Some state the breed evolved with the help from Tibetan Monks and was often presented to Chinese royalty. Another view suggests that the Shih Tzu was created in China by crossing other breeds with the Lhasa Apso or the Pekingese. It doesn’t matter where the Shi Tzu initially came from – Tibet or China – it’s obvious that it has been the beloved and intelligent lapdog for a long time.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Chinese royal families kept dogs that resembled the Shi Tzu. In some papers from that time they were described as the «little lion dogs» or «chrysanthemum-faced» dogs. It was a small, agile and teachable breed that looked like a lion.
From the XVIII century to the early XX century history had failed to present any substantial information on the development of the breed, but a lot of pictures portrayed little, hairy, cheerful dogs.
After the decline of the Chinese Imperia, these small dogs were almost lost for the future generation, but luckily some of them were given as a gift to foreigners, namely General Douglas and Lady Brownrigg. They and others transported some of the dogs to England. So all today’s Shi Tzus have originated from fourteen dogs.
During World War II spread of the breed was very limited, but it kept alive and prospered in the 1950s and 1960s. The American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledged the breed in 1969. Today the Shih Tzu is famous for its faithful, noble, sunny character and is kept worldwide as trustful companion and soulmate dog.
This breed was created to be a companion dog, love is its prevailing trait, and your lap is best place at your house. It also needs to receive as much attention as possible and will be always ready to give it back.
Though the Shi Tzu may bark at your guests at first, but minute later it’ll welcome them in his own happy and funny manner.
Some Shih Tzus tolerate cats and some don’t; it seems to be solely an individual predisposition rather than a breed feature. And it definitely favors dogs.
• canine hip dysplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• juvenile renal dysplasia;
• bladder stones and bladder infections;
• eye problems;
• ear infections;
• breath problems.
When your Shih Tzu is about a year old, it tends to change coat. This can last up to three weeks and you need to brush it daily. Good news – the new coat is easier to care for after the old one was shed.
You can bathe your Shih Tzu whenever you like, but beforehand comb its hare carefully and thoroughly. The coat must be dried afterwards so your dog won’t get cold.
Crate training is also useful for housetraining and gives your dog its own corner in the house. A crate is really helpful when you carry your Shih Tzu or travel with your dog.
The Shih Tzu a smart dog, but can be mulish, and, on occasion, mischievous. Though training may not be obligatory for it, you may need some extra time and energy to make it learn the rules.
When you train your dog, lessons should be short but frequent, for example, ten to fifteen minute periods three times a day. This breed can focus its attention only for a short time, which makes quick training sessions more preferable.
If you stay patient and calm, your Shih Tzu will be easily trained basic obedience commands and good behavior.
The Shih Tzu is prone to be overheated, so avoid going out on hot days. In general, the Shih Tzu is good for an apartment life. These dogs are pretty active indoors and can live without a yard, but not without your affection and attention.