Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Shih Tzu is an Ideal Companion and House Pet

by Connie Limon (Email:

The Shih Tzu is a lively and alert Toy dog. The standard type of coat is a long flowing double coat. The Shih Tzu was a highly valued companion of its noble Chinese ancestors. It was favored as the palace pet. The Shih Tzu has a distinct arrogant carriage with the head well up and tail curved over the back. There has always been considerable size variation in the Shih Tzu breed. However, it is agreed and is the American Kennel Club standard that the Shih Tzu must be compact, solid and carry good weight and substance. According to the American Kennel Club standard a Shih Tzu's height should be 9 to 10 inches, not less than 8 inches or more than 11 inches. The Shih Tzu should never appear leggy or dumpy and squatty. Regardless of the size a Shih Tzu should always be compact, solid and carry good weight and substance. The head of a Shih Tzu is stated as "perfect" according to the American Kennel Club standard when it is round, broad, wide between eyes. The size of the head should be in balance with the overall size of the Shih Tzu, neither too large nor too small. A fault of the Shih Tzu head would be narrow head, close-set eyes. The _expression of a Shih Tzu should be warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting. A Shih Tzu's eyes should be large, round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. The eye color should be very dark. However, liver and blue colored Shih Tzu will be a lighter color. Ideally there should be no eye white showing. Fault would be small, close-set eyes. The ears of an American Kennel Club ideal Shih Tzu are large, set slightly below crown of skull and heavily coated with hair. The pigmentation of nose, lips, and eye rims should be black except on livers and blues. Fault would be pink on nose, lips or eye rims. The bite of a Shih Tzu is ideally undershot with a broad and wide jaw. A missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth are not too severely penalized, however, the teeth and tongue should not show when the mouth is closed. Fault would be an overshot bite. All colors are acceptable. The Shih Tzu is one of very few breeds that seem to have a never ending list of colors and color combinations. A Shih Tzu should move smoothly and effortlessly having good front reach and equally strong rear drive, level top line, natural high head carriage and tail carried in a gentle curve over the back. Since the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a companion and house pet, it is essential that the Shih Tzu's temperament be outgoing, happy, affectionate and friendly. Many Shih Tzu also make very good watch dogs for a household. The Shih Tzu in general is a lively and alert Toy Dog and is one of the top ten of America's favorite breeds.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies in a variety of colors. We have the AKC small standards, imperials and teacups at reasonable prices. Our website provides you with an educational experience all about the Shih Tzu. Visit us at and sign up for our FREE newsletter.

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