How Shih Tzu Time Was Born

You may be wondering a little about how I came to be here with you today. Let me tell you a quick story about — I’m going back almost 4 years but it’s worth explaining. My partner and I had finally bought our home, we were out of the many limitations that renting can impose on your lifestyle.

As both dog lovers it was now the perfect time to finally add a fur based family member. This was finally the right time, the stars had aligned and we could now seriously look into buying a dog!

The problem appeared when we started talking about the type of dog. We agreed we both wanted a bitch but that’s where the agreement ended….

It became glaringly obvious we had vast differences about the type of dog we wanted. She was lapdog, small dog and I was BIG dog, fun dog. We hit a wall as the types of breeds we like were miles apart.

So much choice — so many awesome breeds.

It took me a few months and some heated conversations to set aside my biases about small, yappy dogs. Common sense prevailed as a large dog needs space that we really didn’t have.

So I reluctantly went online to do some research on a few of the smaller breeds. Probably more (if I’m honest) to prove why the shortlist we had meant none of them were going to be suitable!

At the time I was trying to find a one stop shop, somewhere that would educate me but also make me feel a part of the breed community. After much back and forth, the breed turned out to be a Shih Tzu. On paper they looked like they had the right mix of fun and cuteness.

It didn’t take long till I was struggling with finding a balance with the things I liked about certain dogs and also finding out enough from real Shih Tzu owners.

And I was getting more and more frustrated and didn’t want to feel I was settling for a breed I did not know anything about, it looked great on paper but it would be good to find out and hear personal stories.

Then something really bad happened: I kept locking into small dog biases and there was so much I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Lack of knowledge gave me some ammunition to go back to the big dog argument.

I kind of new a Shih tzu matched what we needed in a family dog but I still wasn’t sure and I wasn’t willing to take a risk without having solid facts to back such a big decision.

I was sabotaging things and that meant we couldn’t welcome a dog into our home, I was the one blocking it, there just didn’t seem to be people I could talk to.

As you can imagine, I was in bad shape and desperate, but I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream of being a dog owner again.

Then I discovered really good research changed everything, I got to find out about much more about some of the smaller breeds and how some of their characters were larger than the big dogs!.

At that point, everything changed!

I finally figured out how to:

  • understand more about different breeds and match behaviour and temperament was so much more than just physical size!
  • I also discovered there is a LOT of conflicting and partial information out there and that it could be hard to get into forums and groups and ask some “dumb” questions
  • That there were limited resources that offered advice AND community that is what I thought seemed to be the best way to understand and be a good owner of the breed I ultimately chose.

Because I decided to invest time and research everything changed. I got to find out about much more about some of the smaller breeds and how some of their characters were larger than the big dogs!, I was able to:

- See there was a big gap online, that one site with lots of free information was great but it was only part of the need. I wanted to be part of a community, even if I didn’t own the breed yet. I wanted to see and get to know other owners.

  • I thought I would start to plan out not only an informational site but extend into online communities through social media, that could fill the gap I seemed to have found.
  • My plan was to create a website, social media communities and even a store that was solely dedicated to my breed of choice; the amazing, quirky, sometimes chaotic and always loveable Shih Tzu!

Confident finally that this was the breed for us, after about 6 months searching — we found an amazing Shih Tzu to rescue. At 6 months old, little Karma came into our lives! She was (and remains) my motivation for creating Shih Tzu Time.

Karma — age 3.5 years — being super cute as always!

Now I’m living my dream of being a dog owner again and I’m a converted life-time fan of this amazing breed. And that’s why I’m sharing with you the website and community that having Karma and needing to research Shih Tzu’s created.

For the last 3 years I have been building out content on Shih Tzu Time. And recently, we’ve really got a wonderful community joining us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and have a very active Facebook Group too, called — Shih Tzu Time Discussion Group. It’s all free to join and has been created so you can experience spending time with other owners of this breed, x breeds and mutts with some Shih Tzu in their make up.

I don’t think many of us are “just” owners (or want to be owners) I think most of us are raving fans. Come and see us, share your stories and pictures.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Karma and The Shih Tzu Time Gang