Shih Tzu Grooming :A guide to groom your FurBaby.

The Shih Tzu is known for its regal long and shiny coat. It may be a popular look but those luxurious tresses are not easy to maintain. Some owners opt for the monthly grooming sessions. As the owner of a Shih Tzu the decision has to be made early on how the dog will be groomed. You have to ask yourself: will the hair be kept long or short? Is most of the grooming going to take place at home or will you be visiting a groomer? Find out here which option might be best for you for Shih Tzu Grooming.

Shih Tzu Grooming

What Makes the Shih Tzu Special

The Shih Tzu, a treasure since the early Chinese dynasties, is unusually strong for such a small breed; its name means “Lion Dog” and it is fitting.  Known for its adorable face, the Shih Tzu is up there on the list of most popular lap dogs and best kid-friendly dogs as they are both cuddly and active, depending on their moods and yours.  This breed also gets along well with other dogs and cats in the family.   The Shih Tzu breed definitely wins the Congeniality Award!

What Makes the Shih Tzu Special

The Shih Tzu is blessed with a beautiful double coat which comes in a variety of colors.  That beautiful coat will get matted and messy though, if left ungroomed.

Shih Tzu Grooming Styles

Shih Tzus can be groomed to look either sporty or elegantly sophisticated, and their hair can be straight or left curly.

There are seven different Shih Tzu styles:

The basic short clip “puppy cut” on a Shih Tzu gives it a sporty look and shows off its sturdy little body.   The hair is clipped down to about one to two inches throughout the body.  This puppy cut can be made a little longer if you are vigilant about daily brushing to avoid mats.  A puppy cut can be done with longer hair left on the ears to show off the silky nature of the Shih Tzu hair while keeping maintenance as low as possible.  And this cut can be further modified with even longer hair and facial hair to show off a fuller coat and body look.

Shih Tzu Grooming Styles

The hair on the face of the Shih Tzu can be rounded to form a “teddy bear cut,” while the overall length of hair on the Shih Tzu can be left either short or long.

Since the Shih Tzu has the capacity to grow long hair, a popular style for this breed is known as the “top knot.”  The hair on top of the head is left long, while the rest of the body is either short or longer.  The long hair on top is tied together to showcase the silky long hair feature, and to be fancier, it can be braided.   With this style, it is important to keep that long hair away from the face.

Moving away from the more practical cuts, the top knot style can be coupled with long hair throughout the Shih Tzu’s body in what is known as a “show cut.”   This stunning look is also high maintenance, as several brushings a day are required to prevent matting.

Shih Tzu’s body

There are, of course, may other styles for the Shih Tzu.  The hair around the eyes and chin can be trimmed while leaving the hair on the face longer to resemble a West Highland White Terrier.  Bangs are also a popular Shih Tzu look, but you will need to trim them often to keep your dog’s visibility clear.

How you groom your Shih Tzu is up to you.  It takes a year or longer for a short puppy cut to grow to a floor length coat.  And the longer the hair, the more brushing is required.

Grooming Your Dog At Home

The typical pet owner may love the signature long coat of the Shih Tzu, but cutting it shorter makes your pup easier to maintain. Long hair maintenance can get kind of pricey, that is one of the main perks of home grooming. Not only are you saving a pretty penny on the grooming bill but also on the transportation to get the little furball back and forth.

When it’s you doing the cutting, you have more control over styling just the way that you like it. Regular brushing and combing is required in between grooming. Daily maintenance is paramount to ward off a tangled coat. Home bubble baths are also a must to keep your Shih Tzu’s fur healthy.

Grooming a Shih Tzu

Keeping the clippings at home is also another way to bond with your pup. You can find that most dogs get nervous when it is time for a new hair cut. Being there for your dog during a potentially vulnerable time will inevitably bring you closer together. It can be done in the middle of the day when not much is happening around you or even late at night while you are both relaxed and comfortable. Either way, it’s a great idea to get your small dog used to being groomed on a hard surface like a table or countertop.

Shih Tzus can be full of energy so it is best to teach them good grooming habits as a puppy. It will keep the squirming down as they grow older. Take the time to use a higher surface as often as possible to get your dog more comfortable with being that distance from the floor. Constantly reassure them during this process to create a positive environment.

Shih Tzu Brushing

Perfect your home grooming routine by using one similar to the pros. Start by brushing and combing the dog to remove any loose hair from the inner and outer coat. This would also be the best time to detangle any matted hair before bathing. Much like you and I, your pup needs to be dried after bath time.

If Spot is sporting longer hair then it is best to blow it dry. It’s okay to use a brush, but only when the hair is damn. If it’s too wet you can be painful for your dog, while brushing dry hair causes it to easily break. It is best to use two types of brushes to keep the tangles away: a pin brush and a slick brush. Typically you can find a brush with both at any pet supply store. The versatile brush is used to penetrate through both the top and bottom coats to remove any matting while the slick brush smooths the top coat down and gives it that shine. Puppy combs can also be used to remove small tangles throughout the hair in conjunction with your fingers.

style your Shih Tzu

These combs also serve other purposes, they are great when used to keep the dog’s facial hair clean. Always be sure to mist with conditioning spray before brushing. If you can’t decide on which spray to use, put a small amount of regular pet conditioner in a spritzing bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. When you start brushing remember to work your way from the feet up, tackling one small section at a time. Pay special attention to the chest, neck and ears of your dog. These are areas that you might be finding more matted fur than anywhere else.

How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu

Bathing your Shih Tzu is the best time to get it all lathered up in products that will help its coat to shine. Your pup should be prancing in water and suds every three weeks unless your vet has suggested more frequent cleanings.

It’s best to avoid washing too frequently as to not to remove too much of the natural oils. However, don’t wait too long in between baths either. The longer the oils are left to build up on your Shih Tzu’s skin, the easier it becomes for the skin pores to clog. The dog can begin to scratch more frequently, smell and even have a greasier appearance.

How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu

It’s easier to give Shih Tzus a bath because of their small stature. Utilizing the kitchen sink or the bathtub as a washing station allows for easy access to all of your supplies during this process. You can usually find a bottle for spraying in both of these locations, too. That makes rinsing especially easy.

After all of your tools are set up and you’ve issued the pre-poo brushing session, plug your dog’s ears with cotton balls to keep water from getting into their ears. Water in the ears can lead to infections. Beware of stuffing the cotton too deeply, it is meant to stay shallow enough to block the water not stop a dam. Before you get started, put a slip resistant aid so that your small dog is not slipping and sliding around the entire time.

Wet the whole body, including the head, before you begin to lather. You’ll want to avoid getting anything in their eyes. Use a measuring cup to pour when you get to the facial area if it makes the water easier to manipulate. Ensure that the pre rinse has moistened the whole body before moving on. Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner duo plays a huge part in how your dog’s fur will look. Be sure to have a shampoo that removes the built up oils and whatever other dirt or debris can be found on a dog.

shih tzu

Steer clear of any shampoo with harsh low-grade ingredients listed. These things will surely strip the fur of moisture. You are even putting your pup at risk of having dry, irritated skin. Just as parabens and phosphates are not good chemicals for our skin, they can be hard to rinse from your Shih Tzu’s skin. If they ingest these chemicals it can even result in an upset stomach. Improper pH balanced shampoos can be an issue for Shih Tzu dogs. Try out something labeled specifically for sensitive skin, that should clear things up.

If the vet has let you know that your pet has some sort of allergy there are specially formulated shampoos that can still get them squeaky clean, safely. Conditioner seems like it would be an easy step to skip but when used in conjunction with shampoo it is vital to getting your dog’s hair show ready. However, there is one more step before the washing is considered complete, leave-in conditioning spritz. Using this spritz can definitely make a big difference in how your Shih Tzu looks and feels.

One of the more important functions for the spritz is to make up for any lack of moisture from the shampoo process. It can also be used as a coat refresher in between wash days, aiding in the elimination of knots and matting. Nail Clipping You may find your Shih Tzu doesn’t want to stop cuddling with the comfy drying towel after bath time, but the grooming isn’t over yet. Clipping a dog’s nails can seem like more of a tedious process than it truly is. Learning to take care of this at home saves time and money, especially because you may find that your pup’s nails are growing rather quickly due to their diet.

By this point you should make sure that your puppy is comfortable with you touching their paws during this process. Even if you have not had time to properly familiarize your Shih Tzu with this, be mindful to touch, pinch and rub their paws in your down time together. It may also be best to clip nails when your dog is relaxed or tires as you will get less resistance.

The major thing to look out for when clipping your own dog’s nails is the quick, the vein that runs through each nails. Depending upon the color of your dog’s nails you may not be able to see where the quick end and where it is safe to cut. I would recommend watching your groomer do this first or asking their suggestion on where the perfect place would be to begin clipping. There are a few kinds of clippers available the guillotine, scissors and battery powered grinder. If your dog has been groomed before, ask what style they have used before as your pup will already be familiar with the feeling and may be more comfortable.

How do I clean my dog’s ears to prevent dirty dog ears?

Inside the Shih Tzu’s ear canal is a the perfect environment for bacteria and ear mites to grow. Both of these things have the potential to lead to infection which is miserable for everyone involved.

shih tzu ear

Cleaning your pup’s ears may not be the easiest thing to do to control odor, wax buildup and overgrown hair. Gathering all of the materials before you begin can cut down on the unpleasantness for you and your pup. There are only a few supplies needed clean cotton swabs, mineral oils or ear cleaner and ear powder. Wet your cotton ball with your cleaning solution and gently wipe the ear until the cotton swab comes up clean. Be prepared for a few head shakes that will send excess liquid flying. Due to the way a Shih Tzu’s ear is configured it is very easy for debris to get caught in the hair and create a breeding ground for bacteria. Most dogs are not fond of ear hair removal because it can be uncomfortable. Sprinkle in a bit of ear powder, spreading it around the entire canal. Most of the ear hear you will be able to pull out with your fingers, but if it is more difficult tweezers can be used. Curved hemostats tend to work best for this. Be mindful not to catch any skin when you are plucking, that could slow the process down as your dog may become fearful.

Shih  Tzu Teeth Cleaning

It’s easy to think that you can bypass brushing your dog’s teeth, except when it gets a little too funky during your daily kisses. Your Shih Tzu’s dental health is a part of their overall wellbeing. A yearly cleaning with your vet is alway recommended but good oral hygiene can start with you. Start slow and use a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding gums. Also, this should go without saying but NEVER use any toothpaste aside from those specially formulated for dogs.

Utilize treat time as a time to freshen up those teeth. Invest in higher quality dental chews and breath fresheners to give to your dog daily. These treats can help keep plaque and tartar buildup under control. They will never know that these delicious goodies are actually beneficial to them. Plus, who doesn’t like fresh breath?!

Cutting the coat of a Shih Tzu

The options are unlimited when you are cutting your own Shih Tzu’s hair. Remember, all Shih Tzu’s are not created equally. A cut that you may see on another pup might not work for yours depending upon their frame, fur thickness and a number of other factors. Most Shih Tzu owners are a fan of the cute top knot. It is relatively easy to grow out this section of hair and pull it up with a rubber band. It’s completely up to you, have one ponytail or two, maybe even a bun!

Cutting the coat of a Shih Tzu

We’ve already established that long show coats are regal but really tedious to maintain. It’s easy to opt for the short cut or get the best of both worlds by allowing the length to vary by the season. However you choose to let them sport their hair there are three methods to maintain it: clippers, scissors and shears. Two speed clippers are recommended with a variety of blades. Number 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 and/or 30 might be be best. Choosing any blade 3-7 is good for overall body trimming. Number 10 should be used when getting close to sanity areas and footpads. Clippers have a tendency to heat up quickly, to avoid burning your pooch have some blade coolant on hand. Andis is a trusted brand that generally works well for all grooming needs.

You’ve got all of the tools necessary to have the prettiest pup in town. Happy grooming!

 

Hypoallergenic Small Dogs : Experience the joys of canine companionship!

Thanks to careful canine breeding over centuries, those of us with allergies can experience the joys of canine companionship!  And the best news is that they come in small sizes — a smaller dog means less dander.  This is especially good for pet lovers with children and those who live in a condo or apartment.   So who are these Hypoallergenic Small Dogs? A select group of small dog breeds is considered “hypoallergenic.”   These small dog breeds range from hairless to furry with minimal shedding, and while each breed involves some grooming maintenance, there will be a breed to suit your lifestyle and health needs.

Hypoallergenic Small Dogs

What does “hypoallergenic” mean?

While it is impossible for any dog breed to shed no allergens at all, there are many that do not shed their hair, or shed very minimally, and those breeds are named “hypoallergenic”, or unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.  Small hypoallergenic dog breeds vary; they can have one or two coats of hair — or no hair at all.   If your allergies are mild, there is an additional range of breeds with short, dense coats of fur and minimal shedding to make your life easier.  The added bonus to all of these breeds is that there is less doggy odor associated with them.

Small Hypoallergenic Dogs

Allergies may not only arise from pet dander, but also from dog saliva.  Each individual is different, so you will want to determine what triggers your own allergies before selecting your canine companion.

What are the best small hypoallergenic dog breeds?

Wiry-coated terrier breeds and soft-haired poodle breeds are optimal for those with allergies as both produce less dander.

best Hypoallergenic Small Dogs

The American Kennel Club (akc.org) takes a stricter view, naming seven specific small dog breeds as truly hypoallergenic.

Hypoallergenic Small Dogs are:

  • Maltese
  • Toy Poodle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Toy Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo)
  • Chinese Crested
  • Bichon Frise
  • Bolognese; and
  • American Hairless Terrier.

Let’s look at the line-up of hypoallergenic breeds; all of them have benefits and challenges, depending on your needs.

The popular Maltese, Toy Poodle and Miniature Schnauzer, and Bichon Frise all appear on lists of kid-friendly small dog breeds as well as ideal lapdog breeds. The Maltese and Poodle have no undercoat, but they need regular brushing, bathing and clipping (as their hair continually grows) to stay healthy and allergy-free.

Maltese

The Miniature Schnauzer has a wiry outer coat with a soft, tight undercoat, and requires a regular brushing and a 4 – 6 week grooming cycle. The Bichon Frise also has an adorable, soft and curly double coat, and any loose undercoat hairs get trapped, making shedding rare.  That also means they also need daily brushing and frequent grooming.  If allergies are a priority, though, these breeds make the best small hypoallergenic dogs for kids.

Also on the hypoallergenic small dog list are two hairless breeds.  The graceful Hairless Chinese Crested can have almost human-like skin with a single coat of soft hair on the head, paws and tail.

Hairless Chinese Crested

The amount of hair on the body does vary, so if you prefer the aesthetic look of a purebred Hairless Chinese Crested, you will want to get some guidance.  This breed is easy to maintain, but with so little hair, you will need to protect this pooch from excess sun, dryness and frigid temperatures.  A sibling to the Hairless Chinese Crested is the “Powderpuff” Chinese Crested, with a beautiful, full double coat of hair requiring a consistent grooming schedule.

The other hairless hypoallergenic breed, the “Xolo” or Mexican Hairless. Is a national treasure in Mexico, and for good reason:  these dogs are affectionate, social, and allergy-free.  They are not on the top kid-friendly lists as they may not be compatible with babies and toddlers, and they are climate-sensitive.  Their skin also needs protection from the sun.

Two small dog breeds also on the hypoallergenic list are not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, but they are worth mentioning.  The Bolognese is rare and can be expensive, but this breed is a darling, more docile member of the Bichon family.  Its dense, cottony coat makes it allergy-free — but without constant grooming, the coat will easily mat.

 

Bolognese

The American Hairless Terrier, an up-and-coming new breed, ranges from completely hairless to coated with a smooth, shiny surface of dense hair. These dogs are very active, kid-friendly, and a breeze to maintain.  They are, however, rare and expensive like the Bolognese, and hopefully they will become more abundant.

American Hairless Terrier

What small dog breeds have minimal shedding?

There are a number of small-to-medium dog breeds that require less maintenance and are minimal shedders, for those with mild allergies.  The Basenji is recommended by the American Kennel Club as a more medium-sized, active breed with a short, fine coat requiring little maintenance beyond occasional brushing.

Basenji

They are ideal for apartments as long as they get exercise.  Also recommended are the small Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon and Lhasa Apso breeds.  With regular brushing, their undercoats will catch loose hair.  For allergy-sufferers the Havanese and the Coton de Tulear, a sweet relation to the Bichon Frise and Maltese.  Both are soft, silky and robust, and are not as active as other breeds.

The best of all worlds

Don’t let allergies keep you from considering a canine companion — there are now many hypoallergenic dog breeds to choose from, especially in the small dog category.  All that is required is a little more grooming maintenance than for other breeds.  Check the many reputable pet websites and ask your local veterinary and animal rescue community for guidance.  From active to docile, kid-friendly to protective, there is an ideal small dog breed to enhance your lifestyle and promote a healthy home environment!

Small Dogs That Don’t Bark : Here are some of them!!!

Small Dogs That Don’t Bark

What to look for when looking for a dog to keep in an apartment/Condo

  1. Don’t bark (or Don’t bark often)
  2. Hypoallergenic – Don’t shed (important if you are an allergy sufferer)
  3. Easy to train
  4. Does not suffer from excessive separation anxiety.

Small Apartment Dogs That Don't Bark

Apartment life is all about finding things that fit in a small space. It also requires being courteous to your neighbors. One can see how a small dog might not necessarily work in that equation, as most small dogs have a reputation for being yappy. So you’re pretty much out of options except to get a cat or a goldfish. You know you’re definitely not a cat person, and you want something more interactive than a fish.

Did you know there are quiet small dogs? It’s true! Upon doing some research, I have found a list of popular small dogs that don’t bark a lot.

Small Apartment Dogs That Don’t Bark

The Coton de Tulear is a spunky little lover who enjoys keeping their owner company. Cotons are great apartment dogs because they only bark when they need to. They are also easily trained and naturally friendly.

Coton de Tulear

Cotons are bred as companions and are very sympathetically aware of their humans. They are known as a healthy breed, but may be prone to minor health issues. If you suffer from allergies, this is also a great breed for you because they are hypoallergenic and do not shed a lot. Cotons generally need a good brush a few times a week to keep their coat healthy.

The Maltese Shih Tzu, otherwise known as a Mal-Shi or a Malti-Zu, is a “designer breed” created to be a companion dog with minimal shedding. As it turns out, they are super adorable.

Shih Tzu

You can find Mal-Shis with Maltese or Shih Tzu resemblance, but they are all equally loveable, friendly, and hypoallergenic. Mal-Shis are easily trainable, but make sure you do so early. You will have to keep them on a leash when taking walks because they have a strong prey drive and will chase the first interesting thing they see. They will easily adapt to the environment they live in, so they are most likely to be reserved and quiet in a calm environment.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels a frequently on lists of popular small and quiet dogs. They are a continual favorite of many owners.

Charles Spaniels

Cavaliers are gentle and calm companions. They do great in homes with other dogs and children, but they do just as well with a single owner who spends time with them. They need companionship most of the day due to a high level of separation anxiety. They are naturally quiet and don’t need a lot of exercise. They do shed frequently so beware if you are an allergy sufferer.

Japanese Chin are charming and loving small dogs. They love their families and they love to play.

Japanese Chin

They are good apartment dogs because of their size, but they will need regular walks or daily play time in a large area such as a yard. They do not like being alone for long periods of time, so it is best to make sure they have human or animal companions throughout the day. Japanese Chin are very easy to groom regularly with a brush. They are easy to train and will not bark frequently if trained to be quiet.

Small Dogs That Don’t Bark Often

Italian Greyhounds are miniature versions of their full-size cousins. They are easily adaptable, so they do well in apartments.

Italian Greyhounds

They love to play and take walks with their owner. Italian Greyhounds want all the attention they can get and become attached to their owners. They can act out if not given enough attention. They are among the easiest dogs to groom and train.  If you are a novice owner, this is a great breed for you.

Shiba Inu are another breed that are easy to groom. They do, however, shed quite a bit. Shiba Inu’s size makes them great apartment dogs, but they are not easy to train.

Shiba Inu

They need a lot of exercise and they tend to be stubborn. Lack of exercise may cause them to act out by chewing or barking. Shiba Inu are possessive, so they may not handle cohabiting a space with other dogs. They are suspicious of strangers, but they are loyal and affectionate to their owners.

Boston Terriers are friendly little fellows. They are playful, intelligent, and charming. They love to be around their families.

Boston Terriers

They have short coats that are easy to groom with a brush.  They are generally known as a quiet breed. They are very easy to train, and they are great for novice owners. While perfectly content in an apartment, Boston Terriers do need regular exercise such as a daily walk.

Small Dogs That Don’t Shed or Bark

While Basenji do not bark at all, they do require a lot of exercise. They will do well in apartments with large common areas to play or take walks.

Basenji

They are one of the largest small dog breeds. Basenji are very friendly and affectionate but not at all easy to train. They are clever and independent dogs who need an owner and family that can keep up with them. Basenji don’t shed much, if at all, making them extremely easy to groom.

French Bulldogs are on the other end of the exercise spectrum. They don’t require much exercise at all, and a walk will usually suffice.

French Bulldogs

They are stubborn and sometimes difficult to train. French Bulldogs are very playful, intelligent, and smart. They do well in apartments because of their size and energy levels. They don’t shed much, so it is very easy to keep your apartment free from dog hairs.

Bichon Frises are little walking cotton balls. They are playful, curious, and lovable. They were bred as companions so they are very easily trained.

Bichon Frises

This breed doesn’t shed much, and they are hypoallergenic. They are notoriously quiet dogs, making them excellent apartment dwellers. While they are great for novice dog owners, they do need a lot of attention and companionship; it is best not to leave them alone for too long.

As you can see, there are plenty of options available for apartment dwellers of all personality types. All will become an instant member of your family. Now all you have to do is find a pet-friendly apartment!

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds: I’ll take you through some basics.

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a small dog to add to your family, cost of potential vet bills may be critical to your decision. Are some small dog breeds healthier than others? Potentially. There are a few small dog breeds that are known to be generally healthier than other breeds. What are those healthiest small dog breeds, you ask? I’ll take you through some basics.

What are the healthiest small dog breeds?

At the top of our list of healthy small dogs are Beagles.

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds

This breed is consistently at the top of popularity lists, so it is not surprising to see it on the top of healthy breed lists as well. Beagles are excellent for families because they are friendly and gentle with children. Beagles, however, have an increased potential for weight gain, so be sure to give them adequate exercise and a balanced diet.

Affenpinschers are spunky little dogs that do well living in apartments.

Affenpinschers

They are easy to take care of, and they do not shed much. They are generally quiet, but you know when they are excited. Affenpinschers are fearless and protective, so they make outstanding watchdogs. Their curiosity can get them in trouble because it is way bigger than they are. It is important to socialize Affenpinschers early in life so that they become used to people and different surroundings.

Boston Terriers are super adorable, adaptable, and dapper little fellows.

Boston Terriers

They are among the easiest dogs to groom and train. While they are prone to some health problems, the issues are easy to prevent if care is taken when they are young. They do require some attention to their diet to avoid flatulence. Overall, Boston Terriers make lovable and healthy family companions.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are energetic canines who will love their families forever.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

They are very intelligent and easy to train. They shed a lot, so it is best to avoid this breed if you or a family member has allergies. Like Beagles, Pembroke Welsh Corgis possibly tend to gain weight, which makes an appropriate diet and regular exercise a must.

The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent breed native to Scotland.

Shetland Sheepdog

They shed a lot, and may be difficult to groom. They are generally quiet dogs, but will bark if they sense strangers. Shetland Sheepdogs are energetic. They need a lot of room to exercise and play so apartment life is not recommended. If they are not mentally stimulated they may become destructive or troublesome because of their natural intelligence.

Schnoodles are a hybrid breed between Poodles and Schnauzers.

Schnoodles

Owners often choose this breed because they are intelligent and hypoallergenic like Poodles, and they have the spunk and playfulness of a Schnauzer. These guys are very active and eager to please their owners. They are a great family dog because they react well around children.

Schnoodlesare an extremely active breed who simply love life.

Schnoodles

They are wonderful family dogs who are great with kids. They need a lot of exercise and a balanced diet to keep their high metabolism running smoothly. They do not shed a lot and they are generally one of the healthiest breeds.

Healthiest Small Dog Breeds With Longevity

Chihuahuas are generally known for their longevity if well taken care of.

Chihuahuas

They can live up to 18 years! Chihuahuas are tiny dogs with huge personalities. They are extremely protective of their families. Despite their bad reputation, they are great with kids, and they are very friendly if socialized enough early. They shed little and they are easy to groom. It is important to maintain a daily regimen of exercise and healthy diet to prevent nutritional problems.

Havanese are native of Cuba.

Havanese

They have huge hearts and very playful personalities. They are intelligent and easy to train. They are minimal shedders, but their long coats make grooming a task. Like most small dogs, Havanese have the potential to gain weight, so sufficient exercise is recommended. Havanese are known to live up to 13 years!

What is the Healthiest Dog Food for Small Breeds?

The “healthiest” food for your dog will vary depending on its nutritional needs, breed, and size. Generally speaking, small dogs need a higher caloric content per pound than larger breeds. They don’t necessarily need larger portions, it is more a matter of correct ingredients in the right amounts.

A lack of calories can result in low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. A higher metabolism, such as those found in smaller breeds, need more calories than an average metabolism to keep the body functioning properly.

Healthiest Dog Food for Small Breeds

Most breeds require a balanced diet with protein, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Fortunately, a lot of commercial brands contain adequate ingredients for a balanced diet. The issue occurs in the portion sizes.

A common misconception is that a smaller breed requires a smaller portion throughout the day. It is important to note that some small breeds may need smaller portions, but more often throughout the day.  Different brands will have different serving suggestions. It is always important to consult with your veterinarian for the appropriate brand and diet for your dog.
Many other breeds of small dogs are inherently healthy and have longevity. To ensure good health, always adopt from reputable breeders with health records from both parents. Avoid adopting from careless breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores when possible. Make sure that living spaces are safe for your dog, and that you are using good training techniques, such as positive reinforcement.

Small Dogs that are Good with Kids : your kids will enjoy!!!

Small Dogs that are Good with Kids

There is no better way to harness the energy of a child than to add a dog to the family.  While a big, friendly Labrador might be the first breed to come to mind, small dogs can also give your kids the companionship, entertainment and exercise they need within a smaller living space, or with less maintenance than what is needed for a larger dog.  More important, these breeds are less prone to knock over small children by accident.  Within the wide spectrum of small dog breeds, several are especially compatible with children.  Let’s look at some of the best kid-friendly small dog breeds and see what makes them ideal.

Small Dogs that are Good with Kids

Why are some small dog breeds good with kids and others are not?

Several pet websites offer their recommendations for kid-friendly small dog breeds who share these traits: their temperaments are friendly and social; their energy levels are within the range of a child’s attention span and activity threshold; and they are easier to train than other breeds.

Why are some small dog breeds good with kids and others are not

Small dog breeds that are not so protective of their owners are better bets for families.   These breeds are friendly toward strangers and children and love to be the center of attention.   Within the range of family-friendly small dogs are sweet “couch potato” breeds like the Pug and French Bulldog, who are content to cuddle and be pampered with adoration, and breeds like the Miniature Schnauzer, Corgi and Poodle, who are inquisitive and need lots of mental stimulation. Just like kids, these social small dog breeds have a variety of personality types. By matching your child’s temperament with one of these friendly breeds, they can bring out the best in any kid!

French Bulldog

Finding a small dog breed that equates with your child’s energy level is also important.  Small dog breeds requiring more exercise are great for kids who need some coaxing to be active.  These breeds can also give high-energy kids great opportunities to let off some steam while playing with them.   Usual recommendation are  little fireball breeds like the Beagle, Shih Tzu, and Boston Terrier for active kids.  For the really active family with some room to run, there are medium dog breeds that are great with kids, like the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Canadian Retriever and Keeshond, as recommended by Iheartdogs.com.

Wheaten Terrier

For younger children and toddlers, there are docile breeds like the Havanese and Cocker Spaniel, “the perfect family pet,” according to Vetstreet.com.  Also worth considering are the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Norfolk Terrier.  A smaller dog breed does not necessarily mean the dog will be more docile and sedentary.   Tiny dogs like the Shih Tzu, and Yorkshire Terrier have bold and playful personalities.  They also tend to be more fragile, so as active as they are, children need to be especially careful in handling them.

beagle

All of the small dog breeds mentioned share are ranked as easily trainable.  And because of their size, kids can help with the process!

What are some other small dog breeds that are good for kids?

If allergies are an issue, http://shihtzuexpert.com/ provides information on small dog breeds for families who are sensitive to dog shedding.   It recommends the Miniature Schnauzer and Bichon Frise.  These breeds do require more grooming than other family-friendly small dog breeds.  While they are small, there may be economical factors to consider.

Miniature Schnauzer

If you have a household with existing pets, chances are that kid-friendly small dog breeds are amenable to other dogs or cats if introduced properly.  There are, however, dog breeds who are known to bond more easily with other four-legged siblings: they are the Maltese and Miniature Poodle.  Equally important is the temperament of your other family dog or cat, and there are tips on the sites mentioned on how to introduce your new canine companion to his four-legged siblings. The goal of adding a kid-friendly small dog to the fold is overall harmony.

When is the best time to introduce a small dog to kids?

There are benefits and challenges when bringing home a puppy to the family, especially with small dog breeds.   When teaching kids about their new canine companions, consider that small dog puppies like the Maltese and Shih Tzu are especially tiny.  It does take more time and patience with both puppy and children, but when they are taught the basics of gentle handling and proper training of puppies, the bonding experience can be tremendous.

Maltese

There is an equally rewarding experience in bringing home a trained adult small dog to the family.  When it comes to housebreaking puppies, some breeds are more difficult than others. And adult small dogs generally have a calmer temperament than do puppies.  If family schedules seem to busy for training puppies (and teaching children puppy-handling techniques), there are wonderful adult small dogs already trained and grateful to be adopted.  Your local veterinary community and rescue organizations can help you find a match.

Adding to the family

Adding to the family

There are extra priceless benefits to adding a dog to your family.  Kids will enjoy far more than companionship, entertainment and exercise; Dogs teach them responsibility, empathy and self-esteem.   Kids learn how to help their canine companions follow the rules of the house, how to feed and groom, and how to monitor their own playfulness.  And they will know they are adored in turn. Let your children’s personalities be your guide in finding a wonderful kid-friendly small dog to add to your family!

Does Neutering a Dog Change His Personality? Know the facts!!!

Does Neutering a Dog Change His Personality

Introduction

Aside from animal population control, one of the most widespread reasons in North America for de-sexing a dog is the common perspective that doing so will create positive changes in the pet’s behavior. The opinions on this subject vary widely among experts and around the world. Many veterinarians and humane specialists wish to minimize uneasiness about the possible changes by assuring you that the results are positive.  Researchers, however, are using comprehensive studies to convince you to reconsider.

Does Neutering a Dog Change His Personality

A brief perusal of the topic will demonstrate that activists for neutering want to dispel any notions that the operation could result in negative behavior. Some articles even tout that the possibility of seeing regrettable changes in your pet can be dismissed entirely as a myth. When over 56% of all dogs entering shelters are put to sleep though, you can see why one would hope to debunk any negative information surrounding this procedure.

Sterilization of animals is a very effective solution to over-population, which results in nearly 3-4 million cats and dogs being euthanized each year. This heart-breaking dilemma creates a compelling motivation to remove all fear and doubt in an owner’s mind that could prevent him from sterilizing his pet.

Common Concerns

Pet-owners may express concern that their dog will grieve the loss of his masculinity or show signs of depression over the removal of his testicles. This is not something you should worry about. “Manhood” is not a quality that dogs possess and this is merely a product of the human imagination being projected onto the animal.

Common Concerns

By neutering your dog, you are simply alleviating him of urges and tendencies that are related to a sexual need. The changes you will see are the reflections of a need that no longer needs to be met in his life.

What to Expect

Most experts agree that by taking away such a key element of hormone-regulation, you are bound to notice some alterations. In the first 24-72 hours post-surgery, any change you see will be attributed to medication and general soreness. As the anesthesia wears off, your dog may be sluggish and lethargic, but this is not permanent.

What to Expect

Many advocates of neutering will insist that any long-term changes in behavior that your pet may face will range from insignificant to entirely positive. Generally, the consensus is that the positive results you can expect in your dog’s demeanor are a good reason to sign up for the operation.

Veterinarians say that, when your dog recovers from his operation you should see a reduced desire to roam, a less-likely propensity to engage in mounting behavior, and a mitigated tendency to assert himself over another dog. Among the most positive deviations from a dog’s original demeaner is the significant decrease in territorial urine-marking. Such changes are commonly observed among professionals, and coincide with the hormonal displacement an animal will experience after having their sex-organs removed.

It Won’t Change All Bad Behavior

Pet behaviorists will caution that the hope of behavioral improvements should not be the sole factor in opting for this surgery. If behavior modification is the primary reason you are interested in the procedure for your pet, a more appropriate action would be to have your pet assessed by a veterinarian to rule out any physical or medical causes. If there are none, you should seek a professional who is certified in pet behavior. These experts can teach you how to work with your canine to achieve the best conduct possible.

It Won’t Change All Bad Behavior

A dog’s behavior can stem from a variety of influences, and if the cause isn’t rooted in his hormones, removing his sex-organs is not going to solve the delinquency. Your dog’s conduct can originate in different environmental factors, like too many dogs in the home, or not enough space to exercise. He could be acting out because of an undiagnosed illness or pain you are unaware of. If he’s misbehaving, it may be the result of learned behavior or bad habits he has acquired.  Also, just like humans, dog have their own unique personalities. Some are more naturally prone to aggression or hyperactivity than others. It’s important to note that neutering your pet will not affect attributes that are not directly caused by hormones. Any concern about his behavior should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. They may still suggest neutering for his behavior, but it’s important that he is evaluated so all other causes can be ruled out first.

dog’s behavior

For those same organic reasons, research confirms that age matters when it comes to neutering and subsequent behavior. Veterinary observations suggest that removing sex-organs while a dog is young is preferable because doing so may prevent aggression before it forms bad habits. A dog that is older may not exhibit much change however, because his behaviors are more likely caused by habit than hormones.

Research Suggests Less Optimistic Outcomes

Despite the large number of professionals promoting neutering for good behavior, recent research suggests that the behavioral outcomes of neutering contradict common assumptions. Between two prominent studies in the United States, a total of 15,984 dogs were tested for behavioral changes in consequence of neutering. One study, published by Deborah Duffy and James Serpell, tested two groups of dogs, and another study, written by Parvene Farhoody tested a third group.

Research Suggests Less Optimistic Outcomes

Using the Canine Behavioral Assessment Research Questionnaire as a standard, both studies were strikingly consistent in the conclusions that were drawn. Each one revealed that instead of becoming less aggressive, as many pet owners assumed would be the case, these dogs became distinctly more aggressive. Dogs were one-third more likely to exhibit fearfulness and sensitivity to touch, and eight percent more likely to show increased excitability. These inferences are shocking when you consider that the prospect of positive behavior is a key point used to persuade pet-owners to spay and neuter their animals. Still, these changes could be linked to the trauma of undergoing and recovering from surgery.

Conclusion

When you neuter your dog, you are likely to see some type of behavioral change, but the changes will be limited to two origins; hormones and trauma. The most positive changes will occur from the former. Because of hormones, you may see more laid-back behavior, and fewer displays of sexually-driven urges and tendencies. The more negative changes like anxiety or heightened aggression may result from either origin, or both. Learned behaviors, personality, or conduct related to environmental factors will not be influenced when a dog is neutered.

Many pet owners and veterinarians observe positive changes, but the potential for negative changes does exist. In short, neutering your dog will change some of his behaviors, but not his personality.

Bibliography

Cesar’s Way. (n.d.). Spay and Neuter Myths. Retrieved from Cesar’s Way: https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/spay-and-neuter/spay-and-neuter-myths

Patel, C. (2012, June 25). Neutering: What’s Behaviour Got To Do With It? Retrieved from Dog Star Daily: http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/neutering-what%E2%80%99s-behaviour-got-do-it

Stanley Coren, P. D. (2017, February 22). Are There Behavior Changes When Dogs Are Spayed or Neutered? Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201702/are-there-behavior-changes-when-dogs-are-spayed-or-neutered

Welton, M. (n.d.). Neutering Your Male Dog- Pros and Cons. Retrieved from Your Purebred Puppy: http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/articles/neutering-male-dog.html

Zeltzman, P. (n.d.). What to Expect After Dog is Fixed. Retrieved from Dog Time: http://dogtime.com/dog-health/spay-neuter/5450-after-spay-neuter-phil-zeltzman-faq

Most Popular Small Dog : A Quick guide

beagle

So you’re in the market for a small dog, but you have no idea where to start. The Internet can hinder you as much as help you these days. Endless lists, and different ones on every page at that. In this article, I will provide a quick guide to the American Kennel Club’s top small breeds.

What is the most popular small dog breed?

To assist with choosing a potential family member, I have listed the 10 most popular small dog breeds, courtesy of the American Kennel Club 2017 list of popular dog breeds.

10 Most Popular Small Dog Breeds

  1. Pomeranian

These little guys are well known for their long and thick coats. They are happy, energetic and extremely loyal.

small dog

They are difficult to train, so it is best to start training them as early as possible.

They are wonderful apartment companions if they are trained well. Pomeranians are adorable little lapdogs, and they are great with kids. However, use caution around small children because Pomeranians have a delicate frame. Pomeranians are super energetic attention-seekers, so take that under advisement if you are considering this breed.

  1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

If you are looking for an easy to train small dog, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi may be your breed. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are excellent with kids, and they are good with cats if they have been socialized with them.

corgi

I would not recommend this breed if you have small caged animals as they still have their ratting behaviors. Similarly, they tend to take charge, and may not do well with larger breeds.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis enjoy freedom to run and thrive in areas with lots of room.

  1. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu are bred to be companions, which makes them an excellent choice if you are in the market for a lap dog.

shih tzu

They don’t like being alone for an extended amount of time, and are not a good choice for an owner who does not spend a lot of time at home. They don’t require a lot of exercise, which makes them a great choice for an apartment dweller. Shih Tzu may be a little hard to train due to their stubbornness, but they make great watchdogs.
  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This is an excellent breed if you are looking for a quiet and friendly small dog.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavaliers love people, and, like Shih Tzu, do not like being solitary for long. They do require a big of grooming to keep them clean, and they tend to shed a lot.

Cavaliers are affectionate, playful, and great with kids and other animals. This breed is fantastic for families and multi-pet homes.
  1. Miniature Schnauzer

This breed contains a lot of personality and energy. They do not make good lap dogs, but they are loyal and versatile.

They adapt well to a variety of living conditions. Miniature Schnauzers should only be adopted from independent breeders because this breed tends to have behavior and personality issues if bought from a pet store. This breed’s versatility makes it an excellent choice for almost everybody, from multi-animal homes to single seniors looking for some canine companionship.

Even people who suffer from allergies, as the shedding from Miniature Schnauzers are minimal. Like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, it is recommended that the home be free from small caged animals.
  1. Dachshund

Dachshunds are super playful dogs with comical personalities. They are one of the most recognizable breeds due to their “hot dog” like appearance.

dachshund

These dogs are less likely to get along with other animals, including other dogs. They are difficult to train, so only adopt one if you are willing to put in the time to make sure they are trained and socialized well.

They were bred as a hunting dog, so it is beneficial to stimulate Dachshunds with lots of toys and games.

  1. Poodle

Poodles are a popular breed due to their hypoallergenic coat. These dogs are chosen most amongst owners with allergies, and they are often crossbred with other breeds to reduce shedding.

Poodle

Poodles are extremely intelligent and easy to train. They do best in homes with a lot of room to run and play. Poodles make good therapy and service dogs, and are very eager to please their owners.

  1. Yorkshire Terrier

Otherwise known as a Yorkie, this breed is very intelligent and easy to train. They tend to either snuggle on their owner’s lap or run around playfully.

small dog

They do not like strange dogs and make great watchdogs. They can live with other animals if socialized, but prefer the company of another Yorkie.

They are an active breed that need time to take walks or play in the yard. Yorkies are loving dogs and are a great choice for loving families.
  1. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are a happy little breed that love companionship. They are playful and energetic, but do very well in apartments and small houses because they do not need a lot of exercise.

french bulldog

Another plus for apartment living is that they are very quiet. They tend to be stubborn, which may cause issues when trying to train them. They are also prone to medical problems, so be diligent about their grooming and care.

What is the most popular small dog breed in the United States?

Beagle

Beagles are the top small breed in the US due to a variety of reasons, but mostly because they are a sweet, caring, and funny breed.

Beagle

They require attentive training as puppies to grow into caring and nurturing adults, and they are often very difficult to housebreak. Beagles are friendly towards kids and other animals, but are alert watchdogs. They are not a great option for apartments due to their vocal abilities.

Among other popular small breeds there are Boston Terriers, Chihuahuas, Havanese, Cocker Spaniels, and Maltese. These have different traits that they are known for. Of course, there are many other options. It is always best to consult a breeder or animal professional to determine which small dog breed is correct for you and your lifestyle.

Smart Small Dog Breeds : Pint-sized options to match your lifestyle

smart small dog breeds

It can be hard trying to find the perfect smart small dog breeds for your family. There are hundreds of breeds with all types of temperaments and personalities.

Most families want a smart dog, but there is a difference between intelligence and trainability.

A dog who is intelligent may not always be the easiest to train. I have compiled a smart small dog breeds list with easily trainable dogs.

What is the most popular small dog breed in the United States?

Miniature and Toy Poodles are at the top of many lists as a favorite breed. They are hypoallergenic and extremely friendly. Poodles are one of the most intelligent dogs among all breeds, and they are easily trained. They bond with entire families, which makes them perfect for families with kids. They have a lot of energy and do best with a place to exercise or a daily walk.

Smart Small Dog Breeds

10 Most Popular Smart Small Dog Breeds

In addition to Poodles, there are many smart small dog breeds that are not difficult to train. With all training, it takes time and patience.

Below I have described nine other popular smart small dog breeds with a good combination of intelligence and willingness to please their owners.

Havanese are energetic little dogs who are eager to please, which makes them easy to train. They are sociable, playful, and enjoy being around people.

Havanese

Havanese require regular weekly grooming, but they shed very little, which is a great characteristic for owners with allergies. While Havanese are an energetic breed, they don’t need a lot of daily exercise.

Shetland Sheepdogs, on the other hand, are very frequent shedders. This breed is not recommended if you don’t like repeated vacuuming.

Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdogs are another high-energy breed that loves to keep busy. They can bond closely with one family member, and do not like strangers.

Shetland Sheepdogs have a tendency to be noisy, but it can be prevented with some early training. They are easy to train because they love to please their owners. Positive reinforcement tends to produce the best results.

The Papillon breed is super cute and loving. They are among the most obedient dogs, and are extremely easy to train.

Papillon breed

This is a great breed to consider if there are children in the home because they love to play. Long walks or periods of play outside are recommended to release pent up energy. They desire a lot of attention and affection, and they are great around strangers.

Papillon are heavy shedders, so beware if allergies are a concern.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a gorgeous and gentle breed. They do not require a lot of exercise, perhaps a nice daily walk.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

They are very playful and affectionate. This is a great breed to have around children because of their affectionate and gentle personalities. Cavaliers are eager to please, so training them is relatively easy. They do shed seasonally, but it should be manageable if groomed regularly.

Miniature Schnauzers are a high-energy and large personality breed. They love the company of people and will tend to be wherever their owners or families are.

They need a lot of exercise and stimulation to keep their energy channeled in a good way. The exercise will also keep them from gaining weight. Even though they are energetic, they adapt well to apartmen

schnauzer

t life. Just make sure that they get frequent walks and playtime. They can be great watchdogs because of their invincible attitude and vocal tendencies.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are devoted little dogs who need companionship. They are obedient and easy to train.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Corgis shed easily, and may irritate allergies. Frequent brushing will help alleviate extra shedding. Despite their short legs, Corgis are very athletic and eager to learn. They are great guard dogs because they are protective of their families.

Schipperkes are also great guard dogs because they are very alert and devoted to their families. They are wary of strangers at first. They are a highly-energetic breed, and they need constant stimulation and attention. Schipperkes are great at herding and other dog sports, and are great playmates with well-behaved children. Like many other breeds, Schipperkes shed a lot and should be groomed regularly.

Cocker Spaniels are happy and sociable. They are great for families because they are gentle and playful around kids.

Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels need a lot of exercise so make there is a lot of room to run, or that they are taken on frequent walks to expend energy. They are easily trained and intelligent. However, they are high maintenance when it comes to grooming and they will shed a lot without regular brushing.

Pomeranians are known to be intelligent and playful. This breed is great for apartment living because they do not need a lot of exercise or space to exercise in.

Pomeranians

Pomeranians bark a lot, but they can be trained to bark less if trained early. They love to be around people, but it is not recommended that they are around small children unsupervised.

What is the most popular small dog breed?

Beagles are the top small breed in the US for many reasons, but mostly because they are a sweet, caring, and funny breed. They are intelligent, however; require attentive training as puppies to grow into caring and nurturing adults. Often very difficult to housebreak.

beagle

Beagles are friendly towards kids and other animals. Their protective nature makes them alert watchdogs. They are not a great option for apartment complexes because they bark often at strange animals and noises.

Whether you are looking for a quiet companion or an active playmate, there are a bunch of pint-sized options to match your personality and lifestyle.