Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small dog that originated in China where it was prized by royal families. Over the years, it has been known by a variety of different names including the Shih Tzu, Little Lion Dog, Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog, Shih Tzu Kou and the Mini Lion Dog. Shih Tzu-type dogs have been in existence since about the 16th century. They are thought to be the result of crosses between the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso, which was known as the Tibetan Mountain Dog during this era. They received their name from the Chinese phrase Shih Tzu that means miniature lion. They were favorite pets among Chinese royalty and were so prized that the families refused to sell or give them away to anyone. It was not until 1930 that China allowed a pair of Shih Tzu to be imported to England. Shortly after this, the breed began gaining popularity elsewhere and several were shipped to the U.S. as well.

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed with a long body. They have sturdy bodies with short legs. Shih Tzus are famous for their round faces, which sport a mustache and a beard. They have short muzzles and an underbite. Shih Tzu dogs have long, pendant ears, which are so covered in hair that they are hard to notice. They have thick double coats with dense undercoats and an abundant, luxurious overcoat. Grooming a Shih Tzu is high maintenance. They need to be brushed daily and their coats should be clipped regularly. Their ears should be checked regularly. The Shih Tzu is a small breed that can weigh anywhere between eight and 16 pounds fully grown. They have a long, silky coat that can come in a variety of solid, parti or tri-colors. They have a short snout that results in an under-bite. The eyes of the Shih Tzu are round and can be either hazel or dark brown. Their medium-length ears are pendulous and covered with long, flowing hair. This dog is somewhat longer than it is tall, and its tail should be carried high, lay flat over the back and be covered with luxurious feathering. However, it is permissible for the tail to fall slightly to either side of the back. Personality: The Shih Tzu is a real lap dog, they love to snuggle up and receive belly rubs. They are generally well-behaved and make great family dogs. They are very affectionate and don't need plenty of exercise to be happy. They can sometimes be hard to train because they are stubborn, but don't appreciate rough handling. They make great watch-dogs and are very alert. The Shih Tzu is a lively and active little dog that loves to play. However, due to their small stature, they are not recommended for families with small children. Furthermore, an older Shih Tzu may not have the patience for young kids. Although these dogs like to play, due to their short snouts, they cannot tolerate extensive exercise.

Shih Tzu image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
China
Family
Group
Life Span
12-16 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog, Shih Tzu Kou, Mini Lion Dog, Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Build Information

Size
Toy
Length (Male)
8-12 in.
Length (Female)
8-10 in.
Weight
< 14 lbs
Litter Size
1 - 3 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed with a long body. They have sturdy bodies with short legs. Shih Tzus are famous for their round faces, which sport a mustache and a beard. They have short muzzles and an underbite. Shih Tzu dogs have long, pendant ears, which are so covered in hair that they are hard to notice. They have thick double coats with dense undercoats and an abundant, luxurious overcoat. Grooming a Shih Tzu is high maintenance. They need to be brushed daily and their coats should be clipped regularly.

Their ears should be checked regularly.

The Shih Tzu is a small breed that can weigh anywhere between eight and 16 pounds fully grown. They have a long, silky coat that can come in a variety of solid, parti or tri-colors. They have a short snout that results in an under-bite. The eyes of the Shih Tzu are round and can be either hazel or dark brown. Their medium-length ears are pendulous and covered with long, flowing hair. This dog is somewhat longer than it is tall, and his tail should be carried high, lay flat over the back and be covered with luxurious feathering. However, it is permissible for the tail to fall slightly to either side of the back.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Shih Tzu is a real lap dog, they love to snuggle up and receive belly rubs. They are generally well-behaved and make great family dogs. They are very affectionate and don't need plenty of exercise to be happy. They can sometimes be hard to train because they are stubborn, but don't appreciate rough handling. They make great watch-dogs and are very alert.

The Shih Tzu is a lively and active little dog that loves to play.

However, due to their small stature, they are not recommended for families with small children. Furthermore, an older Shih Tzu may not have the patience for young kids. Although these dogs like to play, due to their short snouts, they cannot tolerate extensive exercise.

Appearance

Colors
Black & White Tri-Color
Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
High Maintenance
Coat Type
Dense

The Shih Tzu is a breed that requires a lot of grooming to keep his coat in good condition. You will need to brush your pet daily to prevent mats and several times a day during shedding season. Nevertheless, you can choose to clip your Shih Tzu's hair to make him easier to groom. If you do not clip your Shih Tzu, you may want to put the hair on the top of his head in a "ponytail" to keep it from falling over the eyes. You should only need to bathe your Shih Tzu when necessary.

After baths, you can help the coat dry by squeezing it in sections first and then rubbing it gently with a towel.

Check your pet's eyes occasionally. The Shih Tzu's eyes tend to run, and you may need to gently wipe the corners of them from time to time with the corner of a damp rag. While checking his eyes, you can check his ears as well and use the opposite corner of the rag to wipe out any excess wax. Finally, if you need to clip the nails, use a guillotine nail clipper and take care not to cut into the veins inside each nail.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Hard
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
No
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
No
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
No
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
No
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
No
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • The short snout of the Shih Tzu makes him especially susceptible to heat stroke
  • The Shih Tzu has been depicted in Chinese art for centuries
  • During the early 1930s, the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu were lumped together as one breed in England

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Shih Tzu Training

Shih Tzus can be difficult to train; particularly house training. Praise is extremely important with this breed. The pet parent must be consistent with her training methods as well to ensure proper training of their dog. Just like other dogs, their goal is to make you happy so training is not impossible. They pick up on the tone of your voice so ensuring you sound happy is very important.

Common Health Conditions in Shih Tzus

Although a healthy Shih Tzu can live for 16 years or longer, this breed is prone to developing a variety of genetic health issues. Some of the most common conditions that may develop in the Shih Tzu can be found listed here: Breathing Difficulties/Respiratory Problems, Intervertebral Disk Disease, Hypothyroidism, Epilepsy, Early Tooth Loss, Obesity, Patellar Luxation, Cataracts, and Hip Dysplasia. If you are looking for a loyal companion that will fit into most any size home, the Shih Tzu may be the pet for you! These lovely little dogs bond quickly to their owners, and they love cuddling on laps just as much as they love playing a game of fetch. Furthermore, due to their size, they fit perfectly well in small homes or apartments.

Shih Tzu Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Insure your Shih Tzu

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