Sometimes called the Chrysanthemum dog or Chinese Lion Dog, the Shih Tzu is small but solidly built. This “little lion” is covered in a long, silky double coat, from the tips of their long, floppy ears to the ends of their tails. They often have a long luxurious fringe covering their face, which is typically tied in a top knot to help them see. Alert and affectionate, the little Shih Tzu is clever, if a little stubborn, and not as yappy as the average small breed dog. Be sure not to over-indulge your Shih Tzu, or he/she will walk all over you!
Shih Tzu breed attributes
About Shih Tzu breed
Sometimes called the Chrysanthemum dog or Chinese Lion Dog, the little Shih Tzu is small but solidly built, with a body slightly longer than the dog’s height. They have short square muzzles, with teeth that meet either on a level or in an under-bite. The tail is high set, the legs are well muscled, and the back is level.
This “little lion” is covered in a long, silky double coat, from the tips of their long, floppy ears to the ends of their tails. They often have a long luxurious fringe covering their face, which is typically tied up in a top knot to help them see. The fur around the muzzle is shorter, though Shih Tzus still have large fuzzy beards and moustaches. Traditionally the coat is allowed to grow to floor length, though many owners find it more practical to clip the fur to a more manageable length. Shih Tzu are sometimes considered hypoallergenic dogs, as they do not shed frequently.
In dog shows, all colours are permitted. Some common fur colours include gold, white, black, and brown. Patched coats (such as brown patches on white) are also very common.
While the Shih Tzu is quite a healthy dog, they are prone to a few health conditions:
• Hip dysplasia
• Patellar luxation
• Juvenile Renal Dysplasia
• Bladder stones and infections
• Eye problems
• Ear infections
• Portosystemic liver shunt
• Umbilical hernias
• Reverse sneezing
• Heat stroke
At Newdoggy.com we promote puppies from reputable breeders, who use genetic testing and good breeding practices to remove genetic conditions from their breeding lines. Newdoggy.com’s Health Guarantee certifies that all promoted puppies are in good health.
The Shih Tzu is lively and alert, with an affectionate nature. Unfortunately they can be stubborn (though intelligent). To avoid problems, start socialisation and some basic training as soon as possible. Shi Tzus are also well known for being difficult to house train. Be patient and persistent. A Shih Tzu may respond best to food rewards and lots of praise. Don’t let this little dog get his own way all the time, as a spoilt and over-indulged Shih Tzu is unlikely to listen to you, and may be ill-tempered and snappy.
These little lion dogs are naturally very affectionate and good natured. They are less yappy than many small dog breeds, and get on well with most people and pets. As mentioned before, they can be stubborn, so you should start training and socialising your Shih Tzu from a young age. If you don’t over-indulge or coddle your Shih Tzu, you will find that you have a remarkably sweet-tempered, affectionate and playful dog in your life.
The Shih Tzu is an adaptable breed, and will be just as comfortable in a city apartment as in a villa. They don’t need much exercise and will be content with a stroll around the neighbourhood and daily play sessions. They are most comfortable in the house, and are probably most happy curled up next to you or on your lap.
Be careful if you live in a hot climate. The Shih Tzu’s flat face puts them at risk of heat stroke, so keep your dog inside during the hottest hours and provide plenty of cool water. They need plenty of brushing and grooming, though if you clip their coats you’ll save yourself a lot of time.
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