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The Shih Tzu descends from the Tibetan temple
dogs which were bred over 2000 years ago.
Tibetan rulers often presented Chinese rulers
with these "tribute gift dogs"
and once in China, the dogs, which resembled
the Lhasa Apso, were most likely crossed
with the Pekingese. For this reason, many
people mistakenly assume that the Shih Tzu,
meaning "lion dog," is Chinese
in origin. The dogs lived luxurious lives
behind palace walls and remained unknown
until after China became a republic in 1912.
This Shih Tzu is an elegant little dog that
makes a well-mannered pet and quite enjoys
apartment or city life as long as he is
taken for occasional walks.
height of a Shih Tzu is 9 - 11" (22.9
Shih Tzus weigh 10 - 16 lbs (4.5 - 7.1 kg).
The coat of the Shih Tzu is long, dense
colors are permissible for the Shih Tzu's
coat, with white markings on the forehead
and tail tip being most desired, and dark
eyes, nose and lips being required. Daily
brushing is a must to keep the coat mat-free
The Shih Tzu especially enjoys people and
is a lively, alert, and active little dog.
Although small, he carries himself with
a great deal of pride and confidence.
Health issues that may affect the Shih Tzu
include hip dysplasia, liver disease, eye,
dental and breathing problems. It's possible
for a Shih Tzu to live up to 20 years. It
is highly suggested to purchase a Shih Tzu
only from a very reputable and responsible
Although this is one of the oldest breeds
of dogs, the Shih Tzu went unnoticed throughout
most of the world until the 20th Century.
In 1920, an English couple brought the first
breeding pair to Britain and, by the 1950s,
the breed gained a huge following. The first
time a Shih Tzu was shown in the United
States in 1969, it took the prize for Best
AKC: Group 5 - Toys
ANKC: Group 7 - Non Sporting
CKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
FCI: Group 9 Section 5 Tibetan Breeds
KC: Non-Sporting - Utility Group
UKC: Companion Dog