Tzus may have originated from a cross
between the Tibetan Mountain Dog, Lhasa Apso
and the Pekingese. They were a favored dog
of the Emperor and have been portrayed in
Chinese paintings and artwork for centuries.
Thought to have been around since possibly
the 7th century, the Shih Tzu was probably
descends from a Lhasa type dog that came
from Tibet, which then mixed with the
Pekignese or Tibetan Mountain Dog. All are
similar in appearance and attitude, although
the Shih Tzu is more people oriented and
less suspicious than the Lhasa Apso. Shih
Tzus lived a life of luxury in the palaces
of royal Emperors and the Dalai Lama. They
were bred as pets and companions, and
commonly kept as so. They were called "Lion
Dogs" by the Chinese, in which the lion was
a powerful symbol of honor and strength.
Chine became a republic in 1912, and
afterward a few of these animals made their
way to Britain and other countries. After
this the communist takeover of China
resulted in almost all dogs being eliminated
from the mainland, in which the Shih Tzu was
fortunate enough to have made its way to
other countries ahead of time. They were
first imported to England in the 1930s. Then
after World War II they made their way to
the United States via military officers
traveling home. The breed entered North
America in the 1960s, and it wasn't until
1969 that the AKC recognized the breed. One
Shih Tzu, on its first entry into a dog
show, obtained Best in Show in the ring on
its first try. The breed today has become a
popular in many countries.
Shih Tzu Profile
The name "Shih Tzu" means lion dog in
Chinese, and they received the name because
of their long, flowing mane-like coat. The
lion is highly regarded in Buddhist culture,
and therefore the Shih Tzu made its way into
palaces and royalty's lap in the older days
of China. The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively,
toy dog with a long flowing double coat. The
topknot on the head is usually held up with
a bow, and they have dark round eyes with a
pleasing expression. Shih Tzus can be of any
color and any pattern, but a white blaze and
a white tail is much desired. They somewhat
resemble Ewoks from the movie Star Wars. The
actual Japanese standard for this breed
states that this breed should have, "lion
head, bear torso, camel hoof, feather-duster
tail, palm-leaf ear, rice teeth, pearly
petal tongue, and a movement like a
goldfish." Shih Tzus have a distinctively
arrogant carriage with head well up and tail
curved over the back. They may display an
arrogant personality, but are actually
playful and gentle. They are quite friendly,
more so than their cousins, the Lhasa Apso.
They are not as wary of strangers, and get
along well with everyone. Shih Tzus adapt
well to any family situation and will enjoy
a cuddle in your lap, doing tricks, or
fetching a tennis ball. Shih Tzus are an
intelligent dog who will make a good family
addition. Despite their small size the Shih
Tzu is a confident and dignified breed.
Chrysanthemum-Faced Dog, Foo Dog
Type: Companion Dog
Height: 8 - 11 inches.
Weight: 8 - 19 lbs. Between 8
and 16 lbs. is most desirable.
Colors: Shih Tzus come in all
colors and all patterns.
Coat: Long, dense, straight
and with a good undercoat. It appears
harsher than it feels.
Temperament: Shih Tzus are
gentle, loyal, and proud. They appear
arrogant, but are very friendly and
affectionate. They love to play ball and
will chase anything you throw for them. Shih
Tzus are trusting, companionable, and get
along with everyone, generally. They are
lively, alert and energetic outside. They
are very people oriented, vivacious and
athletic. The Shih Tzu makes a very pleasing
companion and will be obedient if trained.
With Children: Yes, they love
Yes, the Shih Tzu gets along well with other
Special Skills: Family pet
Watch-dog: Very High. They are rather
Guard-dog: Very Low. Although
alert, Shih Tzus remain quite friendly, even
Shih Tzu Care and Exercise:
Daily grooming is essential for the Shih
Tzu. Bathing needs to be done once a month.
This breed also needs a clipping of the
matting on the feet. They should be brushed
daily in order to remove and prevent mats
from forming in the fur. Minimal exercise is
needed, but they will love to play outdoors.
Training: Shih Tzus may be
obstinate but patience and consistency will
help over come the problem and achieve a
reasonable level of training. Puppies need
basic training when they are young. They
should turn out to be a moderately obedient
pet if trained.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience
- Medium. Problem Solving - Low.
Activity: Indoors - High.
Outdoors - Low.
Special Needs: Attention and
Living Environment: An
apartment is adequate provided they receive
some type of exercise. An owner of a Shih
Tzu should be a consistent leader who
desires an active, curious breed. They are
very adaptable, but the best owner for this
breed would be an attentive owner living in
an apartment or suburban home.
Typical Life Span: 10 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 2 - 4 puppies.
Country of Origin: Tibet
strive to breed to the AKC Standards of
confirmation, movement, & great
temperaments, our puppies sizes are
generally the smaller of the standard (9-10 lbs), & imperial tinies
They are purse
puppies with all the same beautiful and
regal confirmation of
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