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What is the Breed of the Month? 

Each month Westgate features information on a different breed of dog or cat. These articles provide historical information, as well as information on potential health concerns and preventative care measures that may benefit these different breeds.  Click on the picutre below to learn more about your favorite breed!




breed of month vJan January: Shih Tzu February: The exotic shorthair March: Great Dane April: English Bulldog May: Ragdoll June: Golden Retriever November: Scottish Fold July: King Charles August: Maine Coon September: Labrador October: Pug December: Standard Poodle

January: The Shih Tzu

shih tzu freeShih Tzu Dog by Karen Arnold History of the Breed

The name "Shih Tzu" comes from the Chinese word for "lion dog" because this dog was bred to resemble lions that were depicted in ancient Chinese art

DNA analysis proves that the Shih Tzu is in that group of "ancient breeds" that arose in China around the time of 800BC.  Other ancient breeds include the Pug, Pekingese and Lhasa Apso. 

In fact, the Shih Tzu is sometimes confused with the Lhasa Apso in appearance.  But be aware that the temperament of these to dogs is very different.  Shih Tzu were bred to be companions and Lhasa Apso were bred to be guard dogs.  Thus, the Shih Tzu tends to be friendy and playful, the Lhasa Apso tends to be more aloof and wary of strangers.

Shih Tzu come in a variety of colors and color pattern.  They can be recognized by their short snout and legs, dropped ears and large dark eyes.  They have hair instead of fur, which means that their hair is silky and grows continuously.  This means that they do not shed very much, but they also need regular grooming and trimming.  Most Shih Tzu owners will have their dogs groomed every 4-8 weeks.

Health Concerns

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Portosystemic Shunt

Hip Dysplasia

Epilepsy

Hypothryoidism

Intervertebral Disk Disease

 

 

Preventative Care

Frequent grooming is essential.   If your Shih Tzu is not groomed regularily, the normal discharge from the eyes builds up and cakes in the hair, and debris gets trapped in between the toes.

Regular dental cleanings.  The Shih Tzu has a lot of teeth crammed together in a little mouth, so tartar and plaque build up which can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.   Read More

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
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