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Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  I only want to buy a "pet" not show quality. Why is it important that you show when I am only looking for a pet?

A:  The American Kennel Club has a written standard known as "the blueprint" for Shih Tzu that we strive to achieve in every breeding. When breeders pay to show their dogs (which is very expensive and can cost upwards of $600.00 per show) we are asking the Judges for their opinion on how our Shih Tzu meet the standard. When you purchase a puppy from a show home, you are buying a puppy from a breeder who is trying to make that perfect Shih Tzu... which is the one you read about in all the books! Furthermore, it is important to know, that not all dogs like the show ring. It doesn't mean they are not wonderful pets at home, but when you purchase your puppy from champion titled parents you know that your puppy is from parents that impressed the Judges with not only conformation, but temperament as well. The only way to assure this is to buy from a breeder who spends the time, effort, and money to make sure they are breeding the best Shih Tzu puppies they can.

Q:  Can I go to a Pet Store to purchase a puppy?

A:  Do NOT go to a Pet Store to purchase a puppy. Reputable breeders would never place their pups in a pet store. We interview you to see if you're up to our standards to bring home one of our puppies. We want to meet you so we know who is taking home one of our puppies! Don't expect a well bred puppy if you do not buy from a reputable breeder. Your idea of a "good deal" will most likely have health and behavioral issues.

Q:  Do you offer outside stud services?

A:  Typically I only breed my males to my co-owned females. Occasionally if the breeders of the lines behind my dogs agree to an "outside" champion female, I will breed them. It is in my best interest to only breed dogs that compliment each other and their lines.

Q:  How often do you have puppies for sale?

A:  I usually breed 1-2 litters per year. I only breed a litter when I need a puppy to show. Occasionally throughout the year, I will have "pick of litter" puppy from a stud service available for sale to a pet home if I am not keeping it for show.

Q:  What is the correct pronunciation of Shih Tzu?

A:  Shih Tzu is pronounced Sheet-Zoo. Shih Tzu is singular as well as plural, whether you are speaking of one or multiples.

Q:  How can I tell if a breeder is Reputable?

A:  Anyone can be a "breeder."  However, not every breeder is reputable.  A reputable breeder is active in showing their dogs to ensure only the highest quality dogs are bred. They require all pet puppies to be spayed and neutered. They guarantee the health of their puppies, and will take a puppy back for any reason if you should no longer be able to care for it.  A reputable breeder is usually involved in local dog clubs and is extremely knowledgeable about their breed and dogs in general. When you select a reputable breeder for your new family addition, it is understood that this is the person you will contact with your future puppy questions and advice for the coming weeks, months, and years to come.

Q:  Are there any safety concerns regarding the Shih Tzu?

A:  The Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic (snub nosed) breed. Shih Tzu are very sensitive to high temperatures. Extreme caution must be taken outdoors in hot and humid weather to avoid heat stroke. For example, during outdoor dog shows and activities, we use ice packs under towels to keep our dogs cool and always provide fresh water. We live in Florida where it is very hot and humid. When you take them for a long walk, do so upon sunrise or at sundown so you are not out in the hot sun. These are just a few examples on how we try our best to make them comfortable.

Q:  What size are your Shih Tzu?

A:  One of the characteristics I like about the Shih Tzu is their size. ShihTzu are sturdy and solid, despite their relatively small size. This makes them well suited to modern life in city or country, and performance events. My show dogs weigh between 8-12 lbs. and are typically 9 inch tall at the shoulder. Its just the right size for me!  I show my dogs so they must be at a standard size to win in the show ring. It would be unethical for me to purposely breed for undersized Shih Tzu.

Q:  How do I know if a breeder is a show breeder?

A.  The breeder will have show photos of their dogs... all show breeders have win photos posted on their website. It is something all breeders are proud of and eager to show you!  If a breeder claims they sell show quality dogs, how would they know "show quality" if they are not producing winning dogs? They wouldn't know... it is something that is learned over time at dog shows and conversing with other show breeders. We pay Judges for their opinions on our dogs. That's what dog shows are for... to evaluate breeding stock!

Q:  Are umbilical hernias and tight nostrils common in Shih Tzu?

A:  Shih Tzu is a breed that finds umbilical hernias common. Unfortunately, too many veterinarians would like us to believe Shih Tzu are the exception. The American ShihTzu Club Education Committee has been working on a flyer to give to vets describing this and other conditions (e.g. late teething, undershot bites, tight nostrils due to teething that do not require surgery, etc.) normal in Shih Tzu but not "understood" as such by most veterinarians.


Q:  What are the temperament differences of the sexes?

A:  Generally speaking, males are more calm, loving and affectionate. Most males are not "humpers" and usually do not lift their leg to urinate. Yes, even my grown males squat to potty! They are especially great for families with children. Females can be more active and aloof.


Q:  Do you have an outdoor kennel?

A:  Our dogs live in our home. We do not have a separate kennel facility outdoors. Shih Tzu love giving and receiving attention. We believe Shih Tzu thrive in a family environment and must live indoors. For this reason, we do not keep a numerous amount of dogs. Each dog knows that they are part of the family and are treated as such.

Q:  Do Shih Tzu make good Therapy Dogs?

A:  Absolutely! Shih Tzu were born to be Therapy Dogs... they love people! Therapy dogs are so vital because they are the real ambassadors of the dog world. Therapy dogs have the ability to reach the public like no pet or even performance dog can - they are in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, girl scout meetings, hospices, universities, disaster areas, courts, camps, etc., quietly shaping the publicís view of dogs. If you live local to Palm Beach County and would like to train your dog for Therapy Dog certification, please visit http://therapydogsfl.org/

Q:  What are the grooming requirements of the Shih Tzu?

A:  Shih Tzu need professional grooming every six weeks. If you choose to keep your dog in long coat, daily brushing and weekly bathing is required. For this reason, many owners prefer to keep their dogs in cute clips. We like the "modified teddy bear" clip.  If you live locally and purchase a dog from us, we can groom your dog for you!

Here is Grinchie in his new haircut. We call this a "modified teddy bear" as the legs are left a little fluffy and the ears are shaved (to prevent matting.) This photo was taken at K9 Oktoberfest. One of our favorite doggie events!

Q:  Do you sell puppies with full registration for breeding?

A:  No... I do not sell puppies or adult dogs for breeding purposes. To improve the breed, I believe only champion titled dogs should be bred.

Q. What color are your Shih Tzu?

A. I specialize in Golden Red & White (occasionally deep Red & White)

Q:  Why do you show your dogs?

A:  To continue our pursuit of perfection. I show my dogs in local and International shows to ensure the breed standard of my present dogs and future generations.


Q:  What is the average life span of a ShihTzu?

A:  The average life span of a Shih Tzu is 14-16 yrs of age.




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