The history of the Shih Tzu dates back to the 1600s in Tibet, and is one of the oldest breeds on record. In Tibet, the Shih Tzu was considered a holy animal.
The name Shih Tzu translates to mean "mini-lion." This nickname was given to the Shih Tzu for his lion-like appearance. In China, the lion was highly respected for its connection to Buddhism, as it had a long tradition as guardian of temples and palaces.
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The Shih Tzu was bred to reflect the lion's appearance of strength, beauty and magnificence.
The Shih Tzu can grow to be as tall as 8 to 11 inches and can weigh from 9 - 16 pounds. His hair is thick, full and lush and can grow very straight and long.
He sheds very little, so he makes a very good choice for people with allergies. He must be groomed regularly or his hair will become matted and tangled.
A Shih Tzu's eyes are round and wide and give his face a warm expression which exudes friendliness and affection. He comes in a variety of colors such as tan, brown, black and white.
The Shih Tzu has a temperament that is renowned for being friendly, loving, well behaved, and fairly easy to train. Shih Tzu's are lively and playful.
They are good with children and they adore their family. They love meeting new people and tend to make new friends wherever they go. Shih Tzu's are true companion dogs and they will sit contently in your lap for hours.
They will be totally and completely devoted to you. Shih Tzu's are very adaptable to new owners and make excellent companions for the elderly.
They usually do very well with other animals and are non-aggressive. Shih Tzu's are very intelligent, friendly and good-natured.
They are very easy to care for and make an excellent pet for those who may be timid. Housebreaking can be the most difficult thing to teach him, but if you reward him with food treats, praise and are consistent, training your Shih Tzu can be accomplished.
Most Shih Tzu's are sweet-natured, yet they can be stubborn. You must show him, through consistency, that you are in charge and that you mean what you say.
You must also teach him to respect you as, if he does, he will listen when you tell him "no." Shih Tzu's are not high-strung, nor are they demanding.
They are clever and courageous. They are spunky and playful, sweet and trustworthy. Unlike other species of animals, Shih Tzu's do not need to be constantly entertained or stimulated.
They are more than content to lie in the corner, snuggled up and watching your every move. They are a special and precious dog breed, bringing you much love, joy and companionship.