Pet hemp Review

Pet Hemp Company Review – Is it Worth It?

How to Choose the Right CBD Brand for Your Pet

Having a pet is one of the most enjoyable things we can experience in life. However, much like people, our pets experience discomfort, pain, and stress. They can suffer from anxiety, seizures, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, joint pain, and even cancer. Although traditional medicines can be effective, some veterinarians believe that CBD oil as a form of treatment. 

As for what kind of CBD oil is best for your pet, you want to go with an oil that is all-natural and GMO free. You will also want a CBD oil that is pure and 100% full spectrum CBD. A higher CBD concentration will ensure that you will get fast results. It’s also best to make sure that the CBD you use has 0% THC, also known a T-free. This means that the oil is non-psychoactive and will not cause a “high.” 

Understand Your Pet’s Conditions

Before you administer any CBD medication to your pet, make sure that you understand their symptoms. In general, dogs do not like to show discomfort, but when your dog is in pain, they will behave abnormally, have difficulty moving, and whimper or yelp when they are touched.

Dogs who experience anxiety will display the following symptoms: panting, aggression, barking, whimpering, hiding, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. Epileptic dogs will experience recurring seizures, twitching, and stiffening. 

On the other hand, dogs who have chronic inflammation or arthritis will experience swelling around the joints, lack of mobility, or even difficulty walking or getting to their feet. They may also experience muscle weakness, fatigue, lethargy, and weight loss. 

What’s Unique About Pet Hemp Company?

Pet Hemp Company uses only all-natural, non-GMO, organic, and vegan ingredients in their CBD products. Their products are especially formulated for dogs and cats and are free of any additives or preservatives. Their products do not contain any wheat, cornmeal, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or any animal by-products. All their products are also lab tested, making sure that everything they produce is of the highest quality for your pet. Pet Hemp Company is committed to making sure that your pet is getting only the best quality products and the highest quality ingredients. 

Pet Hemp Company CBD Products

Pet Hemp Company: CBD Dog Treats

Pet Hemp Company CBD Dog Treats come in three different variants: Heart & Immune Care, Joint & Mobility Care, and Stress & Anxiety Relief. They are all made with 100% natural and organic ingredients are produced in small batches to ensure quality and freshness. There are a total of 30 treats per bag, and each treat contains 5mg of CBD.

Pet Hemp Company CBD Dog Treats + Heart & Immune Care are made with ingredients that help strengthen the cardiovascular system and promote healthy skin and coat. Your pet will love the natural and organic ingredients including organic blueberry, organic sweet potato, organic brown rice, and organic coconut oil. These ingredients are combined with other superfoods including hemp seed powder, which is concentrated with omega fatty acids and protein to help improve immunity and cardiovascular strength. If your dog is suffering from a weakened immune system, cardiovascular issues, seizures, and skin allergies, these full spectrum CBD dog treats are the perfect supplement. 

Pet Hemp Company CBD Dog Treats + Joint & Mobility Care are formulated with organic boswellia which helps repair damaged tissue, and turmeric root, which acts as an anti-inflammatory, and addresses the symptoms of pain, swelling and tenderness often associated with arthritis or soft tissue injuries. The pumpkin spice and cinnamon flavor is a pet favorite. This full spectrum CBD treat improves joint strength relieves pain and inflammation and promotes tissue immunity. 

Pet Hemp Company CBD Dog Treats + Stress & Anxiety Relief are infused with unique calming herbs L-Theanine and chamomile, which calm stress and anxiety by increasing alpha wave generation. These treats come in a delicious green apple and peanut butter flavor, which our dog will love. If you are looking for a full spectrum CBD supplement that can help your dog maintain a relaxed state of mind and reduce nervousness and fear, then this treat is a must have.


Pet Hemp Company: CBD Cat Treats

Pet Hemp Company CBD Cat Treats come in a delicious salmon flavor that your cat will love. They contain only the best quality natural ingredients and are 100% grain-free. No GMOs, dairy, gluten, preservatives, animal by-products, artificial colors or artificial flavors. Each bag contains 75 treats, and each treat contains 2mg of full spectrum CBD. If you cat suffers from chronic pain, arthritis, or anxiety, give these treats a try and your pet with thank you.


Pet Hemp Company: CBD Pet Capsules

Pet Hemp Company CBD Pet Capsules are all natural, contains hemp seed powder, which is an organic superfood, and served in an all-vegan capsule, without any gluten, dairy or animal by-products. Each capsule is packed with just the right amount of full spectrum CBD and comes in three different dosage sizes: 150mg, 300mg, or 600mg. Pet Hemp Company CBD Pet Capsules are a great way to easily mix CBD into your pet’s food for regular servings.


Pet Hemp Company: CBD  Oil


Pet Hemp Company CBD Oil for Dogs & Cats is formulated with pure, full spectrum CBD oil and hemp seed oil. Pet Hemp Company prides itself on sourcing the best quality CBD oil you can and is made in the USA. Each batch is lab tested to ensure purity and is T-free, which means it creates NO “High” and is non-psychoactive. Pet Hemp Company CBD oil is non GMO, and has no gluten, no dairy, no additives, no preservatives and delivers a strong concentration of high-quality ingredients, while still being natural and organic. 


Pet Hemp Company Dosage Guide

You can view their dosage guide and also calculator here.

CBD dosage depends on what kind of pet you have, their body weight, and the condition that you are treating using Pet Hemp Company CBD. To ensure your pet’s excellent overall well-being, the regular dose is 0.25mg of CBD for every 1 pound of bodyweight. This is about half a drop of CBD oil. For puppies and kittens, make sure to seek the advice of a veterinarian regarding dosage, as there are very few studies on the effects of CBD on puppies and kittens. Although there is no evidence that CBD can be harmful to dogs or cats, it is better to be careful when it comes to your pet, and start with a half dosage and work your way towards the recommended dosage. 

The recommended dosage can be administered up to twice a day. For pain and inflammation, the treatment can be administered no more often than every 8 hours. 


Pet Hemp Company Lab Testing

Every batch of product produced by Pet Hemp Company is lab tested by a third party and the test results can be found on the Pet Hemp Company product pages. Regular lab testing verifies the quality of the CBD, as well as ensures that your pet is getting the proper, accurate dosage of CBD.


Pet Hemp Company Pros

  • 100% natural, high-quality ingredients
  • vegan, non-GMO, non-dairy
  • no preservatives and additives
  • easy to administer
  • treats anxiety, stress, arthritis, inflammations, and other kinds of diseases
  • can be used to maintain overall health and fitness
  • affordable
  • offers a wide array of CBD products

Pet Hemp Company Cons

  • CBD is not recommended for all pets
  • CBD is not FDA-approved
  • CBD only ships in the USA


Contacting Pet Hemp Company

The Pet Hemp Company is located at 26500 Agoura Rd. Suite 102, Calabasas, CA 91302. They have live chat support through their site: They can also be contacted through the following number: 1-833-PET-CBD-1 or you can reach someone through email at [email protected].

Chihuahua health problems and breed information

Chihuahua Health Problems


Chihuahua Health Problems and information

Chihuahua Characteristics


Of all the toy dog breeds, only a few can get close to how entertaining and comical the chihuahua is. You will often find these diminutive dogs burrowing under your blanket to wake you up, standing up on their hind legs and dancing, all while waving their paws. 

The popularity of this breed skyrocketed in the mid-2000s, when famous Hollywood celebrities became the proud parents of these tiny bundles of energy. They were also featured in many feature films and TV shows. Now, even though their popularity has waned quite a bit, chihuahuas still remain as one of the most sought after dog breeds in the world.

Chihuahuas are often generalized as being noisy and fiercely overprotective of their humans, but that is not always the case. The chihuahua is an extremely variable dog breed. You can find dogs that are lively or calm, brave or shy, and many more different trait combinations. The temperament of a particular dog will depend on their parents and grandparents; this means that entire family lines of chihuahuas are either social or antisocial.

It is a good thing though that chihuahuas are quite intelligent and easy to teach. There are plenty of cases where chihuahuas that came from temperamental lines turned out to be quite calm and obedient thanks to the way they were raised. However, if the prospective pet owner has no prior experience in obedience training, it is not a good idea to get a chihuahua with a temperamental lineage.


Chihuahua Size


Chihuahuas are usually six to nine inches tall (measured from the ground to the shoulder) and weigh anywhere from three to six pounds. However, it is not unusual to find chihuahuas that are fifteen inches tall, but breed standards (these are the standards recognized by dog shows and the dog breeding community in general) do not recognize full-grown dogs that are more than six pounds as true chihuahuas.

Chihuahuas do not breed true to size. You will find that the puppies that belonged in the same litter to have drastically different sizes. Pet-quality chihuahuas, which are those that are most suitable for most homes, are on the larger scale of the spectrum and they also have larger bone structures. Show-quality dogs, on the other hand, are much smaller. 

There are plenty of dog breeders out there who offer teacup size chihuahuas; these are dogs that are so small that the puppies can actually fit inside a teacup, hence the name. However, as adorable as these dogs may look, they are also a lot more delicate than the average sized chihuahua, in fact, most of them suffer from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, so they need to be fed multiple small meals throughout the day, making them very high maintenance despite their size. Teacup size chihuahuas are also a lot more fragile, they are more at risk of getting injured when their owners hande them roughly, or when they get into rough play with other dogs.


Chihuahua Personality


Chihuahuas, despite their size, are often described by people as having the same personalities as terriers. They are naturally very alert and suspicious of strangers, which make them excellent watchdogs. Chihuahuas are also very affectionate and deathly loyal to their humans.

Chihuahuas, when not properly socialized, will only bond with a single person. However, they can still make new human and dog friends, they just need to be given enough time and space to adjust. If not properly socialized early on while they are still puppies, chihuahuas can become very timid and always on edge.

Just like all dog breeds, you need to socialize your chihuahua pup early so they will not be overly aggressive towards everything that moves. They need exposure to many people, different environments, all kinds of sounds (especially loud sounds like the vaccuum cleaner or car engine starting), and many different kinds of experiences. A well-socialized pup will grow up to become a well-rounded adult dog.


Chihuahua Exercise


The chihuahua is somewhat of an enigma when it comes to dog breeds. This is one of the smallest dog breeds, but chihuahuas have almost the same energy levels as medium and large dog breeds.

Even though chihuahuas can thrive in just about any kind of living environment (they are especially suitable for small apartments since they do not take that much space). They need ample amounts of daily exercise so they stay healthy. Because they tend to become overly-hyperactive, they need to have enough daily exercise and outdoor activity so that they have a chance to release all the energy that they have pent-up inside their small bodies. 

Because of the chihuahua’s diminutive size, you need to be aware that they have very strict exercise restrictions that their owners need to follow.


While they are still puppies, chihuahuas can be quite a handful (literally and figuratively), so they need a safe environment where they can stretch their tiny little feet. If your home has a large backyard, take him out for a bit of exercise. You should not take your pup out for walks or to public dog parks until he has completed all of the required immunization shots as they are very vulnerable to different kinds of diseases.

Take note that overexercising is not good for young growing puppies, especially for chihuahuas. This is why they should not be forced or encouraged to engage in more physical activities than they can handle. If the pup is showing signs of tiredness, the exercise should stop. 

There are many clinical studies that found numerous connections between overactivity and growth impediment in chihuahuas. In addition, many veterinarians believe that too much exercise could lead to elbow dysplasia, which is a condition where the dog’s joint suddenly slips out of its socket, or if the socket gets too worn out. Puppies are especially prone to this kind of condition as their bones are still forming.

With all this said, you need to allow chihuahua puppies to be active. Not only does a proper amount of exercise allow them to release any pent up energy, it also helps strengthen their muscles, which are still developing, and sets them up with a healthy foundation for the rest of their lives. A growing puppy needs to build up their muscles and endurance so they can walk and run properly, and so they can participate in physical activities that require a lot of running around, like playing fetch.


Between one to six years old, and when in good health, a chihuahua will require at least one 30-minute walk every day. It is alright to go out once more, as long as the walks are properly spaced apart to allow the dog to rest properly before heading out.

In addition to walking, other activities that adult chihuahuas can participate in includes swimming (this is good for them because it does not put pressure on their joints), or playtime with the owner and other dogs in the backyard or other spaces that are deemed safe.

If you need to leave your chihuahua during the day while you go to work, they will need  exercise and human interaction more than ever; they have so much pent-up energy inside of them that they need to release through exercise and play. If you are always too tired from work to take your chihuahua for a walk or play, they will find other, more destructive ways to get rid of all their extra energy, like chewing on your furniture and doing all sorts of shenanigans in the house.

As the chihuahua ages, they will start slowing down considerably, so you need to appropriately scale back the amount of exercise they receive.


Chihuahua Training


It can be an enjoyable task, training a chihuahua, but you do need a bit of time and a lot of patience as well. If you will be training them for the purpose of competitions, you might be surprised to learn that they are contenders in agility and obedience events. If you are only looking for a companion, it is still important that you enroll your pup in puppy kindergarten and basic obedience classes. There are many advantages that obedience classes have over your self-teaching your dog, for one thing, your pup will be surrounded by lots of different people and other dogs, thereby allowing them to socialize properly too.

Though they might seem rambunctious, chihuahuas are quite easy to housetrain; you just need to take them outside frequently, and always do it consistently at a set schedule. For instance, chihuahua puppies must be outside as soon as they wake up in the morning, after every meal, after they wake up from their naps, after exercise or playtime, and just before they go to sleep at night. You can crate train your chihuahua pup will teach them to control their bladders so that they will not pee or go number two inside the house, just do not leave them inside the crate for more than two to four hours at a time, except at night. If you will not be using the crate method, just take your pup out every hour or two.

You need to use positive reinforcement, like giving food rewards, praise, belly rubs, and play. You will find that he will learn faster that way rather than using negative reinforcements.


Chihuahua History


Just like with so many other dog breeds, the exact origins of the chihuahua’s are murky at best. There are two popular theories on their origins though, one is that their descendants were an ancient South American dog breed locally known as the Techichi, and the other is that they came from the inter-breeding of the small, hairless dogs from China (brought into Mexico by the Spanish traders) with the local dog breeds.

Regardless of which of the two theories are correct, the modern short-haired Chihuahuas were first discovered back in the 1850s in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, hence the name of the breed. American tourists, enamored with the charming little dogs, brought them home with them. In 1890, chihuahuas started to become mainstays in dog competitions. Until in 1909, one chihuahua aptly named Midget became the very first of his breed to be registered and recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The origins of the longhaired variety of chihuahua is also unclear, but experts speculate that they came about after crossing the dog breed with other miniature dogs like Papillons or Pomeranians. The chihuahua rose to fame later between the 1930s and the 1940s when the breed became associated with Xavier Cugat, a famous Latin music bandleader and dancer. Since the 60s, the chihuahua has always been one of the most popular dog breeds according too the registry of the AKC. The breed currently ranks as 11th overall in regards to popularity among the 155 other dog breeds recognized by the AKC.


Chihuahua Health Problems


The Chihuahua doesn’t have any major health problems, but like all breeds he can be born with or acquire certain conditions. Not all Chihuahuas will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them so you can be informed when you interview breeders and can know what to look for throughout your Chihuahua’s life.

Here are some of the diseases that are known to affect chihuahuas:

Patellar Luxation

Also called “slipped stifles”, this is a common problem that occurs in many small dog breeds, not just the chihuahua. This happens when the patella, which is composed of the femur, patella, and the tibia, is not lined up properly. When left untreated, this diseases can cause lameness, or a permanent limp. Serious cases of patellar luxation might even need serious surgery.


Also known as low blood sugar levels, this disease is a possible issue with all small dog breeds, not just the chihuahua. When treated early on, hypoglycemia can be remedied, but when left unchecked, this disease can be fatal. As an owner, you need to recognize the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia in chihuahuas as many veterinarians misdiagnose this disease as encephalitis or as viral hepatitis.

Chihuahua puppies with hypoglycemia will suddenly slow down, become listless, and then they will start trembling. If this happens to your puppy, immediately give him a teaspoon of honey or sugar and then take him the to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible.  If you just let your chihuahua convulse, he will eventually collapse, and fall into a coma, when it comes to this point it is likely that the puppy will die as there are very few cases where they pull out of the coma.

Heart Murmurs

This is caused by a disturbance in the flow of blood inside the chambers of the dog’s heart. This is usually indicative of another heart disease that most likely needs monitoring and immediate treatment. If the heart murmur is loud enough, it might mean that the dog has a heart disease, which can be confirmed and diagnosed using X-rays and ECGs. 

To more or less make sure that the chihuahua pup you get is in the healthiest condition possible, you should get it from a reputable breeder who is recognized by the AKC. Reputable breeders will first make sure that the puppies have received their complete vaccinations and are dewormed before they are placed for re-homing. 


Care for Chihuahuas


The first thing that you should know about caring for chihuahuas is that they shed. The amount of fur they shed will depend mostly on whether the dog is single-coated or double-coated; the double-coated variants shed much more than single-coat varieties. 

Long coat chihuahuas will need regular grooming, like brushing and combing of the fur to prevent them from matting and tangling; the longer the fur, the more grooming it will need. They also need to have their fur trimmed every couple of months, focusing mostly on the long-ish hairs around the genitals. 

You also need to trim the toenails after a couple of months. As a rule, when you hear your chihuahua’s nails scraping on the floor then they are already too long.


Nutrition and Feeding for Chihuahuas


You need to think carefully about what foods you put into your pet chihuahua’s bowl. The chihuahua is sensitive with the foods that they eat, how often they eat, and how their food is given. This dog breed has a very low tolerance against harmful chemicals, like artificial colors and certain food preservatives, and they also require a good balance of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. You might need to experiment with a couple of food brands to find out what your chihuahua’s digestive system can tolerate, and most importantly he actually likes to eat.

Toy dog breeds like chihuahuas are better off with frequent small meals. The schedule and amount of feedings will depend on the age of the dog:

Puppies 3 months old and below will need free-feeding, which means there should always be food available for the pup to feed on. You need to refresh the contents of the feed bowl to ensure that the food will not go stale.

Chihuahuas older than 3 months, and at weighs at least 2 pounds do best with three meals every day, with small snacks in between meals.


Coat Color and Body Types


The different sizes of chihuahuas were already discussed earlier, but there are other characteristics that differentiate the different “kinds” of chihuahuas.

Head Size and Shape

  • Official chihuahua clubs will tell you that there is just one proper head shape for the breed, and that is a large, round skull called an “apple head”. These chihuahuas also have shorter, and broader muzzles.
  • The other head shape that the clubs wish didn’t exist, but is actually quite popular still, is called the “deer head”. This head shape has a flatter, rather than rounded top, and a sloping forehead instead of dropping almost straight down to the muzzle. This type of chihuahua also has a longer, pointy muzzle.

Body Type

Chihuahuas also come in two body types: the cobby and the deer build.

  • The cobby body build has short, chunky bodies and short legs. These are the kinds that you usually see in dog shows. Great care must be taken when breeding cobby build chihuahuas because if taken to extremes, it could lead to dogs that are bow-legged and are riddled with joint problems.
  • The deer build chihuahuas have longer, slender bodies and longer legs. When taken to extremes, these kinds of chihuahuas can resemble miniature greyhound dogs with spindly legs. Deer type body chihuahuas are usually more athletic and active compared to cobbies.

Coat Type

Chihuahuas can either have a smooth or a long coat.

  • Smooth coats are the ones that have short fur that stick close to the body. Additionally, they could come in single and double coated variants. Chihuahuas that have smooth double coats have fur that is a bit fluffier and often sticks out at the ends.
  • Long coats are those that have long hair. These could also have a single or double coat. Some double coated long coats have so much undercoat fur that their fur tends to puff up, pretty much like the fur of Pomeranians. The single coats have hairs that fall down and stick close to the body.

Coat Color

Chihuahuas can come in any color, either solid, marked, or splashed.

  • Solid colors include cream, fawn, red, white, black, gold, chocolate, silver, and even blue. The blue colors are somewhat troublesome as they usually have different skin conditions.
  • Marked means that the coat has a solid color, but with a couple of different colored markings on the face, chest, stomach, legs, and the tip of the tail.
  • Splashed means that there are patches or spots of different colors on a mostly white body, this is pretty much like the color of a pinto pony.


Behavior with Children and Other Pets


It is not recommended to have a chihuahua in a home with children younger than ten years old. Young kids cannot help but be clumsy and try to grab the always-on-edge chihuahua. Chihuahuas are also easily overwhelmed by the loud noises and quick, sudden movements done by small kids, which will cause neverending stress and tension to the dog. This might lead to defensive biting.

The good thing is that chihuahuas are often highly social with other dogs and pets. However, if you will be pairing them with larger breeds, they should have a calm temperament. The great thing about chihuahuas is that they love to live with other chihuahuas; they will actually take care of, and keep each other company when you leave them alone at home.


Rescue Groups


Adopting a chihuahua rather than buying a puppy from a breeder has its advantages. For instance, the rescued chihuahua might already have gotten behavior training and is already housebroken, and he might already have gone through his destructive puppy phase.

There are quite a number of rescue groups that you can inquire with when you are planning on adopting a rescue chihuahua:

Chihuahua Rescue –

Chihuahua Rescue Canada –

Yankee Chihuahua Rescue and Adoption –


Breed Organizations


If you want to learn more about chihuahuas, and also get some great tips for raising your own chihuahua, you can join any one of the many breed organizations, like:

The Chihuahua Club of America –

I Love My Chihuahua –

Chihuahua Club –

The Chihuahua Club –

The American Kennel Club –

Dallas Chihuahua Club –

boxer health problems

Boxer Health Problems

Boxer Characteristics

boxer breed health informationThe Boxer dog is a large, heavily-built breed, when you first meet one, it will only be natural to feel a bit of fear in you. That is, until you look into the Boxer’s eyes and find out that this dog is pretty playful, loyal, and gentle. They are so playful, in fact, that Boxers are sometimes called the Peter Pan of the dog world. One reason this is so is that Boxers do not fully mature until they are three years old, which means that they have one of the longest puppyhoods among all dog breeds.

Boxers are typically intelligent, very alert, and brave, but they are also quite friendly to people who are close to them. They are deathly loyal to their human family, and want nothing more than to please them. However, Boxers can also be quite headstrong, which will be especially evident when you use negative reinforcement when training them.

Boxers need minimal grooming, and they are well known for being extremely patient and gentle with young kids. As long as you give them enough exercise, mental stimulation, and lots of love, Boxers can be great family companions. In addition, if you are willing to make adjustments in your lifestyle, and provide your Boxer with enough exercise in the form of long walks and runs in the morning and/or evening, they could also adjust to living in an apartment.

Boxer Size

Boxers are considered by the AKC, a medium-sized dog breed. Many would assume that it is a large dog breed as they are so massive and muscular. This is why there is so much confusion about the Boxer’s actual size. 

The term “medium” is a blanket term that is used to describe the overall physique of the dog. This applies to dogs that weigh from 35 to 65 pounds. 

However, dogs with similar weights can have vastly different body structure, frame size, and musculature.  You need to keep in mind that these are just the standards set for the breed. These dogs can either be a bit smaller or larger than the standard. Also, Boxers grow quite rapidly; a three month old puppy looks very different from one that is six months old.

Here are the standard sizes for Boxers:

Full-grown males can weigh between 60 and 70 pounds, while their height can vary from 22 to 25 inches measured from the shoulder.

Females are a bit smaller, they weigh between 55 to 65 pounds, and can stand 21 to 24 inches from the shoulder. 

Their neck sizes can range from 13 to 22 inches.

Boxer Personality

At first glance, one might assume that the Boxer is an aggressive dog breed, based just upon their looks. However, they are actually playful and very loyal to their human families; you will find a gentle soul behind that muscular build and imposing presence.

Boxers typically display almost the same personalities as each other. These dogs are usually very courageous and energetic, which makes training them quite a challenge. But they are also loving, loyal and affectionate towards their humans, so all that training will be more than worth it. With that said, you need to have a flexible schedule so you can spend a lot of time with your Boxer pup should you decide on owning own. 

Boxers thrive on companionship, and they really do not like being left alone for hours on end. If you fail to provide your Boxer pup with enough attention and companionship, he can develop problematic behavior issues when he grows up.

Because Boxer dogs are a working breed, they tend to be quite independent and have a mind of their own, which makes them quite challenging to train. For you to break through this dog breed’s stubbornness, you need to start his training as early as possible, to establish early on that you’re the head of the household.

If you let a Boxer grow up without proper training, he will think that he is the boss of the family and will do as he pleases, often displaying destructive behavior and lashing out at you when you try to scold him. 

Training a Boxer can be a challenge, most especially if you have a particularly hyper puppy. You need to be consistent and firm when you are training your Boxer pup. As long as you can devote enough time and patience, you will be rewarded with a well-behaved puppy in no time.

Boxer Exercise

The temperament and personality of a Boxer can change a lot depending on the amount of exercise and physical activity that it gets every day. Be forewarned though, Boxers are known to have a huge store of energy and will require a significant amount of physical activity, so you need to adjust your schedule accordingly in order to provide your pup with enough exercise.

Boxers tend to have a lot of pent up energy, which is why they need to have a consistent daily outlet to help them release most of it. This dog breed loves to go on long walks and runs, if they do not get to release enough of their energy, they will tend to become destructive. 

While they are still puppies, Boxers require at least 45 minutes to an hour of physical activity every day. Although they can thrive in a small apartment, Boxers will be a whole lot happier in a home with a spacious backyard where they can play for as much as they want until they expend all of their excess energy.

Boxer Training

Just like any other dog breed, the temperament and personality of Boxers will depend on how they are socialized, trained, and their genes. You cannot do much about the genetic makeup of your Boxer pup, other than choose from the litter of a good pair of parents, but you can do something about their socialization and training.

Socializing your dog

It is important that you start to socialize your Boxer pup while he is still very young. This way he will feel comfortable in the presence of family and friends, and will also be eager to go on walks and play dates with other dogs. A properly socialized Boxer will have an extroverted personality, which will allow him to know how to deal with different kinds of situations that arise every day.

You should expose your dog to as many new people, take him to new places, and allow him to experience new things while he is still a young pup. Whether it is taking a walk through the park or taking him on car rides when you’re running errands, as long as your pup gets used to daily activities, he will grow up well-mannered and calm.

Training your dog

As mentioned several times before, Boxers are not easy to train, but that does not mean that they are impossible. Anything is possible as long as you have enough patience and you are consistent with your training. As the owner,  you need to establish your role as the head of the household while the pup is still young. Boxers tend to be hard headed and independent when they lack training; they will ignore commands and will lash out when their owners try to discipline them. 

Another important element in properly training a Boxer pup is to use positive reinforcement. Using negative reinforcement will only make the dog resent you. Prevent this from happening by using praise and affection as rewards for successfully doing what he was told. You can also use treats liberally to reinforce the training even more.

Boxer History

The Boxer’s roots can be traced to a now extinct dog breed, the Bullenbeisser, which is a Mastiff-type breed. The Boxer breed had one heck of a journey from when it was first bred into existence to becoming one of the most popular dog breeds in the world today.

The reason the Boxer was created was because the breeders back then wanted to create the perfect dog; a dog that was very strong, could hunt and hold down prey animals larger than themselves and hold them down long enough so their human partners could deliver the finishing blow. This would explain why Boxers have very active personalities and a seemingly unlimited reserve of energy.

The first Boxer came into existence in the early 1800’s, when dog breeders cross-bred a Bullenbeisser (an extinct breed of Mastiff dogs) and an English Bulldog. The Bullenbeisser dog was a large Mastiff-like dog that was used primarily for hunting. 

The features that people love about the modern Boxer actually served a purpose; they were bred to become an effective hunting dog:

  • Their wide underbite jaw allowed the Boxer to latch onto its target prey animal and hold on until it tired out or until his master arrived to deal the final blow on the animal.
  • The side flaps on either side of the face were believed to prevent the blood of their prey from spraying into the dogs’ eyes causing them to release their bite. Although the validity of this claim is still up to debate, this feature was continuously bred into the Boxer breed.
  • The large nose with open nostrils that is set back into the Boxer’s face was purportedly created so that the dog could still breath while its jaws were still locked onto its prey. Today, modern veterinary medicine knows that flat-faced dogs actually have trouble breathing, something that they did not know back then.

The Boxer was bred to be the ultimate hunting dog; a breed that has exemplary strength and “beneficial” physical features that give him the advantage over other dog breeds. Even the coloring of its fur was carefully thought of; the brindling coloration gave the Boxer a natural camouflage that allows the dog to hide among the tall grasses and behind the trees.

The Germans refined the breed, their goal was to increase the Boxer’s size and make it even more brave. Once the bravery of the Boxer dog became more evident, people started using them as guard dogs. After just a couple of generations, the focus of the breed turned from hunting, and they became popular as guard dogs, and eventually they became family companions.

The move from guard dogs to companions was quite quick; the Boxer’s loyalty and good temperament (with proper training) made them great indoor pets, companions, and family pets.

The popularity of the Boxer breed skyrocketed when people found out that they made great pets. It got so famous that in 1895, the first Boxer breed dog club was established in the city of Munich, Germany. By the 1900s, the breed found its way in the USA, and the American Kennel Club immediately recognized the breed’s merits, and officially placed it in the official records in 1904.

In the First World War, the armies used Boxers as pack animals, as attack dogs, and also for delivering messages. After World War II, the Boxer got even more famous, with soldiers from all over the world bringing pups back home with them after the war ended.

The origin of the Boxer’s name is still unclear, and there are a couple of opposing theories that are still being discussed these days. Some people believe that the name “Boxer” came from the dog’s ability to stand on its hind legs with its forelegs flailing in the air while they played. The name came from the way the dog mimicked the movements of human boxers. Other theories suggest the name came from the name of its ancestor, the Bullenbeisser, which was shortened to just “Boxi”, and eventually it became the “Boxer” that people know of today. Unfortunately, there are no historical records of how exactly the name came to be!

Boxer Health Problems

Boxers, although they look like strong dogs, are prone to a lot of diseases, most of which were brought about by the reckless breeding of the Boxer. Modern Boxers look very different from the first generation of the breed. Breeders, until now, bred the dogs to exaggerate their features and make them look more like perfect show dogs. This reckless breeding caused a myriad of health complications, you need to take note of these health issues when you are planning on getting a Boxer of your own.

Heart Disease – Boxers are very prone to serious heart issues. Because of their somewhat screwed-up genetic makeup, Boxers are very prone to Cardio Myopathy, a disease where the heart gets so weak that it can no longer pump blood around the body efficiently. Other heart diseases that are common in Boxers include Aortic Stenosis, which can be fatal and can suddenly kill the dog, and Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart to grow in size. The latter usually happens to Boxers that are two to five-years-old.

Bloating – Stomach bloating is a health issue that is common in large dogs that have deep chests, but it is even more common in Boxers. When a dog is bloated, its stomach twists its stomach, which can cut the supply of blood to the body. Symptoms of bloating include excessive drooling, frequent vomiting, and in serious cases, the dog will turn away food.

Cancer – The Boxer breed is actually prone to a certain kind of cancer, the mast-cell cancer, which affects the lymph nodes. The Boxer is also prone to other types of cancer like cancer of the lymph nodes, skin cancer, reproductive organs, spleen, and the thyroid glands. It is important to catch cancer at the early stages so it can be treated immediately. You should make it a point to visit the Vet every month to catch the early symptoms when they rear their ugly heads.

Hip Dysplasia – This is another disease that came about because of haphazard breeding. To give the Boxer a good stance, breeders would breed dogs that had shorter back legs than forelegs to make them stand up elegantly. This caused the joints of the Boxer to develop improperly, often getting loose and cause the bones to scrape against each other. This is a very painful disease, and dogs are often prescribed painkilling medicine to help ease the pain.

Eye Diseases – Boxer dogs are prone to damage of the corneas of the eyes, this disease is called refractory superficial ulcers, and this is yet another painful condition.

Neurological Disease – Boxers are also prone to certain neurological diseases, and the most common one is called degenerative myelopathy, a disease that affects the spinal cord and the nerves of the hind legs. This disease makes it difficult for the dog to walk properly.

Hypothyroidism – This is a disease that affects the thyroid gland, impeding its functions, which results in low thyroid hormone levels. The common symptoms of this disease include sudden excessive shedding, accelerated weight gain, and also infertility.

Alopecia – This is a disease that is a result of the thyroid gland malfunctioning. Because of the resulting hormonal imbalance in Boxers, it causes them to shed fur uncontrollably. 

Colitis – Boxers are also genetically predisposed to be prone to developing Histolytic Ulcerative Colitis, a disease that causes the colon to become inflamed. Symptoms of this disease include severe diarrhea containing mucus and blood.

Skin Disease – Boxers are prone to suffer from different kinds of food allergies and other substances in their surroundings, often causing serious skin infections. However, the most common skin ailment that Boxers suffer from is demodectic mange, which is a disease caused by parasites.

How To Care For Boxer

If you ask other Boxer owners, they will tell you how tender, playful, and caring these dogs are. Boxers are often called “forever pups” because of their endless stores of positivity and happiness, and also because they do not physically mature until they are three years old. It is important that Boxers receive basic obedience training while they are still young, so it will be easier for them to learn.

A Boxer puppy does not require any special treatment when it is re-homed. You just need to provide the puppy with a warm bed, enough water, a couple of toys and several brushes for grooming.

Nutrition And Feeding For Boxer

What kind of food you feed your Boxer will depend on the stage of growth they are currently in. Ideally, you should feed a Boxer food that is indicated as “nutritionally complete”, this will depend on the size and age of the dog. If you notice that your Boxer is hard to feed, even after changing from several different brands, you should consult with your veterinarian on what course of action you need to take.

Coat Color And Grooming For Boxers

The Boxer is one of the most interesting dog breeds in the world because they only come in three main colors: fawn, brindle, and white. They also have five different kinds of markings: black mask, black mask with white, brindle, or fawn markings.

The first three markings are standard, while the brindle and fawn markings are recognized by the AKC, but they are not considered standard.

Brindle is not technically a color, but a color pattern. The base of the brindle is fawn with stripes. The stripes can be light or dark, and thin or thick. Some brindles are so light that they can be mistaken as fawn, and some will be so dense that they look black. This is usually the case when people say they found Boxers that are black in color, there are no black Boxers. It is possible that they just saw a Boxer with an extremely dark brindle.

Since Boxers only have a single layer coat of fur, they do not shed that much. And when they do shed their fur, they will do so in small increments throughout the year. This means that you only need to give your Boxer pup a good brushing once or twice a week to get rid of any loose fur.


Children And Other Pets

When socialized and trained properly, Boxers can be great family companions. They might look scary, but they are quite gentle and can be great playmates for young children.

Rescue Groups

If you are thinking of adopting a rescue Boxer dog, there are a couple of groups that you can get in touch with:

Adopt a Boxer Rescue –

Boxer Freedom Ride Boxer Rescue – 

Boxer Luv Rescue –

Coastal Boxer Rescue –

Breed Organizations

If you want to learn more about your new Boxer pup, it would be best to join one of the many different Boxer breed groups, like:

American Boxer Club –

Boxer Fan Club –

Boxer Breed Council –

The British Boxer Club –

Pug health problems

Pug Health Problems

Pug Breed and Health Information


The pug is known as the Dutch Mastiff. Along with the Shih Tzu, the Pug has been used as a companion to Chinese royalty centuries ago. This mischievous little fella is also considered the mascot of the Royal House of Orange in Holland.

Below, we will go over some of the important details about pugs such as their health, characteristics, history, grooming, care information, and others. 


Pug Characteristics

Pug health information

The pug is muscular despite its small size. They come in three different colors—all black, apricot brown, and silver. A distinctive feature is their black face mask. Pugs have a huge head and a pair of big sparkling eyes.

Their goofy looks make them quite adorable. Their wrinkled brow allows them to make very human-like facial expressions. They can look really sad, absolutely happy, and daringly curious with the faces that they are able to make. They have delighted their owners for centuries with their expressive looks—no wonder Chinese emperors loved them.

The Pug has a compact body that it is physically well-proportioned. It has a very strong gait though it can be a bit jaunty too. Their hind quarters roll downward, slightly.

One of the most distinguishing features is the Pug’s “face mask.”  It’s a black marking on the muzzle which can also be found on the ears, forehead, and cheeks. Another distinguishing feature is the wrinkles that are characteristically deep.


Pug Size


Pugs don’t get any heavier than 20 lbs. The males usually weigh about 14 lbs. while the female pugs can weigh as much as 18 lbs. Pugs usually grow up to 10 to 14 inches tall measured at the shoulder.


Pug Personality


pug personalityIt is believed that the name “pug” is derived from the Latin word for fist. If you look closely, this dog’s face and head looks like a clenched fist. However, the pug is anything but violent.

They are actually big clowns at heart and carry themselves with an air of royal dignity—that’s what you get for spending time in royal courtyards in the mysterious far East.

They love to play and are very loyal. They tend to crave attention. In fact, they love to be around humans. It has been said that pugs will be heart-broken if left on their own.


Pug Exercise


Pugs actually don’t need a lot of exercise. However, exercise should still be a part of their regular routine. Just like any other dog they too need to release a lot of energy.

You can take your pug out for a walk even at a brisk pace if you want. However, the walk should last an average of 20 minutes and not any longer. You can also allow your Pug to roam free in a fenced yard or a secured garden. 

Never leave your Pug outside unsupervised.

Some activities are not recommended for this dog breed due to their size and structure. For instance, jumping, running up and down stairs, and leaping on and off chairs may cause some serious injuries.

Be careful during summer when you take your Pug out for fun and play. They can get hot pretty quickly in hot weather. They shouldn’t lie under in sun for too long. Give them plenty of shade and water. During hot days it is best to walk your Pug a little in the morning and then another walk in the afternoon.

Pugs don’t like damp and rainy conditions. You should get them a coat during winter. Windy days may be bad for your Pug’s eyes as well since debris can get into them fairly easily. You should always have travel with water bowls ready since they require plenty of water, especially when they’re outdoors.


Pug Training


Remember that pugs are friendly, outgoing, and clownish. They are low activity toy dogs and they love to spend a lot of time indoors. Keep that in mind when you schedule your dog trainings.

Pugs respond well to positive reinforcement which helps them understand and learn basic commands easier. Consider litter box training, since it suits them well. Use plenty of treats, since pugs are basically couch potatoes and love to have snacks from time to time. Use snack time as teaching moments.

Focus Issue

Pugs may have difficulty trying to concentrate on one thing. They’re just too playful—so be patient. To help keep them from being distracted you can gently touch the tip of their nose to regain their attention. You can also offer some really tasty treats but don’t overdo it. Use the commands “watch” and focus when using these focusing techniques.

Basic Obedience

Use positive reinforcement with your Pug. Use basic obedience principles when you train them. Some of the useful commands to teach your dog include Stay, Down-Stay, Stand-Stay, Leave It, and Sit. Remember this rule of thumb—every obeyed command should be rewarded one to two seconds after the dog has obeyed correctly.  The reward can be a combination of a treat and praise at first. This allows your Pug to associate the reward with the command that was obeyed. This process should be repeated over and over. You can try giving the command and then minus the treat (i.e. just praise) to test if your Pug has remembered the command perfectly.

Potty Training

Pugs are just like other toy dogs—their small bladders mean that they need to go eliminate more frequently than other dogs. Sometimes they need to do their business every hour or every other hour. Pups need to go out for their thing every 20 to 30 minutes.

Since you may not always want to be disturbed every single time, a good solution would be to get a litter box and potty train your pug using that. It doesn’t need to be huge—just big enough for the size of your Pug. 

You can cover the litter box with artificial grass and use disposable puppy pads which you can buy at the store. The pads are relatively cheap so don’t worry too much about the cost. Just remember to replace the pads as often as necessary.


Pug History


Chinese Roots

The pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. The earliest known sources and evidence for this breed can be traced all the way back to the Song Dynasty in China. That dynasty started in 960 AD and lasted until 1279 AD. That means pugs have been around for more than a thousand years. However, there are historians who say that Pugs actually date back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC)—which means that this breed may in fact be older.

They were originally bred as companion dogs to Chinese royalty. They quickly became favorites of emperors and thus they were treated as luxury items and were even kept safe by royal guards.

As the centuries went by, this breed spread all over Asia. Tibetan monks kept them as companions in their monasteries. They have been characterized by their affectionate temperament, which endeared them to their owners.

The Spread to Europe

It took several hundred years for this breed to reach the western world. Pugs made quick and lovable companions to ruling houses there as well. In fact, in 1572 a Pug by the name of “Pompey” saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting everyone to the presence of assassins in the royal court. The Pug became the official dog of that royal house from that time.

William III and also Mary II traveled to England with a Pug in 1688. The royal engagement was their acceptance of the throne of England. Pugs were later seen in many other parts of Europe. Even though they were not really bred for military use, soldiers used them as trackers and at times Pugs were assigned to guard duty—imagine how cute they would look in uniform!

21st Century

When British troops invaded and overran the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860 they discovered several Pugs on the premises. The soldiers took them home to England. The Pugs that were brought overseas were interbred with the Morrison and Willoughby lines, which later resulted to the modern Pug as we know it today.

William Hogarth, famous English painter, had a series of Pug paintings in his collection of master works. Hogarth was himself a Pug enthusiast. Other painters and artists have also used the Pug as the subject of their art.

It was under the patronage of Queen Victoria of England when the Pug breed flourished. The queen bred her own lines of Pugs as well. Pugs were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The Pug Dog Club of America was established in 1931.


Pug Health Problems


Pugs have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. They are also prone to certain health conditions like other toy dogs or smaller dogs. Here are 5 of the most common health problems that you might encounter during the life of your pet.


  • Respiratory Issues



Respiratory issues are common with smaller dogs due to smaller lungs and respiratory system. One common problem is called Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS)—which occurs when airways are blocked. Symptoms of respiratory issues include your dog gasping for breath and struggling to breathe even after very little physical activity. If this happens, you know that your dog is having problems breathing.



  • Skin Disorders



Pugs are allergy prone. The wrinkled folds of skin on their body can also get infected. Make sure to inspect your Pug during grooming time and ask your vet for medications in case you need to treat them.



  • Eye Problems



Pugs have really big eyes that can also get infected easily. Their eyes can also get damaged accidentally when they bump into things. If you notice your Pug’s eyes weeping, discolorations on the eyes, or any discolorations or bumps on or around the eyes then take your Pug to the vet for a checkup.



  • Bone and Joint Issues



Tiny bones can get broken especially for a heavy set Pug. One common condition is called a Luxating Patella, which is a knee dislocation. You will know if your Pug is hurting because he will lift the injured leg/knee as he walks. Anytime your Pug walks funny or is unusually squeamish that means he is in pain.



  • Seizures



Pugs can sometimes experience seizures. One condition to look out for is PDE or Pug Dog Encephalitis—an inflammation of the brain. Check with your vet right away if your dog experiences any seizure.


How to Care for Your Pug


Pugs are low maintenance pets. But they need regular care, which will include the following:

  • Daily cleaning of their facial folds
  • Regular brushing at least 1 to 2 times a week
  • Ear cleaning with a vet recommended solution once a week
  • A monthly bath
  • Nail trimming time as needed
  • Balanced and healthy diet


Nutrition and Feeding for a Pug

Pugs are relatively low maintenance dogs. If you give them just what they need they get out of your hair—well most of the time. They can have fits of separation anxiety just like any dog.

They require some basic care and maintenance. And you have to watch what you feed them. Remember that this couch potato of a dog can get overweight and they will pretty much be happy to eat anything you give them.

Help From Breeders

Your dog breeder or care center will usually provide you with a comprehensive list of foods that you can give to your Pug as well as a very thorough set of feeding instructions. That will usually include several diets as well as meal plans.

Puppy Feeding

You should stick to a planned diet and meal plan to ensure that your Pug doesn’t get stomach upsets or have other health issues. The Pug pup will usually require four meals a day. They have smaller stomachs so usually require more frequent feedings.

You can ask breeders for enough meals to start off with your pup. That will just be a small extra cost but it will be a good investment since you have a clear idea what to feed your pet. It will also help you understand your dog’s routine.

You can cut meals down to two feedings per day once your pup reaches 6 months old. 2 meals a day is somewhat a standard for small toy dog breeds. However, all Pugs are a bit different. This means you may have to figure out if your particular Pug is a 2 meal a day dog or a 3 meal a day dog. If your Pug paws and begs for food after the second meal then that means it needs more.

What to Feed Your Pug

There are plenty of food choices for your Pug. The good news is that they are not a picky eater—well most of them aren’t. However, you should know what to feed and what not to feed your Pugs.

What to feed them:

  • Baked potatoes (not raw ones) 
  • Green beans 
  • Carrots
  • Pig ear chews
  • Real beef bone
  • Rawhides 
  • Chicken, beef, or lamb meat (raw or cooked)
  • Wet dog food formulas (make sure they are formulated and portioned for smaller dogs)
  • Dry dog food (pugs thrive on this)
  • Healthy carb sources including wheat, soy, and rice (you also have the option to keep your pug’s diet grain free)

What not to feed them:

  • Grapes
  • Currants
  • Peach pits
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Raw potatoes
  • Green tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocadoes
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeinated food and drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Small bones and chicken bones

You should avoid these foods completely since they can cause a wide range of diseases to small dogs and they can be fatal. Some of the foods such as onions and chocolate can cause heart attacks and serious illnesses. Remember that chicken bones and smaller bones can also cause choking.

Avoid large sized kibble for your Pug since the big pieces may damage their teeth. You can get smaller bits of kibble or just break the kibble into smaller pieces first before giving it to your pet.

Pug Obesity

Obesity is an issue for Pugs given the fact that they are not as active as other dogs. On top of that most Pugs love to eat, which means you have to watch their diet like a hawk. You should measure their feeds carefully. Even an extra 10 grams each day can add up.

Most dog food brands have formulas suited to a dog’s life stage. You can choose from puppy, adolescent, adult, and older dog food variants. Make sure to follow the recommended portion sizes especially for smaller dogs.

Pugs love food and they will eat whatever you give them to the last crumb. It is normal for them to come to the dinner table and beg. Don’t make it a habit to drop small pieces of food.

It is also not recommended that you give them snacks in between meals unless it is recommended by your vet or breeder. Even small amounts of calories can eventually end up in excess weight for a Pug.

Chews and Treats

You can give your Pug some chewers and treats especially when they are young. Expect them to be teething and they can turn expensive furniture and shoes into the tastiest chews if they so choose to do so. Not to mention that collector’s items, first edition books, fashionable items and stuffed toys can easily become their favorite.

To avoid the unnecessary costs, you can help them out through this important period of their lives by providing them with cheaper alternatives. Get a chew toy from the pet store. Here’s a shopping tip: buy in bulk. That way you save more money. Get the ones that are sold in bunches and packs.


Grooming Your Pug

Pugs come in different colors as it was mentioned earlier. If you groom your Pug regularly they will stay healthy. These guys love being stroked, scrubbed, and combed. They consider it a personal bonding time and will look forward to it too.

Get a soft bristle brush for your Pug. You can also just use a hound glove—that should do the trick. Grooming for a few minutes each day helps to stimulate the blood flow on their skin.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to inspect your furry friend for wounds, cuts, bumps, or anything that may have gotten stuck on his hairs. Regular brushing also reduces the amount of hair your Pug will shed—though they don’t shed as much as other very hairy dogs. Your pug will shed more during spring and autumn. This shedding isn’t really triggered by the season. It has more to do with the temperature. Colder spring days as well as warmer autumn days can delay the coat change and your Pug will shed less.

BIG TIP: during shedding days, do your grooming outside. That way all the dog hair won’t fall all over the carpet.


Yes, Pugs hate rainy days but they love bath time. This is another alone time with you and they will love all the attention. It is not recommended that you carry your Pug up to a sink when bathing them. Doing that risks the possibility of a fall, which can be bad for your toy dog.

Bathing Tip: You can buy one of those small bathing tables from the pet store. They’re fairly inexpensive and they spare you from the backache of hunching down just to give your dog a bath.

Children and Other Pets

Pugs tend to get along well with other dogs. They are also strong enough to play with children. They can rough house a little if they want to. Just remember that play time for your Pug should be limited to a few minutes. They tend to get hot quickly. Remember to give your dog plenty of water in between play breaks.


Rescue Groups and Breed Organizations

There are a number of Pug organizations and rescue groups. If you want to contact other people who are just as devoted to their Pugs as you are, then you can get in touch with clubs and rescue groups.

There are American Kennel Breed Clubs in every state in the US. There are Pug kennel clubs all over the world as well. Here are a few of them:

shi tzu health problems

Shi Tzu Health Problems & Other Information

Shih Tzu Information and Health Problems

Welcome to our Shih Tzu information page. Is this dog breed the right one for you? Are you caring for one right now? The information here might be a big help for you.


Shih Tzu Characteristics

shi-tzu health informationThe Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds. It has been around for many centuries originating from the Tibetan Plateau. This ancient breed was actually first developed in China and is otherwise known as the Xī Shī quǎn, which translates to Xi Shi dog. The name literally means “lion dog.” Due to the general cuteness of this breed people find it difficult to understand why ancient Chinese emperors called them that.

Here are a few important stats about the Shih Tzu breed:

  • Origin: Tibet and China
  • Year recognized: 1969
  • Date of origin: within the 17th century
  • Purpose: show dog, companion dog
  • Group: toy class, toy dog
  • Maturity: 1 year towards adulthood
  • Popularity: 3rd most registered dog in the AKC, 17th most registered dog in the world
  • Litter size: 1 to 8
  • Colors: all colors are permissible and there are Shih Tzu’s with multiple colored coats. Most common coat colors include grey, white, black, white, dark brown, light brown, and gold.
  • Lifespan: average lifespan is 12 years but often live anywhere from 10 to 15 years.

Shih Tzu Size

The Shih Tzu is classified as a toy dog. It weighs anywhere from 4 kg (9 lbs.) to 7.25 kg (16 lbs.) when it is fully grown. The females will be slightly bigger than males.

Males usually weigh 8.8 lbs. to 16.0 lbs. or 4 kg to 7.25 kg. Females on the other hand weigh 8.8 lbs. to 15.7 lbs. or 4 kilograms to 7.10 kilograms. 

There isn’t much of a difference when it comes to height range. Both males and females range from 7.9 inches to 11.0inches or 20 cm. to 28 cm. in height.



shi tzu personalityA dog’s personality will specifically differ from one to another. However, the Shih Tzu does have some general temperaments that can be easily observed.

Shih Tzu’s are usually very affectionate and loyal. They may even appear to be overprotective and possessive of their humans in the presence of other dogs. You will also notice that they are quite alert and outgoing. They are fun to have in the family and home.

Now, of course a Shih Tzu can be used as a watch dog as well. They are very alert to their surroundings but were not bread for this particular purpose. They generally prefer to be close to their companions (i.e. other dog friends and humans) rather than socializing with strangers.

They can tend to be temperamental towards larger dogs and other dogs that are nervous or hyper. Nevertheless, Shih Tzu’s are usually well behaved and are suitable for families and households with other pets.


Required Exercise

The Shih Tzu was bred as companion dogs for royalty back in the 17th century. That means they were intended for indoor living without much activity even though they can be quite active at times.

However, just like any dog, this breed requires at least some exercise every day. They need to be active in order to release any stored up energy. It is recommended that they live indoors with a yard to run around in from time to time.

Studies have shown that if you do not allow them some exercise each day they can develop undesirable behaviors. For instance, they may bark excessively if kept indoors all the time.

It is advisable to walk them for 20 to 25 minutes. Studies have shown that your Shih Tzu may require at least two walks each day to keep it in optimal health keeping the walk at a brisk pace.

Make sure to take a break halfway through each walk. Give them a drink of water during these short rest periods. You can take them out for a walk at the beach or allow them to run through the fields.

You can also play games when you’re outside. A lot of owners have observed that their Shih Tzu’s prefer playing fetch with a small ball (e.g. tennis ball) over other games. 



Shih Tzu’s have an aristocratic demeanor about them but they can have a stubborn streak just like any other dog, which makes a slight challenge to training. They don’t get into a lot of trouble, which makes their stubbornness quite forgivable.

House Breaking and Crate Training

Crate training your Shih Tzu is part of house breaking your pet. You don’t need a lot of space since your toy dog doesn’t require it—but get a crate that is big enough for them to turn around in and stand up straight. There should also be enough ventilation on all 4 sides.

Training Tips and Ideas

You need to work with your Tzu’s stubbornness. Be patient if they don’t obey from time to time.

Here are a few training tips:

  • Make going inside the crate a rewarding pleasant experience
  • Always keep your Tzu in the crate when you sleep
  • Don’t make them go inside as a punishment
  • Puppies need to eliminate every 20 to 30 minutes outside
  • Adults can hold it in much longer—you’ll know they want to go if they sniff, scratch, and squat a lot. You can establish a schedule when your pet gets older.
  • Praise for good behavior and then reward immediately (there should be only 1 to 2 seconds in between praise and reward )
  • Use healthy and tasty training treats, you can also use a clicker when you train
  • Shih Tzu’s react best to positive reinforcement—punishment style training doesn’t show much promise.
  • Make sure to repeat and be consistent with your commands when you train. Be generous with your praise when your Shih Tzu does the right thing.



There are several theories when it comes to the origin of this dog. Some people believe they are a cross between the Lhasa and Pekingese Apso breeds. These were breeds given to Chinese emperors from the Dalai Lama at the turn of the 17th century.

Dogs during this time were selectively bred and they are usually depicted in many Chinese paintings. Shih Tzus were prized by Chinese royalty for many years. They rarely gave them away, traded them, and they vehemently refused to sell them.

The first Shih Tzus to reach foreign lands were those that were exported to Norway and England back in the 1930’s. They were classified as Apsos by the Kennel Club.

The Shih Tzu Club of England was later formed in 1934. In 1935 a new standard breed was created. These dogs were called the Shih Tzu. This dog breed spread throughout Europe after World War II. However it wasn’t officially recognized until a few years later.

The Shih Tzu was officially recognized by the UK Kennel Club on May 7, 1940. However, challenge certificates were only issued beginning in 1949. By the mid-1950s US troops brought these dogs to other parts of the world and was then recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. This was the time when the Shih Tzu was officially classified as a toy dog.


Health Problems

There is no single dog breed that is completely immune to disease and illness. However, each breed will be susceptible to certain types of medical conditions. This vulnerability is usually carried through the bloodline of each breed and is passed on through centuries.

Shih Tzu’s have some serious health issues and the guidelines that you will find below will help you prepare for them. That way you can know what to keep an eye on since early detection is a big step on the road to recovery.

Here are the health issues that you should watch out for in your Shih Tzu:

IVD Disease

IVD stands for Intervertebral Disk Disease. This is a condition that is quite common in dogs that have shorter legs and longer backs. IVD is commonly observed among basset hounds, beagles, as well as in Shih Tzu’s.

When IVD occurs, a disc on the dog’s back slips and rubs hard against the spine. This condition can occur in Shih Tzu’s even as early as 2 years old.

Its symptoms include:

  • weakness in the limbs
  • pain
  • muscle spasms

Sadly, if left untreated IVD disease can lead to paralysis. IVD is usually treated using medicine, which includes anti-inflammatory drugs as well as muscle relaxants. A lot of rest will also be recommended by your vet. Surgery may be recommended in severe conditions of IVD disease.


Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

This is a name given to a breathing condition that usually occurs to smaller dogs. The breathing issue is related to their body structure. 

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome actually includes several issues that can cause breathing problems for dogs. 

The conditions include the following:

  • Issues with the trachea (e.g. collapsed trachea, smaller trachea)
  • Collapsed larynx
  • Elongated soft palate
  • Stenotic nares

It has been observed that 50% of all Shih Tzu’s have airway syndrome have both stenotic nares (we’ll go over this in detail a little later) as well as an elongated palate.

Each of the above mentioned conditions can contribute or cause some form of airway syndrome. Some dogs have 2 or 3 of these conditions. And when that happens their breathing can be severely impeded.

In the case of stenotic nares the nostrils of the dog are pinched which also keeps the nasal passage narrow. In some cases the cartilage in the neck tends to get weakened which leads to a collapsed trachea.

The following are the symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Coughing
  • Gums and lips turn blue
  • Loss of consciousness

The symptoms may get worse after the dog has exercised. Some dogs of this breed may be born with these conditions but the symptoms will only occur later in life. Symptoms usually appear any time within the range of 1 to 6 years of life.

How is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome treated?

  • Do not use leashes on your Shih Tzu, but you should use a collar instead when you go out for a walk.
  • Limit the time and type of exercise that your dog will have
  • Your vet can also prescribe certain medications to help reduce certain symptoms
  • Surgery may also be recommended by a vet especially when there is more than one contributory condition


Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a joint disease that is degenerative in nature. It is actually an abnormality in the ball and socket joint of the hip. This condition is where the ball joint slips and falls out of place.

Most of the time, if a dog has hip dysplasia, it means that the dog was born with it. In many instances it is actually a genetic disease. In other cases the dislocation and weakening of the joint is due to other factors. Either way, the surrounding tissues of the problem joint tend to develop abnormally. This development occurs as the puppy grows older. This abnormal growth affects how the bones in the problem joint are held together. They tend to move apart instead of staying together.

In some cases the condition develops as early as 4 of 5 months after the birth of the Shih Tzu pup and the condition can be diagnosed that early. However, this condition is degenerative and the symptoms sometimes become more evident later in the life of your dog.

Here are the symptoms of hip dysplasia in Shih Tzu dogs:

  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Intermittent stiffness in the legs
  • A narrowed stance
  • Mobility trouble
  • Trouble or difficulty getting up
  • A funny or odd walk

How is hip dysplasia treated?

The treatment for this condition may include the following:

  • Surgery
  • Medications for the pain and swelling
  • Food supplements
  • Controlled play and exercise
  • Weight management


Patellar Luxation

The word patellar is the medical term for a dog’s knee cap. This is another bone condition that occurs more frequently in Shih Tzu and other toy dog breeds. It occurs more frequently in dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds. However, it should be noted  dogs of any size can develop this condition.

In simple terms, when a patellar luxation occurs the knee cap of a dog slips out of place. Your dog could have been born with this condition or it could have developed in time.

Take note of the following symptoms:

  • Walking on 3 legs (the dog actively reduces the amount of stress on the affected knee to relieve pain).
  • Raising of the affected leg when standing or even when lying down (again this is a tell-tale sign that your dog is in pain)

What is the treatment for this condition?

In minor cases of patellar luxation your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication as well as enough bed rest. If the condition is more severe, then your vet may prescribe steroids. With the help of medication the symptoms may go away and your dog’s health will improve within 3 weeks.

Some light exercises may also be recommended for rehabilitation. In severe cases your vet may suggest surgery. A prognosis will then be made after the operation.

There are other medical conditions that are associated with this breed such as hypothyroidism, eye issues, and other forms of breathing problems. Please check with your vet for specific related diseases not mentioned here.

How To Care For Shih Tzu

Winter Care

You should shovel a path outside when it is snowy so your dog can eliminate. You should make the cleared area as large as possible. Limit the time you spend on the snowy ground.

Don’t use ice melt chemicals where your Shih Tzu will be walking in the snow. It can affect their delicate paws. There are specialized ice melt products you can use on the areas where dog may roam around.

Speaking of winter, you may want to get your Tzu some winter doggie shoes in case you need to go outside. You should also get some nose balm to keep their nose from drying due to the cold dry winds.

Summer Time Care

When playing outside, your dog should always be supervised. Even if you’re only going out for 15 to 20 minutes, there should be someone looking out for your dog.

Remember that Shih Tzu’s and the heat of summer don’t mix well. Don’t take your dog out for a walk when the temperature outside reaches anywhere from above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 Celsius) and higher.

Any time you notice that your Shih Tzu is panting heavily or seems to be acting confused you should take immediate action. Take your dog to a cooler place and give it plenty of water to drink. Any extremes in temperature, whether it is too cold or too hot, is bad for a Shih Tzu.

Caring for an Immobile Dog

If you are caring for a rescued dog or one that has been crated for an extended period of time, you should expect some form of muscle atrophy to have taken place. In such cases you should work closely with your vet and follow any instructions given to you.

This will help to put your Shih Tzu back on track. Exercise and play time should start slowly. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of the activities. Exercises, stretching, and some massage may help with rehabilitation.

Snorting and Snoring

Sometimes you will notice that your Shih Tzu will snort or even snore during sleep (well, they make funny snorting noises too when they’re awake). Some of it is normal but there are times when it is an indication of a health condition.

It is common for your Shih Tzu to snore at night and snort from time to time. This is due to their smaller nasal cavity and smaller parts of their heads. However, when your dog’s snorting and snoring becomes more frequent it may mean any of the following:

  • Its palate is swollen
  • There may be an obstruction
  • Weight gain

In such cases you should take your Shih Tzu to the vet as soon as possible.


Nutrition and Feeding for Shih Tzu

Feeding your Shih Tzu with healthy and quality meals is essential to keeping them healthy and to ensure a long and happy life. You can opt for home cooked meals or you can purchase specially prepared formulas for small dogs.

Some of the great and wholesome food options that you can include in your Shih Tzu’s meal include the following:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Baby carrots
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Sweet peas
  • Green beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lean beef
  • Fish
  • Veal
  • Lamb
  • White chicken meat
  • Liver
  • Heart

There are foods that you should avoid feeding to your dog. They include the following:

  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
  • Fruit pits and seeds (some of these can be fatal)
  • Macadamia nuts (can cause paralysis and tremors)
  • Salt (feed only small amounts or else it can cause kidney issues)
  • Coffee and caffeinated drinks (can cause comas, seizures, and death)
  • Onions (destroys red blood cells)
  • Chocolate (causes seizures, coma, and death in small dogs)
  • Grapes (causes kidney trouble)
  • Raisins (causes kidney trouble)

How do you choose the right food formula for your Shih Tzu?

Here are a few guidelines when you’re in the market for food for your Shih Tzu:

  • Choose food formulas that have ingredients that are easily digestible (check list of wholesome foods above)
  • The serving should be specifically sized for smaller dogs
  • Check the list of added supplements (e.g. omega 3 and 6, antioxidants, probiotics, chondroitin, glucosamine, etc.)
  • All natural preservatives included—usually a vitamin blend that helps preserve the quality of the food. Other natural preservatives include green tea extract, rosemary, and spearmint.
  • Wholesome and all natural foods—this includes human-grade meats, grains, whole grains, healthy fats, and veggies. You can also choose to put your dog on a grain-free diet.


Coat Color and Grooming

The coat of a Shih Tzu can come in a variety of colors as mentioned above. The coat is typically straight and it is described as being hypoallergenic. They do not shed as much as other breeds. The coat requires a good amount of brushing and regular baths.

Take note of the following schedule:

  • Face and eye wiping should be done on a daily basis
  • Coat brushing can be done every 1 to 3 days depending on the length of the coat
  • Baths can be given every 3 weeks
  • Nails need to be trimmed every 6 weeks
  • Touch up body wiping should be done as needed
  • Paw and nose care should be done depending on the season of the year

Children and Other Pets

Shih Tzu’s are generally safe around children and other pets. They can be over protective of their human family when they are around other dogs – especially large breed dogs.


Rescue Groups and Breed Organizations

There are number of rescue groups and breed organizations especially dedicated for the Shih Tzu breed. They include the following:

You should check with your state to find out which kennel club or rescue organization is dedicated to small dogs or for Shih Tzu’s specifically.

Image Credit:

Fotografiert und zur Verfügung gestellt von Tanja Tepe Shih Tzu from Chinese Paradise  [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]