The Shih Tzu originated in China and is thought to be a mixture of the Pekingese and the Tibetan Lhasa Apso. They were bred to be a companion dog and bring happiness to their owners lives. This breed is also known as the Chinese Lion dog because they loosely resemble a lion. The Shih Tzu is historically one of the oldest dog breeds still alive today. These dogs were so beloved by their native country that even during trading, the Chinese did not sell any Shih Tzu.
This breed has a furry face that is similar in appearance to a lion and a pushed inwards nose. They have a small under bite and large bright eyes giving them a very innocent look. Their body is a bit longer than it is high with their legs being short and stubby. The Shih Tzu has a tail that is a tight curl and fur cascading down the coil. This breed has a thick double layered coat that is silky and regal.
The Shih Tzu is a barky dog that likes to hear its own voice! They are an outgoing and friendly breed that loves to be around people and other dogs alike. They have a loving and confident attitude that does not come across as arrogant. This breed gets along with other dogs and smaller family pets very well.
The Shih Tzu can come in any colour but most popular is either cream or white. For show purposes, there should be white on the end of their tail and on their forehead.
The Shih Tzu has a thick double layered coat that provides warmth in colder temperatures. Their undercoat is thick and lustrous, while the top coat is smooth and long. This gives the dog a luxuriously thick and silky coat that will almost always guarantee a seat on someone's lap! The Shih Tzu has a fringe of fur on their tails and surrounding their face giving them the ?lion? look. Their coat will need regular maintenance to keep tangle free.
The Shih Tzu is a high spirited and outgoing breed making them entertaining to live with. They make fun out of almost anything they do which is key to their contagious happiness. This breed is great with people, dogs, smaller animals, and children. They will make perfect family pets because they are so versatile and can get VIP treatment because they are small and can be brought almost anywhere. These dogs are very intelligent but it will take more effort to train them as they can be a bit stubborn. Housetraining might be more difficult due to their stubborn streak so puppies should be taken out every hour on the hour and slowly up the time distances between bathroom breaks.
Although the Shih Tzu is a small dog, they have the mind set of a big dog! They don't like to be pushed around and are not shy when it comes to getting what they want whether that be out of people or dogs.
This breed has a long coat which will need regular grooming maintenance to keep it looking great. Some owners like to put hair ties or bows on their head to look like a pony tail. Others prefer to keep the coat short at all times. Either way daily combing will be needed and bathing should be done about once every 2 months. Trips to the groomer to get a trim will be needed about once every 3 months depending on the owners preferences.
This breed will need very consistent training in the most positive manner. Firm methods and repetition will allow this dog to succeed in obedience! The Shih Tzu is known for not being the most compliant breed when it comes to basic obedience so training should start the day the dog is brought home.
The Shih Tzu will need daily exercise, walks or short trips to the dog park. Like most little dogs, this breed will burn off much of their energy playing throughout the day. The Shih Tzu will do well in an apartment because they don?t take up much space. A backyard would be great just so they have extra room to run around in, but this is not necessary as long as they get their regular exercise.