Dogs 101: Shih Tzu Facts History Origins Most Popular Breeds – Animal Facts
“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
Charles M. Schulz
Welcome to Animal Facts.
Time for another viewer suggested list.
Today, we discuss the affectionate, happy,
housedog who loves nothing more than to follow
his people from room to room, the lovable,
outgoing companion, the Shih Tzu.
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It’s all in the name.
The full name of this adorbale dog breed is
Tibetan Shih Tzu Kou which literally means
Tibetan Lion Dog.
It was named “lion dog” because of its
resemblance to the lion.
Straight to the point, just like “Animal Facts”.
The Shih Tzu is also often known as the “Xi
Shi Quan” which was based on the name of
one of the most beautiful woman of ancient
China – Xi Shi.
This lovely-looking dog comes in different
colors, such as shades of gold and white,
solid silver, brown, solid black, black mask
gold, black and white, liver and white, brindle
and white and silver and white and the rare
The American Kennel Club says all colors are
The breed standard states that the normal
Shih Tzu dog should weigh between 9 and 16
Shih Tzu is one of the 14 ancient breeds of
dog according to DNA studies which indicate
that it has a close genetic relationship to
Other Asian breeds include the Chow Chow,
Tibetan Terrier, Lhasa Apso and Shar Pei.
On average, a Shih Tzu lives up to 13 years
and can attain a lifespan of up to 20 years.
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Famous celebrity Shih Tzu owners include:
Beyonce, Bill Gates, Mariah Carey, Colin Farell,
Nicole Richie and Queen Elizabeth.
The Shih Tzu’s exact origins remain mysterious
because the breed has been around for thousands
of years, and the details of its development
There are Chinese paintings dating back to
around the year 500 C.E. that depict dogs
believed to be Shih Tzus.
There are also documents describing the dogs
as gifts to China from the Byzantine Empire.
Shih Tzus and similar breeds were present
in Tibetan Buddhist temples, where Tibetan
monks revered the dogs as holy.
More than just companion animals, these Shih
Tzus worked beside the monks, acting as guard
dogs or alarm dogs, and even turning prayer
wheels during daily Buddhist prayer rituals.
The breed was almost completely destroyed
by the Communist Party after 1949.
All surviving Shih Tzu today descended from
14 dogs, one of which was a Pekingese.
The Shih Tzu breed is a very smart breed,
but can be stubborn, so gentle training methods
Socialization and training should begin the
minute you bring your puppy home.
Shih Tzu were bred as companion dogs but they
do need exercise, and they love doing things
with their owners.
In North America, they have been competing
and winning titles in Agility since the 1990s.
There ya go, honest facts about the Lion Dog.
Were we “lion” about any of these facts?
Did we leave anything out?
Did I use that pun twice?
Let us all know in the comments below.
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Catch ya next time.