Is The Pug Tzu The Right Breed For You?
The pug tzu is a small little dog which has become quite a popular pet in recent years. It is not a purebred but is a cross between two purebreds. Such a cross is sometimes called a hybrid, and at other times a cross or hybrid breed is called a designer dog. In this case the pug tzu is a cross between the pug and the shih tzu, both small dogs.
A Recognized Breed - The pug tzu, or pug zu, is a breed recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC). This valuable organization keeps records of the ancestry and parentage of a large number of hybrid dogs, including the pug tzu. When purchasing a pug tzu puppy that is registered with the ACHC, you know what you're getting. Other related crosses recognized by the ACHC are the Pugottie, a cross between the pug and the Scottish terrier, and the Toy Poxer, a pug - toy fox terrier cross. If the Toy fox terrier is crossed with a shih tzu, the result is the Fo Tzu. There are several other hybrids involving the shih tzu or the pug. The Designer Dog Kennel Club (DDKC) is another large organization that tracks recognized hybrids or cross breeds.
Many hybrid breeds command high prices and the pug tzu is no exception. One reason for this, besides demand often exceeding supply, is that these hybrids exhibit the characteristics of both parents, and when both parents have desirable characteristics, the hybrid usually has them as well, and sometimes in spades. For example, crossing two small dogs such as the pug and shih tzu is guaranteed to give you another small dog, bearing some of the other physical features and temperaments of both ancestral breeds.
Meet The Parents - If is helpful, in fact rather important, to know something about the parent breeds if one is planning on purchasing a hybrid. Poodles are often chosen for crossing because the result is often a dog with a hypoallergenic coat and one that does not shed a great deal. So, what can one expect from a puppy who has a pug as one parent and a shih tzu as the other? Looking at each of the breeds gives a good idea. Just remember that while the puppy will exhibit characteristics of each of its parents, which characteristics will be most pronounced cannot always be known in advance.
The Pug - The pug is a small dog with a fine glossy coat, a curled tail, and a wrinkled and short-muzzled face. The color of the coat is most often apricot, fawn, black, or silver. The rather large head often features a mask about the eyes, though this is less well defined for certain color combinations. The pug is noted for shedding most months of the year, and at times shedding quite a bit. A pug is very trainable and sociable dog, of average intelligence in the world of dog breeds, and somewhat of a class cut-up or comedian. They can be rather sensitive, and a slight change in the tone of one's voice is often all it takes to deliver a reprimand.
Because of the physical characteristics of the head and breathing passages, pugs sometimes have breathing difficulties, and are especially prone to difficulties in breathing in a hot environment, such as a closed automobile left in the sun. Pugs sometimes fall victim to a genetic disease of the brain, a type of encephalitis, for which there is no known cure.
The Shih Tzu - The shih tzu is a solid, compact little dog, not unlike the pug in that respect. The name shih tzu means "lion", and it is sometimes known as the Chinese lion dog, but that's more due to its long flowing coat than to any characteristics of temperament. The coat requires more or less full time maintenance to avoid tangles and to keep the dog looking its best. This is one of the more popular of the small dog breeds. The shih tzu's coat is often a golden color but can also be black, shades of brown, or white. Like the pug, it is a short-muzzled dog, and sensitive to high temperatures. Though it carries itself in a seemingly arrogant manner, the shih tzu is an extremely sociable and friendly little dog. It is a good companion and lap dog, and does not require much in the way of exercise. In this respect it differs from the pug who needs exercise to avoid becoming pudgy. Both breeds have a life expectancy of around 12 years.
Purchasing A Puppy - In purchasing a pug tzu, it's a good idea to either purchase one that is registered with the ACHC or DDKC, or check with the breeders to see papers on the puppy showing its family tree. It may be a multi-generational breed in that, while the pug and shih tzu are the only two breeds represented, the father or mother, or both, may be a cross rather than a pure breed.