Big dogs aren’t for everyone. Sure, some like have a big furry boy around who feels more like a roommate than a pet (right down to a refusal to pay rent and an aversion to doing the dishes), but that’s certainly not true of all dog owners. There are a number of reason why. It could be as simple as not having enough space in a small apartment for a big dog or simply needing a pet that can fit into your purse to be happy. Regardless, the good news is that there are plenty of small dogs out there that can make their owners incredibly happy without taking up too much space in tight quarters.
If your lifestyle dictates a small breed dog is the best fit for you, the Shiranian could be the perfect contender. These friendly little guys are considered “ designer dogs” as they are a mix of pure bred Shih Tzu and Pomeranian, and as a result, they can exhibit the physical attributes and personalities of either breed. Be advised that the Shiranian is a companion dog in the truest sense and doesn’t do well when left on his own for long periods – a big consideration when choosing the right breed for you.
Additionally, his ideal environment will be one where he can live indoors, yet still receive regular outdoor playtime in a supervised environment. Another upside is that he’s great with kids; while a downside (if you can call it that) is that his cheerful and friendly nature means he is unlikely to ever be a watchdog.
So, is the Shiranian that adorable little pup that you’ve been seeking all of your life? There’s only one way to find out. Keep your eyes glued to this page and scroll away. Everything that you could possibly want to know about the Shiranian is about to be revealed. By the end of this article, you’ll either be running out to the nearest breeder to find one of these pups or desperately googling for a more compatible breed. Read on to find out if there is a Shiranian in your future…
If your lifestyle dictates a small breed dog is the best fit for you, the Shiranian could be the perfect contender.
Shiranian (aka Pomshi, Shih-Pom, Shih A Pom or a Pom-Tzu) are a hybrid that hails from a fairly lofty pedigree that is favored by royalty in their respective countries. That would be China, where the Ming Dynasty royal family enjoyed the Shih Tzu as a family pet and Germany, where a red Pomeranian was favored by none other than Queen Victoria.
Ancestry aside, your new Shiranian could be a first generation or a second generation dog. First generation refers to a pup born to parents that were both purebreds, in this case a Pomeranian and a Shih-Tzu. A second generation dog is one that is bred from parents that are both Shiranians.
First generation Shiranians can be rather unpredictable in looks and temperament. It’s impossible to tell what traits they will inherit from their parental breeds and these puppies can vary wildly in this regard (often even between puppies born to the same litter). Some owners appreciate that because it means that their dog will be unique. Others seek more predictability in their canine and should seek out a second generation Shiranian so that they can have more of a sense of what they are getting themselves into.
As a small dog expected to live 15 years or more, the Shiranian will need approximately 1/2 to 1 cup of dry dog food daily. Quality nutrition and a dry blend food are important as smaller breeds can be prone to dental problems. As always, it’s worth consulting with a veterinarian before establishing or altering your dog’s diet. While pet blogs and pet food manufacturers provide useful feeding guidelines, they are still only guidelines and should not be treated as gospel. All dogs are different after all, each with their own needs. The only person qualified to determine the specific dietary needs of your personal pooch is a vet. So always check in with one before deciding what to pour into your pup’s food dish.
An affectionate and loving dog that is sociable and requires human companionship to be happy and well-adjusted.
The Shiranian is known for being intelligent and will catch on quickly to commands, especially when provided with training while it is still a puppy. Stubborn streak warning: the Shiranian can be willful little guys and are considered “moderately” easy to train. Be patient, persistent, and expect results to come gradually.
These dogs have been known to develop the dreaded “little dog syndrome.” So, it’s important to establish yourself as the alpha in the relationship, while still focusing on positive reinforcement throughout training. That’s certainly a tricky balance to maintain, so this might not be an ideal dog for first time trainers. A soft touch with a firm hand is required and not all owners are capable of striking that balance.
The size of an adult Shiranian will vary depending on which of the two parents is predominant. Typically he will weigh in between 4 to 16 pounds.
This is also an affectionate and loving dog that is sociable and requires human companionship to be happy and well-adjusted. Shiranians are loving, outgoing, energetic, and will need to be provided with ample opportunity to play and exercise (if you don’t help them burn off all of their excess energy every day, they will find more mischievous to get their kicks). They typically get along well with other animals, especially those they have been raised alongside them.
Common Health Problems
For the most part, this is not a breed that has a lot of health problems. As with most hybrid dogs, they may inherit issues typical of their parent breeds which could include cataracts and hypoglycemia from the Pomeranian, allergies and hypothyroidism from the Shih Tzu. That said, the Shiranian hasn’t shown to be susceptible to these issues. It’s important to maintain regularly scheduled checkups with a vet (especially as your pooch enters their senior years) to ensure that any potential health issues are identified and treated as quickly as possible.
The average life span of a Shiranian is 13 to 15 years.
This is a little guy, so while maintaining an active lifestyle is important, daily walks should be kept short. The ideal environment for him would be one where he can live indoors with access to a yard or visits to the local dog park.
The Shiranian is known for being intelligent and will catch on quickly to commands.
Because the Shiranian is a hybrid or a crossbreed it is not a member of the American Kennel Club.
He is however recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Breed Registry.
Typically, the Shiranian’s coat color variations include solid and multi-colors such as red, black, chocolate, orange, gold, sable and brindle. He has what is called a “double coat” that is long and flowing, and for the most part, will be straight – similar to the Shih Tzu side of his parentage. He is a somewhat high maintenance dog because he’ll need daily brushing, periodic bathing, and visits to the groomer may be required on an infrequent basis. This little guy is also a shedder, so while you will need to get the vacuum ready, establishing a simple, regular grooming routine should reduce shedding and make the coat softer and cleaner.
Smaller breed dogs typically have between one and three puppies to a litter. Shih Tzus can have up to five, so you can imagine how tiny the puppies are. When they are adoptable, pet parents need to be sure to set their home up accordingly. No matter how tempting, this little guy cannot sleep in your bed so plan to have a small, soft doggie bed for him. He may not eat much initially, but plenty of high quality kibble and fresh water should be offered up in small, shallow, stainless steel bowls. The size will avoid head bumping on the rim and the fabrication will ensure no bacteria. Upsize dishware around the one year mark.
Photo credit: Kim Trost Buettner/Flickr; joceanpics/Flickr; lover1969/Bigstock.com
More by Mary Simpson