Things You Should Know Before Buying A Shih Tzu Puppy
When it comes time to buying a Shih Tzu puppy, there are many things to consider. Of course you need to ensure that you’re purchasing a healthy, happy dog, but you also need to look at the big picture – what exactly are you getting into? There are many expenses and responsibilities when it comes to buying a premium puppy, as well as questions that *you* should be asking. Let us take a closer look at everything you need to know, so that you can make a really informed decision when it comes time to purchasing your new Shih Tzu puppy.
The most important thing you should dowhen buying your first puppy, is to ensure that you purchase it from a reputable breeder, and certainly not a ‘back yard’ breeder (and this goes for Shih Tzu mixes too, e.g. Shih Poos)! Reputable breeders will always have the correct paperwork to show that they have had their injections, as well as their lineage/hereditary history. Additionally, you should be able to see your puppy’s mother and father and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want. Keep in mind that a good breeder will easily answer all your questions and concerns. In addition, a good breeder will be as concerned about you as you are about the puppy, and should ask you questions too, before letting their puppy go home with you.
Here are some of the questions you will want to ask your puppy’s breeder: is all health information up to date and available for you to see? Has your puppy been treated for fleas and ticks? Has it been wormed? Are all of the inoculations up to date? Has the puppy been microchipped? In addition, be certain to ask if there are any hereditary conditions that may occur later.
There is much expense to consider before, during and after buying a Shih Tzu puppy, and not all expenses are obvious. Before getting your puppy, you should buy: a bed, food, water bowls, toys for chewing and playing, a blanket, grooming tools such as brush and puppy shampoo, and of course, a leash and collar. Once you have bought your puppy, you should consider some good dog insurance in case your puppy becomes sick and needs vets bills paid, which can be extremely expensive depending on what needs to be done. And don’t forget about the cost of annual checkups and inoculations, which all add up quickly. Additionally, when on holiday there will be kennel bills, or added expense to take your dog with you, including travel insurance. Don’t forget to budget for all these expenses!
One of the first things you should do once you have brought your new Shih Tzu puppy home is to make an appointment to visit your vet in order to get your pet logged and to ensure that your puppy is indeed as healthy as can be. This is important for every new puppy as they require sets of injections to prevent them from getting common diseases or illnesses (which they hopefully would have already received from the breeder of course). Keep in mind that vaccinations vary from country to country, for instance, in the United States it is required to get a rabies vaccination, so always check with your vet to ensure that your new dog has a happy, healthy life.
The Shih Tzu is a small breed that is *very* cute and fluffy, and they generally have small litters, of about three to five puppies. They reach sexual maturity fairly quickly in the first year, between 6 and 10 months in. They are generally very friendly dogs that love people, they have an affectionate nature, and are very outgoing. They can become very shy of strangers, and even snappy if not trained correctly. Therefore, it is important to give them plenty of socialisation early on, and in your first year you should have as much spare time as you can to help train them, starting as soon as possible.
In addition, male Shih Tzus are normally heavier than females, and can weigh anywhere between nine and sixteen pounds once adulthood is reached, typically at around 10 months of age. However, Training can be a challenge with this breed, as they do like to get their own way and can be stubborn, which is why you should start training as early as possible. A Shih Tzu can replicate complex commands and even chain commands, but it takes time and a lot of patience. We recommend signing up for a training class, which will be a great way to have fun, train your dog properly, and get some socialisation skills all at the same time.
Going in with your eyes wide open to what buying a Shih Tzu is all about and what it involves, will give you a head start on what to expect, and really start you on the right track from the word go. You now have all the tools to buy your healthy, happy, puppy – now all we can do from this point on is to wish you all the best for your future best friend. Please do let us know if you have any questions!