The pronunciation of SHIH TZU in America is “SHEET-zoo” and in Chinese it is “sure-dis”. It is considered as a toy dog breed. The breed is original from china and imported to Europe for the first time and were recognised by the AMERICAN KERNEL CLUB in 1969.”Shih Tzu” is the Wade-Giles romanization of the Chinese characters 獅子, meaning lion. The Shih Tzu is also known as the “Xi Shi dog” because Xi Shi was regarded as one of the most beautiful women of ancient China. Shih Tzu was nicknamed the Chrysanthemum Dog in England in the 1930s. This breed is a close relationship to wolves. The theories say that it is a cross breed between Pekingese and a Tibetan dog called the Lhasa apso. These dogs were favourite of the Chinese kings so the dogs of this breed were not allowed to sell or trade.
It is a small sized and sturdy dog. The body of the dog is larger than its tail. It has a short muzzle and large black and round eyes. The head is round and broad, and wide between the eyes. The nose is broad, with well-open nostrils. The muscular legs are straight and well-boned. The double coat is dense and long, flowing down over the dog. Coat comes in all colors. The Shih Tzu comes in a range of colours that include various shades of gold, white, brown, and black. Other colours include black mask gold, black and white, solid black, solid liver, liver and white, brindle, white, red and white, and grey and white. They have hanging ears with lot of fur. It has a long silky coat which requires proper brushing. The height of the dog is upto 11 inches (28 cm) and the weight is 9 – 16 pounds (4 – 7 kg).
It is happy go lucky dog and is a social animal. The breed is loyal, affectionate and outgoing. Proper training and socializing should be there so that it can be taught the basic things about what to do and what not to do. It is a watch dog because of its alert nature. It makes friends easily and is a lively breed and due to this it interacts with other dogs and children. Shin Tzu do not shed to the same degree, only losing small amounts when bathed or brushed. Because of this dog’s small size and its adorable face, it commonly develops Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviours where the dog believes he is the boss of humans.
- It requires proper grooming using bristle brush.
- The hair should be trimmed so that the hair can be cared properly.
- The area around the eyes and ear should be clean because the eyes are very sensitive.
- Proper bathing of the dog should be done.
- Hypothyroidism – This occurs when the thyroid gland malfunctions and stops producing the hormone for the proper metabolism.
- Inter-vertebral Disk Disease – It causes acute back pain, loss of coordination,paresis, and loss of the ability to feel deep pain sensations.
- Breathing problems – An obstruction in the upper airways causes the dog to have labored breathing
- They also causes early tooth loss and gain weight easily.
They are apartment dogs and can live their happily. They are active in indoors and are very sensitive to sun. And have life span of about 15 or more years.
The price of Shih Tzu vary between $400 to $1200.