4-8 kg (approx)
12-13+ years (approx)
Sturdy, abundantly coated dog with distinctly arrogant carriage and chrysanthemum - like face. The coat is long and dense, not curly, with a good undercoat and slight wave permitted. All colours permissible, white blaze on forehead and white tip to tail is highly desirable in parti-colours.
The ancestry of the Shih Tzu is rather obscure, but it is probable that the breed is primarily of Tibetan origin. The history of the Tibetan "Lion Dogs" is interwoven with the tenets of Buddhism, which originated in India. The existence of the Shih Tzu as we know it today is owed to the Dowager Empress Cixi (T'zu His) whose kennel of Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih Tzu was world-renowned. The Shih Tzu came to Australia in 1954 with three dogs imported by Tony and Soo Dobson (NSW) and then spread to other States.
Friendly and independent. The Shih Tzu is intelligent, active, and alert.
If the Shih Tzu is kept in its naturally long, flowing coat, it requires a lot of grooming and care. However, if the dog is to be a family pet, it is recommended that the coat be clipped short. This requires much less grooming and care. There is always some general care required to keep the Shih Tzu looking its best regular bathing and clipping, and cleaning around the eyes and moustaches is recommended.