Dog breeds: Shih-Tzu

Dog breeds: Shih-Tzu

Origin, classification and history

Origin: China (Tibet)
F.C.I classification: Group 9 - companion dogs

Shih-Tzu is a race of remote origins. Dog highly regarded by Buddhists, who cut their fur in order to make it as similar as possible to a small lion and consecrated it to Buddha, therefore it was considered a sacred animal. In fact, his name "Shih-Tzu" means "lion dog". In ancient times these small dogs were used as precious gifts to be delivered, sometimes as a tribute, to the Emperor, and they were highly appreciated gifts. Primarily males were donated, because only subjects of this sex were considered sacred. These small male dogs were later mated with bitches that were already present at the court and in this way the Shih-Tzu breed was born. Some argue that this was the case for the "Tibetan terrier" breed as well. Shih-Tzu were not introduced to Europe until the first half of the twentieth century. Some inexperienced people can confuse it with the "Lassa-Apso", always originally from China.

General aspect

Small size dog, with the peculiarity of the long hair, which covers the whole body and goes down to touch the ground. Dog of right proportions and discreet structure in relation to size. Breed of exotic charm.


Very alert and lively canine. Always attentive to everything; cheerful and very sociable, while always remaining wary of strangers. Perfect companion, adaptable to any environment in which it is located. Ideal dog for living in apartments and small houses. Breed that needs cleaning and grooming of the hair. Very pleasant to be together with the family and children.

Shih-Tzu (website photo)


Weight: it can go up to 18 pounds, that is about 8 Kg. The ideal weight is between 9 and 16 pounds.

Trunk: the length of the body is greater than the height at the withers. It has a wide and deep chest, with shoulders well adhering to the straight back line.
Head and muzzle: round and wide. It must be spacious between the eyes. On the head the hair must be hanging over the eyes. It has a thick beard. The muzzle is square and short, but without folds. The muzzle must be flat and with thick fur.
Truffle: always black or dark liver, about 2,5 cm from the tip of the nose to the stop of the skull.
Teeth: regularly aligned and complete in number and development. With pincer teeth. Slight prognathism tolerated.
Neck: strong and arched.
Skin: well-fitting in all parts of the body.
Limbs: short, muscular and with a solid bone structure. The legs, due to the abundance of fur, must appear massive. The appiombi must always be straight. The thighs are round and muscular.
Shoulder: of the right length and position.
Musculature: well developed and evident on the whole body, in particular in the hind limbs.
Upper line: straight back line.
Eyes: always dark in color and round in shape.
Ears: quite large and drooping flow rates. They are attached below the crown of the skull. Not visible because covered with fur.
Tail: very fringed and well rolled on the back. It must have a high hairline.
Hair: very long and abundant. It is curled with a thick undercoat. The hair is the particularity that makes this breed unique.
Allowed colors: all. White on the forehead and on the end of the tail is appreciated. Pigmentation of the muzzle as united as possible.
Most common defects: enognatism, non-standard measures, depigmentation of the truffle, light eye, incorrect back, cryptorchidism, monorchidism, narrow head, small eyes, light eye, poor fur coat, high on the limbs, pointed muzzle, pale pink eyelid edges.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Shih Tzu
Choice of the puppy, standard, education, feeding, health, reproduction
Filippo Cattaneo - De Vecchi Edizioni - March 2008

Cheerful and lively, the shih tzu seems very proud of his origins in the courts of the Chinese emperors. Intelligent and nice, he reveals himself as a sweet and affectionate companion who knows how to make himself loved by everyone with his expressions that seem to have something human ...
Buy online

Video: Top 10 Most Expensive Dog Breeds in the World (September 2021).