A shih tzu is a Tibetan dog about 10 inches tall (25 centimeters) and weighing between 9 and 16 pounds (4 and 7 kilograms). Its length is greater than its height, and it has rather short legs. Shih tzus are sturdily built and have long hair, hanging ears and a short muzzle. The American Kennel Club categorizes shih tzus as toy dogs [source: Britannica]. The shih tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert dog, that was supposedly highly valued as a palace pet in China as far back as 1644 [source: Joris]. It has a distinctively arrogant gait with its head held straight up and its tail curved over its back [source: American Shih Tzu Club]. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a bed for your shih tzu.
- Consider your dog's size. Shih tzus are generally small, even when they're fully grown. Therefore they don't need a large bed [source: Pet Product Advisor].
- Consider your dog's height. Shih tzus are short-legged dogs, and need a relatively flat bed so it's not difficult for them to get in and out of it [source: Organic Pet Digest].
- Consider your dog's natural characteristics. Shih tzus have hair, not fur. This means that they shed less than other breeds of dogs [source: Semple]. Although you will have to clean your shih tzu's bed cover, it won't be as much of a task as with a dog that sheds a lot.
- Consider your dog's preferences. Does your dog like to sleep on your bed? Perhaps it likes napping on a favorite piece of furniture? Or does your do like to sleep on the floor? Choose a dog bed with a mattress with a similar feel to your dog's preferred sleeping area. Ideally, the filling should remain springy, even after repeatedly being pressed down [source: Pet Product Advisor].