We’ve created this Question and Answer page with the questions we’ve been asked most frequently. Since most of these questions are asked on a regular basis we decided to list them here for all to read Please see if we’ve answered your question... If not, please feel free to email us and we’ll be happy answer your question.
Do you prefer to keep contact by phone or email?
Your welcome to call although we often prefer emails because we’re raising our grandsons and working at home, sometimes we can't stop and talk. Emails allow us to communicate when time allows.
Do your puppies have papers?
Yes, all our dogs and puppies are pure bred and registered with AKC American Kennel Club.
Can you tell me the difference between limited and full AKC registration?
Limited registration means that the pup is sold as pet and is not to be used in shows or for breeding.
My puppy is going to be a pet so I don't care if it’s registered. I'd like to know if your price is still the same if my puppy isn't registered at all?
We register every litter, you’ll receive the puppy's registration to send to AKC. Our price doesn‘t change, this helps the buyer know they’re getting a pure bred Shih Tzu. It’s your choice to register your puppy.
Do the parents have a pedigree I could see?
Yes, all our dogs have pedigrees you can see.
Can I meet the puppies parents and you all before the deposit is put down, or only after?
Yes, of course you can meet the parents before you put down a deposit!
I'm interested in a puppy from your next litter, do I need to send you a deposit now?
You don't have to send a deposit for a future litter although if you choose to send a $200. deposit in advance, this will allow you choice of available puppies in the order in which we receive the deposits.
Where in Arizona do you live? Could you meet me if I live too far from your home?
We live in Surprise, Arizona and yes we’re willing to meet you or deliver your puppy within 50 miles if your unable to come to us.
I live in another state, do you ship your puppies?
We do not ship our puppies cargo although we do fly inside the airplane cabin with your puppy to provide the best possible care for them while traveling. The cost is $200.-$400.
How long does someone stay on your puppy list?
As long as you wish to.
Do you have teacup Shih Tzus?
There are many terms used for the tiny Shih Tzus, also called Chinese Imperials and pocket puppies. Our puppies are all AKC registered and their standard is 9 to 16 pounds. Although some of our Momma’s and Papa’s weight 5 to 8 pounds, so we do sometimes have tiny puppies that mature under the AKC standard of 9 pounds… we have many puppies mature at 5 pounds up to just under 9 pounds.
We visited a breeder who advertised in the paper, their dogs and puppies were outside, please tell me the difference between your puppies and the ones in the paper?
We can only comment on who we are... We are home based, our puppies are born in our bedroom and live in our home as family. Loved and held for socialization from the moment they’re born. We never allow our new puppies outside to be subject to Parvo before they’re completed all of their vaccinations at 16 weeks.
Do you determine which puppy is suitable for a perspective parent? And how do you decide?
We let our families choose which puppy they're interested in. Of course, we do share what we know about the puppy’s traits and personality to help in your decision.
Which is better a male or a female puppy?
Some prefer females simply because that's all they've ever owned and sometimes they’re surprised males most often make the very best family pets. Either choice, it's a good idea to have male puppies neutered and female puppies spayed when they are about five months of age.
Should I have my male puppy neutered?
Neutering your puppy will protect his health, help him to liver longer and be a better pet, along with improving his house manners. When a male is neutered early, they rarely mark their territory as so many people are afraid of them doing. We have many happy owners of male puppies. They make wonderful family pets and companions.
I know eight weeks is the earliest you allow your puppies to go home, some breeders choose twelve weeks. Is there any difference in a puppy’s life long development with that extra time?
Our puppies go to their new homes at eight weeks providing they’re eating well and are at least two pounds. This is enough time for the puppies to have developed social skills with their litter mates and be properly weaned from their Momma. We don't feel that keeping the puppy for another four weeks has enough benefits when it could be bonding with it's new family. Some of
I noticed that you all name your puppies, is it possible to change the name and give you a name to call our puppy by?
We have fun naming our puppies, we let our grandson choose too. Makes it easier to know what puppy we're talking about. Yes, of course you can choose your puppy's name, we like to know when you decide so we can start using it, often the puppy knows it's name by the time it goes home.
Also have you had any genetic problems with any of your puppies from the mother and fathers side?
None of the parents and grandparents have had any genetic problems, or we would eliminate them in our breeding program.
Can you refer me to a veterinarian who is knowledgeable with Shih Tzu breeds?
Yes! We love our vet, Dr. William Petersen, Westridge Animal Hospital 75th Ave just South of Camelback 623-846-5635.
Have they been seen by a vet since being born?
Yes, they are all vet checked and vaccinated by Dr. Peterson or Dr. Burgess before they go to their new homes.
Have the puppies had any shots and will I need to take my new puppy to the vet for shots?
Yes, when you pick up your new puppy it will have it’s first set of vaccinations. Although, will need three more visits to the vet, three weeks apart to finish it's vaccinations once it comes home.
Please tell me what is a dew claw?
The dew claw is what our thumb would be on our hand. They're often injured and the nail can grow into the skin causing considerable pain. The dog can easily catch them on different objects like carpet because they just hang on the side of their paws as non-functioning objects and can therefore damage themselves. So in our opinion it's in the best interest of the puppy to be removed.
Do your puppies have their dew claws removed?
The puppies dew claws, were removed front and back, this way they won't present a problem later.
Has my puppy been de-wormed?
Our vet de-wormed the puppies with Panacur, a three day dosage as a precaution. It's very important for your vet to check your puppy's stool sample, since often a follow up treatment is needed.
If you see anything wrong with our puppy before we pick her up will you let us know?
Yes, we’d never knowing send home a puppy that had medical problems, we want to only place healthy happy puppies with our families.
What kind of food should we feed our puppy?
Our puppies are free fed and eat dry Puppy BilJac. As tiny puppies we offer them puppy can food four times a day, we have tried several kinds and have found they like Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice the best. We recommend that you feed the same food, if you choose to change it, please do so slowly by adding the new food into their BilJac.
How often should we brush our puppy and how old should he be to get his first puppy cut?
Grooming is a must, Shih Tzus’ need to be brushed once a day or clipped into a puppy cut on a regular basis. Watch for matts, these can cause terrible skin problems if unattended. Although please wait until he has his full set of vaccinations before taking him to the groomer for his puppy cut.
What should we wash our puppy with?
Some believe puppies need only dog shampoo for it's special PH balance. I personally use "no more tears baby shampoo" just in case the shampoo gets in their eyes it won't hurt as much.
Could you recommend any reading material on Shih Tzus and training them?
If you'd like to read about Shih Tzus, we recommend "A New Owner's Guide to Shih Tzu by JoAnn Regelman." If you can't find it in a pet or book store it is available at Amazon.com often in the used book section. Lots of books out there on Shih Tzus, this book is one of our favorites. We recommend “Love that Dog Training Program” by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz.
Our puppy is niping at us, how do we get him to stop?
Your puppy is teething, also nipping is the natural way dogs interact with each other. It is the way Momma's keep puppies in line and the way puppies play with each other. Unfortunately it takes a while for them to stop. Try chew bones or toys... and if he nips at you, I'd suggest... putting your index finger across his mouth, push as far back as you can (without hurting your puppy or yourself) to hold his jaw open, hold for a moment and tell him "no bite" in a stern voice. Usually this method works with persistence and patience on your part. Another way that trainers suggest is to take him by the back of the neck like his Momma would and give him just a little shake... once again tell him "no bite." See which way gets his attention. Hope that helps.
My puppy started to eat his poop how can I stop him?
Often puppies try to eat their own stool, it’s called Coprophagy. Our vet says it's a warm meal to them... YUCK! Best way to keep from creating this habit is to clean it up as soon as possible. Once they start it's often hard to break, so watch closely. Usually I’ll make a noise, reverting their attention with a puppy bone or toy while I clean it up.
I’m in love with shih tzus and really want one, however I have three cats. How well do shih tzus get along with other animals besides dogs?
We’ve had families with cats and the puppy will love what he’s raised with... but the bigger question is... will the cats love the puppy?
What do you think about having pet insurance?
AKC offers a pet health insurance when you register your puppy. We do address share this with our families are given their registration information.
One of our families wanted us to share with others... An example of why it is good...
We had a family who left a bag of puppy treats where the puppy got to them... ate them all and then he was a very sick puppy. Because they had purchased the insurance it was a very low co-payment. Without the insurance it would have been about $400. So yes, it is a wise investment.
Do you provide a Stud Service?
Sorry we no longer provide Stud Service.
I'm getting older, if anything happened to me and couldn't care for my puppy would you take him?
We want our families to know... anytime in your puppy's life you have to give up your dog and have not found a home for him, please bring him back to us. We want none of our puppies ending up at a rescue or shelter!
We got a puppy from another breeder, she is having diarrha, what should we do?
Many causes of diarrhea and it may pass on it's own although we recommend you to take your puppy to your vet right away. Because parasitic causes of diarrhea include Giardia, Coccidia, hookworms, and whipworms, these will not go away without treatment. Treatment though your vet and can be... metronidazole (Flagyl Rx) and fenbendazole (Panacur Rx).
We hope to someday but since we are raising our grandsons and still work, we don't have the time or resources since it is very expensive. So... for now our dogs and puppies are our beloved pets. Some are champion sired some are not but all have sweet dispositions.
Do you trace health problems in the shih tzu you sell?
We hope our puppy's families will keep in touch and many do. Only one family has shared information regarding an eyelash turned in that created dryness in it's eye.
If you mean our dogs in our home, we have not had health issues or we would not use them in our breeding program.
On what basis was the sire chosen?
We choose our dams and sires carefully for desired confirmation, disposition and color.
Will I have a written agreement to take the puppy back and replace it if it is found to be unfit by a veterinarian? We don’t believe that will happen because all our puppies are examined by our vet and found healthy. And yes, our contract guarantees you just that.
We have an information letter that is 22 pages long to help our new families. We can give you a copy of pedigrees we have although official ones can be purchased from AKC when you register the puppy.
Do you have only 1 or at most 2 breeds of dogs and only 1 litter at a time?
We only raise Shih Tzus and females throw each other in heat .. so sometimes we have no puppies or a couple litters close together.
Do you have references?
We can give you references of many families as well as our veterinarian.
Is there any rawhide or other store purchased chewable bone that you recommend, she loves to chew ( as do all puppies I suppose) and I am wondering if there are any synthetic bones I can give to her.
Oh the issue of bones! Seems there isn't always a correct answer.. anytime you do give a bone to chew on please supervise well.
Our vet recommends and we do give our dogs and puppies rawhide chips.. the heavy ones that are good for their teeth, that can't be eaten fast. A chew toy that I'd recommend is the "Kong" it's a hide a treat toy and they do have ones made for puppies. We have never used their filler... I usually just put a tiny puppy biscuit inside and the puppies play for a long time trying to get it out.
Do you give anything to your pups adoptive parents, Blanks, toys, treats, collar etc?
We give all our families a very detailed 22 page letter of what we suggest to do for your puppy. We’re concerned with a healthy start, so we do provide our families with correct can and dry food. A detailed vaccination vet record and your puppies AKC registration form. Sometimes we provide blankets or toys.
When it is time to pick up the pup would it be in good interest to bring a dog carrier with us or can one of us hold the pup?
If you’re by yourself when picking up your new puppy, yes it needs to be in a carrier for it's safety. If there is two of you... I would just hold your puppy to comfort him while on his first drive home.
Are you open any certain hours that we should know about?
We are not a business with certain hours, this is our home. So someone is home almost 24-7. Usually Wednesday through Sunday works best for us since I do work in town on Thursday and Fridays, If your interested in a puppy, let us know and we’ll work out a time that will work for a visit.
Have you done genetic testing of any kind?
All our dogs and puppies are vet checked and vaccinated . We have done JRD marker testing through Dogenes. However our vet say's there is no conclusive tests available. He is looking into VetGen although he says from what he can tell is still only markers, which is fascinating in genetic research but not conclusive enough except for color. If or when our vet feels it is worth trying we will do so.
How do you accept payment and do you accept both full and partial payments?
Once you have filled out our questionnaire and approved we'll then except a personal check for $200. deposit to hold your puppy. If you choose to make a full payment that is your choice.
Or if you prefer to use a credit card for deposit or balance, we can do so through Paypal at our email address, ArizonaShihTzu@aol.com although there is an additional 4 percent service charge that Paypal charges us. If you want to pay your balance with a credit card through Paypal it needs to be done one week before you pick up your puppy.
Can I ask you what type of toys I should start to buy?
On toys, make sure there is no loose parts that may get pulled off... we buy regular infant baby toys. Even then, check them on a regular basis because sometimes a seam will rip and stuffing will start to come out. Tennis balls are not good because the fuzz can be torn off. The string toys made for dogs are good but you have to test the strings and make sure they are not loose or tearing off. Most puppies like the Kong toys that you put a treat inside... and the smaller splash balls they make for swimming pools.
Our puppy seems to have some serious separation anxiety that neither of us were expecting... not just at night, but during the day when we are only a room away. Does this sort of whining and barking tend to exist longer than the first couple of days or are we doing something wrong?
I'm sure you're not doing anything wrong.. Shih Tzus' as a rule are very social and always want to be with you or other dogs. Her life up to now has been with her Momma and littermates, so she's never been alone. Like having a brand new baby, it's okay to let her fuss at the times you need to do other things. She may have already realized if she whines or barks you come back to her. Of course just like a new baby it's a balancing act, knowing when to give her the attention and when to let her fuss. I only ask that you don't let her fuss for an extended period of time.
Also, she is using her puppy pads like a champ, but we are anxious to get her trained to go outside. Will we need to wait until she completes all of her shots at 16 weeks? Will this make it harder to break her of going in the house since she is getting used to it?
Some house train on puppy pads and slowly put the pads closer to where they want the puppy to potty... until eventually it's outside where you want her to go. You’re right it may be harder to retrain her to go outside if she is use to going on the pads. Although, I always worry about one of our puppies contracting Parvo that I’m a little over the top on this issue. Our vet feels it's fine to take the puppy outside at this age to train. It's just best to stay with her so she isn't in a position to eat something that could cause her harm.
Is it okay to e-mail you with questions now and then until we get our "sea legs" so to speak?
Please do, if I can't answer I'll try my best to find someone who can.
Thanks for asking!