Inside the breed: Shih Tzu

bitsyShih tzu means lion in Chinese, and refers to the dog’s manlike coat and aristocratic air. This breed originated in Tibet and is thought to be related to the Pekingese. Shih tzu are considered an “ancient” breed since DNA analysis and depictions of them are found as early as 800 BC. However since they were favorites of Chinese royals and were so prized, for years the Chinese refused to sell, trade or give away any of the dogs. So it wash’t until the 1930’s that they made their way to Europe and until the 1950’s to the USA.
Shih Tzu are bred to be house dogs and companions. They are part of the toy breed group. They are lively, alert, friendly and trusting, which makes them great for homes with children and other pets. They only need a little exercise, a short walk daily or a few minutes of playtime are usually enough.
Professional grooming is required for their long, silky, flowing double coat. Most pet owners keep the hair cut short to make care easier, but daily brushing is a must and should be considered before getting this pup. They need to be trained when young for manners and to allow proper grooming.
Shih Tzu come in a variety of colors but most of them have some white.They are a little longer than they are tall, they hold their head up high and their tails curl over their body. The face is wide and round with big round eyes. They should be about 8 to 11 inches tall and between 8 and 16 lbs.