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Shih Tzu

Size: Small

Weight: 9 - 16 lbs.

Height: 11"

Life Span: 12 - 15 years

Health Problems: Kidney problems; eye problems; hemophilia; kneecap slippage; ear infections. Avoid overfeeding; may gain weight. Prone to snoring and wheezing. Dental hygiene is important or tooth loss can occur. Genetic problems due to mass breeding can occur -- purchase from a reputable breeder. Sensitive to heat.

Origin: China

Also Known As: Chrysanthemum dog

Group: Toy Breed / Non-Sporting

Category: Companion Dog, Watchdog

Exercise Needs

Shih Tzu requires little exercise - one or two walks per day. The ideal environment for this breed is a small yard. Shih Tzus can become lazy if not exercised. Shih Tzus tend to make good apartment dogs, but does not do well in hot temperatures. This breed may be destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Grooming Needs

The Shih Tzu requires extensive grooming because the long, fine dense coat needs daily brushing. However, this breed is a minimal shedding one. Bathe once a month. Keep eyes and ears clean.

Temperament

The Shih Tzu is active, alert, stubborn, dignified and arrogant. This breed can be snappish, difficult to house-train and needs plenty of attention.

Compatibility with Kids

Can be jealous of small children or babies. Good with older, careful kids.

History

The breed has existed for several centuries. It is believed that Tibetan monks bred the first dogs as companions and to be given as gifts to visiting royalty. These dogs were known as Tibetan Lion Dogs and were brought to England in 1935. The breed was introduces in the U.S. after WWII.

Pet Facts

The hair on the Shih Tzu's face grows in all directions, hence it's known as the "Chrysanthemum-faced dog". Colors are black and white, grey and white, or tan and white. "