Shih Tzu may be one of the most common pet dogs in the planet. We see them around a lot – carried by their owners like babies, walking down the park, or stock up in the pet store. They are definitely gifted with the cutie gene and there is no denying that they really do well with humans. You may think you know them since they are all around, but there are may be some things you don’t know about this interesting furballs. Here are some of them.
1. Their names literally means “lion dog” and their original Chinese name is Shih Tzu Kou, where the Kou means “son” or “child”. The Kou was dropped off since popularization of the breed in Europe.
2. Shih tzu are regal dogs and stubbornness is expected from them. They served as house pets during the Ming dynasty in China and have been seen accompanying monks in the Imperial Palace.
3. All the modern Shih Tzu today can be traced back to 14 original Shih Tzu adopted by General Douglas and Lady Bownright in England. The couple saved the Shih Tzu from extinction and brought 14 of them in the UK, where they gained popularity all over Europe.
4. The Shih Tzu popularity in the United States is caused by World War II and the soldiers coming home from war from European theater. They brought some Shih Tzu back in the US with them, thus leading to the spread of the breed.
5. Today, the Shih tzu is one of the most registered dogs, if not in the world, in the United States. Statistics have been consistent by showing Shih Tzu breed on the top 10 most registered.
6. The Shih Tzu are also called chrysanthemum dogs because of the shape of their faces and the contour of their facial hair. Chrysanthemum is a flower which also has an important role and symbol in the Chinese culture.
7. Shih Tzu have hair, instead of fur. They have hair just like humans that’s why it is important that the hair is brushed daily to avoid mat formation.
8. Mariah Carey owns two Shih Tzu named Bing and Bong while tech guru Bill gates has a Shih Tzu named Ballmer.
9. This breed is very prone to eye problems since they have protruding eyeballs and they have long hair on the face. It is important to keep the facial hair short and groomed so avoid contact with the eyes that lead to drying, irritation and ulceration.
10. Shih Tzu don’t need a lot of exercise. Walking around the house and playing with you is already enough to keep them stimulated and their metabolism in check.