Are you thinking about bringing home a Shih Tzu puppy?
If your answer is yes, than it is important for you to realize that not all Shih Tzu breeders raise their puppies under desirable standards! Although there are several options on where you can find your dream Shih Tzu puppy, it is important that you work with a responsible Shih Tzu breeder.
Most people usually choose a puppy from a breeder, a pet store, or a rescue type organization. Let’s start by going over the pros and cons of buying a puppy from a Shih Tzu breeder. First of all, you need to decide what type of Shih Tzu breeder you would like to work with. Do you want a breeder that runs a small program where the puppies and parents live in the home as part of the family? Or, do you prefer to work with a larger kennel type breeding program where you don’t have to wait as long to get a puppy in the coat color and gender you desire?
Whether you work with a small or large breeding program please make sure the breeder is doing all mandatory health testing for the breed. Furthermore, make sure that the puppies complete proper socialization protocols. Puppies that receive proper socialization that aligns to their developmental bench marks are usually more resilient in life.
Most importantly, get to know your Shih Tzu breeder before you commit. There are small and large breeding programs that don’t have the best interest of the puppies at heart. Backyard breeders don’t usually care about breed standard. They may inbreed and puppies often leave the breeding program without ever seeing a veterinarian. Puppies may be sent home with parasites or much worse.
In my small, responsible Shih Tzu Breeding Program, all of my adult breeding dogs meet mandatory health testing requirements for the breed. Furthermore, all of my Shih Tzu Puppies go through socialization protocols that align with developmental benchmarks. Shih Tzu puppies receive a head to toe check by our veterinarian before go home day. Most importantly, I provide life time breeder support to all my puppy clients. If life circumstances prevent a puppy owner from caring for their Shih Tzu, I will always take back my dogs. This is all part of my job description as a responsible Shih Tzu breeder.
Now let’s move on to the option of purchasing a puppy from a pet store. Pet store puppies often come with a high price tag. Often you only see the cute Shih Tzu puppies for sale from behind a glass window. But, do you really know anything at all about the puppies living conditions? Often, pet store breeders mass produce puppies in less than ideal conditions. Many times these breeders have a great deal of adult breeding dogs living on the property.
The adult dogs are sometimes kept in cages their whole life. They never get to sit on a couch or be part of a family. They don’t get the opportunity to experience unconditional love. How could they when they’re confined to a cage most of their day and night. Some of these dogs may never see the outdoors. Their only job is literally to produce puppies. Once they’re done producing puppies the often end up in shelters.
Pet store puppies may have chronic health conditions because the focus is often on profit not health and quality. These puppies are many times sent home far too young. They never get a chance to socialize in the correct fashion. These puppies usually make their way to the pet store in a crate all alone on a giant shipping truck. I cannot imagine the fear they must experience on the road trip.
Rescue organizations and shelters are a commendable place to purchase a pet. Every dog deserves unconditional love and a family to call their own. Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to find a puppy from a shelter or rescue. Furthermore, a shelter or rescue dog isn’t for everybody. In many situations it is important to know the temperament of the dog you’re bringing home. For example, if you have mobility issues, you may not want to bring home a high energy dog that weighs 100 pounds. Don’t get me wrong, if you adopt from a shelter or rescue you could be saving a dog’s life. I’m just saying that a shelter or rescue dog isn’t the perfect fit for every family.
Deciding whether to work with a breeder, a pet store, a shelter or a rescue is a big deal. Bringing home a new puppy comes with a lot of preparation. This includes working with a responsible puppy raiser. It is important that the puppy and his or her parents receive the highest standards of care. Please don’t let the cute Shih Tzu puppy in the window or photo blind you. If the puppy doesn’t receive proper love and care during the most critical period of puppy development lifelong health and behavioral problems may arise.