OKAY FIRST I WANT TO SAY FOR THOSE WHO SAY THAT IMPERIALS DO NOT EXIST- GET REAL. GET YOUR
HEAD OUT OF THE SAND. SAYING THEY DO NOT EXIST DOESN'T MAKE IT SO.
And to those who are claiming that only "unethical breeders" sell IMPERIAL pups I wish
to recommend a little history reading...
THE BOOK OF THE SHIH TZU. by Rev. D. Alan Easton and Joan McDonald Brearley... published
around 1978 in USA... one of the first books published on the shih tzu in the States. read page 141.
A lot of us breeder have these tiny little gems and will continue to have them. Many
of us have healthy gorgeous little miniatures of the standards. They are a treasure.
Shih tzu standard size is 9-16 lbs. 10 inches at the shoulder.
You can go to the
AKC website to get all of the information. Sometimes you
get a puppy who just doesn't seem to be getting as big as the rest.
They are not the runt. They are a "Small" and/or "Imperial". They
are NOT SICKLY and do NOT have more health issues than the other dogs. Our imperials are quite healthy - no seizures
and my eldest so far is 9 years old with no health problems at all - except she is so spoiled she stinks! They are an exact miniature replica of the standard. Most breeders of Shih Tzu recognize
that there are three sizes, even though the smaller sizes can not be shown by AKC standards, they
can still be registered. Just because it doesn't fit standard doesn't mean they
are not pure-bred.
Standard - 9-16 lbs.
Smalls 6-9 lbs.
Imperials - anything under 6 lbs.
We often have Imperials and Smalls are almost the norm for us any more.
We do not sell Imperials to families with children
under 10 years of age. When you see one
you will understand. They are so very, very, very
Purchasing an Imperial is quite a commitment as well. They sometimes
need extra care as in extra meals and attention to low-blood sugars until they grow
up. They often will play so hard with the other pups and forget to eat - then bottom out...unless
fed a proper diet, so they have to be monitored. JUST UNTIL THEY GET A LITTLE OLDER. :)
They may need to have their injections delayed until they are
more mature and "sometimes" the injections can cause them to be ill and have reactions.
An Imperial is quite an experience - our Isabeau does not know that
she is 4 1/2 lbs. She thinks she is as big as a Great Dane.
She rushes right out to greet big dogs and defends my husband as
if she were a German Shephard. Imperials have great heart and most that
I have seen are extremely intelligent.
I have often had people ask me why these little guys cost so very much. I had a son that was preemie and took a lot of care.
He cost more also. Most breeders will keep the smalls and Imperials longer to make sure that they are weaning from mommy properly.
They may take extra meals per day. Also, you may have to delay their shots until they have mature a little more. All of this takes time
and time is money in most
businesses as well as the breeding world.
I have customers who call and ask for an Imperial but they want
a specific color and with certain patterns. Imperials are fairly hard to come
by. They don't happen with every litter. If you are really determined to
have an Imperial you may have to wait on that specific color and
certain pattern, sometimes years.
Imperial females are NEVER bred. They are just too small. It
has been our experience, that you do not see an entire litter
of Imperials. (That is why you don't breed Imperial females, you can not guarantee that all of the puppies will be tiny.) Usually there will be
one -maybe two- imperials in a litter of a female or male who "throws" imperials.
Smalls happen more often and are usually pretty hardy.
EXAMPLE PHOTO BELOW: