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Your Questions About Yorkie Shih Tzu

Sandy asks…

What is better? yorkie? or shih tzu? or a pomeranian?

Parents are giving me a dog as my gift. Told me that it’s up to me to choose a breed but I can’t decide between Yorkie, Shih tzu and Pomeranian…Pls help me and state why

Sarah Jones answers:

A Toy Dog isn’t the best choice for a family with kids. All small dogs are harder than average to housebreak – small dogs have small bladders and need to go out about every four hours. Many tiny dogs tend to be spoiled, yappy little ankle-biters if they’re not raised properly. My cousin used to breed them – you could visit there for eight hours and they NEVER shut up! Shih Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies and other long-haired Toy dogs need lots of brushing to keep the coat from matting. They tend to be fragile and easily stepped on – a broken leg in a Yorkie can cost you a bundle for the delicate surgery. They are not ornaments to show off in a Prada shoulder bag – they are living breathing animals that need care and training. If you get one from a really good breeder and raise it properly, you can have a great dog.
There are some people who try to breed them even smaller and call them “teacup” dogs – that’s a fancy way of charging a higher price for a dog with more health problems.

For the most fun dog, I’d recommend one of the Sporting breeds for a kid (but NOT a Weimaraner or a Dalmatian!) My all-time favorite mid-sized dog for kids is the English (or Welsh) Springer Spaniel. They require some grooming, but don’t shed too much, are generally great with kids and easy to train. Females are a little bit easier than males, but either should make a terrific pet. They will need a good thirty minute walk every day.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and ENGLISH Cocker Spaniels (NOT American!) are great too and need less exercise. They are small, sweet and quiet.

Vizslas, Setters, Labs and Goldens are usually great with kids but they’re bigger and are very boisterous until they are about two. Labs shed a LOT.

I’d also suggest reading some really good books on training. Try not to do it randomly – there are a lot of bad books out there also! These are some of my favorites and you can get them on Amazon.com
What All Good Dogs Should Know – Volhard
Good Owners, Great Dogs – Brian Kilcommins
Dog Tricks : Eighty-Eight Challenging Activities for Your Dog from World-Class Trainers by Haggerty and Benjamin
Don’t Shoot the Dog – Pryor
Training Your Dog: The Step by Step Method – Volhard
Dog Problems – Benjamin
Cesar’s Way – Cesar Millan

Also, watch the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. Cesar Millan is the best trainer I’ve ever seen on TV.

Whatever breed of puppy you decide on DON’T go to a pet shop or buy one off the internet!!!! You’ll pay top dollar for what is usually a poor quality puppy mill dog. And you’ll be supporting one of the cruelest industries in the country. The breeding animals are kept in deplorable conditions. They probably haven’t been vaccinated against contagious diseases or tested for any health or temperament problems or genetic diseases – that costs money and cuts into their profits. A female is often bred every time she comes into heat. When her poor little body can’t take it any more, she is often clubbed in the head and tossed into a dumpster or an open ditch. Most puppy mills ship their pups to pet stores at wholesale prices and many pups die before they even get there. These “breeders” have figured out that they can use the internet to ship a dog directly to the customer and thus make more money by cutting out the middleman. If you buy a dog from out of state, good luck getting your money back if there’s something wrong with the pup. These people count on you becoming instantly attached to the poor little guy and being willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars at the vet to treat whatever is wrong with him.

Find a good breeder by going to www.akc.org or talking to people at dog shows. You can also find info about the breed clubs on the akc site – they probably have a rescue group where you can get an older dog for less money.

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