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chinese imperial (shih tzu)

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chinese imperial (shih tzu)
  • i am really wondering about this breed... i really want to get one. and i do know it's a breed of it's own. but, based off of the shih tzu? from what i've read from www.dogbreedinfo.com is that they are laid back and very family oriented. but, if it's based off of the shih tzu, it won't do very well with smaller kids? i have two toddlers. i don't know. does anybody know very much about this breed? is it typically in good health? i don't know. all i know is that i really want one! i would really appreciate the feedback on this dog. please reply. thank you.
  • I don't think there's such a thing as an "Imperial" Shih Tzu -- there is also no such thing as "Teacup" Shih Tzu. There's only one Shih Tzu and that is the Shih Tzu that conforms to the breed standard. Anything that falls outside the breed standard is not show-quality, and the terms "imperial" or "teacup" are used by BYBers or puppy millers to market their dogs as "unique". Dogbreedinfo is a great website and has tons of information, but I notice that it has a lot of mutts/crossbreds listed as purebreds in it as well.
     
    Try reading these links from the American Shih Tzu Club:
    [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/imperial.asp?menu=Info]http://www.shihtzu.org/Info/imperial.asp?menu=Info[/link]
    [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/want_to_own.asp?menu=Info]http://www.shihtzu.org/Info/want_to_own.asp?menu=Info[/link]
    [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/questionstoaskabreeder.asp?menu=Info]http://www.shihtzu.org/Info/questionstoaskabreeder.asp?menu=Info[/link]
  • I have a Shih Tzu and he is good with my kids, ages 3, 11, 13.  They can be wonderful dogs.  You need to be concerned about the kids being a too rough with the pup or dog.  How old are your children?  Have you had dogs before?
  • From what I gather, a group of people are working on creating the Chinese Imperial as a separate breed, which is basically very small Shih Tzu. I personally have no problem with it. There are Yorkies, Poms, Maltese, etc. that are 5 pounds, why not Shih Tzu? My Shih Tzu is 11 pounds and I would LOVE to be able to shrink him down so I could take him almost everywhere with me. And no not as an accessory, but as a constant companion. A lot of people will say that if you want a dog that small to just get one of the above breeds like a Chihuahua or a Pom. Well, perhaps those breeds don't have the temperament or looks that the person is looking for. I know that Shih Tzu fit me to a "T". I've looked and looked and looked into other small breeds, but none are right for me like Shih Tzu.

    So anyway, back to the point, I see nothing whatsoever wrong with gradually breeding down Shih Tzu and creating a separate breed. Not taking sickly runts of the litter and breeding them together, but taking healthy slightly smaller Tzus and breeding them together. Then over several generations selecting for smaller size and very gradually getting a smaller dog. This can be done with attention to health and conformation and IMO is completely fine. New breeds were created in the past, who's to say that whatever breeds we have now are all we can have and no one better dare create a new one? [&:]
  • This is a sore subject with me; however, I love that you are here looking for more information so that you can make an educated decision [sm=wink2.gif]

    Please don't take my responses personally; this breed being one of my favorites, I have strong opinions about the " chinese imperial"[sm=angry.gif]

    ORIGINAL: tutti_bella
     and i do know it's a breed of it's own. but, based off of the shih tzu?

    It is not a breed of it's own.  It is not recognized as a breed; it goes against the AKC Breed Standard (9-16 lbs).  It is right up there along with the "designer dog" craze.   The Shih Tzu is already a wonderful toy breed, and is known to be one of the sturdiest of the toys, why do they want to change it?  My dogs are quite small; people can't believe they weigh 12 and 16 lb.  It's because they are SOLID little dogs - which is a GOOD THING.  Some of the toys are so fragile, you have to be concerned about them breaking a limb just from jumping off of the sofa [:o]

    based off of the shih tzu?

    They basically take the runt of two Shih Tzu litters (which are likely to be the least healthy and could never be shown to begin with) and then they breed them together in attempt to make a "smaller dog".  It's unhealthy, and it is irresponsible breeding. [:'(]

    from what i've read from [linkhttp://www.dogbreedinfo.com]www.dogbreedinfo.com[/link] is that they are laid back and very family oriented. but, if it's based off of the shih tzu, it won't do very well with smaller kids? i have two toddlers.


    AKC Standard Shih Tzus are very sweet tempered and laid back, but enjoy a good walk or romp as much as the next guy (unless you end up with a product of bad breeding - and his/her temperment is not the standard[&:])  The reason they are not recommended for small children (under 7 or so i'd say) is because they are a toy breed but they aren't "toys". [&:] Many parents do not teach their children to respect the dog's space and that it is a living, breathing being.  It is for the dog's protection that they do not recommend small children households.  My 2 are wonderful with children and even babies that visit; however, I ALWAYS supervise and do not allow children to pick them up or play rough with them.
    does anybody know very much about this breed? is it typically in good health?


    They are prone to their own health problems just like any other pure breed, which is another reason it is SO important to either 1) adopt a Shih Tzu in need that you can meet and know if it's a good fit for you or 2) Be sure to find a RESPONSIBLE BREEDER to help reduce the health issues that you have to endure with your furbaby.  That means PLEASE don't support the "imperial shih tzu"

    Here is another link that talks about the different health issues to be aware of: [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Articles/article_list.asp?menu=Articles&ART_TYPE=Health]http://www.shihtzu.org/Articles/article_list.asp?menu=Articles&ART_TYPE=Health[/link]


    [align=center][color="#000000"]I copied this from the American Shih Tzu Club Site: [/color]
    [color="#000000"] [/color][linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/imperial.asp?menu=Info]http://www.shihtzu.org/Info/imperial.asp?menu=Info[/link]

    [align=center] THE FACTS ABOUT “IMPERIAL”
    OR “TEACUP” SHIH TZU
    The words “imperial” and “tiny teacup” are sometimes used interchangeably to describe undersized Shih Tzu. In fact, the terms “imperial” or “tiny teacup” should be regarded as what they really are….A MYTH often used by unethical breeders to create a market for dogs that do not conform to the [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/standard.asp]breed standard[/link]. These tiny dogs are NOT what the Shih Tzu has been since it was developed as a distinctive breed in China #%92s imperial palace, nor what it ought to be. Maybe you read an ad in your local newspaper, searched the Internet, or know of someone who acquired a Shih Tzu using the words “imperial” or “tiny teacup” to describe how unusual and special (and even more expensive?) their dog might be. The official breed standard approved by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Shih Tzu Club (ASTC) calls for a weight range of 9 to 16 pounds. A breed standard is a written description of the ideal dog of a particular breed by which it is bred and judged at dog shows. Breed standards are used by all canine organizations. The first written standard for Shih Tzu was that of the Peking Kennel Club, in 1938, which stated that the ideal weight for Shih Tzu was 10 to 15 pounds. Today, Shih Tzu breed standards approved by purebred dog registries around the world are very similar to the 1938 Peking Kennel Club standard. They recognize that [color="#cc0000"]one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Shih Tzu is that it is not a fragile dog. It is very solid and sturdy despite its relatively compact size. [/color] Why would anyone want to steer away from the weight called for in the AKC-approved breed standard or to call the breed by anything but its AKC-recognized name? [color="#cc0000"]Could it be a fad they have created in order to obtain a higher price for a dog that does not meet the breed standard? These particular breeders have deliberately downsized an already designated Toy breed. By doing this, they risk the overall health and wonderful distinguishing breed characteristics that responsible breeders have worked long and hard to preserve. The same is true of “breeders” who deliberately cross-breed two different AKC-recognized breeds to create what they call [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/designer_dogs.asp]“designer dogs.”[/link][/color] [color="#cc0000"] Many of the less than reputable breeders of undersized Shih Tzu claim that their Shih Tzu possess the “imperial” gene. There is no proof that such a gene exists. Size reduction occurs by breeding the smallest dog in a litter to another small dog of another litter, and so on and so forth. This not only creates abnormally small Shih Tzu, but also puppies that may have health problems. This is not indicative of an “imperial gene,” but rather of poor breeding practices. [/color] A [linkhttp://www.shihtzu.org/Info/questionstoaskabreeder.asp]responsible breeder[/link] does not advertise an occasional “runt” as an “imperial” or “tiny teacup” Shih Tzu. Rather, it is sold as a pet, solely as a companion dog that is not to be used for breeding. [color="#cc0000"]Responsible breeders strive to breed healthy dogs that conform to the breed standard. The ideal Shih Tzu is a sturdy, active, healthy dog with good substance for its size. Those desiring a very tiny pet should choose another breed rather than destroying the very characteristics that make the Shih Tzu such an ideal companion. [/color] There is no such thing as an AKC-recognized Imperial or Tiny Teacup Shih Tzu. Any domestic registry other than the American Kennel Club is not recognized by the American Shih Tzu Club. Breeders using alternative registries may have lost their AKC registration and breeding privileges for various reasons.
    [:o]
    [color="#000000"]
    Sorry for the rant; but this really is one of my favorite breeds.....



    [/color]
  • ORIGINAL: tzumommy

    They basically take the runt of two Shih Tzu litters (which are likely to be the least healthy and could never be shown to begin with) and then they breed them together in attempt to make a "smaller dog".  It's unhealthy, and it is irresponsible breeding. [:'(]


    That's not necessarily true. It's completely possible to breed down size WITHOUT using unhealthy runts. There have been smaller Shih Tzus from the beginning and there's nothing wrong with it.

    http://www.shihtzuonly.com/
  • mondayblues:  I see you already had those links posted, and you were able to consolidate your information without writing a novel [&:]. 

    Sorry, I didn't even get this far before i went on my rant.[8|]
  • I don't know anything about imperial shih tzu's, other than the fact it is a term used to describe a smaller shih tzu.  My shih tzu, Eloise, LOVES children.  Whenever I take her somewhere she will seek them out and then roll over for belly rubs and give kisses.  She has the best temperament of any dog I've met.  She has never growled, or tried to bite.  She also loves the car and runs to the door when she hears keys.  She is 10lbs and IMO that is small enough to go most places with me.  She goes out more than my 6lb chihuahuas, simply because of her temperament.  She does have a "bag" which she adores and sits in for fun.  I only use it when it's raining though.  Anyway, the point of this whole post is show that shih tzu's are a great breed.  I believe that socialization is key, as well as good breeding. 
  • Please reconsider before getting a really small Tzu...they are not healthy..they have liver problems and eye problems..leg problems...they don't live as long...there temperments are not always as sweet as the correct size Tzu..

    And the people that are breeding them are asking more then they are worth.

    Shih Tzu are sturdy dogs.....

    Our Tzu have very heavy bones....they are the only Toy breed that DOESN'T have leg problems....

    You get a small one and it will have many many problems...

    The size of the Shih Tzu is set by it breed club..the AKC web site can give you the correct size.

    And the breeders don't alway take the smallest one that are healthy  to breed small ones.....they also take the normal one and breed them

    down...and they aren't alway as healthy when they are trying to get the size that gets them the most money...

    The American Kennel club doesn't consider this a true Shih Tzu...

    Tzu are the most loving gentle dogs...why take anything less then the best.!!!!!

    Hugs

    AhhDogs..Niki the Tzu...Beau the yorkie...and Amps the poodle

     

  • I prefer the standard sized shih tzu and I cant even imagine them being any smaller when they are already so tiny! My dog is considered a small dog at 17lbs. She walks around and it still concerns me that we might step on her because sometimes you dont realize she is down there!

    I've seen a really tiny yorkie at Petco - Let me tell you... I am a HUGE fan of that breed ... but the one I saw couldnt have weighed anything more than 1.5-2lbs. It didnt look like a yorkie (or a dog) to me. It looked liked a hairy rat - and that - coming from me was a big deal because I used to get pissed off at people who called yorkies rat dogs! It was not cute at all - from then on I swore that the day I get a yorkie - she would not be "teacup".

    I suggest you go check out some reputable breeders with standard sized shih tzu's - you might be surprsied at how tiny they already are. And dogs can be good with children if trained and socialized with them properly. And the same goes for the kids - they need to know how to handle a small dog too.

    Not only that - a lot of these "designer teacups" are the ones that break easy. I've read in other dog forums that some owners with the really small dogs had them break their back or legs because they jumped off of the couch! And one story was really sad - the owner of a small yorkie had her girl die because the bf stepped on the dog by accident :(

  • ahhdogs

    Please reconsider before getting a really small Tzu...they are not healthy..they have liver problems and eye problems..leg problems...they don't live as long...there temperments are not always as sweet as the correct size Tzu..

     

    sorry but i have to ask you to name seven AKC toy breeds that dont come with that warning label. all breeds have at least one of those potential problems.. even the mixed breeds now. 

    And the people that are breeding them are asking more then they are worth.

     

    that i cant argue with and i wont even try. my advice is check the local shelter and rescue first.. THEN go to a breeder as a last result. you might end up doing one poor unwanted dog a HUGE favour.. let your heart speak to you... not your eyes. 

  • ahhdogs

    Please reconsider before getting a really small Tzu...they are not healthy..they have liver problems and eye problems..leg problems...they don't live as long...

    You really can't state those things as fact. Not every small Shih Tzu is that size because of a liver shunt nor do they all have the other problems that you mentioned. A Shih Tzu that has been bred down gradually in size won't have any more health problems than the other small toy breeds. Those breeds are completely accepted because people are accustomed to seeing a 5 pound Maltese.
  • Luvntzus
    ahhdogs

    Please reconsider before getting a really small Tzu...they are not healthy..they have liver problems and eye problems..leg problems...they don't live as long...

    You really can't state those things as fact. Not every small Shih Tzu is that size because of a liver shunt nor do they all have the other problems that you mentioned. A Shih Tzu that has been bred down gradually in size won't have any more health problems than the other small toy breeds. Those breeds are completely accepted because people are accustomed to seeing a 5 pound Maltese.

     

    You're right that not every small Shih Tzu is small because of a liver shunt and there will always be a variation in size in a litter.....and perhaps a shih tzu that was the result of carefully breeding down to a smaller size would have no more health problems than the akc standard size shih tzu----BUT that does NOT seem to be what is happening.

    People are: 

    A. selling small dogs from the breeding of two regular sized dogs and calling them "imperial"....As long as they are healthy then the only ethical question here is "are the dogs being marketed as something they are not?"

    OR

    B. taking two below average sized dogs and breeding them hoping to make small dogs---there's no gradually about it.

    If you go to this site (which was linked to earlier on this thread) and look at the page with parents http://www.shihtzuonly.com/PHOTO.html you will notice that most of the dogs are described as the offspring of champion sires or champion sires and dams. That sounds great, doesn't it? Except it proves that the dogs being bred are undersized by "accident" rather than careful breeding because we know the parents must have been full sized in order to become champions.

    Shih Tzus are not supposed to be "toys" they are supposed to be sturdy small dogs that ideally range in weight from 9-18 pounds. Read a Shih Tzu breed standard  (AKC, CKC, UKC, KC, or FCI) and you'll see they described as sturdy, solid, compact, "carrying good weight and substance."

    Back to the OP's question. Yes, shih tzus are good with kids. They are small but STURDY, good natured, happy, lively and outgoing. A well-bred shih tzu would make a great family companion. IMHO you should steer away from people who advertise imperial shih tzus for the reasons many here have stated. Find a good breeder and you'll get a robust 10 pound dog---or find one through a rescue and you'll be saved from teething and house training LOL.

    Best wishes on your search. 

     

  • I'm not really a fan of the breeding down of established breeds, I think it can only harm the dog in the long run. Ginger is 9ish lbs (sometimes in the upper 8 lb range) and she's plenty tiny enough to go anywhere that allows dogs. I don't know where I'd be going that I'd need her to be any smaller.

    I happen to love Shih Tzus. They're jolly little dogsSmile

     

    As far as the website goes, I can't find any location on there, but the bad grammar made me weep a bit. I'm also a little concerned by the statement that they 'paid top dollar' for their dogs..

  • polarexpress

    Shih Tzus are not supposed to be "toys" they are supposed to be sturdy small dogs that ideally range in weight from 9-18 pounds. Read a Shih Tzu breed standard  (AKC, CKC, UKC, KC, or FCI) and you'll see they described as sturdy, solid, compact, "carrying good weight and substance."

    I'm aware of the breed standard and for AKC it's 9-16 pounds. ;) The point is that these WOULDN'T be Shih Tzus- they would be Chinese Imperials. I agree with most of what you're saying and I have really mixed feelings. I agree that most people who are breeding for smaller Shih Tzus are doing it to make money. But my opinion is that IF it's done right, there's nothing wrong with creating a new breed.