Shih Tzu originated in Tibet in the early 1600s, it is one of the earliest breeds. But the Shih Tzu found in present-day primarily originated in the 1800s in China during the rule of Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi, from a cross between Lhasa Apso and Pekingese. It became the favorite pet of royal people, but its population decreased when the British troops invaded the city in 1860. It survived, but it was not prominent until 1934 when the shorter and the smaller variety was reallocated its name, ‘Shih Tzu.’ It got its first registration from the American Kennel Club in 1969 and continued to get popular every day. Additionally, crosses of Shih Tzu, particularly with Bichon fries and Poodle, are getting famous due to their pro-activeness, lovable and playing nature.
Temperament & Personality
Shih Tzu is an excellent companion dog. It loves to be with its owner all the time and can do anything to please them. They are very affectionate, loyal and they spend their entire day playing in the house or try to make its family laugh by doing humorous acts. They are not only lovable to their family members, but also with strangers which makes them a poor watchdog. However, they will bark once when they see unknown faces, but they won’t waste any time to make them friends. It goes well with kids and other pets in the family. They can suit any living conditions, mainly an apartment life is perfect for them. They become an ideal choice for the first time owners.
Shih Tzu Characteristics
Adaptability To Apartment Living
Good for 1st Time Owners
Affection towards Family
Ease of Grooming
Shih Tzu is moderately active and does not require heavy exercise. Short walks or jogs, or frequent walks in hallways will be adequate for them. Also, indoor games like a ball rolling, toys puzzle games, playing hide and will suffice their needs.
Shih Tzu has a long coat that needs regular brushing. Using a proper wire brush will remove dirt and debris by reaching the coat. Bathe them every three to four weeks will keep their dirt free. Along with its coat also comb its topknot and mustache regularly. They tend to have tear stains and needs cleaning, use a damp cloth to clean their eye corners. Their long hairs can irritate their eyes, trim them short or tie them to a topknot. However, some owners like their Shih Tzu to have short hairs, in such cases people can take them to professional groomers for a puppy trim.
Other grooming methods include nails trimming when they overgrow. Otherwise, they can crack and end up bleeding and pain. They also require proper dental care, which will include brushing their teeth with a vet prescribed toothbrush. Clean their ears with a vet prescribed ear solution to keep their ears clean and infection free.
Teaching a Shih Tzu can have frustrating or amusing experience. They tend to charm their owner and try to do whatever they want apart from sessions which results in a housebroken and chubby pet that is hard to groom. They do best with positive reinforcements like praises, treats, etc. The harsh procedure can make them stubborn. Go gradually with this breed as they learn slowly and steadily.
Puppy training classes and socialization classes are ideal to make them well behaved. First-time dog owners can enroll their names in the puppy training kindergarten for useful results. Commands training will polish their skills and enhance the relationship between owner and the dog.
Shih Tzu requires a high-quality food, no matter it is homemade or dry dog food. Visit a dietician or a vet for approval and supervision. Choosing a diet depends on the age, size and the activity levels. However, owners should check their calorie consumption, as they tend to suffer from obesity. Hence, minimize offering treats, table scraps, etc. Divide their meal into two halves for better digestion.