Shih Tzu Dog Breed
Aliases: Shih Tzu Kou
|Life Span:||12- 16 years|
|Litter Size:||average of 3 puppies is usual. Due to the Shih Tzu\'s size litters can range from1-5 puppies.|
|Group:||Utility, Herding, and Toy Group|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||Wide range of colors. Blacks, browns, and whites are probably most popular. In showing it is considered highly desirable to have white on the forehead and tip of the tail.|
|Male Height:||up to 11 inches.|
|Male Weight:||between 9 to 16 pounds.|
|Female Height:||up to 11 inches.|
|Female Weight:||between 9 to 16 pounds.|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Shih Tzu makes an ideal dog for both city and country living. In the city these dogs become easily accustomed to the noises and apartment style living. They never feel more proud then when strutting on their leash through crowds of people. They are also at home romping in the country. Due to their size and need for companionship they should be kept as an inside dog.|
The Shih Tzu is a small dog whose lavish coat can be almost any color. It is considered prized to have the white blaze on the forehead and white tip to the tail. Its coat is long on top and dense underneath. When the dog is full-grown the undercoat helps give an overall graceful appearance to the coat. Their head and tail are carried high, which brings a feeling a confidence in this breed. The body is compact and slightly longer than it is tall. It has a very sturdy body structure hidden beneath its mantle of luxurious hair. The hair on the bridge of the nose grows upwards giving the distinctive "chrysanthemum" look. The head is rounded with a beard and mustache look covering a short, squared shaped, hairy muzzle. It has large, wide-rounded eyes that express the impression of trust and friendliness. The ears are covered in long straight hair extending to the front legs. The teeth usually form an undershot bite. The tail is long but carried high and curled over the back. It is common to have the hair on top done up with bows or clips to be able to have the face show. They shed little to no hair and make is a great choice for allergy suffers.
The Shih Tuz\'s coat has a long, straight flowing, elegant look. The top is usually done up in a topknot with a bow, keeping hair out of its face. They shed little to no hair and their skin dander makes their coat due well with allergy sufferers.
The best information indicates that the Shih Tzu originated in Tibet, where it was kept in temples as a scared dog. It is known that they were occasionally given to the emperors of China during the 17th century as a tribute of great honor. There are paintings dating back as early as the 16th century showing dogs resembling a small lion. If translated the Shih Tzu\'s name means lion. In the early 1930\'s a Shih Tzu puppy was presented to Queen Elizabeth and this really started the breeds start in England. The breed\'s popularity didn\'t pick up into the United States until the late 1960\'s to early 1970\'s.
Shih Tzus are sturdy, bouncy extroverts that make delightful family pet. The spunky but sweet dog is both a gentle lapdog and a vivacious companion. They have an upbeat attitude and love to play and romp. They are affectionate to their family and good with children. They are surprisingly tough and can have a stubborn streak to them. They are a lively watchdog and bark to alert any new circumstances. Because of their fun loving personality, they are usually a great companion not only for people but other animals as well. Introductions should always be supervised but they tend to get along well with everyone. It is important that this breed it kept active in games or just being loved. They like to have a lot if attention and be in the middle of everything. They will be happy to follow you anywhere but with all the hair can be a lot of work to clean up afterwards. It can be quite a sight to watch them romping around with their coat flowing in all directions as they play. Being a people-oriented dog, they cherish being loved and will sit and cuddle on your lap for hours at a time.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Shih Tzu ranks #106 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
They can have respiratory problems from snoring, wheezing, or infection. They can be prone to ear infections if not cleaned accordingly. Spinal disc disease is something to watch out for since they have such short legs and a long back. This breed can grow to be overweight if not taken care of. It is important to keep up with teeth cleaning in order to prevent periodontal disease.
The Shih Tzu makes an ideal dog for both city and country living. In the city these dogs become easily accustomed to the noises and apartment style living. They never feel more proud then when strutting on their leash through crowds of people. They are also at home romping in the country. Due to their size and need for companionship they should be kept as an inside dog.