Black is beautiful – and the Black Shih Tzu is a living testament to that. So, whether you are into all things black, or you simply adore the rarity and allure of a solid Black Shih Tzu, you’ll fall in love with this fluffy canine companion. So, go ahead and reward yourself with this gem of a dog.
However, just like other Shih Tzu owners, before getting one home, you first need to have a deeper understanding of this Shih Tzu breed. And that’s precisely our goal with this article.
We will talk more about the appearance, temperament, potential health issues, and price of Black Shih Tzu dogs. We will also delve deeper into their history, their diet, trainability, and a lot more.
Breed at a Glance:
- Size: 8 to 11 inches
- Weight: 9 to 16 pounds
- Energy Level: Moderate Energy Level
- Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
At first, one may think that Black Shih Tzus are simply Shit Tzu dogs with a black coat color. But technically speaking, a real Black Shih Tzu should come in a solid black color. And it should not only be the dog's coat that is predominantly black, but also his skin.
This means that the visible skin on your Shih Tzu should also be black, including its lips, the rims of its eyes, paw pads, and other areas. It should also have a black nose and dark brown, beady eyes.
Generally, the Black Shih Tzu is a petite, sturdy, and playful dog breed that originated in China. They are a type of toy dog and are known for their distinctive long, silky black hair, which requires regular grooming to maintain its lustrous appearance.
Black Shih Tzus are affectionate and loyal companions that thrive on human interaction. They are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. However, they can also be stubborn at times and may require a firm hand to keep them in line.
This breed is good with kids, as well as other pets, but still socialization at an early age is recommended to make sure they get along with everyone. They do not require a lot of exercise, which makes them an ideal choice for apartment or city living.
Among the most notable traits of the black Shih Tzu is its expressive face, which is often likened to a lion. No wonder, they are popularly called “little lions.” Shih Tzus regardless of coat color have large, round eyes and a short, flat nose that give them a unique and adorable appearance.
Overall, the Black Shih Tzu is a great choice for those who are looking for a loyal and affectionate companion that is relatively low maintenance. However, potential owners should be ready for the commitment to regular grooming to maintain their coats healthy and shiny.
History and Origin
Shih Tzus' origins are unknown, but the majority of individuals think the breed came from Tibet. Shih Tzus are believed to have been created by monks who intended to give them as presents to the Chinese emperors.
Shih Tzus were beloved by Chinese royalty and would never be sold, traded, or given away by the Chinese people. Since Buddha was supposed to have arrived on Earth on the back of a lion carrying a small lion dog, the Shih Tzu's facial traits that resemble that of a lion were greatly sought after among royals. The breed's name literally translates to “lion dog” in traditional Chinese.
During the 1860s, a breeding dam and sire of Shih Tzus were given to Dowager Empress Cixi as she ascended to power. These canines afterward served as her pure line's ancestry. The canines Cixi kept, nevertheless, were no longer seen as significant after she died in the early 1900s.
Many Shih Tzus were gifted to Dutch and English noblemen and women since the new Emperor and Empress had little interest in her line, which led to the cessation of breeding.
The first Shih Tzus were imported to England, not until the 1930s. Surprisingly, the 14 canines that made up the current Shih Tzu population—seven males and seven females—were all brought to England from China. After being saved from extinction by a breeding program, these lovely canines quickly spread to the rest of Europe.
The earliest Shih Tzus were classified as “Apsos” by the Kennel Club when they first came to England. It was not until 1935 that the Shih Tzu Club created a breed standard, reclassifying the dogs as Shih Tzu. A few years later, on May 7th, 1940, the UK's Kennel Club recognized the breed formally.
In the 1950s, Shih Tzus came to the country after the Second World Ward thanks to returning servicemen who brought the dogs with them.
The Shih Tzu was designated a breed within the Toy Group of Dogs by the American Kennel Club in 1969.
The Shih Tzu has since been hailed among the most well-liked toy dogs both here and in the UK. They continue to treat their owners, regardless of who they may be, like royalty.
Except for the obvious variation in coat color, black Shih Tzus will have similar physical characteristics as double colored Shih Tzus and the other Shih Tzus. They'll have a solid black coat that won't stop growing unless it's cut.
Shih Tzus come in a variety of colors and color combinations such as liver (or solid brown Shih Tzu), light brown, dark brown, white, gold, red, and tri colored Shih Tzus, and they are categorized as companion animals.
Shih Tzus, regardless of coat color, have bodies that are longer than they are taller. They stand solidly and have decent-sized heads. They have large, round eyes and snub noses. They are best recognized for their long, straight coat, which curls over to their back.
An all-black Shih Tzu will always have dark eyes, paws, and a nose. While its coat might turn more silver as it ages, its pure black tips won't.
Also, as mentioned earlier, the Shih Tzu stands 8 to 11 inches and weighs anywhere around 9 to 16 pounds.
Black Shih Tzus make wonderful pets, just like all other Shih Tzu colors. The breed is noted for its vivacious, cheerful, and gregarious temperaments.
They are known to get along with practically everyone and to show affection for children of all ages. They also get along well with other canines as well as animals of various sorts. There aren't many snippy Shih Tzus, but the majority are quite affectionate.
Shih Tzus frequently assume that because they are royal dogs and canines, people are always gushing about them. Your small furry friend can think that visitors are there to visit them rather than you if they enter your home. Having the spotlight on them is something that Shih Tzu like.
They may occasionally come across as haughty, but it doesn't mean they aren't truly affectionate. Shih Tzus were developed as companions, and they excel in this role. Moreover, Shih Tzus don't chew much due to their short muzzles, but they do enjoy digging and some will bark incessantly.
Once you arrive home from work, be prepared for them to follow you around the house. If you're watching TV, they'll be more than happy to curl up on your lap or jump onto the bed with you. They have a strong want to be with humans, whether that involves cuddling up on your lap or going on a park hike.
Black Shih Tzus require the same level of grooming as Shih Tzus of any other color. Daily brushing is not sufficient for these dogs' lengthy coats because they constantly grow, but it is still important.
You should clean your black Shih Tzu's face and eyes frequently in addition to grooming them every day. You need to be diligent with this because any drool or stain will make his coat appear unclean.
Despite this, you shouldn't take baths too frequently. The fragile skin of your dog can become damaged by over-bathing, leading to allergies, rashes, or even exposed sores. You only need to bathe your dog once per month. The only exceptions are if your dog has a skin condition that requires bathing or if he has grown particularly dirty.
Grooming Your Shih Tzu At Home
To maintain your Shih Tzu looking tidy, you can perform a few simple grooming routines at home regularly.
To ensure that dirt and eye sludge are cleared, they will require routine face and eye cleansing. The length of their hair will determine how often you need to brush it.
Those with long hair should be brushed every day. Brushing should be done every two days for Shih Tzus with medium hair and every three days for those with short hair. Every 4 to 6 weeks, their nails should be clipped, and they can get body wipes as needed.
Tapping the Help of a Professional Groomer
If you want to keep the hair on black Shih Tzus at a specific length and style, you will have to take them frequently to a professional groomer. If you feel competent, you can do minor tail and ear trimmings of your pup by yourself.
However, it's always preferable to leave their haircuts and trimming to an expert groomer; otherwise, you risk entirely messing up your dog's fur. A pet salon visit is often advised every 6 to 8 weeks.
Common Health Issues
Reputable breeders work hard to uphold the uppermost breed standards as set forth by kennel associations like the AKC. These criteria reduce the likelihood of inheriting health issues in canines.
Shih Tzus are generally healthy, and as mentioned earlier, they can live for 10 to 16 years. However, Shih Tzus are still susceptible to several hereditary health issues. Black Shih Tzus and the overall black Shih Tzu genetics population are more vulnerable to several health issues, such as:
This condition, which is typical of breeds with flat faces and causes breathing difficulty, results from faulty airway structure. Snoring, laborious or noisy breathing, an inability to exercise, and the presence of nasal discharge are typical symptoms.
Shih Tzus have unquestionably adorable looks, and their large, round eyes play a part in that. However, they are also more likely to acquire several eye diseases as a result of this characteristic.
Retinal dysplasia is a frequent issue that causes excessive crying, which can occasionally discolor the fur around the eyes.
Shih Tzus are also more prone to cataracts and retinal ulcers.
Considering this dog’s vulnerability to eye issues, you should constantly keep the hair around their eyes trimmed. And it could be prudent to take them to the doctor for a checkup if you notice them wiping their eyes a lot.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
This age-related spinal condition is also known as a “slipped disc.” Some of the symptoms that you should watch out for include pain, a peculiar stride or limping, and difficulty standing.
Their small mouths make them more prone to dental conditions like malocclusion and tooth crowding.
It's also important to keep in mind that as they age, plaque and tartar can also form on their teeth. This can result in unhealthy roots and gums. To maintain the health of their teeth, routine dental cleaning is advised.
Shih Tzus are more likely to develop yeast infections and ear mites because of their floppy and hairy ears. Frequent head shaking, ear scratching, and the presence of foul odor are symptoms that you should watch out for. You must see to it that their ears are maintained tidy. These canines might get an ear infection if that doesn't happen.
The Shih Tzu can develop this disease on any of its rear legs. Dogs who have it typically dislocate their kneecaps abnormally, and it is typically inherited. Your dog may become more susceptible to developing arthritis and other orthopedic issues if this condition is not treated.
How to Care for Black Shih Tzu Puppies
Exercise & Living Conditions
These dogs can adapt to a variety of living conditions generally speaking. As long as you take them for a walk for at least 20 minutes each day, they can adapt to apartment life successfully.
They are also suitable for apartment living because of their small size, as well as their peaceful and quiet nature. Shih Tzus also get along nicely with kids and other animals. So, they are suitable in a multi-pet household with children.
Additionally, Shih Tzus are poor swimmers and heat-intolerant due to their short faces and heavy coats. Hence, you need to be mindful of these if your house has a pool, or if you are taking your dog to a place with a large body of water.
Also, if you live in a hot place, you should always ensure that your dog has access to fresh clean water, and he is in a shaded place. You should also avoid taking your pup outside for a walk during hot, humid days.
Diet & Nutrition
The Shih Tzu should flourish on high-quality food for dogs, whether it is made commercially or at home under the supervision and approval of your veterinarian. Your dog’s diet should also be appropriate for his age (puppy, adult, or senior).
Because certain dogs are predisposed to obesity, you should keep an eye on your dog's calorie consumption and weight. Treats can be a useful training aid, but giving too many of them can promote obesity. Learn which foods are safe and unsafe for dogs to consume.
If you have some worries about your dog's diet or weight, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your veterinarian.
To ensure that your Shih Tzu is content and adjusted, proper training and socializing are essential. The breed is reasonably intelligent, but it also has a little bit of stubbornness. This means, that this cute dog can be amusing, yet also frustrating to train. So, you should be mentally and physically prepared.
Shih Tzus can be challenging to housebreak, so you need to be careful in teaching your dog from an early age. They can also be taught to use an indoor litter box, but keep in mind that they tend to eat their own (and other dogs') waste, so you should maintain tidiness in your dog’s area.
What to Look For
If you search for black Shih Tzu pups for sale, you'll probably find a lot of listings on different websites. But most of them will be for black and white Shih Tzu dogs.
You could have trouble locating a photo of a solid black Shih Tzu dog, even if you try searching on Google.
Because of this, you must search carefully for a Shih Tzu that is entirely black. Even though their pups have a minor white marking, many careless breeders may label them as all black dogs.
You should also ask the breeder for the dog’s health records, which include his vaccinations, and worming treatments. And it would be best if you can visit the dog and check its parents and living conditions.
Price of a Black Shih Tzu Puppy
If you're on the hunt for Shih Tzu puppies, you should expect to pay up to $1,500 on average. These pups aren't extremely expensive despite how adorable they are. This is because these dogs are fairly common, and they are also easy to breed these days.
However, if you are eyeing Shih Tzus with a solid black color, you should be ready to spend more. The black Shih Tzu price from reputable breeders can reach up to $5,000 or more!
On top of the whopping $5,000 black Shih Tzu cost or price tag, you should also consider your dog’s food, grooming expenses, crate, toys, worming treatments, future vaccinations, and so on.
Black Shih Tzus make wonderful pets and have a highly interesting history. Since black is among the most uncommon colors for this chrysanthemum-faced dog, you should consider yourself lucky if you come across one.
Black Shih Tzus are similar to other Shih Tzus in every way except for their black, full-color coat, but as mentioned earlier, you should also brace yourself to spend a few thousand dollars more to get this majestic black fluffy dog home.
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