Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu has been classified as a toy dog or companion dog and is very proud, noble and arrogant. It has long flowing hair that adorns its hips and body and the tail it carries over its back shows off its unmistakable purely Chinese lineage. The Shih Tzu should have a compact and solid body, it should have substance to it and weight which is generally around five to eight kilograms. The height should be around twenty-five to twenty seven centimeters. The type and characteristics of this dog are very important, as these are what make this dog what it is. The head should be round and wide, and in balance with the body. The eyes are big and round, not prominent nor should they be too closely together when seen from the front. The ears are long and have an abundant amount of hair on them. The skull should be rounded and it should have a defined stop; the muzzle is short and square. The neck should be well inserted and sufficiently low to allow the head to stand tall. The body should be compact and robust and should be slightly longer than its height; it should not have long extremities. The chest should be wide and long, not in the shape of a barrel though. The tail is highly inserted and should be carried with appropriate hind angulations; the hocks should be low. The coat should look luxurious and it should be double coated. Some of them have slightly wavy coats as well. The hair it has on its head is usually placed upwards out of its eyes. This dog comes in many different colors.

Ideal owner:
There are few dogs that are so unconditionally affectionate as the Shih Tzu. These little fellows that are covered in a silky coat, seem to intuitively understand each word and will react to them. This dog is the compendium of all toy dogs, and loves being spoiled and being carried in arms, but it can become just as vicious as it can spoiled. It likes to act like the lady of the house, it playful, and accepts other dogs and children.

At birth this dog weighs around 170 grams. If you are interested in getting one of these dogs makes sure to check the puppies lips to make sure they are not split, which is a recessive transmitted problem in this breed. Puppy Shih Tzus are born with short hair that will grow very quickly – at seven weeks it will have the look of a dog with long hair and at three months, forget it – the first puppy hair cut will need to be done when it is six months old. The color of the coat is more of a personal decision and according to what the owner like and wishes, remember that the color of the coat can vary considerably in a puppy. Until it is an adult it is difficult to determine the exact color of the coat. Check and make sure its eyes are clean and avoid getting one that looks lethargic or lies around too much. You will also need to keep the dogs temperament in mind and avoid getting one that is too shy or vicious. Start brushing its coat from the moment it is a puppy so that it gets used to all of the barbers it will be going to.

General health:
The Shih Tzu is susceptible to dislocation of the shinbone, however this can be surgically corrected. The most important thing is the care of the coat, as well as the care of its eyes; its prominent eyes are prone to getting scratches and its eyelids and eyelashes can sometimes be irregular. Make sure to control the excess of or lack of tearing, and to give it the necessary treatment if needed. Nasal obstructions can also occur called stenosis between the age of six and eight weeks due to its flat nose. A dog that has this problem will snore and will have a liquid discharge from its nose. These dogs need to be kept out of the heat and avoid things that will make its breathing difficult in general. Their teeth require regular cleaning, and they will need to go to the veterinarian to get them checked. The most serious hereditary problems are renal cortical hypoplasia and split lips. Umbilical hernias have also been seen and are also hereditary and will be noticed at six or eight weeks of age. If this dog is well taken care of it can live over ten years. Make sure to clean up any messy accidents as these dogs have a tendency to eat it afterwards.

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