Shih Tzu Temperament
The Shih Tzu is a fiery breed that has a ton of spunk but is also very sweet. It is super affectionate with its family and owners and does not hesitate to jump into the closest lap. It’s attitude is very upbeat and it loves to play around. It plays very well with children and is typically very safe to be around them because of its tiny size. However, if it does not get the love and attention it needs, it can be quite stubborn.
Shih Tzu Upkeep
The Shin Tzu, like most living creatures, does need a daily dose of exercise. However, this breed’s exercise requirements are much easier met due to its small size. Because of this, it is a great apartment dog. A quick game in the apartment or a short walk are usually enough to keep this breed fit. It does not prefer humid weather, and typically is not able to survive outdoors. It is a bit of a diva when it comes to living conditions. It has a very long fur coat that needs brushed and tended to at least every other day but every day is probably recommended. Shih Tzu puppies should trained from a young age to accept grooming from its owner. Many owners opt to clip their dogs as well to help control the fur.
Shih Tzu Health
Major health concerns surrounding the breed really only include Chronic Hip Dysplasia, or “CHD.” However, it is susceptible to other types of health concerns, but none tend to be as serious as CHD. The minor concerns that can effect a Shih Tzu include renal Dysplasia, entropion, trichiasis, PRA, KCS, otitis externa, portacaval shunt, inguinal hernias, or patellar luxation. Cataracts and dental problems are also only occasionally seen in the breed. The best thing to do to keep your Shih Tzu healthy is to make sure it is getting regular checkups by your local vet. If kept healthy, they typically tend to live between 11 to 14 years.
Shih Tzu History
The Shih Tzu, also known as the Shih Tzu Kou, stands for Lion Dog. Despite the breed’s small frame, it is said to resemble a lion. Being from China, this dog is hailed because of the Chinese Buddhist association with lions. This is why it is most often associated with China. The early origins of the Shih Tzu stem back to its roots in Tibet as far back at the 17th century. Even back then, it was revered as a “Holy Dog.” The Shih Tzu is often compared to the Pekingese but it can be differentiated by the bumps that are present at the top of its head resembling a top-knot. During the Ming dynasty, this breed was part of the royal family. However, the Brits invaded the imperial palace, the majority of the dogs were lost causing a huge decrease in the breed overall. The Shih Tzu was called the Tibetan Poodle for quite some time, but by 1935, it became known as the Lhassa Terrier. By this time, they really started to gain back their popularity. They were eventually recognized by the AKC.