Many people want a tiny or smaller dog nowadays. There is a variety of small dogs all across the globe. However, there is no such official breed as an Imperial Shih Tzu.
Imperial Shih Tzus are also called Teacup Shih Tzu, Miniature Shih Tzu, and Tiny Shih Tzu, as some can easily fit into a large teacup. They are the smallest version of the Shih Tzu breed.
Imperial Shih Tzu is an excellent family dog. They can quickly get along with children and other animals. They are fun and energetic, and the best part is that children love being around these Miniature Shih Tzus due to their smaller size and cute appearance. An Imperial Shih Tzu is a great companion for those who want a small, low-maintenance pet.
What is Imperial Shih Tzu?
The Imperial Shih Tzu is a relatively new breed of dog created in the late 1990s. It is a smaller version of the regular Shih Tzu, usually weighing between 3 and 7 pounds.
The Imperial Shih Tzu has a more refined look than the regular Shih Tzu, with a longer muzzle, thinner legs, and a more delicate frame. They also tend to have larger eyes and ears than the standard Shih Tzu.
It is also known for its silky coat, which requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. They typically have a softer personality than the standard Shih Tzu, making them a better fit for those who prefer a more mellow pup.
While both breeds require regular brushing and occasional trips to the groomer, the Imperial Shih Tzu may need more frequent visits due to their delicate coat.
Difference between an Imperial Shih Tzu and a Regular Shih Tzu
The main difference between an Imperial Shih Tzu and a Regular Shih Tzu is the size. An Imperial Shih Tzu is much smaller than a Regular Shih Tzu. Imperial Shih Tzu is typically between 3 and 7 pounds, while Regular Shih Tzu generally is between 9 and 16 pounds.
In terms of physical appearance, both breeds have a similar look: a long, silky coat, erect ears, and a protruding nose. However, an Imperial Shih Tzu looks more delicate and refined than a Regular Shih Tzu.
Temperament-wise, both breeds are intelligent, loyal, and affectionate. However, the Imperial Shih Tzu is usually calmer and more laid back than its larger counterpart.
Given their small size, Imperial Shih Tzus require less exercise than Regular Shih Tzus. They can live happily in an apartment and do not need to be taken for long walks.
How Much Does an Imperial Shih Tzu Cost?
Imperial Shih Tzu puppy can cost $1,900 on average. However, a high-quality purebred Imperial Shih Tzu could range between $1,800 to $3,600 and more. The price may vary depending on the breeder. In addition, many factors play a significant role in evaluating the cost of an Imperial Shih Tzu:
- Coat color
- Overall Conformation (appearance)
- High demand for puppies
- Whether the Imperial Shih Tzu is being sold as a family dog, a pet show dog, or a breeding dog.
How Long Do Imperial Shih Tzus Live?
Most Imperial Shih Tzus lead a healthy and average life between 12 to 16 years. However, the age span can vary if that dog has serious health problems.
Is Imperial Shih Tzus smart?
Yes, Imperial Shih Tzus are an intelligent breed. They are brilliant and can quickly pick up commands and tricks. They are known for their loyalty and affection, making them great family pets.
Imperial Shih Tzus love to learn and can be trained to do many things, such as walk on a leash, fetch, and even perform tricks. Imperial Shih Tzus are also eager to please and have an impressive memory.
They are incredibly responsive and can understand human emotions, making them good companions. Imperial Shih Tzus can make beautiful pets and loyal companions with proper training and socialization.
Why Aren’t Imperial Shih Tzu Considered a Dog Breed?
The American Shih Tzu Club and the AKC do not consider the Imperial Shih Tzu as its member because of its smaller size and weight.
They are not even considered a different dog breed as they exist due to incorrect breeding methods and could also inherit health issues by birth.
There is even no breed name for the Imperial Shih Tzu breed. So if one has stolen your heart by its cuteness, then the AKC will advise you to buy it from a reputed breeder.
Does Imperial Shih Tzus have Health Problems?
A healthy Imperial Shih Tzu is less likely to face health issues if properly cared for. Despite its smaller size, it is generally energetic and healthy.
The health of a Shih Tzu will always depend on how it is raised, its proper care, nutrition, and exercise.
Here are some of the health problems they can face:
- Eye problems
- Dental problems
- Ear infections
A short-face Imperial Shih Tzu is more likely to experience heatstroke in a hot and humid climate. It is advisable to keep your dog away from the sun and indoors to avoid this mishappening.
It is also essential to ensure that your Shih Tzu does not come in contact with any sharp object, as they might get eye problems like
Cherry eyes, Glaucoma, or cataracts.
Like any other dog breed, Imperial Shih Tzus also have some specific issues:
- Stenotic Nares
- Renal Dysplasia
- Patellar Luxation
Caring Tips for Imperial Shih Tzus
Even if your Shih Tzu is tiny, it still requires proper care and nutrition to lead a healthy lifestyle.
1. Essential Pet Supplies
Before you decide to pick up your dog from a pet store or want to adopt it, you must prepare all the supplies that would be necessary for its arrival.
Some of the supplies include:
- Water and food bowls
- Bath and grooming products
- Leash and harness with some ID
- Poo bags and pee pads
- Snacks, training treats
- Bed and toys
- Designed car seat
2. Proper Grooming
Imperial Shih Tzu requires moderate grooming as their coat grows quickly. Their coats should be trimmed depending on how long they grow and brush one to three times a week.
Also, regular baths should be provided to them once in three weeks. You can always give more baths if their coat gets dirty quickly but try to do everything sparingly.
Their face collects food, so wiping their face after every meal is advisable. If you find any dirty spots on their coat, try cleaning them with a wet wipe. Their nose and paws can dry during cold weather, so a balm is a good remedy. If your Teacup Shih Tzu has ear infections, keep them as clean as possible.
3. House Proof Your Home
This is one of the most critical steps you should consider before bringing your pet home, as it could be dangerous in some ways.
As you know, dogs love playing with different objects and can kick, bite, or chew on something they are not supposed to. It could cause danger for your pet, especially when no one is around to look for them.
Here are some valuable tips to help:
- If your dog is a puppy, try to provide them with two bowls of food and water, a bed, pee pads, and soft toys.
- Discuss with your family members about not leaving any harmful objects on the floor.
- Tie all electrical cords at your home and protect them using cord protectors.
- Any sharp object or harmful thing that could hurt it should be kept away from your pet.
- Try to keep your house as clean as possible.
4. Physical Activity
Imperial Shih Tzu does not require daily physical activity. This breed doesn’t like to work out and would prefer to lie around and chill indoors. But encouraging them could do wonders for their health and well-being.
They require a little play session of 15-20 minutes daily, and they are good to go. Overdoing this could result in weaker muscles and bones.
5. Nutrition Care
You can also make them homemade food, keeping in mind the essential vitamins and minerals content they require.
Some of the wholesome foods you could feed your pet are:
- Sweet peas
- Green beans
- Lamb heart and liver
- Lean beef
- Cottage cheese
- Baby carrots
- White chicken meat
Last but not least, prove your love dog filtered, clean, and uncontaminated water with the help of hanging water bottles and dispensers.
Other Facts about Imperial Shih Tzus
- Some of the Imperial Shih Tzus are born unexpectedly in smaller sizes, even if their parents were of a standard Shih Tzu height.
- When Imperial Shih Tzus are bred unethically, they could possess serious health issues like calcium deficiency; their main organs can also fail to function, causing difficulty breathing and eating.
- Imperial Shih Tzus are temperature-sensitive dogs. You can not take them outside if the weather is too hot or cold. They are meant to be kept for more time indoors and less time outdoors.
- Bones of Imperial Shih Tzus are exceptionally delicate, and they could easily injure themselves while playing or if they got chased by someone.
- Their food intake should also be adequately monitored, as they require less food. If overfed, they can quickly get obese, which could be harmful to them.