Shih tzu, know the breed, advices

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Efreya Waitecker

The Shih Tzu breed is described as very sociable, as it loves to spend time with its family, and does not mind the presence of strangers. However, sometimes they can also be autonomous.

Their hair must be treated daily to prevent tangling and to avoid eye infections.

It is a fairly large dog for a small breed dog, as it can weigh overIt is not surprising that it is a strong and robust dog.

The Shih Tzu is a small breed dog that stands out apart from its incredible spectacular coat, by a character of the most charming.

In Chinese, Shih Tzu means "lion dog" but despite being small in size, being a dog so independent, the nickname is not exaggerated.

The Shih Tzu is originally fromIts ancestors are dogs from Tibet called Lhassa Apso, which the Dalai Lama would have given to the Chinese emperors around the seventeenth century. Due to Chinese isolationism, the crossbreeding was kept very secret, but it is assumed that these Tibetan dogs were crossed with the Pekingese resulting in the Shih Tzu. Untilearly 20th century the Shih Tzu was not known outside of China.

The Shih Tzu has become a very popular breed, and in recent years has placed between eleventh and twelfth in the rankings of most popular breeds in all of Britain.With generally over 4,000 new registrations annually in the Kennel Club studbook throughout the 1990s, theShih Tzu is, numerically, the most important breed of the Utility Group in England.

The Shih Tzu are animals that by their type of hair do not give allergy to allergic people.Find everything you need for your Shih Tzu here and start saving time and money on all your purchases.

Character - Coexistence - Behavior - Education:

The Shih Tzu is independent, playful,He loves to be close to his owners and to be pampered, but he also likes to enjoy some freedom. Sometimes it may seem that he ignores the orders, you have to send him with kindness and firmness to take effect. He is a very sociable dog, both with dogs and with other animals, especially cats. With strangers he is very sociable.affable.

The breed standard describes the Shih Tzu as an intelligent, active, alert, friendly and independent dog. It is, indeed, an intelligent breed, although it does not ask to be constantly given new things to do, as is the case with some working breeds. The Shih Tzu will use its intelligence and ingenuity to find things to do, and to see a Shih Tzu planning tocarefully what he is going to play next can be very entertaining for the observer (as long as the game he chooses is not going to cause any damage).

Shih Tzu's are certainly alert dogs to the sounds and happenings around them, but they may or may not decide to take an active part in what is going on (that is their personality). They will decide what they want to do and, although they willthis is a delightfully friendly breed, they will make their decision about how much or how little they want to be involved.

This is not an energetic or overly noisy breed, although a Shih Tzu, like other dogs, will generally enjoy giving a few barks when they feel like it.Shih Tzu's love to be with people.They are never happier than when they are with their owners, soAlthough some Shih Tzu participate in Mini-Agility and obedience competitions (in some countries), they are not known for being a particularly obedient breed, due in some ways to their independent nature.

Most Shih Tzu get along extremely well with other dogs and, frequently, Shih Tzu's are not very obedient.Owners see that they can keep several dogs, male and female, together. Of course, individual temperaments vary, so one should always present dogs under close supervision, especially in the case of males. Although they are by no means aggressive by nature, they will stand their ground when attacked. In some cases this is not, because of this, aIt is a good idea to have males together that have been used as studs, as one will probably become more dominant and his partner may not agree with that. Females can have a stronger temperament towards their mating season, so again, care should be taken. In spite of that and in general, Shih Tzu's are very sociable animals in allsenses.

Throughout their growth they tend to become more affectionate especially with children, and physically they are not very tall and have quite long hair which can be of various colors and is generally straight although it may have a small ripple.They have short legs.They are relatively small dogs.This dog tends to be tender and loving even with people.unknown.

Care and Health:

The Shih Tzu requires daily hair care, either to prevent matting or to avoid scratching the eyes.It is a dog that also demands a regular cleaning of the teeth.It is recommended that it is not exposed to high temperatures and clean the stool to avoid eating them.

The Shih Tzu is vulnerable to the.Between six and eight weeks, due to its short muzzle, it can suffer from nasal obstruction.

The Shih Tzu is a small, sturdy dog and is generally a fairly healthy breed. A few suffer from veterinary and possibly hereditary problems, but this is not a breed that has many serious hereditary problems. Still, there are a fewfew common problems that the potential owner should be alerted to.

Although most Shih Tzu have wide open nostrils, which is a required feature of the breed standard, it appears that small nostrils are an inherited problem in this breed.Small nostrils can be seen at birth, but sometimes they are not.However, by the time a puppy is old enough to be sold, it should be clear whether or not the nostrils are affected.

At birth, the nostrils may be so closed that they are effectively deformed and curved inward.

In other cases, the nostrils may be so tightly closed that they are, in effect, deformed and curved inward.

At the time of birth, the nostrils may be so tightly closed that they are, in effect, deformed and curved inward.The nostrils are wide enough at birth, but narrow after a short time, probably due to the puppy's variable growth rhythms. Nostrils usually correct themselves over time, but urgent veterinary advice should still be sought. If left as is and the problem does not correct itself, that puppy will probably grow weak andA teaspoon of brandy added to each bowl of food has been found to help them, as well as keeping the puppy's living space at a constant temperature.

A malady that is not usually a real problem, although it may frighten a novice owner is what is known as "the snorting."

This is a fairly common occurrence in breeds.brachycephalic (with a short face or muzzle). Due to the elongation of the soft palate the dog will suddenly take short, sharp breaths, look quite tense, and usually stand still at the same time. This is usually because the dog is very excited, but usually only lasts a few seconds. A quick and easy solution is to place your fingers and toes on the dog's front of his truffle, thus causing him to breathe only through his mouth.Although this is not a serious problem, it may be cause for alarm and should always be looked into by the owner.There may be other reasons for this snorting.For example, there could be a grass seed retained in his nasal cavity, and this should, of course, be removed instantly.

Due tothat the Shih Tzu is a dog with a fairly long back one should always be alert to possible back problems, especially during the dog's old age. Ideally, Shih Tzu's should not be allowed to jump from furniture to the floor, but this is easier said than done. Unfortunately it is often the result of partial paralysis due tospinal injury in the Shih Tzu, but there are options to help affected dogs.

Heart disease has been found to occur, in the Shih Tzu, with relative frequency, and this is not just limited to elderly dogs.However, there are many forms of heart disease and not all of them are hereditary.Obviously, the veterinarian should examineThe Shih Tzu is more likely to damage its eyes than other breeds because of the breed's relatively protruding eyes. An eye ulcer can be caused by a scratch or a blow from which it may not have suffered a heart problem.At the first sign of an eye problem, your veterinarian should be contacted, as early treatment increases the chances of a full recovery. Eye problems, even those that seem minor, could result in impaired vision or even loss of sight if left untreated. Special care should be taken to ensure that your veterinarian is aware of the to avoid damage to the eyes of the Shih Tzu, especially if we take into account that they have no protection when the hair of the dog is subject by a knot.

You have to be careful, also, with food: they are delicate stomach dogs, usually do not accept well anything other than dry food. Veterinarians recommend giving milk without lactose, since many of them.To find the food that is best suited in each case, you can consult the specific feed for Shih Tzu.


The Shih Tzu is an Asian breed whose past is found in both Tibet and China. As a result, some enthusiasts today consider it to be a Tibetan breed, while others rather relate this to a Tibetan breed.adorable little dog with China.

Although there have been times when the Chinese and Tibetans have cooperated with each other, there have been frequent conflicts between these two countries since the seventh century.In the name of diplomacy, Tibetan nobles sometimes took young Chinese royalty as wives.Thus, this entailed gifts being exchanged between the peoples of thesetwo great cultures, so rich in legend. Frequently, these gifts consisted of dogs.

The Lhasa Apso, a Tibetan breed, a direct ancestor of the Shih Tzu, is said to have existed since 800 BC, but there is no tangible evidence of this, as no written historical records were preserved in Tibet until about 639 AD.

Because the Shih Tzu descended from theTibetan Lhasa Apso, Tibet is considered to be the first and oldest country of origin of the Shih Tzu. The dogs were offered as offerings for travelers to have a good journey from Tibet to China, as the long caravan journey took eight to ten months. Tibetan Lhasa Apso were not considered sacred animals, but they were still held as very valuable possessions.valuable.They were only given as gifts: they were never sold.Dogs were undoubtedly held in very high esteem, as they were believed to enclose the souls of monks who had sinned in their previous lives.

Buddhism spread from India to Tibet in the seventh century, but was not adopted in China until 1253, in the time of Kublai Khan.The lion, in its variousIn fact, it is believed that the Buddha Manjusri, the god of learning, travels the world as a simple monk accompanied by a small dog. This dog, called Hapa, can instantly transform into a lion, so that the Buddha can ride on its back. The snow lion is considered the king of animals, and it is with this animal that the Buddha is able to ride on the back of the snow lion.white mythological lion to which the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso are most closely related.The snow lion is believed to be so powerful that when it roars seven dragons appear in the sky.

Tibetans have always drawn a distinction between the "true" lion and the "lion-dog," but they have never been very clear about the names of their breeds.There were undoubtedlyIt is even possible today to breed two full-coated Lhasa Apso or Shih Tzu and produce one or more puppies that look like purebred Tibetan Spaniels. This may seem somewhat surprising, but it is clearly a leap back in time. It is interesting to note that Tibetans call all long-coated breeds "Apsok", which is a very common name in Tibet, and that the Tibetans call all long-coated breeds "Apsok", which is a very common name in Tibet.further complicates the issue when we try to research the history of Tibetan breeds.

We know that you can trace the Shih Tzu all the way back to dogs of Tibetan origin. We must also look at the dogs that were in China at that time, as these were the dogs with which those ancient ancestors of the Shih Tzu were crossed.

It is believed that the Shih TzuThe "square dogs" that were accepted by a Chinese emperor in 1760 BC were of the Chow Chow type, although we do not know their size. In any case, it is known that in 500 BC these were not dogs that simply followed their masters' carriages, but were also accompanied by other short-nosed dogs. The latter were carried inside the carriages, so we canassume, with certainty, that these were quite small dogs. It is said that the nasal bones of Chinese puppies were broken with chopsticks to shorten them, although the skull of an ancient short-snouted dog in the British Museum has a muzzle that is itself short and its bones are not broken.

Around the end of the 1st century AD, the emperors showed a clearA short-limbed dog, known as a "Pai dog" had its place under the tables. This may seem insignificant until one considers that, as people sat on the floor to eat, Chinese tables must have been very low. Therefore these dogs must have been very small indeed. They were accorded great honours: in fact, atIn 168 A.D. one of them was awarded the highest literary distinction of the time. Many males were given the rank of K'ai Fu, which is just below the distinction of viceroy, while females were given the status of wives of such dignitaries. These lucky dogs had soldiers to protect them and carpets to sleep on, and werefed them only the best meat.

Around 1300 AD, "agile golden-coated dogs" were commonly kept by people in their homes.It was said that these dogs resembled the lion.In fact, it seems that the emperor of those times was so fond of them that he stole them from his subjects.In China there were several breeds of small dogs, including the Pug (or Pug); butBy 1820 the cult of the lap dog was at its peak. Very small dogs, known as "sleeve dogs", were all the rage. As the name implies, they were worn inside the wide sleeves of Chinese robes. It is still believed that their growth was prevented by artificial means, that food was restricted and that puppies were kept inside wire cages untilthat reached maturity. Fortunately, Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi, a great lover of dogs, objected to artificial means of making the dogs dwarf, and soon these dwarf dogs were out of fashion, and people referred to them, from that time on, as "dogs with bulging heads."

Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi cared for more than a hundred Pekingese and dictatedAmong these was the stipulation that they were to be "picky eaters" so that they would be known as Imperial Dogs for their fastidiousness. Their food consisted of such delicacies as shark fins, curlew liver, antelope milk, custard apple juice, rhinoceros horn and refined sacred leopard fat. In aeffort to flatten their snouts, the Empress stroked and massaged her dogs' olfactory organs and biting leather that was tightly stretched over a frame.

In 1908, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the Dowager Empress several dogs.Their description was similar to that of the breed of lion-dogs that could be seen at that time in Peking.She called them her "Shih TzuKou" and kept them separate from her Pekingese, in order to preserve the racial characteristics of these highly prized dogs. However, these "Shih Tzu Kou" did not arrive until the last years of the Empress' life. Although the palace eunuchs continued to breed them, it is very likely that experimental crosses were carried out, thus creating a divergence in type. It is believed thatthe eunuchs bred three types of flat dogs: the Pug, the Pekingese, and a long-coated dog known as the Shih Tzu.

Lady Brownrigg and her husband, who would later become General Sir Douglas Brownrigg, acquired their first Shih Tzu in 1928. They had heard of the "Tibetan lion-dogs" or "shaggy dogs " that Chinese emperors had andthey understood that the best were to be found in Peking, which is where this couple were living at the time.They had seen a small black and white dog which attracted them, and they set out to obtain a similar one.The first dog they got hold of was giving birth, but unfortunately she died.

Anyhow, with the help of Mme. Wellington Koo, they soon got hold of another white dog andblack born in 1927 and named "Shu-ssa," who had an "apple spot" on her head and a black spot on her tail and side.The Brownriggs thought she resembled a baby owl, full of down, with her expressive eyes and hair sticking out all over her face.Her coat was thick and her tail curved over her back.

Dogs like Shu-ssa were not usually seenIt is also supposed that the palace eunuchs had some of these dogs, and that others had been bred by French and Russian people living in China. A Frenchman, Dr. Cenier, owned a black and white dog of this type, and the dog, named "Hibou", became the property of theBrownrigg.

At that time Miss E. M. Hutchins was resident in China and also acquired a dog.

The dog was named Lung-fu-ssu and had been born in 1926.Lung-fu-ssu, who was also black and white, was heavier and less elegant than the Brownrigg dogs, had a wavy coat and carried a rather loose tail.

In 1930, Miss Hutchins returned to England, taking with her fourdogs: Shu-ssa and Hibou (owned by the Brownriggs), Lung-fu-ssu and a bitch named Mei Mei. The latter was tragically killed by a Sealyham Terrier after coming out of quarantine. The three surviving dogs weighed between 5.5 and 6.7 kg. Although Lady Brownrigg was aware that there were other smaller dogs in China, these were not used for breeding.

Shu-ssa was crossed with Hibou.and gave birth to a litter, while in quarantine, in April 1930. At that time it was possible that pups born during quarantine could leave at eight weeks of age, so the pups were carefully housed. Shu-ssa had two more litters: one later that year (the father being Lung-fu-ssu) and one in 1932 (the father again being Hibou).

By that time.At that time there were already several types of foreign long-coated dogs in Britain.

Colonel Bailey and his wife brought Lhasa Apso to Britain in 1928.

Colonel Bailey had replaced Sir Charles Bell as political dignitary in Tibet in 1921.

This was to be the start of some traumatic times.

A club was founded called The Apso and Lion Dog Club, and the first show to be held in Britain was held in 1928.was held for the breed was the West of England Kennel Club Show, in 1933. At this show it quickly became apparent that the dogs exhibited were very different from each other, especially with regard to length of muzzle or face. The judge was Colonel Bailey, who made no secret of the fact that these dogs imported from China were different. He expressed his opinion that they had been crossed withWhat came to be called "the battle of the snouts" had begun.

There were many heated disputes and much correspondence between the parties concerned and with the Kennel Club. It was suggested that the two types be differentiated by the names "Apso, Chinese type" and "Apso, Tibetan type", but this did not bear fruit. Instead they agreed to the proposal from theKennel Club to separate dogs proclaimed as Chinese from Tibetan dogs.The Chinese dogs were to be entered under the name Shih Tzu.

It is understandable that it was impossible to judge the two breeds in the same category at shows, but this had to be done until the separation of the breeds was official.The debate continued and there was great confusion with the names, sincethat many owners of the dogs we know by the name of Shih Tzu wanted to keep the word "Tibetan" in the breed name. They continued to refer to the breed by the name "Tibetan Lion Dogs", which did not sit well with the Lhasa Apso followers. In 1934 the Tibetan Breeds Association was founded, but it did not include the Shih Tzu breed fraternity. There werea great deal of press coverage of the heated debate concerning the two breeds, but, as stated in the foreign dog breed fanciers section of Our Dogs magazine of June 22, 1934: "...while Apso and Shih Tzu fanciers are alert, there are no feelings of rancor on either side."

The problem of theThe difference between the breeds now known as Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu was resolved, and by 1939 the number of Shih Tzu registered with the Kennel Club was 183. In 1940, instead of being registered under "Any Other Variety", the Shih Tzu was granted a separate registration and was eligible for Challenge Certificates. In any case, the Shih Tzu was granted a separate registration and was eligible for Challenge Certificates.forms, the next serious problem that took place was World War II, so Challenge Certificates had to be postponed.

Lady Brownrigg was very committed to working with the Red Cross.The grooming of her dogs' coats was postponed with excuses, and that time was spent making clothes to help the Red Cross.Breeding virtually stopped and involveda great effort to preserve the breed, one of many that were in danger of disappearing.

After the war, some of the early breeders continued their activities in terms of showing and breeding. There had been a few more imports and, in an effort to preserve the breed, all dogs (often regardless of their quality) wereused for breeding.This is the reason that would explain why some of the dogs you could see in those days were so different from the ones we know today.

One of only two Shih Tzu's that were registered with the Kennel Club during 1945 was Ta Chi of Taishan, who would become the first champion of the breed.This bitch was descended from a Norwegian import named Choo-Choo who wasTa Chi of Taishan's sire was Sui-Yan and his dam was Madam Ko of Taishan. This first champion was held in very high esteem, and even today there are people who believe he was one of the most typical examples of the breed.

In 1936, the American Kennel Club received an application to register a Shih Tzu, and they mistakenly assumedThe British Tibetan Breeds Association became involved, explaining the differences between the two breeds. Despite articles appearing in the American press concerning these two distinct breeds, Shih Tzu were imported from the UK to the USA, where they were incorrectly registered as Lhasa Apso. This continued until the1950s, and during the preceding years had many of these dogs bred.

The history of the Shih Tzu seemed shrouded in controversy over the years. In the 1950s, Miss Freda Evans, a reputed breeder within the Pekingese breed world, and still a novice when it came to the Shih Tzu, decided that for the improvement of the latter she would introduce a crossbreed with the Pekingese.This was done without consultation with the Shih Tzu Club.You can guess what the initial reaction was!

The cross was, in any case, correctly registered with the Kennel Club, and efforts were made to integrate the offspring into future Shih Tzu breeding programs.There followed much breeding, and puppies were distributed all over the country.Eventually, most of theBritish kennels carried some of this blood.

In Scandinavia, it was Norway that initiated the introduction of the Shih Tzu, as the Danish minister for China and his wife brought the breed to Norway in 1932.The first Danish Shih Tzu kennel was founded in the 1940s, while the breed did not arrive in Sweden until 1950 and Finland until 1955.

The first Shih Tzu kennelIn Germany was founded even later than in Scandinavia, in 1960, when Frau Erika Geusendam founded her kennel Von Tschomo-Lungma. In the Netherlands, the leading kennel in the 1960s was that of Mrs. Eta Pauptit, who carried out a detailed study of British and Scandinavian kennels before founding her own.

Shih Tzu did not arrive in the countries known todayThe Countess of Anjou had bred Shih Tzu in Peking long before the Chinese Revolution and brought the breed to France in 1950. She was responsible for writing the first breed standard in her country. By the 1980's, the breed had become very popular in France and is now cared for byenthusiastic clubs dedicated to a small group of similar breeds.

General Appearance:

The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, solid and rather shaggy dog.It has rather short, well boned and muscular legs.The head is broad and round and the ears are long, droopy and bushy.The tail is set high on the back and looks like a duster of long hair.The coat islong and dense and can come in all colours.

The Shih Tzu is a fairly small breed, though not as small as others, and even so is exhibited in some countries in the Miniature or Companion Breed Group.Nevertheless it is strong and robust for its size.In Britain, the ideal height is no more than 26.7 cm and its ideal weight is between 4.5 and 7.3 kg, though some specimensBecause of their robustness, Shih Tzu are perfectly capable of going for long walks, although short walks will also suit them just as well: they can adapt well to either of these two circumstances.

The head of this dog is one of its most attractive physical attributes. Even the breed standard describes it as having a "face withchrysanthemum-like" appearance, which undoubtedly helps to give the Shih Tzu its delightful expression. Apart from the fact that the hair on top of the head is gathered at the top, its head is quite different from that of the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese, and would fall somewhere in between these two breeds. The face or muzzle of the Shih Tzu is not as elongated as that of the Lhasa Apso, and its skullis wider, but compared to the Pekingese, the Shih Tzu's muzzle is more elongated and the skull is not as flat.Because of the shape of the skull, its eyes should have a fuller appearance than those of the Lhasa Apso.

A Shih Tzu with its full show coat is a glorious looking animal, but keeping it in this state requires time and dedication.The Shih Tzu not only has aThis means that merely combing the outer coat may, at first, give it a reasonably good overall appearance, but before long the undercoat will begin to form knots. Knots and hairballs are incredibly difficult to get rid of if your master is careless, so this coat must betaken very seriously before becoming infatuated with the breed.

A bow on top of the head tied correctly can enhance a dog's features, but a poorly done tie can just as easily ruin the expression.Without a doubt, getting a Shih Tzu's head hair loss to achieve the best possible effect is quite an art that can take you to theIn Britain, it is usual for the dog to simply wear a hair knot in the middle of the head, but in the United States and some European countries it seems to be the fashion for dogs to wear brightly coloured bows. In the USA, some presenters seem to take grooming to new extremes andpad the head tie with cotton wool (a fashion that is not thought to catch on in other countries).

Many Shih Tzu pets have a short coat anyway, which is often referred to as a "pet haircut." While this can be done at home, many owners find it easier to have the coat trimmed by a professional about three times a year, even if you have tocare, of course, between cuts.

The Shih Tzu can be found in a variety of colors, as all colors are allowed. The colors range from the many shades of gold to red, and from gray to black. Of course, there are also the multicolored (or particolored), which are predominantly white with another color. In the multicolored is very much appreciated a white spot onIn the case of the Shih Tzu, one may come across dogs that are even brown (liver) in colour. These are currently allowed in the standard, although in this case the nose is brown (liver) and not black, to match the coat.

The Shih Tzu's tail should always be carried happily over the back.

As with the rest of hiscoat, the tail coat will also need regular care, as it is long and droops.A Shih Tzu's tail can be very jaunty indeed, but discreetly.It is never docked.

Although there is nothing stipulated as to whether or not dewclaws should be amputated in the case of the Shih Tzu, many breeders do so when the puppies are three days old.This makes it easier to work withnails under the long coat of the adult dog.


The author of this blog is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing. She has years of experience working with animals, both in zoos and in private homes, and she brings that knowledge to her writing. Whether she's writing about training your dog or the best way to care for your cat, her goal is always to provide accurate and helpful information.