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Shih Tzu Breed Profile

Shih Tzu
This dog was revered by the Chinese who admired its mandarin style beard and moustache.

Other Names:
Chrysanthemum Dog, Lion Dog

Dog Breed Profile     Share this K9Obedience page

Origin: China

Breed Purpose: Companion

Kennel Club Dog Group: Toy

Height: Both 28cm.

Weight: Both 4-7kg.

Lifespan: 15-17 years

Exercise Needs: This is an active little dog that enjoys a daily walk. They can also get enough exercise by just playing games in the garden.

Feeding Needs: The Shih Tzu thrives on a natural home prepared diet. This dog will eat approximately 170gms of lean meat, 45gms rice and 45gms of vegetables. Some owners add small amounts of yeast and corn or sunflower oil to the diet to keep the coat in excellent condition.

Common Ailments: The Shih Tzu is generally a robust and healthy dog with no common health issues. The long coat does attract parasites and debris and needs to be examined on a daily basis. The skin also needs to be checked for infections.

Physical Description: The overall appearance of the Shih Tzu is one of a sturdy, small dog with a distinctive long, shiny coat. The head is broad and round with a wide square muzzle. The eyes are large and dark and the ears are set below the top of the skull and droop. So heavily coated are the ears that they merge with the hair on the neck. The neck is sufficiently long enough to be carried high and proud in an elegant arch. The limbs are short, well angled, with good bone structure and are quite muscular. The body is long in proportion to the height of the dog, and has a broad deep chest. The tail is a thick plume of hair and is carried gaily, set as high as the height of the skull. This gives the dog a balanced silhouette. The coat is long and thick. The Shih Tzu comes in all coat colours. All in all this is a wonderful little dog with a distinctive coat and an air of mystery and wisdom about it.

Shih Tzu K9 Obedience Dog Breed Summary:

The Shih Tzu is an intelligent, alert little dog. They are aristocratic and tend to keep slightly aloof and distant from their owners. They are good with children, other pets and they generally love cats. This is not the easiest dog to train as they can be stubborn and is not always receptive to commands. The owner must be firm and flexible when training. In general, they are difficult to housetrain and can become snappy if they don’t get what they want, assuming they always have before. Hence discipline is needed from day one on what the dog can call its own and what it can not. Insist on the basic rules to let the dog know its place in the household but on other issues be more lenient. For example you will not get this dog to bring back a ball if it does not want to. It is also difficult to teach the heel command as the Shih Tzu is renowned for pulling on the lead. This dog needs a lot of grooming to keep their coat tangle free and dry. The majority of owners find this task pleasant and quite therapeutic. The greatest problem concerning this dog is it being treated like a cuddly toy to be fussed and ‘molly-coddled’. Owners should never lose sight of the fact that the Shih Tzu is a sturdy dog that needs its freedom, independence and dignity. The Shih Tzu makes a charming family pet and suits families, single people and the elderly.
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