The meaning of the name Shih Tzu is Little Lion. Going by the name, you might expect a creature with a huge body, powerful limbs and claws that are made to tear the flesh off of its preys, but in reality Shih Tzu are anything but fierce, this breed of dogs is very calm and cuddly. They love to follow you around your house and are almost always happy and outgoing. They are a joy to have around your house and instantly make the atmosphere calm and joyous.
History of this breed
Although many mixed breeds are available nowadays, the main Shih Tzu breed’s roots can be tracked back to about 8000 B.C. It has been speculated by a few researchers that this breed of dogs are among the 14 oldest breeds on this planet. It is a popular belief that this breed was developed as a gift for the Chinese royal family by the Tibetan Monks. The breed is said to have come from cross breeding other species with Pekingnese or the Lhasa Apso. Though the actual breeding history is a bit muddy, we do have many paintings or stories dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) describing small dogs which have quite a few similarities with Shih Tzu.
The personality and health
Shih Tzu are small dogs, ranging from about 9 to 10.5 inches tall and they weigh somewhere around 9 to 16 pounds. These dogs were bred as a companion, they love following you around always try to stay as close as possible. They won’t play fetch, nor will they guard your house, all they love doing is staying close to you. Shih Tzu are at their happiest when they are the centre of attraction and affection of everyone. They might bark a bit at newcomers but it won’t be long before the newcomers also become a part of his family.
Like almost any dog, there are a few conditions and diseases Shih Tzu tend to catch. These include hip dysplasia, renal dysplasia, patellar luxation, bladder stones-infections, eye problems, and many more. Most of these diseases are easily preventable with a bit of care and if your dog catches any of these, just go to a veterinary doctor and get him sorted out.
Taking care of your Dog
Shih Tzu are basically indoor dogs, they would occasionally enjoy a playing session in the backyard but don’t even consider keeping him in an outside kennel. He is happy to follow you around wherever you go and always check your steps around the house because the pups are small and hard to see and they are going to follow you everywhere, even inside the bathroom. They don’t need much exercise as they aren’t really an active breed, walking around the house and playing with a few toys is enough. It is always recommended that you don’t adopt a Shih Tzu puppy when you have a kid in the house, because the puppy might get hurt. The food your dog eats depends on its size, weight, build etc., so expecting a general food value to work with your dog is wrong, check his needs and feed him accordingly.