With their playfulness and liveliness, along with their affectionate and loving nature and their cuteness, the Shih Tzu is definitely one of our favorite small dog breeds. Here are some interesting fun Shih Tzu facts for you.
Some fun Shih Tzu facts
- The name Shih Tzu means “Lion Dog” in traditional Chinese.
- Another name for the Shih Tzu is the “Chrysanthemum Dog” due to the fact that the long hair on their faces looks like the petals of the Chrysanthemum plant.
- In ancient China, Shih Tzus were used as guard dogs to guard the palaces and monasteries.
- Shih Tzu don’t shed very much and are considered by many to be a hypoallergenic dog breed. For many people with allergies, they’re a great choice of pet.
- The Shih Tzu was only recognized by the American Kennel Club as recently as 1946.
- According to the American Kennel Club, the Shih Tzu was the 19th most popular dog breed in America in 2015.
- The median lifespan of the Shih Tzu is just over 13 years. Most Shih Tzu live to an age somewhere between 10 – 16 years, with the majority surviving well into their teen years.
- Shih Tzus were bred to be companion dogs. It’s no surprise to learn this when you consider their friendly and affectionate temperament.
- The Shih Tzu is a double coated dog breed, although they’re born with just a single coat. They develop their adult coat from about 7 months onwards.
- The average size of a Shih Tzu litter is 4 puppies. That said, the litter size can vary between 2 to 6 puppies.
- You may see advertisements for “teacup” or “imperial” Shih Tzus, but there’s really no such thing. These are just marketing terms used by dodgy breeders to describe either very small or very large Shih Tzus.
- Because of the shape of their head and face, Shih Tzus can often have breathing difficulties. Indeed, they’re considered to be one of the brachycephalic dog breeds and often snore.
- The Shih Tzu is in the top 15 oldest dog breeds. They are believed to have been around in China as long ago as 8,000 B.C.
- The Shih Tzu is classed as a toy dog breed. Their weight when they’re fully grown will be in the range 9 to 16 pounds.
- Because of their long hair, Shih Tzus need lots of grooming to prevent mats and tangles.
- One particular Shih Tzu has a huge following on Instagram. Marnie the dog was a street dog before being rescued and adopted at the age of 11. She now has over 2 million Instagram followers!
As these Shih Tzu facts show, as well as being irresistibly cute and loving, the Shih Tzu is also an extremely interesting dog breed with a fascinating history.