Great Dogs for Apartment Living: Shih Tzu

September 22nd, 2009 by

One of the best dogs for apartment living is the small dog,  the Shih Tzu, pronounced sheed soo in Chinese. .  No matter how you say it, though, this breed is a wonderful little dog that adapts well to apartment life.

Besides the aforementioned background, there are several reasons why the apartment dweller can benefit from adopting the Shih tzu as a pet.

Size

Because the small dog has a hard time handling extreme temperatures (hot or cold), it can’t be kept outdoors for a long period of time. This fact alone makes the little canine ideal for living indoors in a confined space. Its size makes it an “apartment-friendly” animal as well, as the dog stands 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 centimeters) tall at the shoulder and weighs approximately 9 to 16 pounds (4.1 to 7.3 kilograms).

Temperament

Believe it or not, although the dog is amiable, he has proven capabilities as a watchdog. He will bark at the first suspected sign of a stranger.

Companionship

The little dog loves people and likes to cuddle on your lap. However, dogs of this breed have been known to become annoyed at times by high activity levels, so they may not be the ideal pet for a child. However, for an adult living alone in an apartment, they can be quite companionable.

Intelligence

The little dogs are an intelligent breed. Nonetheless, they can sometimes be hard to train. If you possess plenty of patience and persevere, though, the small dog can be taught to follow commands such as “sit,” “heel” and “stay.” They can even be taught to roll over if you’re persistent enough with your training. Just make sure you don’t fall prey to their cute face and sweet disposition. The dog has a a tendency to develop Small Dog Syndrome. This means, because of the dog’s small size and adorable features, owners may be inclined to be more lenient with regards to discipline than they should be. Therefore, behavioral problems, such as growling, snapping or even biting can result. Let him know you’re the boss and you should avoid any problems along this line.

Low Level of Maintenance

Yes, it’s true. Although the dog has a long, thick, luxurious coat which is double-layered as well, daily grooming is not a hardship due to the dog’s size and friendly disposition. He enjoys the attention. Also, he will not destroy your budget, as his needs are minimal. You don’t have to spend a sizeable amount to feed him, and he’s quite contented with a few chew toys to occupy his time. In fact, if you overfeed the dog, he has a tendency to become fat, so great care should be taken here.

There are a couple specific considerations to note, though, when picking out a puppy of this breed. Before you adopt or purchase one, make sure you qualify their medical soundness, as some dogs in the breed are susceptible to hereditary kidney disease. Also, be sure your puppy is free from any skin problems before you make your selecton. Other than that, the dog can give anyone living in an apartment many years of enjoyment (12 to 14 to be exact). He simply is one of the best dogs for apartment living.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnnyutha/

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