Tips and Information
Things to look for when purchasing a Shih Tzu.

When purchasing a Shih Tzu it is best if you do some research into the breed and then ask lots of questions of the breeder you are considering buying a pup from.  One of the best places to get information on the Shih Tzu breed is from the American Shih Tzu Club website.  They have a wealth of information on their site about these wonderful little dogs.  They have information on grooming, top knots, training, questions a breeder may ask you, and question you should ask a breeder.  Knowing this information makes you a more informed buyer and helps you to know what to look for in a responsible breeder.

Once you have decided that you want to own a Shih Tzu you need to make sure you deal with a reputable breeder that is interested in doing what is in the best interest of their dogs.

Below are some things to look for when choosing a breeder.

1.  Is the breeder knowledgeable about the breed and is he/she willing and able to answer all of your questions.

2.  Is the breeder interested in knowing about you and how the pup will be taken care of in your home.

3.  At what age are puppies placed by the breeder.  The American Shih Tzu Club (www.shihtzu.org) recommends that Shih Tzu pups are not placed before they are 12 weeks old.  They feel that pups need that time to be properly socialized.  A pup at 6 weeks may be eating solid food but in my experience they are not ready to go to their new homes.  The closer to 12 weeks a pups is the better it will be able to adjust to it new home.

4.  What are the quality of the dogs being bred.   Do their breeding dogs meet the AKC Shih Tzu standard.  There are many people out there trying to downsize the Shih Tzu.  Why would anyone want to detract from the standard the AKC has set for this breed.  And why would you downsize a dog that is already a toy breed.  There is a great article on this on the American Shih Tzu Club site if you are thinking about buying what some call an "imperial" Shih Tzu.   Ask to see pedigrees on the parents of the pup you are considering.  One way to see quality is to look at pedigrees.  A championed dog will have the initials  CH (for champion) in front of their name on the pedigree.


Some things to look for when choosing a puppy.

When you go to take a look at a puppy, look for several things:

1.  What kind of environment has the puppy been raised in.

2.  Is the puppy clean and well taken care of.

3.  Ask to see the puppy's parents.  Are they well taken care of and are they nice specimens of the breed.  How are their temperaments?  Ask to see their pedigrees.  A well bred dog will have many titled dogs in their pedigrees.

4.  How old is the puppy and when will it be ready to come to your home?  The American Shih Tzu Club recommends that Shih Tzu puppies are 12 weeks before being placed in homes.  That way they have had an opportunity to be better socialized before going to their new homes.   Many articles I have read suggest 10-12 weeks and older is the proper time for Shih Tzus to go to their new homes.

5.  Has this pups been to the vet and is he/she up-to-date on vaccinations.


Some questions a breeder may ask you.

Click on this link to see some of the questions a breeder may ask you.  Questions a breeder may ask you.


Grooming

This Shih Tzu has a long luxurious double coat that requires a great deal of care if it is to be kept this way. A Shih Tzu in coat is gorgeous, but requires a commitment to daily brushing. Many Shih Tzus are kept in puppy cuts that are very attractive and are much easier to maintain but require the expense of a groomer or learning to do it yourself.   

If you do choose to keep your dog in coat, you will need a good quality bristle brush, a soft slicker brush for mats, and a good quality metal comb. Never brush you dog out while dry.  It breaks the coat.  Use a conditioner mixed with water in a spray bottle to mist the coat during brushing. This helps prevent breakage.  More grooming information can be found at the American Shih Tzu Club website.


Shih Tzu Standards

We maintain AKC Standards. To view those standards, click here.
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