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INDIAN CHAMPION “IM THE DEVIL FROM AUDREYS PARADISE” (Imported from Belgium)

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shihtzu

The Shih Tzu

History of the Shih Tzu

Amongst so many dogs in the world, only a few can compare to the glamorous looks of a Shih Tzu, or his arrogant carriage or his undying love for his owner. The Shih Tzu Kou means “Lion Dog” . Shih Tzu’s were known as “holy dogs” in Tibet . The first recorded history of this breed traces back to Tibet’s first recorded history in the 7th Century AD . The Shih Tzu gained its name and present form in ancient China and its ancestors are known to have originated in Tibet . They were a product of crossing the Lhasa Apso from Tibet and the Pekingese from China. However, they should not have a wrinked up nose like a Pekingese.

Though most of us might think of the Shih Tzu as a toy dog or just a lapdog, the breed actually comes under the Utility Group and the common trait of all dogs in the Utility group is adaptability.

General appearance of the Breed

The Shih Tzu’s are long coated, gorgeous looking, small sized dogs. They should be no more than 10 inches tall and no more than 8 kgs in weight. The must have large round eyes, widely spaced, and it should not be protruding. The eyes must be almost in level with the nose. Their nose bridge is just about an inch long, and the hair growing on their muzzle must grow upwards resembling a chrysanthemum flower. They must have a warm, pleasant and friendly facial expression. They are slightly longer than tall. They also have a balanced gait.

Varieties and color variations

Shih Tzu’s come in a variety of amazing colours and markings . All colours are permitted. They can be in Tri-colour, brown and white, black and white, liver and white or any combinations or two or three colors. They rarely come in single colors. The eye and nose must be as dark as possible, including their eyelids, but a liver coloured nose and a lighter eye is permitted in liver coloured dogs. They must have a thick, dense, overflowing coat. A dog with symmetrical markings and with a white blaze on the forehead and on the tip of the tail is highly prized.

Temperament and basic nature with people and children

Shih Tzus are very active, lively, independent, gentle and outgoing dogs. They are extremely intelligent . They crave for human companionship and hence make excellent pets for both adults and children alike. They do have a tendency to get possessive of their owner, if that happens to be a single person. But when a family is rearing them, they devote equal love and attention to all the members. They are normally indifferent to strangers but do occasionally bark to announce their presence.

Shedding and Coat care

The best part of the Shih Tzu, besides their glamorous looks, is that they hardly shed their coat. Their coat is almost hypoallergenic to people and hence make them excellent indoor pets. They love being made a fuss about and enjoy their grooming sessions.

Exercise and Training

Being a small dog their requirement for exercise is very minimal. Just a short walk or simply running about the house or in the garden is more than a sufficient form of exercise for them. Potty training them as puppies is very simple and very quick.

The Shih Tzu is a quick learner and his adaptability to any situation makes him simply adorable.

Playtime

They love to play games, whether it is retrieving, or hide and seek or take my toy if you can.

Life Span and health

The normal life span of a Shih Tzu is about 13 – 14 years. They do not suffer from any major health issues other than cataract in their eyes in their old age and tooth decay. A good breeder will give you the assurance of a perfect , pure bred dog . A well-bred Shih Tzu will not have any hereditary problems.

Care and Grooming

Shih Tzu puppies are full of life and love. They make perfect play-mates. As a puppy , you must ensure that your little Shih Tzu gets a good balanced meal .

A good brushing is necessary everyday. Proper care must be taken to ensure that your puppy’s eyes are clean at all times . Since they have a long coat, you might neglect his private areas which could create an obstruction for him to pass his motions. Make sure it is clean and trimmed well.

When you bathe your puppy, ensure that no water goes down his nose . Keep your puppy clean and dry at all times. Ensure that they drink plenty of water especially during the summer months.

A good grooming session of an adult Shih Tzu in a show condition can take you 2 – 3 hours and after all the labour and hard work to have put in, he just takes a minute to roll in the mud or in a dirty place and look at you with those mischievous eyes, saying “Can we start the grooming procedure all over again …. please? I hate to be dirty”. Basically, he loves that undivided attention you shower on him and the bonding he has with you, during the grooming sessions.

Tips

Today, the Shih Tzu has become a very popular breed in India due to its gorgeous looks, its adaptability and the fact that they have become the ideal apartment size dogs. It is however the responsibility of Breeders to educate the new owners on the responsible ownership of these wonderful dogs, and not make them deteriorate like the other popular breeds.

Living with your Shih Tzu

Just as much as they are fun and enjoyable, they can be a bundle of mischief too. Socialization is very important for your Shih Tzu. Introduce him to people. Take him to parks. Let him play with everyone.

Shih Tzus at Yashbans

The outstanding looks of the Shih Tzu and their amazing temperaments were the qualities that attracted us to the Shih Tzu first.  When we realized that they had almost a non-shedding and a hypoallergenic coat, we were simply ecstatic and decided that this would be a breed that would suit people who lived in apartments, especially families with little children. We have been breeding them for over 6 years now, and till date we do not have a single family that does not enjoy owning this wonderful breed. This is a breed with centuries of history behind them and we must preserve and improve the qualities of this wonderful breed. They are incarnation of Royalty. We now understand why these wonderful dogs were brought as a tribute to the Chinese Emperors of the Manchu Dynasty in the 16th Century. These small dogs were thought to share the Lion’s formidable power and hence came to be known as ‘Lion Dogs’. They were protected and pampered throughout their lives, accorded high honour and guarded by eunuchs and even by the Army.

Today, after many centuries these traits are still seen in the Shih Tzus. They want to be pampered and are pampered still.  

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Shih Tzus can become highly possessive of any particular person and such is the case with Devil. He has eyes and ears only for my older daughter Rishya. Though he loves us, he makes no bones about the fact that he only adores Rishya. He does not like anyone talking to her. Only he has that privilege. Especially our Maid, with whom he is very happy with, when Rishya is not at home with him. The moment Rishya is at home with him, the Maid cannot talk to her. He will bark at her as if to admonish her and make threatening moves at her as if to say, ”Rishya is mine, keep away from her”.