Trying to decide between getting a bichon or a shih tzu puppy -- any advice?

lillie

Member
Aug 5, 2007
69
0
I just cannot make up my mind! We have three kids (9 year old twins and an 8 year old), one of whom has allergies, so that is an important consideration. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
Dec 12, 2006
289
1
I just cannot make up my mind! We have three kids (9 year old twins and an 8 year old), one of whom has allergies, so that is an important consideration. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Are you only choosing between those two breeds? I have very bad allergies but, have had no problems with my maltese. Malteses look similar to Bichons. If I were choosing only between a bichon and shih tzu, I would choose bichon. Poodles, bichons and malteses are the top three choices for people with allergies. (I still say go for the maltese though!)
 

miss alice

Dogs Rule!!
O.G.
May 24, 2006
3,776
7
In the Shoes with Red Soles
Most people are actually allergic to DANDER. So you need to find a breed that does not have undercoat. Maltese is one of the few breeds that does not have undercoat- hence very minimal shedding and dander as a result. I believe Shih Tzus have undercoat. My DH also was allergic and we tried visiting various show exhibitors (such as Shih Tzus) but he was still having reactions. I personally love Shih Tzus though, they are great dogs, esp with children, and not as high maintenance as the Maltese. The only breed my DH was fine with was the Maltese,which was why we ended up becoming Maltese parents.
I am not sure if Bichon has undercoat...have you tried visiting any of these show breeders? Maybe you can bring your kids along and see how they do during these visits before deciding on a breed.

Good luck!!
 

colabear1

O.G.
Sep 20, 2008
1,322
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PA
I have horrible allergies and had to think about dogs that would not shed alot. I looked into bichons, maltese and shih tzu. Other then the allergy factor, I knew alot of people that owned Shih tzu and were always so well behaved. When one had showed up for adoption at a resue center I could not pass her up. As mention above she does have an undercoat but does not shed. They are calm nature and very loving dogs. My dog loves to cuddle and a true lap dog, as that where she you will find her on someone's lap. I do not have children but have a nephew that is 4 yo and she is great with him. I also have a neighbor that is 8 yo that loves my dog but is not the gentle with dogs and my dog has not ever snapped or nip. Good luck with your decision!
 

lionlaw

Member
Jul 13, 2007
5,904
1
I agree with everyone else-- bichon.

If you are willing to expand your list, I would get a coton de tulear. I have two puppies and they are great dogs. Hypoallergenic, non-shedding, smart, bigger than a maltese, but still a small dog.
 

seaotta

Member
Oct 21, 2008
751
2
Seattle
Bichon!

My family has one and a friend of ours has two that she has bred (3 litters total), they're wonderful dogs.
 

Nyria

Diggin TPF
O.G.
Aug 20, 2006
12,156
12
Alberta, Canada
What about a mix of the 2? I've heard that the mix makes a really sweet dog. But I don't know much about the dogs as individuals ;)
 

aaallabama

r.i.p. my angel
O.G.
May 7, 2006
9,838
3
FLA
^^ another vote for the bichon!!! :yahoo:
(i've got asthma & allergies & it's the only
breed of dog that i'm not allergic to!!! ;))
 

boxermom

O.G.
Aug 26, 2006
27,084
591
North Carolina
I caught the middle of some dog breed show recently and the expert said Bichons are good for people with allergies, so maybe they don't have that undercoat or shed much.

Shih tzus have longer hair, don't they? That could be an issue for you.
 

lillie

Member
Aug 5, 2007
69
0
This is all so helpful -- thank you all so much! But now I am thinking I should consider a coton too! It is just so difficult to decide . . .
 

boomie

Dogs Rule
Nov 24, 2008
2,314
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Norfolk, Va
My family has had 2 shih tzus and they are such loyal and loving little guys. A friend has a bichon and he is so cute! Looks like you can't really go wrong either way :smile:
 
Oct 16, 2007
1,257
5
New York, New York
I had a bichon and she was the love of my life..good things about the breed: loveable, happy personalities - the happiest dogs, so good with kids, they just want to love you all over the place, fun to play with, but generally really calm. Also, they don't shed - which is great for the allergy factor.

She was fairly easy to train (we crate trained her) and just a big ball of fluff. They're not really yappy dogs - just calm and happy. I would not hestitate to get another one asap.
 

AngelBABY84

No more bags!!!!
Mar 24, 2009
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I have also been debating between these 2 and I'm leaning towards the Bichon. My BF is not a dog lover and doesn't want one sheds alot. Although Shi Tzu's are really cute.