Posted : 10/25/2007 8:55:14 AM
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.
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?"
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.