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Shih Tzu Dog Breed Explained

The Shih Tzu originates from China and was originally developed to be a lap dog and companion to Chinese Royalty.

The origins of this breed date back to the 1800's, when it was developed in China during the reign of the Empress Dowager Cixi or Tz'u-shi, which explains the origins of the name.

The Shih-Tzu is also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog.

This dog is classified as a member of the American Kennel Club's Toy Dog Group.

The Shih-Tzu was first registered by the AKC in 1969.


They are a lively dog breed with a very unique appearance.

They are small but sturdy with a long flowing double coat. Underneath the silky topcoat is a woolly undercoat.

This proud looking little dog has hair above its nose that grows up toward the top of its head and is often gathered in a topknot.



There are some considerable size variations for this dog breed. They can have a height of up to 11 inches and the weight ranges from 9-16 pounds.



The Shih-Tzu is content to live in an apartment or town home.

They do not need a lot of space. While they can be active at times, the breed is usually fairly lazy.

You may find they will locate a favorite spot and just lounge all day. It is up to the dog owner to initiate regular exercise to help keep these little guys healthy and fit.

  • The Shih Tzu is an ideal family dog.
  • The breed is playful and lively.


This 'cute-as-a button' charmer is very affectionate and loves being around people.

They are generally good with other pets. Children love these little dogs and the feeling is mutual.

They also respond well to children, as long as they are not mistreated or handled roughly.

Be careful with the amount of food you give this breed.

Because of their reluctance to exercise, they can become fat quite easily.

Shih-Tzu's will benefit from early and consistent training, because its a small size does not mean this breed is a malleable pushover!

In fact, these little dogs, can be quite obstinate.

Patient, consistent training is best. Yelling or impatient behavior doesn't work with these dogs.


Daily grooming is also a top priority for the Shih Tzu.

Brush your dog's coat daily with a bristle brush.

The topknot is usually taken loose several times a week, brushed out to avoid matting and then retied with a bow so that the dog can see properly.

Check your dog's ear passages and the area around the eyes to keep them clean. Shih-Tzu's have sensitive eyes that may water and develop matter frequently.

Shih Tzu dog breed explained picture

Because of this, the eyes should be kept clean.

This breed sheds very little. Because of this, some people claim that it is hypoallergenic.

However, no dog is truly allergen free.

Potential health problems of the Shih-Tzu can include ear, eye and respiratory problems and spinal disc disease caused by a long back and short legs.

This dog breed's teeth require regular veterinary attention, as they tend to rot.

Shih Tzu's gain weight easily and should not be overfed.


If you are looking for a happy little dog that loves play and laughter, then this breed with a royal heritage just might be the perfect choice for you and your family.



Shih-Tzu Dog Breed Explained

Dog bullet  Shih Tzu Dog Breed
Country of Origin: China

Dog Breed Family Shih Tzu's belong to the family known as Toy dogs or Companion breed - or Non sporting.
Alternative Names Chinese Lion Dog - Chrysanthemum Dog
Classification FCI: Group 9 Section 5 #208; AKC: Toy Stds; ANKC: Group 7 - Non-Sporting; CKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting; KC (UK): Utility; NZKC: Non-sporting; UKC: Companion Breeds





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