Nothing beats the absolute cuteness of a Shih Tzu puppy.
The Shih Tzu breed is a loyal and outgoing dog.
When breeding Shih Tzus, it is best to get the highest quality male and female.
Getting them from a top breeder or show dog will ensure your puppies are of high quality.
However, the decision to breed is a big task and usually takes time to decide if you are prepared for everything that it takes.
How many times can you breed a Shih Tzu? Ideally, a female Shih Tzu should not have more than 3 liters. Each time a Shih Tzu breeds, it puts a strain on her body. You should speak to your veterinarian who should be able to evaluate your Shih Tzu female and offer an opinion regarding her ability to carry and whelp.
Do not rush into breeding a Shih Tzu without understanding the responsibilities that come with them. There are many preparations you must make to avoid getting overwhelmed and risk the health of your dog and the future litters.
In this article, we shall look at the process of successfully breeding a Shih-Tzu liter.
What to do and expect when breeding a Shih Tzu?
There are certain dos and don’ts that need to be followed to ensure successful breeding in both the male and female Shih Tzu.
Here are a few tips on how to do that;
1. Speak to An Experienced Breeder
The best way to find out what you should expect when you breed a Shih Tzu is either:
- Talk to an experienced Shih Tzu breeder
- Talk to a Shih Tzu expert who has had a long experience with this particular breed
They can tell you firsthand what to expect from the experience and what problems might arise.
2. Make Sure You Can Give Breeding the Time It Needs
As said earlier, breeding and raising the litter and caring for the mother requires quite an amount of time.
According to experts, raising an average litter requires at least 130 hours of a breeder’s time.
And you may want to take extra days off work and you will surely have some sleepless nights.
Commit the time and personal effort required to care for both the puppies and mother throughout their breeding process.
3. Budget Appropriately
Before going into dog breeding, you should know that it is money-consuming and not a money-making endeavor.
Upcoming expenses will include food, health care, vaccinations, documents for proof of quality, advertising, and stud fees (if applicable).
4. Be Prepared for The Worst
As a first-time breeder, you may realize that you don’t have established reputations or references as a seller of puppies.
Ask yourself the questions, like what happens next if the puppies don’t sell?
Are you are willing to care for them for a longer period than you expected if they don’t sell?
You should also be prepared, financially and mentally, for the possibility of having unhealthy puppies in your litter, which sometimes happens and should not be a reason to panic.
Facilitating the Breeding Process
As the owner of a Shih Tzu, you need to know is the breeding process and how to facilitate it.
If you thought breeding comes easy to these dogs, the process may surprise you.
Here is how to facilitate the breeding process:
1. Make Sure That Both Female and Male Shih Tzu Are Healthy
You must make sure that both the female (dam) and male (sire) are in good health and also fit genetically fit into breeding.
One should also ensure that they both went through vaccination regularly and recently.
They should also undergo various tests for conditions that affect the Shih Tzu breed such as eye diseases, thyroid disorders, and hearing loss.
2. Make Sure Your Shih Tzu Female Is Ready for Breeding
According to the American Kennel Club, a Shih Tzu should have her first litter after her second heat cycle but before she’s reached the age of 4.
Due to health reasons, dogs that are older than 7 should not be bred.
Female Shih Tzus stay in heat for roughly two weeks, but will not be that responsive to males on their first day of that period.
3. Choose the Right Stud
You can look for prospective studs by putting up flyers, taking out a classified ad, or you could also look online for possible studs.
Keep in mind as a general rule that a male should be smaller than the female Shih Tzu it breeds by a pound or so.
Both genders should also complement each other in terms of attributes and qualities, and offer genetic strengths and advantages that will result in strong, quality offspring.
4. Work Out A Stud Contract
Before the breeding process begins, you should work out a contract establishing obligations, fees, and payment.
According to studies and research, stud fees can run between two hundred and fifty dollars to even a thousand dollars, depending on the quality of the male.
5. Pair the Shih Tzus
It is known that females are more likely to adapt to new environments better than males.
Therefore, it is advisable that the female be taken to the stud, and not the other way round.
6. Confirm the Female’s Pregnancy
The average gestation time for a Shih Tzu is between three to three and a half months from the date of breeding.
Some signs of pregnancy may be misleading, like increased appetite and gaining weight.
So you can check with your veterinarian who can confirm pregnancy around day 28.
7. Prepare for The Whelping
Get ready for the birth of the newborn puppies by making a whelping box (i.e. a place for your Shih Tzu to comfortably give birth).
This could be a wide well-padded wooden box, a wide low-edge cardboard box, or any other box that is wide enough to comfortably accommodate the female and the newborn puppies.
Bring your Shih Tzu to the whelping box before giving birth, so she can get used to it.
Make sure it is padded with towels to make it comfortable and warm.
Now that you have all the information, do you plan on breeding a Shih-Tzu litter?
If so, it’s important to do so responsibly.
We recommend considering speaking to an experienced breeder and preparing for any worst-case scenarios.
We also recommend budgeting for new expenses like food and vet visits.
Finally, make sure to draw up a contract with your chosen male before bringing in your female dog.