Type: Companion Dog; Origin of Tibet
Height: 8 - 11 inches.
Weight: 8 - 19 lbs Between 8 and 16 lbs. is most desirable.
Coat: Long, dense, straight and with a good undercoat. It appears harsher than it feels.
Description: The name "Shih Tzu" means lion dog in Chinese, and they received the name because of their long, flowing mane-like coat. The lion is highly regarded in Buddhist culture, and therefore the Shih Tzu made its way into palaces and royalty's lap in the older days of China. The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, toy dog with a long flowing double coat. The topknot on the head is usually held up with a bow, and they have dark round eyes with a pleasing expression. Shih Tzus can be of any color and any pattern, but a white blaze and a white tail is much desired. Shih Tzus have a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. They may display an arrogant personality, but are actually playful and gentle. They are quite friendly, more so than their cousins, the Lhasa Apso. They are not as wary of strangers, and get along well with everyone. Shih Tzus adapt well to any family situation and will enjoy a cuddle in your lap, doing tricks, or fetching a tennis ball. Shih Tzus are an intelligent dog who will make a good family addition. Despite their small size the Shih Tzu is a confident and dignified breed.
Special Needs: Attention and grooming.
Life Span: 10 - 14 years.