One of the most popular and cutest companion dogs is the Shih Tzu (Lion Dog), breed of dog that originated in China although there are some claims that it originated up high in Tibet. This lovable dog with long silky hair is the closest known descendant of Senji, the prehistoric Chinese wolf.
Here are some of the most interesting known facts about Shih Tzu.
1.) The full name of this dog breed is Tibetan Shih Tzu Kou which literally means Tibetan Lion Dog.
2.) It was named “lion dog” because of its resemblance to the lion and it was bred to resemble the lion.
3.) It is sometimes called the Chrysanthemum Dog, a name that originated in England because of the dog’s face resemblance to the beautiful flower because its hair grows outwards from the centre of the face.
4.) 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.
5.) Old Tibetan monks called it the Snow Lion Dog and is regarded as holy dog because it is used to guard the Imperial Palace in the old days.
6.) 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 solid blue.
7.) On the average, a Shih Tzu lives up to 13 years and can attain a lifespan of up to 20 years of age.
8.) 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 wolves.
9.) Diseases and disorders common to Shih Tzu include hip dysplasia, portosystemic shunt of the liver, Intervertebral Disk Disease or IVD, brain problems, such as cancer and cases of epilepsy.
10.) Famous celebrities who owned/owns a Shih Tzu include Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Brooke Shields.
11.) At the age of one year, a Shih Tzu is already considered an adult which is equivalent to 16 human years.
12.) A Shih Tzu is an assertive little dog that generally gets along fine with older children and other pets.
13.) It is common for a Shih Tzu to bark at strangers but once introduced should accept them as friends.
14.) The long silky coat of Shih Tzu should be trimmed regularly so that it doesn't drag on the ground and tangles
15.) A Shih Tzu must be groomed frequently to prevent skin problems and needs to learn good manners and be treated with consistency. Owners of Shih Tzu should take note that it is very susceptible to both heat and cold.