Shih Tzu Complete Breed Guide
The Shih Tzu, a tiny lion or lion dog, is a distinctive and popular toy dog breed. It's simple to understand why a Shih Tzu would be a companion dog appropriate for a Chinese emperor, with its tiny, strong build, floppy ears, and long hair. The Shih Tzu is a tiny yet tough dog with a thick, double-haired coat. This breed's alert, confident, playful, and brave temperament makes it a favorite among toy dog fans. The Shih Tzu is an old breed with a long history of serving as a nobleman's lap dog.
- Male: 9-16 lbs
- Female 9-16 lbs
- Male: 8-11 inches
- Female: 8-11 inches
- 10-16 Years
The Shih Tzu is a little, well-built dog with a sturdy frame. It should be between 8 and 11 inches tall at the withers and weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. Its body length should be slightly longer than its height, and it should be physiologically proportionate all over, not too little or too big, but a real miniature breed dog. It glides with easy, fluid steps, exhibiting strong drive and reach, and holding its head and tail high, revealing its ancient royal bloodlines.
It has long, straight hair that is double-layered, thick, dense, and luscious and extends past the feet. The Shih Tzu sheds extremely little, making it a suitable choice for individuals with minor fur allergies or who don't want to deal with a lot of hair. Because of this trait, regular grooming is required for this breed; as the hair becomes longer, it will get tangled and matted. The tail hair fluffing out in a fluffy plume that arcs over the back, and Shih Tzu's ears are big and long.
Shih Tzus are known for their upbeat, cheerful personality. They are enthusiastic and friendly. Shih Tzus get along well with people of all ages, other dogs, and animals of all types. The Shih Tzu is a little, alert dog with a lot of energy. It's cheerful and resilient, and it's full of personality.
The Shih Tzu is a sweet, loyal dog that readily makes friends and responds well to regular, patient training. It acts as a highly vigilant watchdog. It is both brave and astute. This playful and feisty small dog enjoys being around humans and is typically friendly with other animals. Some are notoriously tough to housebreak.
The Shih Tzu requires all people in the house to be pack leaders, and the house rules must be regularly enforced. Because of its small stature and cute face, this dog is prone to Small Dog Syndrome, a set of human-induced behaviors in which the dog feels he is in charge of people. This results in various behavioral problems, including separation anxiety, guarding, growling, snapping, and biting.
They may bark nonstop to tell you what they want. These are not Shih Tzu's characteristics but responses to how those around them handle them. Give your dog guidelines and boundaries for what it can and cannot do, and be a steady and constant leader. Take your Shih Tzu on regular walks to expend mental and physical energy. Its disposition will improve, and you will be able to bring out the lovely, dependable dog within it.
The Shih Tzu may be a fantastic companion if properly taught. This breed is suitable for flats and tiny living areas because of its modest stature. Because of its small, smooshed face and brachycephalic head form, the Shih Tzu is classified as a brachycephalic breed.
Shih Tzus are relatively easy to care for, but they will rapidly grow fat if given too many goodies. They do not require or desire a daily mile hike, but they like walks and should be kept fit. Shih Tzus competes successfully in obedience and agility. Shih Tzus do not do well in heat or humidity due to their long hair and small noses. If you live in a hot environment, having air conditioning will be essential for keeping your dog comfortable.
Shih Tzus needs a lot of human care. They like being around people and may quickly get spoiled. They like learning new skills and training to keep them mentally challenged. Shih Tzus should be introduced to children at a young age, even though they get along with people of all ages.
This breed's ideal human is someone looking for a real lap dog: a lovely, soft, loving companion that will stay by your side as you watch T.V.; a word of advice don't rely on your Shih Tzu to keep the house safe from strangers.
The Shih Tzu's coat is constantly growing. Many owners opt to maintain their dogs' hair short and wavy, giving them a fluffy appearance. Others like their coats to belong and be opulent.
They have a beautiful double coat of hair, which means that if you keep your Shih Tzu's hair short, you'll have to brush it frequently to minimize shedding. A long coat may appear to be a lot of effort, but it can help you keep shedding under control since the outer coat will catch most of the shedding from the undercoat until you're ready to brush. Just keep in mind that their hair grows quickly.
Brushing the Shih Tzu once or twice a week is recommended (up to once daily if the coat is kept long). Haircuts may be required every few weeks. Facial hair that isn't cut properly might irritate the eyes. This is why you sometimes see Shih Tzus with a topknot or a bow on their heads.
The nails of the Shih Tzu should be clipped once a month, and the ears should be examined once a week for dirt, redness, or a foul odor that might suggest an infection. To avoid issues, wipe them out once a week with a cotton ball wet with a mild, pH-balanced ear cleaner. Hair develops inside the Shih Tzu's ear canal, and if the dog has a lot of ear infections, it may need to be plucked.
Like the Shih Tzu, many tiny breeds are prone to dental issues, so keeping their teeth in excellent shape is critical. Brushing their teeth with a soft toothbrush and doggie toothpaste regularly will maintain their gums and teeth healthy.
The Shih Tzu lives between 11 and 16 years. Renal dysplasia (abnormal tissue growth), trichiasis (eyelash deformity), entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), otitis externa, patellar luxation, and inguinal (groin) hernia might affect this breed, as well as canine hip dysplasia (CHD). Cataracts and dental issues are very common in this breed. Eye, hip, and DNA testing are useful for preventing and managing non-preventive diseases.
Remember that after you've brought your new puppy home, you have the authority to prevent him from one of the most prevalent health issues in dogs: obesity. One of the simplest methods to lengthen the life of a Shih Tzu is to keep him at a healthy weight. Please make the most of your dog's nutrition and activity to keep him healthy for the rest of his life.
Lim Tiaw Leong, Shutterstock
The Shih Tzu is said to have originated in Tibet in the 7th century and may have been the smallest of the Lhasa Apsos there. The breed evolved into the dog we know today after giving Chinese emperors presents. Breeders have suggested crossing with Pekingese to shorten the face and selection for the smaller Lhasa-type dogs. Shih Tzu means "lion dog," which further confounds the lineage because the lion dog generally refers to the Pekingese.
During the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.) and the Ming Dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.), the Shih Tzu was a favorite of royalty (1368 to 1644 A.D.). Small dogs that resembled lions were imported from Tibet to China in the mid-1600s and utilized to produce the Shih Tzu breed we know and love today.
The Shih Tzu was favored by Dowager Empress Cixi, a strong and charming woman who ruled the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China for 47 years after the Ming Dynasty ended. Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih Tzus, were among the tiny breeds she maintained at her kennel. The dogs were distributed after her death in the early 1900s, and the Shih Tzu breed became scarce. Shih Tzus were nearly extinct during the Chinese Communist Revolution. Fortunately, some Shih Tzu breeders retained their dogs and bred them. Only seven males and seven females are considered the basis of all current Shih Tzus.
The Lhassa Lion Dog was first displayed in 1935, and it was then that the breed began to acquire popularity on a larger scale. The Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso were once confused in England, but once the Apso was shown in 1934, the two breeds were separated into separate classifications.
The Shih Tzu moniker was given to the smaller Peking dogs with shorter noses and broader heads. In 1952, just one Pekingese outcrossing was approved, and this cross was never allowed again. Since then, the bloodline's purity requirements have been rigorously adhered to. The breed's popularity grew dramatically in the United States throughout the 1960s, paving the stage for its certification by the American Kennel Club in 1969. It's one of the most loving toy breeds, and its appeal as a domestic companion and show dog is growing.
Thanks to his joyful, always-ready disposition, the Shih Tzu temperament provides a hilarious experience. He likes being around humans and other dogs and pets and wants to be a part of the family's enjoyment.
In reality, Shih Tzu's disposition toward children is unaffected. You only have to make sure the kids are playing with him cautiously, so he doesn't injure himself owing to his little height. Shih Tzus has a playful and loving nature. He is brave, effervescent, and gregarious, yet he may sometimes be obstinate.
This might be the dog for you if you're seeking a little best friend who can adjust to apartment living, join you on the sofa for hugs, and shower you with unconditional affection.