Where Does this Breed Originate From?
A mixed breed dog is one that is the offspring of of two different purebred dogs. Purebred dogs have a known ancestry or pedigree. On the other hand, “mutts” are dogs born to parents of an unknown ancestry. A Shih Tzu Terrier Mix is a dog where one parent is a Shih Tzu and the second parent could be any of the many breeds of dogs in the terrier family! As a result of this combination, your dog will develop traits from either side of its parentage.
The Shih Tzu (pronounced “Sheed Zoo”) was first bred in the 14th century. They were a cherished household pet of the royal Chinese families during the Ming Dynasty. They are thought to have been bred by mixing Lhasa Apso and Pekingese dogs. This history will give your dog a lovable, loyal, lap dog personality. Terriers, on the other hand, were originally bred for hunting and used in various sporting activities. From this background, your mixed breed dog may develop such traits as an affinity for digging or chasing small animals.
Is a Shih Tzu Terrier Mix the Right Pet for You?
Appearance and Physical Features
The Shih Tzu Terrier Mix dogs come is a wide range of colors and sizes! Because both parents are from different breeds, they can develop traits matching either parent. In a litter, one puppy could look like a terrier, have a personality of a Shih Tzu, while its sibling looks like a Shih Tzu and acts like a terrier. Many of them have coat colors and markings in tan, silver, gray or black. Another trait they can inherit is the flat face of the Shih Tzu (also called brachicephaly) or the longer muzzle of the terrier. Shih Tzus are sometimes called the “Chrysanthemum Dog” because the hair on its face grows in all directions and resembles a flower. Another interesting and unusual trait of the Shih Tzu is its undershot bite, this means his lower jaw is wider than the upper jaw and the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth rather than outside when his mouth is closed. Your dog could inherit any or all of these fascinating traits!
How to Find a Shih Tzu Terrier Puppy
If you have decided on a Shih Tzu Terrier mix puppy, you must steer clear of puppy mills and pet stores. They often have sick or injured dogs for sale, or pets that come from an unhealthy breeding stock. Instead, purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder or a responsible rescue shelter. A dog purchased from a breeder can cost between $500 and 1,000. These dogs are carefully screened and come certified as healthy. On the other hand, most rescue shelters will pay for your first trip to the veterinarian. The standard fee for a rescue dog is usually $50 to 100.
Care of Your Puppy
As with all pets, it is so important that you make some initial purchases to ensure a happy and healthy environment for your new puppy! These items include:
- healthy food and treats
- easy to clean food and water bowls
- a high-quality, easy to clean, dog bed
- a play pen or gate to keep your dog safe and controlled when you can’t be with him
- a carrier, which is useful for travel, but can also give it a cozy spot to sleep in at home
- a collar, harness, and leash (do not put your leash on the collar, instead use a harness, as collars can lead to breathing issues or serious injury!)
- an ID tag
- clothing to keep your puppy warm if you live in a colder climate
- toys to keep him happy and his mind stimulated
- bathing and coat supplies
- dental care items
- a nail clipper or grinder
- paw and nose care supplies
- a car seat
- and finally, a first aid kid that includes, a thermometer, Vaseline for lubrication, saline eye rinse, hydrogen peroxide, charcoal tablets, Betadine solution, and sterile gauze pads.
Feeding Your Shih Tzu Terrier Mix
Training Your Shih Tzu Terrier pup
When training your new dog, it is important that you start early and be consistent. They tend to be eager to please, but at the same time they can have a short attention span and be stubborn. Be sure that you supervise your puppy indoors until he has not eliminated indoors for at least four to eight weeks. Crate training is helpful and provides your dog with a quiet place to relax.Always be sure that your training methods include positive reinforcement, such as a treat or the click of a clicker, and not harsh punishment.
Grooming Your Shih Tzu Terrier Dog
A Shih Tzu puppy has a soft, manageable coat until it reaches seven months. At that time, a second, longer coat, will start to grow in. This coat can grow to floor length if left untrimmed. On the other hand, a terrier has a wiry, shorter, more practical and weather-resistant coat. Your new puppy could have either of these characteristics, or even something in between! If your dog has a longer coat it will mat easily and it may need to be groomed, brushed and combed daily. In addition, It will require weekly bathing. Oftentimes, the owners of these dogs will give up on the chore of daily brushing and take him to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks to keep his hair short and more manageable. If your dog’s coat is on the shorter side, it may only need to be groomed weekly.
If you choose to groom your own longer-haired dog yourself, be sure that you brush all the way down to the skin. Most experienced groomers teach their dog to lie on their side while they brush the coat in sections. It’s easier and more comfortable for the dog to do it this way! At about 10 to 12 months of age, the puppy’s hair changes from puppy fluff to a silky adult coat. You’ll probably find it difficult to keep up with the brushing as the hair mats very quickly. Don’t give up! Once the adult hair is fully in, the brushing will get easier.
Aside from regular brushing, your pup’s nails should be trimmed monthly. Once a week, you should check his ears for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. Wipe them out weekly with a cotton ball dipped in a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner. Sometimes, you may need to pluck hairs that grow in your dog’s ear canal if he gets a lot of ear infections. Finally, wipe his face with a soft cloth dampened with warm water after meals. Regular brushing of his teeth with a soft toothbrush and doggie toothpaste will keep his teeth and gums healthy.
Shih Tzu Terrier Mix Health Issues and Concerns
Shih Tzu Terrier Mixes have the benefit of hybrid vigor. This means that because they are a mixture of two different breeds and therefore, two different gene pools they are less likely to show certain genetic conditions. However, mixed-breed dogs can inherit genetic conditions from either parent.
On the other hand, terriers come with there own list of problems, including, joint problems, luxating patella (dislocated knee cap), heart and eye problems, missing or deformed kidneys, and liver abnormalities.
Also, while all dogs tend to eat their own or other animals’ feces (called coprophagia), Shih Tzus are more prone to this behavior. It is best to not allow this to become a habit. Watch your dog closely and always clean up poop right away.
Different Breeds of Shih Tzu Terrier Mix
There are multiple breeds of Shih Tzu Terriers. The most common of them include:
Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier Mix (Shorkie). Bred for hunting, these tiny dogs are independent thinkers with very little patience, so they are not the best choice for homes with very small children. They have a fondness for barking, which can be a problem for some owners. They are also very sociable but can be distrusting of strangers. However, they are lovable and make the perfect lap dog!
Shih Tzu and Silky Terrier Mix (Silky Tzu). These dogs are known for their cuteness—a broad, round face, button eyes, and a round, black nose. They have a small muzzle and floppy ears. Their legs are short and they have a small furry tail. These social animals are friendly and affectionate and love to play!
Shih Tzu and Cairn Terrier Mix (Care Tzu). A fun fact, Toto in the movie, The Wizard of Oz was a Care Tzu! These dogs are small and playful! (between 9 and 15 pounds). Cairn Terriers are active breeds and have a history as fox hunters in Scotland, so don’t be surprised if they chase birds in your yard. Make sure he gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Shih Tzu and Jack Russel Terrier Mix (Jack Tzu). This is an intelligent breed, but may be somewhat mischievous and an independent thinker. He may have natural problem-solving skills and love to play. They can be a bit vocal and aloof with strangers.
Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix (Shih Poo). These little dogs can be bred from either a toy or miniature poodly, making them zesty, energetic and fun-loving. He’s a smart dog, so he will be easier to train, however, he can be stubborn and with a short attention span, so patience is required. They will almost always have a wavy coat, if there is a lot of poodle, it will be curly.
Other common mixes include the Fo Tzu (Shih Tzu and Fox Terrier), Sco Shih (Shih Tzu and Scottish Terrier), Bo Shih (Shih Tzu and Boston Terrier), and the Ratshi Terrier (Shih Tzu and Rat Terrier).