The Shih-tzu is mostly known for its vibrant beauty, abounding energy, and imperial attitude. In fact, the Shih-tzu has become one of the most popular breeds among consumers searching for the unimaginably cute and playful puppy.
The Shih-tzu originates in China. It is believed that these tiny dogs originated in Tibet and then were brought to be bred in the City of Peking. The Shih-tzu quickly caught the eye of the Imperial Chinese court and were guarded protectively by their benevolent owners. Members of the Chinese royalty were so protective of the breed that it wasn't until 1930 that the Shih-tzu debuted in Western civilization.
After being recognized by the British AKC in 1946 and the United States AKC in 1969, the Shih-tzu's popularity grew in leaps and bounds. Today the Shih-tzu remains a very popular breed for both companionship and showing.
Although small, the Shih-tzu is very sturdy and hardy. This breed's most identifiable traits are its abundant coat of long hair, full beard and mustache, and upward growing nose. Weighing in at only 9 to 16 pounds, Shih-tzus can reach an impressive height of 11 inches. The Shih-tzu is full of character. While they can be obstinate, dogs belonging to this breed are generally spunky, active and happy and sometimes portray an attitude that borders on arrogance.
Because of its small size, Shih-tzus do well in very small homes such as apartments. The lack of a yard does not even affect these little guys. They are very sensitive to heat though, and should be kept in a cool environment.
Caring for a Shih-tzu takes a little more patience and dedication than with other breeds. As I said before, these dogs can be obstinate and stubborn which makes training and house breaking a chore. Their thick, long coat requires daily grooming and brushing, and their sensitive eyes need to be cleaned and maintained daily. It is also a good idea to have Shih-tzus professionally groomed on a regular basis. This will aid you in your daily grooming rituals.
The most common health problems associated with Shih-tzus are usually related to their respiratory function. These dogs tend to wheeze and snore a great deal and are prone to ear, eye and other respiratory problems. Shih-tzus also tend to become obese very easily and should not be overfed. Perhaps the most endearing trait of the Shih-tzu is its clever and affectionate personality which make it ideal as a family pet. So, if you are looking for an adorable, spunky canine companion with an imperial background and attitude, perhaps a Shih-tzu is exactly what you are looking for.
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