Much conjecture surrounds the origin of the Shih Tzu, with some attributing its early existence to the mountains of Tibet where it was supposedly bred by Tibetan Lamas, and others suggesting it emerged in China in 800 BC. Wherever it developed originally, that the Shih Tzu became highly favoured in the imperial courts of China cannot be disputed. The Shih Tzu adopted its name here, being named the 'lion dog' after its distinctive appearance and structure. The Shih Tzu was primarily utilised as a watch dog and companion to the Chinese royals, and was often gifted to distinguished guests and visiting aristocrats; it was thanks to this that the Shih Tzu was not made extinct following the end of China's imperial rule. First imported to England in the 1930s, and recognised officially by the American Kennel Club in 1969.
Often mistaken for the Lhaso Apso, a likely forebear of the breed, the Shih Tzu is the smallest of the Tibetan breeds and boasts a distinctive structure. Part of the Kennel Club's 'utility' breed group, the Shih Tzu shares its classification with the non-sporting Bulldog, Akita, Poodle and Dalmatian. Further, the Shih Tzu has short legs, a rectangular body with a straight topline, large, pendant ears, a broad head with wide-set eyes, and a profuse double coat. The coat itself is typically smooth in texture and straight, and requires regular grooming to retain its appearance and manageability. Any colour is permissible, although variations of gold, brown, cream, red and blue are most common. The Shih Tzu is often described as having a proud or arrogant expression and countenance.
While most small breeds are prone to displaying negative behaviours such as stubbornness, disobedience and aggression - behaviours that are often put down to 'Small Dog Syndrome,' these can easily be avoided by socialising your dog from puppyhood, showing firm leadership and consistently training your dog in obedience and manners. When trained, the Shih Tzu has the potential to be a spirited, energetic and affectionate companion dog, devoted to its master and family. On average, an adult Shih Tzu will weigh 4-7 kg, with a life expectancy 15 years, although it is not uncommon for this breed to live into its 20s.
Various health conditions are identified in the Shih Tzu breed. These range from mild allergies and eye disorders, to more serious cases of respiratory problems and kidney failure. Problems with the cleft palate are prevalent in the breed, something which can be treated with corrective surgery.
Clover is a fantastic, funny, loving pet - really good with children. She has played ToTo on stage and can play football as a mid-fielder. She is not keen on being groomed though!
I have 5 Shih Tzus so am officially an addict!! After adopting Lola, who was my daughter's dog until she left home, I found myself adopting 4 rescue Shih-Tzus over the past 4 years. First came 2 sisters who had been abandoned and then 2 boys who were rescued from a life as stud dogs in a puppy farm who had been kept for 5 years in a bare cage and had never seen daylight :(
I cannot recommend this breed enough... they are the most loving and comical pets and are so gentle with children.
They do take a lot of grooming (and professional clipping) so if it is an easy care dog you want then they may not be for you :)
I have a 9 year old shih Tzu named bailee he is a very loyal living pets and loved my grandchildren he can be stubborn but wouldn't be without him ❤
My little boy Oscar is the love of my life. Very loving and loyal. If I'm there so is he. He knows my daily routine and loves all my family.
My baby is 10 maths old. This is the first shih Tzu imperial I have owned he loves being groomed but he is stubborn about having his face touched. He loves his food but I'm a bit confused about how much he should weigh, any help would really be appreciated
my little boy Romeo is very playful and loving he knows I will take him out on loads of walks daily. he protects me and my family. he's the love off my life
I have a rescue Shih Tzu approximately 6 years old.Freddie is black and white. I know nothing of his past life apart from the fact that he was mistreated. As a result of this he is very nervous. Also he has an aggressive nature which I suspect is due to whatever happened to him. He is loving towards me, but I have to be careful when approaching him as he has growled at me a couple of times. He is so tiny I just can’t understand how anyone could I’ll treat a defensless animal to such an extent that he is frightened of people and other dogs. He now has a loving home with me and is very spoilt and pampered.
I own 2 little fur babies, Izzie is 13 and Annie is 11, They are so sweet and SO smart. I would recommend shih tzu to anyone. Best part is when they are kept groomed "no shedding"
My little Erik is has a lovely temperament and loves everyone. Loves to play with me and any dog he meets no matter their size, very brave little soul. Erik's best friend is a German shepherd named Sheba and it's lovely to see them playing together. Erik is now 18 months old and quite big for a Shih Tzu, he is a quarter Jack Russell, his mum was a cross breed. I love him to bits, best thing that ever happened to me, he has helped my mental health greatly. Made new friends because of Erik.
I have owned Shih Tzus for the past 42 years and each one has had it's own very different personality. They have al been boys and have been easy to train. They do have a mind of their own and as they get older they get have selective hearing. I have found with the older ones they will ignore an instruction they don't want to obey but mention the t...t word and they come immediately. They are very friendly to both people and other animals but are also very protective of their owner. My current baby is Scotty who has recently turned 11. He loves walks and playing with his toys but is also very relaxed at home and loves cuddles. I can't imagine my life without these precious babies.
My beautiful Madge is the most affectionate, loving girl. She is well behaved and cuddles and love is what she lives for. She is my shadow and I cannot imagine I’ve without her