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A Brief History of Shih Tzu

Lion-like dogs like Shih Tzu (pronounced in the West “sheed-zoo” or “sheet-su”; the Chinese say “sher-zer”) existed in China for many centuries. In fact, the Chinese characters for "Shih Tzu" means lion. Weighing between 9 to 16 pounds, and standing between 8 and 11 inches, are surprisingly solid for dogs their size. The coat, which comes in many colors, is worth the time you will put into it—few dogs are as beautiful as a well-groomed Shih Tzu.

Being cute is a way of life for this lively charmer. The Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children. As a small dog bred to spend most of their day inside royal palaces, they make a great pet if you live in an apartment or lack a big backyard. Some dogs live to dig holes and chase cats, but a Shih Tzu’s idea of fun is sitting in your lap acting adorable as you try to watch TV. 


The Shih Tzu originated somewhere in Asia, most likely Tibet, although it’s not known exactly where or when they first showed up. One theory holds that they resulted from crossing Lhasa Apsos with Pekingese.

Regardless of where they first came from, they became favorites of the Chinese royal family toward the end of the 17th century. Those royals refused to part with these dogs under any circumstances, which often frustrated their Western trade partners.  They wouldn’t make their way out of China until 1930, when the first pair landed in England. It’s a good thing, too, as they went extinct in the country after the Communist Revolution.

After World War II, many American service members traveled home with Shih Tzus in tow, which helped popularize them in the United States. They certainly caught on like wildfire after the 1950's, as they’re now one of the most commonly-owned dogs in America.

Glamorous Little Companions

While Shih Tzu's may not be suited for hard labor, their stunning coats make them the perfect accessory for stylish owners. Those coats can be found in a wide array of colors, so each dog looks unique and distinctive.

They do need quite a bit of grooming, but their beauty makes all that hard work worthwhile. The only question that remains is, whether you’re comfortable having a dog that will upstage you at every opportunity.


Therefore, if you don't mind not being the center of attention and allowing your Shih Tzu to become a magnet for complements and admiration by persons around you, then a Southern Magnolia Shih Tzu baby is for you. 

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