The Pet Tree House

The Pet Tree House

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Shih Tzu, One Of The World’s Oldest Dog Breeds

The Shih Tzu (pronounced Shid Zoo in singular and plural), is undoubtedly one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. The Shih Tzu is often referred to as a "small lion." They originated in Tibet, but are most associated with China where they were highly revered as a palace pet and prized companion. The Shih Tzu is an active, happy, and affectionate breed.

A compact and solid dog, the Shih Tzu’s long, flowing double coat is its most distinctive feature. The word Shih Tzu means "lion" and although this dog is sweet and playful, they are not afraid to stand up for themselves!

Temperament:

Shih Tzu love to strut around the house with their head held high and tail wagging! They strut like they own the place! Most have an outgoing, happy, friendly personality! Shih Tzu tend to get a little bossy as they reach the adult age, and quiet down when they get to be seniors. They love to be spoiled at all ages!

Human Companions:

The ideal companion for the Shih Tzu would be singles, seniors, families with older children. Though good family dogs, Shih Tzu are not especially good with very young children. They cannot be handled roughly or awkwardly and tend to get snappish when their patience wears thin.

Size:

Shih Tzu usually weigh between 9 and 16 pounds full grown, and measure between 10 – 11 inches in height.

Colors:

Shih Tzu come in a rainbow of colors. They are Liver and white, cream, black, brindle and white, solid blue (rare), solid brindle, gold and white, black and white, solid white, solid red, red and white, solid silver, silver and white.

The Body:

The Shih Tzu body is slightly longer than tall, its legs straight and muscular, and its feet firm and well-padded.The head is round, broad, and wide between the eyes, and in balance with the rest of the dog. The dark eyes are large and round; the ears are natural and heavily feathered; the muzzle is square, short and unwrinkled, and flat; lips and chin should neither protrude nor recede. The jaw is undershot,  the incisors of the lower jaw overlap the incisors of the upper jaw.

The Coat:
The coat is long and flowing and generally grows in an upward direction from his nose, which is why you’ll often see him with his fur tied on top of his head. The growth of his fur in all directions from his face has earned him the nickname “chrysanthemum-faced dog.” Most show dogs have the long flowing coat, however, most pet owners like to keep the hair cut short.  
Health:
Basically healthy, the Shih Tzu is subject to a kidney disease called renal dysplasia, and to slipped stifles or kneecaps. His slightly protruding eyes are prone to injury, and his short muzzle often produces slight wheezing problems.



                                                        Click on image to enlarge.
                                                         photo shih-tzu-1_zps67cf779c.jpg

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