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Shih Tzu breed Info

Description
The Shih Tzu or Shih Tsu (??? pinyin: Shizi Gou, Wade-Giles: Shih-tzu Kou) is a breed of dog originating in Tibet. The spelling "Shih Tzu", most commonly used for the breed, is according to the Wade-Giles system of romanization. The Chinese pronunciation of this name is approximately like the "sher" of "sherbet" followed immediately by the "dds" of "adds". The meaning of the breed name was originally "lion dog" because this variety of dog was bred to resemble a miniature lion. It is now often called by a homonymic name, "xi shi quan" (???), based on the name of Xi Shi, regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient China.

Shih Tzus are sturdy, friendly, lively, yet alert toy dogs. They have long flowing double coats. Shih Tzus have a variety of coat colors including black,brown, white, gray, tan, and gold spotted to a mix of several-colored hair. The Shih Tzu's hair can be styled in a short, summertime cut or a well-groomed long hair like that used for conformation shows. This breed's hair grows continuously. Because Shih Tzus have hair and not fur, they do not shed. It is one of several breeds suggested as a hypoallergenic pet.

The AKC Shih Tzu breed standard calls for the dog to have a short snout, large eyes, a slight underbite, and a tail that waves above its torso. The ideal Shih Tzu height at withers is 9 to 10 1/2 inches. The dog should stand no less than 8 inches nor more than 11 inches tall. The Shih Tzu should never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. The weight of mature dogs should be between 9 to 16 pounds. Regardless of size or gender, the Shih Tzu should always be solid and compact, and carry good weight and substance.
Proportions
8 to 11 inches.
9 to 18 pounds.
Background
The Shih Tzu was bred to sit around the palace of the Emperor of China and bark when people or animals approached. It is believed that this ornamental breed was created by breeding the Bei-jing gou (Pekingese) with a Tibetan dog breed, the Lhasa Apso. Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog. The Shih Tzu is also known as the Chinese Lion Dog or the Chrysanthemum Dog.
Personality
James E. Mumford descrEMBED the breed in an American Shih Tzu magazine, giving a picture of the versatile character of the Shih Tzu: "Nobody knows how the Ancient Eunuchs managed to mix together...And now here comes the recipe: A dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man (Chinese), a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear and the rest dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin."

The Shih Tzu is usually calm and gentle. They can, however, be playful and feisty at times. The breed typically makes a good children's pet. Shih Tzus are actually a bit light-headed at times and do not take severe punishment well. Of course, as with every animal, there are exceptions; you can find the occasional "guard dog" Shih Tzu or "Lazy Lucy" in a litter.

Although he is generally outgoing and friendly, the Shih Tzu definitely has an attitude that cries to be spoiled. If you need help in realizing this fact, the dog will steer you in the right direction with his self-assurance that he should be treated like a king. Indeed, his strong sense of self makes him a poor choice in a household with babies or small children. He is often jealous of babies and toddlers and may snap if bothered by rambunctious children. However, he is a fine companion for older children, particularly those who enjoy combing his hair.

Shih Tzu are active and alert, qualities that make them good watchdogs. However, poorly bred dogs of the breed can be excitable, noisy, and snappy.

Shih Tzu are intelligent, and can be trained for obedience competition and for good manners around the home. They can be stubborn, so persistence and consistency are definite plusses in training methods. Punishment makes this dog shut down, so training should also be low-key and motivational.
Points of Interest
The Shih Tzu is easy to care for, but the area around the eyes should be cleaned gently each day. Most Shih Tzus enjoy exercising outdoors and, when exercised regularly, have plenty of stamina. Most enjoy a long walk, although they are also quite happy to run around the house. A dog whose coat is allowed to grow out needs daily brushing to avoid tangles; a short haircut avoids this extra level of care. However, these dogs do not tolerate cold temperatures well, so longer hair during the colder seasons is more appropriate. Shih Tzus are considered to be brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs. As such, they are very sensitive to high temperatures. This is why airlines that ship dogs will not accept them for shipment when temperatures at any point on the planned itinerary exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24°C).
Special Talents
Watchdog.