American Canine Association


Shih Tzu


Dating back thousands of years ago, the Shih Tzu is belived to of been created by crossing the Lhasa Opso with the Pekingese and possibly the Tibetan Mountain Dog bloodlines. This breed was treated as royalty within China and for many years the breed had no potential to ever leave China due to how valuable the people felt this breed was; afraid to share this breed with the rest of the world. Finally the breed was able to reach other countries and today this is one of the most popular dog breeds to exist in the United States!


The Shih Tzu is a small breed dog with males and females generally measuring 6-10 inches in height and weighing 9-15 pounds in weight. This small breed is built long and low to the ground, with four short, very straight legs holding them up. They have a round head that is accompanied by two long, pendant shaped ears that fall gently alongside of their face. Their two, large round eyes are generally hazel to black in color. This breed carries a medium length tail with lots of hair flowing off of it, as it it carried up and on their back. This breed has a double, thick coat of long hair that is most commonly groomed to floor length. Their coat is available in all colors and color combinations.


This small breed is very mighty in personality! The Shih Tzu carries much confidence and personality in their small, compact size. This breed is a wonderful watch dog as they will alert you whenever they hear or see something they feel as a threat, as well as give you unconditional love while relaxing and watching TV. This breed does great in apartments as well as country living environments and can do well with children and other pets he or she is raised with. The Shih Tzu can be difficult to potty train and requires a patient, consistent and calm owner. Early socialization and training classes are recommended to ensure a proper foundation for the relationship between you and your new pet as he or she grows. As with all small breeds, be sure to have set rules and boundaries within your home, otherwise your new dog will become very bossy and develop "small dog syndrome" causing excessive barking and other unwanted behaviors. This breed requires minimal exercise daily, and will do well with a short walk and some indoor playtime.


This breed requires daily brushing and professional grooming when needed.

Special Notes

Please fully educate yourself about the Shih Tzu breed prior to adding one to your family to ensure a life long commitment physically and financially. This breed is prone to disc issues, eye issues, tooth loss and weight issues. A proper fitting harness and leash or properly installed fence is highly recommended while outdoors at all times for this breed. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

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