Say Hello to the Shih Tzu!
Are you looking a perfect toy dog which you can easily satisfy even with just the little effort? Consider the Shih Tzu. It’s the type of dog that you can cuddle, play with, or simply carry on your lap all day long. Shih Tzu is a Chinese word that means “little lion”. And amidst its happy, affectionate, and loving demeanor, you’ll be surprised that this little dog is brave enough to defend its family or owner when confronted.
Behavior common to the Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu was primarily bred to be a companion dog. Thus, it is one of the most socially adaptive breeds. It longs to be loved, it is playful, and there’s generally no problem introducing them to other humans and all other breeds of dogs. But because of their size, children must be watched and advised to be gentle on the dog. Although this dog has an innate social ability, it should be developed early on while it is still a young pup.
If you want to train your Shih Tzu, you will have to exert extra effort and time since their intelligence level is not that high. But you’ll be amazed how this cute little dog loves to follow you in and out of the house. Shih Tzu require minimal amount of exercise, you don’t have to exert too much effort to make it happy, and space is not a problem. This makes it ideal to be a toy dog for those living in condos and apartments. This dog is alert and vocal and could serve as a good watchdog.
Appearance of the Shih Tzu
This dog breed is popular for its long, soft, and silky coat. It is even noted that its coat is hypoallergenic. Almost all Shih Tzus have multi-colored coats. Sample colors include white, gold, brown, black, silver, red, including blue. The dog’s coat also covers the entire body from the face up to the tail.
The dog’s body is slightly longer than its height. Average height ranges from 8 to 11 inches while its average weight ranges from 9 to 16 pounds. The face is generally round and is fully covered by its coat, its eyes are generally wide and round, the nose and mouth is generally flat, and the hairy ears drop to its sides.
Grooming your Shih Tzu
The bulk of your grooming effort will be on your dog’s hair. Grooming will also depend whether you’ll take your dog to the shows or not. When the long coat is maintained, the dog will require regular brushing and maintenance to keep it smooth, silky, and tangle-free. To prevent its hair from interfering the dog’s eyesight and mouth, a lot of owners use a ponytail, ribbon, or clip on the dogs hair. Shedding is very minimal for Shih Tzu. And it is also important to keep the eyes and ears constantly clean.
History of the Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu originated from China and is referred to as the “Lion Dog”. It’s one of the oldest breeds of dogs through the discovery of its early dog bones dating as far back as 8000 BC. Some believed that this breed was a native of Tibet and later on was brought by Tibetan monks to Chinese royalties as gifts. Nonetheless, throughout the Dynasties in China, the Shih Tzu was one of the favorite royal dogs. Many royal, rich, and noble families in China followed Empress T’zu Hsi’s love for the dog. And in 1928, this dog breed finally reached England and the rest of the Western world.