There are two different types of reputable Shih Tzu breeders: Those that breed Shih Tzu’s as show dogs, and those that breed them for temperament (family dogs). That being the case, you should seriously consider what type of future you wish for your Shih Tzu to have. Are you interested in raising a show dog, or would you rather your dog’s sole purpose to be a member of your family?

If you decide that you want a Shih Tzu dog bred for showing purposes, the following is what you need to keep in mind when visiting Shih Tzu breeders:

  • Breed standard – The physical appearance, temperament, gait, etc. of a show dog will be scrutinized by judges. Therefore, you need to ensure that the Shih Tzu you are selecting, for show dog purposes, meets all of the requirements as stipulated by the kennel club of your nation. If the dog does not meet all of the requirements, they will be considered to have faults, and will be disqualified from the show ring. For instance, if a Shih Tzu weighs more than 18 pounds and is taller than 10 ½ at the shoulders, this will be considered a fault.

On the other hand, should you not care about raising a show dog; you don’t need to be overly picky of the dog’s physical appearance when visiting Shih Tzu breeders. As long as the dog meets the basic standards associated with the breed, and is healthy, this is all that should concern you. Just because a Shih Tzu may be disqualified as a show dog, doesn’t make him any less of an affectionate or devoted dog to you and your family.

  • Credentials of Shih Tzu breeders – Aside from just making sure that a show dog breeder is reputable as far as papers and the overall health and wellbeing of the litter is concerned, you need to check out the breeder’s qualifications. Find out how long they have been breeding show dogs, and how many of the previous dogs they bred, where show champions. If a breeder can brag they breed the best, they better have the proof to back it up.
  • More money and time – Shih Tzu breeders that breed show dogs will charge more for their dogs than other reputable breeders who only breed pet companions. Furthermore, because the show quality of a puppy is difficult to evaluate, a show dog breeder will keep puppies for 3 – 6 months to ensure that the dog is of show ring caliber. Therefore, be prepared to purchase a Shih Tzu that is more than 8 weeks old.

In fact, you should also know that it is often recommended by show dog owners, for those new to the trade, to purchase an adult dog that has already had success in the show ring. You need to realize that when you purchase a “potential” show dog, you are only making a “guess” that this Shih Tzu will become a champion. Puppies have the ability to change, adults don’t.

  • Full kennel club registration – When a dog is fully registered with the kennel club of your nation, this allows him/her to participate in any competitions or events hosted by the club. Keep in mind that most Shih Tzu breeders will charge a substantial fee for full registration – from as little as $200 to as much as $500 or more.

As you can see, there is much for you to think about when considering show dog Shih Tzu breeders. Thus, make sure you realize your goals and your reasons of owning a dog before you make any final decisions.