Image Size: 4-1/4 x 4 ins. Paper Size: 8 x 8 ins.
A Shih Tzu, also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, is a Toy dog breed, weighing 10–19 pounds (4.5–8.6kg) when fully grown. The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it is thought to have originated in Tibet and then been developed in China. I have never seen two of this breen decked out in the same ribbon or decor for it’s top knot, but all the ribbons, bows and adornment seem to fit each tiny dog and enhance their personalities. Don’t they make you smile?
The Shih Tzu is a sturdy little dog with a short muzzle and large dark eyes. They have a soft and long double coat. A Shih Tzu should stand no more than 28 cm (11 in.) at the withers and with an ideal weight of 4.5 to 8.6 kg (10 to 19 lbs). Drop ears are covered with long fur, and the heavily furred tail is carried curled over the back. The coat may be of any color, though white and with blazes of grey are frequently seen. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall, and bigger dogs ideally should carry themselves “with distinctly arrogant carriage”. A very noticeable feature is the underbite, which is required in the breed standard. The traditional long silky coat, which reaches the floor, requires daily brushing to avoid tangles. Because of their long coat and fast-growing hair, regular grooming is necessary, which may be expensive and should be taken into account when considering adopting one of this breed. Often the coat is clipped short to simplify care. For conformation showing, the coat must be left in its natural state, though trimming for neatness around the feet and anus is allowed. The shorter cut is typically called a “puppy cut” or a “teddy bear cut” when the puppy cut is accompanied by a fuller, rounder face, resembling a stuffed animal.
Although an individual Shih Tzu’s temperament varies from dog to dog, the breed has a personality and temperament that is loyal, affectionate, outgoing, and alert. Training and proper socializing must start at a young age for the Shih Tzu to obey basic commands, for the Shih Tzu is prone to stubbornness when it comes to training. While the Shih Tzu is an excellent watch dog because of its alert and active nature, it was not specifically bred for this purpose. Unlike the Lhasa Apso, which was bred to be a sentinel dog that enjoys high perches and is wary of strangers, the Shih Tzu prefers to be close to its companions and will often offer strangers its affection. Because of its friendly nature, the Shih Tzu tends to interact well with other dogs and with children and adults. Composer James Mumford described the Shih Tzu as “… a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, (and) a dash of teddy bear.”