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Shih Tzu

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Vanessa6, Nov 1, 2012.


  1. Vanessa6

    Vanessa6 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    I'm after a bit if advice, we are going to view some shih tzu puppies this coming weekend (they will be three weeks old). I have always owned dogs, but never this breed.

    I have spent hours researching this breed to make sure that it will suit both our family and lifestyle. I do however have a few concerns

    1. Problems with their eyes
    2. Problems with their breathing

    has anyone ever experienced any of these problems?

    Finally is there anything that I should be looking for or avoiding when choosing our new member to the family.

    Many thanks for you help/ advice xx
     
  2. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Hi Vanessa and welcome to the forum.

    Shih Tzu's aren't my breed, but I'd want to know about health, the KC website is a good place to start, but breed clubs often have more information. They are easily googled.

    Welcome to the Shih Tzu Club

    The KC page indicates there are no health tests they currently recommend for this breed, but some breeders may still test for conditions that occur within the breed overall.

    As for questions you need to ask the breeder, I would want to be given the third degree by the breeder as a puppy buyer as well as asking my own questions which would (after asking about health) be along the lines of: the reason why the two dogs were used, what conformation faults/points are they hoping to improve on, what are the temperaments like, has there been any history of illness within the lines they know of, are they shown or have they been assessed for correct conformation, will pups be endorsed/sold under contract/KC registered?

    I would have asked a lot of this over the phone before going to see any pups, because once you see pups, your capability for making thought out decisions can fly out the window. So if I were you, I'd suggest asking if you could phone and go through questions before you visit. It's also often the case that you will forget to ask half the questions you meant to because your brain turns to mush when faced with a cute litter of pups. By asking before you go, you can decide if any of what you find out doesn't sit right with you and go from there. I had as many people visit before my bitch had pups as possible, although I had to cancel a couple of visits as she went into labour. I also sent out copies of the contract paperwork, including endorsements and puppy pack so puppy buyers could look through it all and decide if they wanted to go ahead, all of them did thankfully.

    Good luck with your search for a pup, and thank you for taking the time to research before you buy your pup, there are far too many who don't unfortunately.

    Edited to add, three weeks is quite young to visit pups, I'm not sure if this is an inexperienced breeder, but I'd suggest four weeks minimum, and whatever you do, don't visit more than one litter of pups without a change of clothes. I made people wash their hands and take off shoes before sitting with the pups, to reduce any risk of walked in infections being transferred.
     
    #2 Sleeping_Lion, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  3. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    These are things you'll probably have to take up with the breeder. If her other adult dogs are all sound breathing-wise and their eyes look fine and aren't being treated for anything, I'd say the pups would most likely grow up similar.

    Some people breed a really exaggerated version of the shih tzu and that's where all the problems lie.

    My mum's shih tzu (she went and found his litter in a newspaper ad :rolleyes: ), whilst he doesn't have eye or breathing problems, does have problems with his joints and hips, he has HD and a bit of an overshot jaw. It all depends on how the breeder interprets the breed standard and whether she considers the health and quality of life of her dogs. Your breeder might even hip score, which I'm thinking should be standard for all breeds before breeding a litter if it isn't already.
     
  4. Dober

    Dober PetForums VIP

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    Welcome to the forum Vanessa. My advice would be, do your research on the breeder before going to visit the puppies. Its so easy to be won over by cute little puppy faces when you're there, looking at the puppies. I would say before I even visited, some points I might want to establish would be:

    -What health concerns are relevant to the breed? Are there health tests required/recommended for Shih Tzus (You can find this on the breed club websites as well as the kennel club websites) and if the breeder is not performing any, why not?
    -Why they are breeding their dogs, do they want to improve the breed in health, type and temperament? Or do they just want to make more of them? Do they breed any other breeds?
    -Why they chose the male they chose- was he the best match for the bitch, or just the closest? Do both the parents come from a healthy pedigree? How old are the parents?
    -Do their dogs have any proof of being worth breeding? Do they compete in any venues, ie conformation showing, agility ect ect? Or is the only thing they do with their dogs is breed them?
    -Where are the puppies being kept? Inside the house, or in an outdoor kennel? How many litters do they have a year?

    Best of luck in your research :)

    Shih Tzu Club - Breed History
    Shih Tzu Breeders - Champdogs ®
    Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club - Home
     
  5. LauraJane9

    LauraJane9 PetForums Senior

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    Hi, good choice of breed! I have a Shih Tzu and have had no serious problems but with them being such hairy little critters their eyelashes can be a problem, Sully has had it twice where an eyelash has started to grow up instead of out, if you pluck these out (very carefully) it's my experience that they don't come back.

    As for breathing problems, Sully is fine now but as a pup he was a bit nasaly, this was because his nostrils were a little pinched but he grew out of it like most do.

    Although these were not serious issues I would always recommend a trip to the vets to be on the safe side.
     
  6. Vanessa6

    Vanessa6 PetForums Newbie

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    Wow, thanks for all the help you have given me.

    I have done hours of research on this breed and feel it is the right breed to welcome into our family.

    I have also rang and spoken to the lady, she was most helpful and very honest and open (which was great). She answered all my questions in depth and also pointed out aspect such as hernias and the way their fur changes colour .... she very clearly wants her pups to go to loving forever homes, she also asked me lots of questions.

    We are going to see the pups tom and she is going to dig out photos of the previous litter the dog has had and emails from their new owners with progress updates.

    Although I am not going to rush into anything and ensure I get a pup I am happy with, I feel this maybe the lady for me.

    Once again thanks so much for all your help and advice it is very much appreciated.

    Vanessa x

    P.S Dober what a beautiful dog in your picture :0)
     
  7. Dober

    Dober PetForums VIP

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    Thank you very much :)

    I must say it is so refreshing when people do their research before getting the pup! The breeder sounds great, I think it's really important to buy from someone you feel comfortable with.

    All the best with the new addition and cant wait to see puppy pics! :)
     
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