The Care-Tzu is a designer dog created by mixing the Cairn Terrier and the Shih Tzu. As a result, interested individuals can expect Care-Tzus to be curious, playful, and affectionate. A combination that makes them well-suited for being household companions.
1. Tends to Be Less Consistent than Purebred Dogs
Designer dogs tend to be less consistent than purebred dogs because they haven’t undergone generation after generation of breeding for a specific set of characteristics. After all, the trend didn’t start up until the late 20th century, meaning that such dogs just haven’t been around for a very long time in relative terms. As a result, interested individuals should expect Care-Tzus to have a mix of characteristics from both Cairn Terriers and Shih-Tzus without necessarily being predictable about it.
2. Descended from a Scottish Breed
Care-Tzus were created using Cairn Terriers, which are one of a number of terriers that can trace their roots to Scotland. To be exact, said dogs have a strong association with both the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Something that explains why interested individuals tried to enter them in U.K. shows under the name of Short-Haired Skye Terriers in the early 20th century. The people breeding Skye Terriers opposed this, which is how Cairn Terriers winded up being called Cairn Terriers as a compromise.
3. Descended from a Breed Named for Stacks of Stones
For those who are unfamiliar, cairns are man-made stacks of stones that can serve a number of purposes. For example, they can be used as landmarks, thus making it much easier for people to move over long distances without getting lost in the process. Similarly, they can be used for commemoration, which explains their connection with burial sites. Regardless, Cairn Terriers are called Cairn Terriers because they were used to chase their targets between the cairns in the Scottish Highlands.
4. Descended from a Breed that Sometimes Has Changing Coat Colors
Some Cairn Terriers have brindled coats. On its own, this isn’t that uncommon. Instead, what makes the breed stand out is that it is normal for brindled Cairn Terriers to change the colors of their coat on a regular basis throughout their lifetime. Generally speaking, this means that their coat will become either more black or more silver as they age.
5. Descended from Terriers
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cairn Terriers are terriers, meaning that interested individuals should watch out for certain issues that are common in such dogs. For example, they need to make it clear that they are the one in charge. Otherwise, if their dog takes the lead, they could wind up with serious behavioral problems that will be difficult to rectify without the assistance of a professional dog trainer. Similarly, terriers were meant to hunt, so interested individuals shouldn’t be too surprised if they notice that their Care-Tzu has inherited a taste for the chase. Something that can complicate their dog’s relationship with other animals in the same household.
6. Descended from a Dog Named for Lions
Other than Cairn Terriers, Care-Tzus were created using Shih-Tzus. This breed is named for the Wade-Giles romanization of the Chinese word for “lion.” Supposedly, this is because Shih-Tzus were bred to increase their resemblance to Chinese guardian lions, which might be more familiar to English speakers as either fun dogs or lion dogs. Said statues are always considered to be depictions of lions in their native culture. However, people have been mistakening them for dogs for a very long time, as shown by how the Japanese winded up calling them either shishi or komainu. One means “lion.” Meanwhile, the other means “lion dog.”
7. Descended from an Independent Breed
The personality of the Shih-Tzu can be described using numerous words. However, one of the most notable would be independent. On the plus side, this means that a Care-Tzu might be capable of adapting well to a wide range of situations, thus making them more versatile than a lot of their counterparts. On the minus side, this means that a Care-Tzu can be headstrong, which is something that interested individuals will want to watch out for.
8. Descended from a More Laidback Breed
Shih-Tzus were meant to be companions. As a result, it makes sense that they tend to be one of the more laidback breeds that can be found out there. Having said that, interested individuals shouldn’t expect Care-Tzus to be similar to Shih-Tzus in this regard. After all, they are also descended from Cairn Terriers, which tend to be on the energetic side of things. In any case, interested individuals should always make sure that their canine companions are getting enough exercise because dogs are just as susceptible to obesity as humans.
9. Tends to Be Longer-Lived
Different breeds can have very different expected lifespans. However, big breeds tend to be on the shorter end of things while small breeds tend to be on the longer end of things. As such, Care-Tzus lean towards the latter, with one estimate saying that they have an expected lifespan of 12 to 15 years. This is more-or-less in line with estimates of 12 to 15 years for Cairn Terriers as well as 10 to 16 years for Shih-Tzus.
10. Can Be an Excellent Fit for Families
Both Cairn Terriers and Shih-Tzus are friendly towards their family members. Moreover, the latter is famous for getting along well with children. Thanks to this, Care-Tzus tend to be excellent fits for families. Of course, interested individuals should still take the standard precautions. One excellent example would be making sure to teach young children how to interact with dogs in a safe manner. After all, we don’t just automatically come with such knowledge in our brains, meaning that we need to be taught such things. Otherwise, it is possible for people to make mistakes when handling dogs, which can cause issues for both parties.