Cavalier King Charles vs Shih Tzu

(40 Posts)
FinallyFreeFromItAll Sat 21-May-16 21:02:56

Cavalier King Charles vs Shih Tzu.
I want a puppy that will ultimately be:
A) good natured with my DC - 1yr and 4yrs old
B) a proper lap dog for me - so small and affectionate.
C) not too hard to train - I've not owned a dog before.
D) not need loads of walking (KC says both of these breeds need up to an hour a day - so that's fine)

Everything I read says Cavs are brilliant for all of the above. However they obviously shed which is a downside I could live with.

On the other hand Shih Tzus don't moult (bonus) but opinion seems really divided on whether they'd meet my other wants.

So anyone who owns/owned these breeds have any opinions for me?

BTW - For both breeds, I have found 2 KC Assured Breeders, who I am happy with. The Cavalier ones have had the parents heart, eye and DNA tested and have 4 generations of their cavaliers at home.

I will also be following the puppy socialisation plan and enrolling into puppy classes as soon as pup is covered by vaccinations.

TrionicLettuce Sat 21-May-16 21:16:00

It does sound like the CKCS would be a great for you (if the shedding isn't a deal breaker) but I wouldn't touch a breeder who is breeding from dogs without MRIs having been done on both parents.

Wolfiefan Sat 21-May-16 21:18:18

The cavaliers have such health problems that I'm not sure I would consider them. My understanding is no tests can rule out the possibility of a dog developing problems.
Shih Tzu aren't they notoriously difficult to house train?

Greyhorses Sat 21-May-16 21:32:33

I love cavs and would go for one over the shih tzu every time (mainly as most of the shihtzu I deal with are snappy, hard to train and spoilt and it's put me off the breed!)
CKCS are such happy little dogs but have so many health problems and would be careful to make sure the puppy had every possible health test before I agreed to take one!

fakenamefornow Sat 21-May-16 21:37:41

CKCS are walking vets bills. The KC with their stupid breed standards have a lot to answer for imo.

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 22:22:20

I have a Shih Tzu and I can assure you that he is the least snappy dog I have ever come across shakes fist at Greyhorses wink In fact, I specifically chose this breed as, amongst other qualities, they are the least yappy of the small breeds.
My boy is 1 year old now and I am hopelessly in love. He is the easiest, most laid-back and lovely first dog I could have hoped for. I have 'borrowmydoggy.com' people clamouring to take him for walks most weekends, so I'm obviously not biased!
My 1 year old nephew has just visited, and Teddy was just wonderful with him. I wouldn't trust any dog 100%, but I honestly don't think it would enter his head to be aggressive toward human or dog.
I can honestly say that he has been at the vet for his jags only. He is a remarkably sturdy and robust wee dog.
I could go on about the good points all day long blush
I luffs him grin
But yes, he was a total b@stard to housetrain.

FenellaMaxwell Sat 21-May-16 22:32:57

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_doghouse/2640574-The-kindest-most-moral-way-to-buy-a-puppy

FenellaMaxwell Sat 21-May-16 22:33:46

I have a shih tzu. And yet 100% this. ^^

TheoriginalLEM Sat 21-May-16 22:36:23

make sure you take out good insurance. both of those breeds are not without congenital conditions. The breeder you describe sounds good.

MustBeThin Sat 21-May-16 22:51:22

I have 3 CKCS, two 6 year olds and a 5 year old. All are perfectly healthy (touch wood) one has only ever been to the vet for her boosters and the other two have been for minor problems. A relative of mine has 4 Cavs, 3 of them are a lot older than mine and they haven't developed any serious health problems either.

Shedding is a pain but easily reduced by brushing. I've always been a big dog person and grew up with big dogs but Cav's are lovely. Such happy, loveable little beasts. grin

Dieu Sun 22-May-16 00:04:20

Teddy doesn't shed at all. I am slightly anally retentive on the cleanliness front, so this works really well for me. Obviously the downside to this is the grooming costs, but I'd rather this than dog hair everywhere.

2plus1 Sun 22-May-16 08:41:10

We had three kc reg CKC when I was a child. Only one had a snoring/palate issue that needed an op. The other two had no major health issues. I do remember the hair shedding as needing quite a bit of hoovering but then my lab had this twice a year quite badly too. We had two CKC that were so soft with us children but one bit my brother on the nose and later bit me in the face (I needed treatment for my bites). They are not considered dangerous dogs but all dogs need their space from children. My best advice would be to train your children about appropriate handling of dogs.

Bubble2bubble Sun 22-May-16 09:47:20

Please have a very good read of this site before considering a cavalier.

With no dog experience, a puppy with a one year old could be tough, but it depends on the temperament of your children as much as that of the dog smile

FinallyFreeFromItAll Sun 22-May-16 13:42:15

I know parents being tested doesn't guarantee pups won't have problems but it should greatly reduce the chances. I will also definitely take out lifetime cover with petplan. I know a few people who have needed to make large claims from them and they've been very good.

Dieu - Shih tzu being a "total bastard to house train" worries me. But the advantage of paying to get rid of hair rather that it being everywhere in the housr is a really good point for me. Does he like to snuggle up in your lap?

With no dog experience, a puppy with a one year old could be tough, but it depends on the temperament of your children as much as that of the dog
My DC are good around animals - with my brothers dog, my one year old DC will point and say doggy when dog first gets there but isn't particularly interested after that. Will stroke gently when you guide her to but really not bothered with the dog. My 4yr old is amazing with animals - he is very gentle, asks the dog to come to him, if dog doesn't he leaves dog alone, if dog does he let's the dog sniff his hand first then gently strokes it. If dog walks off he leaves dog alone. I had actually planned to wait until DC were older but dogsitting my brothers dog has made me more confident that despite DC's young ages its manageable. When dog sitting I also never leave DC and dog alone together for a second, despite DB's dog being brilliant with people of any age. If I need to go out of room I always take either the dog or the DC with me or I leave DC in lounge and put dog in kitchen.

FinallyFreeFromItAll Sun 22-May-16 13:44:06

Sorry i forgot to thank you all for sharing your experiences! Whoops. Thank you.

Dieu Sun 22-May-16 16:11:38

Teddy was reliable at 8 months, but I think if you google, that's probably the average age for any breed. I've heard females can 'get it' earlier than that though.
Teddy isn't a lap dog as such, but loves to be with us at all times. He will snuggle right beside us on the sofa, and shower us with kisses, but prefers not to go in our lap. Fair enough. I think part of it is that they're so furry, they overheat!
He isn't the brightest button bless him, but by gum does it he make up for it with his looks! #proudmama

Greyhorses Sun 22-May-16 18:55:54

Sorry Dieu, yours is obviously better natured than some I have met blush

Dieu Sun 22-May-16 19:01:27

No worries at all smile It's such a shame that has been your experience, but obviously you can't help that!
I always get Tzus muddled up with Llhasa Apsos, and I think they're a bit more yappy. Were bred to guard the temples, whereas Shih Tzus were bred to lie around all day!

FinallyFreeFromItAll Mon 23-May-16 08:10:07

Fenella - just realised I forgot to answer you. The problem with rescue dogs is places like dogs trust and RSPCA won't rehome to me due to ages of my DC. Then I've been put off independent rescues by a bad one that my brother had two dogs from. They outright lied about the dogs having serious medical problems and the one dog having serious behavioural issues.

DixieNormas Mon 23-May-16 08:33:27

We have a shih tzu, he's only a baby but toilet training is coming along really well. He's great with the dc, doesn't bark , likes cuddles etc he's a really lovely dog.

Dsis has a ckc, he's also a really lovely dog. They've had some health issues though. His weight has been a problem and his eyes. He also needs quite a lot of exercise, they walk him for more than an hour a day and have a walker 3 times a week on top now

DixieNormas Mon 23-May-16 08:39:54

Oh and our 3 year old is autistic and the dog is great around him, he's his little shadow and when he has melt downs will sit next to him waiting for it to pass. He does do the occasional pulling on the dcs trousers when they run but he's getting better at that (he's about 17 weeks now) he will sit now and has just about stopped jumping up and also fetches and brings back a ball. He also walks better on lead than dsis ckc did at this age! I'm really surprised at how easy he had been tbh, I did read about toileting issues, nipping, stubbornness and not being too bright but he's turning out to be the best dog we've had by far

NoCapes Mon 23-May-16 08:48:45

We have a CKCS and she's lovely, totally calm, even around very loud rowdy kids all day, she was house trained within about a week (seriously she was amazing!) and is very very cuddly
We have a 6 month old who is very curious about her and has started crawling after her trying to grab her and she'll generally just shimmy away and come and sit near me or DP, hasn't once barked at him or gone for him atall. In fact she's very protective of him, she sits outside his bedroom door or next to the pram for the whole duration of his naps and won't move, even for food (I think she's silently judging me for leaving him alone)
She used to shed loads when we were getting her hair cut but we've recently started having it shaved with the clippers and there's hardly any hairs around the place atall now

We were between a shitzhu and a CKCS too and in the end the decision was made because my son had an allergic reaction to the shitzhu we borrowed from a friend for a few days but now I'm so glad we went the way we did as our dog is much calmer, quieter and generally easier than said friends dog

QuestionableMouse Mon 23-May-16 08:53:02

I had two Cavs and neither had any major health problems. Both were lovely cuddly dogs who loved kids. I never found the lost hair to be excessive.

DixieNormas Mon 23-May-16 09:00:31

ours does love to get wet and muddy though

Dieu Mon 23-May-16 09:14:51

Dixie, he's gorgeous! Mine doesn't like to get wet and dirty ... poser!

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