The Shih Tzu is one of the gift dogs customarily presented by the Dalai Lamas of Tibet to the Emperors of China. The breed is thought to be descended from the Lhasa Apso, another gift dog to the Chinese royalty. The Shih Tzu could be related to the Pekingese; it may have been crossed with the Pekingese to obtain coat and hardiness.
The Shih Tzu captivated the Chinese Imperial Court and was immortalized in many sculptures and paintings. They were imported to England from China in 1930 and brought to the United States after World War II by returning servicemen. The Shih Tzu was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1969.
Size: Height 8-11 inches.
Eyes:Dark, large appealing round eyes.
Body Structure:Body is slightly longer than high, with level topline and broad, deep chest. Head is broad and round with square, short, unwrinkled muzzle and pronounced stop. Large, long, hanging ears and large, firm feet with hair between pads.
Hair Coat:Long, dense coat with undercoat; may be wavy but not curly.
Possible Health Problems:Fairly healthy breed, but some dogs may develop breathing difficulties, respiratory infection and eye irritations. Dogs may develop kidney problems and slipped stifles. Possible problems with allergic skin disease and ear problems.
The Shih Tzu is a very lively and gay little dog with a charming personality.
Needs regular grooming. Requires much human companionship.