Shih Tzu puppies, with their fluffy
coats, look like stuffed animals that move. After scurrying around busily,
they resemble snoring stuffed animals.
These dogs, treasured in the Chinese court, were regarded as holy
messengers, and it is said that eunuchs in the Forbidden
City strove to create types that the emperors would appreciate
Although Shih tzus were especially cherished by Ming dynasty rulers; many
were killed during the Opium War.
In about 1930, some of these dogs wee taken to Europe, where they
were originally categorized as Lhasa
apsos (which, with Pekingese, they are said to be descended from), but,
later, the shih tzu was recognized as an independent breed.
Though these dogs are somewhat stubborn, they are usually very quiet
and easygoing. As one owner says, “They often lie relaxed in their
favorite place.” They can exercise indoors, but they need occasional outside
play. Because puppies’ heads are big in comparison with adult bodies,
labor can be difficult.
Frequent brushing is necessary to keep
their coats beautiful, and hairpins and rubber bands can keep hair out of
their faces. It is also important to keep their ears clean.
Size: (male) Height: less than 11 inches, weight: less
than 18 pounds (9-16 pounds is ideal) (female) same.
Long and dense; undercoat is soft All colors are permissible.
Curled tail is carried over back.
Also called: Shih tzu kou (Chinese, “lion
dog:); Chrysanthemum dog (from facial resemblance to the flowers)
Information from Legacy of the Puppy