Physical characteristicsThe Shih Tzu is a small dog with rather a memorizable appearance. Its most distinctive feature is that the hair above the nose grows upward, which makes the dog look like a chrysanthemum. Moreover, these small sweeties have exuberant beard and moustache. The muzzle is short like in the Brussels Griffon, and the head is round with relatively large ears. The eyes are also large, dark and wide set. The well "feathered" tail curls up over the back.
The height of Shih Tzus is 8 to 11 inches, and they weigh 9 to 16 pounds.
TemperamentEven though they are small, Shih Tzu dogs are very proud, mischievous, and kind of arrogant. They love comfort and will never miss a chance to have it, and they do need people companionship. In reward for giving them lots of love and attention, they give you lots of love and affection, too. Shih Tzus are very loyal and friendly, even with other dogs and pets. They can be stubborn and insistent at times, but will respond to patient and consistent training. Like most other small dogs, Shih Tzus have a very playful and lively temperament. Be sure to remain a pack leader at all times and to socialize the dog well.
Coat and groomingThe coat of Shih Tzus is long, double, and... marvellous. If you take care of it properly by daily grooming, your dog will look like a little furry princess (or prince). The hair on the ears is so luxurious that it blends right into the body coat. The long hair on the head can disturb the dog as it may not see properly. To prevent this, the hair there is often tied up in a knot. If you don't have time to take care of the fabulous coat, you can always choose to trim it. With proper coat care, Shih Tzus usually have little to no doggy odour.
Shih Tzus come in all colours and patterns.
Image credit: Y-Shumin
Trimmed Shih Tzu
HealthSome Shih Tzus are prone to ear, eye and respiratory problems. Also, this breed is prone to slipped stifle and obesity, so do not overfeed. Another concern is hot weather: Shih Tzus are sensitive to heat.
The lifespan is 15 years or even more.
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