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A Little Bit About The Shih Tzu

By: Connie Limon

Shih Tzu was developed as a dog to live as companions to humans. This is their main function. They do not catch rats or mice. They do not herd sheep. They were developed mainly to entertain and amuse humans. And this is one thing the Shih Tzu is extremely skillful at doing. Therefore, the perfect home for a Shih Tzu is the same home in which its owners live. A kennel or cage is absolutely not the best place as a permanent home for the Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu will never develop its full personality to show his delightful and playful antics if he is isolated from people. It is his human companions he hopes to "charm," and have a good time with. Shih Tzu likes nothing better than being with people. Shih Tzu loves a romp in the backyard but if the minute they notice you are not there, it is not much fun at all, they rather be right back inside with you if that is where you are.

There are times to confine a Shih Tzu for its own safety and during housebreaking training. When traveling by car or plane, of course, the Shih Tzu is safer confined for the trip. Oh but how much more fun it is for the Shih Tzu to ride slap dab in the middle of your lap while you drive with his head hanging the window for all to see. It truly is a funny sight. The Shih Tzu does not care to let his hair blow in the wind. They are always ready for anything that seems like far-out "fun." They are masters at being happy when allowed the freedom to express their full personalities. Their happiness can and does rub off on all who are around them. They definitely have the ability to lift the moods of depression.

Just as Shih Tzu will happily share your home and your daily life, he will also be most happy to share your bed and your pillow and your blanket. These are all items that will become your Shih Tzu's favorite items. This may not always be a good idea. You need to be the judge of your own situation in what you allow your Shih Tzu to happily dominate. Anything that is yours is always better than what exclusively belongs to him. There comes a time, however, when owners must draw a line and take charge of what the Shih Tzu cannot claim ownership to as well.

One good thing about having several Shih Tzu is that when the nights are chilly, they can all curl up together on a warm rug somewhere in your house as is demonstrated in the picture with this article. I caught this scene of my Shih Tzu happily nesting together.

Exercise

Exercise is essential for the Shih Tzu's well being, happiness and good health. A healthy Shih Tzu will enjoy several walks a day if this is feasible. Shih Tzu love to greet others along the way, they will stop and sniff and smell all that is around them and then merrily start their walk again with you. Shih Tzu is curious about their surroundings and actually quite "nosey." They have to know everything that is going on around them. If walks with your Shih Tzu are not feasible, their exercise requirements are not so great that they cannot still get enough just romping in your yard or around your house or apartment.

Grooming

I keep most of my Shih Tzu in short coat mainly because I do not have the time to brush and brush each one of them daily. I also like them in short coat in the cold months when I can put a fleece t-shirt on them. My Shih Tzu just love their fleece t-shirts. They are a little resistant at first, but then after they find out how warm and cozy they are, they do not make a fuss when I put one on them. If you keep your Shih Tzu in longer coat it will require daily brushing. It is also a good idea to tend to your Shih Tzu's face each day. Gently comb away any fragments of food or whatever from the whiskers and wash the face with a no water shampoo. Check your Shih Tzu's eyes to be sure the hair is not touching the eyeball. Hair can grow inside the Shih Tzu's eyes and cause infection. If you keep your Shih Tzu in a topknot, you will need to redo the topknot daily as well. Bathe your Shih Tzu once weekly.

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