Brave, Dignified, Cheerful
The Shih Tzu, pronounced SHEED-zoo, in fact, are known as the “Chinese Lion”. The breed originated in Tibet as far back as the 1600s.
By the late 1800s, the Shih Tzu we know today came from crosses between Pekingese and a Lhasa Apso. The Shih Tzu was originally bred for royalty in China, therefore prized by Chinese Emperors for centuries. Hence, they were known to guard the Emperors Palace.
An independent dog who is intelligent, dignified, lovable, affectionate, sociable and super cute. They are part of the Toy Group.
For the most part, Shih Tzus don’t care what you do, as long as they’re doing it with you. Happy left with toys and chew sticks they will entertain themselves and stay occupied. Overall they love kids, family life, and get on well with other pets. In essence, his sole purpose in life is to give love and be loved.
For more on the breed check out the American Kennel Club.
The life expectancy of the breed is 11-15 years.
Size & Activity Level
The Shih Tzu range from 9-16 pounds. All in all, for a small dog, they have a good energy. Daily walks and romps in the yard make them happy. Their flat, pushed-in nose make warm temperatures hard on them. Obviously, they should be monitored closely in hot weather.
In short, these babies are up for anything and therefore are not demanding. For this reason, they will make a great companion for seniors or young families. Apartment living or the suburbs with a fenced yard will both give them the conditions for a good life.
Care & Grooming
The Shih Tzu has a long beautiful coat which requires a good amount of grooming. Great news though, they do not shed!
This breed needs to be brushed and combed out daily. To keep their hair out of their eyes use a clip or bow. Some owners prefer to keep their coats short. Bathe your Shih Tzu as often as you like to keep him smelling good. Be sure to blow-dry the coat thoroughly to keep your Shih Tzu from getting cold.
The Shih Tzu should be taught from puppyhood to relax during the grooming process. This will be a consistent part of the Shih Tzu’s life forever.