3 Myths About the Shih Tzu

First let me say that I am a big fan of the Shih Tzu breed and I have two of the furry critters living with me. I love their flowing long hair and their cute little scrunched up faces. When I got my first Shih Tzu nearly six years ago I started reading books and articles to learn all about them. I even talked to other Shih Tzu owners. I have learned a lot about their characteristics by living with them and there are several myths about them.

The Shih Tzu Does Not Shed

A friend once told me that he planned to get a Shih Tzu because “they have human hair that doesn’t shed.” I laughed at him and asked him if he wanted to vacuum my floor. First, they cannot have human hair because they are not human. Yes, I refer to my dog’s fur coat as hair, but it is really just long fur. The top coat is very fine and soft, but if you check out the undercoat it is course and fur like. Secondly, even if the Shih Tzu did manage to grow some human hair, don’t people shed?

When I brush my Shih Tzu a ton of loose hair catches in the brush. There is a lot more on my couch, carpet or anywhere else they decide to lay down. If you have a Shih Tzu, you probably already know that they shed just like any other dog or cat….or human. A Shih Tzu will require daily brushing to remove loose hair from their coat and to keep them detangled.

The Shih Tzu Does Not Bark

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All of the books I have read state that the Shih Tzu is a very quiet little dog. I believed this from raising my first one. I got him when he was 12-weeks-old and six years later he is still pretty quiet. Even when he does speak up, it is a very soft “woof.” My sister, on the other hand, adopted a Shih Tzu that barked constantly. I thought perhaps her dog was an exception to the “no bark” rule until Shih Tzu number two came to live with us.

Stormy, the younger one, is also a barker. He barks continuously at company, when he wants to play, when it’s time to eat or go out…well, about the only time he is quiet is when he is sleeping. So, don’t count on the fact that just because the Shih Tzu dog-breed is said to be very quiet that you will get a quiet one. You can, however train them not to bark if they are in the mood to learn.

The Shih Tzu is Easily Trained

This myth is partly true, depending on your patience level. Both of my dogs are very smart, but they are also very stubborn. While they do enjoy the time I spend teaching them things, they also can be very stubborn. Training a Shih Tzu will take time and patience on both your part and the dog’s part. Shih Tzu’s are also very agile and love to be exercised, but again, it will be under their terms, not yours.

A Shih Tzu is just like every other dog breed when it comes to personality. A book can guide you in a very general direction, but each dog has its own distinct behaviors and mannerisms. While a Shih Tzu is a very loving, affectionate dog they are also very strong willed and will try to run your household if you let them. Life with a Shih Tzu can be fun and rewarding once you learn that somethings you read are myths. Learn your Shih Tzu’s distinct personality and behaviors from observation and interaction.

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Introducing a New Puppy to a One Pet Household