A Shih Tzu is an energetic, playful, alert toy breed with a long flowing double coat.
This pooch is proudly conscious of its distinctive haughtiness and arrogance, always carrying itself with an air of superiority and pride.
Even though there has always been considerable size variety among dogs, generally the Shih Tzu is a small and sturdy dog.
The Purebred Shih Tzu is a precious package of a dog who is actually more closely related to the wolf than many other breeds.
Dog trainer Andrea Arden comments about this pedigree dog:
It is hilarious to watch them sort of flowing across the ring.
It looks like they’re floating with all the coat flowing behind.
Table of Contents
- What is a purebred Shih Tzu
- Origin of the pedigree Shih Tzu
- How do I know if my Shih Tzu is purebred
- Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale
- How much does a Shih Tzu cost?
- Grooming the Shih Tzu’s two-layer coat
- Some distinct traits of the Shih Tzu
- The Shih Tzu – a warm, cuddly, loving lap dog
What is a purebred Shih Tzu
Purebred Shih Tzus are the smallest and most elegant of the Chinese dogs, and are also known as “Little Lion Dogs” or “Chinese Crested”.
They have been bred for centuries in China, but were first imported into England around 1900.
Shih Tzus are very intelligent and social animals which can be trained easily, though with patience.
Their coats come in various colors, including black, white, red, blue, yellow, tan and apricot.
A purebred Shih Tzu’s life expectancy is between 12-14 years.
Origin of the pedigree Shih Tzu
Whether a star in the ring or at home, the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dogs.
According to chief veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan at the SPCALA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles)
Shih Tzus have been charming people for over 2000 years. It was actually bred in Tibet as a lapdog.
The Shih Tzu was created by crossing the Pekingese with the Lhasa Apso and landed in the Chinese imperial court, where she earned the name ‘lion dog’.
According to legend, they slept at the foot of the noble’s beds to act as foot warmers.
Then, during the British invasion of China, the Shih Tzu breed was almost entirely lost.
Only seven female dogs and seven male dogs remained.
Today, every member of this breed can be traced back to one of those surviving fourteen Shih Tzu.
They first showed up in America during World War II when some Shih Tzu dogs were brought back to the US by American servicemen who had been stationed overseas.
It was not until the late 1960s when the Shih Tzu became an official member of the AKC (American Kennel Club).
Since then, they are becoming an ever more popular breed among families.
First time dog owners often choose Shih Tzu dogs because they are affectionate, friendly, and easy-going.
They are frequently seen gracing the show ring.
Yet, they also have another important job besides being a treasured member of the family.
A Shih Tzu serves as an affectionate friend for people who live alone.
How do I know if my Shih Tzu is purebred
A first step and a good way to verify if you are dealing with a purebred Shih Tzu, is to go through some of the specific characteristics of the breed, like:
- Body size – height at withers is around 9 to 10½ inches;
- Weight – mature dogs weigh 9 to 16 pounds;
- Tail – curved over the back and heavily plumed;
- Ears – heavily coated, large and set slightly below the crown;
- Eyes – set wide apart, large and round, not prominent;
- Nose – wide and open, the nostrils are broad;
- Tongue – should not show when mouth is closed, despite the undershot bite;
- Coat – double-coated, dense, luxuriously long and flowing;
- Color – various from black, blue, brindle, gold, liver, red, silver and combination of these with white;
Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale
If you’re thinking about getting a pedigree Shih Tzu, here are some things to consider before buying your puppy:
- If you want to get a purebred Shih then make sure that it has an AKC registration number. This will help you identify which breeder you purchased from.
- Make sure that the breeder you choose is reputable. Ask friends and family members for recommendations.
- When you go to visit the breeder, ask him/her questions about the health of their puppies. You should feel comfortable asking these questions.
- Always take along a friend or relative when visiting the breeder. This person can help you find out what you need to know about the breeder.
- Be sure to read the contract carefully before signing anything.
- Once you’ve found a breeder, don’t hesitate to contact them again if you have any questions.
- Don’t buy a puppy just because he/she looks cute!
How much does a Shih Tzu cost?
The price of a Shih Tzu varies depending on the color, coat type, age, sex and other factors.
Puppy prices start at $400 and can reach thousands of dollars.
Alternatively, you can consider adopting a Shih Tzu from a shelter or a friend.
There are many shelters where you can adopt a pet without having to pay a lot of money.
You can also search online for free ads about available pets.
Grooming the Shih Tzu’s two-layer coat
This bewhiskered tory is famous for her luxurious undulating coat, which is really comprised of two distinct layers.
The top coat is long and silky, while the undercoat is fleecy and feathery, forming a majestic doggy coat that keeps growing like hair.
Most people who own a Shih Tzu keep their dogs clipped short in what is called a ‘puppy cut’.
Shih Tzus that are maintained in a puppy trim should be groomed about every four to six weeks.
There is a variety of trims that you can give a Shih Tzu to make them really cute.
Some distinct traits of the Shih Tzu
Whether you go “puppy cut” short, or “show dog” long, the Shih Tzu comes in a multitude of colors.
Nineteen different combinations to be exact.
This dog also has a lovely mustache and beard.
The large round eyes are set far apart and could simply melt your heart if you look too long.
The Shih Tzu’s tail curls over her back in a pretty arching plume.
Although all Shih Tzus have distinct dispositions, it can be said that they share a few of the same traits.
Dr. Karen Halligan:
Even they were bred for royalty, they don’t need a palace; you live in a tent, I’ll live with you in a tent.
- The Shih Tzu is a generally healthy breed, but they can suffer from kidney and eye problems;
- As for grooming, if you want the show dog look, be prepared to do a lot of work;
- Training them, it can take forty or fifty repetitions before they comprehend a command.
The Shih Tzu – a warm, cuddly, loving lap dog
So, in general, the Shih Tzu excels in busy environments and will go anywhere with you.
They live long lives with not many health issues.
But if you want that long beautiful coat, you will spend a lot of time grooming the Shih Tzu.
For training, teach this little one early on, and you will be rewarded with obedience.
Shih Tzus fit into just about any family.
They are known to be especially affectionate with children.
For people who lack a big backyard, or live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of space for a dog, these furry friends are perfect pets.
A short walk every day with you and some time playing indoors will keep him happy and healthy.
Remember: being cute is a way of life for this lively charmer.
A warm, cuddly, loving lap dog, the Shih Tzu will win you over every time!