Saturday, September 30, 2006

Going Places with Your Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu normally likes to travel. In addition, they usually travel well. Adventurous by nature, Shih Tzu want to check out new sights and sounds. They like to meet and see new people. This does not mean that traveling with a Shih Tzu is as easy as traveling with your clutch bag. Here are some tips on how to have a worry-free travel experience with your pet dog.

Hiring a pet sitter

If you are traveling far away from home without your Shih Tzu, you might want to hire a pet sitter who could take care of your Shih Tzu full-time. A pet sitter could be a member of your family or a friend who could stay over in your house and watch over your Shih Tzu. You could also ask your veterinarian who could recommend someone to do the pet-sitting.

Leaving the Shih Tzu in a kennel

If you choose to leave your Shih Tzu in a kennel, shop around for recommendations for a good one from friends that own Shih Tzu or your vet. Go to the kennel before taking your Shih Tzu and check if animals look well-cared for and the facilities comfortable and clean. Chat with the staff to make sure that your Shih Tzu will be cared for properly.

Traveling with your Shih Tzu

Should you decide that you’re bringing the Shih Tzu along in your travel, ask the vet some tips on how to best travel with a dog, including problems on the transportation method. Ask if he or she could give your Shih Tzu a certificate of clean health.

If you are flying via airplane, you should have a sturdy carrier for your Shih Tzu. If not, the airline could ask you to buy a carrier from them. Some airlines allow your pet in the passenger compartment with you. Some put all the animals in the luggage compartment.

If you are riding in a car, the air conditioning should be kept on. Do not leave your Shih Tzu unattended in a car that is parked. Do not park in direct sunlight even for a brief period of time, as it could drastically raise the heat temperature inside your car that might result in dehydration, heat stroke, or worse.

Foreign travel

Traveling with a Shih Tzu or any other pet in foreign countries can prove to be difficult. Check with your vet for some tips. You might also want to ask the local consulate of the country you are visiting what are their requirements for you to bring your pet along.

Going places with your Shih Tzu may be a pleasant experience. But you should remember taking a Shih Tzu, or any pet with you, anywhere could be a bit difficult.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies from top champion bloodlines in many different colors of blues, reds, chocolates, blacks. We have the small AKC standards, imperials and teacups. We offer you educational material, dog bows and dog clothes. Visit us online at: and sign up for our FREE newsletter to receive valuable discounts.

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Does Your Shih Tzu Have an Ear Infection?

Does Your Shih Tzu Have an Ear Infection?
Shih Tzu ear infections are also commonly called Otitis Externa. It is an infection of the outer ear canal. There are three parts to the ear; the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. Ninety percent of infections occur in the outer ear, the part of the ear that you can see. Shih Tzu are prone to ear infections because of the anatomy of their ears. They have a horizontal and a vertical component to them, so it is hard for anything in there to drain out, like water or debris. They are also more prone to ear infections because of the long hair over their ears.Signs of an ear infection include excessive head shaking, yellow to brown exudates in the ears, or a yeast like smell. Additional signs of ear infections include redness and swelling. There are several causes of ear infections. The most common cause of ear infections are due to allergies. Some dogs are more prone to allergies than others; therefore they get more ear infections. Some ear infections are due to ear mites. It is very important to keep the hair pulled out of a Shih Tzu’s ears.Another common cause is sporting dogs that swim. They get water inside their ears, and provided their difficult anatomy; the water in the ears cannot drain out. Therefore, this provides the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. It is recommenced that if you let your Shih Tzu play in the water you dry your dog's ears thoroughly afterwards. If your Shih Tzu does have an ear infection it is important to properly clean your dog's ears before applying any medication. To clean your Shih Tzu’s ears, start by placing a few drops of an ear cleanser into the ear and massage the ear to help loosen any debris that is in the ear. Then use a cloth or cotton gauze to whip the dirt out. After your dog's ears are thoroughly clean, then you can apply your medication. Follow your veterinarian's advice about how much medication to apply to the ear, usually a few drops. The treatment your veterinarian will prescribe will vary depending on the cause of the ear infection. For yeast infections they prescribe anti-fun gals, for bacterial infections they will prescribe antibiotics. Normally treatment is applied directly into the ears, but in severe cases systemic treatment may be needed. This usually means have to give your dog pills orally. In some Shih Tzu with severe ear problems, the veterinarian will usually clip the hair around the ear to help let more air into the ear. In extreme cases your veterinarian may recommend surgery to reconstruct the ear canal to let it drain easier. Breeds of dogs that are prone to ear infections include all breeds with large ears that flap over the ear canal, and breeds of dogs that have a very small canal. By knowing what to look for, you can detect ear infections early.
Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies. Purchase online at: Sign up for our newsletters.This article is FREE to publish with resource box.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Teacup/Imperial Shih Tzu

I did not create the "labels" Imperial or "Teacup." These words were already set in stone before I ever came on board. I picked up the terms only because potential customers were asking me for "Imperial Size" or "Teacup Size." I RARELY get a request for a "Standard" size shih tzu as defined by the American Kennel Club. Since these words of Imperial Shih Tzu and Teacup Shih Tzu were so common to describe a particular size of shih tzu and I was seeing these are the terms people place in search engines boxes looking for the size THEY WANT in a shih tzu, I began using the terms as well mainly to be able to communicate with potential customers in their own language.

The smaller size shih tzu are NOT smaller just because they are UNHEALTHY. This is a downright myth or lie being spread by those who are in favor of only one size shih tzu, which they say, is the only size shih tzu that should be on the market. And the ill-will I have heard from this group of people against these little guys is almost unreal, as if these smaller size shih tzus should not have the same rights as the "standard" size, maybe not even the "right to live" if this side of the poll had its ultimate way about things. if people who have these little guys for sale command a higher price, that this is proof the breeder is doing something outrageously WRONG. I said.......RARELY does anyone ask me for a "standard" size shih tzu. There is a huge market of individuals and families who prefer these smaller sizes including me. I like all the sizes, but the smaller ones are my favorite. They are like little tiny treasures, almost always sweeter than the bigger guys. To me, they are like a rare exquisite jewel in the midst of all kinds of other jewels. They do require more work on the part of the breeder. Often, to keep them going at first because they are so small they have to be hand-fed and fed extra supplements like Nutri-cal daily. For these reasons of being that tiny treasured, exquisite jewel, rare and unique from all the rest, and because of the all extra labor involved in raising them, they command a higher price.

And.......I still say, from all I have read.......the smaller size shih tzu.......most likely the under 6 pounds, the 7 and 8 pounders were the very first shih tzu to ever be brought into this world by the Chinese Emporess Dowager in the Imperial Palace of China. The bigger sizes were rejected by these early day breedings conducted in the Palace. They were often sold to the peasants in the streets. The smaller ones were kept under careful guard, were the ones actually very much pampered that slept on satin pillows in the palace, that were owned by the elite and wealthy of that period of time, were given as gifts to the diplomats that visited the Imperial Palace as the most ultimate gift of all to ever receive from the Princess. They were the shih tzu that was highly reverened and cherished. These little under the table dogs were sometimes so small the Chinese could carry them in their sleeves. Try getting a 9 to 16 lb. dog in your sleeve? Won't work no matter how big that sleeve is. We owe all our bloodlines to these early breeders. The Princess was mean and ruthless and was known to have little regard for anyone else but her shih tzu. She was burned out several times and eventually I suppose when all the chips were down, she felt beaten, and was found to have committed suicide with all her little shih tzu around her. So the legends of the shih tzu are steeped in mysterious myths and stories that it is no wonder there is still so much controversy about them is about these little guys the most it seems. They seem to be the most mysterious of all - another reason why they command a higher price tag. They are EXQUISITE LITTLE CREATURES.

They actually do belong recognized in a class all their own. I hope to see The American Kennel Club someday do just that. New breeds are being created everyday. I don't know why this group of people against the little guys try to make such a fuss over them not being appropriate to be anything but a PET and they imply any breeder having them are doing something outrageously wrong to the breed. I wonder do people carry on the same about Teacup Poodles? These little under 6 pounders would be so cute in the showring and in fact, I have a picture of one who was 6 pounds who won a championship (one of my shih tzu books). They belong in a class all their own. Name them Imperials. Name them Teacups. Do away with the Teacup name. Don't matter to me on that.

At first very few people got hold of these little guys. Why? Because they were one of a kind - like a very precious jewel in the midst of all kinds of other jewels.
I also think that because so many other people were able to get hold of the bigger sizes in those days is where these bigger sizes now came from. They went out all over to other countries - but not the tiny treasures of the Imperial Palace. They were the secret of that period of time. They are still fairly rare, fairly scarce. Anything that can be produced in vast numbers is always "cheaper." I remember when VCR's and Microwaves first came out, they were so expensive I thought I could never own one. But then......they started being manufactured by the millions, which brought the prices down, and many other people could afford them.

Right now, these little guys are still fairly scarce, which makes their value go up also. And they are many times just as healthy as the bigger guys.

I wonder don't these people who are against the little guys know that even humans come in all sizes and shapes......what if suddenly there was some kind of a stamp put on humans and if every person was not the weight of 170 pounds and 6 foot tall, they were deemed INAPPROPRIATE to be alive.......There are big people and little people and I am so grateful because I am one of the little people standing about 5 feet 2 inches tall. My weight has gone up through the years, so I might qualify as a person based on weight.......

I cherish the smaller sizes. All of mine have been extra joy to have around!!!! I don't in-breed them or have some kind of special formula to create them. Size is created by genes of the bloodlines. And yes, you could call the smallest in the crew a runt just the same. Personally though, I like the word "teacup" better. I think it more closely describes them and is a cuter term. If I were breeding Police Dogs, or Alaskan Working Dogs, I would call the smallest one in the crew, the runt. But I choose to call the smallest shih tzu - teacups and imperials. In my mind, that simply means a certain size. Rather than saying, I want a dog 6 pounds or under. A person can say I want a Teacup, and I know the size they are asking me for.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies. Purchase online at: Sign up for our newsletter.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Train Your Shih Tzu Puppy to Heel and Sit

It is never too soon to start training a Shih Tzu puppy. Give your Shih Tzu puppy as much freedom as possible until he is about 4 to 6 months of age. Keep a lead and collar on your Shih Tzu puppy in public places. In many countries it is against the law to allow a dog to run free, so be careful if that applies to your country.

Be careful in parks if there are other dogs loose as they may attack a Shih Tzu puppy they think is infringing in their territory.

Plenty of exercise and fresh air is essential for a fast growing young Shih Tzu puppy. Shih Tzu puppies need exercise to strengthen bones and fresh air for the development of strong lungs.

Being in public places also allows your Shih Tzu puppy to interact with people and get used to the noises of traffic and life in general. He should be exercised daily if possible. Daily exercise will help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Starting Basic Shih Tzu Puppy Training

You can start training a Shih Tzu puppy at about 4 to 6 months of age. Ten minutes a day is adequate time for Shih Tzu puppy training. Establish a regular routine for Shih Tzu puppy training. Take your Shih Tzu puppy out at about the same time each day. Dress in the same shoes or jacket each training session. The Shih Tzu puppy will soon associate those shoes or that jacket with training.

Teaching a Shih Tzu Puppy to Heel

· Walk at a steady pace with your Shih Tzu puppy on a firm fitting collar and lead. Have him on your left side, occasionally saying the command HEEL.

· Each time you say HEEL, slap your thigh or the side of your leg. If your Shih Tzu puppy pulls away or gets distracted, continue walking. Your Shih Tzu puppy will soon get the message and follow along. If you don't stop, he'll have to follow.

· As he follows you after a distraction, pat him saying GOOD DOG or GOOD BOY or GIRL.

· If he tries to run or pull against the lead, say a very firm HEEL! When he obeys, give him a pat and praise him. Provide him with a special treat of food, preferably a food he likes very much.

Teaching a Shih Tzu Puppy to Sit

  • Once your Shih Tzu puppy is heeling properly, it's time to teach him to sit. With him walking at your left side, stop, transfer the lead to your right hand and while pulling up on the collar, press down on his back end with your left hand. Your Shih Tzu puppy will have no choice but to sit.

  • While lifting with the collar takes weight off his front legs the motion causes the pup to want to sit, especially with your hand pressing him down. Firmly say the command SIT as you press down. Repeat this several times, praising him each time he sits. Give your Shih Tzu puppy a favorite treat.

  • Now walk further along and repeat this exercise several more times in a 10 minute walk.
    End all training sessions with lots of praise and a favorite treat.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies. Purchase Shih Tzu puppies online at Please sign up for our newsletter.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Vaccinating Your Shih Tzu

Active immunization is the introduction into the body of killed or satisfied microorganisms or their products for the purpose of stimulating the Shih Tzu’s defense mechanism. This is the same concept that is applicable to the human species.

Historically the area of veterinary medicine had not yet realized the potential benefits of vaccinations. It hasn't been until recently, those veterinary experts formulated solutions to combat the alarming increased of death in dogs and the Shih Tzu as well. Most of the causes are viral infection.

With the inception of vaccinations, many dogs and Shih Tzu were saved from probable death brought about by many diseases like leptospirosis, hepatitis, upper respiratory infections and parvovirus.

Like humans, dogs need vaccinations even at an early age. That is why it is important to immunize Shih Tzu puppies so that they will survive until they are fully grown.
Basically, Shih Tzu puppies get their immunity from their Shih Tzu mother’s milk, which is also the same as that of human beings. However, these immunities tend to lose their effects by the time the Shih Tzu puppies are already 6 to 20 weeks old. It is during this time they need to be immunized.

In order to protect the Shih Tzu puppies against infectious diseases, it is best to give them their shots. Shih Tzu puppies should be re-immunized after 3 to 4 weeks for 4 rounds. Thereafter, the Shih Tzu dog should receive a booster yearly. If you follow this regimen, Shih Tzu puppies should be able to endure any infectious disease that may come their way.

Rabies and Immunization
Rabies is an acute and almost invariably fatal disease communicated to man through the saliva of a rabid animal, usually dogs, foxes, squirrels, and bats.
Dogs, fortunately, always present evidence of the disease before becoming infective. The etiologic agent is an ultramicroscopic virus present in the saliva and the central nervous system.
The course of rabies in dogs and Shih Tzu is characterized by an incubation period of 20 to 30 days. This is followed by a period of excitement, when the animal becomes vicious. The excitement stage may be evident or may be entirely absent. Paralysis develops which first involves the Shih Tzu’s hind legs and thereafter becomes generalized. Death occurs within 10 days following the first symptom.

Alternatively, the effects of rabies in human beings can be fatal as it is with dogs and Shih Tzu. Hence, in order to avoid these problems, it is best to have your Shih Tzu and all dogs vaccinated with anti-rabies shots.

Rabies vaccines can be given during the 16th to the 26th week of the life of a Shih Tzu puppy. This requires a follow up shot once yearly in most areas for total protection.
On the other hand, dog and Shih Tzu owners should take note that vaccinations can generate adverse effects on their dogs and Shih Tzu. So, it is best to always observe your dog or Shih Tzu after vaccination. When reactions such as vomiting, facial swelling or trembling occur, it is best to consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Vaccination Tips:
• Consider the age of the Shih Tzu puppy before subjecting them to their shots.

• First shots for a Shih Tzu puppy should be between the age of 6 and 8 weeks. Two to four weeks later another shot can be given until you have completed four rounds.

• Rabies vaccinations should be given between the ages of 16 to 26 weeks, and then once yearly.

• Booster shots for the common diseases in dogs and Shih Tzu should be given yearly to the adult Shih Tzu.

In conclusion, vaccinations are extremely important to your Shih Tzu’s life. Vaccines are needed in order to protect the Shih Tzu from imminent risk of acquiring diseases brought about by viruses.

Once you have vaccinated your Shih Tzu properly you can rest assured that he or she will be at its peak of health for a longer period of time. Indeed, vaccines are essential to the long life of your Shih Tzu. Do not omit this part of your health program for the Shih Tzu.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies. Please visit us, sign up for our newsletter and purchase puppies online at:
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Grooming and Beautifying Your Shih Tzu

Grooming and Beautifying Your Shih Tzu

Although the day-to-day care of the show dog exceeds the grooming required for a pet dog, the groomer has a responsibility to perform a work of art in both cases.

Training and experience helps a groomer to look at a photograph of any Shih Tzu and to know instantly which bits of hair are clipped or scissor.

Expert brushing is an art. You might be shocked to find out your carefully brushed Shih Tzu still has tangles when a more experienced person gets a bin full of hair when complete brushing takes place. There is more to brushing your Shih Tzu than you probably realize.

Brushing Steps:

Put the Shih Tzu on the table.
Start on the bottom of the fore left leg. Lift the hair above the section you are working on, and brush the section below.
Comb through the coat. Use a grooming spray if necessary. Continue up the leg.
Continue the brushing and combing across the Shih Tzu’s quarters, along the back and neck. Pay special attention to behind the ears and underneath the legs. Matting is often more likely to occur in these areas.
Brush the head, ears and whiskers. Use a small comb on the Shih Tzu’s whiskers. The hair at the base of the Shih Tzu’s ears will need to be combed to remove tangles.
Lay the Shih Tzu on its side. Pay particular attention to the armpits where hair often mats.
Brush the hair on the hindquarters where the coat often grows thick and mats.
Brush the tail.

Mat breaking:

A mat-breaker or slicing the mat with scissors may be required.
Splitting the hair with your fingers will also help to break apart the tangles.
Always hold the Shih Tzu’s skin or the base of the mat when pulling; otherwise, you will pull at the Shih Tzu’s skin and cause great pain.

The finished result is called turning out a dog or in our case, turning out a Shih Tzu.

A professional groomer will have to know before the groom whether they are working on a show Shih Tzu or a pet Shih Tzu. There are many aids and coat-enhancing properties that are great for a pet Shih Tzu, but may be illegal substances in the show ring. In North America, Shih Tzu and other breeds are prepared for the show ring by clipping and coat aids like hair spray. This same technique may be seen as breaking the rules according to the British Kennel Club. Most handlers prepare the show Shih Tzu themselves. They do not often fall into the hands of the average groomer. But, do ask the owner if the dog is likely to be shown. Better to be safe than sorry.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies. Purchase puppies and sign up for our FREE newsletter at:

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Shih Tzu Kennel Housing Ideas

Shih Tzu Kennel Housing Ideas

For the home Shih Tzu kennel owner a scoop designed for the purpose of scooping dog waste and a garbage can double-lined with heavy-duty trash sacks is all that is needed. If you wish to go to the expense of installing a septic system, concrete-surfaced runs emptying into a sloped trough perpendicular to and beyond the run’s length is common. The costs can be considerable. You might try surrounding the run pad with a bed of gravel several inches deep into which urine and cleaning solutions can be hosed and drained away.

You will need to provide adequate security for your Shih Tzu against escape or intrusion. A secure fence around the kennel area provides security.

The most common forms of canine housing are a doghouse or attaching the run to a house or a heated garage and installing an access door.

If you place the doghouse in the run itself you offer more security as the Shih Tzu is always behind a gate that can be locked. If you use doghouses avoid those made of metal.

If you build your own, consider having the door face away from prevailing winds. A windbreak made of plywood should extend from floor to ceiling and reach slightly more than halfway across the house’s depth. The purpose of a windbreak is to create a secure, dry, wind-free area for your pet. Chewing can be discouraged by attaching heavy metal sheathing to the windbreak’s exposed edge and the exposed edges of the doorway. A light to provide heat of minimal but adequate wattage should be installed near the ceiling. All wiring should be covered with metal conduit. A vent can be installed near the ceiling to repel moisture and promote drying.

The entire structure, walls, ceiling and floor, should be insulated and should be raised slightly above the ground to promote drying and avoid floor rotting. The overall size of your doghouses should allow for only slightly more space than the dog is large. Shih Tzu like small, tight, secure nests.

The roof of your Shih Tzu dog houses should be sloped to promote water runoff. Make the angle slight if the Shih Tzu dog house is inside the run or behind a secure fence. The Shih Tzu can then climb on top and sun himself.

For your Shih Tzu’s comfort you may want to cover the floor by installing a wall-to-wall section of indoor-outdoor carpeting. Surround the carpeting with quarter-section wood molding to discourage your Shih Tzu from chewing on an edge.

Or……you can be like me and build your Shih Tzu a 12 X 20 building equipped with air conditioning, heat, hot and cold running water and separate quarters for male Shih Tzu and female Shih Tzu.

I am thinking of adding some of these doghouses in various places where my own Shih Tzu roam and romp and play for times they do not want to use their cottage. Shih Tzu likes cozy places, but more than anything they prefer to dwell just as close to humans as they most possibly can. However, this is not always feasible in a Shih Tzu kennel. There are times when Shih Tzu and their human caretakers just have to go their separate ways. In those times, you will need adequate housing and shelter for your Shih Tzu.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies. Purchase online and sign up for our newsletter at:

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Getting a New Shih Tzu Puppy to Tolerate Grooming

Getting a New Shih Tzu Puppy to Tolerate Groomingby Connie Limon (Email: All Shih Tzu puppies need to learn to tolerate grooming at an early age. Grooming your Shih Tzu is more than cosmetic. A matted Shih Tzu is uncomfortable and subject to skin irritations and infections. Unclipped toenails will grow and curve, distorting the Shih Tzu's foot to the point of crippling. Dirty ears can become infected and induce pain-related aggression and/or hearing loss. Lack of grooming can cause a Shih Tzu serious discomfort. Shih Tzu is not born with warm feelings toward being groomed. A Shih Tzu needs to learn to enjoy grooming. This is easiest if started sooner, rather than later. In time, your Shih Tzu will learn to love the extra attention it receives while being groomed. Allow your new Shih Tzu puppy a couple of days to settle in to his new home and family routine. Take the first few days to familiarize all family members with the new Shih Tzu puppy's housetraining, feeding and crating routines, and to establish basic house rules. During this time start preparing your new Shih Tzu puppy for grooming by practicing positive association touching exercises. You will need a container of treats. You can do the touching exercises in any order, several times a day, and repeat each one a half-dozen times before moving on to the next one. Try the following exercises in five- to 10-minute sessions. 10 Positive Association Touching Exercises: 1. Scratch your Shih Tzu puppy under the chin, and then feed it a tiny treat from your other hand. 2. Touch each paw, and then feed the Shih Tzu puppy a treat from your other hand. 3. Rub each ear. Feed your Shih Tzu puppy a treat after each rub. 4. Stroke your Shih Tzu puppy's back, then offer a treat. 5. Run your hand down your Shih Tzu puppy's tail, squeezing softly, then feed your pup a treat. 6. Slip one hand under the Shih Tzu puppy's chest and lift gently, and then feed your Shih Tzu puppy a treat. 7. Lift each paw, and feed a treat after each lift. 8. Massage each hind leg from hip to knee, and feed a treat after each leg. 9. Slide your hand from each shoulder to the ankle, and feed a treat after each. 10. Run your fingers over your Shih Tzu puppy's face, cheeks and muzzle, and feed your Shih Tzu puppy a treat. Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Sign up at: This article is FREE to publish with resource box.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Early Shih Tzu Puppy Stimulation

Picture features a happy pair of Opie and Taffy. They will have a litter of Shih Tzu puppies in November.

The first sense of a Shih Tzu puppy is “scent.” The newborn Shih Tzu puppy will be able to smell the scent of the breeder immediately after the sac is broken. The Shih Tzu breeder is familiar with litters of Shih Tzu puppies before their eyes open. Up until the Shih Tzu puppy opens its eyes they became familiar with their breeder’s scent through their dam’s coat. Shih Tzu puppies learn where there is and is not a place of milk and nourishment on their mother through scent.

It is advisable that only the Shih Tzu breeder handle puppies during their first two weeks. This does limit the Shih Tzu puppy’s reality of the world around them; however, it is practicing sound early responsible care practices. As Shih Tzu puppies begin to open their eyes they become aware of differences in people. Because of this awareness, a very young Shih Tzu puppy may act violently the first time handled by anyone other than their breeder. The Shih Tzu puppy may begin to struggle or scream to be free. It really is not necessary for other people besides the breeder to handle Shih Tzu puppies during this very early period of their lives. If a Shih Tzu puppy is frightening by early interactions with other people it could set the stage for later mistrust toward all humans. It is therefore extremely important that all early contacts with a Shih Tzu puppy be positive. Once a barrier of distrust is instilled in a newborn Shih Tzu puppy, the puppy can become hard to work with and sometimes even unmanageable as adults. Limiting contact with humans also aids in the spreading of germs to newborn Shih Tzu puppies.

There is a proper way to hold a very young Shih Tzu puppy. You should not “swoop” a Shih Tzu puppy quickly into your arms, or hold it at arm’s length. Do not ever pick up a Shih Tzu puppy by its legs, ears, tail or scruff. Severe and even irreparable damage can result.

Use the following steps to pick up and hold a newborn and very young Shih Tzu puppy:

Place your hands firmly around the Shih Tzu puppy’s body making it feel secure before it is lifted from the whelping box.
Immediately begin to snuggle the Shih Tzu puppy closely to your neck, chest or face area, letting the Shih Tzu puppy smell your familiar scent. Here is where the Shih Tzu puppy will feel the reassuring rhythm of your breathing and your heartbeat. The Shih Tzu puppy will remain relaxed. The Shih Tzu puppy will have less tendency to struggle against others first holding them if you will practice these steps from the beginning.

In general, you should not place very young Shih Tzu puppies in your lap, at least until after they begin to walk. They do not feel secure in a lap position at a very young age.

When handling newborn Shih Tzu puppies it is helpful to make “kissing” sounds near their ears. The sound is similar to puppies nursing. Therefore, repetitious kissing offers the same sense of security and comfort for the Shih Tzu puppy.

One of the earliest conditionings a Shih Tzu puppy encounters is being nestled in secure comfort by its dam while being fed warm milk. When you emit the same type of sounds with repetitious kissing the Shih Tzu puppy responds immediately to your stimulation and will feel secure. The Shih Tzu puppy will snuggle rather than struggle and learn to trust humans from a very early period of their lives. This type of conditioning is important for proper development as an adult Shih Tzu and instills a “trusting” of humans rather than a “fear” of humans.

Shih Tzu puppy conditioning beyond diet is a highly important part of a professional Shih Tzu breeder’s job, and will often separate the professional breeder from the “backyard” or puppy mill breeders.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies from top champion bloodlines. Purchase and sign up for our newsletter online at:

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