Shih Tzu Nursery Three
Last updated 02-24-2021
This nursery is now closed, cleaned and getting prepared for the next litter. I'm planning a new litter for late summer, early fall. Please Check back. But wait, want to learn a bit more about the Shih Tzu?
The Shih Tzu dog is called the "Chinese Lion Dog" or "Chrysanthemum" Dog because the hair that grows around the face of a new puppy resembles a flower.
The best way to pronounce this Chinese name is "Sheed zoo" You may hear it called by other names including shit-zoo which is incorrect.
Shih Tzu dogs have a double coat that consists of a harder outer coat and a soft dense undercoat. Puppies do not get their undercoat until they are about 8 to 10 months old at which time they need daily brushing to keep the coat from becoming tangled. There are variations to this general rule.
Some Shih Tzu dogs have a more cottony hair coat that appears fluffy and is difficult to grow to full lengths. Sometimes these cottony coats mat more easily that their cousins with straighter coats.
Some Shih Tzu dogs never grow in the undercoat and if the hair on their face fails to grow, they are considered, Prapso Pups.
The normal lifespan of a Shih Tzu is between 10 and 18 years, though reaching 18 years is rare. The average span is about 13 to 15 years old if cared for properly.
There is a wide range of possible answers to this question, but the average litter size is four to five puppies. Litter size is determined by the mother and is dependent on her genetics, health, age, and care during pregnancy. It is not uncommon for older moms to have fewer puppies. Small litters are also the result of timing problems during mating.
At between 9 and 16 pounds, the Shih Tzu is a natural choice for families with older children. They are sturdy, friendly, playful, and love human attention.
Most Shih Tzu dogs will love the entire family if given the opportunity, but some will be more attached to one person (usually the one that gives them the most attention and positive experience). Children do need to be taught how to respect and care for a dog if they have never had one, and small children should be supervised while interacting with the dog.
Shih Tzu dogs have been bred for centuries as companions and lap dogs and often people assume they are not smart. That is hardly the case and any Shih Tzu owner will tell you that their Shih Tzu often outsmarts them!
In 1994, Stanley Coren published his book, "The Intelligence Of Dogs." In the book, Dr. Coren ranked dogs based on their trainability, ability to problem solve and how well they performed the job they were meant to do.
Out of 138 breeds tested, the Shih Tzu ranked in at 128 which means, according to Dr. Coren that it takes about 80 to 100 repetitions before a dog can understand a new command. This is certainly a poor tract record, but has not been my experience at least with young dogs and those that were well-bred.
You are likely to hear Shih Tzu owners complaining about how stubborn their dog is and frustrated with difficulties in training.
Shih Tzu dogs do have a reputation for being stubborn. For example, you ask your Shih Tzu to come inside and they look at you like, "so why would I want to do that?"
Shih Tzu dogs are opportunists and have that, "what's in it for me" attitude. If you can convince them that what you are asking them to do is in their best interest, you are more likely to have a cooperative dog. If not, you're likely to butt heads.
Absolutely. They are gentle, friendly, loving and want to please. They do require more grooming than most breeds so new owners need to understand they will require some daily attention.
Due to their small size, they are portable and go where their owners go willingly. Training is easier to accomplish if started at a young age, but potty training may be an ongoing process for part of their first year of life.