The Shih Tzu is a fascinating dog so I was excited when I got a request for a Shih Tzu blog. The first thing I would like to say about this breed is that it relates more closely to wolves then most other breeds. The Shih Tzu is also one of the oldest breeds of dog, first originating in Tibet as a lap dog over 2000 years ago. A cross between the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso the Shih Tzu landed in the Chinese imperial court where they were nicknamed the loin dogs and would sleep at the foot of nobleman’s beds to act as foot warmers. However, when Britain invaded china the breed was almost entirely wiped out, all that remained were 7 female and 7 male dogs. now every shih Tzu can be traced back to one of those 14 dogs.
The coat is one of the Shih Tzu’s most outstanding features, it consists of 2 layers. The top coat is smooth and silky while the under coat is fleecy and feathery. Most owners keep their Shih Tzu’s hair short in what’s called a puppy cut because it’s easier to maintain. Although, some owners do keep the dogs hair in what’s referred to as “show dog long”, but the upkeep is costly of both time and money. The Shih Tzu comes in a multitude of colors, 19 to be exact, and the breed has personalities just as diverse as their coats. Generally they are happy go lucky and pleasant, but difficult to train. The breed has a life span of 11-16 years but they do suffer from kidney and eye problems. Overall this is a wonderful breed with a very interesting and long history. Please comment and let me know if you have any questions or requests for future blogs.