A Mini Shih Tzu is a tiny dog that looks like a toy. The Chinese called it a chrysanthemum dog because of its luxurious silky coat, which on its snout resembled the corolla of a lush chrysanthemum. The name of the breed is translated from Chinese as lion cub. According to legend, the little dog was a companion of Buddha in his wanderings around the world. If they encountered danger along the way, the doggie would transform into a fearsome lion and protect the Awakened One.
History of origin
Scientists managed to trace material traces of shih tzu all the way back to the 16th century. Engravings and miniatures of this period show dogs that look very similar to modern shih tzu. But in some ancient scrolls they were mentioned as far back as 624 AD. .
There are various versions of shih tzu origin. According to one of them, the breed was bred by crossing several breeds – the Lhasa Apso bred in Tibet more than 2 centuries ago and the Pekinese, an equally ancient breed. The breed antiquity is confirmed by the research data published in 2004. According to them, shih tzu is a member of the group of 14 ancient dog breeds, and its genetic material has much in common with its ancestor, the wolf.
In 1653 during visit of Dalai-lama V to Celestial Empire for exchange of titles he has presented to emperor some strange lion-dogs which at once became not only favorites of a court, but also a symbol of authority, object of worship. Hidden and carefully guarded in the depths of the emperor’s luxurious palace in Beijing, the dogs never left it until the 1930s.
According to another version, the shih tzu was presented to the Norwegian ambassador, who introduced such a rare animal to Europe. The breed was recognized in 1934 by British dog-breeders, in 1940 the AKS (American Kennel Club) included mini tzu in its register of purebred dogs.
Mini Shih Tzu breed description
Despite the existence of different prefixes to the name of the breed, there is one approved FCI standard number 208 for the Shih Tzu. According to the standard, the appearance of the shih tzu must meet the following parameters:
- Skull large, rounded. The foot is pronounced. The face is flat, wide, somewhat square in shape. The length from the mirror of the nose to the foot is 2,5 cm. There are no wrinkles on the muzzle.
- The nose is straight or somewhat elevated (snub nose). The upper edge of the mirror should be on the same line or slightly below the edge of the lower eyelid. The speculum is large, with well open nostrils, black in color. In dogs of solid or spotted brown color, the pigmentation of the nose should be in tone with the basic color.
- Teeth are small, white. The jaws are broad, strong with a pinched bite. A slight overbite is allowed.
- The eyes are large, widely spaced, the highest point of the curve of the eyeball is flush with the eye socket (not convex). The shape is oval, the iris color is dark. Dogs with light-colored coat may have lighter color iris. When looking straight ahead whites of the eyes are not visible.
- Ears are big and floppy. The bend is located below the upper edge of the skull. They are covered with long ornamental hair, so they blend in with the “mane”.
- The neck is long enough with a nice curve that allows the doggie to hold its head regally.
- The torso is strong, bunched, somewhat oblong. The back is straight, broad, and sturdy. The chest is broad, heavily drooping.
- The limbs are short, with a strong backbone and good musculature. The torso is parallel under the body. The paws are rounded, strongly pubescent, with dark, sturdy pads.
- The tail is long, high erect, abundantly pubescent. The tail is kept erect so that it is flush with the top of the head.
Shih-tzu moves smoothly, as if flowing, proudly carrying a head decorated with abundant hair. The raised tail visually balances the doggie, making it look elegant and sophisticated.
The difference between a standard shih tzu and a mini is in weight. The height of the dog should not exceed 27 cm. The weight of a standard dog is 4.5-7.5 kg, while a mini dog is less than 4.5 kg. Only the dog at the age of 15 months, not exceeding 4.5 kg, can be considered a Mini Shih Tzu. Such a “baby” is a breed defect and may not participate in further breeding.
Quality of coat and colors
Wool is long with little undercoat. Hair shaft is straight, slight wavy is possible. Hair on the head should not interfere with the dog’s vision, and on the body and limbs – to move.
In shih tzu, all colors are allowed. Today, breeders have received many colors that were not found in shih tzu. While previously the most common were golden-white, black-and-white or brown-gold-and-white dogs, now, in addition to tiger, blue and solid white, there is a rare one – silver. It is a variation of sable, but strongly lightened. There are single specimens of deep black color.
Character and temper
Obviously, the centuries spent in the palace of the emperor, in worship and surrounded by their own servants is not in vain. If the master is “weak in spirit,” he will soon be a servant to the doggie. Missed time for fostering will be difficult to make up for later.
Since the breed was bred to become a human companion, interior decorator and eye candy, it has no serious purpose. It won’t become a hunter, guardian, or watchdog. A shih tzu is an excellent companion. She has a fun, playful, kind character.
Tits are great with all family members, willing to participate in the fun of children and teenagers. To the tiny dog, all people look like giants, so they do not distinguish between a small child and a large child. Cynologists advise against leaving two babies unattended – a dog in the heat of the game can hurt a child.
Shih Tzu easily gets along with pets. Judging by the way the “lion cub” behaves in the presence of a cat or another dog, it is not the result of an easy-going character, but rather of indulgence and disdain. The “regal person” does not think it necessary to condescend to mewling animals nearby. However, when faced with other dogs in the street, this position can be abandoned, and the “lion cub” will bravely rush to defend his beloved owner.
The tiny shih tzu has an explosive character and a strong will, while at the same time, it is very affectionate, sociable and good-natured. Such a “mixture” is still complemented by:
- high intelligence;
- Attention (including the psychological mood of their loved ones);
- a sense of humor.
Lack of parenting is bad for a shih tzu’s character. The owner who does not take the time to educate can get a little tyrant with an angelic appearance.
Training and Education
Shih Tzu training does not include the training of any “dog profession”, so it is feasible even for a novice dog trainer. His intelligence and quick wit allow him to quickly learn a minimum of commands, especially if the training is playful, reinforced with rewards and not boring.
Each course should take a little time so he won’t tire himself out. It is impossible to treat such a baby cruelly, and it will not tolerate rudeness, diktat. You should not try to “break” the character of a lion cub. The dog will fully cooperate if you find a common language with him, treat him respectfully, with love and patiently achieve the goal.
Puppy should be trained from an early age. The course should include: teaching the skills of defecation in a strictly defined place, accustoming to the behavior in the apartment or house, mastering the prohibitive commands that will keep the baby from the dangers of injury.
In addition, shih tzu has an unpleasant characteristic – the desire to eat feces. Forbidding commands will teach you how to curb the habit. Mastering standard commands usually begins at 1 year of age. After 12 months of age, you can teach the doggie some tricks. This will give an opportunity to keep her in good physical shape and develop her intellectual abilities.
Care and health
The luxurious long hair of a shih tzu requires careful care. To keep it from falling into tangles and looking well groomed, it needs to be gently brushed every day, starting from the hindquarters. Before brushing, the hair should be moistened with conditioner and brushed carefully in the direction of growth.
If one can see areas of tangled hair or tangles, they should be wet with the conditioner and left for several minutes, and then disassembled and combed out, holding the “strand” at its base. A massage brush is used for the procedure. The final “touch” is put using a comb with long teeth.
In addition, shih tzu should be washed only with a special shampoo for a long coat, and after that use a conditioner that prevents the accumulation of static electricity and tangling of the coat. Puppies should be washed once every 2-3 weeks. Adult dogs should be bathed less often – once every 2 months, if it is not a show specimen.
Many owners prefer to make their pets short haircuts to facilitate care. A trip to the salon should be planned once every 2 months, then the “chrysanthemum” will have a neat, smooth coat.
The longest strands on the head of the doggie are on the vertex. To avoid them blocking the animal’s view, they should be tied with bows or ribbons. You should make sure that the hair was not too tight. You can use hairpins for hairstyles. They, unlike rubber bands, are much easier to remove. Mustache and beard must be removed before you eat, otherwise you will have to wash and comb them after the meal.
The pet’s ears and eyes require special care. The peculiarities of the structure of organs and breed diseases often cause inflammation. To prevent them, ears and eyes should be inspected and cleaned regularly.
Due to the characteristic structure of the baby’s jaws, underbite can be observed, which leads to poor natural cleaning of the dentition. To prevent dental problems in a doggie, his teeth should be cleaned regularly and checked.
The dog’s feet should also be cared for. Periodically you should trim his claws and clean the hair between his toes. Small dogs can injure themselves by jumping off couches, chairs or stairs. It is recommended to keep an eye on your dog and take him down, and if you need to traverse stairs, carry him in your arms.
The Shih Tzu is a sturdy dog with fairly good health. The most common diseases from which the little “lion cubs” suffer are:
- Eye diseases: eversion and eversion of the eyelid, cataracts, retinal detachment, conjunctivitis, keratitis, aberrant cilia;
- diseases of the spine;
- heart problems;
- fungal skin lesions.
Because of the structure of the skull and jaw, the Shih Tzu may have breathing problems, early loss of incisors, and tartar buildup.
The shih tzu has an excellent appetite and is not prone to food allergies, so it is best to feed them natural food. Their diet should include:
- boiled saltwater fish;
- Boiled quail or chicken eggs;
- Lightly poached meat – rabbit, beef;
- Kashi – rice, buckwheat and oatmeal (with milk for puppies)
- cottage cheese;
- Vegetables and fruits (for puppies, it is better to make vegetable puree with the addition of vegetable oil or sour cream).
Do not include in the diet:
- fatty meat, pork;
- Raw offal;
- Fish with small bones in the river;
- Corn grits;
- Pulses and soybeans.
Under the strictest prohibition are: sweets, smoked meats, baked goods. At natural feeding it is necessary to add vitamin and mineral complexes. If an adult “lion cub” is fed with dry food, it must be appropriate for the growth of the dog and be of good quality. The portion size and portion size is calculated depending on the age of the pooch.
Keeping a dog
Shih Tzu is an indoor dog, which does not tolerate overheating and overcooling. Therefore, the sleeping place should be located away from drafts or heating devices. Cot should be equipped with a comfortable, medium-hard mattress with removable cover. Doggies like to be in constant contact with their owners. If there is such a possibility, the sleeping place can be placed next to your bed.
The mischievous, playful shih tzu should have different toys that not only train the jaws, but also provide food for the mind. The eating area is equipped with bowls for food and water. They should be as wide and as low as possible so that when the dog is eating he doesn’t get soaked and swallow air.
For those owners who cannot provide regular walks 1-2 times a day, it is worth thinking about a home toilet. For this purpose, a cat litter box or a diaper will do. But it is more natural to move this process outdoors, so with a shih tzu, you need to take regular walks.
Although small dogs don’t require intensive training and long walks, playing outdoors will benefit pets. Especially since the agile, active, energetic shih tzu will gladly accompany its owner on jogs, walks, or trips.
The cost of puppies
Shih Tzu is quite a popular breed in any country, so there are no difficulties with the acquisition of a puppy either. But the popularity and a large number of kennels is not reflected in the price of puppies. It ranges from $750 to $3000. The price depends on the rarity of color and destination.
Mini Shih Tzu photos
Video about mini shih tzu
With the purchase of a Mini Shih Tzu puppy, you will have to wait by signing up for a waiting list in advance, as these puppies are very rare to be born. Moreover, when buying a puppy, you can’t be sure he won’t grow up to be a normal-sized dog.
Shih Tzu is an amazing dog, this small but strong body contains the spirit and courage of a fierce lion. The dog is fearless, noble, and as brave as a lion.