The 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:
It is hilarious to watch them sort of flowing across the ring. It looks like they´re floating with all the coat flowing behind.
Shih Tzu – the oldest breeds of dogs
Whether a star in the ring or at home, the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dogs.
According to chief veterinarian at the SPCALA, Dr. Karen Halligan:
Shih Tzus have been charming people for over 2000 years. It was actually bred in Tibet as a lap dog.
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 and today, every member of this breed can be traced back to one of those surviving fourteen Shih Tzu.
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’.
Celebrity pet stylist Jonathan David says:
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 pooch 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.
• Considered one of the hardest dogs to train, 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.
Finally, the Shih Tzu fits into just about any family.
A warm, cuddly, loving lap dog, the Shih Tzu will win you over every time!