Shih Tzu is a playful, non-shedding dog of the AKC Toy Group. This small dog is very adaptable to any living conditions and make ideal pets for families with older, respectful children as well as the elderly. The Shih Tzu is a happy-go-lucky dog full of personality and delights in being with the family. If coats are left long, grooming can be quite intensive and they will need brushing daily to keep their fur from matting. It is not uncommon to see them groomed by professional groomers giving them a shorter "look" as seen below.
Shih Tzu Breed Facts:
Grooming: The non-shedding, dense and shaggy coat of an Shih Tzu will need daily brushings to avoid matting and professional grooming every 3 months. Many Shih Tzu pet owners sport their dogs with a shorter cut.
Social Skills: This little dog gets along with other dogs and household pets.
Personality: Very devoted to its owner, Shih Tzus are very playful, affectionate and full of personality. Very much of a people dog and loves to romp around. Can be rather self assured and like to establish themselves as the leader. They make excellent watchdogs and are not aggressive. Can be stubborn.
Children: Very good with older, respectful children. Not recommended for families with toddlers.
Housing: Very active, but easily adapts to any indoor living conditions. Ideal for apartment and condo living. Great pets for the elderly.
Exercise: Low. Neighborhood walks are fine, and can get most of their exercise around the house.
Training: Intelligent. Trains easily and willing to please - begin early training with positive reinforcement.
Health: Renal displaysia, patellar luxation, dermoid sinus, progressive retinal atrophy and other eye problems. More information on Shih Tzu inherited health disorders.
History: The Shih Tzu was developed in southern China and produced by crossing the ancestors of the Pekinese with the Tibetan Llasa Apso. They were considered royal dogs of the imperial household during the Manchu Dynasty. When the Communist regime came to power thousands of these dogs were destroyed and believed to have become extinct in their homeland. With a small gene pool of thirteen dogs, Shih Tzus made their way to Europe in 1952.