The Shih Tzu (pronounced /ˈʃiːtsuː/ SHEE-tsoo,
is a breed of small companion dog of very old dog type, with lengthy
silky fur. The breed began in China. The name is both singular and
Twiggy (the Shih-Tzu puppy/dog) running around in Prospect
Comment "i have a shih tzu called alfy. he is 3yr now and so
sweet. he loves everyone but not keen on small kids!"
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Shih Tzu (simplified Chinese:
Chinese: 獅子狗; pinyin:
Shīzi Gǒu; Wade-Giles: Shih-tzu Kou; literally "Lion Dog"),
is the Chinese name rendered according to the Wade-Giles system of
romanization in use when the breed was first introduced in Europe;
the Chinese pronunciation is approximately
SHIRR-tsə. The name translates as Lion
Dog, so named because the dog was bred to resemble "the lion as
depicted in traditional oriental art,"
such as the Chinese guardian lions. The Shih Tzu is also often known
as the "Xi Shi quan" (西施犬), based on the name of Xi Shi, regarded as
the most beautiful woman of ancient China,
and, less often, the Chrysanthemum Dog, a nickname coined in England
in the 1930s. The
dog may also be called the Tibetan Lion Dog, but whether or not the
breed should be referred to as a Tibetan or Chinese breed is a
source of argument, the absolute answer to which "may never be
A small dog with a short muzzle and large deep dark eyes, with a
soft long, double coat, the Shih Tzu stands no more than 26.7 cm (10
1/2 in.) at the withers and with an ideal weight of 4.5 to 7.3 kg
(10 to 16 lbs). Drop ears are covered with long fur, and the heavily
furred tail is carried curled over the back. The coat may be of any
color, although a blaze of white on the forehead and tail-tip is
frequently seen. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall, and dogs
ideally should carry themselves "with distinctly arrogant carriage".
Shih Tzu (Dog Breed Book) By Juliette Cunliff from
The traditional long silky glossy coat that reaches the floor
requires daily brushing to avoid tangles. Often the coat is clipped
short to simplify care, in a "puppy clip". For conformation showing,
the coat must be left in its natural state, although trimming for
neatness around the feet and anus is allowed.
Because Shih Tzu noses are small and flat, owners often wipe the
dog's face with a damp paper towel to remove food remnants after the
dog has eaten a meal. Shih Tzu may be trained to drink out of a water bottle. The water bottle
keeps the face clean and dry preventing red yeast from growing on
the Shih Tzu beard and moustache.
Owners often tie strands of hair from the Shih Tzu's head into a
pony tail that sticks up.
Recent DNA analysis confirms that the ancestors of today's Shih
Tzu breed are among the most ancient of dog breeds.
Ludvic von Schulmuth studied the skeletal remains of dogs found in
human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. Von Schulmuth
created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi
Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small
Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog" which evolved into the Tibetan
Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin. Another branch coming down
from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and
Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to
the Pug and Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu was almost completely wiped out
during the Chinese Revolution. Seven males and seven females were
saved, and today, all shih tzus can be traced back to one of these
There are various theories of the origins of today's breed.
Theories relate that it stemmed from a cross between Pekingese and a
Tibetan dog; that the Chinese court received a pair as a gift during
the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD); and that they were introduced from
Tibet to China in the mid-18th century (Qing Dynasty.
Dogs during that time were selectively bred and seen in Chinese
paintings. The first dogs of the breed were imported into Europe
(England and Norway) in 1930, and were classified by the Kennel Club
The first European standard for the breed was written in England
in 1935 by the Shih Tzu Club,
and the dogs were recatagorised as Shih Tzu. The breed spread
throughout Europe, and was brought to the United States after World
War II, when returning members of the US military brought back dogs
from Europe. The Shih Tzu was recognised by the American Kennel Club
in 1969 in the Toy Group.
The breed is now recognised by all of the major kennel clubs in the
It is also recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale
for international competition in Companion and Toy Dog Group,
Section 5, Tibetan breeds.
Pictures of Dillon the Shih Tzu from Rick - Thanks
Pictures of my black and white
shih Tzu called Dillon.
I prefer pictures that look at the dog in his natural state rather than highly
groomed and spangled. Most of these picture were taken at four months but one
picture was taken at about nine weeks.
He is a real fun dog, not a lap dog who likes to be pampered.
He loves water ?? I was informed
that because of their flat faces they hate being in water???
Well the wetter and dirtier this boy gets the more he enjoys himself. He is
stubborn but also trained to obey a dog whistle. He is intelligent and soon
learns new tricks, but if he decides he fancies doing something else, off he
goes. - Rick W
A number of health issues, some of them hereditary, have been
found in individual Shih Tzu, and are listed below. There is no data
on the percentage of dogs with these ailments.
Some health issues in the breed are portosystemic shunt of the
liver and hip dysplasia in standard sizes.
Shih Tzu are brachycephalic (short-muzzled) dogs and are very
sensitive to high temperatures. Many airlines that ship dogs will
not accept them for shipment when temperatures at any point on the
planned itinerary exceeds 75 °F (24 °C).
When they are drinking, it is sometimes necessary to supervise Shih
Tzu; water can enter their face-level noses more easily and inhibit
breathing. The area around the eyes should be checked each day for
mucus buildup and cleaned when needed. Providing the Shih Tzu with
bottled water (or water that does not contain chlorine) helps to
keep eye mucus to a minimum.
The life span of a Shih Tzu is 10-25 years although some
variation from this range is possible.
The Shih Tzu is a friendly lap dog that at one time was bred to
be a companion dog for Chinese royalty.
Some say living in the imperial palace gave the Shih Tzu an arrogant
although they also display qualities of devotion and adaptability. They are not afraid
to stand up for themselves. They tend to be sweet, playful, and
trusting as well. It ranks 70th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence
of Dogs, considered one of the lowest degree of working/obedience
intelligence (trainability). They don't need as much exercise as
larger dog breeds, but do suffer from the same difficulties as most
small breed dogs due to having a smaller bladder.
with other breeds
A crossbreed or dog hybrid is a dog with two purebred parents of
different breeds. Dogs traditionally were crossed in this manner in
hopes of creating a puppy with desirable qualities from each parent,
but when two different breeds are mixed, there is no way to know
which traits will be inherited from each parent. For pet dogs such as the Shih Tzu, crosses are done to enhance
the marketability of puppies, resulting in "Designer" dogs with
portmanteau names such as Shih-poo (a Shih Tzu crossbred with a toy
Poodle) and ShiChi (cross between Shih-Tzu and Chihuahua).
It is fashionable to merchandise crossbreed and mixed breed dogs
with the word hybrid, which implies two different species,
but all Shih Tzu and Shih Tzu crosses are of the species Canis
lupus familiaris. As with all dogs born of parents who are not
the same breed, "designer" dogs are not purebreds, and therefore are
not eligible for purebred registries such as the American Kennel
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|i have a shih tzu called alfy. he
is 3yr now and so sweet. he loves everyone but not keen
on small kids!
|When my grandmother passed away, it was very hard on
my mother. To help her in her grief, she purchased a
tiny Shih tzu. Molly is now nearly 12. All her life my
mom has referred to her as "The Queen Shih Tzu", she
let's you know just how royal she is. When she was
younger (and not suppose to be in the living room) she
would sneak in, curl up in amongst the stuffed animals
and lay as still as possible, hopping we'd not notice
her, and it worked! Mom called it doing the "E.T." from
when the little alien hid amongst the stuffed animals in
the movie. She's very loving, always looking for a lap
to curl up in. And un-like the characteristics of most
Shih Tzu's her favorite person in the whole world is my
nephew, who is only about 9 months younger than her. She
also tends to like my niece, even though she's a very
active 5 year old. She's a wonderful little "queen" of a
|I have a Shih tzu called coco.
she is very sweet and cuddly. When we go on walks she loves chasing
it is supposed to be pronounced choco but i just spell it coco - xxx
bye lauren rogers
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