Shih Tzu

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The Full Shih Tzu Description

The silky Shih Tzu is sweet and playful. He's also got plenty of spunk. He's not afraid to stand up for himself, though he usually gets along nicely with strangers and other animals. The Shih Tzu seems especially to dislike hot weather. The coat of the Shih Tzu needs daily grooming.

Did you know?

The Shih Tzu is sometimes called the "chrysanthemum-faced dog" because the hair grows about the face in all directions.

So you want to own a Shih Tzu?

Families with small children should always supervise the children when they play with the dog, the Shih Tzu is a sturdy dog but , his size puts him at a disadvantage.
The coat requires at least a half an hours grooming per day, which should be a consideration before bringing a Shih Tzu into your home.
The Shih Tzu is a true companion. His happy, out-going and affectionate temperament coupled with his friendly and trusting nature make him a great house pet.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Sturdy, abundantly coated dog with distinctly arrogant carriage and chrysanthemum-like face.


Intelligent, active and alert.


Friendly and independent.

Head and Skull

Head broad, round, wide between eyes. Shock-headed with hair falling well over eyes. Good beard and whiskers, hair growing upwards on the nose giving a distinctly chrysanthemum-like effect. Muzzle of ample width, square, short, not wrinkled; flat and hairy. Nose black but dark liver in liver or liver marked dogs and about one inch from tip to definite stop. Nose level or slightly tip-tilted. Top of nose leather should be on a line with or slightly below lower eyerim. Wide-open nostrils. Down-pointed nose highly undesirable, as are pinched nostrils. Pigmentation of muzzle as unbroken as possible.


Large, dark, round, placed well apart but not prominent. Warm expression. In liver or liver-marked dogs, lighter eye colour permissible. No white of eye showing.


Large, with long leathers, carried drooping. Set slightly below crown of skull, so heavily coated they appear to blend into hair of neck.


Wide, slightly undershot or level. Lips level.


Well proportioned, nicely arched. Sufficient length to carry head proudly.


Shoulders well laid back. Legs short and muscular with ample bone, as straight as possible, consistent with broad chest being well let down.


Longer between withers and root of tail than height of withers, well coupled and sturdy, chest broad and deep, shoulders firm, back level.


Legs short and muscular with ample bone. Straight when viewed from the rear. Thighs well rounded and muscular. Legs looking massive on account of
wealth of hair.


Rounded, firm and well padded, appearing big on account of wealth of hair.


Heavily plumed, carried gaily well over back. Set on high. Height approximately level with that of skull to give a balanced outline.


Arrogant, smooth-flowing, front legs reaching well forward, strong rear action and showing full pad.


Long, dense, not curly, with good undercoat. Slight wave permitted. Strongly recommended that hair on head tied up.


All colours permissible, white blaze on forehead and white tip to tail highly desirable in parti-colours.


Height at withers not more than 27 cms (101/2 ins), type and breed characteristics of the utmost importance and on no account to be sacrificed to size alone. Weight: 4.5-8 kgs (10-18 lbs). Ideal weight 4.5-7.5 kgs (10-16 lbs).

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