Dog Profiles - Description of Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Description: The name "Shih Tzu" means lion dog in Chinese and he received the name because of his long, flowing mane-like coat. The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, toy dog with long flowing double coat. He has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. He may display an arrogant personality, but is actually playful and gentle. He adapts well to any family situation and will enjoy a cuddle in your lap, doing tricks, or fetching a tennis ball.

Height: 8-11 inches

Weight: 8-15 lbs.

Colors: All colors

Coat: Long, dense, not curly with a good undercoat

Temperament: Gentle, loyal, proud. Loves children. Gets along well with other animals. Great family pet. Very good watch dog. Poor guard dog.

Care and Exercise: Daily grooming is essential. Bathing once a month. Clipping of matting on feet. Basic training when puppy is young. Minimal exercise is needed, but he will love to play outdoors.

Training: May be obstinate but patience and consistency will help over come the problem and achieve a reasonable level of training. Learning Rate: High, Obedience: Medium, Problem Solving: Low.

Activity: Indoors - High, Outdoors - Low

Living Environment: Apartment is adequate provided he receives some type of exercise. An owner of a Shih Tzu should be a consistent leader who desire an active, curious breed.

Health Issues: Kidney disorder, otherwise no major health problems.

Life Span: 10-14 Years

Litter Size: 2-4

Country of Origin: Tibet

History: May have originated from a cross between the Tibetan Mountain Dog and the Pekingese. He was a favored dog of the Emperor and is portrayed in Chinese paintings. He was first imported to England in the 1930's. Then after World War II he made his way to the United States by military officers going home.

Registration: ACA, AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC(GB), UKC