Am I the Breed for You?

PURPOSE: Every dog has a reason for being. Our reason is strictly to give love. We don't hunt, pull, track or attack. We just love to be with you. We might bark to let you know someone is at the door, but we will love them once we know they are your friends
ENVIRONMENT: We are house dogs but we can be perfectly happy on the 34th floor of an apartment house or out on the farm chasing chickens. Some people fix a bathroom of a wire covered kitty litter box. Others prefer newspaper. Still others let us go outside. We are easily adaptable and can use two methods if you so prefer. We adapt easily to other situations, too. If something happens to you and you can't keep us anymore, we will love our new master too.
MAINTENANCE: Oh, yes, we give a lot of love to you and it has to be returned. Don't put us in your yard and leave us to the children. Though we love them, we do require your care. A weekly bath is needed to keep our coats and skin clean. We like a blow-drying so we don't catch cold. Before the bath we need our mats and tangles gently brushed and combed out. We enjoy our faces washed every day, just as you wash yours. If you don't want to keep our long, luxurious coat, you can keep it cut short with a scissor, or you can take us to a groomer to be shaped in the latest style.
EXERCISE: We love it if you take us for walks, but if you can't we'll chase over and under the furniture and get our own. We also love to ride in the car with you, though not in hot weather!
I.Q.: Of course we're intelligent! We love to learn new things. If you want to spoil us and not teach us a thing, we won't mind. If you want to take us to obedience classes, we'll love that, too.
AT MEAL TIME: We are not fussy eaters, if you start us out right. We require a good quality dry dog food with maybe a few supplements to keep our skin and coat in good condition.
DISPOSITION: We are lively and alert but not in the least high strung. We're really very docile little dogs. If you want to play, terrific! If you want to be left alone, we will sleep. If you work all day and can't be with us, just leave us some toys and we'll amuse ourselves.
SO YOU WANT TO BREED: Breeding is not the mating together of two AKC registered dogs to produce puppies. That has been the downfall of many breeds. It is a creative art that requires the study of genetics, conformation, bloodlines, and veterinary procedures. The responsibility for the future generations lies with a breeder. The mating together of outstanding champions will produce many pets, so if dogs that are not outstanding are bred, can you imagine what will and does happen as time goes on? Personality, disposition, and hardiness are lost--along with the good looks of the breed. A healthy dog is bred for, not come across by accident. Shih Tzu also have to be delivered by human hand and many hours' sleep are lost. Consider carefully.
SO YOU WANT A PET: There is no excuse for buying a "cheap" puppy from a person who is exploiting the popularity of the breed--whose only concern is to make a fast dollar at your expense. When you buy from a dedicated breeder, who is breeding for future champions, you have a chance to acquire a well-bred, professionally raised puppy, offered at a fair price. Often only one puppy in a litter is show quality; the rest will be fine puppies. Many breeders require that you spay or neuter their pets. This way, you will have the best pet possible.
SO YOU WANT TO SHOW: A "Show Dog" is a rare animal that with proper training, nutrition, environment, coat-care, and handling can and does win in the conformation ring. As such as animal is obviously most select, much sought after, and represents a very high value, both in terms of prestige and money, it is beyond the scope of a "pet" breeder. All puppies look cute and this breed is notorious for changing. Buy only from a breeder who is producing and showing his own stock. He has the experience to recognize the potential of a puppy. He will also give you the much needed help to learn "the ropes".
Now you know a little about Shih Tzu and have decided this is the dog for you. Talk to ethical breeder referred to you by this club or local dog clubs. Go to dog show and talk to the breeders there. Do not be in a hurry. Nothing worthwhile is attained overnight. Reputable breeders do not have puppies available all the time, but their puppies will be worth waiting for.