I get a lot of comments on my YouTube videos and Instagram pics on how I am being “cruel” by not cutting Winnie’s hair. I tend to ignore these ignorant comments for the most part, but every once in awhile I think it is a good thing to share my reasons for keeping Winnie long.
No, Winnie is not a show dog (I get asked this all of the time). In fact, the only reason I have her and not one of her brothers or sister is particularly because she is not a show dog. I am under contract not to show her and she is fixed anyway, which means she cannot be shown (showed?). I never had any intentions of owning a show dog, nor would I want to show Winnie.
I choose to keep her hair long like a show dog, however, for a few reasons (in no particular order):
1) It is beautiful. Shih Tzus were bred to be long-haired dogs. You can do research on their history like I did before acquiring Winnie if you’d like. Her hair naturally grows long and so I keep it that way. I have nothing against people who clip their ‘tzus, but I prefer my dog this way.
2) She is a beauty and she knows it. I swear a lot of her personality is in her hair. If I clipped her it would impact her deeply. You have to know her personally to understand this. Her hair is part of who she is.
3) I enjoy grooming Winnie and maintaining her coat. Every day I spend around 20 minutes grooming her. This has become a daily ritual and bonding time for me and Winnie. If I were to suddenly take away this ritual, we would both deeply miss it. It’s our time together, just me and her, every single day.
4) Most importantly, Winnie is a happy and healthy dog. Every time we go to the vet (and we go at least 4x a year for health checks due to travel) I receive so many compliments on her and comments on how she’s the most well-cared for dog they see. I take pride in my care for Winnie and she is wholly devoted to me because of this attachment.
Please do not worry for the health and well-being of my pup. I understand how people who do not spend time with Winnie in person might fear that she can overheat in the summer or not be able to see or be bothered by hair in her mouth. Rest assured that I am taking the best care of my dog, and since I know her better than anyone, I know what that entails. I would not hesitate to clip Winnie’s hair if it was in her best interest or for her health. In that same vein, I am not risking her health right now by keeping her long. She is a happy, healthy girl, because I understand and attend to her needs. I hope this clears up any questions you might have.