The Shih Tzu, which translates to “lion” in Mandarin, is sometimes referenced to as the lion dog. Though don’t be mistaken because this small, study, and somewhat longer than tall playful pup is anything but a lion. They’re playful, spunky, and outgoing but are also very loyal and affectionate. Despite being small in size, if trained properly, they have the right characteristics to actually make a great watchdog.
Click here to find Shih Tzu rescue organizations!
Top 10 Facts:
1. There are many theories on how Shih Tzus came about, but they first originated in China and can be found throughout ancient Chinese paintings.
2. One speculation is that Shih Tzus are a cross between the Pekingese and a Lhasa Apso.
3. If their coats are kept at traditional show coat length, they do require daily brushing. Their traditional show coat is grown down to the floor, though most Shih Tzus, that are kept as house pets, have coats that are clipped short for ease of maintenance.
4. Since they were a favorite among ancient Chinese royals, they weren’t sold or traded until the 1930s!
5. Kelly Ripa has a rescued Shih Tzu named Chewy. He guest starred on Live with Regis and Kelly back in 2008.
6. Though they can be found in a wide range of different colors, Shih Tzus all have a soft, silky double coat. Despite their double coat, they do shed minimally, if at all.
7. Shih Tzu’s have a lengthy lifespan of 15 years or more!
8. These playful lion dogs ideally weigh anywhere between 10-15 pounds.
9. The breed can be prone to hip dysplasia due to their longer back and shorter legs, so do not overfeed these guys!
10. Though they make great watch dogs, these little loyal love bugs are also affectionate to strangers, if properly socialized.