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Shih TzuThe Shih Tzu (pronounced sheet-sue) is one of world's oldest breeds, and for centuries remained the pampered favorites of the Emperor's palace in ancient China.

Shih Tzus were unknown in the West until the early 20th century, when visiting ambassadors brought them home to Europe and from there they traveled to Canada and America.

Today their big eyes, energetic personality, and long, flowing coat have today earned the Shih Tzu a place on Top Ten lists of most popular dogs in the U.S.

Shih Tzu behavior & personality

The very model of the proverbial lap dog, the Shih Tzu likes nothing better than the company of people and plays no favorites with loved ones, friends or strangers. While it loves constant companionship, some Shih Tzus may suffer separation anxiety when left alone for even short periods of time.

True to its privileged and royal background, the Shih Tzu often does not take easily to training, and extra fortitude and patience may be required to house train the Shih Tzu puppy.

Care & Health

Due to their long hair, and short snouts, drinking from a regular water bowl can become quite messy. For this reason, some owners opt to provide ball-type dispensers similar to those used for hamsters or gerbils.

shih tzuWith a coat similar to human hair, the Shih Tzu does not shed like other breeds, but does require constant grooming and brushing to avoid constant tangling or more serious conditions such as skin rashes and infections.

Outgoing and energetic, the Shih Tzu makes an excellent pet for adults and older children, but its small size often requires supervision around young toddlers to avoid accidental injury. As they mature, diseases & conditions common to Shih Tzu include kidney disease, back disk problems, and kneecap injuries.

Shih Tzus fun facts - DID YOU KNOW?

• Developed in the royal courts of ancient China, the energetic breed with its flowing 'mane' earned it the name Shih Tzu, or "lion" dog. The Shih Tzu is also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog for its snubby face and round, petal-shaped facial coat.

• Although dog show breeders like to show off their Shih Tzu's long flowing coats, most owners prefer to keep them cut short in what is commonly known as the "puppy clip."

• Shih Tsus comes in 19 different color combinations including gold, tan, brown, black, white and multi-colored.

More about Shih Tzus around the Web:

American Shih Tzu Club
- Extensive information on breed standards, how to's on choosing a puppy, health care, grooming, training and feeding.

Shih Tzu Club UK - Breed standards & news on shows & competitions, photos, advice for new owners, tips on care & grooming, directory of UK rescue organizations.

Dog Owner's Guide Profile : Shih Tzu - Fact sheet on breed history, temperament, health issues.

Shih Tzu Information and Pictures, Shih Tzus - Pronunciation guide, information on breed history, behavior & temperament, health concerns, photo gallery.

US Shih Tzu Rescue - Directory of adoption & rescue services nationwide, inspirational stories, with educational and informational resources.

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