Pet Breeds

Everything you need to know about Shih Tzu dog breed

January 2, 2012

The Shih Tzu seems to be the most popular and pampered dog breed even today. Better known as ‘lap dog’, they are also known as a house dog. It is known that they have the prehistoric Chinese wolf, the ‘Senji’, as its decedent. Their existence can be even traced all the way back to the 5th century in Asia, particularly in Tibet. They are often referred to as the Chinese Lion Dog or the Chrysanthemum dog. It is truly an ideal canine companion that deserves the title of a ‘prince’ in the world of the dog family.

Shih Tzu dog breed

1. Origin

Shih Tzu has its origin from China. The 16th century architecture bears painting and sculpture that resemble Shih Tzu. Hence, it is believed that Shih Tzu originated in China only. It is also said that they have descended by crossing the Tibetan Mountain, in the city called Peking in the 17th century. These were the most favorite pets of the Chinese royalty, so favorite that they hesitated to sell them to anyone.

2. Physical appearance

The Shih Tzu is considered as smart, intelligent and stout dog breed with a short muzzle and comparatively large, black eyes. With the drop ears covered by the long fur hair, the Shih Tzu possesses long curly tail that is entirely covered with fur of its body. An ideal Shih Tzu weighs about 4.5 to 7 kilograms and its body remains covered with brilliant soft, long double coat. The coat may bear any color, though combination of blaze of white on the forehead with a tail-tip is the most common. Daily brushing of the coat is necessary to avoid unneeded tangles in it.

3. Temperament

The Shih Tzu has also got a nice sense of alertness as well as a great fondness for playing. He can mix easily with people, play with them and give them pleasure. Courageous and clever Shih Tzu is quite affectionate toward other pets.

Because of the small size and cute affectionate face that these dogs have, they often develop Small Dog syndrome, in which the dog tends to believe that he is the prime member of the family and only his words are to be noted. In these cases, the dog can behave indifferently, can growl, snap and even bite others. In situations like this they might become untrustworthy toward children. The friendly nature of them might go away and they may start to bark often; indicating the other people what they want to do. But it must be said that the way in which your dog behave entirely depends on the way you give him training. So, prior limits, rules and regulations must be set, so that the dog remains friendly forever. One should take them to local parks and make them walk so that the extra calories and energies are burnt away. This will make the temperament of the dog cool and eventually the real beauty and friendly nature of the pet will come out.

4. Grooming

These cute, little dogs require a good quality grooming to maintain their flawless appearance. One should apply bristle brush to the silky coat to avoid unnecessary tangles. The furry coat may be trimmed a bit to avoid time consumption. Care should be taken so that the ear passage and the areas of the eyes remain clean. The eyes are also quite sensitive, so proper cleaning is needed daily to avoid septic. Special eye drops are also available for that issue. It shreds little to no hair if the coat is well groomed, so one must keep an eye on the amount of hair that are shredded, eventually one must groom according to it.

5. Ideal living conditions

Shih Tzu is a disciplined indoor dog. They remain active, joyful and lively in the apartments while they might fetch some problem at the yards. It seems that this breed is quite sensitive to heat and as a result cannot withstand hot water.

6. Life expectancy

The lifespan of the breed is about 15 years or more.

7. Health issues

The long back and short legs of Shih Tzu make them prone to spinal disk and slipped stifle diseases. Ear infections, eye problems and tooth loose are quite common with this breed. It might suffer sometimes by respiratory problems also. Careful eyes should be kept so that they are not overfed, as these types of dogs gain weight easily.

This is the perfect dog for indoor purposes that can easily adapt themselves with the environment. They provide fun to people, become friends with them and the most amazing part is that they are obedient to their masters.

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