Miniature Shih Tzu, or Chinese Imperial Shih Tzu, are the miniature versions of the standard breed of Shih Tzu. They share all of the regular breeds’ characteristics, but are obviously distinguished by their smaller size.
Size difference is mostly within stature, and not in specific areas like forelegs or hind; and the weight range of the Standard breed being between 9 to 16lbs in weight, whereas the Imperial Shih Tzu will most likely be less than 9lbs once fully grown. And while they are a part of the Shih Tzu breed, the Imperial Shih Tzu has now become socially accepted by owners and breeders as a class or breed of dog on their own if not officially by any set canine breed authority.
The smaller size of the dog has made the Imperial Shih Tzu a very sought after breed of dog as their smaller size makes them even more ideal as close companions. But given their scarce numbers, adopting or purchasing one will probably prove to be a little more expensive, and finding a good breeder a bit tougher. However, since the appeal has grown so much over the past years, the availability has started to increase with it.
Now considering the smaller size of an already small breed of dog, one instinctively worries about potential health problems. No such worry is required though, because the Imperial Shih Tzu shows just as much good health as its big brothers, if not more. The breeder will invariably have to take more care when raising the pup, but in terms of owning one, there is no need to worry about potential health problems within your dog other than those shared with any other canine.
In terms of general care, they will require the same attention as that of their bigger brothers, with regards to grooming and diet, but also provide a lot more convenience within a household or apartment due to their small size. But remember that they will eat less than the Standard size, so work out proper quantities of food, because they will be affected more drastically by weight gain due to their smaller frames or digestive problems from too much food.
Their personalities also tend to remain the same and they maintain a very intelligent persona and an independent nature. One might expect a smaller dog to be more highly strung in terms of its environment and how it interacts with other dogs, children and other family members, but the Imperial Shih Tzu are just as comfortable within their element as their compatriots. They are also very comfortable being transported in carry bags or in their owner’s arms, so for someone looking for the ideal companion to have, an Imperial is a fantastic animal to have.
So overall, just as with the larger breed of dog, make sure you take the time to do some research before purchasing or adopting an Imperial, so that you know what to expect and what would be required of you as a responsible owner.
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