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How Do You Start Breeding Shih Tzu (All Your Questions Answered)?

Breeding is a huge responsibility. It is a long-term commitment. Before you start, define your breeding goals clearly. Learn the Dos and Don’ts. Prepare yourself for possible losses, both in the emotional and financial aspects.
How Do You Start Breeding Shih Tzu

Table of Contents

To start breeding Shih Tzu, you must know your dog’s appropriate age, size, and genetics. Learn about the AKC standards for your dam (puppies’ mother) and sire (puppies’ father). Their pairing should lead to the betterment of the breed.

Is It Hard to Breed Shih Tzu?

Breeding dogs take a lot of hard work. It requires knowledge and a significant amount of cash to get started. You will need supplies to take care of your dam during her pregnancy.

Preparing your whelping tools is also a must, so you are ready when the litter of puppies comes.

At What Age Can Shih Tzu Have Puppies?

The American Kennel Club suggests that your Shih Tzu bitch must be eight months or older to breed. On the other hand, the sire should not be younger than seven months.

It is ideal for the dam to be at least two years old. By this time, your girl is physically mature to bear the weight of pregnancy and the pangs of giving birth. In addition, female Shih Tzu should retire from breeding by their seventh year.

From four to seven months, the male Shih Tzu’s sperm becomes viable. However, waiting until your dog is at his one-year mark is recommended to ensure a more robust batch of sperm.

How Old Does a Male Shih Tzu Need to Be to Breed?

To ensure sperm viability, a male Shih Tzu is best to start breeding by his first year. This breed’s sperm becomes viable by the fourth to the seventh month.

What Is the Best Age to Breed a Shih Tzu?

The best age to breed your Shih Tzu is two years old for females and one year old for males.

At What Age Should You Stop Breeding a Shih Tzu?

The best breeding years for your bitch is up until her seventh year. On the other hand, healthy sires remain fertile and sexually active until their old age.

When Do Shih Tzu Go Into Heat?

Female Shih Tzu encounter their first heat at around six to eight months. Typically, she will go into heat every four to eight months after that.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Period Last?

Technically, canines do not undergo menstruation as humans do. They have an estrus, that is, when they are in a heat cycle. During this time, they have a bloody discharge from their vulva. This is also their fertile window.

How Long Is a Shih Tzu’s First Heat?

Heat lasts from two to four weeks. The length varies from dog to dog, so your Shih Tzu’s first heat can be shorter or longer. When her vulva goes back to its original size, you know the cycle is over.

How Many Times a Year Do Shih Tzu Go Into Heat?

Shih Tzu go into heat every four to eight months. It means that they have two to three cycles in a year.

How Can I Tell if My Shih Tzu Is in Heat?

There are telltale signs that your Shih Tzu is in heat. These are:

  • Swollen and bleeding from the vulva
  • Increased licking around the genital region
  • Anxious or agitated behavior
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Increased mounting behavior

At What Age Do Shih Tzu Stop Going Into Heat?

Unless your Shih Tzu is spayed, she will continue to display signs of going into heat for the rest of her life. However, fertility will drop off at around ten years of age.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Bleed for?

During your Shih Tzu’s cycle, she will bleed half the time. Bleeding usually occurs for only seven to ten days.

When Is the Best Time to Breed a Shih Tzu?

For female Shih Tzu, the best time to breed is between the tenth and fourteenth day of estrus (heat cycle). During this time, the bleeding will either stop or become watery. It is the time that your girl will likely be most fertile.

How Do I Get My Shih Tzu to Mate?

The heat cycle signals that your Shih Tzu is ready to reproduce. However, try not to mate your pet on her first heat. Do it after one to two heat cycles. When the bleeding stops during the heat cycle, she will be ready for mating.

The male Shih Tzu will find the female attractive during her cycle. But sometimes, a female will refuse to be mounted. Ensure that the environment for breeding is calm and stress-free. Set up a clean, open space for the dogs to move around and warm up.

Male dogs cope better when they mate with a female dog in their home. Bringing the female Shih Tzu to the male dog’s home at the peak breeding time is ideal. Furthermore, arrange for two matings between the dogs 24 or 48 hours apart. Doing this increases your girl’s chances of getting pregnant.

How Long Does It Take for a Shih Tzu to Get Pregnant?

After successful mating, you can expect your Shih Tzu to be pregnant. Successful mating occurs when the male and female accept each other and become tied together. Watch out for signs of pregnancy from your pet in two weeks.

When Do Shih Tzu Start Showing Pregnancy?

Your Shih Tzu could show signs of pregnancy as early as 14 days after mating or insemination. Her stomach could be more prominent. She may also demonstrate behavioral changes such as lethargy.

How Long Is a Shih Tzu Pregnant for?

The dog’s gestational period lasts for 9 weeks or 63 days. However, this can differ by a few days. Some dogs will labor prematurely, while others need to be induced into labor.

How Long Is a Shih Tzu in Labor?

Labor for dogs usually lasts 3 to 12 hours. It happens in 3 stages:

Stage 1:

Your Shih Tzu’s cervix begins to dilate. It is preparing to give birth. Your pet may refuse food, throw up, pant, or stay lying down on her side.

The first stage can last from 12 to 24 hours. During this time, the litter is lining up as they prepare to come out. There is a watery vaginal discharge during this stage.

Stage 2:

At this stage, your dam will go into active straining. The first puppy will likely be delivered soon. Your bitch’s panting and yelping will be louder. Contractions will also be solid and visible.

Later in this stage, a slimy-looking grayish-blue sac will emerge from the dam’s birth canal. This sac is a puppy’s home in the uterus. Perhaps there are 30- to 1-hour intervals of puppies coming out one after the other.

The vaginal discharge for this stage can be clear, red, or green.

Stage 3:

The third stage guarantees no more puppies left inside. Ensure also that all placentas have been delivered. Keep count of the number of pups and placentas coming out. They should be equal in number.

A puppy is still inside if there is more placenta than puppies. It is crucial to pass the placenta as it could cause a fatal infection.

How Many Pregnancies Can a Shih Tzu Have?

Professional breeders recommend not to have more than four litters of puppies in your female Shih Tzu’s lifetime. Going through more than this may put too much strain on your pet’s body and health.

How Often Can Shih Tzu Have Puppies?

Your Shih Tzu can manage two pregnancies in a year. However, responsible breeders advise keeping it at just one pregnancy a year. Following this advice ensures that your bitch stays in the pink of health.

How Many Puppies Do Shih Tzu Give Birth to?

Despite being a toy breed, Shih Tzu typically has a large litter. On average, they can have one to five puppies in a litter. In some cases, they have more.

How Many Puppies Do Shih Tzu Have in Their First Litter?

First-time bitches produce a smaller litter. There are usually one to four puppies in Shih Tzu’s first litter. As she ages, she may have larger litters.

Is It Normal for a Shih Tzu to Have One Puppy?

Although Shih Tzu usually has a large litter, having only one puppy is normal.

When Can Shih Tzu Puppies Leave Their Mother?

Weaning starts between the third to fourth week of life of your Shih Tzu pups. Puppies can shift to solid food from their mother’s milk. The process is usually completed by the eighth week.

However, the American Shih Tzu Club Code of Ethics states that puppies should not be allowed to go to their new homes until their 12th week of age.

How Much Does It Cost to Breed Shih Tzu?

Breeding can be costly. It involves not only hard work; it often includes shelling out cash for veterinarian checkups. Moreover, you will also need to secure shots, dewormings, and high-quality puppy and adult dog food.

Another part of the requirement is your dogs’ and puppies’ lodging. The beds, playpens, chew toys, dishes, gates, cleaning supplies, bathing supplies, and grooming tools must be prepared.

Costs of pregnancy, whelping supplies, and possible emergency C-section costs should also be weighed in.

What Is the Breed Standard for a Shih Tzu?

The breed standard is the guideline that describes the ideal characteristics of a breed. It guarantees that breeds are fit for their function. Breeders should be careful in avoiding conditions that can be detrimental to the health, welfare, or soundness of the Shih Tzu breed.

The American Kennel Club stated the Official Standard of the Shih Tzu, which took effect on June 29, 1989. In summary, it says that:

  • General Appearance: The Shih Tzu is an alert, lively, and sturdy dog.
  • Size, Proportion, and Substance: Their size is 9 to 10½ inches (23–27 cm) in height and 9 to 16 lbs (4–7.3 kg) in weight. They are longer than they are tall. They are solid and compact with reasonable weight and substance.
  • Head and Skull: They have a round and broad head. There is a vast space between their eyes. An identifiable fault would be a narrow head and close-set eyes. They have a domed skull.
  • Eyes and Ears: Large, round, dark, and placed well apart are their eyes. Their ears are large and heavily coated. Small, close-set, or light eyes would be considered a fault.
  • Muzzle: They have a square, short, and unwrinkled muzzle. It has good cushioning and is never downturned. It is within one inch from the tip of the nose to the stop. Included in the fault are snippiness and lack of definite stop.
  • Nose: The Shih Tzu breed’s nostrils are broad, wide, and open. Their nose, lips, and eye rims are black in all colors, except liver- and blue-pigmented dogs. If these are pink, it is a fault.
  • Bite: Bite is undershot while the jaw is broad and wide. Any missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth would not be severely penalized. Their teeth and tongue do not show with a closed mouth. The fault would be an overshot bite.
  • Neck, Topline, and Body: The breed’s neck is well set. It flows smoothly into the shoulders. There is leveled topline, and the body is short but sturdy. Legginess is a fault.
  • Forequarters: Shoulders are well-angulated, laid-back, and fit smoothly into the body. Their feet are firm, well-padded, and pointing straight ahead. Their legs are straight, well-boned, muscular, and set well apart under the chest.
  • Hindquarters: The hindquarters’ angle must be in balance with the forequarters. The legs are straight, well-boned, muscular, and aligned with the forequarters. Their hocks are perpendicular. Hyperextension of hocks is a fault.
  • Coat, Color, and Markings: The Shih Tzu has a luxurious double coat that is dense, long, and flowing. A slight wave is permissible. Considered to be a fault are a sparse coat, single coat, and curly coat. All colors and markings are allowable and considered equally.
  • Gait: The breed moves straight at its natural speed. They have a high head carriage and a tail carried in a curve over the back.
  • Expression and Temperament: Their expression should be warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly, and trusting. The sole purpose of the Shih Tzu breed is to be a companion and house pet.

Should Shih Tzu Be Spayed?

Spaying is the taking out of the female pet’s reproductive organs. Typically, the vet removes her ovaries and uterus. Most veterinarians recommend it for female Shih Tzu due to the risks involved, such as:

  • Unwanted Pregnancies: Spaying stops their heat cycles. It also removes the associated bleeding that brings about the male’s attention.
  • Inappropriate Behaviors: Anxiety and agitation are usually coupled with unwanted behaviors. Without going into heat, there will be fewer undesirable behaviors.
  • Serious Medical Reasons: Spaying diminishes the risk of life-threatening diseases. It also prevents pyometra, which is a gross infection of the uterus. Included are mammary, ovary, uterus, and cervical tumors.

When to Desex Female Shih Tzu

It is ideal for desexing a female Shih Tzu when they are six to nine months old.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Shih Tzu Spayed?

Part of caring for your female Shih Tzu is getting them spayed. Spaying is the removal of your pet’s ovaries and uterus. It is a complicated procedure. Spaying your dog will cost between $35 to $400.

Should Shih Tzu Be Neutered?

Neutering is the removal of the male pet’s reproductive organs. Both of your dog’s testicles and the associated structures are removed. Vets strongly recommend neutering, especially if your dog has aggressive tendencies.

Without neutering, your dog will continue to produce testosterone. This hormone makes him more aggressive. Problems with regards to barking and biting may arise.

When Should a Male Shih Tzu Be Neutered?

The suggested neutering age for male Shih Tzu ranges from six months to two years.

How Much Does It Cost to Neuter a Shih Tzu?

Not as costly as a female dog’s spaying, neutering is also a surgical procedure that can cost from $35 to $250. The cost will depend on your dog’s age, your location, and the type of clinic you visit.