Wednesday, September 19, 2007

your shih tzu puppys first bath time

Your Shih Tzu Puppy’s First Bath Time
By Connie Limon

Do not wait too long to start grooming your Shih Tzu. It is hard to make brushing a positive experience if you wait until your Shih Tzu is matted and start by yanking out the mats and tangles. If this becomes necessary, carefully clip out mats, then begin working with your mat-free Shih Tzu to acclimate it to grooming.

When you use scissors to remove mats, snip a few hairs at a time. Be sure you have clearance between the mat and the skin. If your Shih Tzu puppy is too wiggly to do this safely, please seek the help of a professional groomer.

Do not bathe your Shih Tzu puppy too frequently. You will risk drying out its skin and coat. Bathe your Shih Tzu puppy no more than once weekly and every two weeks if possible.

Create a positive association with bath time using the following steps:

1. Let him hop into his bathtub to eat treats you toss on the tub floor (without water in the tub). You can also place him in the tub if he cannot jump into the tube and feed him treats. Provide a nonskid surface on the tub floor.

2. To accustom your Shih Tzu puppy to towels try touching him, then rubbing him with the corner of a towel and feed him a treat. Gradually work up to more vigorous toweling. No water at this time.

3. Introduce the blow-dryer by starting with a handheld pet or human dryer set on low and hold a few feet away from him, turned so it does not blow on him. Feed treats during the process. Gradually bring the dryer closer and start by moving the air across his toes, then his legs. Continue until he is accustomed to the warm air blowing all over his body.

4. While he is standing in the tube, soak a sponge in warm water and dribble it over him. Allow your Shih Tzu puppy to shake it off, and then offer a treat. Gradually work up to turning the faucet on and allow him to stand in the water. Gently begin hosing him with the warm water.

5. Take a small amount of dog shampoo (I strongly recommend using HealthyPetNet shampoos instead of human shampoos). Lather a small part of his body. Rinse. The next time you are at this step, increase the soaping and rinsing until you are bathing the entire dog.

If you will follow these steps slowly, you should be able to teach your Shih Tzu puppy to enjoy his bath time, which will make this very important routine much easier for the both of you.

Life With The Shih Tzu Part I

by: Connie Limon

If you want that perfect show dog look in your Shih Tzu you might as well relax to the fact that it involved brushing, brushing, brushing, and daily brushing. A thorough head-to-tail groom is often needed at least every other day if not “daily.” However, Shih Tzu coat textures are very different. You might get by with once weekly brushing if the Shih Tzu’s coat is the type of texture that does not mat and tangle easily. If you have only one Shih Tzu, grooming should not be a problem. It can be quite pleasurable for you and your Shih Tzu. It can be an excellent time to bond with each other, and have nice close little chats with each other.

Where do you start?

A good place to start grooming your Shih Tzu is on the tummy, the chest and inside the legs…….perhaps……there are other opinions of course, but in this article I will direct you to start with the tummy, the chest and inside the legs.

You will need to have your Shih Tzu lie on his side on the table (be sure you have a nice, sturdy table to groom your Shih Tzu). There is nothing worse than a grooming table that wobbles around, except of course a grooming area that is not organized. You also need to have all your equipment organized and ready to use.

So now that you have your Shih Tzu lying on its side on the table, with his legs towards you (this can be an accomplishment in itself that may take several short training sessions to get done). If the Shih Tzu just will not cooperate with you, you can start trying to train him by having him lay tummy upwards in your lap with his head facing your chest. Do this exercise first for a few days if he absolutely refuses to lie this way on the grooming table.

If the above fails, you might try to groom the chest and tummy while the Shih Tzu sits on the table facing you, holding him up into a begging position by the front paws; this is not easy, since both hands are needed for some parts of the grooming, but you might have to try this as a last resort. If your Shih Tzu mats the tummy will be a prime target for matting.

The tummy side of a Shih Tzu is sensitive also, so be gentle in this area. Check where the legs meet the body, this is a prime target area for severe matting as well. Something you don’t want to deal with is severe mats in these areas. These are extra sensitive areas on your Shih Tzu. The best rule to follow is pay close attention to these areas on a daily basis and never allows the mats to occur. The hair around the male penis can also be a very sensitive trouble spot. It is best to keep this area clean and shaved off. Your male Shih Tzu will give you a sigh of relief when you remove the hair in this area.

How do you remove knots and mats?

If you come across a mat or knot first try to tease it apart with your fingers. Then take a comb and use the end with coarse teeth to tease out the tangle slowly, working from the outside inwards and holding the hair between the knot and the body between your fingers so that you don’t pull too hard and hurt the Shih Tzu. If all else fails, a knot may have to be cut out. Cut into the knotted hair away from the dog several times before gently using the comb to clear away the knot. Never cut across the coat. This will leave an obvious hole. If you will cut down through the length of the coat you will cause much less damage. Note: The hair on the legs is more likely to tangle than anywhere else. So… particular attention to these areas as well to avoid those awful and painful mats.

This article continues in Part II of “Life with the Shih Tzu.”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Owners fail to go outside with puppy

Things that can go wrong are:

Owners fail to go outside with puppyThe puppy finds itself outside and tries very hard to get back to the security of indoors with its parental figure. It does not concentrate on going to the toilet. Since it became excited when outside, it is likely to want to go when it comes back in and usually ends up learning to go on the carpet.

Owner picks up puppy whenever it attempts to go in houseThe puppy does not learn where to go when it needs to relieve itself. Puppies who have been raised in this way will be okay if someone thinks for it, but will have no idea of how to get to the toilet if one is not provided.

Owners punish the puppy whenever it goes in houseThe puppy learns that it is potentially dangerous to go in front of owners and so will hide away when it needs to go.

Owner leaves puppy in house alone for too longIf left in a cage, the puppy may learn to soil its bed. If left free in the house, it may learn to soil the carpet.

Dogs learn to seek out a particular type of surface to go on (e.g. concrete, grass etc). When they need to go, they will try to find a patch of this, e.g. newspaper if paper trained for a long time, concrete if kept in kennels during early life. Teaching a dog to be clean in the house is often about teaching them to select a different surface to the one they have been used to.

Remember to praise and reward your puppy when he goes in the right place.

Copography (eating faeces) Distasteful as it seems to most humans, eating stool is normal for dogs. (New mothers, for example, will eat the stool of puppies, presumably to keep the nest clean. Puppies, in turn, will sample whatever they come across including stool. Human babies explore with their hands, and puppies explore with their mouths.

Nearly every dog will occasionally sample stool but some have a real craving for it, including their own, and will eat it every chance they get. When a dog eats his own stool he is giving the partially digested food another run through his digestive tract where more nutrients will be absorbed.

In some cases, dogs will eat stool merely because they don't have enough to do or they will do it because it is a way of getting your attention. They will also eat stool as a way of establishing their dominance over other pets by removing their scent markers.

The cure is easy, pick it up before your puppy can eat it!

House Training Your Shih Tzu Puppy

House Training Your Shih Tzu Puppy


Shih Tzu puppies can be slow to house train but with patience and perseverance you can do it. Puppies need to be taken out at least every two hours and immediately after waking up or resting, after eating and after playing or excitement. Owners need to go out with the puppy, not shut the puppy out alone. Eliminatory behaviour is self-rewarding, but it will help to praise and give rewards for going in the right place.

Watch out for signs that the puppy wants to go when in the house and take the puppy out at once.

If you have to go out or cannot concentrate on the puppy, leave it in a play pen that has a bed and a toilet area. The toilet area should be covered with polythene and newspaper or you can use puppy pads available from pet stores etc.

At night time either take the puppy up to your bedroom and confine it to a small area, getting up to take it out when it wakes, or leave it downstairs in a puppy playpen, getting up to take it out when you hear it make a noise.

Dogs hate to soil their bed/nest so the process of trying to teach your puppy that the whole of the house is your nest should be quite easy

Canine CPR

Canine CPR


Many techniques are similar to those used on humans. CPR is done the same way except the animals receive rescue breathing through their snouts.

The main difference is the number of compressions vs. breaths. The American Red Cross recently changed the requirement for humans to one breath per 30 compressions. Pet CPR is one breath to five or six compressions. The same technique is used, except with small animals you use one hand.

The animal should be lying on its right side during CPR. To check for a pulse, find the crease line of the animal's front leg where it joins the body. The ABC's of rescue breathing are open the airway by titling the neck and head, sweeping the mouth with a finger to check for obstructions and checking for breathing.

If the animal is not breathing and has no pulse, close its mouth and place your mouth over the animal's snout and blow forcefully. Then alternate breaths with chest compressions.

How To Spot A Responsible Breeder

How To Spot A Responsible Breeder

Don't be afraid to ask questions, a responsible breeder will be glad that you care.
1. Did the person selling you the puppy breed it themselves. Only buy a puppy from the breeder and make sure you see the mother.
2. Is the breeder a member of a breed club? In the UK the breed clubs are The Shih Tzu Club, The Manchu Shih Tzu Society, The Shih Tzu Club of Wales and the West, The Scottish Shih Tzu Club and The Northern Cos. Shih Tzu Club. Club membership does not guarantee that you have found a good breeder but be suspicious of a breeder that is not a member of any breed club.
3. Is the breeder actively involved in any canine activities such as exhibiting at, organising or judging dog shows, obedience trials etc. Responsible breeders are usually actively involved with dogs.
4. Is the breeder prepared to take the puppy/dog back if at any time you are unable to keep it. Responsible breeders care about the puppies they produce and will always want to ensure the wellbeing of any dogs that they have bred.
5. A responsible breeder won't part with a puppy under the age of 8 weeks minimum, possibly older. If you are offered a puppy younger than 8 weeks look for another breeder.
6. Does the breeder give you detailed care instructions for your new puppy. You should have a diet sheet and details of when your puppy was last wormed as the bare minimum. Shih Tzus grow a big coat so look for some advice on coat care and grooming. Ideally you should receive printed/written instructions on feeding, grooming, worming, day to day care and house training. The breeder should also encourage you to keep in touch and ask for help.
7. Does the breeder ask you a lot of questions. Responsible breeders want to find the best homes for their puppies and they will want to be sure you will look after their carefully reared puppy.

How To Spot A Puppy Farm Puppy

1. Remember, nobody is going to tell you that this puppy was bred on a puppy farm. It's up to you to find out.
2. Ask if the person selling you the puppy bred it and if the mother of the puppies is registered in their name. Always see the puppies with their mother except in exceptional circumstances.
3. If you can see puppies of more than 2 or 3 breeds you may be at a puppy farm.
4. If the puppy is in a Pet Shop it has come from a puppy farm.

How To Spot A Casual Breeder
It can be hard to differentiate between a casual breeder and a responsible breeder. The responsible breeder will have spent many hours and much effort learning about the breed. The casual breeder will lack in-depth knowledge. Ask as many questions as you can, find out why they are breeding, what their goals are and how much support they will give you. Ask if they are a member of a breed club and if they are actively involved in any canine activities such as showing. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Beware of being asked to take a pet bitch on breeding terms. It usually ends in tears. Responsible breeders will usually want to ensure that only the best are bred from and pet puppies often have their Kennel Club registration documents endorsed "progeny not eligible for registration" & "not for export".

Sue Thatcher

So You Want To Buy A Puppy

So You Want To Buy A Puppy

Congratulations, you have decided to add a Shih Tzu puppy to your family. Hopefully your puppy will grow up to be a much loved member of your family for the next 15 years or so. All you need to do now is find that puppy. But wait, just before you go off looking for your ideal puppy are you sure a Shih Tzu is the breed for you. They can be very independent and they require a lot of attention.
Pet Shops - Some Pet Shops sell puppies. This is a really bad way to buy your puppy. The puppies will probably have been bred on a puppy farm and will certainly have been bred by an uncaring breeder. Nobody who cares at all about the dogs that they breed would ever sell them via a Pet Shop. If you buy a puppy from a Pet Shop you may very well have temperament or health problems. You won't have any support, help or advice from the breeder. Remember, Pet Shop puppies have usually been bred on a puppy farm, if you buy one because you feel sorry for it another one will be bred to take it's place.

Casual Breeder - On the face of it the casual breeder who has had a litter of cute puppies from their pet bitch would appear to be a good place to purchase your new family member. Their dogs will be clean and well cared for and they obviously love them. But beware, these people lack knowledge. They know very little about the breed and won't be able to offer much help to a first time Shih Tzu owner. Their motivation for breeding is usually money. If you buy a puppy here you take a chance, it may be a nice puppy, it may be a problem puppy. If it's a problem puppy you are unlikely to get any help.

Responsible Breeder - A responsible breeder will be trying to breed the best puppies they possibly can. Not just puppies that look good but puppies that are also sound, healthy and have good temperaments. They obviously love their dogs but they also love the breed. They will have spent a considerable amount of time learning about the breed and dogs in general. They will be a member of a breed club and probably show their dogs. If you buy a puppy from a responsible breeder you will have the very best chance of buying a carefully bred and reared puppy that will be a joy to own.

Stud Dog Problems from A Contributor

Stud Dog Problems from A Contributor

Ok, so you want to breed Shih Tzu. Well where we do we start? We are told that a person who breeds purely for profit, can be classed as a puppy farmer. So as you don't want to be one of them, you can decide to breed and it will be acceptable if you breed perhaps for the show ring where it is generally accepted that it is for the betterment of the breed. That by breeding you are doing your best to fulfil the breed standard, that you are making wise and sensible choices with regard to health and temperament. You belong to a breed club, where you have to follow a code of ethics produced to reinforce your desire to breed healthy, happy shih tzu. You decide that perhaps it would be wise to use dogs from breeders of high standing, who have been successful in the show ring with their own breeding, also with successful offspring from that kennel in others hands, they may well judge the breed, been in the breed for years with so much knowledge, yep that sounds like a sensible thing to do, but what do you get hit with? where do we start?
"You can't use my dog as you are friends of someone I don't approve of"
"You are a friend or acquaintance, of someone I have fallen out with"
"I have been told you breed too much"
"I have been told you only want to breed for success"
"I have been told that.. and this...."
When in fact, the person you have gone to may not know you, certainly hasn't had a conversation with you, has not been to your home, all these reasons why not, based on no known facts?
I personally find it so difficult to get round this problem of trying to do your best by your breed, using dogs from people you look up to, yet even by doing the very best you can, told you can not have access to the dog and it's breeding, from people who do not even know you.
I equally don't know what the answer is to the criticism I have overheard of 'You are breeding too much' when the KC allow 4 litters per year and this is accepted by all relevant local councils and various authorities.

Now let's think about what can happen, to the exhibitors who see you in the ring.
If you have two bitches that you breed from, each bitch is mated once a year, each bitch in each litter produces one suitable for the show ring, those exhibitors will see two pups out there. Next year, 2 pups are kept for the ring as the bitches breeding is so good, the chances of getting something good enough, are therefore greater, so you are now seen with 4 show dogs.
So let's compare that to someone, who may have 4 bitches, breeding each of those once a year, but not producing anything good enough for the ring, or perhaps having one out of the 4 suitable for showing, they would not be thought of as over-breeding, simply as those in the ring wouldn't see the offspring produced? Which is the worse breeder?

If you enjoy showing, and you enjoy breeding, and you want to show the offspring from your own breeding, why is it thought of as bad? Yet it is OK to buy in a pup from someone else to show? aren't they also breeding?

Personally, I am finding it harder and harder to work out what is going on within this breed. I obviously cannot know if things are getting harder, whether these things have always been present? whether it is just what I am finding out? perhaps others do not have these problems? is it OK as long as you stay within your friends circle and don't venture outside of those realms? What exactly are people afraid of? To say No to someone you don't know, have had no dealings with, not listened to that persons view point, aren't we a little guilty of being rather narrow minded?

Basically, how can you do your best for your breed when you are faced with a deafening NO when all you are trying to do is your best by your dogs and take advice from those at the top? I really am at a loss as to know, what is going on within this fabulous breed of ours.

ears and feet

ears and feet


If your dog grows a lot of hair in the ear it will help to pluck it out.You can use your fingers,blunt ended tweezers or haemostats.To avoid too much discomfort only take out a few hairs at a time.Don’t poke down the ear,only take out what you can see.A little ear powder on your fingers really improves grip.Most dogs don’t object too strongly if you only take out a little at a time.If you use a grooming parlour make sure your groomer is doing this.If your dog produces a lot of wax which is not being lost regular cleaning can help.There are some excellent ear cleaners available from your vet.Epi-Otic by Virbac and Logic by Sanofi are both very good.(Be kind to your dog and make sure it’s not straight out of the fridge).Instructions for use are on the bottle.Use a cotton wool ball or swab and once again don’t poke down the ear as you could do a lot of damage.How often you do this will depend on the individual dog.

Pluck excess hair here


The Shih Tzu grows a lot of hair between the pads.If this is not trimmed off it can mat and form balls which will force the toes apart.Small stones and all sorts of debris can be picked up and make walking painful.It’s easily trimmed off with scissors or small clippers.Trimming nails is easy, ask your vet or groomer to show you how.Be careful not to cut the quick,this is very painful for your dog and is guaranteed to give you problems in getting your dogs co-operation the next time you want to trim the nails.Be extra careful with black nails as you won’t be able to see the quick.A puppies nails grow very quickly,a small pair of round ended scissors or human nail clippers are often easier to use on a small puppy.Don’t forget to check the dew claws.They soon grow round in a circle and into the pad.Rear dew claws are particularly prone to this.The Chinese considered these lucky, but they don’t seem lucky to the unfortunate dog that has them.

Clip hair here

Puppy Care


Shih-Tzu FAQRuth A. Grimaldi,

Puppy Care

There is a great selection of shampoo, conditioners and grooming equipment available to the dog owner. A small bath towel placed in bottom of sink prevents water from accumulating and gives puppy secure footing. Holding the puppy securely under its chest with one hand, soak its body with lukewarm running water, shampoo the body and rinse well. Leave the head for last. Carefully wet the head with a wet sponge and clean the hair with a no-tear baby shampoo. Still holding puppy securely, rinse thoroughly, being careful not to get water in its nose. A few minutes of cuddling in a towel reassures the puppy and soaks up excess water.

Use a small hand dryer, low heat is normally all that is necessary. if puppy shivers,it is usually due to nerves rather than from being cold. Avoid blowing the warm air directly into the puppy's face. Use a toothbrush to clean the whiskers and ears---ears on drop-ears need special attention. Ears should be cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in mineral oil or panolog. To aviod accidental injury to the eardrums, fluff the cotton out from around the end of the swab with fingertips. Wipe the ear clean and dry with another swab, being careful not to probe too deeply into the ear.
EyesA Shih-Tzu's eyes are large and vulnerable and prone to ulceration. Special attention should be given to them daily. Living close to the is easy for dust or dirt or a stray hair to get into the eye and cause irritation.

Use human eye wash daily, such as collyrium. This is a gentle eye wash, remove any matter from eye corners. A flea comb may be used to remove any dried food in the beard or moustache.


Grooming Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Coat: Get the puppy to lie on his back on your lap at first whilst grooming - this makes them relaxed - there is nothing worse than a struggling puppy whilst trying to groom. One the first things to make your job easier, and in fact possible at all, is to train your puppy to lay on its side to be brushed. Brushing and combing out tangles and mats is much less a chore for you and the dog if you are able to get underneath the legs to the belly without a battle. Take hold of his front and rear legs and cradle his torso against your arm as you lay him down on his side. He might balk or try to get up at first, but keep your arm along his ribs, and, if necessary, hold his head down, too. Some might even protest with dramatic whimpers and cries, but don't be fooled , he is not being hurt, just restrained against his will. Talk softly and reassure him, and soon he will come to realize it's quite relaxing and enjoyable to be petted in this new way. Brush with a good quality, soft cushion pin brush without knobs. You will also need a good widetoothed comb. Do groom regularly so that the puppy gets used to it. Use your fingers to pull apart tangled hair prior to brushing through with your pin brush.A clean coat is much easier to groom than a dirty coat. Bath weekly and, if you want to show your puppy, don't do too much brushing and combing in between. Do his face every day and check his bottom. Apart from that only remove obvious knots. If you get a big mat don't panic and don't get the scissors out. Gently tease it apart with your fingers and just brush and tease. If you want to show your puppy be especially careful with his topknot and whiskers, you want to preserve every hair. If he rubs his head or you are getting knots in his top-knot smother it with Vitapointe. It looks horrid but really helps.

If he gets a dirty bottom shower it off. If you try to comb it out you will loose too much coat. Do inspect under the tail every day and make sure this area is kept clean.

Teeth: Do gently explore the puppy's mouth daily with your forefinger - a prelude to teeth cleaning.

Whiskers: These need sponging off after meals or they will stain and smell. Use the no-rinse shampoo daily and it will help to keep his whiskers white.

Ears: Inspect whilst grooming. The Shih Tzu grows hair in its ears and these need plucking out a few at a time. Start this along with your combing and brushing and there will be no objections.

Feet: The Shih Tzu grows hair between the pads. If this is not trimmed it mats up and causes great discomfort. Trim the hair around the feet just so they look tidy, you don't want him to look "trimmed" just neat. Check to see if there are mats between the toes and remove the mats with scissors, as this is a common spot to have trouble arises. Trim off the hair that grows between the pads.

Nails: Do check dew claws - those on the little toes up the leg. If these are not cut short they will curl round and grow into the dog's feet.

Baths: Weekly with a dog shampoo + dog conditioner. Use a mat in the bath so that the puppy feels secure. Thoroughly wet the dog and apply shampoo. Don't rub the coat; rather, gently squeeze the shampoo through to the ends. Boots Infacare is very good for doing faces, it doesn't sting the eyes or use a tearless shampoo. I use a baby sponge for faces. Be sure to completely rinse the suds away. If he is very grubby he will need two shampoos.A crème rinse/conditioner can be used as a further aid to prevent mats and tangle from forming again soon or to aid in removing tangles missed.

Wrap in a big towel but don't rub,it will cause knots. Just blot the excess water out. Then blow dry using your pin brush and brushing in the direction the hair grows. If you get a lot of static electricity spray with Ice On Ice or an anti static spray. Brushing with static in the coat breaks the hair.Drying the coat thoroughly is very important. A wet coat left to dry on its own will tighten and become near impossible to detangle. Brush or comb a wet coat ONLY while using a blow dry and only on the spot being dried. Brushing or combing a wet coat will break the hair and be very uncomfortable for the dog.

Put a little cornflour on his whiskers to whiten and dry them.

Do also remember to wash the dogs bedding at least weekly - I use Vetbed, which takes the damp away from the dog's body. If you place newspaper underneath and change it daily this will take up the damp in bad weather

How do they do that?

How do they do that?

Part off the section in front from the outer edge of each eye and not very far back.Gently backcomb this section. Attach a band about 3/4 inch above the top of the scalp.Wrap band two to three times around the topknot. Gently grab 8-10 hairs from the middle of the scalp firmly and pull backwards. This creates the poof. Use the end of a tail comb to pull out the front of the topknot if you want more poof.

Part the back section.Band the back in the same manner as the front, but pull the middle hairs toward the front of the head.

Divide and band to add height. Use a small curling iron and curl the entire topknot in small sections. Let the curls cool off, then comb through and backcomb. Comb carefully over the top to shape

Attach the bow.

Attach the front topknot to the back.

Use hairspray to keep in place.


Traditional British top knot with just one band,no painted eye stripes and no hairspray.
Note: This page is for information only and is not intended as a suggestion that we start showing our dogs with exaggerated top knots and bows.Our breed standard describes Shih Tzus as "intelligent, active and alert".


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shih Tzu has been around for a long time. The Shih Tzu was bred to bark when people or animals approached the palace of the Emperor of China: this is allegedly to alert people to the presence of unwanted visitors. It is believed that this ornamental breed was created by breeding the Bei-jing gou (Pekingese) with a Tibetan dog breed, the Lhasa Apso. Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog. The Shih Tzu is also known as the Chinese/Tibetan Lion Dog or the Chrysanthemum Dog. It is called the chrysanthemum dog because its face looks very much like the flower.
Professor Ludvic von Schulmuth studied canine origins by studying the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. The Professor created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog". From this dog evolved the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin. Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.
James E. Mumford described the breed in an American Shih Tzu magazine, giving a picture of the versatile character of the Shih Tzu: "Nobody knows how the Ancient Eunuchs managed to mix together…And now here comes the recipe: 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."


From Ruth A. Grimaldi,

HistoryThe origin of the Shih-Tzu is obscure. The Shih-Tzu originated in Tibet where it was kept in temples as a sacred dog. It is known that they were occasionally given to the Emperors of China during the Manchu dynasty (17th century) as a tribute of great honor and that is how they came to be established in China.
In that country, the dogs became little temple dogs and were kept in the palace and carefully guarded and cared for by the court eunuchs. When the Peking Kennel Club was formed in 1934 there was much confusion as to the difference between certain small breeds. In 1938 an individual standard was set for the Shih-Tzu and it was recognized as a separate breed from certain other Tibetan breeds.
With the war and the takeover of Peking in 1949 there were no more exported from China. In 1952 there was a strong fear that the breed was developing poor structure and it was decided to cross a Pekingese into the line in England. The purpose was to obtain a less leggy dog with a better coat and shorter muzzle. This was accomplished, however the bowed front legs of the Pekingese are something that still can be seen on some Shih-Tzu today.
There was also a faction in England called the Manchu Club that believed a smaller dog better represented the ture heritage of the temple dogs. The Kennel Club recognized this in their 1938 standard by stating the ideal weight was between 9 to 16 pounds which is what the current standard recognizes.
In the United States, fanciers obtained the first Shih-Tzus in the late 1930s. The breed gained in popularity in 1960, with many imports coming from England and Europe. The breed was shown in the Miscellaneous class at AKC dog shows. It was not until 1969 that the Shih-Tzu were permitted to be shown as a separate breed in the Toy Group. In 1969, 2,811 Shih-Tzu were registered which increased to 14,894 in 1978. Within that nine year period over 85,000 Shih-Tzu were registered with the American Kennel Club, placing the Shih-Tzu in the top 25 most popular breeds according to the AKC. It is no surprise that the temple dog had come into the homes of many owners -- this is due not only their Imperial background but also to their personality.

Health Issues

Health Issues

Renal Dysplasia

A kidney disease known as Renal Dysplasia is common in the Shih-Tzu breed. It bears some similarity to kidney disease in the Lhasa Apso. Whether the disease is inherited is not yet known but a good deal of evidence points in that direction.

the occurrence of renal disease in young Shih-Tzu puppies and the fact that usually more than one puppy in a litter and in some instances, the entire litter is affected leads us to suspect it is inherited and that every effort should be made by Shih-Tzu breeders to avoid breeding any stock whose former offspring have been affected. Currently the disease is irreversible and death is inevitable.

There are 3 stages of development. Unfortunately there are no clinical symptoms of early renal disease which may progress over a period of months or years to the second stage,when symptoms first become obvious. The affected dog will develop an excessive thirst and will pass greatly increased amounts of urine. The urine will appear to be very diluted or watery. Some dogs will be listless, poor eaters, and may suffer a weight loss. In the final stage, the symptoms of stage two are more pronounced and may be accompanied by severe depression, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration -- all evidences of kidney dysfunction which will sooner or later result in coma and death.

Renal disease runs high in all breeds of dogs. After the age of eight years, 85% of all dogs have some kidney degeneration or will have developed chronic nephritis. This is known to be a congenital, hereditary progressive kidney disease in certain breeds, whereby the kidneys do not maintain sufficient function to sustain life.

Kidney and bladder stonesStones occur more in males than females because of the male anatomy: the urethra in the male is small and can easily become obstructed by a stone. The urethra in the female is larger and less prone to stone development. Phosphate stones are the most common and greater incidence of this type is found in the female than in the male. They are associated with alkaline urine and frequently with a bladder infection.

Urate stones, composed of uric acid are more frequently found in the urinary system of males and in these cases the urine is acid. Cystine uroliths composed of the amino acid cystine makes about five percent of all stones and occur exclusively in males. It is an inherited defect wherein cystine is reabsorbed into the kidneys rather than excreted in the urine and it accumulates in the bladder where stones form. They must be removed by surgery.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Shih Tzu in full show coat. Most pet Shih Tzus are
kept with shorter fur.

Alternative names
Chinese Lion DogChrysanthemum Dog

Country of origin : China

The Shih Tzu (Traditional Chinese: 獅子狗; Simplified Chinese: 狮子狗; Pinyin: Shīzi Gǒu; Wade-Giles: Shih-tzu Kou; literally "Lion Dog"), in English pronounced /'ʃi·tsu/ ("shee tzoo"), is a dog breed which originated in China. The name is both singular and plural. The spelling "Shih Tzu", most commonly used for the breed, is according to the Wade-Giles system of romanization. The Shih Tzu is reported to be the oldest and smallest of the Tibetan holy dogs,[citation needed] its vaguely lion-like look being associated with the Snowlion. It is also often known as the "Xi Shi quan" (西施犬), based on the name of Xi Shi, regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient China.[citation needed]

What the buyer should know

What the buyer should know

Author : Shih-Tzu FAQ
Ruth A. Grimaldi,

Breeders should be willing to let you see not only the quarters in which the puppies are housed, but all puppies, whether for sale or not. Be wary of the breeder who takes you into an anteroom and bring out one puppy for you to see. If a breeder is honest, he or she has nothing to hide and it is only by comparison that a buyer can judge the quality of a prospective pet. Watch the puppies play, do their eyes sparkle and are their coats clean. Their ears should be free of wax and inflammation. Their teeth should be white,their gums firm and pink. Evaluate the breeder too, you have every right to ask questions. It won't take long to distinguish between the true breeder and one interested only in making a sale. The breeder should be able to answer questions about the origin and history of the Shih-Tzu, and general care of the breed. The responsible breeder will urge you to have the puppy throughly examined by a vet of your choice within 48 hrs after the sale. The breeder should to willing to take the puppy back, if need be. The breeder should show you how to groom the Shih-Tzu.

Breed History

Breed History
by Shih Tzu Club
Picture by k.bas เจ้าของมิกกี้

Shih Tzu from Tibet have a recorded history going back 1,000 years. As in many cultures, the people of this remote land kept dogs in a domestic environment. They kept large fierce dogs that were used for guarding, then there were small shaggy dogs used as companions and as watchdogs to alert the larger dogs, ancestors of or near to modern Shih Tzu. It has been said that the small dogs or Lion Dogs were kept in monasteries throughout Tibet, they were trained to turn the prayer wheels as part of a daily ritual however, when Audrey Dadds told this tale to a Tibetan Monk he said this was utter nonsense, Shih Tzu were never kept as temple dogs. Buddhism in Tibet recognised a large number of divine beings each symbolising an aspect of life. One of these was the Buddha Manjusri the God of Learning who was said to travel with a small Lion Dog that would turn into a full sized lion & carry him vast distances on his back. Perhaps this is how the small dogs came to be associated with the lions – a link that was to continue though their adventurous history as there were no actual lions in Tibet, the artistic renderings of the animal were often somewhat fantastical. It is hard to be sure whether the Lion Dogs were a breed to resemble the drawings and statues of the symbolic lions or if the artists created their `lions' in the likeness of the little dogs. Despite it's inaccessibility Tibet was not entirely isolated from its neighbours especially China. From time to time gifts were sent as a tribute to the Chinese emperors among which were Tibetan Lion Dogs. After long journeys, presumably with the caravans of the traders who travelled over the high mountain passes from one country to another, the little dogs found themselves in the Chinese Imperial Palace. Here everything would have been different including the climate, for the summers in Peking are warm & humid with a lot of rain while the winters are very cold indeed with a minimum temperature as low as 0 F ( -18 C in January. However, the Tibetan Lion Dogs adapted well as they have done wherever they have gone over the centuries. It is recorded that they settled in and become great favourites of the Manchu emperors. It is likely that they were interbred from time to time with the short faced Chinese breeds - the Chinese Pug or more likely the Pekinese and that gave the Shih Tzu the characteristics that make them different from the Tibetan Lion Dogs that have become today’s Lhasa Apsos (These were introduced to Europe via India). A lot of this is hearsay and different students studying the history of the breed take different views.

There was a very powerful lady at the Palace in China in the form of Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi who was very interested in dogs and supervised her staff in the breeding of the palace dogs, paying particular attention to family lines and colour. The Shih Tzu is classified as a Chinese breed in Britain because it was originally brought through to this country from China. The name Shih Tzu means something like `Little Lion' in Mandarin and the name came from that country with them. Several dogs were bought to Europe during the pre-war years, to Norway as well as England.They were brought to our shores in 1928 by a very remarkable woman, Lady Brownrigg, the much travelled wife of the Quarter Master General to the North China Command. She was about thirty years old and very fond of animals and birds. When she and her husband returned to England they bought with them 2 Shih Tzu, a dog called Hibou and a bitch called Shu-ssa both black & white and described as small. Shu-ssa was said to have a thick but smooth coat which stuck out on her head and face so that she looked like a baby owl or alternatively like a chrysanthemum, just as Shih Tzu resemble today - especially puppies.

Shu-ssa was mated to Hibou and to a dog called Lung-fu-ssa which a Mrs Hutchins brought back to Ireland in 1933. It was from the off-spring of Hibou, Shu-ssa & Lung-fu-ssa that all the Taishan (Lady Brownrigg's prefix) Shih Tzu were descended, as are so many of our present day dogs. The weight of all these 3 dogs were known to be within the range of 12-15 lbs which she considered to be the ideal weight.There must have been great excitement when Shu-ssa, Hibou & Lung-fu-ssa were exhibited at WELKS for the first time in 1933. They were in a class with other dogs from Tibet. One could see straight away the difference between the Tibetan Lion Dogs which Colonel and Mrs. Bailey had imported from Tibet. These were narrower in skull & had longer noses. These were eventually known and loved as Lhasa Apso. Other Tibetan dogs slightly larger with longer legs are known as Tibetan Terriers. The Tibetan Lion Dog Club was formed and the Brownrigg's were instrumental in preparing the first breed standard. By 1934 the breed was separated from the other small hairy dogs of oriental origin and by 1935 the name of the Club had changed to the Shih Tzu Club. Shu-ssa was exhibited at Crufts in 1936 where she went B.O.B. The breed as we all know it went from strength to strength with over 100 registered in 1939. They were granted their own register in 1940. Up to then Mrs Brownrigg bred 14 litters. The Taishan Shih Tzu made their own contribution to the war effort as the combings from their coat were gathered up and made into knitting wool. After the war she carried on the good Shih Tzu work as Secretary of the Shih Tzu Club and through her breeding and exhibiting. The first 2 Shih Tzu to gain their titles were both owned by Lady Brownrigg, in 1947 Ch. Ta Chi of Taishan and Ch Yo Mo -of Chunang of Boydon the latter bred by Mrs H Moulton.

It was when Lady Brownrigg's cook Mrs Doig was exercising 8 of the Shih Tzu in Thurloe Square in London that a lady called Gay Garforth-Bles later Gay Widdrington saw Shih Tzu for the first time, this was in 1939. Gay bought her first Shih Tzu from Lady Brownrigg shortly after sighting them. This was a black & white bitch puppy called Mee-Na of Taishan. She was only bought as a companion, but this puppy set her off on a course that would lead her to become one of the best known figures in the breed. Even today wherever in the world people gather to talk Shih Tzu you can be sure they all know the name Lhakang. Gay admits she was somewhat casual in her breeding programme in the early days, as a result Mee-Na's first litter was after a liaison with a Dachshund which she never admitted to Lady Brownrigg until much later. Gay’s outstanding contribution to the Shih Tzu development has been through her breeding programme never fearing to introduce new bloodlines to widen the gene pool but always cleverly breeding back into her own line thereafter, thus preserving the best from the very earliest strain that came to England. In 1989 she bred a litter using frozen semen imported from Norway, doing this specifically in order to counteract what she regarded as a potential danger from an hereditary problem in the breed, the ever increasing umbilical hernias. Sadly the Kennel Club did not agree to register this litter, so it has never served the purpose Gay had in mind. But this shows the efforts this dedicated lady had in the advancement of the Shih Tzu.

In the post war years Gay helped with the development of the Shih Tzu Club. Later in the 1950's she was involved in the formation of a second club namely the Manchu Shih Tzu Society. The Kennel Club did not agree to the division of the breed into two sizes, as Gay's aim was to promote a smaller Shih Tzu. So the Manchu was given official status only on condition that it promoted welfare of all sizes of Shih Tzu - as it does to the present day. Lhakang remains the longest established kennel of Shih Tzu to date, a record that will be hard to beat.Later on a breeder of Pekinese, Freda Evans of the Elfann prefix, acquired two Shih Tzu. She decided that what the breed needed was the introduction of the Peke blood and so it was that she carried out the famous (or infamous) Peke cross in October 1952. The fact that the cross had been carried out by a newcomer to the breed and without consultation with the Breed Club seemed to have caused a great deal of bad feeling, especially as it was not generally agreed that the faults Miss Evans was seeking to correct were particularly bad in the breed as it then stood. These included being too big & leggy, having too much length of nose & bad pigment. Four generations down the line the Kennel Club accepted these as pure bred Shih Tzu, although it is interesting to note that in the U.S.A. Shih Tzu were not accepted as such until seven generations after the initial cross. Today the vast majority of British Shih Tzu carry the Peke cross far back in their pedigrees.
In some ways breeding to type in the early pioneer days must have been easier, since the sole aim of those concerned was to improve the breed, and was watched over as previously stated by Lady Brownrigg. Whenever possible, puppies were placed with people who would breed or show, and faulty dogs were sold cheaply as pets. Sometimes points which are not nowadays regarded as faults were then considered undesirable, and however good the animal was it would then be sold as a pet. One example of this was to show the white cornea of the eye, which was referred to as a squint, it was not considered good to show any white. A dog or bitch can be outstanding for its show quality or for its breeding quality. Frequently both are combined, but this is not always so. A dog has a far better chance of being labelled as influential than has a bitch, for it has greater opportunities to beget the most puppies, and for the stud dog to be outstanding it needs to sire good stock to many, and even to some indifferent bitches. A mediocre bitch can appear to be outstanding when she produces fine puppies to an outstanding dog, but if she can produce good puppies to indifferent dogs then her good influence is manifest. Most of the credit invariably goes to the dog rather than to a bitch, but then he usually gets any blame too.There have been many excellent small kennels, which didn't have the same opportunities to achieve fame as the larger establishments, but they continue to produce sound quality stock. Most kennels in this breed are not very large, since the amount of attention required by the Shih Tzu makes it impracticable to keep large numbers.

The 1950s and 60s were something of a golden age for the Shih Tzu in Britain. Although Lady Brownrigg was no longer so active in the breed both Gay Widdrington and Freda Evans continued so there was continuity from the early days. Amongst the English kennels that entered the breed during this period, three in particular have been important, not only because of the quality of the dogs they bred and owned but also because of the influence of their stock overseas, and their dedication to the breed right up to the present day. For those new to the phraseology of the dog world I mean kennels refers to breeders not the commercial establishments that make a living from selling and boarding dogs — in fact, all the three of the kennels I will mention briefly, keep or have kept their dogs in a domestic situation. These are the Antarctica kennel of Betty and Ken Rawlings, Jeanne and Arnold Leadbitter's Greenmoss and Audrey Dadds’ Snaefell. All these breeders have earned their place in the history of the breed both by the length of time over which they have played a part, and by their significant contribution to the welfare of the Shih Tzu through their support for the breed clubs. The Antarctica kennel of Ken and Betty Rawlings has been one of the most successful in the history of the breed in Britain exhibiting winning dogs for over thirty years, making up their first champion in 1963 and their last in 1996. Jeanne and Arnold Leadbitter have not only had great success in the show ring themselves, but have contributed to the success of kennels in other countries where the Greenmoss Shih Tzu have been imported. Their first Champion was made up in 1964 and their last in 1992.

The name of Audrey Dadds and her Snaefell prefix is known to Shih Tzu enthusiasts across the world not only for the quality of her dogs, which have been successful in Europe and as far afield as Australia and South Africa, but also for her prolific writing of the breed. She has always been willing to give her time and advice to help a new owner, and still is today. She made up her first champion in 1963 and her last to date was at Bournemouth last year. Together with Taishan, Lhakang and Elfann, the kennel names of Antarctica, Greenmoss and Snaefell will be found behind many of the Shih Tzu across the world today. Anyone who searches through the names at the back of his or her dog's pedigree will be very likely to fine one or more of these names. From about 1970 onwards the most potent influence on the Shih Tzu was not longer that of one individual breeder but the effect of the growing popularity of the breed itself. The increase in numbers and the popularity has also led to more and more clubs being formed to promote the well-being of the Shih Tzu. Besides the Shih Tzu Club and the Manchu Shih Tzu Society there are now three regional clubs – the Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club, the Shih Tzu Club of Scotland and the Shih Tzu Club of South Wales and Western Counties, plus one in Ireland. In the show ring the increased popularity of the breed has led to much stiffer competition and has attracted skilled exhibitors from other breeds, who have brought new standards of presentation with them. It is probably in the area of coat preparation and care that the greatest changes have taken place over the last twenty years.

General Appearance

General Appearance

Shih Tzu : Toy Group
: Breed Standard

The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert toy dog with long flowing double coat. Befitting his noble Chinese ancestry as a highly valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu is proud of bearing, has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation, the Shih Tzu must be compact, solid, carrying good weight and substance.

Even though a toy dog, the Shih Tzu must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Shih Tzu as in any other breed, regardless of whether or not such faults are specifically mentioned in the standard.

Size, Proportion, Substance
[:picture by]

Size Ideally, height at withers is 9 to 101/2 inches; but, not less than 8 inches nor more than 11 inches. Ideally, weight of mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds. Proportion Length between withers and root of tail is slightly longer than height at withers. The Shih Tzu must never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. Substance Regardless of size, the Shih Tzu is always compact, solid and carries good weight and substance.

Head Round, broad, wide between eyes, its size in balance with the overall size of dog being neither too large nor too small. Fault: Narrow head, close-set eyes. Expression Warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting. An overall well-balanced and pleasant expression supersedes the importance of individual parts. Care should be taken to look and examine well beyond the hair to determine if what is seen is the actual head and expression rather than an image created by grooming technique. Eyes Large, round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very dark. Lighter on liver pigmented dogs and blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Small, close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white. Ears Large, set slightly below crown of skull; heavily coated. Skull Domed. Stop There is a definite stop. Muzzle Square, short, unwrinkled, with good cushioning, set no lower than bottom eye rim; never downturned. Ideally, no longer than 1 inch from tip of nose to stop, although length may vary slightly in relation to overall size of dog. Front of muzzle should be flat; lower lip and chin not protruding and definitely never receding. Fault: Snipiness, lack of definite stop. Nose Nostrils are broad, wide, and open. Pigmentation Nose, lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except liver on liver pigmented dogs and blue on blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims. Bite Undershot. Jaw is broad and wide. A missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth should not be too severely penalized. Teeth and tongue should not show when mouth is closed. Fault: Overshot bite.

Neck, Topline, Body
Of utmost importance is an overall well-balanced dog with no exaggerated features. Neck Well set-on flowing smoothly into shoulders; of sufficient length to permit natural high head carriage and in balance with height and length of dog. Topline Level. Body Short-coupled and sturdy with no waist or tuck-up. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall. Fault: Legginess. Chest Broad and deep with good spring-of-rib, however, not barrel-chested. Depth of ribcage should extend to just below elbow. Distance from elbow to withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground. Croup Flat. Tail Set on high, heavily plumed, carried in curve well over back. Too loose, too tight, too flat, or too low set a tail is undesirable and should be penalized to extent of deviation.

Shoulders Well-angulated, well laid-back, well laid-in, fitting smoothly into body. Legs Straight, well-boned, muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set close to body. Pasterns Strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws May be removed. Feet Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.

Angulation of hindquarters should be in balance with forequarters. Legs Well-boned, muscular, and straight when viewed from rear with well-bent stifles, not close set but in line with forequarters. Hocks Well let down, perpendicular. Fault: Hyperextension of hocks. Dewclaws May be removed. Feet Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.

Coat Luxurious, double-coated, dense, long, and flowing. Slight wave permissible. Hair on top of head is tied up. Fault: Sparse coat, single coat, curly coat. Trimming Feet, bottom of coat, and anus may be done for neatness and to facilitate movement. Fault: Excessive trimming.

All are permissible and to be considered equally.

The Shih Tzu moves straight and must be shown at its own natural speed, neither raced nor strung-up, to evaluate its smooth, flowing, effortless movement with good front reach and equally strong rear drive, level topline, naturally high head carriage, and tail carried in gentle curve over back.

As the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a companion and house pet, it is essential that its temperament be outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting towards all.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Shih Tzu requires a little more care than some other breeds, and potential owners who are looking for a low maintenance dog should probably choose another breed. Because Shih Tzu snouts are small and borderline nonexistent, drinking water from a bowl often contributes to their seemingly unclean faces. Owners have sometimes avoided this by using water dispensers similar to those found in hamster and rabbit cages. Additionally, if the dog is to drink from a bowl, it is sometimes necessary to keep on eye on them, for water can enter their face-level noses more easily and inhibit breathing. The area around the eyes should be cleaned gently each day, with cotton and warm water. Providing the Shih Tzu with bottled water (or water that does not contain chlorine) helps to keep eye mucus to a minimum.[citation needed] While Shih Tzu are high maintenance regarding grooming and cleaning, they can also be very independent when it comes to play and exercise. Unlike bigger dogs like Golden Retrievers and Labradors, Shih Tzu tend to be quite content when occasionally left alone. Most Shih Tzu enjoy exercising outdoors and, when exercised regularly, have plenty of stamina. Most enjoy a long walk, although they are also quite happy to run around the house. However, owners must remember that they have quite short legs, and so a Shih Tzu’s measure of a long walk is much shorter than ours. They have the potential to tire very easily. A dog whose coat is allowed to grow out needs daily brushing to avoid tangles; a short haircut, also known as a pet trim or puppy cut, avoids this extra level of care. However, since the breed is obviously adapted to a cool climate, letting the coat grow out for the colder seasons is appropriate. Shih Tzu are considered to be brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs. As such, they are very sensitive to high temperatures. This is why airlines that ship dogs will not accept them for shipment when temperatures at any point on the planned itinerary exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24°C) . Additionally, like many other breeds, the claws need close attention. Though this is not specific to Shih Tzu but all small dogs, it is important to note that predators that normally hunt rodents and rabbits will not differentiate between such and a Shih Tzu. When caring for a Shih Tzu, it must not be overlooked that they should not simply be let out with the protection of an electric fence but with its caretaker’s watchful eye. Hawks are not inhibited by fences, either real or electric.

Breed variations

Breed variations
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Shih Tzu Club (ASTC) defines the Shih Tzu as a dog that weighs between 9 to 16 pounds as the official breed standard. Descriptions like "imperial", "teacup", "tiny teacup" are used, but dogs that fit such descriptions are often an undersized or underdeveloped Shih Tzu. Both the AKC and ASTC consider these variances to not be in conformity with the official breed standard. These tiny variances are also not what was defined as a standard by the Chinese imperial palace or by the professional circuit. Breeders who deal in designer dogs are not eligible for membership in some clubs. For example, the American Shih Tzu Club, the official guardian of the Shih Tzu breed standard, denies membership to such breeders.

Below are some unofficial terms some breeders use for mixed breeds which include a Shih Tzu in their ancestry.

Shiranian: a cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Pomeranian (also called "Shihpom").
Shih-poo: a cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle (also called "Shizapoo").
Shih-wawa: a cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua (also called "ShiChi").
Malti-Tzu: a cross between a Maltese and Shih Tzu (also called a "Mal-Shi").
Peki-Tzu: a cross breed between a Pekingese and a Shih Tzu
Brushit: a cross breed between a Brussels Griffon and a Shih Tzu

==Life span and health issues==katie The life span of a Shih Tzu is 11-15 years, although some variation from this range is possible. Some health issues common among the breed are portosystemic liver shunt, renal dysplasia, and hip dysplasia- in Standard sizes. In addition, they also can suffer from various eye problems. Shih Tzus (and many other breeds) may present signs of allergies to red dye #40, and owners should respond to scratching in the absence of fleas by eliminating pet foods that contain this commonly used additive.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Shih Tzu characterized by its long, flowing double coat; sturdy build; intelligence; and a friendly, energetic, lively attitude. In breeding all coat colors are allowed. The Shih Tzu's hair can be styled either in a short summer cut, or kept long as is compulsory for conformation shows. Shih Tzu do not have fur like many other breeds; they have hair similar to a human's. Instead of shedding, Shih Tzu lose hair gradually, much like humans lose hair in the shower or while grooming.
American Kennel Club (AKC) Shih Tzu breed standard calls for the dog to have a short snout, large eyes, and a palm-like tail that waves above its torso. The ideal Shih Tzu to some is height at withers 9 to 10 1/2 inches. The dog should stand no less than 8 inches and not more than 11 inches tall. The Shih Tzu should never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. Regardless of size or gender, the Shih Tzu should always be solid and compact, and carry good weight and substance for its size range.