Shih Tzu Information
Current Translation: Lion dog
Original Meaning: Lion
Misspellings: Shihtzu, Shihju, Sheetzu, Shitzu, Sheetzo
Origin of the Shih Tzu: Tibet & China
of Origin: Arguably the Shih Tzu dates back to the 17th century
Weight: 9-16 lbs (4.08-7.26 kg)
8-11 inches(20.3-27.9 cm)
Life Expectancy: 16 years
Recognition: ACK, CKC,
Purpose: Companion dog and Show dog
The shih tzu is a small sturdy dog with a big heart. With a name meaning "lion," the shih tzu is an ancient breed and a
popular family pet. Recognized as part of the toy group by the AKC in 1969, the breed is an excellent choice for families
with children or for the elderly.
The shih tzu has racked up a number of honors recently. The breed won the Eukanuba Tournament
of Champions in October 2001, and was one of the top 10 breeds for the year 2006.
History and Origin
Based on their presence in various Chinese paintings and tapestries, it is thought
that the shih tzu has been in existence since 624 AD. Despite many theories about the origin of the breed, it is not disputed
that the shih tzu was part of the ancient Chinese court. The dogs were bred and selected with great care. From this foundation,
along with the help of Russian refugee Madame de Breuil, the dogs of today were developed.
In the 1930s the interest
in the breed had spread to England. During World War II, U.S. military personnel stationed in England fell in love with the
breed. When returning home, the shih tzu accompanied them, thus introducing the breed to the United States.
shih tzu has a short nose and slightly pushed in face. The hair coat is naturally long and dense and requires daily care.
The hair of the face is typically tied on top of the head as a topknot. To reduce the need for daily brushing, some people
have the coats trimmed in a short terrier-like trim. Shih tzus can be any color or combination of colors.
only 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighing 9 to 16 pounds (though some may weigh as much as 20 pounds), the shih tzu
is a small but tough little dog.
The shih tzu is bred to be a pet and nothing else. The breed
is strong and sturdy, the least delicate of the toy breeds. They have the appearance of being proud and arrogant but are actually
gentle and very playful.
Home & Family Relations
The shih tzu is a friendly dog that adapts to any
family situation but is definitely an indoor dog. They can easily withstand the rough treatment, and even the occasional dress-up
of children and make excellent children's companions. The breed is also loyal and gentle enough to be a great choice for a
companion for the elderly.
Basic obedience is recommended to help develop a content and pleasant
member of the family. The shih tzu is not typically trained for specific jobs and does best as just a loving pet.
With a long hair coat, the shih tzu needs grooming to prevent mats.
There are lots of sites for dog breeders, but look at QualityDogs.com to see responsible breeders of Shih