Shih Tzu dogs are of Asian origin, specifically from Tibet. They were offered as gifts to the Chinese royalty. Big round eyes, floppy ears, a short snout, and an extra hairy coat are some of the reasons why people love Shih Tzu dogs. Their friendly and playful nature makes Shih Tzus great pets and they are a good choice for first-time pet owners. They also require minimal exercise and are good with both adults and children.
Shih Tzu’s temperament can be defined as happy and affectionate. They thrive best in a climate that remains moderately warm and cool at the same time. These dogs face some health issues in summers and winters but by taking proper care you can avoid these issues altogether.
- Shih Tzus are small breeds, and you can easily carry them as well. They are super adorable to look at and have a soft bark. The coats of these dogs come in 10 colours namely – solid black, solid white, solid blue, solid red, silver, gold, live (chocolate brown), brindle, double coloured and tri-coloured. Their coats also have distinct patterns that set them apart from each other within the breed as well. Shih Tzus coats can be classified into the following patterns:
Apart from their coat colours and patterns, Shih Tzus also have different markings. According to the American Kennel Club, these are four markings acceptable in Shih Tzu:
To recognize the original Shih Tzu breed, there are five things you need to check:
- One of Shih Tzu’s most striking characteristics is its extremely friendly nature. There is hardly anything that can dampen their spirits, but they can get moody at times, too. A Shih Tzu is an affectionate dog and loves to snuggle and cuddle. It will never say no to incoming loads of love! It is not too fussy either, making it a great companion to those who are living alone and are looking for a company to come home to. Shih Tzus also have a very low tendency to drool. They do, however, tend to bark more frequently than other dogs due to several reasons, including wanting to get your attention or when it senses any danger, and so on.
Here’s some more information on Shih Tzu that you should know if you are thinking of adopting one:
Shih Tzu dogs have a royal history, quite literally. These dogs were the favorites of the Chinese royalty, so much so that they disapproved of selling or trading them. The Chinese royals also called Shih Tzu dogs ‘chrysanthemum dogs’ because the hair around their face resembled the flower’s petals. Shih Tzu’s origin is traced back to Tibet over 2000 years ago. These dogs were also deemed as the guards of the royal palace, their consistent barks were held in high regard.
These dogs are also associated with Buddhism and Tibetan lamas also bred them to look like little lions. Legends say that the Tibetan Buddhist God of Learning travelled with a small lion dog that could change its form into a full-grown lion.
Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso caused a lot of confusion in England. In 1934, both these dogs were classified into 2 distinct breeds after the Apso was displayed. The main point of distinction between a Lhasa Apso and a Shih Tzu is their muzzle. A Lhasa Apso’s muzzle is longer than Shih Tzu’s and its eyes are also smaller than the latter. Lhasa Apso’s coat hair also parts along its spine and darkens around the ears whereas Shih Tzu’s coat hair is slightly wavy.
Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Colin Farell, Bill Gates, and Queen Elizabeth II are some of the prominent names who are or have been owners of the Shih Tzu dog breed.
Interested in learning about all the different types of dog breeds? Our breeds category page has everything you need to know about them.
Known for their friendly temperament, Shih Tzus generally get along with most animals in their vicinity. But you should be extra careful when you have a hamster and a guinea pig along with a Shih Tzu. Shih Tzus might chase the hamster or the guinea pig because of their happy and exciting nature and could be a little rough with them.
Shih Tzu dogs are a playful and absolutely fun company. They also love all the attention and cuddles they receive from their masters. Their jolly personality makes Shih Tzu dog breeds a good family pet.
With proper training and instructions, you may leave your Shih Tzu at home. It is not advisable to leave your Shih Tzu puppy alone just after a few days you have brought it home. It may find it difficult to cope and may also experience separation anxiety. The ideal age of leaving your dog at home is when it is 8-9 months old.
The hair on Shih Tzu’s coat grows very long and need regular trimming and grooming. You can groom your Shih Tzu dog at home, or you can visit a professional for the same.
Yes, Shih Tzus bark a lot and are quite vocal in letting their feelings be known to the ones they are close to. They tend to bark at unknown people from the window or even other dogs passing by.