SHIH TZU – BREED SPECIFICITY
The origins of Shih Tzu are not fully known, but it is highly possible that the breed is strongly connected with Tibet. Dalai Lama followers believed that those small dogs were the embodiment of lions accompanying Buddha. Shih Tzu reached China as a gift for the tsar, whereas the ruler in question gave such dogs to people who he truly liked and respected. The current appearance of Shih Tzu is predominantly the result of breeding processes introduced by tsar Tzu Hsi. She was breeding over 100 dogs and was against the miniaturization of the dogs that was becoming more and more popular in China. It is probable that she started mixing Shih Tzu with Pekingese. Thanks to that, the dog started looking notably different from its cousin – Lhasa Apso.
Shih Tzu reached Europe as late as in 20th century, because numerous attempts were made for the pets not to leave the territory of China. Great Britain had a notable impact on increasing the population of Shih Tzu after China adopted communism and said pets started being eliminated as they were perceived to be the remainder of the former empire. Great Britain became the country in which Shih Tzu started being bred on a large scale.
Shih Tzu is a remarkably gracious and beautiful dog. It has a long fur that does not stop growing. The most distinctive feature of the breed is the fur on muzzle, which is shaped like the so-called chrysanthemum flower. A proper treatment of Shih Tzu fur is quite a challenge. It has to be brushed regularly to avoid individual strains tangling together. Modeling the fur and creating an interesting hairdo are common for show dogs, in contrast to those domestic ones, in the case of which modeling is rather rare, but some intriguing stylistic experiments can also be seen.
Shih Tzu is a very intelligent, happy, adventurous, and friendly dog. It loves laying on the couch next to its owner. It does not require a lot of exercises and can play on a limited area, but an occasional walk around the neighborhood is a great idea. The lack of aggression, obedience, and patience make the breed perfect for families with children and for elderly individuals.
Shih Tzu are not very sickly, especially while bought from a decent breeding company. Nevertheless, not all of such pets are so healthy, because there are some breed typical malaises and hereditary complications that have been identified throughout the years, such as the dislocation of patella, slipped disc, nostril narrowing, and eye conditions. Shih Tzu, just as all other dogs, requires a properly balanced food. If you want it to look dashing, you have to feed it with dedicated fodder given in a flat, wide bowl, as well as with water in an adjusted drinker. Both changes in food provided and treating the pet with leftovers from meals may negatively affect its fur, especially in the case of pets with white hair. Shih Tzu are long living dogs. Some of them may live up to 17 years, so a decision to purchase such a lovely pet should be a well-thought-out one.