East meets West with the Bo-Shih. That's a cross between the all-American Boston terrier and the Chinese Shih Tzu. These "designer dogs" take on characteristics of both breeds, but may favor the appearance of one parent over the other. The one thing you're guaranteed is a friendly, delightful canine companion, who might share your life until he's well into his teens.
The Boston terrier's breed standard doesn't specify a height, but dogs are divided into three classes: under 15 pounds, 15 pounds and under 20 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds. The Shih Tzu standard calls for a height between 8 and 11 inches tall at the shoulder, and a weight between 9 to 16 pounds. The size of your Bo-Shih will fall into these ranges, with much depending on the weight class of the Boston terrier parent.
The Boston terrier sports a dapper black or seal and white tuxedo coat, while the Shih Tzu's flowing coat appears in many colors. Many Bo-Shihs share the Boston terrier's coloring with the Shih Tzu's longer coat. The Bo-Shih might sport the upright ears of his Boston terrier parent or the floppy ears of the Shih Tzu. Since both breeds are brachycephalic, or short-headed, your dog should have a flat face and pushed-in nose.
The Boston terrier's short coat just needs a weekly brushing. The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, requires serious grooming. With luck, your Bo-Shih's coat is a happy medium, requiring more brushing and care than the Boston terrier but less than the Shih Tzu.
The American Kennel Club refers to the Boston terrier as "amusing, bright and friendly," and calls the Shih Tzu "affectionate, outgoing and playful." In other words, your Bo-Shih should be a sweet, loving little canine. He should get along with other dogs and cats, and makes a fine pet for older kids. His world revolves around his person, and he's content to just be with you. That includes snuggling on the sofa while you watch TV or sitting by your feet while you're on the computer. For his size, he's a good watchdog, but make sure he doesn't start barking too much.
Exercise and Training
Your Bo-Shih descends from two small breeds bred solely for companionship. He doesn't require too much exercise, and makes an ideal apartment or city dog. A few short walks daily should suffice, although he'll want you to play with him at home. Your dog should take well to training, as both breeds are quite smart and want to please. Shih Tzus can struggle with house training, so be patient if your Bo-Shih takes some time in that department. Your Bo-Shih makes a good therapy dog.
Because your Bo-Shih is brachycephalic, he might suffer from related respiratory, eye and dental issues. Both breeds are prone to luxating patellas, or slipped kneecaps. Severely luxated patellas require surgical correction. Take your dog to the vet for regular wellness checkups, where she will pay special attention to your dog's eyes and teeth. Teach your Bo-Shih to accept daily tooth brushing at an early age.
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