Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information - American Kennel Club

The breed standard states that the normal Shih Tzu dog should weigh between 9 and 16 pounds.
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The coat is one of the characteristics that exemplifies the trulyregal nature of the Shih-Tzu. As with the size, the coat comes in a widerange of colors: from total black, to black & white, gray & white, red &white or pure gold. A white blaze on the forehead and a white tip on thetail are highly prized. The coat is not straight as in a YorkshireTerrier, a slight wave is normal with a curl not appropriate. The coathas an under layer and when the dog is full grown this undercoat helpsgive an overall graceful appearance to the coat as it falls naturallyto the ground. The coat however does require care and attention. Dailygrooming is necessary, otherwise the coat can become matted and tangledwhich will require cutting the coat. As a puppy little work is neededexcept to get the dog used to lying still on a table or your lap for acouple of minutes to get brushed. If one cuts the coat down, this takesaway the elegant aspects of the breed.A kidney disease known as Renal Dysplasia is common in the Shih-Tzubreed. It bears some similarity to kidney disease in the LhasaApso. Whether the disease is inherited is not yet known but a good dealof evidence points in that direction.
Ringo, Shorkie Tzu (Shih Tzu / Yorkie mix breed dog) at 1 year; he weighs around 5 pounds.
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These little dogs require a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. When kept in a long coat a topknot is usually tied to keep the hair out of the dog's eyes. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time-consuming to care for. Keep the ear passages and area around the eyes clean. Shih Tzus have sensitive eyes that need to be kept clean. There are special drops you can buy to put in them if needed. Ask your vet what to use on your dog. This breed sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers if its coat is kept very well groomed, due to the fact that they shed little skin dander. Sprocket the Shorkie Tzu (Shih Tzu / Yorkie mix breed dog) at 9 months old
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Photo provided by FlickrSnickers the ShiChi (Shih Tzu / Chihuahua mix breed dog) puppy at 4 months old
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In 1908, the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, sent some small dogs of Shih Tzu type to Tzu Hsi, Dowager Empress of the Manchu Dynasty. The Empress was a renowned breeder of Pekingese and added the Shih Tzu to her interests. At this time, three types of dogs were bred as palace companions with little difference in type but with different coat length. Tzu Hsi closely supervised the initial Shih Tzu breeding to maintain breed characteristics separate from the Pekingese, but after her death that same year, breeding practices became sloppy and cross-breedings with Pekingese and Pugs probably occurred. Such a bumpy beginning for the breed has not hurt its ultimate popularity. In 1994, the Shih Tzu was the 12th most popular dog of AKC's 139 breeds with more than 37 thousand new individual registrations. Only two toy breeds, the Pomeranian and the Yorkshire Terrier, are higher on the list at numbers 10 and 11 respectively.Shih Tzu found their way west to England when Lady Brownrigg discovered the breed in Peking in 1930. Originally classified as "Apsos," the Shih Tzu was ruled a separate breed by The Kennel Club by 1935. American soldiers stationed in England during World War II became enchanted with the little dogs and brought some back to the US. The breed was not recognized by the AKC until 1969, so those first imported dogs were often registered as and crossbred with Lhasa Apsos. AKC requires six generations of pure breeding after an outcross to establish a breed as unsullied, so the early Lhasa crosses in this country and a deliberate cross with Pekingese in England in 1952 delayed US recognition.The Shih-Tzu attitude is lively, alert, proud, and somewhat stubborn. The general appearance of the breed is that of a small, compact, sturdy dog with luxurious coat, upright head, jaunty step, and plumed, curved tail flowing over the back. Ideal height is nine to 10.5 inches at the withers, but ranges from eight to 11 inches. Ideal weight is nine to 16 pounds, depending on height.