Tag Archives: Shih Tzu

All About Designer Dog Breeds

Hear a kind of dog with a funny or unique name lately? It’s probably a “designer breed,” also known as a hybrid of two different dog breeds. The first generation of designer dogs are developed by crossing two purebreds, and the offspring of these crosses go by the same name. For example, the parents of a Goldendoodle can either be a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, or two Goldendoodles. Most designer breeds were developed in the early 2000’s and have become increasingly popular since then by serving different purposes. Learn more about 10 of our favorite designer dogs, below!

1. Goldendoodle


The Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. The breed hybrid was developed in the 1990’s to have the friendly, energetic nature of a Golden Retriever and the allergy-friendly coat of a Poodle and has since become one of America’s most popular dogs.

2. Labradoodle


Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. Developed in Australia in the late 1980’s, this breed hybrid continues to gain popularity for its easy trainability and outgoing personality. They were originally bred as allergy-friendly aids to the blind, and they are now a favorite companion dog among many North American homes.

3. Maltipoo


This popular mix known as the Maltipoo is a combination of a Maltese and a Poodle. The breed was specially created to be a small-sized companion dog with an allergy-friendly coat. They are clever and quick to learn, and make great watch dogs, often barking at anything suspicious in sight! The Maltipoo will charm your socks off, and then curl up on your feet to keep your toes warm.

4. Cockapoo


The Cockapoo is made by breeding a Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. This breed is one of the older “designer” breeds, likely resulting from an accidental breeding in the 1960’s. Cockapoos are people-oriented, compassionate, intelligent and make excellent pets for families with children. They are prized for their intelligence, low-shedding coat and easygoing nature.

5. Frenchton


The Frenchton is a mix between a French Bulldog and a Boston Terrier, but unlike other designer dog breeds which are half one breed and half another, Frenchtons are 75 percent French bulldog and 25 percent Boston Terrier. This dog was developed in the 1990’s to create a healthier, more energetic breed than its parent breeds. These dogs are friendly, loving and intelligent, and are well suited for apartment living.

6. Morkie


The Morkie is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. Both parent breeds are known for having a lot of personality, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Morkie does as well! They love to play and exercise, and are eager to please their owners. As long as they have a lap to sit on, they do equally well in apartments or larger living spaces.

7. Pomsky


A cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, the Pomsky has achieved rapid popularity in recent years. Usually active and energetic, this rarer designer breed tends to be highly intelligent, loving, playful and self-assured. Pomskies can also make great guard dogs, like both of their parent breeds. The appearance and size of a Pomsky can vary greatly, but very often they look like miniature Huskies.

8. Puggle


The Puggle is a cross between a Beagle and a Pug. Originating in the 1980s, Puggles combine the Beagle’s boundless energy and the Pug’s warm, loving personality. These dogs also have the Beagle’s incredible sense of smell and desire to track, and the Pug’s slightly pushed-in face. They vary in color and size, but are consistently popular family dogs and easy to take care of and train.

9. Shihpoo


This crossbreed is a mix between a Shih-Tzu and a Poodle. Shihpoos are very loving and playful, and get along very well with other pets and children. Also known as “Shoodles,” these are easy to train, intelligent dogs that do well in any size home. The appearance of a Shihpoo may vary, but this dog consistently has a cute, alert expression and a devoted, people-oriented personality.

10. Aussiedoodle


The Aussiedoodle is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle. Each of those parent breeds is considered one of the more intelligent breeds, so crossing the two makes for a super-smart pup! Aussiedoodles are wonderful for families with small children, but watch out: they sometimes bump into children with the intent to “herd” them! While Aussiedoodles love to be active, they are just as happy curling up at your feet as they are happy playing outside.

These are just 10 of the many adorable designer breeds out there. Do you have a favorite designer dog that didn’t make the list?

6 Fun Shih Tzu Facts To Know

One of America’s favorite lap dogs, the Shih Tzu is #9 on PuppySpot’s list of most popular dog breeds! Shih Tzus are known for being quiet, but playful companions who love to spend time curled up with their owners. Due to their small size, these lovable pups do well in living spaces both large and small. Want to know more about these incredibly friendly fur balls?

Here are 6 Fun Shih Tzu Facts To Know:

1. They’re an ancient breed.

While the origins of this breed are not completely certain, they are believed to have been bred thousands of years ago in Tibet to look like smaller versions of the lion, which is a sacred animal according to Buddhist belief. The name “shih tzu” actually means “lion dog” in Chinese!

2. They’re also known as the “chrysanthemum-faced dog.”

A dog nicknamed after a flower? You bet! Because of the way the dog’s fur grows outward from the middle of its face, Shih Tzus resemble the chrysanthemum flower.

3. They were once guard dogs.

Believe it or not, Shih Tzus were once used for more than just warming laps. Tibetan Monks regarded the dogs as holy, even trusting them with the task of guarding their temples. However, don’t expect the Shih Tzu to guard your house from an intruder. She’ll happily greet strangers with a gentle smile and wagging tail.

4. All of today’s Shih Tzus come from just 14 dogs.

While they were at one time very popular pets in China, Shih Tzus faced a rough patch under communist rule. The breed nearly died out during the 20th century before a few were brought to England in 1930. Their popularity took off, and those that exist today can be traced back to 14 of the serendipitous English import from China.

5. Celebrities love them.

Big names in fame such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Bill Gates are a few on the list of proud celebrity Shih Tzu owners. The Dalai Lama also owns a Shih Tzu, proving the breed’s popularity among Tibetan Buddhists.

6. They are great family dogs.

According to Dogtime.com, Shih Tzu’s are great family pets and play well with children. They typically get along with other household pets as well.

Enjoy our list of Shih Tzu facts? Check out our list of adorable Shih Tzu puppies today!

Brachycephalic Dogs: The Truth About Those Adorable, Pushed-In Little Noses

The first thing you probably notice when you see a pug, boxer, or bulldog is that cute, wrinkly, smooshed-in face (Who can resist those velvety folds?). But underneath those wrinkles is a medical condition to be aware of, which can negatively impact a dog’s quality of life. If you have a dog or are thinking about getting a dog with a “snub nose,” here’s what you need to know in order to keep him as comfortable and healthy as possible.

Breeds with flat noses have a condition called “brachycephalic syndrome.” The term brachycephalic refers to a broad, short skull shape that gives certain breeds a distinct snub-nosed appearance. While it’s typically easy to spot a brachycephalic dog based on physical appearance, there are varying degrees of severity. Here is a complete list of brachycephalic breeds:

Because Brachycephalic dogs have a structural narrowing at the nostrils, the back of the throat, and in the windpipe, most dogs with the condition prefer to breathe through their mouths due to the increased airway resistance in their noses. Mildly affected dogs will breathe noisily, snort when excited and snore while sleeping. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your pup may become distressed, especially after exercise or in warmer temperatures. On very hot days, brachycephalic dogs run a high risk of heat stroke because of their difficulty regulating body temperature.

In addition to breathing loudly, snorting, and snoring, there are a few other signs of distress to watch out for, including retching or gagging, especially while swallowing, which indicates an elongated soft palate and is a sign of trouble. Dogs with elongated soft palates often prefer to sleep on their backs because it makes breathing easier. Watch out for blue gums, blue tongue or fainting after exercise; in extreme cases, this can indicate lack of oxygen in your pup’s blood. Take a look at your dog’s nostrils, too – do they look normal, or do they appear to be pinched closed? Nostrils that are closed too far to allow for proper air flow are a part of the brachycephalic syndrome, and are called “stenotic nares.” While this condition is present from birth, it may not affect your dog until later in life, so even if your dog does not currently show symptoms, it’s important to continue to monitor your brachycephalic dog closely.

Treatment Options

  • Check in with your vet regularly and keep tabs on the condition. Not all dogs require surgery to be comfortable, but many benefit from corrective procedures if preventative measures are not enough to provide your pup relief.
  • Learn what’s normal for your pooch. Once you figure out which snorts and snores are status quo, you’ll know immediately when you hear troubling breathing sounds or a new type of snorting that it’s time to visit your vet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight for your pup. Obesity can make breathing problems worse.
  • Always regulate your dog’s temperature and exercise, especially during the summer months. As mentioned, hot and humid weather increases a brachycephalic dog’s risk of heat stroke, so make sure he stays cool.
  •  Consider using a harness instead of a collar. A collar can pull on your dog’s larynx, making breathing even more difficult.
  • Sometimes, surgery is necessary to allow your dog to breathe normally and improve his quality of life. The soft palate can be surgically trimmed shorter, stenotic nares can be widened, and both are simple, minimally invasive procedures.
  •  Lastly, consider spaying or neutering. Since this condition is inherited, it’s a good idea to avoid breeding a dog that suffers from severe brachycephalic syndrome. Use your vet as a resource, stay informed on new treatment options and do your part to keep your wrinkly-faced pooch safe.

A Cut Above: The Hottest Pup Hairstyles

You may think there’s nothing more to dog grooming instruction than the words “just a trim” or “a complete shave.” You’d be wrong however. In fact, there are a variety of simple to complex hairstyles for your pup to sport. If you’re looking to get inspired or educated on the different options, we’ve broken down some of the most common dog hairstyles below. Your pup is sure to be pampered, prepped and photo-ready with any of these choices.

The Puppy Cut
puppy-cutDon’t be fooled, the puppy cut is not just for puppies, but for dogs of any age. This low maintenance do is defined by a uniform, all-over hair length about two inches long and can be achieved on almost any breed. To maintain the short “puppy cut,” depending on how fast your pooch’s hair grows, he may have to get groomed on a weekly basis.

The Teddy Bear Cut
lionThis adorable cut is achieved by trimming the hair around your dog’s head and face evenly, yet keeping the head slightly longer than what’s on the body. The body hair is kept a bit shorter, making this cut ideal for the summer months.

The Lion Trim
Popular among small dogs such as Pomeranians, as well as big, long-haired dogs like Chow Chows, this cut is designed to make your pooch look like a ferocious, yet adorable lion cub. The lion cut is defined by a short cut on the body, with long hair around the head and jaw to create the look of a mane. The tail is kept short until the very end, with a small tuft of hair is left to look like well…a lion.

The Lamb Trim
lambWant your dog to look like a little lamb? Ask for this cut, where both the head and body are trimmed short. This low maintenance look only requires a trip to the groomer every 6-8 weeks, and is great for warm weather, keeping your pup cool.

 

The Poodle or Continental Cut
poodleOne of the most popular cuts for Poodles, there are several different varieties of the “poodle cut,” which is generally is associated with closely trimmed fur around the belly and face and a thick downy fur appearance on the legs, ears and tail. Some variations leave “pom pom” balls on the tail and bottom joints of the legs, which are called bracelets. Not just for poodles, this cut is designed to show off the back legs and is appropriate for any type of dog with thick, curly hair.

The Schnauzer Cut
schnauzerThis adorable cut is a good choice for any breed with similar hair characteristics to the Schnauzer. Longer hair is left on the dog’s legs, while the back and sides are trimmed very short. A light fringe of hair is left on the lower part of the dog’s body, and the signature “mustache” cut sculpts the hair around the face.

 

The Topknot
topknotThis style is typically associated with the Shih Tzu breed, but can be given to any dog with sufficiently long hair, such as the Yorkshire Terrier. Good news for DIY at-home groomers, the style simply requires bunching and tying the hair into a bun at the top of your pooch’s head. It requires no clipping, and follows the current hipster trend adopted by millennials across the country.

Dog Breeds by Fur: Low to High Maintenance Pooches

When deciding on the best dog for your family, grooming responsibilities probably don’t top of the list of criteria during breed selection. However, depending on your financial situation and time constraints, hair may be a factor worth considering. Depending on the type of dog and their grooming needs, you could be visiting a professional groomer as much as every two-four weeks, or at a minimum, intensively brushing at home on a daily basis. Here’s a rundown of the lowest to highest maintenance pups when it comes to hair, which should help with setting expectations, planning and budgeting.

Short-haired, smaller dogs are going to require the least amount of grooming. An important caveat however is that even though these breeds are short-haired, they will still shed somewhat as all dogs shed some fur. Check out these breeds with low grooming needs if you’d rather not trade in your day job for a styling gig.

Italian Greyhound
Boston Terrier
Miniature Pinscher
• Harrier
Dalmation
• Whippet
• German Pinscher
• Basenji
• Australian Kelpie
Weimaraner
Vizsla
• English Foxhound
Boxer
Rottweiler
• Black & Tan Coonhound
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Mastiff
Great Dane
Bloodhound
• Neapolitan Mastiff

talk-ab-fur-thumbnailConversely, if you can’t resist a fluffy, long-haired pup, target this list of styling breeds, who require more hands-on attention to their coats to avoid matting, shedding and hygiene issues.

Akita
Alaskan Malamute
• Bearded Collie
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bichon Frise
• Border Terrier (or most terriers, for that matter)
Bulldog
Chow Chow
Cockapoo
Cocker Spaniel (and most other Spaniels)
Collie
• English or Irish Setter
• Giant, Standard and Miniature Schnauzers
Havanese
Lhasa Apso
Maltipoo
Old English Sheepdog (and other sheep dogs)
• Pekingese
Pomeranian
Poodle
Portuguese Water Dog
Shih Tzu
Siberian Husky

Hold The Elevator: Best Dogs For Apartment Living

While any dog can thrive in an apartment setting if given the right amount of exercise, there are certain breeds considered ideal housemates in smaller living spaces. As a general rule of thumb, if a dog can fit in your purse, it can fit in your apartment – but there are exceptions! Some small breeds have high energy levels, and would do best with more room to run and play. On the other hand, some larger breeds are low energy and wouldn’t mind living in an apartment with less space. So, with a grain of salt, take a look at these perfect apartment-dwelling breeds based on size, energy level and personality.

Yorkie – The ever-popular Yorkie is cute, cuddly and compact – what more could you ask for? These small, affectionate dogs are keen to be near their owners, typically only weigh between 5-7 pounds, and are easily exercised indoors.

MalteseMaltese are adorable, gentle companions. They are the quintessential lap dog and love to be pampered, cuddled and held. These 4-7 pound dogs are also easy to train, and don’t have high exercise requirements, making them excellent apartment residents.

Havanese – These small dogs have big personalities! Eager to learn and easily trained, Havanese are between 10-15 pounds when fully grown, and make excellent companion pets. They are playful and somewhat active, but are easily manageable in an apartment.

PugPugs have an amusing, distinctive appearance and are generally considered to be a very adaptable breed. They are loyal, quiet dogs that love to be with their owners and have low exercise requirements, making them a good pet for living spaces of any size.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – These dogs want nothing more than to be by your side! Fairly small at 13-18 pounds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly and easy going, and will get along with anyone. They excel in smaller living spaces because of their calm and adaptable nature.

Bichon Frise – This fancy, fluffy pup is energetic, but can be exercised easily indoors as well as out. At only 7-12 pounds., the Bichon makes a quiet, loving apartment dog – and bonus, they shed much less than other breeds, ideal for living in close quarters!

Bulldog (French and English) – Both French and English Bulldogs tend to be low energy, content to laze around and be by your side, which make them great apartment pets. These dogs thrive on human contact and make great watchdogs. Plus, have you seen those adorable wrinkly faces…?

Shih Tzu – Bred to be a friendly lap dog, the Shih Tzu is certainly good at its job! They are affectionate, mellow and adaptable to any living environment.

hold-elevator-thumbnailBoston Terrier – Ideal because of their size, this breed is fairly energetic and will need to be walked daily. But, if you can keep a Boston Terrier well-exercised, these little gentlemen and ladies make devoted, gentle apartment pets.

Dachshund – These distinctive dogs have short legs, long bodies, and big hearts. They are lively dogs that love to exercise indoors and out. Dachshunds tend to attach strongly to their owners and are extremely affectionate, making them great roommates.

ChihuahuaChihuahuas are tiny and love to cuddle – especially in the cold winter months, as they can be sensitive to low temperatures. They require minimal exercise, but are fun and playful when you want to be active. These little guys and girls make excellent apartment dogs!

Pomeranian – This little fluff ball is feisty and full of energy, but at only 3-7 pounds, they don’t need much room to get their exercise! The Pomeranian is affectionate and outgoing and will take comfort in curling up next to you, no matter how small your apartment.

Great Dane – So, a Great Dane might not seem like the best option for an apartment based on his size – anywhere from 100-200 pounds as adults – but these big guys are actually very low energy and are content to lay on the couch right next to you. As quiet and friendly as they are, this breed would make an excellent apartment roommate!