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AKC Meet the Breeds: Shih Tzu

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

A compact and solid dog, the Shih Tzu has a long, flowing double coat, which is its most distinctive feature. The word Shih Tzu means "lion" and although this dog is sweet and playful, he is not afraid to stand up for himself! One of the most popular dogs in the United States according to AKC Registration Statistics, this portable pooch has a distinctively arrogant carriage with his head well up and tail curved over the back. All colors of Shih Tzu are allowed.

A Look Back
Cherished by Chinese royals as prized house pets for over a thousand years, it is believed to have descended from crossing the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan mountain dog and Pekingese. The Shih Tzu was the house pet for most of the Ming Dynasty and was discovered by soldiers in England during World War II.

Right Breed for You?
As the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is to be a companion and house pet, he should be lively, alert, friendly, and trusting toward all. He requires minimal exercise, but his long, luxurious coat needs daily brushing and maintenance.

  • Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1969.
  • Ranging in size from 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and 9 to 16 pounds.
  • Companion, house pet.

 

 

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.