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Shih Tzu vs. Bichon, please advise!

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by TeacherTina, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. TeacherTina

    TeacherTina New Member

    I have been researching dog breeds for about five years, and I am finally in a position to have one of my own. As a child, I had a mini-schnauzer, and I was so devastated when he died in 1995, I haven't attempted to replace him.

    I've read TONS of books, magazines, and web sites about every toy breed imaginable. I've been visited my local animal shelters for about 1 year, hoping to find a small breed dog to rescue, but it was almost always the same story-- the dogs were too big or mixed with breeds that I have serious concerns about. I absolutely wanted a small dog, preferably non-shedding, and I fell in love with the Yorkie, Shih Tzu and Bichon breeds. I've looked at litters of puppies of all three breeds, but I've been hesitant because I don't know anyone personally who has had them and raised them.

    Because of the outrageous prices of Yorkies ($1000 and UP in my area) I've decided against them, and it's now a toss up between a Bichon and and Shih. I'm writing here because I recently read some information about Bichons having excessive barking when left alone and destructive behavior when left alone. Now, I realize that ANY dog may act out when left alone, but I want to know if this is characteristic of the breed. I work relatively short hours and I'm always home on the weekends, so I want a mellow dog that will essentially be my baby substitute until I get married-- but of course he/she will still retain tons of attention even when that day comes. :)

    Essentially, I'm really ready for a dog of my own. I love dogs, I always have, but I've held off because I want to be responsible and sensitive to what is in the dog's best interest. All advice is welcome.

    BTW: I have a Petco and a Petsmart in my town. Which of the two do most dog owners prefer? :?:
  2. nern

    nern New Member

    I don't know any Bichons personally but my aunt, cousin and my grandmother all have Shih Tzu's and all three of them are awesome dogs.
  3. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Ive never owned either breed but Ive worked with a lot of Shih Tzus, Ive find them in general to be nice dogs, mostly good personalities, I wouldnt say theyre excessive barkers. Bischons, not so many and the ones that I do know while I havent noticed excessive barking, they do seem to have a little bit of a stubborn streak, but generally nice dogs. Keep in mind that with either of these breeds though if you cant do it yourself you will be making fairly regular trips to the groomers.
    Sounds like youve done a lot of research already, be careful of the breeder you buy from, the areas Ive been in while there arent that many Bichons around Shih Tzus are very popular and there is a lot of back yard breeding going on, personally I would avoid any ads in the papers, wouldnt buy from a pet store, maybe ask around at a couple of vets offices for recommendations on breeders. A reputable breeder will probably have more questions for you than you'll have for them.
  4. daisy0802

    daisy0802 New Member

    i don't know much about shihs but my grandmother has a bichon. she does bark, but only when she sees/hears someone outside. (she is "protecting" her family)she is very sweet and loving, and easy to train to do tricks, but not to housetrain. this bichon is 5 years old and still goes in the house. they are a very lovable lap dog, but the ony set back is the housetraining. also grooming their thick fur is a hassle. you have to groom them a few times a day. (just a brushing and combing) and have to be trimmed every few months. they also are supposed to be "non-shedding" but they are NOT. there are white hairs on everything in her house. they have a great temperment, and would be a joy to have if you can take up to the challenge of housetraining them, grooming daily, and can deal with dog hair. :D
  5. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I think that both are about equal, I had shihtzus when I was a kid and I have had friends with bichons. But maybe you could try rescues for yorkies (or the others too) to cut down on costs. I can't think right now, but there is someone here who recently had yorkie pups (sorry I can't remember your name) but she occassionally posts on yorkie rescue sites (maybe I am getting 2 people confused?) but I am sure there are ones for the others too.
  6. TeacherTina

    TeacherTina New Member

    Thanks for all of the information, everyone.

    The more and more I think about it and talk to people, a Shih Tzu seems like my "destiny companion" for the future.

    :?: About housetraning... I have an apartment and will train the dog to go inside, but I'm confused about using a doggie litter box versus just using the pee pads. Any thoughts on this for a Shih Tzu? I have read several books about training dogs and I'm not clear if pee pads are just for the training phase or if they're used long-term in place of or in conjunction with a doggie litter box.
  7. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    some people always use the pads forever (I personally don't like to)
  8. puttin510

    puttin510 New Member

    Lil you are thinking of Rene. I know she wanted to adopt a yorkie, but she was not in that state. She has Sebastain and Jasmine.
  9. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    exactly!! it was bugging me that I couldn't remember who it was, but once she posted about some teeny tiny rescues I don't remember where they were though.
  10. puttin510

    puttin510 New Member

    I don't know, I know I hunted up a yorkie forum once, because she was not sure what the dark and light yorkies were called. Black and tan I think.
    Teacher, if you put your zip code into petfinder you may get lucky. Tiny dogs in shelters seem to go fast.
  11. TeacherTina

    TeacherTina New Member


    I spoke with a lady who has raised Chi's, Yorkies, and Bichon's... guess what SHE suggested for me? A Lhasa! I've never even seen a Lhasa up close and personal, but I've noticed they resemble the Shih Tzu in appearance and have really long hair, and they are listed as being between 11-15 lbs when fully grown.

    Any thoughts/comments on Lhasas?
  12. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    but I have heard that shihtzus have a better personality than lhasoapso. What about a brussels griffon (i think that is what they are called)
  13. TeacherTina

    TeacherTina New Member

    I adore the Brussels Griffon! :D Sadly, they are VERY difficult to come by, and when they are available, they're often more expensive than Yorkies. Spending $1000 or more on a puppy is unreasonable for me, since what I truly want is a companion, not a show/breeding animal. Yes, I'm still scouring the shelters. I went on Saturday to look at a senior Shih Tzu but she was already adopted out. :cry: If her new adopted parents back out for whatever reason (she's on hold until her medical records clear) they'll call me.
  14. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I saw the cutest brussels griffon on a rescue site the other day. Its name was Roach! I forget where it was. I can try to find it again?
    here is a rescue site for them http://www.brusselsgriffonrescue.org/rescuestories.html
    I can't remember if that is where i saw this dog, but these dogs are mainly rescues from puppy mills.
  15. puttin510

    puttin510 New Member

    I see shihtzu's allllll the time in the shelters. Where are you?
    Here is one in our local shelter.
    http://www.amrt.net/harbor/dogs.htm Scroll down

    Date of Imp: 4/20
    Avail. Date: 4/24
    3 yo – male – white/brown
    This boy is friendly and was jumping up and down for attention. He is extremely matted. He does have a corneal ulceration and is in need of a dental. He is a happy little guy
  16. puttin510

    puttin510 New Member

  17. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I have been looking at dogs online for the past few days and i want one so bad, but I know Luther would be sad if he had to share his house with someone else (although he likes other dogs, when they stay a night or 2) and there is no way my husband would ever let me get another dog. But they are so cute and in need of a home.
  18. TeacherTina

    TeacherTina New Member

    Great info, everyone. I live in Central CA, which is very close to LA, hence, it drives up the price of popular dog breeds thanks to the Hollywood trend to have pups-in-purses everywhere you go. I kid you not, I visit the shelter maybe once a month, when it stays open late, and SELDOM are there ANY small dogs, adults or puppies, that are not Chihuahua or Terrier mixes of some sort. While these dogs are adorable, they are not meant for me. The staff at the shelter said that the website (for their particular shelter) is very unreliable because dogs often become available and are adopted out before they even make the website-- or the website isn't updated frequently enough so that people visit expecting to find a particular dog and it's gone already. It saddens me, being there, because I see row after row of large dogs-- Great Danes, lots of Pit Bulls, lots of Bull Terriers, and lots of Sheltie/Queensland type dogs looking for homes. Even if I had a big home and yard, I wouldn't take on a large dog because I really do want a lap dog and my fiance has already rescued a VERY large "Lassie" type dog that is like a small elephant. His dog LOVES being outside and prefers to have plenty of room outdoors to romp and bark at birds. :roll:

    I really appreciate the info that everyone has offered. At this time, I know that I really want a Shih Tzu, but I worry that my finances are a bit sketchy IF my puppy ran into serious medical problems in the future. For now, I'm going to wait until mid-late summer and if things are going well, I might go ahead and finally bring home my future life companion. :)
  19. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    that is probably best to wait then, bc often times new puppies come with new sicknesses! or something unexpected. Maybe you could foster or volunteer at one of the shelters to try to fill the need to have a dog?
  20. furtherpeach3

    furtherpeach3 New Member

    i have bichon and if i were you get a shi zue the bichons are very hard to potty train they are stuborn,lazy and don't like rules in the house to follow. they are very high maintance thay health problems,but what dog doesnt they have to be on a special diet from what the vet recomends they are a people person dog they are sweet as well. the bichon do not like to be left along at all they breed that is different and the breed tends to be a bit lazy and the are very slow learners. my bichon is a year and 1 month old and he is still not potty trained!!!!! thats were the learning comes in but he is very playful when he want to be and can be very lazy at times bichons are very sensivtive to voice tones if you yell at them that all you have to do but keep up whay you mean. you as an owner for a bichon you need to have lots and lots of patience for this breed. personalty i rather have the shi zue instead.

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