Description: The name "Shih Tzu" means lion dog in Chinese and they received the name because of their long, flowing mane-like coat. The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, toy dog with a long flowing double coat. They have a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. They may display an arrogant personality, but are actually playful and gentle. Shih Tzus adapt well to any family situation and will enjoy a cuddle in your lap, doing tricks, or fetching a tennis ball. Shih Tzus are an intelligent dog who will make a good family addition. Despite their small size the Shih Tzu is a confident and dignified breed.
Other Names: Chrysanthemum Dog
Type: Companion Dog
Height: 8 - 11 inches
Weight: 8 - 15 lbs.
Colors: All colors.
Coat: Long, dense, not curly with a good undercoat
Temperament: Shih Tzus are gentle, loyal, proud
With Children: Yes, loves children.
With Pets: Yes, gets along well with other animals.
Special Skills: Family pet
Watch-dog: Very High
Guard-dog: Very Low
Care and Exercise: Daily grooming is essential for the Shih Tzu. Bathing once a month. Clipping of matting on feet. Basic training when puppy is young. Minimal exercise is needed, but they will love to play outdoors.
Training: Shih Tzus may be obstinate but patience and consistency will help over come the problem and achieve a reasonable level of training.
Learning Rate: High, Obedience - Medium, Problem Solving - Low
Activity: Indoors - High, Outdoors - Low
Living Environment: Apartment is adequate provided they receive some type of exercise. An owner of a Shih Tzu should be a consistent leader who desire an active, curious breed.
Health Issues: Kidney disorder, otherwise no major health problems.
Life Span: 10 - 14 years
Litter Size: 2 - 4
Country of Origin: Tibet
History: Shih Tzus may have originated from a cross between the Tibetan Mountain Dog and the Pekingese. They were a favored dog of the Emperor and is portrayed in Chinese paintings. They were first imported to England in the 1930's. Then after World War II they made their way to the United States by military officers going home. It wasn't until 1969 that the AKC recognized the breed.
First Registered by the AKC: 1969
AKC Group: Toy Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC(GB), UKC