A Shih Tzu with a summer-friendly haircut
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 9 Section 5 #208
||Group 7 (Non-Sporting)
||Group 6 - Non-Sporting
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Shih Tzu (獅子狗
Wade-Giles: Shih-tzu Kou) is a
dog originating in
China. The spelling "Shih Tzu", most commonly used for the breed, is according
to the Wade-Giles system of romanization. The actual 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" (西施犬), based on the name of
regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient China.
Shih tzus come in variety of colors including black, white, gray, tan, and
gold spotted to a mix of several-colored hairs. A model Shih Tzu should have a
short snout, large eyes, a slight underbite, and a tail that waves above its
torso. The Shih Tzu's hair can be styled in a short, summertime hair cut or a
well-groomed long hair style like that used for
James Mumford described 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. The breed makes a good children's
pet. Shih Tzus are actually a bit light-headed at times and do not take severe
It is believed that this ornamental breed was created by breeding the
Bei-jing gou (Pekingese)
with a Tibetan dog breed, the
DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the
oldest breeds of dog.
This Shih Tzu is prepared for cold weather with a longer haircut and wearing a
The Shih Tzu is easy to care for. The breed does not especially enjoy
exercise and tires easily. When out for a romp, they may suffer abrasions on
their paws. A short haircut avoids having to care for their longer natural coat.
However, these dogs do not tolerate cold temperatures well, so longer hair
during the colder seasons is more appropriate.
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