Making the transition

To help you get started, each puppy comes with a puppy go home kit including:

1. OFA certification for eyes

2. Veterinary certification showing clean bill of health

3. ACA registration paperwork

4. New puppy how to guide containing information on grooming, potty training, feeding and more

5. High quality canned dog food

6. High quality starter pack of dry dog food and coupons

7. Soft snuggle blankie with the sweet smell of your puppy's mommy, to ease the transition to their new home

8. Toy

9. Body harness fitted to your puppy & leash

We want to make the transition from our home to yours and easy one for you and your new forever friend.  Our commitment to you does not end when your puppy goes home.  We are also available to answer your questions at any time.  Each puppy is raised with tender loving care, and we want to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.


All of our dogs are registered with the ACA, The American Canine Association.  We registered our dogs with the AKC years ago, but switched to the ACA because they are the world's largest veterinary health tracking canine registry, including lifetime genetic tracking. The ACA displays each dog's veterinary health information on each puppy's registration paperwork, ensuring that each parent is in fact certified for the above areas. 

For more information on health tracking or ACA dog shows, visit

Extended Training Program

Puppies can go home to their forever family as soon as 9 weeks of age.  We also provide an extended training program for families looking to bring home an older, more trained Shih Tzu.  Training includes: continued socialization, potty training, learning how to walk on a leash, rest comfortably alone in their playpen, sit, stay and come. The fee for this program is $45/day.  Families can elect as little as a few days, or as much as 3 weeks (12 week old puppy).  12 week old puppies will also receive their 12 week physical & vaccinations from our veterinarian at no additional charge before going home.  

Spay/Neuter Required   

As a compassionate and accountable breeder, we feel a strong responsibility to each puppy we bring into the world, and any puppies those Shih Tzu would produce.  As a result, we require all of our puppies be spayed or neutered.  We do not sell to other breeders, pet shops, dog dealers, puppy mills or any of their agents.  We also do not broker puppies. All of our puppies are born and raised here at Sweetwater Shih Tzu.

History of the breed

Cherished by Chinese Royals as prized house pets for over a thousand years, the Shih Tzu was the preferred house pet for most of the Ming Dynasty and was discovered in England nearly 70 years ago. 

The Shih Tzu was bred to be a companion dog.  And as such, their temperament can best be described as outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting.

Size and coat

The Shih Tzu is a non shedding breed and can be a good choice for those with allergies.  Their coat is naturally long and silky but can be clipped shorter for easier care.  A full coat is not doubt luxurious and beautiful but does require daily brushing and maintenance.

Shih Tzu come in a variety of colors from solids such as black, brindle or gold, to endless combinations of white and a color such as black, brindle, or gold.  All colors are considered acceptable in the show ring and are judged equally.

The breed standard for size is 9 - 16 lbs.  All of our Shih Tzu are on the low end of the standard at around 9 - 12 lbs. 

Many breeders now advertise "imperial" or "teacup" Shih Tzu that weigh anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds.  We do not breed Shih Tzu this small because of the numerous health problems that come with that type of breeding practice.  Please consult with your veterinarian and do some research before purchasing a Shih Tzu of this size. 

Submit a Contact Form here 

to be added to the waiting list & reserve your spot in the selection process.

Sweetwater Shih Tzu © 2013  I  Privacy Policy

Additional information on getting a puppy from Sweetwater Shih Tzu

Improving the breed, one dog at a time.

​Sweetwater Shih Tzu

Wait time for new families is estimated to be about 1 year.

Proud to be licensed by:

License #  MN862526

Adoption Fees

Male puppies start at $3,250, and females start at $3,500 (plus sales tax 7.375%).  We also offer select puppies or pick of the litter puppies from time to time for an additional fee.  Please contact us for details and availability.  All puppies are beautiful, healthy and happy; Select puppies have superior markings, conformation and personality plus.

Selecting my Puppy

Once your contact form is submitted and approved, it will be date stamped, and that date serves as your "place in line" on the wait list.  Families on the list will receive email updates on upcoming & available puppies. At birth, we send a birth announcement. At 2 weeks of age, we take the first videos and begin the selection process, giving priority to families who have waited the longest, while still taking into consideration each family's preferences. 

We are happy to provide wait time estimations, however, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a puppy by a certain time. Depending on your preferences, the preferences of the families ahead of you (which can change), and current availability, including # of pups in the litter, color, gender, and size, you may get a puppy sooner than anticipated, or you may need to continue to wait for your Forever Friend. Please do not promise children or loved ones a puppy, until you reserve your puppy. 

The deposit to reserve a puppy is $1,000, with the remaining balance due at 9 weeks of age when they are ready to go home.  Puppies can go home as late as 12 weeks through our extended training program - additional information below.

We want each family to feel confident in selecting us as their breeder and allow our potential families the opportunity to come out and meet us in person prior to selecting their puppy.  If interested, please contact us to set up an appointment time. 

**Due to COVID, we are not accepting visits at this time.**  

We do not crate ship.  Please make accommodations to pick up your puppy in person.  Many airlines will allow you to fly your puppy home with you safely inside the cabin.

Trained Adolescent Shih Tzu

We understand that some of our Forever Families prefer a Shih Tzu that has already been trained. With that in mind, we occasionally have older trained puppies/dogs available with points toward their championship. Please contact us for availability and details.

Prenatal care - It all starts in the womb

Our Shih Tzu moms all receive the very best in prenatal care including:
               1. Regular checkups with the veterinarian
               2. Moderate exercise
               3. Muscle massage
               4. A diet of high quality dog food**, supplemented
                   with lean chicken, beef, Omega 3 fatty

                   acids, and probiotics.
               5. Lots and lots of love.

The result is a litter of strong, healthy puppies that will grow into healthy, balanced dogs.

**Our dog food is selected and recommended based on our Veterinarian's advice and years of personal experience. We do not participate in pyramid schemes, or profit in any way from the promotion of our dog food.


Social skills are necessary for your dog to live a happy, balanced life.  Our puppies are raised in our home in a clean and nurturing environment, never in a garage or shed. They are very curious and love to play and be held.  Our socialization process is extremely important as it helps to shape the puppy's personality and will make training much easier down the road.  For example, when puppies go home,
they are already comfortable with their face and feet being touched and groomed, and have already started potty training.

Before going home, each puppy:

1. Has been thoroughly examined by the Veterinarian and comes with a veterinary certification showing a clean bill of health. 

2. Has received a thorough eye examination by Veterinary Ophthalmologist, Dr. Olivero, and comes with OFA certification for their eyes. 

3. Is current on vaccinations. Depending on the puppy's age when he/she goes home, puppy vaccines are administered at 8, 12 & 16 weeks of age.  The six way distemper vaccine ensures your puppy is fully protected.  It includes: Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Coronavirus, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Leptospira Canicola-Icterohaemorrhagiae.

4. To ensure full effectiveness, all vaccines are administered by the veterinarian. Many veterinarians no longer honor shots administered by the breeder as a result of their ineffectiveness, and will require repeat vaccinations at the owner's expense.  Our vaccination & examination form clearly lists the name of the veterinary clinic and veterinarian who performed the exam. 

5. Is de-wormed with a broad spectrum de-wormer.  We perform a fecal test on our adults every six months.  To date, our results have always been negative for worms and parasites.  However, we continue to de-worm our puppies as a precautionary measure.