The Shih Tzu is one of the most sociable and playful companion dogs. This added to his by the beautiful and sweet appearance explains why being one of the preferred breeds of the moment. These types of dogs are very caring and intelligent and need constant attention from their owners, so they are not recommended for living away from home or being left alone for long periods of time.
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If you want to know more about this nice dog, in this article of YourCatCareguide we will tell you everything you need to know about its physical characteristics, origin, character, care, health and education, to who knows everything before adopting a Shih Tzu dog.
- Grupo IX
- More than 80
Origin of the Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu story shares many things with the Pekingese story. Like this dog, the Shih Tzu originates from the Buddhist monasteries, where it was considered a sacred dog . In addition, it was a dog unique to the Chinese nobility, where they also held it as a sacred dog and provided him with royal care.
When the first Shih Tzu arrived in England in the 1930s, they were mistaken for the Lhasa apso. They were so similar that at that time both dogs were considered only as a breed. However, in the same decade it was decided to separate both races as we know them today.
Nowadays, the Shih Tzu is a dog very appreciated both for the company and for the exhibition . His magnificent hair and small stature have made him a star in dog shows, while his sweet character has made him one of the most popular pets these days.
Physical characteristics of the Shih Tzu
According to the breed’s FCI standard, the height at the cross should not exceed 26.7 centimeters, regardless of whether it is a male or female. The ideal weight is between 4.5 and 7.3 pounds. This is a small dog with a body that is longer than tall. The whole body is thickly covered with hair. The back is straight and the chest is broad and deep.
The head is large and round in shape. It is covered with hair that falls on the eyes and forms a beard and mustache on the muzzle. One characteristic of the Shih Tzu is that the nose hair grows upward. The stop is well defined and the nose is black in most dogs, but may be liver colored in dogs of this color or have spots of that color. The snout is short, square and broad. The eyes, with a loving expression and well separated from each other, are large, round and dark. The Shih Tzu’s ears are large, fallen and covered by very dense hair. The tail of this dog is high and is completely covered in dense feathery hair, The Shih Tzu takes it gaily on the back.
Hair is one of the most notorious characteristics of this breed. It is long, very dense and has a good layer of inner hair. It is not curly and is usually straight, although it sometimes shows a slight ripple. According to breed standard published by the International Cynological Federation (FCI), the Shih Tazu can be any color .
Shih Tzu Character
These dogs are very intelligent, sociable and cheerful . The Shih Tzu love to be with people a lot, so they are ideal to have together with your family. They are also playful and active as long as you keep them in shape. It is easier to socialize the Shih Tzu than other dog breeds, since these little hairy ones are usually very friendly and sociable by nature. When they get a proper socialization, they usually get along with people, dogs, and other animals. However, it is important to carry out the socialization of puppies early to achieve this adult friendly character.
These puppies are excellent pets for people who are alone, couples and families with children of different ages. They usually get along very well with children whenever they know how to respect the dog and do not mistreat it. They are also great pets for beginner owners. However, they are not good pets for families and people who spend most of the day away from home unless they can bring dogs to work.
Shih Tzu Care
The Shih Tzu’s hair is usually easily untangled, and it is necessary to brush and comb it daily. Although you do not need a canine hairdresser, many owners of these dogs prefer to keep them with the shortest hair to facilitate their care.
Shih Tzu need a good dose of exercise , but due to their small size they can exercise indoors. Still, it is important to provide them with a daily walk and play time to exercise and socialize. These dogs usually gain weight easily, so it’s good to provide them with enough exercise to keep them in shape. But you should take into account its size and should not abuse the exercise. Nor should it force you to exercise in hot and humid climates, since your short snout makes it difficult for you to breathe in these environments.
The company needs of the Shih Tzu are very high. These dogs are not suitable for living in a garden or on a patio. On the contrary, they need to spend most of their time together and must live in the home with the rest of the family. They adapt very well to life in crowded cities and to live in small apartments.
Shih Tzu Education
As far as canine training is concerned , the Shih Tzu are a joy to their trainers. These dogs learn easily and quickly , so it’s easy to teach them many different things. However, this is only true if positive dressing is carried out , since the Shih Tzu do not respond well to traditional training based on dominance. Bear in mind that these dogs are easily distracted, so it is best to train them in short but fun sessions.
No geral, os Shih Tzu não apresentam problemas de comportamento maiores quando tiverem sido corretamente socializados e receberem exercício e companhia suficiente. No entanto, quando ficam sozinhos por período prolongados ou não recebem exercício suficiente, podem se tornar cães destruidores e que ladram muito. Podem inclusive desenvolver ansiedade por separação com certa facilidade se permanecerem sozinhos por muito tempo todos os dias.