My main focus is on producing the healthiest dogs that I can. We have tested our dogs for the Renal Dysplasia (RD) gene, so if you see a note on some of the dogs that says the dog is clear of the RD gene you will know what that means. We still have some dogs that carry one copy of the gene however that does not mean you will get a dog that has RD. It only means that they are carriers, not affected by RD. I also have the eyes, stifles and hips checked. It is important that people looking for a pet go to a breeder that knows what genetic problems they are in the breed and are testing for those, it could be hips, eyes or RD but at least they are testing. Look for articles in the American Shih Tzu Club web site or here on this web site regarding RD.
- Did you know that if you spay your female puppy before 6 months of age and before a heat cycle it improved the dog's chances of NOT having breast cancer by 200%. In the past we spayed and neuter our puppies at 10 weeks or 3 lbs. We have been doing this for 25 years with no issues. New studies have come out that recommend waiting until they are older especially in big dogs. To make sure we are doing the best thing for my puppies it will be the owners responsibility to alter their dog when they are old enough.
- Puppies should be kept in a confined area until they are completely house broken. Be sure to house break them first to a regular door and once that has been accomplished you can have them go out the dog door.
- Most breeders will recommend male dogs if you want a real affectionate dog. They seem to love you no matter what.
- When you are looking for a puppy, be sure to ask the breeder about heredity diseases. They should be giving you a list. The first one is Kidney disease. Make sure they know what they are talking about and not just tell you I have never had it in my line. That statement may not be true.
- If you are meeting someone at a location to pick up your puppy and not at their home so you can see the parents, this is a red flag. Look someplace else for your dog.
- Remember just because you are reading someone's web page, it does not mean they are truthful, honest or nice people. References can be made up.
- You should not be bringing your puppy home if it is younger than 8 to 10 weeks. The American Shih Tzu Club recommends 12 weeks. But I found that the younger you get them home the easier it is to house break the puppy. Puppies should be weaned and eating very well on their own before moving them to a new home. These dogs mature slowly and sometimes you need added weeks to be sure they can get enough food intake for them to do well.
- Noses: Puppies will have a hard time breathing until their permanent teeth come in. That is until they are about 10 mos. old, expect them to have pinched nostrils off and on until then. Do not let a vet do surgery on them until the dog is over a year old and after you bring him to me to check. 99.9% of all Shih Tzu will grow out of this condition. If he is having a real problem you can ask your vet for nose drops, it is made from: Gentocin eye drops, have them add one cc of DMSO, one cc of Gentocin 50 mg/cc injectable and one cc of 2 mg/cc Dexamethazone. This works great for noses and lets them breath easy, but under no circumstances do you put it in their eyes. Mark the bottle for nose only.