It is believed the Shih Tzu’s ancestry can be traced back to the temple dogs of Tibet, which were bred for over 2000 years. The breed was developed in Beijing, China by crossing Tibetan dogs with the resident Pekingese. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the AKC in 1969 but there is evidence of the breed in documents, paintings and artefacts dating back to AD 624.
Fun fact: The Shih Tzu (meaning “lion dog” in Chinese) was owned by Chinese royals as prized and pampered palace pets because of its association with the Buddha for thousands of years. The Shih Tzu was not seen outside the court nor sold or traded with the west. It wasn’t until the 1920s that this breed made its way to Britain, when General Sir Douglas and Lady Brownrigg brought a pair back with them.
Shih Tzus are characterized by their short stature and short muzzles. The Shih Tzu has a dense, slightly wavy coat that can be grown long and luxurious with proper grooming.
They are generally playful, friendly, affectionate and make great family pets. Training and proper socialization must begin at a young age.
Shih Tzu’s are usually medium energy and enjoy a good walk, however they do not require an excessive amount of exercise. This makes them excellent apartment dwellers!