Shih Tzus are one of the most homely pets in the animal kingdom. Shih Tzus are probably the only breed that solely originated to become human companions. They are extremely adjusting, outgoing, compassionate and happy-go-lucky pets. You can spot a Shih Tzu from a distance for their striking teddy look; they have thick fur all over their bodies. They tend to be highly picky with their food and love throwing tantrums. Only a Shih Tzu parent knows the heart-warming feeling of sharing the house with them. Let us try and describe what all should you know before adopting a Shih Tzu?
There are many conspiracy theories regarding the roots of this breed. From Buddha to Tibetan Monks, Shih Tzus have been very closely related to Tibetan religious texts and practices. Their documentation goes back to at least 1000 years ago.
Many people associate their origin with China, but they were first found in a neighbouring country, Tibet. Tibetans probably sent them to Chinese royalty as gifts, and they were then bred with Pekingese or Pugs to build the modern-day Shih Tzu breed.
Empress Tzu Hsi first adopted a Shih Tzu in 1861, and she became the inspiration after a Shih Tzu’s name. It is believed that the Dalai Lama himself gifted her a Shih Tzu, who was bred to train as per the royal rules. The breed was a common name in the Imperial Court.
The Mandarin term ‘’Shih Tzu’’ means little lion. Although the appearance could mimic a tiny lion, they are lovers, not hunters. As the legend has it, these were named little lions because of the Buddhist God of Learning, who walked around with them and believed to have the power of transforming them into full-grown lions.
Sharing the background with royalty, Shih Tzus have a dire desire for affection and appreciation. Their sole motive is to please their pet parent and receive an abundance of love. A pet parent’s lap is their favourite place to be. And there’s no doubt that they become a reflection of their pet parent and vice versa.
Shih Tzus are intelligent and agile dogs. They are highly perceptive about their surroundings and pet parents. They can get very choosy and stubborn as well, especially with food. They generally do not like to change their habits of eating and the flavours they have already developed.
How much does a Shih Tzu eat?
Ideally, a Shih Tzu must be fed ½-1 cup of high-quality food. Lean protein best suits them. They develop their taste buds early on; it is better to expose them to variations in the initial years. Hence, seek healthy dog food online for your little one.
Shih Tzus are also called the “Chrysanthemum dog”. Like the petals of the flower, a Shih Tzu’s hair tends to grow everywhere. With a nose at the centre, the hair tends to fall on all its body parts.
A luscious fur coat requires more maintenance. Regular brushing of the fur and bathing once a week is necessary for the health of a Shih Tzu's fur coat. They can get highly fussy and aggressive about it, as they do not like to take baths. Still, for hygiene purposes, grooming can not be ignored in their case.
Sometimes a breed of dog can be more susceptible to certain diseases. Hence a pet parent must be more cautious about such things.
1. Ticks and Fleas
They naturally attract more ticks and fleas because of their long fur.
2. Heat Strokes
Due to their short face, Shih Tzus can catch heat stroke easily. So they need a cool environment; hence many Shih Tzus prefer ACs in summers.
3. Inhalant Allergies
As Shih Tzus do not have muzzles, the respiratory system is compromised. Hence, one must not smoke or use chemical cleaning products around them.
4. Food Allergies
These are pretty common in Shih Tzus, so pet parents must follow a prescribed diet for them or else get ready to bear the consequences.
5. Contact Allergies
Substances like bedding, flea powder, dog shampoos/other chemicals can irritate.
6. Juvenile Renal Dysplasia (JRD)
Genetically Shih Tzus are prone to defective kidneys, leading to excessive thirst and urination all the time.
7. Bladder infections and Eye & Ear infections are also common.
8. Past Traumas
Psychologically, Shih Tzus tend to take past traumas very seriously.
For example: If your Shih Tzu once slipped from stairs in the puppy stage, there are chances that they develop and carry that fear into adulthood.
Here are few characteristics of a Shih Tzu, you can use it as a reference for your little lion:
In a world where you have been dying to look for compatibility; Shih Tzus are your go-to buddies. They can be however you like them to be; a pillow for every mellow moment, a pacifier for every split-up, a companion for every outing session and of course, a cuddle partner. With looks on their side, love is not far behind. It is only fair that, with such an understanding, they like to be stubborn with their ways. We must assume it to be our duty to understand their requirements and likings. Pet Store Online is the most appropriate place to equip you with all such facts about them.