a lesser extent.


The poisonous ingredient in avocado is called persin. This can be found in the Avocado leaves, the fruit, the skin and the bark. Also be careful of products containing avocado oil.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. All it takes is a small amount, especially for such a small dog as a Shih Tzu. Be careful of foods like fruitcake.


The tomato plant is the most dangerous, but tomatoes can also be fatal. Tomatoes can cause heart arrhythmias and tremors.


The most common dangerous are coffee and tea. Caffeine can cause restlessness, vomiting and heart palpitations and can lead to eventual death if an overdose occurs. Caffeine has the same effect on dogs as humans meaning it affects the central nervous system and the cardiac system.

Chicken bones

Chicken bones can splinter and cause serious damage to your dogs digestive tract. For this reason it is better to avoid chicken bones. You should rather avoid all bones that have the ability to splinter.

Dairy Products

Like humans, a lot of dogs are lactose intolerant and it is better to avoid all dairy products. Dairy products are also one of the main causes of allergies in dogs.

Now that you know what foods not to give to your dog, you may want to find out what foods you should be feeding your Shih Tzu You can find out more by visiting

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Tips to Housebreaking A Shih Tzu Puppy

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

House training a Shih Tzu puppy is very challenging, as Shih Tzu puppies are like most other dog breed, they have short attention span. In addition, Shih Tzu is a breed that is very stubborn in nature.

Here are some tips to housebreaking a puppy:

Designated areas

You need to set a designated area as “peeing areas” where your puppy can go. These areas will be marked off by where the pads or newspapers are. If they go off the “peeing areas”, you will need to redirect them and then praise them for going on the pads.

The main point here is to move your puppy to the “peeing area” whenever you notice them about to eliminate. You will need to watch closely when they are getting ready to go.

Once your lovely puppy adapted to using the pad or papers, you will need to move them closer to the door and subsequently put them outside of your house. Soon your puppy will know that outdoors are for potty.

Crate Training

Crate training is an important tool for potty training a Shih Tzu puppy. You need to know that no puppy wants to go to the bathroom in their crate, as this is their bed space and they will want it clean.

What you need to do is to get a crate that is only large enough to be their bed. A large kennel will only give them space to go to the bathroom in it.

Please do not use the crate as a punishment, because you want your puppy to enjoy being inside the crate, in order for you to have a good and safe place to leave them when you are busy or not at home.

Handling an accident

When your Shih Tzu puppy makes a mess or accident, please do not punish them. For the reason that puppy will not remember what you are punishing most of the time. Punishment will only confuse them and create anxieties and might create future behavior problems.

However, you must always remember to pet and praise your puppy every time they do the right thing. Giving the puppy treats and enthusiastic affection will encourage it to go potty where you desire. Shih Tzu response well to affection and the knowledge that they have pleased their owners and will likely do what they can to receive this type of treatment.

Housebreaking a puppy is not easy, but you will be surprised how fast your puppy will adapt. It will take very little time to let it be familiarized to going outside for elimination. Consistency, patience and persistence will definitely help in housebreaking a Shih Tzu puppy.

Having problem training your Shih Tzu? Claim your FREE report for Shih Tzu Training now

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Getting Rid of Fleas in Your Shih Tzu

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

A healthy and well behaved Shih Tzu is what every Shih Tzu owner aims. Training, proper care and diet are provided in order to reach that aim. However, not all Shih Tzu owners are successful in keeping their Shih Tzu healthy and free from diseases or health issues. Sometimes, these tiny creatures get what they’re not supposed to have.

Flea infestation is one of the most common problems affecting dogs regardless of breed. Fleas wouldn’t be a problem only if they do not harm their host. However, fleas feed on their host’s blood, causing skin irritation, allergic reactions, anemia and sometimes, death. In addition, most of them often carry tapeworms that can cause severe itching and even allergy.

Detecting flea infestation in a Shih Tzu is not quite easy. Their double-coated, dense, long and flowing coat makes it difficult for you to detect fleas. But if you will just look for signs, you will soon find out what makes Fluffy scratch like crazy. Scratching is one important sign that must not be taken for granted. If your pet scratches, he may have been bitten or he may also have dry skin, allergy or mange mites. Aside from scratching, he may also bite at his rear end especially around his tail or the inside or outside of his thighs.

Since fleas feed on blood, for sure they will excrete blood. Look for small bits of brown dust attached to the fur itself. If the dust dissolves into reddish liquid when dropped into wet paper towel, that for sure wasn’t an ordinary dust but flea dirt. An indication that you must do something to get rid of fleas in your Shih Tzu.

There are various ways to remove fleas. Use a flea comb to search for and remove fleas. You can dab some petroleum jelly on the comb to make the fleas stick to its teeth. Give particular attention in the armpits, between your dog’s toes, behind and in the ears, around the tail and head. Some are using chemical and commercial medications as well as electronic flea traps to get rid of fleas easily. But due to safety issues, some owners prefer natural treatment and prevention such as natural ingredient-based flea repellents.

Yes, there are ways to get rid of flea infestation but prevention is better than cure right? Inspecting your pet each day and after going outdoors are sure ways to prevent your beloved Shih Tzu from being infested by fleas.

Richard Cussons is not just a writer but also a great lover of dogs. Discover more about Shih Tzu training at this site dedicated to Shih Tzu.

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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.

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.