The Pin-Tzu: A Complete Guide

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The Pin-Tzu is the hybrid breed of the Shih Tzu and the Miniature Pinscher. While these two dogs are similar in size, their characteristics couldn’t be more different.

This makes it confusing as to why the breeders chose to combine these two in the first place.

Whatever the reason was, however, the Pin-Tzu has grown into a well-loved hybrid and breeders all around the world are trying to capitalize on this dog.

Since they are a relatively new hybrid, there hasn’t been a specific set of character traits listed for this dog, so often the best way to figure out how your Pin-Tzu will behave is to look at the parenting breeds.

Today, the Shih Tzu is one of the most well-known show dogs in the world. They can grow long, wavy coats of fur which are often styled into wild hairdos.

Originally, however, these dogs didn’t have the preppy status that they do today. They used to serve as guard dogs and companions for Tibetan monks who lived in the mountains of China.

These Buddhist temples often held sacred artifacts and were often prime targets for lawless bandits.

The Shih Tzu was bred to have exceptional hearing and sight and would alert the monks whenever there was an unwanted guest.

The Miniature Pinscher, on the other hand, was developed as a small hunting dog.

The original Pinschers have long been regarded as fearsome hunting dogs, but their large size made them unsuitable for hunting small game.

Hunters needed a smaller version that could chase foxes and rabbits into their burrows and draw them out where the hunters could pick them off.

Today these dogs are more often bred as companions and small guard dogs as they are both alert and protective of their human families.

Pin-Tzus share the best traits of both of these breeds. They are usually kept specifically as companions. They are an energetic breed and are very playful.

They enjoy going out on walks and participating in fun household activities. However, their small size means that they are ideal for people who live in tiny homes or apartments.

Pin-Tzu Puppies – Before You Buy…

Pin-Tzu on a leash
The Pin-Tzu is only moderately intelligent.

Pin-Tzus are adorable little dogs that will make a perfect housepet. They will fit in well with just about any family, but they will need to be properly house trained and socialized at an early age.

Failure to do so can result in an adult that is slightly aggressive and has some antisocial behavioral traits.

Besides this, there is some other important information that you should know about this breed before bringing them home. Let’s take a look!

What Price are Pin-Tzu Puppies?

One would expect these dogs to be rather expensive due to their Shih Tzu ancestry, but they are usually affordable for most people.

You can bring home your first Pin-Tzu puppy for between $700 and $900. Occasionally, you will find a puppy who goes for up to $1,000 if the Shih Tzu used to breed it was an exceptional show dog with a high pedigree.

Most of the time, however, you will be able to talk the breeder down.

How to Find Reputable Pin-Tzu Breeders?

This dog is still relatively new, and as a result, there aren’t any predefined rules for how this hybrid should appear and behave.

Often you will have to judge how your Pin-Tzu will look and behave solely from how the parenting dogs are.

If you want to find a good breeder, your best bet is to look for one who has a small operation and can devote enough time and money into his stock for them to be happy and healthy.

In general, the happier that the parent dogs are, the healthier that their offspring will be.

3 Little-known facts about Pin-Tzu puppies

  1. Pin-Tzu puppies are very playful and will find a way to turn almost anything into a toy. If you don’t want them to chew up your furniture, make sure that they have plenty of toys.
  2. Pin-Tzu puppies need to be potty trained as soon as possible. They learn pretty quick, but if you don’t go out of your way to train them, then you will find them using the bathroom in your house on a regular basis.
  3. These puppies are generally quite good with children, but they will need to be socialized early in life to prevent potential antisocial behavior.
Curious Pin-Tzu looking up
The Pin-Tzu will look and behave solely the way its parenting dogs do.

Physical Traits of the Pin-Tzu

The Pin-Tzu is usually a toy-sized dog and inherits evenly from the Shih Tzu and the Miniature Pinscher. They tend to have a lean, compact body that takes after the Pinscher.

Their legs are short, and their tails are usually long relative to the size of their body.

Facially, this breed tends to take after the Miniature Pinscher more. They have the longer snouts, close eyes, and alert, curious look that makes them so adorable.

Shih Tzus tend to have flatter faces and a more rounded head shape. Pin-Tzus have small, triangular ears that usually hang flat on the side of their heads.

Pin-Tzus tend to have a thick, medium-length coat. This is a combination of both of the parenting breeds.

The Miniature Pinscher has very short-cropped hair whereas the Shih Tzu has very long, thick hair. These dogs almost always get their coloring and markings from the Pinscher, however.

As a result, their fur is usually all black with mahogany markings on their chest, face, and paws.

How Big is a Full-Grown Pin-Tzu?

Pin-Tzus are very small dogs, and they rarely weigh over 12 or 13 pounds when fully grown. Looking at their height, they tend to be around 10 or 11 inches tall, but some can grow up to a foot.

Unlike most breeds where males are slightly larger than the females, the Pin-Tzu has a relatively even size across the board.

Their small size makes them a great option for people who live in small city apartments or tiny homes without a lot of extra space.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Pin-Tzu?

Like most small dogs, the Pin-Tzu has a relatively long life expectancy.

As long as they are fed a healthy diet and get the proper amount of exercise, then these dogs can live to be up to 15 years old.

This makes them a great choice of dog for people who don’t like having to lose their family dog every 10 years like they would have to with larger breeds of dog.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Pin-Tzu

Pin-Tzu sitting happy
The Pin Tzu may develop breathing issues.

The Pin-Tzu has a moderate level of intelligence but is by no means the sharpest tool in the shed.

If you are willing to spend extra time training them, then you can teach them basic behavior, but that’s about the extent of how much they will learn.

More advanced concepts tend to go over their heads, and they will just sit there looking confused.

Their temperament is usually reserved, but they don’t enjoy being roughhoused around with. This makes them kind of touchy around little kids.

If you plan on bringing home one of these puppies, you will need to make sure that your children understand not to be too rough with the dog.

However, as long as they are properly socialized and your family knows to give them a bit of personal space, then the Pin-Tzu will get along great in almost any environment.

In general, Pin-Tzus tend to be very happy, playful little dogs. They enjoy running around the house, playing chase or just chewing on their favorite squeaky toy.

These dogs are very sociable and love to be around people and other small dogs. While they can be left alone for a couple of hours at a time, it’s best not to leave them alone for long periods of time.

The Pin-Tzu’s Diet

Your Pin-Tzu shouldn’t have to eat more than 1 to 1.5 cups of food per day. They are usually healthiest when they are fed twice a day; once in the morning and once at night.

If they get hungry during the middle of the day, then you should give them a small treat or snack.

How Much Exercise Does the Pin-Tzu Need?

Pin-Tzus only need a moderate amount of exercise. Due to their tiny frame, they can usually get most of their energy out just by running around indoors.

However, fresh air is still important for their development, and they enjoy seeing new sights, so you should take them out for a 30-minute walk a few times a week.

Pin-Tzu Health and Conditions

If they inherit more genes from the Miniature Pinscher, then these dogs won’t develop any notable health conditions.

However, if they inherit the flatter face of the Shih Tzu, then they may develop breathing issues that can severely limit the amount of physical exertion that they can withstand.

Final Thoughts on the Pin-TzuPin-Tzu guide

If you are looking for an inexpensive, friendly house pet, then the Pin-Tzu is a good option for you.

While they aren’t the most intelligent dogs and can’t be taught much outside of basic obedience, they are still fun dogs to have around the house and will provide you and your family with many years of fun and enjoyment.

Pin-Tzus also don’t need a lot of space which makes them a great choice for people who live in a smaller space.

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Info Sources: 1, 2, 3