The Shih-Tzu is a lively little dog, blessed with a huge, loving heart. His name can be translated to lion, faithfully reflecting his body construction. People have been breeding it since ancient times but it was only in 1933 that this dog first featured at shows.
The breed’s interesting, original look – with his long, luxurious coat - gave him the green light from the very beginning to those who adore special dogs. The AKC (American Kennel Club) mentions it as a social dog in 1969, and this classification does not stands far from reality, since the dog perfectly fits both the lives of families who have little children and even elderly owners looking for a less active dog.
The origin of the Shih- Tzu
Several Chinese paintings and a tapestry prove that the shih-Tzu has been in existence for around 600 years. Over the centuries, several legends were born about his origin, but most experts believe the Shih-Tzu originates from China.
The demand for the breed grew in the UK in the 1930’s, and American soldiers stationed in England during the Second World War fell in love with the breed – introducing Shih-Tzus’ into the USA upon returning home, where they remain one of the popular breed types to this day.
The Shih-Tzu is a sturdy, very thick and long haired dog, with a pronounced appearance. His head is also broad and round, with a muzzle that is short and square in appearance. His brown eyes are large and round, and he has large ears, covered with abundant hair.
His back is straight, wide, with a muscular chest. Front limbs are short, muscular and thick, while the hind legs are short, muscular and straight when viewed from behind.
His coat comes in all colours, and life expectancy is around 14-16 years.
How big is the Shih-Tzu?
Height tends to be between 25-26 cm and body weight around 4.5-7.5 kg.
The personality of the Shih-Tzu
It was bred as a lap dog and, although a very strong and brave animal, it makes for a better playmate than a watchdog. It is intelligent, alert and extremely playful. It is also a kind and funny dog that loves nothing more than being showered with attention.
Children should fall in love with this playful breed. A Shih Tzu is extremely energetic, and can walk for hours on end without showing signs of restlessness.
Shih Tzu Training
Basic obedience is needed to make this dog a fully-fledged member of the family. With high levels of intelligence, the Shih Tzu breed should also pick up skills relatively quickly.