Shih Tzu

t m

Shih Tzu

Breed Highlight:
 

Shih Tzu weighing between 9 to 16 pounds, and standing between 8 and 11 inches, are surprisingly solid for dogs their size. The coat, which comes in many colours, is worth the time you will put into its few dogs are as beautiful as a well-groomed Shih Tzu. Being cute is a way of life for this lively charmer. The Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children. As small dogs bred to spend most of their day inside royal palaces, they make a great pet if you live in an apartment or lack a big backyard. Some dogs love to dig holes and chase cats, but Shih Tzu's idea of fun is sitting in your lap acting adorable as you try to watch TV. 

Weight:

4-7 kg

Height:

23-27 cm

Life Expectancy:
10-18 yr
Litter Size:
3-4 puppies.
Breed Appearance:

The Shih Tzu is a sturdy little dog with a small muzzle and normally has large dark brown eyes. They have a soft and long double coat that will tangle and mat easily if not brushed at least every 2 or 3 days. Floppy ears are covered with long fur, and the heavily furred tail is carried curled over the back. The coat may be of any colour, though white and with blazes of grey are frequently seen. A very noticeable feature is the underbite, which is required in the breed standard.

The traditional long silky coat, which tends to reach the floor, requires daily brushing to avoid tangles. Because of their long coat and fast-growing hair, regular grooming is necessary and important, which may be expensive and should be taken into account when considering adopting one of these breeds. Often, the coat is clipped short to simplify care, but the coat still requires daily brushing. For confirmation showing, the coat must be left in its natural state, though trimming for neatness around the feet and anus is allowed. The shorter cut is typically called a "puppy cut" or a "teddy bear cut" when the puppy cut is accompanied by a fuller, rounder face, resembling a cute and cuddly stuffed animal.

History:

When you own a Shih Tzu, you own a little bit of Chinese history. Imperial breeders in the palace of the Chinese emperor developed the Shih Tzu (meaning “lion dog”) centuries ago from Tibetan breeding stock. The breed is most likely the product of crosses of two even older Sino-Tibetan breeds, the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese.

For hundreds of years, Shih Tzu lived the life of royal lap warmers and was pampered by emperors and their families. It is said emperors would give valuable gifts to breeders of Shih Tzu who produced the most beautiful and affectionate dogs.

The breed remained hidden behind palace walls, virtually unknown to the outside world, until the 1930s. Breed clubs formed in Peking and later England further refined the breed, not without much debate among fanciers as to proper type. The Shih Tzu entered the AKC Stud Book in 1969.

Since then, the Shih Tzu has been one of the most popular toy dogs here and in the United Kingdom. And they still treat their owners, no matter who they might be, like royalty. Owners as diverse as Queen Elizabeth II and Miley Cyrus have succumbed to the Shih Tzu’s exotic charms.

Originally:

China 

Currently Used As:

Bred solely to be companions, Shih Tzus are affectionate, happy, outgoing house dogs who love nothing more than to follow their people from room to room. Since ancient times, they’ve made themselves comfortable on the laps of people from all walks of life, even emperors!

Training:

Training a Shih Tzu can be both an amusing and a frustrating experience. The breed tends to charm his owner into letting him have his way, which can result in a chubby, less-than-completely-housebroken pet who is difficult to groom. Because Shih Tzu is such people dogs, training methods based on praise and rewards work best. Harsh corrections should not be used with this breed. Introduce desired new behaviours a bit, be firm, and never give in while the dog misbehaves. If he nips or jumps up on you, ignores him until he settles down, then praises him. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the Shih Tzu grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. When enrolling in a puppy class, be sure that the training methods used in the class are based on positive reinforcement.

Health&Care:

Because of their heavy coats and short faces, Shih Tzus do not tolerate heat well and are not good swimmers. Most Shih Tzu are generally healthy, and responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (a slipped kneecap), eye anomalies including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal detachment, and corneal dryness and inflammation from excessive exposure to the air because of improperly closing eyelids.

Living Condition:

Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and call us or a pet emergency hospital when something seems unusual. Be sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for her. This is when we’ll give her the necessary “check-ups” and test for diseases and conditions that are common in Shih Tzus.

Excersie:

The Shih Tzu was bred to be a house companion. As such, they require minimal exercise. Short daily walks with their owner and indoor playtime will satisfy the activity needs of this small, short-legged companion.

Grooming:

A Shih Tzu with a long coat requires daily brushing. Use a good-quality wire brush with flexible pins, and layer the hair to be sure you reach the skin. A bath about every three or four weeks will help to keep the coat clean and at its best. Remember to comb the moustache and topknot daily, and gently clean the corner of the eyes with a damp cloth. To protect the Shih Tzu's eyes from being irritated, the hair on the top of the head should be trimmed short or tied up into a topknot. If you don't want to have to spend time on your dog's coat, the Shih Tzu can look adorable when clipped into a "puppy trim" by a professional groomer. Trimming nails and cleaning ears should be part of Shih Tzu's grooming routine.

Pros:

Have gorgeous coats. Affectionate with children. Happy to spend time indoors. Great lapdogs.

Cons:

Those gorgeous coats can be high maintenance. They need high-quality food. Can be stubborn. Prone to health issues.