buy or adopt shih tzu

Buy or Adopt Shih Tzu 2023: Making the Perfect Choice

The great debate: buy or adopt shih tzu? Dive into considerations and make an informed choice for your new furry family member.


Are you considering adding a furry friend to your family? If so, you may be wondering whether it’s best to buy or adopt a Shih Tzu. This decision is an important one, as it will affect the rest of your new companion’s life and your own as well. In this article, we’ll explore both options in-depth and help you make the right choice for your lifestyle and needs. Shih Tzus are popular pets due to their small size, cute appearance, and affectionate nature. However, they require proper care and attention just like any other pet. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right method of acquiring one. By thoroughly understanding the pros and cons of buying versus adopting a Shih Tzu, you can ensure that your new companion will be well-cared for throughout its life. When deciding whether to buy or adopt a Shih Tzu, keep in mind that this is a long-term commitment. Your new pet will become an important part of your family and require regular care for many years to come. Therefore, it’s crucial to make an informed decision based on what works best for both you and your potential new companion. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both options so that you can feel confident making this big decision. Whether you’re looking for a loyal lap dog or an energetic playmate for children, there are plenty of things to consider before bringing home a Shih Tzu – let’s dive in!

Understanding Shih Tzu

History and Origin of Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzu is a toy breed that originated in Tibet. Also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, they were bred for centuries by Tibetan monks to be companions and watchdogs. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the breed was introduced to the Western world when a pair was gifted to the British royal family. In China, Shih Tzus were highly valued and often given as gifts to foreign dignitaries. This led to them being spread across Europe and eventually finding their way into America. Today, they are a popular breed due to their charming looks and friendly personalities.

Physical Characteristics

Shih Tzus are small dogs with a distinctive appearance due to their long flowing coat of hair covering their entire body. They have large, round eyes with a short snout which gives them an adorable expression. They typically weigh between 9-16 pounds when fully grown and stand at around 8-11 inches tall. One of the most striking features of this breed is their coat which can come in a variety of colors including black, white, gold and brown. Their hair grows quickly so it requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and shiny.


Shih Tzus are known for being affectionate, loyal and playful dogs. They love spending time with their owners but also enjoy making new friends with other animals or humans they come across. Due to their friendly nature, they aren’t great guard dogs but will bark if someone unfamiliar approaches. They are generally good with children but should always be supervised as they are a delicate breed that can easily get hurt if handled too roughly. Training can sometimes be challenging as they have an independent streak but patience and consistency will help them learn. With proper socialization and training, Shih Tzus make wonderful pets for families or individuals looking for a loyal companion.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Shih Tzu

The Advantages of Buying from Reputable Breeders

One advantage of buying a Shih Tzu from a reputable breeder is that they have carefully selected breeding pairs to produce the healthiest, well-tempered puppies. They also provide documentation such as medical records and pedigrees, so you can trace the ancestry of your new companion. In addition, reputable breeders often offer support and guidance on how to care for your new pet. Another advantage is that you may have more control over the characteristics of your new companion. For example, if you prefer a certain coat color or size, a breeder may be able to match your preferences.

The Disadvantages Such as Cost and Potential Health Issues

One disadvantage of buying from a reputable breeder is cost; they are often more expensive than adopting from an animal shelter or rescue organization. Additionally, there are potential health issues associated with purebred dogs like Shih Tzus due to overbreeding and inbreeding. Shih Tzus are prone to certain health conditions such as eye problems, hip dysplasia, and respiratory issues due to their flat faces. These conditions can lead to costly medical bills for treatment and ongoing care. It’s important to note that not all breeders are created equal. It’s crucial to do thorough research before choosing a breeder; look for red flags such as overcrowded living conditions or breeders who don’t allow you to see where the puppies were raised. Buying from reputable breeders has its advantages such as healthy well-tempered puppies but comes with disadvantages like cost and potential health problems due to overbreeding or inbreeding. It’s important to do proper research before selecting where you buy your new companion Shih Tzu from because not all breeders are the same.

Pros and Cons of Adopting a Shih Tzu

Advantages: Saving a Life and Lower Cost

Adopting a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience, not just for you but for the dog as well. This is because by adopting, you are giving an animal that has been abandoned or surrendered by its previous owner another chance at a happy life. Moreover, adopting is usually less expensive than buying from breeders or pet stores. The adoption fee also often includes neutering/spaying, initial vaccinations and microchipping – which can save you money in the long run. Another advantage is that most shelters will have already assessed the dog’s behavior and health. This means that you will know what to expect from your new companion before taking it home. Moreover, most shelters provide some basic training making it easier to integrate your new Shih Tzu into your home.

Disadvantages: Unknown History or Behavioral Issues

There are several disadvantages to adopting a Shih Tzu, however. One major disadvantage is the lack of knowledge about the dog’s history. You won’t know if it has suffered any trauma or abuse in its past life which can lead to future behavioral issues such as aggression or separation anxiety. Additionally, when adopting an older dog especially one with no health records, there may be potential health issues that could arise later on in their lives. It’s important to pay attention to any signs of trouble such as vomiting or lethargy and take them for regular check-ups with the vet. Older dogs tend to have established personalities and habits which may be difficult for them to adapt in a new environment with family members who don’t match their personality type. While there are pros and cons associated with both buying and adopting Shih Tzus – ultimately it comes down to personal preference along with your capacity to provide the care and attention required by these adorable lap dogs.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Shih Tzu

So, you have decided that a Shih Tzu is the perfect addition to your family. Now it’s time to find the best place to get one! There are two primary options: buying from a breeder or adopting from a rescue or shelter. Each option has its pros and cons, so careful consideration is necessary.

Researching Reputable Breeders

If you decide that buying from a breeder is the right choice for you, it’s crucial to do your research beforehand. Not all breeders are created equal, and it’s important to find one that cares about the well-being of their dogs and breeds responsibly. One way of finding reputable breeders is by checking with national breed clubs such as The American Shih Tzu Club. They often provide resources for potential buyers such as breeder referrals, breed standards and health concerns particular to the breed. A good breeder should also be willing to provide references and show proof of genetic testing for any potential health concerns related to the breed. Any reputable breeder will make transparency a priority before selling any puppy.

Finding Local Animal Shelters or Rescue Organizations

If you opt for adopting rather than buying from a breeder, there are plenty of options available through local animal shelters or rescue organizations. An excellent resource that can help guide you in finding adoptable pets in your area is Petfinder. It compiles information about available dogs at over 11,000 adoption sites across North America at no cost. If you prefer interacting with pets and people first-hand instead of looking online, visit local animal shelters directly. Visiting will allow you not only meet available animals but also give an opportunity to speak with staff members who can provide additional information about the breed and what to expect from adopting a Shih Tzu. Regardless of which option you choose, selecting a new companion is an exciting time. Take your time researching breeders or visiting animal shelters to find the perfect Shih Tzu for you and your family.

Preparing for Your New Companion

Necessary Supplies for Your New Pet

Before you bring your new furry friend home, it’s important to make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies to keep them happy and healthy. First and foremost, you will need a collar and leash so that you can take your pup outside for walks and potty breaks. You’ll also need food and water bowls, as well as high-quality dog food that is appropriate for your Shih Tzu’s age and size. Other supplies that are essential include a crate or carrier for transport, a bed or blanket to provide comfort while they sleep, toys to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated, and grooming supplies such as brushes, combs, shampoo, and nail clippers.

Training Tips for a Happy Home

Training your Shih Tzu is crucial to building a strong bond with your new companion. Potty training should be the first thing on your list. Consistency is key when it comes to potty training; establish a routine of taking them out at regular intervals throughout the day. Reward them with treats or praise when they go outside in the appropriate spot. Socialization is also important so that your pup learns how to interact with people and other dogs without fear or aggression. Introduce them slowly to new places, smells, sounds, people & animals without overwhelming them too much at once. Basic obedience training such as sit/stay commands helps prevent problems like jumping up on furniture or people begging at mealtime. Positive reinforcement techniques are great ways of teaching basic commands & tricks – always be patient when teaching anything new! Training should be fun but consistent too- never give up because it takes time & patience to train puppies effectively! : Preparing properly before bringing home any pet ensures their happiness in their new home! With patience & carefulness regarding their needs, pets will be able to thrive & enjoy their new lives with their humans!

Caring for Your Shih Tzu

Proper Nutrition and Exercise Needs

As with any pet, proper nutrition is essential for the health and happiness of your Shih Tzu. Be sure to choose a high-quality dog food that is formulated for their specific needs. Avoid giving them table scraps or human food, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues. You should also monitor their portion sizes and adjust accordingly based on their activity level. Exercise is also crucial for a healthy Shih Tzu. They may not require rigorous exercise like larger breeds, but they still need daily walks or playtime in a fenced yard to keep them active and prevent boredom. Keep in mind that Shih Tzus are susceptible to overheating due to their flat faces, so avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day and always provide shade and water.

Grooming Requirements

One of the most distinctive features of a Shih Tzu is their long, luxurious coat. However, this luxurious coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and avoid matting. Brush your Shih Tzu’s coat daily with a slicker brush to prevent tangles and remove loose hair. In addition to brushing, regular baths are also important for keeping your Shih Tzu clean and smelling fresh. Use a mild dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly to avoid irritating their skin. Don’t forget about dental hygiene! Regular teeth cleaning can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease in your furry friend. Overall, caring for a Shih Tzu requires some extra effort when it comes to grooming but providing proper nutrition and exercise will help ensure they live happy, healthy lives by your side!


Selecting a new companion is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Whether you decide to buy or adopt a Shih Tzu, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each option and choose the best fit for your lifestyle and needs. If you have your heart set on a purebred Shih Tzu, buying from reputable breeders can ensure that you get a healthy pup with predictable physical characteristics and temperament. However, it’s important to be prepared for the potential costs associated with purchasing from breeders. You’ll also need to do your due diligence in researching breeders and ensuring that they are ethical in their practices. On the other hand, adopting a Shih Tzu can be an incredibly fulfilling experience while also saving a life. Adopting from local shelters or rescue organizations can provide you with an opportunity to give an abandoned dog another chance at happiness. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be unknown behavioral or health issues that come along with adopting. No matter which route you choose, preparation is key when bringing home your new companion. Be sure to have all necessary supplies on hand and take steps toward proper training for both obedience and socialization purposes. Once you’ve brought your Shih Tzu home, remember to prioritize care through proper nutrition, grooming, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups. Ultimately, whether you decide to buy or adopt a Shih Tzu, this lovable breed is sure to bring joy into your life as long as they are treated with love and respect.

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