Description: The Shih Tzu is considered a toy breed of dog. The Shih Tzu weighs between 9 and 14 pounds and reaches about 10 at the shoulder. The Shih Tzu is possessed of a long, silky coat that reaches the ground. The coat can be grey and white, gold, black, red and white, or black and white. The Shih Tzuís muzzle is short and sports a long beard and moustaches. The dogís tail curls up over its back. The Shih Tzu should be a muscular, compact dog. The Shih Tzu is also called the Chrysanthemum Dog or the Tibetan Lion Dog.
History: The Shih Tzu is a very old breed of dog that traces its lineage back to the Lhaso Apso of Tibet. It was considered to be a sacred dog and housed in temples there. The Shih Tzu was eventually taken to China where it became a court favorite. The Chinese royal house particularly favored these dogs and the original stock was crossed with the Pekingese to produce the dog that is familiar today. The Chinese refused to allow any Shih Tzu out of the country for many years. The first Shih Tzu only made their way to England in the 1930s.
Temperament: The Shih Tzu is a friendly dog with what many consider to be a regal bearing. This is a happy dog with a great deal of personality. They are lapdogs and are most content when lying in the lap of one of their human friends. The Shih Tzu loves to be with its human family and gets along well with children and other dogs. They do, however, have an obstinate side that can make training somewhat difficult.
Health Issues: A very serious health concern with the Shih Tzu is a condition called Renal Dysplasia. This is probably a genetic ailment that causes the kidneys to eventually stop working. They can also develop bladder and kidney stones, which are treatable. The Shih Tzu can also experience spinal problems because of its long back. Because of their short faces, Shih Tzu can have breathing problems and often snore or wheeze.
Grooming: Although the Shih Tzu has what is considered to be a hypoallergenic coat, grooming is going to be an important part of this dogís maintenance. The Shih Tzuís long coat needs to be brushed every day. Many owners tie the hair on the dogís head up into a topknot. The eyes of this dog are delicate and should be cleaned every day. Most Shih Tzu are kept as pets and are given a puppy cut for ease of care.
Living Conditions: The Shih Tzu is a perfect dog for an apartment, as well as for a house. This dog loves to play inside so only short walks are needed to maintain its condition. The Shih Tzu enjoys being near its family and can experience separation anxiety. This dog wants to be a member of the family. The Shih Tzu should definitely be protected from extremes of temperature and, despite its long coat, must be allowed to sleep indoors.
If you can't find a local breeder in your area don't worry, many breeders are using the major airlines like American, Delta, Continental and Northwest airlines for shipping their puppies.
At this time the airlines will ship puppies to the following States: Alabama AL - Alaska AK - Arizona AZ - Arkansas AR - California CA - Colorado CO - Connecticut CT - Delaware DE - Florida FL - Georgia GA - Hawaii HI - Idaho ID - Illinois IL - Indiana IN - Iowa IA - Kansas KS - Kentucky KY - Louisiana LA - Maine ME - Maryland MD - Massachusetts MA - Michigan MI - Minnesota MN - Mississippi MS - Missouri MO - Montana MT - Nebraska NE - Nevada NV - New Hampshire NH - New Jersey NJ - New Mexico NM - New York NY - North Carolina NC - North Dakota ND - Ohio OH - Oklahoma OK - Oregon OR - Pennsylvania PA - Rhode Island RI - South Carolina SC - South Dakota SD - Tennessee TN - Texas TX - Utah UT - Vermont VT - Virginia VA - Washington WA - Washington, D.C. - West Virginia WV - Wisconsin WI - Wyoming WY - Hawaii HI.
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