History of Shih Tzu's
Shih Tzu’s, one of the most popular toy dog breeds, are known to make great pets. Small in size, they are able to live in any home, regardless of whether it has a garden. Their calm, friendly nature means that they’re good with other pets and children, as does their playful streak. Another reason Shih Tzu’s are such a popular breed is because they’re not as yappy as other toy dogs. The reason for this is because they weren’t bred to be protectors, they were bred to be companions.
Of course, that’s not all the history of the Shih Tzu; there’s much more to this breed than meets the eye. Genetic testing has shown that the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. Research has shown that it was originally bred in Tibet to look like a mini lion, as it name states. The lion is a big part of Buddhist mythology, which is what links the Shih Tzu to being bred by Buddhist lamas. Research has found remains of a Shih Tzu type dog from 10,000 years ago. As well as paintings of dogs that look like the breed that date as far back as the 1500’s.
These cute little lap dogs are surrounded by myths, one of which is that they are incarnations of household gods. Another common belief was that Shih Tzu’s carried the souls of lamas that were yet to reach nirvana and spiritual enlightenment.
Shih Tzu’s got their name when they were presented to Chinese imperial rulers. They were also given a second name, chrysanthemum dog because their hair grows in all directions like the petals of a flower. It was in China that Shih Tzu’s began to be stylised as they are today. With clothes made for them and their hair styled.
Throughout the imperial rule of China, Shih Tzu’s were given to foreigners as gifts. This meant that when imperial rule ended, and the dogs disappeared from China, they continued to be bred from just 14 of the original dogs. This means that in some way or another, all modern Shih Tzu’s are related.
In World War Two, the breed’s development was interrupted. However, it survived, and the Shih Tzu breed began to thrive again post-war in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In 1969, the breed was recognised by The Kennel Club as being of pedigree standard, and today competes in shows all over the world. Shih Tzu’s are renowned across the globe for having the head of a lion, the round face of an owl, and the torso of a bear.
Today, the Shih Tzu breed is popular across the world, but especially in the UK and the US. Renowned for being friendly, smart, and laid back, Shih Tzu’s have become popular pets as well as show dogs. There are various ways Shih Tzu’s are styled; some have their long hair tied up. While others have all their hair cropped off. There are both pedigree and mixed versions of this breed, with each dog priced accordingly.