Get to Know the Breeds: Shih Tzu

History

The Shih Tzu descended from a cross between the Tibetan mountain dog and Pekingese, in Peking, China during the 17th century. The dogs were the esteemed pets of Chinese royalty, who refused to sell, trade or part with the dogs in any way.

The name Shih Tzu comes from the Chinese word for “lion” and is pronounced sheet-soo. They resemble the lions seen in ancient Chinese art. They were imported to Europe in the 1930s and then brought to the US by soldiers returning from WWII after the war.

Personality

A Good Pal

The Shih Tzu makes friends easily and loves to hang out. He enjoys the company of other humans, dogs and even cats. He likes to be close to his friends and will always be affectionate, even when he meets strangers.

Spunky!

These little guys are full of energy! They love a good game of fetch and a run in the park. They may have little legs but they’re up for anything.

Child Friendly

Because of their loyal and affectionate nature, Shih Tzus are good with children. They’re also pretty small, making them non-threatening and quite adorable at the same time.

Care

Walk the Dog

Shih Tzus require at least one good walk a day. They may get enough exercise from playing at home, but they do have a natural instinct to walk. They can get quite cranky if this instinct is neglected.

Easy on the Food

While Shih Tzus may be small, they have an enormous appetite. If you give them too much puppy chow, they can become overweight. This can be a problem, as they’re prone to respiratory issues, and gaining weight can make those issues worse.

A Good Daily Brushing and a Hair Tie

The Shih Tzu wears a long double coat that needs to be brushed on a daily basis. Some people keep their hair short to make grooming easier, but he should still get a daily brushing. If his hair is kept long, most people will tie the hair on his head in a ponytail to keep it out of his eyes – and this is important because he has very sensitive eyes.

Shih Tzus make great pets for kids, and amazing companions for everyone. Despite their long coats, they shed very little, making them excellent for people with allergies.

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