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Caring for Your Shih Tzu. Facts and Health Issues

Updated on August 13, 2018
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Audrey shares helpful tips on buying dog costumes for Halloween and how to keep pets safe.

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The Chrysanthemum Dog

The Shih Tzu may be small, but this dark-eyed, toy breed is sturdy. They are known as the Chrysanthemum dog weighing in at 10 - 19 lbs of cuteness. They have a long silky coat which reaches to the floor and requires daily brushing. Their underbite is a notable feature of this breed.

I sent my Shih Tzu puppy to a training school for some training in manners and socializing. They tend to be on the stubborn side when it comes to training, however, I must say that Clancey was a fast learner and graduated with a certificate.

Shih Tzus are known to be loyal, affectionate, outgoing, and alert.

Meet Junior

Some Interesting Facts About The Shih Tzu

  • According to the UK Kennel Club the life span of a Shih Tzu is 13 years. Most live between 10 to 16 years.
  • This breed originated in China. (Some experts state that Tibet is where the breed is from.)
  • The first dogs were brought to the United States after World War II. The military, upon returning home from Europe, brought these dogs along in the mid 1950s.
  • In 1930 Shih Tzus were nicknamed the Chrysanthmum Dog in England.
  • The Chinese named the Shih Tzu which means "lion dog." This kind of dog was bred specifically to resemble the lion.
  • This dog is more closely related to the wolf than any other dog.
  • The correct pronunciation for Shih Tzu is "Sheet Zoo."
  • When fully grown their weight is between 9 and 16 pounds.
  • Because a collapsed trachea can affect this breed never use a collar and a leash. Use a harness and leash.

China - Shih Tzu Origination

Rescuing A Fur Angel From A Puppy Mill

A puppy mill is no place for a dog. Rescuing an adorable baby Shih Tzu is my story of how I came face-to-face with the deplorable conditions these puppies live in. I saved one and he brought me love and joy up to the day he died.

I would adopt all the animals who are abused and neglected in a heartbeat if I could. Owning an animal is a big responsibility and often an expense. In spite of the time and money involved to care for your sweet, little, Shi Tzu; it's well worth it.

Cuddling Was Not Clancey's Style

Most little dogs like to be held and cuddled - but not my Clancey.
Most little dogs like to be held and cuddled - but not my Clancey. | Source

Shih Tzu Health Issues

If you want a dog that stops traffic, is cuddly and cute and doesn't shed, a Shih Tzu is for you. This lovable "lion dog" will entertain you until he wears himself out. A Shih Tzu is friendly to a fault which is a good thing because people are quite taken with their built-in charm.

Most Shih Tzus have several health issues such as:

  • Respiratory problems due to to the shape of their face and head.
  • Hip Displaysia in standard sizes.
  • Epileptic seizures. My Clancey had these. I kept prescribed vials of medicine on hand. When they became more frequent I carried a vial with me when I took him for his walks.
  • Ear infections. The ears must be cleaned often.
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease causes back pain, loss of coordination, and the inability to feel deep pain. This disease is also found in other breeds such as the French Bulldog, Welsh Corgi, Lhasa Apso, American Cocker Spanie, Dachshund, Bassett Hound and the Pekingese.
  • Hypothyroidism. This occurs when the thyroid gland stops producing a hormone which is responsible for proper metabolism. It affects middle age dogs and there is medicine available at your local vet.

A Bit of Shih Tzu History

China claims to be the place where the "Lion Dog" originated back in 800 B.C., stemming from a cross between the Pekingese and the Lhaso Apso. It's interesting to note that Shih Tzus were favorites of the Chinese royals and so prized that, for years, the Chinese refused to sell, trade, or give any away.

The breed spread throughout Europe and was brought to the United States after World War II, when returning members of the U.S. military brought back dogs from Europe, in the mid-1950s.

Shih Tzu Having a Bath

Source

Giving a Shih Tzu a Bath

Shih Tzu's keep themselves clean for the most part, however, you'll want to bathe yours regularly. The following tips may help this experience be more enjoyable:

  • Always use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner. If your dog has skin issues consider purchasing from your veterinarian. Clancey had serious skin problems and it took a couple of visits to the vet before finding a brand that worked for him.
  • Do not use human shampoos and conditioners as this will irritate your dog's skin.
  • Make bath time a happy time. Be gentle and always avoid getting soap in the eyes or eye area.
  • Finish off by drying with a nice, fluffy towel. Try to avoid using the hair dryer as many an animal has been known to suffer burns from too hot a temperature or coming in too close a contact with the blower.
  • Reward with a favorite treat and complimentary tone.

Happy Birthday Clancey

Celebrating Clancey's birthday with a look-a-like cake.
Celebrating Clancey's birthday with a look-a-like cake. | Source

I Had to Say Goodbye

Holding you within my arms I had to say goodbye

The time had come to let you go

I cried, oh how I cried


Rainbows intertwining as misty notes surround

A melody of purest form

To you, fur angel, I’m bound


I pray you ride a falling star and play upon the moon

Running freely, no restraints

You know I'll see you soon

Resources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shih_Tzu

http://www.facts-about-dogs.info/Shih_Tzu_facts.html

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      ChitrangadaSharan

      I'm so happy to see you here. Your appreciation for my hub and poem makes my heart sing. I miss this little guy.

      Much thanks to you.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Beautiful and touching poem!

      What a great Valentine tribute to your lovely dog! You have a lovely and compassionate Heart.

      Thank you for sharing those lovely pictures and a beautifully written hub!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello Victoria

      Gizmo and Clancey are playing and smiling together. I'm sure they are counting the days and waiting patiently at Heavens Gate for their mommies. Thanks dear friend for being here and sharing the same feelings of longing for our little fur angels.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Aw, I know you still miss your Clancey. I miss my Gizmo. He was only part Shih Tzu, but he looked like Clancey as a pup. Then his dark hair grew out to make him all white! I love your hub. The pictures are adorable.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Suzette. Thanks so much for being here. Very happy that you liked my little poem about my Clancey. You can imagine how much I miss this little guy. His unconditional love will stay with me forever.

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      3 years ago from Taos, NM

      How cute and clever! I love this poem. What a great Valentine tribute to your lovely dog.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      teaches12345 - You are so kind and your comments mean so very much to me. Thank you for being here and for sharing this. ~ Audrey

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      Your dog is so adorable. I love the poses and sweet look of each photo. Your poem says what many pet owners would love to say to their doggie on this special day. Your ending is cute. Sharing!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh Mary - I remember reading your hub about your sweet Shih Tzu. I cried all the way through it. And it's especially tragic when her death occurred after the delivery of her babies.

      I absolutely adore our doggies. They give unconditional love! Thank you Mary and hugs.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      How sweet. I'm so sorry you lost your beloved Clancey. We lost a Shih Tzu after she delivered 5 puppies. I wrote a Hub about her. It's always a heart breaker when we lose a pet.

      Voted UP, etc.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      ...and, my Valentine, I need you all through the year! you have a heart which encompasses the entire universe. Heck - you ARE love!!!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      ..well I don't need February 14th to think about it - I will be your Valentine all through the year .....

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      toknowinfo - Awwwwwwwwwwwe - it makes me feel so good to know my poem brought a smile to you. Thanks so much!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Ibidd54 - You are welcome...so glad to see you here. Take care.

    • profile image

      lbidd54 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful Poem! thank you

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 

      7 years ago

      Love your hub. It brought a smile to me. Each of your hubs are well written. Rated up.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      ahorseback - Yes, sharing a valentine with everyone! So much easier than fighting and much more fun! Thanks, my new friend for your support!

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      7 years ago

      You made us feel just a little like that puppy, Happy hearts to you too, I remember as a kid we all made our litle box for everyone in class to make share the heart cards all self made, wouldn't it be nice if we still had to share, all of us! Voted up and awesome.....

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      epigramman - I remember that film...yes I do. And now, like so many other things, I will be thinking of my epi-man when I hear the 9th or review the film.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      OMG - writinginalaska - we've done it again! Our minds and passions connecting onece again. :) I love it!!! We just have to talk!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      ...well I don't need Valentine's day - per se , to show my affection and devotion to you my friend - this is an all year round affair between you and me - lol - and I discovered Beethoven's Ninth for the very first time in a most peculiar place - a film by Stanley Kubrick - called A Clockwork Orange!!!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      AskAshlie - I am thrilled that you liked my poem. Thanks so much for reading it and taking the time to leave a comment. :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Denise - I really love your kind comments. (Gives me an awesome feeling). Let's live Valentines Day everyday! Thank you my talented friend.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Sweetie pie - No need to concern with being late, as Valentines Day should be practiced all year long! :) You are very kind and I thank you so much for your comments. On my way to see what Sweetie pie is offering on her hubs. :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      duffsmom - Wow...you have four! How precious is that. You totally understand how I feel then. We are very lucky and blessed mommys.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      WillStar - You have given me such a laugh! Anyone who is not reading your wonderful hubs is sure missing out! I am tickled pink, that I ran into you. Me and "the dog".

    • writinginalaska profile image

      writinginalaska 

      7 years ago from southeast Alaska

      this one swept me away, lol i have a very similar poem on my hub https://hubpages.com/literature/Till-Next-Time kinda ends the same way. you know what they say? GMTA ;)

      great poem!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Green Lotus - How special am I, to have the support of someone like you? I am just so grateful for you. I thought of you today as I started Dr. Deepak Chopras book "Reinventing the body, resurrecting the soul". I am on a journey to accomplish both! Love'ya GL.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Micky - well...Clancey agrees to share the foot of the bed with you as long as you agree to 1. Remember that he is the boss, and 2. Limit sharing his treats!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      A belated Happy Val's Day VC! I love the rhythm to your poem..so lyrical,, and the first photo is so perfectly cast. Thanks.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Well done coach.

      (Lucky dog!)

      Up and awesome.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I know I am a bit late, but nice hub commemorating true and authentic love for Valentine's Day.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Pop - Thank you...what's next at the table? I'm hungry for your recipes and serious chatter.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Susan - I kinda think he is a cutie too. He has been my valentine for 10 years! So nice of you to visit and comment. C'you soon.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mentalist acer...Hahahahaha! Breath taking. It took me a second...hahahahaha!!! You are so funny. I am laughing myself to bed. Thanks.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Lilly - Gee, I am delighted to see you. I just love the comments you leave for me. Your support is motivating and you are wonderful!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      truckstop sally - I was drawn to the heart image when I found it. So...we share good taste! :) Appreciate your nice comments and love it when you visit me. Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Qudsia - Love your comments. Thank you. Blessings to you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      fiddleman - I enjoyed putting this poem together...glad you liked it so much. Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      firman - I'm so pleased to see you. Love is what life is all about. Let's have more love and less "it's all about me"...right? On to checking out your latest hub. Thanks

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Oh my love! I thought you were writing this to me. Then I saw that I was competing with a puppy. I just can't go up against that kind of competition. But perhaps some day, I can sleep at the foot of your bed. God bless you dear.

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Oh you got me with this one! Loved it--and my Valentine's Alex, Tully, Duffy and Tessa (all four-legged and large) enjoyed it too.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful and touching poem, Audrey. I rated it up and 'beautiful'. Thanks for sharing. I love that song BTW Hugs sent to you.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      meteoboy - I can't thank you enough for your beautiful words. You have made my day! You are so sweet to read my poem and I appreciate you. I can feel that you are a rare and unique person. My best to you...

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Healing Touch - Humans can certainly learn a few tips on "unconditional love" from our doggies. I am always glad to see you, dear friend. Woof!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh...thank you Rebecca. Coming from you, this means so much. Blessings to you, my friend.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      you have talent, awesome as always and keep these ones coming.

    • AskAshlie3433 profile image

      AskAshlie3433 

      7 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

      Wow, you are a talent. Great hub. Voted up and beautiful. Touching words.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      epi - The ninth! OMG - Beethovens Ninth is my Favorite!

      To be mentioned in any way to this great work is something I would only dream of. But you, dear, sweet and precious friend seem to have a way of fulfilling my dreams with your always inspiring words...words which surpass even Michaelangelo's master pieces. My eyes are filled with tears...tears holding a joy brimming over from every part of me. I am so filled with love - I feel as 'tho I may burst! You, are a sweet gift to me. Mahalo...my funny valentine!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      .....with words like that now I know why Beethoven composed his ninth symphony - and that's exactly how I feel anytime you and I meet in these pages (and beyond) a true 'ode to joy' .....and as Iggy Pop once sang - 'a lust for life' because you have such an enthusiam and warm embrace when it comes to expressing yourself and speaking your mind - and it's certainly a very beautiful one too!!!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      prasetio - Good morning, my very precious friend. You have lifted my spirits by making me your lady valentine. You are my male valentine as well. You have the biggest heart of all. You share your love with all of us and we all love you! Thank you for your very lovely comments and for voting up on my hub. Much love, to you, Prasetio!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      You are my lady Valentine. This was so beautiful. I liked it. Thanks for share your love with others. That make you special, my friend. God will repay your kindness. Vote up.

      Love and peace,

    • Healing Touch profile image

      Laura Arne 

      7 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

      Our dogs love is so very unconditional. Love the poem. Great job.

    • meteoboy profile image

      meteoboy 

      7 years ago from GREECE

      Excellent , awesome , beautiful, all that we need for Valentine's day !!!! Thank you for this piece of art . It inspire us...

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      drbj - I am delighted that you approve of my "clancey".

      He truly is my valentine...all year long! Thank you, my friend.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      sergs - Thank you. Composing songs, begins with "feeling an emotion", writing about the feeling, using rhythm, and rhyme. I am presently creating a hub on this topic. Look for it soon. Thanks, my friend.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 

      7 years ago

      Very romantic, touching and beautiful.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello, Hello - You are a dear! Very happy that you liked my poem. May your life be filled with goodness!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      katie - you sweet, talented, kind, supportive and beautiful friend! ...well, I have been blessed with an abundance of love since finding you. YOU are a valentine - all 365 days of the year. I thank you for finding my poem and art work beautiful. (takes one, to know one:) May continued success be yours and may you flourish! Love - Audrey

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 

      7 years ago from I'm outta here

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 

      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Awesome and love the art with the musical notes. WOW beautiful. May you be blessed with a radical abundance of love and adoration this Valentine's Day! Love :) Katie

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Carrie - Clancey is my baby, my friend, my joy and my love. For 10 years, he has been by my side. Thank you dear Carrie and keep well.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      H P - Thank you, my friend. Have a wonderful day!

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Beautifull poem.

    • sergs_pogi profile image

      sergs_pogi 

      7 years ago

      Nice poem. I don't have a knack for writing poems. I am also a frustrated songwriter, not knowing where to start the process of composing songs.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Audrey. That Clancy is precious - no wonder he is your Valentine. I love "Funny Valentine," too. Thank you.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      My favorite picture is the heart/music score. My favorite line is: I see you in the glistening of snowflakes making snow

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Beautiful. The photos are awesome, as well as the prose. Thank you.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for such a wonderful read.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Eiddwen - I always look forward to your inspiring and supportive words which you so generously take time to write. What would I do without you? Well, I never want to find out. :) Have a glorious day, filled with joy and love, my friend!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh, creativeone59 - your very lovely words have made my day. I hope your day is filled with joy and love! Thankyou.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you,so beautiful, I couldn't have done any better, thanks for sharing it. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      7 years ago from Wales

      Hi vocalcoach,

      Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful words, pictures and music.

      You always weave such warmth into your hubs in all ways.

      I always look forward to reading your work.

      All the buttons to be pressed here.

      Take care,

      Eiddwen.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      ReggieD - How wonderful to share this with you! The tree photo is one of my favorite. Love to you on V-Day and always.

    • ReggieD06 profile image

      ReggieD06 

      7 years ago

      Vocalcoach,

      I really enjoyed your poetic words. The photo of the tree was intriguing. Thank you for sharing.

      Reggie D.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Your truest of love for Clancy is breathtaking,vocalcoach.;)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful Poem! Cute pup too!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 years ago

      Lovely poem and beautiful photos. Up and beautiful!

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 

      7 years ago

      This is a masterpiece. Great photos

    • firman afandi profile image

      firman afandi 

      7 years ago

      Audrey, what a beautiful hub.. I marked it as well

      looking forward for a new one.

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      Great poem vocalcoach. I like the photo of Clancey above the video :)

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