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How far do Tzus like to walk?

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Posted

We are seriously considering buying a shih - we have one concern though. As quite an active family I am wondering what an average walk is, and how far they are happy/ able to walk (i.e. are they happy to go for an 8 mile trek through the country?) Any personal experience would be very welcome.

Many thanks

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Posted

Geez, I couldn't go for an 8 mile trek through the countryside. Mine walk about a mile, that is far as I can go. I'm sure if conditioned, they could go as far as you want. They are not shepherds, labs, or trekkers.

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Posted

8 miles??? Is this a typo? Ha Ha! I'm with Grumpty.....I couldn't go for an 8 mile trek! The farthest I've taken Ozzy is about a mile. He came home and sucked down water and collapsed on the floor. I'm thinking a shih tzu wouldn't be the best choice for something like this. Wow! That's impressive!

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Posted

I would say that a tzu could go for several miles, not sure about 8. My shih tzu who is used to playing fetch every single day and goes on long walks and runs and plays non stop for hours with my other dogs has NEVER slowed down or worn herself out, she could go forever, I started as a puppy with her, now summertime I would worry about because they just cannot breath well in the heat, other times of the year they could probably easily hike with you.

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Posted

Wow! 8 miles with their little legs....probably not! I know my girls would collapse, they don't like moving off the couch! :puppy:

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Posted

Thats all very helpful - thank you. A few miles sounds ok. Am guessing its no problem to pick them up for a carry home if tiredness kicks in!

ps. I would say that I have seen our potential pups dad and he looked very fit and strong - have also read that there is a size difference between UK and US Tzu's (I am in England). Not sure if that would have an impact on how far they would want to walk??

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Posted

8 miles sounds a little far. One big concern would be temperature. Shih Tzus overheat VERY easily. They have to be monitored and need cold water and air conditioning. Even being carried, your body heat would continue to have their temperature rise. I would probably look into a different, more rugged breed. Do you like any terriers like Westies?

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Posted

8 miles sounds a little far. One big concern would be temperature. Shih Tzus overheat VERY easily. They have to be monitored and need cold water and air conditioning. Even being carried, your body heat would continue to have their temperature rise. I would probably look into a different, more rugged breed. Do you like any terriers like Westies?

Yes - we originally were going to opt for a Golden Doodle, but my wife now has her heart set on a Shih. I have read about overheating etc. but didnt consider the bodyheat issue. We clearly have a lot to consider.

Thanks for the advice.

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Posted

My two are great for about a mile and then they both (the younger has learned from the older) simply lie down in the road, on the trail, wherever they are. They just simply refuse to go. I've heard this is not atypical. Mine will play all day.........walk? I think not.

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Posted

I'm in total agreement here No Way could they go 8miles or anywhere near it. Mine go for about 10-15min. and they are done shoot only 1 of mine even cares to be outside they prefer to be pampered for sure. I commend you for taking the time to choose a breed thats right for you.

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Posted

yeah, my little guy gets about a mile walk every morning and evening and ONLY when it's cool enough out for it. other wise the walks are considerably shorter. and even when it's cool out, he still comes in, gets water and collapses.

so i gotta agree with shihtzubeauty that it is very commendable for you to find out about this before getting a doggy that can't keep up with you.

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Posted

I agree with everyone else. 8 miles is alot especially for a shih..I went on a 3 mile uphill hike a couple of months ago and was surprised to see a shih tzu make it down..after talking to the owner, he says the shih tzu goes with him everyday even though at first he had to carry him down...and it was probably the buffest shih tzu i've ever seen lol. but for the overheating reasons, i wouldn't recommend a shih tzu...they're more of a lap dog that is probably too lazy to make the 8 mile trek. Mine always finds a shady area to sit and lay when she's done with her walks.

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Posted

Not all shih tzus love to be pampered, mine loves the outdoors and long walks, I don't walk 8 miles so i'm not sure how far she would go, she is very far from a normal shih tzu because she was raised like a "real" dog, no offense to anyone else, I have a lab and golden retriever mix and have never really owned a small breed dog before so I raised her just like I would my big dogs, she is an amazing dog for that reason. She has never tired out or over heated, I don't take her out in the georgia heat though and make her exercise. In the cooler weather i'm sure she could walk a long distance and with lots of walks your tzu could get up to that too. Do you have to have a dog that can go on hikes with you? Please don't get a golden doodle they are a overpriced designer dog bred by backyard breeders, I would only purchase either a purebred poodle or purebred golden from a breeder.

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Posted

Yup....what they said.

Harley, on cool mornings, walks about 2-1/2 blocks each way, and is wiped out when he gets home. Warmer days, shorter walks.

For 8 mile treks, you need a Rhodesian Ridgeback. :inlove:

-m

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Posted

I agree that a shih tzu is probably not the best breed for an 8 mile hike, but if it's suitable for the type of trail you're going in, you could bring stroller with a top to provide shade and put him in there when he gets too tired.

There are other relatively small breeds out there that may be able to take it though. I can tell you from my personal experience that I can never seem to give my Boston Terrier enough exercise, I often take him for a 5-6 mile run then stop at my house and pick up my Shih tzu and Griffon to walk another mile - mile 1/2...and he still wants to keep going after all that. I know this breed is not cute and fluffy like a tzu which is probably what your wife was wanting, but if you search online I'm sure you can find another breed that can handle more exercise.

I know you will make the right decision for what will work best for your family and your dog. Good luck on your search and let us know what you decide! Even if you don't end up getting a shih tzu we would love to see pics and hear updates.

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Posted

I am pretty sure that Gus, Katy and Drake could do 8 miles although I'm not sure I could, lol!

In all honesty, a healthy Shih Tzu that has been conditioned to it shouldn't have a problem with trekking ANYWHERE as long as it's not terribly hot and humid. Being brachycephalic, many of them DO have problems with heat, although I'm wondering if some of the longer-nosed dogs of the breed might have fewer heat-related issues. Anyone? Anyone?

If heat is truly an issue on your hikes, a few other breeds you might consider are the Lowchen, Havanese and Tibetan Spaniel. All are small and cute, and the Lowchen and Havanese are fluffy as well, lol.

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Posted

Yep, in agreement here too....I take mine for a lot of walks and Josie especially, every time she sees a tree, it is NOT to pee on (after all she is a lady), but she seems to know the grass underneath is cool and she will pull right over and spread out full belly down and that is only after walking about a 1/2 block....we walk much further, but I have to drag her past trees....LOL

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Posted

whew i thought minnie was the only one with this issue

max can walk forever i swear .. but minnie will just plop herself down after 1 lap :) it ends up with max walking and minnie being carried in my arms!

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Posted

Thank you all for your replies - they have been really useful. We have thought carefully and decided that we will be going for it, but understand that long walks in the country might not happen (we are in England so heat and humidity arent an issue). Aside from this Shih Tzus are a perfect match for us...

We have spoken with the breeder again and they have told us that both mum and dad like a long walk (prob not 8 miles though!), and we would encourage ours to walk as long as they were comfortable - although we would be encouraging him to build up if he was happy. As I mentioned, dad looked very stocky and muscular, but your advice has demonstated that each dog has their own personality so we will see what our new addition prefers.

Thanks again.

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Posted

If you are looking for a small dog but an active dog what about a mini australian shepherd??? They would be able to take really long walks and are great with active families... We have a smaller regular aussie and he walks or runs 2-3 miles with my husband a few day's a week.. He loves, loves, loves it!!! (he is only 32 lbs...)

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Posted

Thank you all for your replies - they have been really useful. We have thought carefully and decided that we will be going for it, but understand that long walks in the country might not happen (we are in England so heat and humidity arent an issue). Aside from this Shih Tzus are a perfect match for us...

We have spoken with the breeder again and they have told us that both mum and dad like a long walk (prob not 8 miles though!), and we would encourage ours to walk as long as they were comfortable - although we would be encouraging him to build up if he was happy. As I mentioned, dad looked very stocky and muscular, but your advice has demonstated that each dog has their own personality so we will see what our new addition prefers.

Thanks again.

well, i can't wait to see pics of the new puppy when you pick it out.

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Posted

Oh yeah, pics are a must. (I know, I know, I don't wanna hear it from the rest o' ya 'bout how long I've gone without posting a picture myself...)

By all means, stick around and keep us updated!

-m

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Posted

How great! I can't wait to see your puppy. They DO overheat with the short nose. They are not meant to walk a long way, they love to walk short distance, but not on hot cement. I see dogs being walked in the heat of the days... GOSH, that is awful for the feet.

I ADORE my little Shih Tzu. They are lovable clowns and SO gorgeous.

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