Shih Tzu History

The Shih Tzu is widely regarded to be one of the most ancient of the existing dog breeds, tracing its roots back to fossilized remains dated to approximately 10,000 years ago. The Shih Tzu is thought to have evolved from the same line of dogs as the Japanese Chin, Tibetan Spaniel, Pug and Long-haired Chihuahua. Interestingly enough, the Shih Tzu breed of dog was almost forced into extinction during the British invasion of China. Luckily, fourteen dogs were saved, seven female and seven females. From these dogs, all of the current Shih Tzu breed of dogs can trace back their heritage. The Shih Tzu was first officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1969, classified under the Toy Dog Group.

Shih Tzu Appearance

The Shih Tzu is a relatively small breed of dog, weighing from 10 to 16 lbs when full-grown. By height, most Shih Tzu dogs are no more than 10 ½ inches tall. The muzzle of the Shih Tzu is short, with drop-style ears covered in long fur. The Shih Tzu is technically a long-haired breed of dog, though the coat is often clipped short by dog owners in order to simplify overall dog care. This type of cutting is also called a “puppy clip”. Most Shih Tzu dogs have a small flat nose, which may contribute to bits of food becoming stuck in their facial fur when they are eating.

Shih Tzu Temperament

Since Shih Tzu dogs were originally bred to be companion dogs for members of the Chinese royalty, they are said to have a very friendly temperament. Shih Tzu dogs are also highly renowned for their devotion to their owners, and are easily able to adapt to new environments. Though Shih Tzu dogs are very sweet in temperament, they may also display bold characteristics which may contribute to them getting into fights with larger dogs. Some people say that the Shih Tzu has an ‘arrogant’ quality, though this is largely left up to interpretation.

Shih Tzu Grooming

The coat of a Shih Tzu is often quoted as being ‘hypoallergenic’, due to its low shedding qualities. Even though Shih Tzu dogs are not known for shedding, it’s still very important to regularly groom a Shih Tzu dog as a part of overall pet care. In addition to this, if you are attempting to keep a Shih Tzu dog at show quality, the grooming process becomes much more complicated. When in its natural state, the coat of a Shih Tzu is long, silky and brushes the ground when the dog is standing.

Shih Tzu Training

Shih Tzu dogs are ranked in the lowest category of intelligence, and may require many repetitions of a training command in order for them to properly understand this. However, due to the sweet temperament of this dog breed, it is still possible to train a Shih Tzu. This usually requires a lot of patience, and may also require you to repeat a single training command for extended periods of time. Though the training process of a Shih Tzu dog usually takes longer than most breeds, it can be accomplished easily through the use of positive reinforcement training.

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