Ultimate Shih Tzu Information Guide for Novices to Expert Dog Owners 

Shih Tzu Information, For the Rest of Us

Announcing... The Shih Tzu Diaries

Are You a New Shih Tzu Owner Looking for Advice?

Maybe you are struggling with frustrating behaviors, training difficulties, worrisome feeding issues or persistent health problems?

Or, perhaps you are already owned by a Shih Tzu but want to know more 

You've discovered much about the breed, but still want to know more.  Maybe you'd like a reference that can be checked whenever something new arises.    or, maybe you just have some questions and need answers now.

Whatever your need, I can help...

Shih Tzu Diaries to the Rescue

Did You Know...

Would it surprise you to know that the number one complaint about the breed is their stubbornness?  If a Shih Tzu already owns you, you know all too well!  And, if you are just introducing one to your home, you will soon learn.

Our four-legged friends can bring such happiness into our lives. But what happens when problems tag along with all that love?  

Maybe your Shih Tzu is perfect, but if I had to guess, there are issues you are struggling to solve –  frustrating behaviors, training difficulties, worrisome feeding concerns or persistent health problems. 

Let Me Tell you a Story About my Stubborn, Hanna

Just this morning, one of my sweet little girls, Hanna, decided to go for a morning jog, well, actually it was more like a joy run.  There was no stopping her.  (If this has ever happened to you, you know how fast they can run)

Normally, she's a real home body, loving mother, and loyal pet.

But, today the sun was shining, the day was young, and the rest was history.  Want to know how I got her back before a car got her first?  

Keep reading.

Did you know that the number one complaint about the breed is their stubbornness?  

Call them headstrong, hardheaded or downright ornery, some Shih Tzu can be hard to manage.   Hanna is a good example of an ornery Shih Tzu.  Very loving, loyal and gentle, but when the urge grabs her, she's off with me trailing behind.  

First, little Hanna had  to visit the goats next door,

then she decided to check out the beehives on the next property, and discovered bees,

and finally she arrived at the pet cemetery farther down the road.  It was here that I finally caught up with her.

I can't even begin to image what stopped her at the pet cemetery.  Luckily I caught her before she ventured across the street.

Does your Shih Tzu Remind You of a Two-Year-Old"

Do you ever get the feeling that dogs are a lot like people?  Their determination spill over into training struggles, fights over infuriating behaviors, and even struggles at mealtime, potty time, or bedtime. 

Are Shih Tzu dogs beginning to sound like a typical two-year-old person?  

No matter how much you love your dog, these feelings of frustration, annoyance, even anger can discourage even the strongest among us.  This leads us to wonder whether our decision to adopt or purchase  was the right one to make.

No matter what your Shih Tzu issue might be, together we can deal with it. I am asked so many questions about Shih Tzu dogs that I decided to write a book.

Shih Tzu Diaries:  The Shih Tzu Information You Need
all in one place.

I asked over 400 Shih Tzu owners, experienced and novices alike, one simple question, "What is the one thing you wished you had known before you got your first Shih Tau."

Their concerns and frustrations are addressed in every chapter of the book."

After living with Shih Tzu dogs for more than 35 years, I can totally understand your excitement about the breed.  But, no matter how many great traits these dogs have, there are somethings that are just down right hard to deal with.

I've had my struggles too, and some big tearful moments.

Shih Tzu dogs are not unique.  All breeds have their positives and negatives.  There really isn't a perfect breed, no matter how much research you do.

Are you Wondering if This is the Breed for You?

But if you are trying to decide whether one of these little "angels" is right for you, getting as much information about the breed is vital to your future happiness.

Unusual behaviors are just one of the many things Shih Tzu owners encounter. Health problems are another concern as well as how to deal with all that lovely hair that continues to grow down to the floor. 

Ear and eye problems, difficulty grooming, skin allergies, picky eaters and the one I hate the most…their voracious appetite for their own poop.

Love the Breed, but Frustrated by The Quirky Behaviors?

Few breeds of dogs consume us in love. Many Tzu folks will admit that the biggest problem with the breed is that you can never have just one. 

Shih Tzu owners tend to have two, three or more of these delightful dogs that are now popular nearly everywhere in the world.

Are you a Shih Tzu Addict but Still Have Real Problems?

Are you one of those worried Shih Tzu owners who have real problems and need real answers. 

Do you search the Internet or lurk in every forum for some helpful answers?   You could buy a book, ask a friend, or hang out on an Facebook group,  But there are some limitations.

Where do You Find Answers to Those Problems?

Best friends are well meaning, but many not even own a Shih Tzu.

Forums and Groups are made up of self-assigned experts who think they know enough after living with a dog for a year or two.  If you want the real truth about the breed by someone who truly loves them, I may be the person you want to ask.

Today, many of the “best selling” books on Shih Tzu dogs are very generic.  One day, when I had nothing better to do, I sat down in a large book store and pulled out some breed books.

You could almost follow these books,  word for word.  Sure, they would change out the breed standard and rework the history, but the majority of these books were the same (word for word).  I could have learned as much about my Shih Tzu reading a book on Labrador Retrievers.  

A Book about Real Shih Tzu

It then struck me that what was missing was information on the real Shih Tzu, from a long time Shih Tzu owner (and breeder and vet assistant) who observed firsthand how these dogs act and react on a daily basis.   It was then, after 35 years, I decided to put pen to paper (well, actually finger to keyboard) and Shih Tzu Diaries is what emerged.  

Concise Shih Tzu Information:  "Shih Tzu Diaries"

Shih Tzu Diaries can be read cover to cover or used as a reference book for when issues arise.  I covered all the problems one might encounter in the dog’s first year of life and beyond.  Have you ever asked yourself…

  • How am I going to train such a stubborn dog? 

  • What can I do about my picky eater?

  • When is this dog going to stop barking?

  • Why does my dog eat his own feces?

  • How can I get my dog to sit still long enough to groom him?

  • Is there any help for eye problems, ear infections, skin allergies?

  • I'm on a limited budget, I can spend so much on vet bills every month.  Any other options?

  • When can I expect my dog to get potty trained?

  • Where can I find answers to all my questions?

  • Help, my puppy growls and nips at my children.

  • My puppy won’t sleep through the night.

And many more issues that cover just about the all aspects of owning a Shih Tzu.

These are but a few of the questions real Shih Tzu owners have asked and I have answered, but the book is not just about frequently asked questions.  Just take a look at the Table of Contents:

Chapter One:  Meet the Shih Tzu:  Colors, Sizes, History, and All the Rest

Shih Tzu Puppies Come in many different Colors

Check out this chapter if your curious about colors or love a good historical narrative especially those sprinkled with myth.  Maybe you've heard of Prapso Puppies, Teacups, Imperials, Designer Dogs and wonder how they all relate to the breed.  I cover it all in this chapter.

Chapter Two:  Dog Ownership:  Are You Ready? Is the Shih Tzu the Right Dog for You?

Are You Ready for a New Shih Tzu Puppy?

Don't be an impulse buyer especially when it comes to dogs and puppies.  You'll resent your decision for years to come.

They are resistible especially when those little chrysanthum faces look you straight in the eyes, yelling, "Pick Me." 

If the time or circumstances are not right, no matter how much cuteness radiates from their adorable faces, the puppy will just not feel right.

Is the Shih Tzu right for you?  Sure your neighbor has one, but what is it really like to own one.

I asked over 400 Shih Tzu owners one simple question. " What is the one thing that you wished you had know before you got your first Shih Tzu."  Their concerns and frustrations are addressed in every chapter of the book.

Chapter Three: Your Puppy's Homecoming:   Oh the Joy, Oh the Tears

Your Guide to Bringing Home a New Shih Tzu

What a joyful time, but many new owners have many worries.  This is the chapter to read before the puppy arrives or review the chapter to gain insights into your puppy's mind. Many of the trials of the first week at home can be eliminated if you know what to do.

Chapter Four:  About Shih Tzu Puppies--Why They Do The Things They Do

Puppies can be a mystery even to seasoned dog owners.  They seem to have a mind of their own and their antics don't always set well with ours. 

From behaviors to body language, puppies do have a story to teach us while we are also trying to teach them.  Read this chapter to understand your puppy and young dog in a new light. 

This chapter brings to light the complexities of the breed and gives you a clear explanation of why they do the things they do.  Always remember that no two dogs are alike, even litter mates.  Each have unique personalities. Each will bring us happiness, but some are well, just easier to live with.

Chapter Five:  Feeding Your Shih Tzu the Health Way

Feed Your Shih Tzu a Healthy Diet

If you have questions about diet, eating habits or what not to feed your Shih Tzu, get your answers in this Chapter.  Is a raw diet better?  What can I do about my finicky eater?   How can prevent my Shih Tzu from gaining weight too quickly? 

Should I worry about my puppy having low blood sugar?  Can my puppy help me eat the guacamole I just prepared?  What should I do if my puppy eats chocolate?

Chapter Six:  Shih Tzu Health (From Allergies to Zoonotic Diseases)

Shih Tzu Health Information

Many people are concerned about Shih Tzu health and illnesses.  They are relatively healthy but they have their fair share of problems. 

Ear Infections, Eye Issues, Skin Itchiness and and problems that can occur in just about every bodily system. Shih Tzu dogs are not alone when it comes to these problems, but a well informed Shih Tzu owner should have some understanding of what to expect if their Tzu is not feeling well.

And, speaking of zoonotic diseases?  Can my Shih Tzu make me sick?

Chapter Seven: Training Your Shih Tzu:  Tackle their Stubbornness & Get Results

Training Tips for your Shih Tzu Dog

Ever fight with a two-year-old or try and win an argument with a teenager?  It feels about the same with some Shih Tzu dogs.  You don't need to worry your 8 pound Shih Tzu dog will become the Alpha female of the household.   This chapter will walk you through some step by step training methods that you can start using right away.

If you've never tried to train a dog by yourself, there is plenty of step by step instructions in this chapter to help you with all the basics, and then some.

Chapter Eight: Those Negative Behaviors We'd Like to Cure

All About Problem Shih Tzu Behaviors

Everyone has their pet peeves and while some behaviors can be overlooked by some, others find them annoying and arouse even anger in others.  The chapter has a list of the common problems faced by Shih Tzu owners and methods known to correct many of them.

What's your pet peeve?  

Chapter Nine:  All About Grooming:  For both the DIY folks and those who use professional services.

How to Groom a Shih Tzu Dog

Most folks understand that Shih Tzu dogs have long hair that needs frequently attention, but some grooming problems can be harder to deal with including matting, squirmy puppies and resistant adults. Some grooming problems can also turn into health issues such as skin allergies, stinky ears and tear stains. 

Maybe you have decided to do all the grooming at home and save money at the same time.  This is totally doable and I'll walk you through each step to making you a happy home groomer.  If you prefer to turn over those duties to a professional, there are still some things you will need to do yourself.  Find out more when you read this chapter.

Chapter Ten:  Living and Loving a Shih Tzu

Living with a Shih Tzu Dog

Most of us don't need help with enjoying our Tzu, but this chapter also includes a supplemental section on dog first aid, safety, traveling, playing (including the best toys to buy),  and exercising your dog in appropriate ways. Remember you can't expect your dog to run a marathon, but they still need exercise.

Did I mention planning for the future?  No one likes to think they may be a victim of a natural disaster or have a dog they lose young in life.  There is also a section on disaster planning.  

Shih Tzu Diaries

While Shih Tzu Diaries focuses on the first year or two of life, there is plenty of basic information for any Tzu lover.  I don't skim over the important details.

Available as an ebook or Paperback

Want to Read a Sample?

If checking out a book before purchase is your thing (and who doesn't do that), I've provided the first few pages in the form of a PDF.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Download My Sample Now

About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.