Shih Tzu: Dog Breed and Care

Shih Tzu means ‘little lion‘ in Mandarin. Originally from Tibet it is one of the most popular breed of dogs today. The Buddha was said to travel with a small dog who could turn into a lion to protect him. This probably explains the name. The white spot on Shih Tzus is said to mark the place where the Buddha kissed. It’s a lovely story!

A short but great introduction to the breed from Petplan UK

Anyone who’s ever lived with these lapdogs knows what incredible companions they can be. Always following you around from room to room. Friendly, loving, playful with the most doleful eyes that has your heart melting. They make great house dogs needing little space. But they love their walks. A heart breaking story of a Shih Tzu on her last walk made the news, recently. They do need their exercise even though they are in house dogs. Otherwise they tend to work off energy with barking. You don’t want that!

Dental Health

One of the characteristics of the Shih Tzu is the undershot jaw. This is when the lower jaw is longer than the upper one. The upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth in a closed mouth. The Shih Tzu, like other dogs, needs proper dental care. One of the best and easiest ways to take care of your dog’s teeth is daily brushing.

Coat and Care

The Shih Tzu is an hypoallergenic dog. This basically means they make great pets for people with allergies. Said to have hair and not fur, they shed very little on to the floor or your couch. The breed sports a ‘double coat’. A short inner layer and a longer outer layer. Hair that is shed falls into the coat. Hence seen as low shedding dogs. This dead hair has to be brushed out regularly. If not this could result in matting. One of the worst cases of matting ever made it to the news. Matting is painful. Brush your pooch daily!!
Here’s a detailed article on grooming a long coat if your dog sports one.

Grooming Tasks

  • Face and Eye cleaning: preferably more than once a day
  • Nails: As often as possible. Unlike large or medium breeds taking Shih Tzus on long walks doesn’t help grind their nails down.
  • Baths: Every 2 – 3 weeks since they do tend to pick up dirt easily. Do use a gentle shampoo if bathing your dog frequently. It is recommended that you also use an oil supplement to help replace natural body oils lost because of frequent bathing.
  • Hair cut/trim: This is dependent on the length of hair. 4-6 weeks is recommended for longer hair and 6-8 weeks for shorter coats.

For a detailed article on DIY grooming take a look at How To Groom A Shih Tzu

Professional Grooming

We recommend that you take your dog, once every few weeks, for professional grooming. Here’s a video on what professional grooming entails. The groomer will take care of a lot of what we tend to miss. This could include haircuts, nail trimmings, ear and eye cleaning etc. Do take look at the dog grooming packages that we offer. Check out our Shih Tzu grooming board on Pinterest for ideas on haircuts. Call us on 9663077496 to book your appointments!

A detailed step by step guide on how to groom a Shih Tzu by the Youtube channel ‘My Favorite Groomer’

Cover photo by Edson Torres on Unsplash