If you’re looking for the ideal family pet, look no further than the Bea-Tzu. This designer doggy is one part Beagle, one part Shih Tzu, and 100% adorable. Loyal, affectionate, and just a little bit mischievous, they’ve wrapped up all the qualities you could want from a pet in one very neat pint-sized package. Find out more with these ten things you didn’t know about the Bea-Tzu.
1. They’re a crossbreed
The Bea-Tzu is cute and cuddly and all kinds of adorable, but what it most definitely isn’t is a pedigree. Like a lot of dogs that have been making big waves in the canine community lately, the Bea-Tzu is a designer crossbreed. One side of the family tree comprises of the Shih Tzu, a very well-established breed with a history that dates all the way back to the 18th century when it became one of the most fashionable hunting breeds of the day. Its other parent breed is the Beagle, an affable, good-natured dog whose superb sense of smell and superior tracking instincts have made it a popular detection dog. Although there’s likely to have been a few ‘accidental’ pairings of the Beagle and the Shih Tzu over the years, breeders first began a deliberate program of breeding around 30 years ago. Their goal was to produce a small dog with a gentle personality, a hypoallergenic coat, and a clean bill of health. The result was the Bea-Tzu.
2. They’ve been recognized by the ACHC
While both the Shih Tzu and the Beagle are long-time members of the American Kennel Club, their hybrid offspring is unlikely to get membership to this notoriously finicky club any time soon. They needn’t be too upset about it though. Several other clubs have proved much more welcoming, with the result that the breed is now officially recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC) and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
3. They aren’t easy to train
If you want a dog that will take to training like a duck to water, you may have to keep looking. Whatever else the Bea-Tzu is, easy to train they aren’t. Although their parent breeds are both recognized for their intelligence, the Bea-Tzu has inherited the Shih Tzu’s notorious stubborn streak. As a result, you’ll need to work extra hard to convince them to do anything they don’t particularly see the value of. House training can also be an issue – although, in fairness, the same applies to most small breeds. If you want to avoid turning training sessions into a headache, a firm, consistent approach with plenty of positive reinforcement will yield the best results.
4. They live for between 10 and 12 years
Like most crossbreds, the Bea-Tzu is generally exempt from many of the health issues that affect its parent breeds. However, that doesn’t mean you can afford to take their health for granted. To avoid small problems becoming major ones, watch out for any signs of inherited conditions like kidney and liver disease, eye problems, respiratory issues, and dental problems. Like all dogs, they’ll need to have their full complement of vaccinations and receive regular de-worming and de-fleaing treatments. Providing they stay fit and healthy, you can expect them to live for between 10 and 12 years.
5. They don’t need masses of exercise
As petguide.com notes, although the Bea-Tzu is a high-energy little dog, they don’t need a ton of activity to meet their needs. A daily walk along with some indoor and outdoor fun and games is generally enough to keep most Bea-Tzu’s happy, healthy, and engaged. Although they love to socialize with other dogs at the doggy park, make sure you only let them run around off the leash if the area is fully secured… if there’s a hole in the fence, you can bet this little escape artist will find it.
6. They need lots of grooming
If the thought of dealing with piles of hair on your furniture and furnishings gives you a migraine, the Bea-Tzu might be just the dog for you. Their soft, silky coat rarely sheds, leaving you free to enjoy your pooch without constantly cleaning up after them. But while shedding isn’t a problem, matting might be. To stop their coat matting or tangling, you’ll need to set aside plenty of time for brushing – ideally daily, although 3- 4 times a week will suffice at a push. Like many floppy-eared dogs, their ears can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria – inspect them weekly to keep infections at bay. As the hair around their face can grow incredibly quickly, you’ll need to book regular sessions with a professional groomer to keep it neat and tidy.
7. They aren’t the biggest breed around
When two small breeds like the Beagle and the Shih Tzu come together, the result is never going to be huge. And, indeed, it’s not. As dogbreedplus.com notes, the Bea-Tzu is nothing if not petite, measuring a diminutive 9 to 15 inches at the shoulder and tipping the scales at just 15 to 25 pounds. Like most breeds, male Bea Tzu’s tend to be taller and stockier than their female counterparts.
8. They have a dominant streak
The Bea-Tzu might be small, but they’ve got a big personality. Stubborn and with a tendency to get extremely protective of their family, their strong pack leader instincts can easily get out of control if left unchecked. To nip any problems in the bud, they’ll need plenty of early training and lots of socialization as pups.
9. They make great family dogs
Despite their stubbornness and inclination to dominate, Bea-Tzus are loving, eager to please dogs who thrive on lots of social interaction. They adapt well to family-living and love having lots of kids and other pets to play with. Due to their small size, care needs to be taken that they don’t become injured during roughhousing – if you have kids, it’s vital to teach them how to handle and treat their pet with care.
10. Their coat can be anything from white to tricolor
As Doggie Designer points out, the Bea-Tzu comes in a wide variety of colors, with the most common coat shades being white, cream, gray, black, black and tan, and tricolor. Other distinguishing features include a small to medium-sized body, short legs, and a head that looks large in comparison to their body. Their muzzle is short, their ears are large and floppy, and their tail is curved and fluffy.