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Shih Tzus

Breed information & advice

Shih Tzus are a small breed or ‘lapdog’ and are popular pets in the UK. Shih Tzu’s are playful animals and likely to keep you on your toes with their bouts of energy, so make sure they have access to toys to keep them busy for long periods of time.

Shih Tzus respond to love and and will reward you with their intelligence and adaptability. They are independent thinkers so training them might take longer than other breeds, but as long as you are patient with them you will have them sitting, shaking paws and rolling over sooner than you think.

Recommended exercise & nutrition

Shih Tzus don’t need copious amounts of exercise as they are only small dogs. They love walks and adventuring but will be happy with around 30 minutes walking each day; this can be done in one or two sessions as is convenient.

Shih Tzus are usually happy in the house, but if they’re bored they will find other ways of entertaining themselves… and this includes eating! Depending on their build, Shih Tzus need around 102g of food over the course of the day. Regular feeding times provide a routine for your dog which will help them become more obedient.

Did you know?

Shih Tzus first originated in Tibet, and in Mandarin the name ‘Shih Tzu’ translates to ‘Little Lion’. This is thought to be because the Tibetan Buddhist God of Learning was said to travel with a small lion!

Common health problems & illnesses

A Shih Tzu can live up to sixteen years as long as it is happy, healthy and properly cared for. Many dogs suffer from issues that affect their breed and unfortunately the Shih Tzu is not an exception. Choose from 6 levels of dog insurance cover.

Hip Dysplasia is a hereditary condition so dogs who suffer are generally not allowed to breed, but sometimes it can develop and become unavoidable. Some Shih Tzu’s hips don’t develop properly, and the ball and socket joins are unable to fit together. Normally this condition only becomes a hindrance in a dog’s older years, but of course there are exceptions.

The problem with dogs who have been bred to have ‘squished’ faces is that they can develop problems when breathing. If a Shih Tzu gets particularly hot, they can develop hypothermia quite quickly. Breathing problems are not uncommon amongst Shih Tzus, so ensure that you look out for early signs.

Dental hygiene shouldn’t be ignored for any canine; feeding them specially designed chews and using a doggy toothbrush regularly will help keep their teeth clean.


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