Are you thinking about adding a cute Shih Tzu puppy to your family? You are not alone. In fact, Shih Tzus are among the most popular tiny dog breeds in the USA and around the world.
Before heading to a Shih Tzu puppy breeder, you can check your local shelter, rescue center, or online dog adoption resources for abandoned Shih Tzu dogs looking for new forever homes.
Here are some facts to keep in mind before bringing home a Shih Tzu puppy.
This dog breed’s name is not pronounced like a common swear word
Many people mispronounce Shih Tzu, making it sound like a common swear word. The fact is, the western pronunciation of this ancient Chinese dog breed’s name is “sheed-zoo” or sometimes “sheet-su.”
In China, the breed’s name is pronounced “sher-zer,” and it means lion dog.
This beautiful and sweet dog has been a preferred companion dog for Chinese royalty since the 14th century, so it deserves to have its proud name pronounced properly.
Its coat will evolve from a single coat to a double coat
At an early age, Shih Tzu puppies have soft single coats, which by the age of 7 months, will start turning into a luxurious double coat with a softer inner coat and a rougher outer one.
So, while grooming Shih Tzu puppies is easy when they are young, you should be prepared for more thorough regular grooming once they grow up.
As companion dogs, Shih Tzus adapt to the owner and not the home
Your Shih Tzu puppy will gladly follow you anywhere you decide to move during its lifetime as long as you are together.
These cute puppies are very loyal and affectionate dogs that have been bred as companion dogs. This means that once they bond with their owners, they will happily live with them, no matter whether they live in a huge mansion or in a tiny apartment.
Their single mission in life is to love their humans, so make sure you spend a lot of time interacting and showing affection to your Shih Tzu puppy and dog, and you will receive endless love in return.
Shih Tzu puppies are gallant with everyone
Shih Tzu puppies will gladly allow being cuddled and handled by their owners, as well as by children, and even by strangers and other pets.
Make sure that you warn your young children to handle the young puppy gently, and keep an eye on your pets if you have larger dogs and cats at home, as the delicate Shih Tzu can easily be injured during rough play and mishandling.
A Shih Tzu puppy can weigh less than 3 pounds when it is two months old, so it is fragile and needs to be treated with care.
Thankfully, it will grow to its adult size of 10-16 lbs. pretty quickly – at the age of about seven months. Still, it is one of the small dog breeds.
Like other dogs with cute short faces, Shih Tzus can have breathing problems
While their smushed little faces are simply adorable, Shih Tzu puppies and adult dogs of this breed are prone to breathing problems.
Due to the specific face type and structure of their palate and trachea (known as Brachycephalic), these puppies often will snore and wheeze when they are sleeping. So, get prepared to listen to your puppy snoring night after night.
They can also have difficulty breathing, suffer from exercise intolerance, and pant during the day while awake.
But the real problems with breathing can appear on hot days when they can suffer from a heat stroke if they are exposed for long to the scorching heat.
You can learn more about the breathing problems in Shih Tzu puppies and ways to prevent them and improve their well-being here.