Factors That Influence The Cost Of A Puppy

demand for puppies and

whether the puppy in question is being sold as:

a family pet or

as a potential show contestant or

breeding dog (breeding rights from a reputable Shih Tzu breeder always cost extra).


coat color

overall conformation (appearance)

As of 2021, posted breeder prices for purebred Shih Tzu puppies range from $2,500 to $3,600+.


Expensive Puppies Vs Low Price Puppies

If you have your heart set on a Shih Tzu puppy, it can be daunting to realize the cost to afford this breed can put a significant dent in your budget!

However, the choice to purchase a Shih Tzu puppy from a responsible, reputable, AKC-registered Shih Tzu breeder can literally put hundreds to thousands of dollars back into your pocket over the next 10 to 18 years you and your puppy share together.


Expensive Shih Tzu Puppies

While the price tag for a Shih Tzu puppy bred, whelped and raised through a responsible, reputable kennel will not always be higher than the price for a puppy mill Shih Tzu, typically this is the case.

The reason is simple: it just costs more to breed healthy, sound Shih Tzu dogs – or dogs of any breed.

Also, due to pregnancy and whelping complications, the smaller the dog breed, the more it often costs the breeder per litter to raise healthy puppies!

A responsible breeder will tell you up front they are not in the “dog breeding business” to make a profit.

Most don’t see it as a business at all, except for the need to recoup expenses and make sufficient profit to breed another litter. They just love the breed!

A good way to tell if a breeder is responsible is to check to see if they are registered with the American Kennel Club


Low Price Shih Tzu Puppies

Now let’s bounce over to the other extreme and take a look at low price Shih Tzu puppies, because they are everywhere.

It won’t take you any time at all to find ads for “cheap puppies” or “low price puppies” on the internet, and the prices you find will probably make your budget breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, these puppies most likely come from two kinds of dog breeders: backyard breeders or puppy mills.


Backyard Breeders

Backyard breeders, as the name suggests, don’t have a kennel set up.

They breed dogs in their backyard. Some will eventually become puppy mills while others are simply trying to do the right thing after their unfixed female got knocked up by the unfixed male next door.

Either way, these puppies will not have been bred by someone knowledgeable about

  • canine genetic (heritable) health issues
  • canine STDs
  • mom and puppy health or
  • whelping complications.

    Puppy Mills

    If the breeder is a puppy mill, your puppy has been bred

  • in the harshest of conditions
  • fed inferior food
  • caged inhumanely and
  • probably not even vaccinated or de-wormed.
  • The newest kind of puppy mill, the import breeder, specializes in breeding puppies out of the country where oversight is low and importing them to sell for a quick profit.

    By choosing a Shih Tzu, your dog will have the brachycephalic (flat-faced) muzzle shape that can lead to chronic, lifelong health concerns, including

  • brachycephalic ocular disease
  • BOAS (obstructive airway syndrome),
  • dental disease and
  • gastrointestinal disruption.
  • Each one of these health issues can represent literally thousands of dollars in In light of this, it becomes easier to see why it can actually be cheaper to purchase a Shih Tzu that has been health tested and bred responsibly.

    This minimizes the health impact of these known genetic concerns!


    Are There Other Costs With A Shih Tzu Puppy?

    In addition to the initial cost to purchase your Shih Tzu puppy, you can expect a variety of other one-time and ongoing costs to welcome your new pup home and provide care, including veterinary care, for the next one to two decades.

    These costs can include

  • dog food and water bowls
  • leash
  • collar
  • I.D. tag
  • microchipping
  • preventative veterinary care
  • treats
  • toys
  • dog crate for at home and in the car
  • dog bedding and blankets
  • professional grooming and
  • at-home grooming tools.

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