Dog Breed Group: Companion Dog
Life Span: 10-16 years
Weight: Male: 5-7, Female: 4-6
Height: Male: 10-11, Female: 9-10
Origin of Name: The Shih Tzu is an Asian toy dog breed originating from Tibet.
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When you own Shih Tzu, you have a bit of Chinese history. Imperial breeders in the Chinese emperor's palace developed shih tzu (meaning ""lion dog"") centuries before the Tibetan breeding stock. The breed is most likely the product of the crosses of two old Sino-Tibetan breeds, the Lhaso apso and the Pekingese.
For hundreds of years, Shih Tzu lived the life of the warmers in the royal lap and was pampered by the emperors and their families. It is said that Emperor Shih would give valuable gifts to the breeders of Tzu who produced the most beautiful and affectionate dogs.
By the 1930s, the breed remained hidden behind the castle walls, almost unknown to the outside world. Breed clubs formed in Peking and later England further refined the breed, not without much debate among radicals as to the proper type. Shih Tzu entered the AKC Stud Book in 1969.
Since then, Shih Tzu has been one of the most popular toy dogs here and in the United Kingdom. And they still treat their owners like royalty, no matter who they are. Diverse owners such as Queen Elizabeth II and Miley Cyrus succumbed to Shih Tzu's exotic charm.