Shih Tzu Weird Facts

The Shi Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world. They are pretty much part of the Asian history and the Imperial dynasty. Their name says it all – “Shih Tzu” is a name that originated from Tibetan language where this breed has been first domesticated. It was only in China where they rose to popularity because they were given as gifts to the Emperors and the high ranking officials. As a tribute to the Chinese leaders, Tibet sent 1000 Shih Tzu’s which were eventually taken in and adopted by the palace. The primary duty of these dogs within the imperial halls is to safeguard the palace and accompany the ladies of the court. This is the reason why they were bred in small sizes – for the ladies to easily carry them around.
The Chinese ruler who was most known for the love of Shih Tzu is Empress T’zu hui. She has been seen carrying a Shih Tzu or spending most of her time bonding with her pets. It was said that her favorite was her pure brown Shih Tzu and she has influenced the breeding of these dogs. The color and patterns were studied under her reign and eventually produced the common Shih Tzu coat colors we know now. The Shih Tzu survival was threatened when the Communist era of China ended and it was reported that only 14 Shih Tzu were left. Eventually, people in the West took an interest in the breed and saved the genetic line. From this time, Shih Tzu were already produced in the UK where they were crossed with Pekingese to produce smaller dogs. The descendants of these dogs are the Shih Tzu we have today. To identify pure breed Shih Tzu, the lineage must come from the UK strains (the most common ones, Scandinavian or North American lines. These three places have become the main breeding grounds of the Shih Tzu that eventually imported throughout the different parts of the world. Today, a true blue Shih Tzu weighs under 9 pounds, has hair instead of fur and a face that looks like a lion or a flower. These characteristics are the standards in any Shih Tzu competition. Nevertheless, if your Shih Tzu is a bit smaller (also called an imperial or tea cup), he or she is still considered a Shih Tzu – just not the show type.