- NameShih Tzu
- Other namesChinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog
- Size TypeSmall dog breeds
- Breed GroupToy dog breeds (AKC)
- Life span10 -15 years
- TemperamentHappy, Active, Playful, Gentle, Intelligent, Outgoing, Clever, Alert, Friendly, Independent, Courageous, Lively, Spunky
- HeightMale: 20–28 centimetres (7.9–11 in)
Female: 20–28 centimetres (7.9–11 in)
- WeightMale: 4–7.25 kilograms (8.8–16.0 lb)
Female: 4–7.25 kilograms (8.8–16.0 lb)
- ColorsLiver, Brindle, Black, Blue, White, Black & White, Gold, Dark Brown, Light Brown, Liver & White
- Puppy PriceAverage $650 – $1200 USD
- Good with Kids
- Cat Friendly
- Dog Friendly
- IntelligenceRanking: 70
- PopularityNo. 11
The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed known for having silky, flowing hair and are said to have originated in Tibet and then later on developed in China.
While there are various hypotheses on the breed’s origins, the Shih Tzu is believed to be ancient and to share “close genetic relationship to wolves.”
While nothing about the breed is vicious, the name “Shih Tzu” translates to “little lion” or “lion dog.”
The Shih Tzu is actually quite a loving creature, affectionate and outgoing.They were actually pretty popular in China and were prized by Chinese royals.
The Shih Tzu is also known as the “Xi Shi dog” and by the nickname “Chrysanthemum Dog” in England.
The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed and has a double coat that flows softly that stands no longer than 10.5 inches.
They tend to carry themselves proudly with heads up and tail winding towards the back.
The head is round, the eyes set wide apart.
Their typically warm and friendly expression shows how trusting and outgoing they can be towards other people.
Ears are heavily furry and dropped.
The body is short-coupled, with neither waist nor tuck-up.
The chest is broad but not barrel-chested.
Shoulders are well-angulated, the forelegs straight and muscular with elbows close to the body.
The pastern should be perpendicular, the paws firm and well-padded.
The dewclaws of the forequarters may be removed.
The hindquarters are proportional to the forequarters, with legs muscular and straight when viewed from the back, the hocks forming a 90 degree angle.
Dewclaws of the hindquarters may be removed, as well.
The coat is dense, double-coated, and flows luxuriously down their bodies when given proper grooming. They are usually fine and silky, although wavy or coarse coat is not uncommon.
While the Shih Tzu does not shed at the same degree as some other dog breeds, their coat does tend to fall out when brushed or broken.
Nevertheless, daily brushing and combing is recommended to prevent tangles, especially if you decide to keep their coat long.
A weekly bath is recommended, as well.
You may want to start grooming your buddy as early into his/her puppyhood as possible.
Future grooming sessions would be more pleasant for the both of you if you trained him/her to lie on his/her side as you brush through the coat.
Brushing tends to become less of a hassle as the Shih Tzu grows into an adult, as the coat turns from being fluffy into being silky.
Remember to brush all the way down to the skin.
One of the most commonly neglected part of the dog’s body when grooming would be the ears.
Do not forget to check them regularly to avoid any kind of ear buildup that may lead into an infection.
Regular brushing of the teeth is also encouraged.
The Shih Tzu can be found in a wide assortment of coat colors.
However, the American Kennel Club recognizes 14 colors for the Shih Tzu’s coat.
- Black and White
- Blue and White
- Brindle and White
- Gold and White
- Liver and White
- Red and White
- Silver and White
The AKC also recognizes three markings, which are:
- Black markings
- Black mask
- Tan markings
The little lion’s temperament may vary from one Shih Tzu to another, however, they are usually loyal, affectionate, alert, and highly intelligent.
Like for any other dog breed, it is crucial to start training your dog and shape their socializing skills at a young age, as training may become more challenging over time.
Their alertness makes them terrific watch dogs, although the breed was not specifically developed for that purpose.
Nevertheless, they still make excellent house and family pets, even if your home does not have much space.
They get along well with other dogs and animals and are gentle with children.
- The Shih Tzu is occasionally called the “Chrysanthemum Dog” because of its resemblance to the magnificent flower in the sense that its fur grows outwards from the center of the face.
- The breed is also known as “Xi Shi Quan” in China, after one of the most beautiful women of ancient China: Xi Shi.
- The Shih Tzu is already considered an adult at the age of 1 year.
- They are also adaptable creatures. Even if you decided to move from the city to a rural area, your buddy is most likely going to be fine.
- However, they are sensitive to heat.