The breed which is both exotic and adorable is the very beautiful Shih Tzu. From the name, it sounds so Asian and rightly so. We would like to dig even deeper here so you may join in. Let’s find out details on this breed right here.
Shih Tzu History and Background
This dog’s name Shih Tzu Kou, or Shih Tzu literally means “the mini lion” because this breed is known for the lion-like face. Developed in the 1600s in Tibet, it was a sacred and holy dog that became the guardian or temple and palace. This breed is one of the oldest and the modern version was firstly developed during the reign of the Dowager Empress Cixi in the 19th Century. It was in 1935 that the dog got its very first wide popularity after the Lhasa Lion Dog show. In 1934, the dog accepted recognition as a new breed in England. And in 1960, the US folks started to know them and since then they have gained great popularity and fame there and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969.
Shih Tzu Physical Characteristics
This breed is small but it got solid structure and snugly body. Commonly they reach a height of 8 to 11 inches tall. As for their size, they normally weigh around 9-16 pounds. They are longer than they are taller. This dog is light on their feet and quite energetic. They like to carry their tail high and so do their head. The air of them is elegant and dignified with lots of royal vibes. They also have thick, layered straight hair which is very long and nice. They are hairy but they do not really shed but moderately. They make a great choice for you who got allergies. Moreover, this breed also features full ears and a long tail. The unique part of Shih Tzu is also their flat nose and round and big eyes that are very charming.
Shih Tzu Personality and Temperament
As for the personality, this breed is a true epitome of home pet that is why they make a great addition to families. Their characters are shaped up by training and guidance so it is better to teach them well and they will make a great dog. There are some personalities that recommend them such as their affectionate nature, friendliness, tolerance and trustworthiness. Treat them well and they will return it as well. They get along with children but it is better to let them play with kids in more mature age. This cheerful and jolly dog is very entertaining to watch also.
Shih Tzu Care
This canine is very energetic and lively and they absolutely need to channel their enthusiasm and hyper nature by exercising, playing and walking. A daily walk at least must be done or they will start showing some problems because you do not fulfill their urge. Let them play indoors when the weather does not suit them since the dog cannot deal with high temperatures. They got a nose, which may allow water to get into their nostril so it is better to let them use a water bottle. It is better to keep this breed inside the house since the area will suit them more and save. They got dense and long straight coat which can get dirty and matted as well as tangled easily, so you will need to brush them daily. Let them accustomed to the practice of grooming since the very early age. But if you want less trouble, you can cut their hair and trim it also. They do bark a lot and you should teach them not to do it a lot instead of punishing.
Shih Tzu Health
The lifespan of this fellow is normally about 11 to 16 years, but if there should be some health problem attack them it can be shorter. It is very important to know what diseases they are prone to. Some of the minor ones are renal dysplasia (abnormal growth of tissue), trichiasis (eyelash malformation), entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), otitis externa, patellar luxation, inguinal (groin) hernia cataract and dental problems. Moreover, they are also susceptible to major health problems like canine hip dysplasia (CHD).