The name “Shih Tzu” means lion dog in Chinese, it received the name because of its long, flowing mane-like coat. It is a sturdy, lively, toy dog with long flowing double coat. This dog has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. It may display an arrogant personality, but is actually playful and gentle. This dog adapts well to any family situation and will enjoy a cuddle in your lap, doing tricks, or fetching a tennis ball.
Long, dense, not curly with a good undercoat. This dog requires a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. A topknot is usually tied with a bow so that the dog can see properly. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time consuming to care for. This breed sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy suffers if the coat is kept very well groomed.
It tends to wheeze and snore. Some bloodlines are prone to ear, eye and respiratory problems. Spinal disc disease caused by a long back and short legs may be a problem. Their teeth need regular veterinary attention, as they tend to be lost early. This breed gains weight easily and should not be overfed.
The Shih-Tzu is a happy, hardy, alert, and spunky little dog. It is dignified, courageous and sometimes arrogant. This dog does well with polite, careful children. It is gentle and affectionate. It can get snappish if it is surprised or peeved. It makes friends easily and although obstinate can respond well to consistent patient training.
This dog makes a very alert watchdog. It likes to bark, but is usually quiet inside the house. Socialization at an early age is a must. It is generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak. It is a naturally active dog but if it is allowed it will lie around in its favorite spots. Daily walks are a good idea. Do not over feed this dog or it will quickly become fat.
The Shih Tzu is good for apartment life. It is fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to the heat.