Welcome to our Chinese Imperial Dogs & Shih Tzu's of Utah


They are the gift of Love!!




Our Breeding & Whelping Guide

We have been breeding Shih Tzu's for 11 years.  We have read and researched a lot of information and tried different things to help insure a good whelping experience. 

Signs to watch for when the mom is ready to deliver:

  • Take the momís temperature morning and night for the last 2 weeks. You can monitor when there is drop in temperature to below 99E and stay there. This will indicate that within the next 24 hours the babies will arrive.
  • The mom is very restless and will nest.
  • She will not want to eat the regular food and maybe even her treats.
  • She could start to pant and not stop for long periods of time.

  • Watch for signs of pushing. This indicates that it is getting closer to delivering.

  • Some moms do not follow any signs of deliver.  Make sure you are available when whelping is eminent, because some of the Shih Tzu's have a tendency to come breech.  You may have to assist in the delivery of the babies.



Supplies to have ready for the delivery

  • Thermometer (digital is easier to ready and more accurate)
  • Vaseline (use on the thermometer before taking the temperature)
  • Alcohol wipes to clean instruments with
  • Dental floss to tie the cord with
  • Scissors that have been sterilized
  • Baby nose suction tube, to clean out the puppies nose and mouth of amniotic fluid
  • Clean towels to dry the babies with
  • Whelping box - ours measures 2' x 3' and 1 x 12 boards are used and some 1 x 1 on the ends. We have found this to be a great size to both birth in and raise the puppies.
  • Keep the babies warm (80Eto 85E the first 2 weeks). If the babies get cold they will stop eating and then die. So keep the room warm and without drafts. After 2 weeks you can decrease the temperature of the room by 3E to 5E each week until you achieve about 70 or 75E. Use a heat lamp or other heating device to maintain the room temperature.  Do not use heating pads.  You can also purchase a room thermometer to monitor your temperature.  We got our heat lamps and thermometer from Home Depot.  The box costs about $50.00 to make and the thermometer was $10.00.
    • If the puppies get too warm they can dehydrate and die.  If they are too cold, they will not eat and die.  Temperature is Very Important and we can not stress enough to keep an even temperature without drafts.
  • Postal scales if you want to weigh the babies
  • Chicken broth for the momís first meal after delivering and even for the first 24 hours. This helps to encourage her to get eating again after delivery.  My moms always like their food wet for the first few weeks.  I guess we spoil them. 
  • Rubber gloves


Samples of the equipment we use  



  • Vaseline & thermometer to take the moms temperature before deliver

  • baby ear syringe to suction out the puppies nose and throat of any fluids after delivery

  • floss to tie the umbilical cord with

  • Iodine Tincture to disinfect the umbilical area

  • alcohol wipes, and scissors



These scales go to 5 lbs.  bought at Office Max for $30.00.  We later bought some others scales that will go to 50 lbs.  I looked online for digital scales and found them for $40.00.  I enjoy the scales that go to 50 lbs because we can weight the bigger dogs.



Room thermometer with a cord and meter on the end, to put in the box.  This can tell you the box temperature.  Purchased at Home Depot for $10.00



Boxes that were made from 1" x 12' boards.  With some 1" x 1" on the ends.  We then cut each length in half and nailed the box together.  Items for the box were purchased at Home Depot for about $50.00 a box.  The fence was bought at Petco and PetsMart.  The fence will keep the mom in the box with the babies, and later the babies from jumping out.

Notice the food dishes in the far left corner.  You have to protect the puppies from climbing in the water and drowning.  Therefore we put the food and water dishes in a high sided container.

After a litter has been raised and sold, we wash out the box with 50/50 Clorox and water.  This disinfects the box and gets it ready for a new litter.  If needed, the box will be re-varnished to seal the wood.






Removing the Dewclaws



This is the way we remove the dewclaws. 

This is not the only way they can be removed.  You can also consult your vet, or do an internet search for dewclaws removal.  Some people use hemostats and pull them out.

We purchase the Rica Cautery tool from www.revivalanimal.com The scissors work best if there is a serrated edge on one blade.








This page was last updated on 06/10/10.