The “Lion Dog” or more commonly known as the Shih Tzu is not only a little dog with a lot of personality, but they’re also among the top hypoallergenic breeds of dogs.
The problem for people who suffer from allergies is that having a pet becomes increasingly difficult.
The sniffling, sneezing, runny eyes and nose, and itchy throat usually put a damper on being around a pooch, let alone owning one.
Fortunately, there are some dogs that are better for allergy sufferers than others – and the Shih Tzu is one of them.
The history of the Shih Tzu.
Shih Tzus are a little dog with a lot of history.
The origins of this fluffy pup trace back to ancient history, marking them as one of the few breeds that descends directly from wolves, although you’d never know it by looking at them.
While the exact origin of the Shih Tzu, whether it is Tibetan or Chinese, is still debated, the name Lion Dog (a romanized translation of the chinese characters) originated around 800 B.C.
However, it wasn’t until the 1930’s that the Shih Tzu made its way to England, where it was dubbed the Chrysanthemum dog.
Hypoallergenic qualities of the Lion Dog.
Shih Tzus have a long and silky coat that isn’t prone to shedding like the coats of many other breeds. These dogs typically only shed very little which is only when they’re brushed and bathed.
While their coats can vary between straight or curly, either should be brushed and combed regularly to keep the moult to an absolute minimum.
What’s important to understand about your allergies, is that it isn’t the actual hair or fur that you’re allergic to but the dander. Pet dander is often more prevalent with breeds that shed more.
While Shih Tzus don’t shed quite to the degree that most dogs do, the dander is still present.
With regular brushing and combing you can help lower the dander levels making your Shih Tzu less prone to triggering your allergies.
A good natured dog.
Aside from being hypoallergenic, Shih Tzus make good family pets.
They are very friendly and overall good natured making them less wary of strangers and affectionate to all. Shih Tzus also get along very well with other pets, as well as children.
While good natured, a Shih Tzu can become peevish, making them prone to biting or nipping when provoked. Because of this, It’s important that you start training and socializing your pup at an early age, especially if you have young children in the house.
If not trained properly, Shih Tzus can become needy and cry often, which can be a hard habit to break if it’s allowed to continue as they get older.
Shih Tzus require only moderate exercise, which means they do really well in apartments and smaller homes.
Because of their good nature and hypoallergenic qualities, they’re a great choice if you or your kids have allergies.
Like all dogs, a Shih Tzu requires a lot of love and attention, which shouldn’t be hard. There’s nothing quite like curling up on a rainy day, with a good book and your favorite pup.
- License: Creative Commons image source; Photo taken by Patricia Vicente.