"A dog should not spend its life in a cage
purely to grow the coat for show...
Soundness will be affected by overcaging."
I believe our first responsibility as a lover and breeders of Shih Tzu, is to breed a healthy shih tzu. I don't represent my puppies as any particular quality, for the below mentioned reasons. My puppies are always sold with a health guarantee and not quality guarantee,... although I don't guarantee show quality puppies, I feel I am producing top quality Shih Tzu that certainly can be shown, and the majority probably could be finished as champions as judged by AKC.
Most people who are purchasing a pure bred shih tzu are buying the dog to be a companion or pet. I get phone calls and email from people who want a puppy and say "we only want a pet, not a show dog" expecting a large discount in price.
As a conscientious breeder, I am striving first to produce healthy puppies who will grow up to be healthy dogs, breeding a top show specimen is but an additional consideration. It costs just as much to produce and grow a puppy born with a cosmetic flaw as the show potential puppy. In fact some breeders sell the show puppies for less to serious show homes because the cost of campaigning a show dog is high, often several thousands of dollars to earn an AKC Championship.
In my personal opinion there is no such thing as a guaranteed show quality puppy. There are puppies who are of show potential who should mature into show specimens. However a top quality show dog is more than just its genes, it must also be well reared which includes:
providing adequate excercise
providing a healthy diet one that meets the nutritional needs of the pup but is not over supplemented
Having the time to train and socialize the puppy
Shih Tzu's do not take as much time as children but they take a lot more time than a pet goldfish, hamster or even a cat.
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