Monday, June 26, 2006

Shih Tzu Kennel Exercise Areas

Shih Tzu Kennel Exercise Areas

Many types of surfaces can be used in exercise yards. They all have problems to one degree or another. A very common surface covering for a Shih Tzu exercise yard is crushed gravel. It keeps the Shih Tzu out of the mud and is relatively easy to scoop up droppings from the stone. Urine runs through easily, keeping it off the Shih Tzu’s feet. One effective treatment for Shih Tzu gravel exercise yards is applying dry lime. Sprinkle the lime lightly over the entire yard and then wash through the gravel with a hose. Use enough water to ensure that the top surface is free of any residue, and also to ensure that the lime solution reaches the dirt underneath where the parasites are.

Concrete patio blocks can be used as a substitute for crushed gravel in a Shih Tzu exercise yard. They can even be used in addition to the gravel as a base in which the blocks rest. It is more difficult to pick up droppings from the patio blocks than from the bare gravel, but it can be done.

Another treatment for Shih Tzu exercise yards is to pave the entire surface with concrete. Polish the surface of the concrete while it is drying to have a finish that will be easy to keep clean. However, a polished surface will be too smooth for the Shih Tzu to run on efficiently. A brushed concrete finish is best for the Shih Tzu to run on, but is much more difficult to keep sterilized. A concrete surface can easily be scrubbed down with hot water and soap on a daily basis to help prevent build-up that could cause problems for your Shih Tzu.

One problem with concrete runs for a Shih Tzu exercise yard is that urine does not disappear rapidly enough, which makes it possible for the Shih Tzu to run through it. This quickly accumulates and forms a sticky substance on the Shih Tzu’s feet and the tips of the hair.

Many Shih Tzu kennels maintain a large fenced running area adjacent to the regular individual kennel runs that are covered with grass. The Shih Tzu is able to exercise on a softer material. The grassy areas, however, cannot be used in rainy weather, especially if you keep your Shih Tzu in full coat. Romping Shih Tzu can turn wet grassy areas into a mud field very rapidly. There is also the serious problem of keeping a grass covered area sterilized. Any chemical strong enough to destroy parasites and their eggs would also destroy the grass. In northern areas where there is severe ground freezing during several weeks of the year, the problem is less serious.

Large exercise areas are of great importance for the overall development of the Shih Tzu. For any dog to develop and to maintain the p0roper musculature, he must have a large area in which he can run, play and romp freely.

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. Designer dog clothes are offered on the website. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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