Maremma Sheepdog: The Ultimate Guide To This Breed

maremma sheepdog walking on a path
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Maremma Sheepdog Introduction

Dogs have been living side by side with humans for centuries. For some breeds, such as the Maremma Sheepdog, their lineage can be traced back to ancient civilizations. They have served various purposes and have been our companions for quite a while. Maremma Sheepdogs are considered an “Old World European” breed that shares ancestry with other Eastern European dogs that have guarded livestock. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog and Kuvasz breeds are considered to be close cousins of theirs. The Maremma Sheepdog breed can even be traced back to ancient Roman civilization and even further. While these dogs originated in Italy where they are still very popular, they are used all over the world to fulfill their original purpose of guarding livestock.

Maremma Sheepdogs were popular in two different regions of Italy. Rather than performing herding duties, they are used to guard sheep against predators such as wolves, earning them the nickname of wolf-slayers. During World War II, the Maremma Sheepdog breed had a decline and is now becoming increasingly popular. Standing between 25.5 to 28.5 inches tall, and weighing between 66 to 100 pounds, this breed is the perfect guard dog for all types of other animals.

Maremma Sheepdog Temperament

Maremma Sheepdogs are known for their loyalty. They love their human and animal family members and are always looking to protect them, making them ideal watchdogs for both livestock and family homes. They are happy to alert their owners of any intruders and make sure that they are safe. Given their long working history, Maremma Sheepdogs are independent thinkers. They are not aggressive, but given their watchdog mentality, they aren’t very fond of strangers. With proper socialization from a young age, your Maremma Sheepdog can warm up to having new people in their homes.

Maremma Sheepdogs like to have a purpose and a job to do. They are busybodies and need a task to complete, or they will find one, which may lead to destructive behavior. Mental stimulation is a must for this breed, and keeping a puzzle toy or two around the house is a good idea. If you live on a farm or ranch, the Maremma Sheepdog is the perfect breed for you. They will love watching over your livestock and following you around your property. Maremma Sheepdogs don’t do well in apartments and need ample room to run around and stay busy.

Maremma Sheepdog Intelligence

Maremma Sheepdogs are very smart dogs. They are used to thinking for themselves and problem-solving when out on their own guarding livestock. This breed is very aware of its surroundings and is always on the lookout for a potential threat. They love to have a job to do and stay busy and are good at figuring things out for themselves.

Because of their independent thinking, Maremma Sheepdogs can be difficult to train. They are used to living their life with little to no direction from humans. Because of this, they can have quite a streak of stubbornness. When training a Maremma Sheepdog, be sure to focus on positive reinforcement. Maremma Sheepdogs are much more motivated when they know that they will be rewarded for listening to commands. Never use harsh language or actions when training a Maremma Sheepdog. This will only worsen their stubbornness and possibly make them not respond to training at all. Focusing on praise, pets, and rewards when your dog shows progress is the best training technique to use with this breed. With time and consistency, your Maremma Sheepdog is sure to be very obedient and know a variety of different commands.

maremma sheepdog puppy laying on the ground

Maremma Sheepdog Shedding

Maremma Sheepdogs have very long, coarse hair that keeps them warm in the winter. They handle colder temperatures very well but don’t do so well with warmer months. Their coat consists of a dense undercoat that sheds twice per year. Because of their long fur, they can be prone to tangles and mats. Proper grooming is needed to keep your Maremma Sheepdog’s coat looking and feeling nice. More on that in a bit.

Maremma Sheepdogs shed twice per year- once in the fall and once in the spring. While they do shed year-round, these seasons increase their shedding. This allows them to transition into winter and summer coats, which are ideal for very different temperatures. During these heavy shedding seasons, grooming should be increased. Doing so will minimize the fur that you need to sweep up and ease the coat transition. Because Maremma Sheepdogs shed quite a bit, they are not hypoallergenic dogs. Living with a Maremma Sheepdog in your home if you have dog allergies may lead to excessive symptoms that are not very enjoyable. With proper maintenance and care, you can keep Maremma’s shedding to a minimum, but it’s best to have a broom handy during the fall and spring- just in case.

Maremma Sheepdog Health

While we all want our dogs to be as healthy as possible, every dog breed can be prone to various health conditions. Knowing what these conditions are and what they look like can help get your dog the medical help that they need if symptoms do arise. Feeding your Maremma Sheepdog a well-rounded, nutritious diet can help provide them with a healthy life. Proper nutrition helps prevent various health conditions and gives your dog the fuel that they need every day. In doing so, you will give them their best chance of reaching their full life expectancy, which is typically between 11 to 13 years.

Psychological Health

While physical health is a very important component of your dog’s life, psychological health is just as important. Psychological health allows your dog to enjoy doing the things that they love, remember household rules, and interact with their family members. Unfortunately, just like humans, Maremma Sheepdogs can be prone to different psychological health issues. Stress, anxiety, and other psychological issues can affect all dogs, including Maremma Sheepdogs. Most dogs are likely to experience one of these conditions at least once in their life, if not more. What triggers anxiety or stress and how often this occurs can depend on the dog.

smiling maremma sheepdog laying in a flower field


Maremma Sheepdogs can be prone to experiencing stress. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common one for this breed is unknown people, especially in their homes. Maremma Sheepdogs are watchdogs by nature who are wary of strangers. They also have strong instincts to watch out for danger. Because of this, they may mistake strangers for a threat. When they are inside of their homes, Maremma Sheepdogs may be on edge about this unknown person. They are likely worried about them being a threat and cannot relax. In addition, Maremma Sheepdogs have a hard time differentiating play from danger. They may mistake a group of strangers laughing and joking with their owners as threats, and try to intervene. Because of this, Maremma Sheepdogs should be kept in a separate area when you have guests over, especially in large groups. They aren’t the biggest fans of house parties in their own homes.

Stress in Maremma Sheepdogs can look different in each dog. Some Maremma Sheepdogs may begin to pace and become restless when stressed. Others may whine, bark, or howl. A stressed Maremma Sheepdog may refuse to eat or have an accident inside. If you notice any of these signs of stress in your dog, try to find a way to address this and put their mind at ease.

No dog owner wants their dog to be stressed. Thankfully, calming dog products are abundant on the market that can help combat stress in your pup. Edible treats contain natural ingredients that soothe your dog and relieve their stress. In addition, comforting dog beds are available for your dog to rest in and relax when they are feeling stressed. No matter what is causing your dog stress, there are many ways to help combat this condition.


Different breeds can be prone to different health conditions. For Maremma Sheepdogs, a common condition to face is epilepsy. Seizures can be a very troubling experience for any dog and its owner, and when recurring, they are considered to be a condition called epilepsy. Epilepsy can occur for several reasons, including genetics, various diseases, cancer, and toxins. Epilepsy must be treated by a vet, but you can manage this condition at home in a variety of ways.

Diet is one of the best ways to manage canine epilepsy, specifically a ketogenic diet. For example, coconut oil is known to be a source of MCTs. These MCTs act as anti-inflammatory agents and are known to reduce seizure activity. Including ketogenic foods in your dog’s diet may help combat epilepsy.

In addition to diet, supplementation is a great way to combat epilepsy in your Maremma Sheepdog. CBD is a naturally occurring compound that is known to manage seizures in both humans and dogs. It is known to reduce the severity and frequency of seizures and can be fed to your dog through CBD treats or oil. Be sure to consult with your vet before beginning any supplementation.

maremma sheepdog sitting on the grass

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a very common joint health issue, which Maremma Sheepdogs can be prone to. Maremma Sheepdogs seem to experience a variety of different skeletal issues, this being one of them. Hip dysplasia occurs due to abnormal growth of the ball and socket within the hip joint. This causes the hip joint to become loose and unstable, which can lead to the development of scar tissue. Hip dysplasia is very painful and makes tasks like running, jumping, and playing hard to enjoy. If your Maremma Sheepdog is suffering from hip dysplasia, be sure to keep them at a healthy weight. Overweight dogs and obese dogs can suffer from more severe hip dysplasia due to the excess pressure that is put on their hip joints.

Hip dysplasia needs to be diagnosed by a vet and, unfortunately, cannot be reversed. This condition is genetic and disproportionately affects certain breeds such as Maremma Sheepdogs. There are some ways to manage hip dysplasia at home as an owner. One of the best ways to minimize the pain that hip dysplasia causes is through anti-inflammatory agents, such as kelp and turmeric. These anti-inflammatory agents reduce swelling within the hip joint and minimize the pain caused by this condition.

 Hip and Joint Pain Supplements We Love

  1. VetIQ Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs, Chicken Flavored Soft Chews, 180 Count
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Shorkie Breed Overview

Americans began crossing the Yorkshire Terrier with the Shih Tzu in order to develop a lapdog that was both clever and cheerful. However, to really know the Shorkie’s history, one must first understand the origins of its parent breed. The Shih Tzu originated in China and was possibly developed via a cross between the Lhaso Apso and Pekingese.

Yorkies worked as ratters in mines and mills long before they were Victorian ladies’ beribboned lapdogs. The Yorkshire Terrier is a small, toy-sized terrier that weighs little more than seven pounds and is distinguished by a floor-length, glossy coat of steel blue and golden tan. The Shorkie puppy is tough, feisty, bold, and even domineering, exhibiting all the characteristics of a real terrier. Shorkies are also known as Shorkie Tzu, Yorkie Tzu, and a mix of Shih Tzu and Yorkie.

A Shorkie puppy weighs around 7 pounds and has a height of 7 to 8 inches with a silky coat of floor-length which is steel blue and golden tan. If you’re seeking a fun-size dog with a strong dog personality, a watchdog who will alarm you to guests, robbers, and postal carriers, and a buddy who will love you wholeheartedly, the Shorkie may be the pup for you.

The Temperament of the Shorkie Breed

Lovable, active, and energetic, one of the most often stated characteristics of Shorkies is that they are unaware of their little size. If you like cuddling, a Shorkie may be the best choice for you, since they enjoy curling up in your lap and cuddling. Shorkies get along well with everybody within the family, but they build the most grounded ties with their primary caretaker and often stay glued to them. Remember that Shorkies are part terrier, which means they may be a little high-spirited but also quite bright.

Terrier-like qualities include a strong hunting drive, which may lead them to chase small animals or even dig. Your puppy may get too attached to their favorite family member, so be prepared for some clinginess. However, the Shorkie’s tiny size makes them ideal for apartments and compact areas, yet they tend to bark at the least noise. When playing with younger children, they ought to be closely observed because of their size, which might result in injury. To avoid them being territorial and protective in their range and people, they need to be socialized to different pets at a younger age.

shorkie puppy sitting on a gravel path

The Intelligence of the Shorkie Puppy

A Shorkie puppy has a high level of intelligence, however, they’ll do anything they need most of the time. It’s truly important that you do not scold this kind of a breed. This will only serve to toughen their willpower and make them less responsive to your training. Using positive reinforcement while training your puppy is crucial since dogs are more inclined to repeat lessons that are rewarding.

Shorkie dogs are not difficult to socialize with, since people usually like their friendly personality. Despite the fact that each dog has its own personality, there is enough evidence to suggest that the dog’s ability to communicate with people is one of the most distinctive aspects of their species. This is an excellent social cognitive skill since they pay close attention and respond quickly when we speak to them. You must learn to read and observe your dog’s body language to comprehend what they’re trying to tell you and bring the best out of it.

Do Shorkie Puppies Shed?

Shedding may be a nuisance for some people, particularly for those who are allergic. Some dogs shed a lot, while others don’t shed at all. Depending on the breed, some shed constantly, while others shed just once or twice a year.

Shorkies are typically low-shedding dogs since both parents are considered hypoallergenic breeds. Consider yourself lucky that your puppy will not make a mess all over your place with their hair.

Shorkies have a long silky coat that requires high maintenance. Therefore, it is recommended that you brush their coats regularly. You can wash your puppy once a month along with brushing them. You and your dog may spend quality time together brushing and bathing. Additionally, it’s a wonderful time to look for any unusual pimples, parasites, or dry skin on your pet dog.

Health of the Shorkie Puppy

A Shorkie is considered a healthy puppy with a lifespan of 11 to 16 years. As a new dog owner, it’s important that you discuss and learn about your dog’s health issues in advance. Shorkies have a wide range of health problems.

While crossbreeds are often healthier than their purebred parents, there is still a danger that they may develop certain health conditions. The health problems in this breed may include brachycephalic, glaucoma, dental problems, heart disease, and Cushing’s disease.

shorkie puppy sitting in the grass

Common Psychological Health Conditions in the Shorkie


The most common behavior of a stressed puppy is to attempt to get away from the person holding them in order to hide in a safe haven. They may crouch at your feet, ears down and tail tucked, or they may attempt to flee behind a table or other pieces of furniture. When under stress, your Shorkie might lick his lips or yawn. They lick their lips more intensely than while they’re appreciating a taste. The younger puppy might shiver or pant excessively when worried.

As a Shorkie owner, it is your duty to understand what is causing stress in your dog. You may relocate your puppy away from the stressor if the stress is threatening or fear-related. There are a lot of interactive dog toys that may keep your dog occupied in these scenarios. If you use a dog puzzle toy, the dog will work hard to get the goodies out. It’s also important to remove anything that causes your puppy to be stressed or anxious,  such as a toy.


Leaving a dog at home alone, even for a short period of time, may be very distressing for both the dog and its owner. When your dog is left alone, he doesn’t just miss his owner; he experiences separation anxiety on a far deeper level. Feeling alone causes an intense emotional reaction that manifests itself in a variety of behaviors. It’s a concern that impacts all dogs, although certain breeds, like the Shorkie, are more susceptible to it than others.

Separation anxiety may develop for a Shorkie only after being away from home for an extended amount of time, whilst another Yorkie, who is more sensitive, may show symptoms of separation anxiety after just a few minutes away from home. It might be tough to tell whether your Shorkie is suffering from separation anxiety because of its small size. If you suspect that your dog may be bored, under-exercised, or in need of basic obedience training, the first step is to rule these things out. When left alone, anxious dogs may become hyperactive and even destructive. Often misunderstood as naughtiness, this is in fact frightening behavior that is being expressed. One of the most common ways your Shorkie may show their anxiety while you’re gone is by crying or barking excessively. Higher pitched, more agitated, and restless are some of the characteristics of an anxious bark.

close up image of shorkie dog

Calming Dog Products

People who suffer from anxiety often find relief via the company of dogs. But experienced dog owners know that anxiety can be an issue for our four-legged pets, too. There are a variety of products available that aim to serve to reduce your puppy’s anxiety.

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Your puppy might benefit from having a T-shirt with your smell on it. The use of noise generators or mild music might also be helpful. When it comes to anything from anxiety to skin disorders, essential oils are often promoted as natural therapy choices or even an alternative to conventional medication. Calming your dog may be made easier with the use of essential oils such as sweet orange and lavender. The use of pheromones that relax dogs has also been shown to be effective. Pheromones released by a new mother are mimicked by an artificial substance.

Common Physical Health Conditions in the Shorkie


In this condition, stenotic nares, lengthy soft palate, laryngeal collapse, hypoplastic trachea, and everted laryngeal saccules are among the upper airway abnormalities. Changes in the lungs and the digestive system, such as bronchial collapse, gastric reflux, and chronic gastritis, have been associated with brachycephalic syndrome. Snorting and snoring are common symptoms in dogs with mild respiratory issues, particularly during exercise. Noise from the airways may be more noticeable in severely afflicted dogs, and they may collapse or faint after exercise. Additionally, your puppy might have symptoms like coughing, choking, retching, or vomiting. This illness may lead to secondary issues, such as inflammation of various airway systems. Breathing with more difficulty over the long term might place stress on the heart. If your puppy is suffering from severe risk airway passage may need the use of breathing assistance or oxygen supplement.


Glaucoma is an eye disease that may cause harm to the optic nerve of your puppy. Unusually high pressure inside your Shorkie’s eye is typically the cause of glaucoma. Increased pressure over time may destroy the optic nerve tissue, resulting in vision loss or blindness in certain cases.

Glaucoma is not simply the appearance of a clouded eye. Squinting, dilated pupils, and blurry vision are all signs of an eye infection. Your dog may close his eye and rub it. As you try to pat him or touch the side of his head, he may turn away. You may also notice that the white of your puppy’s eye is inflamed or that the cloudiness is blue or reddish-blue with a reddish tinge. Glaucoma may cause your Shorkie to become sluggish, lose his appetite, or even become unresponsive.

A dog with glaucoma in one eye is at a greater risk of developing glaucoma in the other eye if it isn’t properly and quickly examined. It’s possible that your veterinarian may advise laser treatment, eye removal, drainage implants, or antibiotic injections to treat your Shorkie.

shorkie dog standing in the grass looking up at the camera


 Eye Supplements We Love

Cushing’s Disease

A number of factors might be the cause that your dog is frequently drinking and urinating. Cushing’s disease (CD), also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is one thing your veterinarian may test for. Dogs suffer from dehydration and muscle loss as the disease grows. On the neck, you might notice thinning and blemishes on the skin as well as hair loss. Other symptoms might include increased hunger, pot belly, excessive panting, scaly patches on the skin and elbows, and obesity with fat, especially on the neck.

Persistent utilization of steroid-containing ear drops can be the reason for the infection in light of the fact that the prescription is absorbed through the skin.

Your veterinarian might recommend you to feed your puppy with highly digestible protein like salmon and beef to prevent muscle loss. Additionally, avoid feeding your puppy a diet high in fat since this might increase his cholesterol and lead to him becoming obese.

Oral Health of the Shorkie Puppy

Taking care of your dog’s dental hygiene is an important part of keeping them healthy. Maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene and feeding them nutritious food will help prevent oral diseases in the future. Tooth loss and other painful diseases may result from untreated dental diseases in dogs.

Dental Diets

Discussing a dental diet first with your veterinarian is the best way to determine whether it’s the right choice for your Shorkie. Using a dental diet instead of a brush is not always suitable, and not all dogs are suitable for this diet.

Reduced protein and calcium intake in dental diets reduces plaque and tartar mineralization. When the dog’s teeth are larger and more fibrous, they are more likely to swallow the meal before it breaks apart, allowing fibers to remove food particles from their surface.

Edible Chew Treats

Regardless of what your dog is chewing, it is good for their oral health to engage in some kind of chewing. All-natural beef chews include enzymes that help enhance your dog’s oral health by chewing. Beef strips, bully sticks, and chicken strips are all healthy and enjoyable chews for dogs.

close up photo of shorkie with long hair


 Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews Based On Size

  1. Merial Oravet Dental Hygiene Chew For Dogs (10-24 Lbs), Dental Treats For Dogs, 30 Count
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  3. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Medium Dogs 25-50 lbs
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  5. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs
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Toothbrushes and Wipes

You may use a dog toothbrush or a finger brush to clean your puppy’s teeth. Dog dental wipes are a wonderful option for people who are unable to brush their dog’s teeth or like to use another alternative.

Needs of the Shorkie Puppy


Exercise for the Shorkie is an enjoyable experience. They are quite flexible to your lifestyle and just need a little bit of attentive care to keep them healthy. They need to walk 30 to 60 minutes a day as part of their daily fitness routine. Play and training sessions are included in this. For as long as you engage in regular physical activity with your Shorkie, he will be content and happy. They might be difficult to train because of their stubbornness. Their devotion to you may work in your favor, as they will want to remain with you rather than go out and see the world on their own.

These puppies are known to adore playing fetching and may get a bit ball crazy at times, so be careful around them. It’s possible to teach your Shorkie to fetch by rewarding or praising them when they return the ball to your hand.

The brachycephalic condition, which causes small muzzles, may affect young Shorkie pups, making them more prone to respiratory problems. When it’s hot outside, this may be very dangerous. Therefore, it’s essential that you take your puppy to the veterinarian for a thorough examination before beginning an exercise regimen.

Exercise Toys We Love

  1. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds When Rolled or Shaken, Pets Know Best, As Seen On TV
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  3. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy Blue/Orange, 16 Inch Compact Blaster with 1 Ball
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Shorkies need around 40 calories per pound of body weight when they are fully grown. Puppies have an increased caloric need due to their fast growth. Younger Shorkie puppies need high-quality dry food. Shorkies, in particular, benefit from the smaller size of these sorts of kibbles. Dental problems may be avoided by feeding dry food.

Make sure the kibble you buy is made with the highest-quality ingredients, contains a high proportion of lean meat, and is enriched with the vitamins and minerals your Shorkie needs to stay healthy and strong. It’s best to stay away from no-name and low-cost dry foods since they tend to be high in harmful carbohydrates and plant-based protein fillers. In addition, make sure the food you provide your pet is age-appropriate. Dogs of various ages have distinct food requirements. Consult your veterinarian if you have any doubts about the suitability of the diet you’ve chosen for your dog. There is an increased risk of obesity due to poor dietary choices. Small breed dogs like the Shorkie are especially vulnerable to obesity since it doesn’t take much to put on weight. Omega-6, omega-3, fiber, and calcium are all essential nutrients to include in your dog’s diet.

shorkie licking its nose


Daily brushing is necessary for the Shorkie. Without adequate brushing, the coat may become knotted, tangled, and matted. Many individuals prefer to have their pets professionally groomed and trimmed every 6 weeks. Remember to start training and socializing your puppy as soon as possible. You may wash and brush them with ease since they are well-behaved and have a good response to handling. When you’re trying to groom an untrained or overly spoilt Shorkie, he or she may snap and refuse to be handled.

It is advised to brush the hair to eliminate knots before washing your puppy. This will make brushing a wet Shorkie after a bath a lot simpler. To keep water out of the ears, place cotton balls in the earholes. This will keep your dog’s ears healthy. Warm water and dog shampoo are all that is needed to bathe your Shorkie once or twice a month. A soft toothbrush may be used to gently cleanse the hair around the eyes. To avoid tangling, wash thoroughly but gently. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before drying them with a clean towel.

Top Product Picks for the Shorkie Puppy

To keep your puppy in great physical shape, the following product categories may help.

Dog Food

Dogs must be well fed. It keeps them healthy and happy. However, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for feeding your dog. All dog diets must have proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in order to meet the nutritional needs of your puppy.

Your Shorkie needs digestible food as it has shorter digestive tracts. Ask your veterinarian about the finest diets for your puppy that are high in antioxidants to avoid free radical damage during its long lifespan.

close up photo of shorkie dog standing in the grass


Dog Food We Love Based on Age

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
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  5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
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Dogs are drawn to corners where they may make cozy dens for themselves. Crates are good training tools for puppies, safe places for older dogs, and life-savers in an emergency. When you’re not with your Shorkie puppy, a crate might be a haven for him.

Your mischievous puppy might get themselves into all kinds of mischief. In most cases, this problem is minor, but it may be quite dangerous and put both you and your dog at risk.

It’s possible to drop a hot pan while you are cooking and your pet comes under your feet, for example. It’ll be a mess, and you or the Shorkie might be harmed. A crate may be useful in these situations, as well.

Crates We Love


A dog’s life would be incomplete without a good night’s sleep. Most dogs fall sleep between 12 and 14 hours each day on average. Puppy dogs may need 18-20 hours of sleep a day.

If your puppy chews a lot, it is important that you find a suitable bed for him. A bed made of PVC pipe or Aluminum might be the right choice for your puppy. Remember being a good pet owner is all about making sure your pet has a good night’s sleep in a comfy bed. Remember that mattresses are more than just for sleeping. They may provide as a “safe haven” for dogs that have anxiety or noise phobias.

Beds We Love


Buy your Shorkie’s dog harness according to the puppy’s weight and personality. Dog harnesses come in a variety of forms, and each one is designed to fit a certain dog. The ribcage of your dog may be measured to make sure that you are purchasing the correct size. In order to avoid hurting your Shorkie puppy, you should avoid using harnesses that are excessively tight or that are too loose.

 Harnesses We Love


Shih Tzu Club

Yorkshire Terrier Club

American Kennel Club

Shih Tzu Club UK

United Kennel Club

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