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    • MrsSippi
    • By MrsSippi 17th Jul 17, 12:14 PM
    • 211Posts
    • 339Thanks
    MrsSippi
    Considering buying a Shih Tzu pup - advice please
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 12:14 PM
    Considering buying a Shih Tzu pup - advice please 17th Jul 17 at 12:14 PM
    I am considering buying a shih Tzu pup next year and would like any thoughts or advice on this. Obviously it is not something to enter into lightly so using the next minimum 8 months to think this through thoroughly.

    We are a family of 4 with 2 kids (current ages 2 and 6, but would be a year older by the time we got a dog). Youngest loves dogs, and is very well behaved with them (knows to be gentle etc) and I would be happy with us having one while she is this age but equally feel it can't hurt to wait until she's a bit older. Eldest is also very good with animals and said she would love a dog but I don't think she would have been bothered either way tbh.

    I had one when I was still at home years ago and know they are great with kids, they are small so don't need masses of long walks or anything (handy as I can do the bulk of the exercising during the day and maybe get DH to take for a quick last walk at night which I dont think he will mind doing.

    Obviously it's not cheap to keep any pet and I will have to look in more detail at vets costs etc but I'm guessing they are fairly cheap to feed etc (compared to a bigger dog at least). I do need to find out if they are quite hardy dogs health wise as I can't really remember and if they are prone to any particular health issues.

    We have a fair size garden and I'm sure it will love running around with the kids. The only possible issue that I can think of is that I may be working part time next year (will sort this first before getting a dog) so although I expect to be at home most of the time and my mum said she can dog sit where possible it may mean occasionally it is at home on it's own for a while (I don't know if little dogs can use dog flaps?)

    Any advice would be hugely appreciated.

    Oh, and just remembered- any advice on how to know that it is a legitimate seller/breeder, where to look, anything to watch out for etc etc would also be massively helpful
    Last edited by MrsSippi; 17-07-2017 at 1:39 PM.
Page 1
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 17th Jul 17, 1:21 PM
    • 3,857 Posts
    • 2,867 Thanks
    sheramber
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:21 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:21 PM
    You can research about the breed here

    http://www.theshihtzuclub.co.uk/

    When looking for a responsible breeder I contact the the breed club secretary who usually know of puppies available.

    Stay clear of places like Gumtree

    A good breeder does not need to advertise pups, they usually have a waiting list. Shih Tzu's are puppy farmed as they are small and cute.

    While the Kennel Club have breeder lists it is not a guarantee of quality. They pay a fee and go on the list.

    Visit dog shows and talk to exhibitors. Visit Discover Dogs where you meet some dogs and owners.
    • Fen1
    • By Fen1 17th Jul 17, 1:43 PM
    • 1,341 Posts
    • 4,556 Thanks
    Fen1
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:43 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:43 PM
    Due to puppy farming problems there are quite a few Shi Tzu puppies and dogs in rescue centres. The RSPCA have breed lists, if you particularly want that breed to adopt. The more fashionable the breed, the greater the number end up in Rescue.

    Please consider a rescue dog before buying a puppy. As a rescuer myself, we put a lot of work into socializing rescued animals and will only home our animals with appropriate owners. Please contact your local Rescues and see what they can do for you, especially as you are not immediately requesting an adoption. You may also wish to contact Rescues further afield, especially if they have ShiTzu.
    • poppellerant
    • By poppellerant 17th Jul 17, 3:42 PM
    • 1,003 Posts
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    poppellerant
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:42 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:42 PM
    Shih Tzu's are notorious for being hard to toilet train. But, having said that, I managed it in about a month through consistency and persistence. Don't give up!

    Keep an eye out on your skirting boards, especially corners and the area where the dog will sleep. If you do spot some gnawing marks, don't tell your dog off - just spray the affected area with anti-chew spray and give the dog a hard chew at night or when left alone for long periods of time. I find the nylon bones that smell of gravy etc help with their anxiety. Your mileage may vary.

    Other than that, they are really friendly and affectionate dogs who are excellent with other pets and children.

    Be patient and verbally tell them off if you're not happy with them - on the same note, let them know when you are happy with them with praise, cuddles and play time. They will soon learn what is wrong and what isn't.
    • Carmen
    • By Carmen 17th Jul 17, 4:20 PM
    • 1,664 Posts
    • 2,636 Thanks
    Carmen
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:20 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:20 PM
    I adopted my sisters' shih tzu when he was eight, she adopted him six yrs earlier. His first owners just enjoyed the puppy yrs My sister really spoilt him so when he came to my house he had two cats to deal with Actually it was quite amusing watching him adapt to a pecking order They all get on very well, but cats rule....right



    Pro's. They barely moult. Very affectionate.
    Con's. Bad habits picked up when young are very hard to break.

    When you decide the time is right please check rescues etc, training is a must, and consider pet insurance.

    Good luck
    • MrsSippi
    • By MrsSippi 17th Jul 17, 6:08 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 339 Thanks
    MrsSippi
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:08 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:08 PM
    You can research about the breed here

    http://www.theshihtzuclub.co.uk/

    When looking for a responsible breeder I contact the the breed club secretary who usually know of puppies available.

    Stay clear of places like Gumtree

    A good breeder does not need to advertise pups, they usually have a waiting list. Shih Tzu's are puppy farmed as they are small and cute.

    While the Kennel Club have breeder lists it is not a guarantee of quality. They pay a fee and go on the list.

    Visit dog shows and talk to exhibitors. Visit Discover Dogs where you meet some dogs and owners.
    Originally posted by sheramber
    Thank you for this - I have always been a bit dubious of buying animals on Gumtree so it's helpful to know where to go for sensible advice about what to look for, where to buy etc. You heard so much about puppy farms and I think this is invaluable
    • MrsSippi
    • By MrsSippi 17th Jul 17, 6:10 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 339 Thanks
    MrsSippi
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:10 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:10 PM
    Shih Tzu's are notorious for being hard to toilet train. But, having said that, I managed it in about a month through consistency and persistence. Don't give up!

    Keep an eye out on your skirting boards, especially corners and the area where the dog will sleep. If you do spot some gnawing marks, don't tell your dog off - just spray the affected area with anti-chew spray and give the dog a hard chew at night or when left alone for long periods of time. I find the nylon bones that smell of gravy etc help with their anxiety. Your mileage may vary.

    Other than that, they are really friendly and affectionate dogs who are excellent with other pets and children.

    Be patient and verbally tell them off if you're not happy with them - on the same note, let them know when you are happy with them with praise, cuddles and play time. They will soon learn what is wrong and what isn't.
    Originally posted by poppellerant
    I wasn't aware of the difficulty with toilet training so thanks for the warning! I am potty training my 2 yo at the moment so at least I'll be used to clearing up puddles
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 17th Jul 17, 6:23 PM
    • 31,866 Posts
    • 37,579 Thanks
    Browntoa
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:23 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:23 PM
    Took almost a year to toilet train ours ! But he now holds it for hours without going

    Male puppies also like to "hump" but neutering cures that

    He happily sleeps for hours if we go out without stressing

    They seem to need regular feeding at set times
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • owlet
    • By owlet 18th Jul 17, 1:40 PM
    • 1,502 Posts
    • 1,495 Thanks
    owlet
    • #9
    • 18th Jul 17, 1:40 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Jul 17, 1:40 PM
    My Shih Tzu is gorgeous (I'm just a bit biased lol). Fantastic breed, no shedding, intelligent, funny, affectionate & appears to understand so much.

    They need regular grooming even if the coat is kept short or they get knotty.
    They can be stubborn & mine definitely ignores me when she chooses!
    Mine was toilet trained to puppy pads when i got her. We did have a phase with her pooing away from the pad but that soon stopped.
    Shih Tzus can be prone to problems with their eyes & mine has blocked tear ducts, but keeping her eye area clean & dry is no problem.
    They can also be prone to breathing issues due to being a flat faced breed.
    Mine has never chewed anything apart from her own toys. However, she has tons of toys which I rotate , so she doesn't get bored. I also do scenting games & puzzle games with her, because she is intelligent and needs things to get her brain working.
    The only real problem with stubbornness I had, was with recall. If there was something nice to sniff at, she would look at me & go back to her sniffs! Sorted that with a recall to a whistle session & she picked that up literally within minutes (little minx!). Three pips on the whistle & she responds immediately.

    Enough waffle from me lol
    SPC 8 (2015) #485 TOTAL: £334.65
    SPC 9 (2016) #485 TOTAL £84
    SPC 10 (2017) # 485 TOTAL: £464.80
    SPC 11 (2018) #485
    • MrsSippi
    • By MrsSippi 22nd Jul 17, 10:38 AM
    • 211 Posts
    • 339 Thanks
    MrsSippi
    Thank you for all the replies, they've all been really helpful.

    One other thing I was wondering about was the running costs so to speak! Obviously it can vary but would £100pm or £1,200 per year be enough to cover the costs? Monthly I would expect to pay for food etc and on top of that there are vaccinations/health checks when required but I'm not sure what other costs are involved (though I am aware that could be emergency vets bills etc on top of that) . Also I need to look into the cost of pet insurance as I have no idea what that might be.

    Also, I am aware that I may be way off the mark with figures and you may be scoffing at me right now, so please be nice
    • Petethespider
    • By Petethespider 22nd Jul 17, 11:37 AM
    • 90 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    Petethespider
    A good dry food will be around £60 a sack, which should last a small dog around three months

    Worming tablets, I always buy from the vet as my vet prices sensibly, around £5

    Flea treatment, I never use unless we find fleas I buy indorex spray and treat the house twice a year. Once again if I do need flea treatment then I go to my vet as they know which ones are best used in your area as fleas do develope resistance

    I also don't inoculate yearly. They get their first set, then one lot of boosters and thats it. That is also personal choice and a chat with your vet and your own research will help you to decide what you want to do

    Insurance is the big expense. With a breed like this with known breathing and eye problems, I would get insurance. Dry eye treatment is very expensive. One tiny tube of optimune is around £30 every two to three weeks. You need an insurance that will pay for whole of life for condition, not one that pays X amount per condition then stops paying. I've been buying eye drops for 6 years. I don't have insurance but I also don't have any other expenses like children so I can afford not to have it. Go to a comparison site and pet plan and put in the details of an 8 week old pup to get some quotes. It all depends on breed, location, age and existing conditions but I'd say expect around £40 a month

    You also need contents insurance if you don't already have it

    Other costs are what you make them. Over the years of dog ownership we have had to buy a bigger car, we moved from a flat to a house, we have had to secure the garden with good fencing. Car crate for the car, deciding leather furniture was the way to go and laminate flooring For a year we had to pay for a dog walker because of work commitments. There is also kennel fees and day care fees if you as a family are away and you have no one else to look after him/her. Dog grooming every few months, brushes , combs and scissors for home tidying up, shampoo. Collar, lead, feeding bowls and dog bed and maybe an indoor crate as well
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 22nd Jul 17, 12:00 PM
    • 3,857 Posts
    • 2,867 Thanks
    sheramber
    check with local groomers how much they charge and how often.

    I don't know how often a !!!! tzu needs groomed- clipped- but some breeds need it every 6 weeks, others every 12 weeks.

    Factor in the time and cost of getting there.

    Will you have holidays where you take the dog or will you need to use kennels?

    `you will need to spend time keeping the coat brushed and tangle free between visits to the groomers

    Definitely take out a good insurance policy with cover for life. Read the policy documents carefully before buying to make sure you know what you are covered for and don't get a nasty surprise when you claim. Cheap is cheap for a reason.
    • tiz
    • By tiz 22nd Jul 17, 12:03 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    tiz
    The PDSA estimate the base cost of a small dog to be £70pm about £12,000 over lifetime

    Which includes:
    Set up For dogs – bed, toothbrush,
    toothpaste, coat, lead, collar, tag, microchip, food bowl, water bowl,
    initial course of vaccinations and monthly wormers to six months
    of age, toys, neutering and car restraint.

    Monthly costs include preventive treatments (annual booster, regular
    flea/worm treatment) as well as insurance, food and a small toy
    allowance. For dogs, this monthly cost also includes poo bags and
    toothpaste.

    But doesn't include: veterinary treatment, boarding fees, grooming
    and replacing accessories

    So you probably need to go a bit higher than £100 pm if you will need boarding and pick a breed that needs regular grooming. Plus factor in some excess payment for insurance.
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 23rd Jul 17, 1:23 PM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 37,641 Thanks
    Katiehound
    If you are intending to use kennels whilst you holiday they will likely insist that your dog has the usual annual vaccinations. Mine now insist that dogs also have kennel cough vaccination (a further £24 pa)
    Some vets have a lifetime plan- Vets4Dogs have- very reasonable if you live close to one- Vac4Life @ £99! Bargain

    I buy my wormers online- they are either the same as sold by the vet or the same drug but produced by a different (well known) drug company. About a third of the price.That makes quite a difference as I have 2 dogs and have to worm to conform with Pet Passport rules.

    Dog training. Ours is very reasonable as it is run by (very knowledgeable- ) volunteers on a not-for-profit basis. I would say that is essential- gives you ideas and is sociable for your dog too, and if you do have a problem there are folk to help.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!

    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Thank You
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