Description: Though these are companion dogs, they think like working dogs. Thus, Shih Tzus are a joy to train. This breed is wary, intelligent, lovable, affectionate, cheerful, sociable and independent. Shih Tzus are full of personality and love to please. They rarely bark. These dogs have been said to be moody and prone to nervousness.
Other Names: Chrysanthemum Dog
Height: 8 - 11 inches
Weight: 8 - 15 lbs.
Colors: All colors.
Coat: Long, dense, not curly with a good undercoat
Temperament: Gentle, loyal, proud
With Children: Yes, loves children.
With Pets: Yes, gets along well with other animals.
Special Skills: Family pet
Watch-dog: Very High
Guard-dog: Very Low
Care and Exercise: Daily grooming is essential. Bathing once a month. Clipping of matting on feet. Basic training when puppy is young. Minimal exercise is needed, but he will love to play outdoors.
Training: May be obstinate but patience and consistency will help over come the problem and achieve a reasonable level of training.
Learning Rate: High, Obedience - Medium, Problem Solving - Low
Activity: Indoors - High, Outdoors - Low
Living Environment: Apartment is adequate provided he receives some type of exercise. An owner of a Shih Tzu should be a consistent leader who desire an active, curious breed.
Health Issues: Kidney disorder, otherwise no major health problems.
Life Span: 10 - 14 Years
Litter Size: 2 - 4
Country of Origin: Tibet
History: May have originated from a cross between the Tibetan Mountain Dog and the Pekingese. He was a favored dog of the Emperor and is portrayed in Chinese paintings. He was first imported to England in the 1930's. Then after World War II he made his way to the United States by military officers going home. It wasn't until 1969 that the AKC recognized the breed.
First Registered by the AKC: 1969
AKC Group: Toy Group