Dog Breed Profile Of The Month - Shih Tzu
Breed type: Lap dog
Height: 9 to 10 1/2 inches or up to 27 centimetres
Weight: 5 - 7.25 kgs
History: The Shih Tzu is actually one of the oldest known dog breeds and therefore they have an extensive history. The creation of the Shih Tzu is debated, but one theory is that they were given to Chinese royalty by Tibetan monks. These charming little dogs were adored by royalty as they made perfect companions. They were so popular that they were often the focus of paintings and mentioned in Chinese literature. There is another theory that one of the Emperors kept Shih Tzu’s with lions to keep them calm, they were nicknamed ‘little lion dogs’. Although it’s difficult to tell if this is true or not, lots of people suspect that the lion dog was the Shih Tzu. The very first Shih Tzu that was reported in the UK was back in 1931. Shih Tzu’s can live up to around 20 years, but most live to around 13 years of age.
Characteristics/Temperament: Despite their size, Shih Tzu’s are packed with lots of character. They are lovely little dogs that make wonderful family pets with the right training and care. They love attention and can be quite outgoing and attentive. Shih Tzu’s were bred to be companion dogs, and that is exactly what they are. They enjoy being around people, but unlike some other small breeds they are very active and inquisitive. They are very friendly, they might sometimes bark at new people and guests but will be pleased to see them when they come into your home.
Shih Tzu’s are especially good with other dogs, children and they can even get along with other small animals. They are generally quite easy going, but can sometimes have a stubborn side. If you get a Shih Tzu you will need to give it enough exercise, they require around an hour a day. They are well suited to living in the home, and can live in different places from houses to flats. They don’t do very well outside or in kennels as they like to be around people.
Grooming: Shih Tzu’s have a long, soft coat that needs a fair amount of grooming. They should be brushed regularly and take regular trips to the groomers as they do need to be trimmed. They come in lots of different colours and can vary slightly in size. They need their nails cutting regularly and their ears also need to be cleaned. Shih Tzu’s often like to roll around in mud and can get dirty quite easily so they do need regular baths.