The roots of the Shih Tzu are in Tibet but it was developed in China, where dogs like these lived in the imperial palaces. After China became a republic in 1912, examples of the breed found their way to the West. Temperamentally, the Shih Tzu is a bouncy character and very outgoing. A complete extrovert and full of infectious enthusiasm, he makes a delightful companion who is happy to be part of any family.
Links to Breed Descriptions:
AKC Video (link - https://youtu.be/dkRfEkrVDmM):
View more videos on AKC's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanKennelClub
SCC Video (link - https://youtu.be/9_iEVCPQnUM):
View more videos on SCC's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKR90_uWp8dUNpGTfQ_y_Zw
Country of Origin and Parent Breed Club:
Health and Well-Being:
Some sources of health information include: National kennel clubs and breed clubs (see, e.g. Breeding/Health Strategy Documents, below) Population-level statistics (see, e.g., Swedish Insurance Data, below) Research articles Breed club surveys
The Shih Tzu is considered a Brachycephalic breed: See DogWellNet's Brachycephalic section for articles.
There are numerous breed standards. The basis of breed/conformation shows is the judging of pedigree dogs against the 'Breed Standard', which is a picture in words that describes the range of features that are deemed appropriate for the breed.
Three of the major international standards are:
The American Kennel Club
The Kennel Club, UK
FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale)
1. Swedish Insurance Data Breed-specific information on rates of disease and death from Agria Pet Insurance (Agria Djurförsäkring) is available for many breeds. This breed has information on Veterinary Care and Life Insurance.
Click here to view downloads.
2. Finnish Kennel Club Database - Shih Tzu
Breeding/Health Strategy Documents:
Health/Breeding Strategy Documents and Links:
Sweden: Breed-specific Breeding Strategies: (in Swedish) and/ or English summary
This RAS document contains registration and health information for the Shih Tzu in Sweden. (Swedish)
Norway: NKK: RAS: http://www.nstk.no/files/Ras_for_Shih_Tzu_kompendium_pr_okt._2014-1.pdf
This RAS document contains registration and health information for the Shih Tzu in Norway.
Breed-Specific DNA Tests:
Other Breed-Specific Webpages:
The Face of a Flower The Heart of a Lion
AKC Family Dog Magazine article
Hepatocutaneous syndrome in Shih Tzus: 31 cases (1996-2014)
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2016 Apr 1;248(7):802-13. doi: 10.2460/javma.248.7.802.
Localization of Canine Brachycephaly Using an Across Breed Mapping Approach
We are listing sites for breed clubs with health or other information that might be helpful. Follow links below.
Germany: VDH: Internationaler Shih-Tzu- Club e.V.: http://www.shih-tzu-club.de/
Finland: FKC: Shih Tzu r.y.: http://www.shihtzury.com/index.htm
Sweden: SKK: http://www.skk.se/hundraser/shih-tzu/: Specialklubben för SHIH TZU: http://www.shihtzu.se/
France: SCC: Club des Chiens Tibetains de France: http://www.chienstibetains.com/
Norway: NKK: Norsk Shih Tzu Klubb: http://www.nstk.no/
USA: AKC: American Shih Tzu Club: http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/
The Illustrated Guide To The AKC Shih Tzu Standard: http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/ill_front
Ocular Disorders Proven or Suspected To Be Hereditary in the Shih Tzu:
By Denise M. Lindley, D.V.M: http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/ocular_disorders
UK: KC: Great Britain: Shih Tzu Club: http://www.theshihtzuclub.co.uk/index.php
Extended Breed Standard - A deeper examination of the points of the UK KC breed standard:
Breed History: http://www.theshihtzuclub.co.uk/shih-tzu/breed-history/
The Shih Tzu Club Breed Database: http://www.theshihtzuclub.co.uk/db/dbindex.php
Database Statistics include (Date accessed: 12-05-2015):
14484 Animals (2757 Champions) 593 Show Results; 5958 dogs with 4 or more Complete Generations 12 Animals whose furthest ancestor is 49 Generations back.
Iceland: Shih Tzu deild HRFÍ: http://www.shihtzu.is/