Imperial Shih Tzu
Care of your new
Imperial Shih Tzu

Every effort has been made to assure that your puppy is healthy, happy and well socialized when you take him/her home.  We cannot control what happens once a healthy puppy leaves us, but we can give you some information so that your puppy stays healthy and happy.

First your puppy has been eating Avoderm Small Breed Puppy.  The kibble in the small breed is plenty small enough for even the tiniest puppies, and as they get bigger, you can switch to the larger kibble if you like.  It's exactly the same as the small breed, only a bit larger kibble.  Your puppy is eating dry kibble.  Make sure he/she has access to fresh water at all times. Puppies here have access to their food and of course water 24 hours a day and I recommend the same when they go home.

Second, your puppy is used to sleeping with either siblings or mom and therefore body temperature is easier for them to regulate.  When you take your puppy home, most likely they will be sleeping by themselves.  Remember to keep them out of drafts, and in a warm place (comfortable for you).  Puppies can catch colds an upper respiratory infections if they are chilled.  Never feed a chilled puppy.  Always warm them first.  Only a touch of Nutri cal under the tongue until the puppy is fully warmed, then feed normally.

Please keep in mind that your new puppy is NOT fully protecting from Parvo or Distemper until they have finished their full series of shots.  When your puppy leaves here, they are up to date on shots but may still need one or two to complete the series.  It is recommended that you do NOT take your puppy places that other dogs frequent until they have had their full series of shots.  This includes your pet food stores, dog parks, groomers etc.  It is common practice for many breeders to give their own core shots.  This keeps perfectly healthy puppies out of a vet's office while their immune systems are not mature and reduces the possibility of exposure to the very diseases we are trying to prevent by vaccinating.  It also reduces the stress to the puppy during vaccinations as they are in an environment that they are comfortable and secure.  I have recently had the experience where a new puppy owner's vet refused to recognize the core shots that had already been given to this puppy and gave him another vaccination only 1 week after this puppy had already been vaccinated. This was not only unnecessary, but potentially dangerous to this puppy. The vaccines that I purchase are shipped to me the exact same way that they are shipped to the vets offices, in Styrofoam coolers with ice packs.  The vaccines are promptly refrigerated and given to the puppies the exact same way that a vet does it.  These vaccines are no less valid nor do they offer any less protection than if they were to be given by a vet.  The due date for the next shot will be noted on your shot record that is provided with your puppy.  The lables from each vaccine given will be on your shot record as well.  Under no circumstances is another vaccine to be given to any puppy purchased from me until the date indicated on their shot record.  No matter how many vaccines a puppy recived before the age of 16 weeks they will not be fully immune until 3 to 4 weeks after the 16 week old shot.  It is also recomended that Rabies NOT be given at the same time as they 16 week core shot.  Give the puppy a chance to build the immunities to the core shots first, then have your vet give the Rabies 3 to 4 weeks later.  You vet may tell you that they do not recognize shots given by the breeder and try to insist that you need them to provide this puppy with an unnecessary duplicate vaccine.  This is your puppy and you have the right to refuse this shot.  I do not routienly provide bortadella vaccines.  This is "  kennel cough"  .  I have seen many young puppies become ill after receiving a bortadella vaccine.  While this vaccine does have it's place and is recomended before you start taking your puppy to a groomer or having it boarded, you have to weigh the risk to the benifit and while this puppy is in your home, not exposed to other dogs in a "  group"   or kennel situation, it is not worth the risk to give this to such a young puppy.

Please read this information on Vaccines so that you can fully understand how vaccinations work.

If you have any problems or questions please feel free to call and I will be happy to advise you.
Some vets are just not familiar with the smaller breeds let alone the smaller shih tzu and will assume that because your puppy is very small compared to what a standard shih tzu is at the same age, that there is something wrong with your puppy, or that if they have an open font they will have problems (most open fonts close before 6 months of age in the smaller dogs, in domed headed dogs, such as Chihuahuas, they sometimes do not close at all and never present a problem of any kind)

Please read the Common Issues page of the website to familiarize yourself with Hypoglycemia.  This can be life threatening if you do not recognize the symptoms immediately and treat. Hypoglycemia can occur with any small breed puppy if they go too long without eating.  They can only hold so much food in their little tummies at one time and when that fuel runs out, their blood sugar can drop very quickly. You will be advised if your puppy has ever had a hypoglycemic episode before they go to their new home.

House Breaking and Crate Training:

We highly recommend Crate Training your puppy.  This serves several purposes.  It helps in the house breaking process and it keeps them safe and secure while they are not being supervised.  A puppy is usually capable of holding their bladders and bowels through the night at about 12 weeks old.  Until then, it is good to get your puppy used to their crates by putting them in the crate for short periods of time, first 10 or 15 minutes, then 30, then an hour and so on.  We have a medium size crate inside of 2 Iris Puppy Pens that are linked together to make a bigger enclosure.  This is where the puppies sleep after weaning.  This gets them used to a crate before they go to their new homes, even though they generally aren't locked in.  They learn to love their crates and will willingly go in them to sleep even with the door open if they have access to them.  A crate should only be big enough for them to comfortably stand and turn around in and stretch out.  You can buy them slightly larger to allow for room to grow but too big and your puppy will just sleep on one side and do his business on the other.  During the day when your puppy is sleeping, they should be in their crates and when they wake up, take them strait to the place that you want them to do their business weather it be a pad or outdoors.  Tell them go potty or what ever term you want to use.  This gets them used to going on command so you don't have to spend time out in the cold while they figure out what they are out there for.  Once they have finished bring them indoors for play or to eat or drink.  Supervise your puppy during play and when he gets tired, take him out again to see if he can go then put him back in his crate to sleep.  Repeat the process when he wakes.  Puppies usually have to go shortly after eating as well so that is also a good time to take them out. 

Basic Grooming:

Weather you want to keep your puppy in full coat throughout his/her life or you want to give him/her a cute little cute there are some basic grooming requirements that you can do at home and special attention must be paid to certain areas. 

With any dog who has long hair, the hair under the tail on his bottom must be trimmed or you risk getting what we call a "   poop plug"  .  This is where their poop sticks to their hair and they will try to rub it off by scooting.  This only makes it worse and smashes it tighter against them.  it dries, and creates a plug.  Aside from being just plain gross, it can cause other problems and if not removed immediately, it will cause redness and swelling of the rectum and is very painful for the dog.  Best to prevent this than to have to "  treat"   it so keep this hair cut very short. 

Another thing is they eyes.  Those little pony tails are very cute, but they need to be maintained.  They will need to be combed out every day or 2 and replaced or you will wind up with a big fat knot of hair on their head.  They are good for keeping the hair out of the eyes if you chose to keep their hair long, or even just keep the hair on their heads long.  Be careful not to put them in so tight that they cannot close their eyes.  This can cause dry eye. Weather you want long, or short, the hair around the eyes needs to be kept out of the eyes.  I keep my dogs in a shorter coat and use a flea comb daily to comb the hair back away from the eyes and to keep the corner of the eye, where there may be dried debris clean.  Hair rubbing on the eyes can cause irritation to the cornea and will need antibiotic drops or ointment to treat.  Do NOT use a steroid on a scratched cornea!!  Steroids can cause the cornea to rupture. Signs of eye irritation are squinting or keeping eyes closed, rubbing the eyes, or crusty or goopy eyes.  Clean the eye area with a soft warm wash cloth to remove any debris and if you suspect a damaged or irritated cornea, see your vet for some antibiotic ointment or drops.  It is a good idea to keep Terramyacin on hand as shih tzu of all sizes are prone to eye irritation from hair and eye injuries because of those cute little flat faces.

Ears and tail are usually kept with some hair on them so they will need to be combed out regularly to prevent matting.  If you keep your Imperial Shih Tzu in full coat, they will need to be combed out and brushed every few days.  Comb all the way to the skin to make sure you have gotten all the little tangles.  Check the ears for things like fox tails or burrs if your dog has been outdoors because if those enter the ear canal, they can do some damage which will need to be treated by your vet.  Check toe nails to make sure they are even with the paw pads.  Overgrown nails are uncomfortable and cause damage to the feet.

You may choose to take your Imperial Shih Tzu to the groomers for baths and hair cuts, or do it at home.  Be careful not to get water in the ears and make sure you rinse completely.  Comb them out before bathing so that you don't set mats in and use a good conditioner to make it easier to comb out after bath.  Blow dry thoroughly while combing.

Small Puppies and Children

I am not against placing my puppies in homes with children, but I do ask that when ever the child (ren) and the puppy are together that they be closely supervised.  It is not wise to allow small children to carry a puppy around.  Puppies do not understand that if they jump from these heights, they can become seriously injured.  Children should always be seated on the floor when holding or playing with a puppy and limit play time to 30 minutes at a time then return the puppy to his/her quiet place with food and water so that their sugar is not depleted.  Do not allow children or anyone to place the puppy on a couch and walk away.  The puppy will likely want to follow and could jump or fall off of the couch causing serious injury. Do not allow children to run with puppies under foot. Generally teach the child to respect the puppy, no ear pulling, tail pulling etc. 

We use 34"   x 36"   reusable bed pads for initial potty training of our Imperial Shih Tzu Puppies.  They can be washed over and over and over again.  Good for the environment, and they cannot turn them into confetti!