There is a standard size and weight for the Shih Tzu according to the AKC. Shih Tzu dogs should remain between 9 and 16 pounds based on these standards, but you may have seen Shih Tzu dogs that seem to be much smaller. These smaller dogs may not have been puppies; you may have seen Imperial, or Teacup, Shih Tzu dogs. While this is not an actual breed or name for the breed, it is a name given by breeders and buyers. It refers to Shih Tzu dogs that are smaller than the standard size, either by nature or by breeding. Many of them are still healthy, but they are quite a bit smaller than standards dictate. Whether you're just curious about these little cuties or you're thinking about bringing one into your household, read on to find out more about Imperial Shih Tzus.
What is an Imperial Shih Tzu dog?
Typically, Imperial Shih Tzu dogs are between 7 and 8 pounds, at least according to current standards. These dogs are smaller than the average Shih Tzu is, getting more of that tiny "toy" look to them that is popular with dog owners. They are cute, they look like and have the same traits as a regular Shih Tzu, and, for the most part, are healthy. The only difference is the slightly smaller size. As with any dog, you should think heavily about the breeder before deciding to purchase one.
Good breeders are out there. These breeders will make sure that the dog meets the requirements for excellent health and that it is only slightly smaller than average. Buying from such a breeder will ensure that when you get your dog, there are few to no health concerns. The same concerns that all Shih Tzu dogs encounter will be there, but it will not have any added issues due to size.
Bad breeders exist, too. They breed Shih Tzu dogs down to an unhealthy size, around 5 pounds, to make them appealing to a larger number of people. They may look cute, but their quality of life and the risks to their health become problems. The quality of life will go down, while the amount of risks to their life go up.
Care and Management
As long as you have a healthy Imperial Shih Tzu dog, you should not have to worry about any additional care. They require the same amount of care as a normal Shih Tzu. You should always visit a veterinarian first, especially if the dog is on the smaller end, but you should not have many concerns. These dogs are cute and will give you love in the same way as a normal Shih Tzu.