Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone :)

I'm a new poster here, and as stated above, I would love to hear people's opinions. My family used to own a kelpie/doberman mix but we are now looking for an inside dog. We have narrowed the potential breeds down to either a Shih Tzu and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We have found reputable breeders for both breeds, and now are trying to decide which breed is for us. We are a family of four, living in a house with a large backyard w/ a pool etc. We're pretty easy-going, laid back people. We have found breeders who run health checks for Cavs etc and we truly love both breeds. Just can't decide :p

Any advice / pros and cons would be much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
I find Cavaliers to be pretty high energy, so if you want a dog that is vocal and excitable (all Cavs I've met have been like this but I could be wrong), and always on the move, I would go with them.

If you want a more laid back companion, I would go with a shihtzu.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I find Cavaliers to be pretty high energy, so if you want a dog that is vocal and excitable (all Cavs I've met have been like this but I could be wrong), and always on the move, I would go with them.

If you want a more laid back companion, I would go with a shihtzu.

Wow, really! I have heard the exact opposite. Others have told me if I'm looking for an easy-going, gentle companion to go with the Cav, and if I want a more "high energy" dog to go with the Shih Tzu. How strange :p Haha I'm from Sydney, Australia and here the Cavalier is a definite favourite amongst families :) But thank you for your advice.

Anyone else? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
Wow, really! I have heard the exact opposite. Others have told me if I'm looking for an easy-going, gentle companion to go with the Cav, and if I want a more "high energy" dog to go with the Shih Tzu. How strange :p Haha I'm from Sydney, Australia and here the Cavalier is a definite favourite amongst families :) But thank you for your advice.

Anyone else? :)
All the Cavs I know are agility dogs lol so maybe it's a specific breeder around here who breeds them to be high energy? I have no clue lol but yeah most shihtzus I have met have been very mellow and friendly. I've never ever met a "high strung" shihtzu :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
In my experience (haven't owned either breed but know some of each), shih tzu are more independent. Also shih tzu need professional grooming.

I would call cavs generally low to middle energy. I know there are some bred with agility in mind but most are pretty easygoing guys, I find. THe main concern I would have is health. They have some pretty devastating health concerns compared to most dog breeds. Thorough health testing is a must.

That said, I would get a cav over a shih tzu, personally. I really like cavs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
818 Posts
Re:shih Tzu vs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel :)

I own 2 Cavaliers (did have 3, but my oldest passed in Jan. 2013...:(). All 3 are/were Therapy Dogs. I haven't owned that many dogs in my life but I will say I will always own a Cavalier from now on. They are the most gentle, loving, friendly dogs I have met. They are not high energy at all, but will adapt to whatever you're doing, imho. They love other animals (dog, cats, etc.), children, older people...just overall great dogs. They do have longish hair that seasonally sheds. I do trim my dogs but if they are being shown they cannot be trimmed. My dogs get professionally groomed monthly but it wouldn't really be all that necessary....I do it because they are Therapy Dogs. As you may have found out they can have some serious health problems. Just make sure you find a good breeder...ask many questions...that does thorough health testing. Also, I've found that some Cavaliers are much larger than mine. The breed show weight range is 13-18 lbs. Mine are 17 lbs. and 19 lbs. Both females and spayed. Retired show dogs. Two were champs. I have seen Cavs in the 25-35 lb. range! So look at the grandparents and parents (if you can). Make sure you know what weight range the breeder generally has. Cavs come in 4 colors and I believe each color can have its unique personality but that is just anecdotal on my part lol. I believe Cavs are the perfect breed LOL!

I have never owned a Shih-Tzu (but love the breed!). I did own a Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix but that is definitely not the same, of course. Every Shih-Tzu I've met has been way more "active" than my Cavs. I don't believe Shih-Tzus shed and must be groomed professionally on a regular basis. So, you have to take all this into consideration. Shih-Tzus are generally smaller than Cavs but can vary, too, just like Cavs. They also come in a much more color variety. I don't know anything about their health issues. I do know that a Cavalier may cost much more because a good breeder will charge more for the pups. Generally, I've seen nice Shih-Tzus for a reasonable price.

Good luck and let us know what you decide! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
I agree with everything Laurelin said. I just adore cavs and they are the sweetest companions. The health issues are a big issue though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
In my experience (haven't owned either breed but know some of each), shih tzu are more independent. Also shih tzu need professional grooming.

I would call cavs generally low to middle energy. I know there are some bred with agility in mind but most are pretty easygoing guys, I find. THe main concern I would have is health. They have some pretty devastating health concerns compared to most dog breeds. Thorough health testing is a must.

That said, I would get a cav over a shih tzu, personally. I really like cavs.
Thank you for your advice! I definitely know about the health concerns, and the breeders who I have contacted run many health checks etc. Thanks again :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Re: shih Tzu vs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel :)

I own 2 Cavaliers (did have 3, but my oldest passed in Jan. 2013...:(). All 3 are/were Therapy Dogs. I haven't owned that many dogs in my life but I will say I will always own a Cavalier from now on. They are the most gentle, loving, friendly dogs I have met. They are not high energy at all, but will adapt to whatever you're doing, imho. They love other animals (dog, cats, etc.), children, older people...just overall great dogs. They do have longish hair that seasonally sheds. I do trim my dogs but if they are being shown they cannot be trimmed. My dogs get professionally groomed monthly but it wouldn't really be all that necessary....I do it because they are Therapy Dogs. As you may have found out they can have some serious health problems. Just make sure you find a good breeder...ask many questions...that does thorough health testing. Also, I've found that some Cavaliers are much larger than mine. The breed show weight range is 13-18 lbs. Mine are 17 lbs. and 19 lbs. Both females and spayed. Retired show dogs. Two were champs. I have seen Cavs in the 25-35 lb. range! So look at the grandparents and parents (if you can). Make sure you know what weight range the breeder generally has. Cavs come in 4 colors and I believe each color can have its unique personality but that is just anecdotal on my part lol. I believe Cavs are the perfect breed LOL!

I have never owned a Shih-Tzu (but love the breed!). I did own a Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix but that is definitely not the same, of course. Every Shih-Tzu I've met has been way more "active" than my Cavs. I don't believe Shih-Tzus shed and must be groomed professionally on a regular basis. So, you have to take all this into consideration. Shih-Tzus are generally smaller than Cavs but can vary, too, just like Cavs. They also come in a much more color variety. I don't know anything about their health issues. I do know that a Cavalier may cost much more because a good breeder will charge more for the pups. Generally, I've seen nice Shih-Tzus for a reasonable price.

Good luck and let us know what you decide! :)
THANK YOU :) Again, thank you for the advice. I feel like I'm leaning towards the Cav, because they seem to really suit my family and lifestyle :p Your help is much appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Re: shih Tzu vs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel :)

I thought that every cav in the breed has a heart issue, just that some are to a more serious degree than others. Is this not correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Re: shih Tzu vs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel :)

Any more opinions from Cav/Shih Tzu owners? Haha having a hard time choosing :p bump!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
imho, they are pretty different dogs to live with.

Cavs don't have the intense grooming needs that Shih Tzus have. Cavs are more people oriented and biddable then Shih Tzus. By biddable, I mean they like to work with people and are more easily trained by a novice person.

From my experience, Shih Tzus are a bit difficult to house break and are stubborn and more independent. They are a tad more suspicious.

Cavs seem to really enjoy being with people and have a very sweet turn to their personality.

I would not call most shih Tzus sweet, but they can get just as attached to their people. They just show it in a different way.

What would turn me off from cavs is the multitude of serious health problems in the breed. I love love love them, but they can be quite expensive to keep healthy in the long term.

Cavs are a bit more prone to separation anxiety and shih tzus are easier keepers IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
I have had a shih Tzu for over 13 years now. He is the ultimate Velcro dog. My sister has one as well that is now 3 (separate households). Mine is more suspicious of strangers, wary not aggressive, but is very loving and happy with family. Not hyper but has energy to burn...in his prime if he could get you to throw his ball (inside) for 7 hours straight, he was a happy camper (my dad was the only sucker that would do that..bless him). My sister's is gregarious and easy going and likes everyone. Very smart dogs that can be independent, yes. Rai Li taught me the true meaning to the old phrase 'dogging my heels' !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
I have 4 Cavaliers and I can honestly say, I can't imagine ever not having a Cavalier. I run agility with one of girls. These dogs have wonderful personalities and they tend to mirror what you want to do...if you want to be playful, they are playful, if you need a quiet evening, they are happy just to chill. I also have a little mixed breed puppy, poodle/coton/maltese....who knows (white and very fluffy). He is so different than the Cavaliers...he is constantly on, on, on! He doesn't care if I am tired....It's let's play now!

Yes, Cavaliers have health issues. If you are buying from a breeder, please be careful. I highly recommend this website.

http://www.roycroftinformationcenter.com/Cavalier Infosite/Cavalier InfoCenter Choosing a Breeder.html
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top