Also known as the Little Lion or Lion Dog, the Shih Tzu is a unique and popular breed of toy dog. With his stocky little build, floppy ears, and long (sometimes expertly styled) hair, it’s easy to see why a Shih Tzu would make a companion dog worthy of a Chinese Emperor. Read on to learn more about this special pooch beyond their striking beauty, and find out if this is the breed for you.
- Origin: China
- Weight: 9-16 pounds
- Shelf life: 10-18 years
- Breed Group: Toy Group
- Activity level:
- Bark/Howl Level:
- Good with dogs: yes
- Good with children: yes
- Good with cats:
- Easy to fix:
- Easy to train:
Shih Tzu Appearance
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), adult Shih Tzus can reach a height of 9 to 10.5 inches and weigh between 9 and 16 pounds, with an average lifespan of 10 to 16 years.
Shih Tzu coats can vary widely, with most being white, gray, black, tan, gold, or multicolored.
Playful and happy lap dog
Shih Tzus have been bred for centuries not only for their beautiful, silky coats, but also to make phenomenal companions. Don’t you want to play ball? No problem. Her idea of a good evening is relaxing together on the couch. After all, they don’t hunt birds, herd cattle, or pull sleds. They are just made to love their family.
The breed has everything you could want in a friendly dog. They are known to be intelligent, lively, friendly, confident and affectionate. And unlike other toy breeds, the Shih Tzu doesn’t bark and doesn’t demand much, but lots of affection. It’s no wonder Shih Tzu owners develop such a strong bond with these dogs.
It could be said that Shih Tzus are good for anyone with knees. Their personality and energy levels make them a great choice whether you have a small or large space (again, as long as you have a drive). A simple daily walk and lots of pampering will keep them happy.
Shih Tzus also make great family dogs. However, due to their small size, they are not always suitable for families with young children who may accidentally injure themselves when playing roughly. It is best to wait until children are a little older and can watch out for small dogs.
Ideal environment for a Shih Tzu
The ideal environment for a Shih Tzu is where their favorite people are! As long as you provide a safe home and place to sit, your Shih Tzu will be happy. The AKC notes that Shih Tzus were originally bred “to spend most of the day in royal palaces,” so they’re perfectly content living in an apartment with no patio. They need exercise, which they can get with a brisk walk and play or two a day.
Shih Tzus are known to get along well with children and make excellent family pets. They are small but stocky, people-oriented and playful, and love to be the center of attention. Just make sure the kids in the family are taught how to be respectful around a dog.
Ideal human for a Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus were originally bred to be companions to emperors in China, but you don’t have to be a king to name them. The ideal person for this breed is someone who desires a true companion dog: a cute, sweet, and cuddly friend to be by your side while you watch TV. couch potatoes are welcome; Marathon runners don’t need to apply unless you want to push your Shih Tzu in a stroller.
Because of their long coat and short nose, Shih Tzus don’t tolerate heat or humidity well. If you live in a climate where it’s very hot, it’s important to have air conditioning to keep your dog cool.
Shih Tzu Training
Training a Shih Tzu can be both fun and frustrating. We can’t tell you if a dog like this is naturally stubborn or just gets away with being cute. But either way, stick with your training, be consistent, and remember that praise works better than punishment for the Shih Tzu. Treats don’t hurt either.
For all their endearing traits, Shih Tzus are notoriously difficult to housetrain. It can be difficult for people to understand your “What’s in it for me?” Attitude towards grooming, but dogs are different from people, and this breed should be attracted to good behavior.
As you approach training, at least stay positive and consider making things a little more rewarding with treats, affection, or extra playtime when your pup is using the right spot. Don’t punish your Shih Tzu for grooming mistakes. Once they feel exercise isn’t fun, they do their best to ignore it.
Shih Tzu grooming
Need to brush your Shih Tzu? yes you will They have a wonderful double coat, which means that if your Shih Tzu’s hair is short, you will need to brush it frequently to keep it from falling out. A long coat may seem like a lot of work, but you can keep shedding at bay because the outer coat catches much of the undercoat, which sheds until you’re ready to brush. All I know is that her hair is growing fast. You will need to invest in scissors or visit a hairdresser if your dog’s hair is growing too long.
If you really love this showdog look or are curious about the many ways to groom and style your Shih Tzu, check out our list of the most popular Shih Tzu hairstyles. Then dress her up in Shih Tzu-sized clothes and accessories.
Shih Tzu health
Like any breed of dog, a Shih Tzu is prone to specific health issues. Shih Tzus are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), and eye problems. Because of their compact face shape, Shih Tzus are also more prone to breathing issues, such as choking. B. the brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.
A quick note: Just because you can hear your Shih Tzu breathing doesn’t mean there is a breathing problem. Let your vet judge, and you can rejoice in colds in the meantime.
As always, when buying puppies from a breeder, ask about specific health issues and develop a relationship with a good vet who knows how to monitor and treat Shih Tzus. Many pet owners opt for pet health insurance just in case.
A wild old story
The first Shih Tzu dogs were bred a long time ago, possibly from a combination of Pekingese and Lhasa Apso lines. Although a Shih Tzu is sometimes referred to as a Tibetan lion dog, historians disagree as to whether the Shih Tzu breed originated in China or Tibet. No one knows exactly how the Shih Tzu came to China, but there is evidence that Shih Tzu dogs existed as early as 8,000 BC. C. In 1400 AD C. the Shih Tzu was the pet of the royal palace of the Ming Dynasty.
After nearly becoming extinct in the early 20th century, several Shih Tzus were brought to England in the 1930s. Shih Tzus first arrived in the United States after World War I, when soldiers returning from Europe and Australia brought some with them.
Get a Shih Tzu
Finding a Shih Tzu puppy or adult dog can be as easy as searching the internet, but beware of puppy mills and internet scams. Adoption is always an option, as Shih Tzus often show up at animal shelters and rescue groups. And adopting an adult dog can often be just as rewarding and less stressful than getting a puppy. If you are determined to find a Shih Tzu puppy, it is important to find a responsible breeder.
Shih Tzu rescue
Shih Tzus often come to the rescue when humans can no longer care for them. The AKC states that most breed-specific rescue dogs come from the acquisition of a single owner, with the most common reasons being a lifestyle change or the breed not being a good fit for the owner. Shih Tzus abandoned by the owner are often potty trained with basic obedience training and socialization, and may have a detailed health and behavioral history to help inform their care. A quick search with Petfinder will reveal hundreds of Shih Tzus available from rescue, and your local Shih Tzu enthusiast clubs may also have rescue recommendations.
Shih Tzu breeders
You can use the American Kennel Club (AKC) search tool to find a responsible Shih Tzu breeder in your area. It’s important to do your research and check references to avoid puppy mills and online scams. When you find a breeder you like, ask lots of questions and arrange to meet the parents in person. During your visit, ask about any known health issues in the dog’s lineage. Remember to follow your instincts and move on if something feels odd. There is no shortage of Shih Tzus and you will eventually find the right partner!
More information about the Shih Tzu
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