Shih Tzus are quite small, and usually don’t get much taller than about 10.5 inches. They weigh between 9-16 pounds, on average, and can live up to 18 years. That’s twice as long as some breeds!
Did you know that the name Shih Tzu means ‘little lion’? This may stem from an old myth about the Buddha. According to the legend, the Buddha—accompanied by his little Shih Tzu buddy—was attacked by robbers. Wanting to protect his human friend, the Shih Tzu turned into a lion, and chased the robbers away!
You may know that different types of dogs were bred to perform specific jobs, such as hunting and herding. If these little guys had an official duty, it would simply to look adorable! Shih Tzus are very cuddly and affectionate, and love to snuggle up on their owners’ laps.
Shih Tzus should be brushed and combed daily, as their fur tends to mat easily if not properly cared for. Tearstains are not uncommon in these little guys. This is in part because, being so little, they often get dust in their eyes. Use a wet cotton ball or face cloth to clean Fido’s eyes. You may also want to trim the fur near your pet’s eyes. Be very careful, and use only blunt-end scissors. Ear care is also important. Last but not least, be sure to take good care of your pup’s teeth. Shih Tzus can be prone to dental problems. Ask your vet for specific advice.
While Saskatchewan isn’t exactly known for having a sweltering climate, we do have the occasional heat wave. Hot weather can be very dangerous to these little guys! Make sure Fido always has shade and fresh water when temperatures rise.
Just like any other dog, Shih Tzus need proper training to make good pets. These cute pups can be hard to housebreak. Be patient and consistent, and don’t let your pooch develop any bad habits. Crate training is recommended, as it can really help with housebreaking.
Do you have questions about caring for a Shih Tzu? Contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet hospital, today!