They are believed to have originated in Tibet, where they lived in the Temples and were occasionally given as a gift to the Emperors of China. Once they were in China they were crossed with the Pekinese to become the breed we recognise today. They arrived in Britain after 1912, but they were not given recognition until 1949. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that they were recognised in America.
The Shih Tzu is a long coated, sturdy little dog. They move in quite an arrogant manner with their tails carried over their backs.
|Colour||The coat comes in a variety of colours including black, gold, grey, silver, red, beige and brindle, all these colours can have white with them.
|Coat Length||Medium Long
|Weight/Height Range||The height at the withers should be no more than 26.7cms. The weight is between 4.5-8.1kgs, the ideal weight being 4.5-7.3kgs.
|Ailments||They are prone to eye problems as they protrude. Due to this they are susceptible to lacerations and their eye lids and lashes can grow in such a way as to irritate the eye. The tear ducts may produce too much or too little and need to be treated.
|Breed Classification||This little dog is a member of the utility group. In Australia it is classified as a non-sporting dog, and in America as a toy dog. They were originally kept by the Emperor as a court dog in China, today they are companion dogs.
Feeding & Ownership
Feeding will be less than $4 per week.
|Food Cost||$5 to $10|
The Shih Tzu is an affectionate, playful and intelligent dog. They do love children and will accept other dogs and household pets if introduced from an early age. As a breed they can be independent and wary of strangers.
|Intelligence||They are intelligent little dogs, but can be quite independent. They enjoy learning and like to please. They can be obstinate at times and can give the impression, with their dignified attitude, that some tasks are beneath them. With patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient.|
|Suitability for Children||High
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||They do require exercise but are quite happy to stay at home and play. They are perfectly content with short walks.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||Low|
|Ease of Transportation||High|
|Level of Aggression||Low|
|Other Animal Compatibility||High|
The coat of the Shih Tzu is long, soft and dense, with a good amount of undercoat. They do require a lot of daily grooming to keep their coats looking in top condition. It is best to start getting the dog used to being groomed when it is very young. Also they do require frequent bathing, sometimes as much as once a week, remember they must be dried completely. As the hair grows upwards from the bridge of the nose it is often tied up in a topknot, on top of the head. Their faces may need to be washed daily as food etc can get stuck on the hair. If the coat becomes too much they can be kept short, a groomer or the breeder is probably the best person to advise on how this is carried out.
|Grooming Requirements||Every Day|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|
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