Sparks in the eyes, touching face and wool of incredible beauty - a typical decorative dog. At first sight. Only here is not a single Shih Tzu description of the breed does not repeat completely. These are amazing dogs with a multifaceted character, which only a flexible and insightful person can understand.
For millennia, Tibetans have been predominantly engaged in cattle breeding. And where there are herds, there are dogs - formidable enemies of wild predators and more calm, medium-sized shepherds. The ancestors of the small dogs of the Shih Tzu breed were just one of the latter - shaggy independent doggies that drove cattle into herds. Of course, then they were larger, but a sharp mind, quick reactions and the ability to make decisions without the guidance of a man were inherited from the first shepherd dogs.
In the heyday of Buddhism, the history of the Shih Tzu breed went a different way. According to legend, the Buddha was everywhere accompanied by small dogs, which in a moment of danger turned into huge fearless lions. True, in those days the Shih Tzu breed did not exist, and all shaggy babies were called "apso", in Per. "covered with wool." Having transformed from shepherds into cult animals, the Apso moved to temples, under the protection of Tibetan monks.
For centuries, the ancestors of Shih Tzu dogs did not leave Tibet. They did not know anything even in neighboring China, not to mention Europe. But in 1644, as a sign of reconciliation, the Dalai Lama presented the Emperor of China with several Kai-nek - barking lion dogs. So the "apso" became palace animals, inaccessible to ordinary people. Dogs were not just looked after - they were idolized, fed from golden dishes, and they were served by specially trained eunuchs. But when the first standard of the Shih Tzu breed was written in China, the dogs already looked a little like their ancestors - donated "apsoes" were crossed with local Pekingese and other Chinese breeds, wanting to achieve a miniature and more decorative look.
In Europe, "apso" came only at the end of the XIX century. The breeders had a difficult task - to divide dogs, different in type of coat, muzzle shape and other parameters, into independent breeds. After numerous trial and error, the Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Tibetan Terrier breeds were formed. In 1934, the first British monobreed club of Shih Tzu lovers was opened. In 1969, the breed was recognized in the United States, and then in all countries where dog breeding is developed.
The long-haired well-groomed Shih Tzu is a dog that always and everywhere attracts attention. A vivid contrast of decorative appearance and proud steps delight! It seems as if the baby does not know that she can barely be compared with a cat in size: weight from 4 to 8 kg, height up to 28 cm. The format is slightly stretched, the back is straight, even and strong. The legs are straight and slightly shortened, without curvature in or out, strong, gait graceful. Shih Tzu dogs should not seem overly coarse, angular and muscular, but you can’t name a thin-skinned typical representative of the breed.
Shit-zu's head should be round, with a wide cranial part and a short slightly upturned muzzle. The nostrils are necessarily well open, the dog breathes evenly, without hoarseness and hoarseness. One of the characteristics of the Shih Tzu breed is large, widely set eyes, almost round, but not convex. The look is expressive and thoughtful. Ears hanging, pressed to the head. The tail is thrown over the croup in a smooth arc, the apex of which is almost at the level of the skull.
But the main thing is that small dogs of the Shih Tzu breed captivate the hearts of lovers - it is flowing, even and warm coat to the floor. A long, graceful hair covers the entire body of the Shih Tzu, from the tip of the muzzle to the tip of the tail. Wool conceals ears that almost merge with the head. On the muzzle, the hair grows in different directions, which is very noticeable in puppies: because of this feature, shih tzu are called chrysanthemum dogs. And, as if giving away the eastern symbol to happiness, the breed standard allows Shih Tzu any colors - one-color, piebald, two-tone, with spots, with or without a mask.
Character and training
The temper of any dog is an explosive mixture of heredity, experience gained and the whole family's attitude to it. But shih tzu is a dog in the company of which it is especially noticeable: proud, independent and somewhere even touchy and stubborn, if you do not pay enough attention to the pet and affectionate, open and loving, if you communicate with the dog on equal terms, without trying to play the leader . Mirror, impartial and frank - the best characteristic of the Shih Tzu breed. These dogs subtly feel the true attitude towards themselves and respond with the same - indifference or affection.
Shih Tzu training is very difficult. On the one hand, these are smart and quick-witted doggies that can fulfill any command. On the other hand, Shih Tzu never forgets about its past, and thinks a hundred times whether it is worth obeying the meaningless desires of a person. A puppy of the Shih Tzu breed must be taught from childhood to training in the form of a game, without a shadow of coercion, without pressure and nerves. If the dog feels that they are trying to control it, it instantly loses interest in communication, closes and stops responding to commands.
Maintenance and care
The history of shih tzu, the description of the breed and the character of small cult dogs subtly hint to us - this is not a friend for lazy or busy people. Shih Tzu require special attention: daily wipe the face, make ponytails (so that the hair does not get into the eyes), monitor the cleanliness and condition of the eyes, teeth, anus. Shih tzu is a dog, the care of which should be fun, otherwise after a couple of months the beautiful doggie will turn into a miserable dirty creature.
The well-groomed long shih tzu coat is the pride of the owner. But a lush fur coat must be carefully looked after. Domestic shih tzu are bathed once a month, combed from once a day to once a week, depending on the lifestyle and general health of the pet. If there is no desire or opportunity, a shih tzu dog grooming will make it easier to care for your pet. The wool of an exhibition star is wound onto papillots and kept in condition with the help of expensive professional means.
In gratitude for the sufficient care, the pet will favorably treat children, cats, strangers and small animals. These are calm, quiet dogs, neat and clean. Shih Tzu are unobtrusive, prefer measured walks and quiet gatherings next to a man who has earned the right to be equal to a descendant of the lion dogs of Buddha himself.
With sufficient care, regular visits to the veterinarian and good heredity, Shih Tzu delight owners with endless optimism for up to 17 years or more. Common genetic problems - diseases of the eyes, ears, respiratory system, teeth.