Compact, yet marginally longer than it is tall, the Shih Tzu reaches a hardy body under its mantle of luxury hair. It’s a smooth, effortless stride with great reach and drive. Though its purpose is that of company, it must however be structurally sound. Its expression is hot, sweet and wide-eyed, imparting the feeling of confidence and friendliness. The long, dense coat is double and quite straight.
The spunky but sweet Shih Tzu is equally a gentle lap puppy and a lively companion. It’s a positive attitude and loves to play and romp. It’s affectionate to its loved ones and good with kids. It’s surprisingly tough and can have a stubborn streak.
|• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: renal cortical hypoplasia, entropion, trichiasis, PRA, KCS, CHD, otitis externa, portacaval shunt, inguinal hernias
• Occasionally seen: vWD
• Suggested tests: eye
• Life span: 11 – 14 years
|Shih Tzu (or more correctly, Shih Tzu Kou) means “lion dog,” designating the strain among the most prestigious animals in China due to its affiliation with Buddhism. Though the Shih Tzu is most frequently associated with China, it likely originated in Tibet as early as the 17th century, in which it appreciated status as a sacred dog. The Shih Tzu, since it’s known now, developed most uniquely in China during the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi (Tz’u-shi, 1861 — 1908). The Shih Tzu and Pekingese share similar historiesnonetheless, that the Shih Tzu can usually be distinguished in the Pekingese in Oriental artwork by the existence of lumps on the shirts of the mind, denoting a topknot, or pien-ji. The Shih Tzu has been a favorite home pet throughout the Ming Dynasty and has been highly prized by the royal household. After the British looted the Imperial Palace, the majority of the dogs had been dropped, and the strain suffered a fantastic setback. The Shih Tzu was first exhibited in China since the Lhassa terrier or Tibetan poodle. Back in 1935, it had been shown since the Lhassa lion puppy; at the time, it had been becoming very common. A similar state of confusion originated in England, in which the Lhasa apso and Shih Tzu were equally lumped together as the apso (meaning shaggy). In 1934, shortly after the apso was initially revealed, it had been split into two distinct strains, together with the smaller, wider-skulled, shorter-nosed puppies out of Peking dubbed Shih Tzu, their colloquial Chinese name. In 1952 one Pekingese cross has been approved to enhance specific points, but these spans have not again been allowed. In the USA, the strain started to become extremely common in the 1960s, resulting in AKC recognition in 1969. Its prevalence has continued to rise, and it’s among the most well-known toys.|