Pros & Cons of the Shih Tzu Breed

Learn the pros and cons of owning a shih tzu from dog expert Julia Szabo in this Howcast video.

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Thinking about getting a dog? Animal expert Julia Szabo gives you the pros and cons of the most popular breeds -- labrador retriever, German shepherd, bulldog, dachshund, poodle, shih tzu, chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles, pug, collie, and everyone's favorite, the beloved mutt -- in these videos. Let her help you find the best dog for you and your family.

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I'm Julia Szabo, also known as a Pet Reporter, and I am the ""Living with Dogs"" columnist for dogster.com. I've actually written 6 books and I'm hard at work on my next one. It will be about about dogs -- that's as much as I can say right now. I love dogs and I think nobody's life is complete without one. So I'm here to tell you about a variety of different dogs breeds that might suit your lifestyle. I hope you'll adopt one soon. The Shih Tzu is a beautiful little dog. He's actually one of the most ancient breeds in China. And he was bred to resemble the little lions, or big lions in Asian art. So he looks like a little lion. A lot of little dogs are basically bred to be companions. They don't have a job, per se, other than to keep your lap warm, and to cuddle you, and to give kisses and receive kisses from you. So, the Shih Tzu is a perfect example of this. And he has the little pushed in face and big eyes. And there's something so compellingly adorable about this creature, that it just makes you want to do nice things for him or her. And, it's interesting, because there are 2 entrepreneurs in America who both have Shih Tzus, and both did nice things for them. One is a dentist here in New York. Her name is Dr. Jennifer Jablow. And she's huge into dog rescue and animals in general. And her 2 little Shih-Tzus inspired her to create a dental pen to keep their teeth white and clean. Because Shi Tzus, like a lot of small breeds, have problems with dental disease. They're very prone to dental disease, because of the way their mouths are so small, and sort of pushed in. So, here she created this thing called Pawfect Smile. And then, one the west coast, there's another entrepreneur who has a shih tzu who literally almost died from dental disease. So she was motivated to create another dental product called Health Mouth. I guess what's interesting about shih tzus is that they inspire their owners to do great things. So, I guess you could call the shi tzu a career coach. It's funny, they are also known as the chrysanthemum dog, but I think career coach is more accurate.

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  • Julia Szabo

    Julia pens the daily "Living With Dogs" column for Dogster.com and is a frequent contributor to Cesar's Way magazine and Pajamas Media. The author of six pet lifestyle books, she frequently answers callers’ questions live on Martha Stewart Radio’s “Morning Living.” Julia’s writings on pets have been published in The New York Times “T” Magazine, The New Yorker, Fido Friendly, and The New York Post, where she penned the influential "Pets" column every week for 11 years. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, she’s honored to be a member of the American Humane Association's Animal Protection Advisory Committee and the National Advisory Board of North Shore Animal League America. She also sits on the board of Darwin Animal Doctors.