Shih Tzu Characteristics
The Shih Tzu is full of character, spunky and happy. They are dignified and sometimes arrogant. They need to be with people and make affectionate companions.
Though their name means “little lion”, there is nothing ferocious about the Shih Tzu. They were bred for the sole purpose of companionship. They are generally an affectionate, outgoing dog who love their owners.
Shih Tzu’s have a distinct personality and will not let anyone ignore them. They love to meet new people and will make friends wherever they go. They may be difficult to housebreak, though.
Their friendly nature make them great family pets – they get along with other animals and children. Because of their size, playtime should be monitored to avoid any injuries. They are alert watchdogs and like to bark, although they are generally quiet when inside.
One characteristic of the Shih Tzu is their undershot bite. Their bottom jaw is slightly wider than their upper so their upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.
Shih Tzu Major Health Concerns
The Shih Tzu may have ear eye and respiratory problems. They may lose their teeth early and need regular dental care. They may have spinal disc disease which is caused by their short legs and long back. This problem may be magnified by the fact that they tend to gain weight easily and may become obese.
Shih Tzu Interesting Facts
The breed originated in China and is the closest known descendant of the prehistoric Chinese wolf.
Dog DNA Tests
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Canine Breed Inheritance Infographic
Our Dog Breed Inheritance Chart explains how purebred and mixed breed puppies inherit DNA from their parents.