The delightful Shih Tzu is one of the 14 oldest dog breeds, and has been around for thousands of years. It is assumed that Tibetan monks bred them and then presented them as gifts to Chinese Royalty during the Ming Dynasty. This breed was not created to do anything but to be a companion, and to love and be loved. The name Shih Tzu in Mandarin means “little lion,” and yet their personality is far from being lion-like. They are also known as the “Chrysanthemum Dog,” due to how the hair grows out around their face, like a flower. Shih Tzus are a loving, cheerful, and demonstrative breed with an extremely trusting nature, it knows no stranger. But, some Shih Tzus are more cautious and will not be as comfortable around strangers, but that is not the norm. They can live in an apartment, or basically anywhere, and do best living indoors. Shih Tzus are great for new dog parents, and would adore a family, children, and even other dogs. However, due to the fragile nature of the breed a child should learn how to handle them with care, as well as having adult supervision. Shih Tzus need early socialization and training or they can become withdrawn. They do suffer from extreme separation anxiety because they are mainly a companion breed, and it is vital they are with their owner. Due to their constant cheerful disposition they are great for being a therapy dog. However, because they are so intelligent they can be stubborn. Shih Tzus are the epitome of a lap dog, but do fine with little strolls outside. Due to the shape of their face they do not handle the heat very well, and need to be in air conditioning when it is warm outside. They are high maintenance when it comes to their coat, it needs daily brushing and combing to prevent matting. They do require weekly baths, and professional grooming every 6-8 weeks. Shih Tzus do need to have their faces wiped daily, especially around their eyes. Their nails need to be trimmed monthly, as well as their ears checked weekly to avoid any infections. Shih Tzus are gorgeous and can be a mix of many colors, black and white, gray and white, and red and white, rarely will you see all black. Also, due to their underbite they are susceptible to dental issues. The Shih Tzu is a small breed and normally are 9-10 inches high and weigh typically 9-16 pounds, but they can put on weight easily. They are generally a healthy breed and with regular veterinary visits and love they can live long, happy lives.
Each dog breed can be prone to develop certain diseases or conditions, be sure to research your specific breed before making a purchase to ensure you´re prepared for any challenges that may arise. This information is only a generalization and we make no guarantees on any breed related to personality, appearance, or typical health characteristics.