Fun Facts

The Best Dog Ever!

The Shih Tzu is a precious and amazingly special dog breed for a reason. This dog has a unique and surprising in bred traits that allow the Shih Tzu to be one of the most loving and incredibly great pets to have.

The Shih Tzu dog is first and foremost a companion animal. Other than, to alert the habitats of ancient palaces in China to intruders, they have always had one job to do: Be a loyal, loving companion.

Let's face it, they do not chase prey, they do not herd sheep, they don't make great search and rescue dogs.

They do not sniff out drugs or tobacco and they do not pull sleds. They leave all that "work" to other breeds.

Their sole purpose in life is to love you.

Therefore, with that in mind, our job as a good Shih Tzu breeder is to produce healthy, happy, long-lived dogs with great temperaments.

One of the great traits of the Shih Tzu is that this breed cannot be categorized as being the best companion for just one age group. This dog is a perfect companion for the elderly. Remaining close to its owner, Not demanding or high strung, the Shih Tzu will happily keep an older person company from morning to night. They have a small size, yet are rather sturdy for a toy breed.

This dog also is a wonderful family pet. Absolutely happy to get attention and be loved by 1 person or 10, the Shih Tzu is a perfect family member. Most of the time, they are perfectly content to sit quietly and wait as long as needed to finally get that hug and pat that they long for so badly. It is important to make sure that all family members realize just how little the Tzu is, and that all must be careful when playing with the dog and to watch where they step!

You've heard of those yappy little ankle-biting lap dogs, right? Well, the Shih Tzu isn't one of them. Calm and self-possessed, the Shih Tzu watches and waits. Sure, he may bark at the delivery guy when he comes right up to the door, but he's not bred to be a watchdog.

Your Shih Tzu is too focused on you to worry about anybody else who may be walking by outside, and if somebody else comes in the house, your Shih Tzu thinks it's obvious that this new friend has arrived for the sole purpose of petting and loving him. Sure, exceptions do exist, and you'll find some dogs who bark a lot, especially among dogs who were never properly socialized. Some people talk more than others, and some Shih Tzu bark more than others. But in general, this dog isn't yippy or suspicious.

One of the best behavior traits of the Shih Tzu is that this dog will contently jump up to play around with its owners or others or will cheerfully run through a field as if it is the best place it has ever seen! Alternatively, the Shih Tzu will also be perfectly content to lay on its dog bed, looking on as its human family watches a movie.

As an owner, if you are busy with household tasks, the Shih Tzu will silently watch you, just happy to be in a warm and safe home.

Vital to the happiness and health of the Shih Tzu is a daily opportunity to exercise. This indoor dog most definitely does require a burst of activity each day; perhaps to purge energy it reserves during it's quiet times.

The idea that the Shih Tzu has a stubborn streak should not be taken out of context nor over exaggerated. Because this dog is so lively, animated and playful, the Shih Tzu may sometimes be happily oblivious to the serious need of training and housebreaking. Therefore, an owner may need to offer a bit more time than with other breeds to instill the necessary training methods. If an owner does take the time, with patience and consistence, this dog will most certainly be able to be 100% trained. Not only can this breed be trained; they can excel with advanced commands such as those given at dog show agility events.

The Shih Tzu does not shed as much as most dogs, and its’ “fur” shares more characteristics to human hair than to dog fur. It continuously grows, much like human hair, unless cut or “groomed.” For this reason, the Shih Tzu will require more care in the grooming department, according to your personal taste. As you can see by looking at a coiffed dog, Shih Tzu’s require more care than other breeds, especially when the hair is kept long. They need daily brushing and regular haircuts to avoid tangles. However, they shed very little dander, making them a great pet choice for people with allergies. They are just as happy with a short cut and look just as cute!

For people who suffer from allergies, owning a dog is usually not an option. Allergic reactions can create watery eyes, runny nose and itchy skin, which make owning a dog difficult. But what happens in a family when one child wants a dog and another child has allergies? While no dog is completely non-allergenic, some dogs produce fewer allergic reactions. Knowing which breeds are the top hypoallergenic dogs can help families decide which dog is the right choice for them.

Allergy sufferers usually have reactions to proteins found in dogs' saliva and dander. Some dog breeds produce more saliva than other breeds. The same is true of dander -- the skin cells, dust and other particles released into the air by a dog's fur.

No dog can be truly hypoallergenic, because every dog produces some kind of dander. Dander doesn't just come from fur, but it is also found in skin, urine and saliva. You could consider dander to be “pet pollen”. However the Shih Tzu are known for producing small amounts of dander, thus most allergy sufferers do not have reactions. However different people have different allergies. Because you are allergic to one dog, doesn’t mean you will be allergic to all dogs.

Typically, the top hypoallergenic dogs shed less than non-hypoallergenic dog breeds. Hypoallergenic dog breeds tend to produce less dander and saliva; therefore, reducing the chances of allergic reactions. The Shih Tzu breed is included in this group.

In this breed, there is little difference in the personality or temperament of males and females. Both are lovable, devoted to their owner, with equal energy levels.

Both genders get along well with other dogs, especially other Shih Tzu and most are fairly good with the introduction of a young puppy to the family.

If considering the addition of a second Shih Tzu, most people generally go with one of each gender as they tend to get along better that way. But that is not always the case.

Mothers and Daughters do fine together and litter mates do great together. Depending on the temperament of the dogs, two females can do fine a

More fights break out between two female dogs or two male dogs. In my experience, two males might fight, but nothing that cannot be controlled. Rarely do you see a female start a fight with a male.s long as both accept the humans in the family as the alpha dog. Two males from the either same litter, or, if not siblings, raised together by the breeder, usually do very well.

Undoubtedly, the most amazing trait of this dog is its behavior. One can immediately see their wonderful personality before even interacting with the Shih Tzu.

This breed is extremely friendly and definitely not shy! Seeming to have a naturally happy soul, this dog is a wonderful, loving companion. Always close and loyal to its owners, this Shih Tzu also bonds quickly with any person whom its family accepts.

Therefore, this dog will be un-aggressive and friendly to neighbors, friends, extended family and even strangers once the Shih Tzu reads the reactions of its owners and instinctively knows if a person is "friend or foe".

Little is known about the origins of the Shih Tzu, but genetic testing tells us that he is one of the more ancient breeds in existence. It’s thought that he originated in Tibet, bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology. The smallest of the Tibetan breeds, he is noted for his heavy coat and tail that curves over the back. The Shih Tzu served as companions and watchdogs to the monks in the lamaseries. The happy and entertaining little dogs were surrounded by myths. One belief held that they were incarnations of mischievous household gods; another that they carried the souls of lamas who had not yet achieved nirvana, the transcendence of human desire.

The lamas presented the dogs as tribute to Chinese rulers, and it was at the Chinese imperial court that they received the name Shih Tzu, meaning “little lion” or “lion dog.” The Chinese also gave the Shih Tzu another name — chrysanthemum dog — because the hair on the face grows in all directions like the petals of the flower.

In China, the Shih Tzu was bred to have a stylized appearance. A fanciful “recipe” for the breed’s creation reads “a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man (Chinese), a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear, and the rest dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin.”

The Peking (now Beijing) Kennel Club, when it wrote a breed standard for the Shih Tzu, also waxed poetic, describing the breed as having “the head of a lion, the round face of an owl, the lustrous eyes of a dragon, the oval tongue of a peony petal, the mouth of a frog, teeth like grains of rice, ears like palm leaves, the torso of a bear, the broad back of a tiger, the tail of a Phoenix, the legs of an elephant, toes like a mountain range, a yellow coat like a camel, and the movement of a fish.”

After the end of imperial rule in China, the little dogs might have disappeared, spurned as a reminder of bygone days, but fortunately some of them had been presented to foreigners, in particular General Douglas and Lady Brownrigg. They and others took some of the dogs to England. All modern Shih Tzu descend from only fourteen dogs.

World War II interrupted the breed’s development in England, but it survived and then thrived in the 1950s and 1960s. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1969. Today the Shih Tzu is popular for his loyal, gentle, cheerful attitude. He ranks 10th among the breeds registered by the AKC, a position that has held steady for a decade.