This breed of Tibetan origin is one of those that we consider “lap dog” since its inception. That is to say, it never fulfilled any other function than that of being a companion and oriented to an indoor life and to which a more sophisticated care was dedicated than to other dogs that carried out a task focused on work.

They lived their golden age during the Ming dynasty in China (from 1368 to 1644 of the common era), where they were the favorite company of royalty, as revealed by the tapestries that we preserve made by court artists and that showed the emperors and their family with dogs like the shih tzu.

Although we associate the Shih Tzu with China, and not without reason, since they developed the modern breed, we know for sure from canine genomic studies that the predecessor of this breed comes from what was a sovereign nation until 1950. The Dalai Lama These dogs were sent as gifts to Chinese royalty, who crossed them with Pekingese and Pugs to create the modern breed.

During the Chinese Revolution of 1949 the Shih Tzu breed almost disappeared, although the reasons are not clear. One hypothesis suggests that the followers of Mao Tse Tsung killed almost all the shih tzu for representing a symbol of wealth and social difference. Another hypothesis associates its radical decline with the death of the members of the royal families, who were, after all, those who dedicated themselves to the breeding of this breed that was not available to anyone. Be that as it may, only fourteen shih tzu survived, having been imported into England and Scandinavia between 1928 and 1952, seven males and seven females, which were used to reconstruct the breed and whose link to each can still be traced today. pedigree of modern shit tzus.

They require a lot of dedication to the care of their long mane
Although their hair, incredibly long and that never stops growing, and their size, suggest that they are an ideal breed to live in arms or for sedentary people, the truth is that the shih tzu is an energetic and vigorous breed, with several specimens to their credit they have won first championship titles in agility for small breeds.

They are very affectionate dogs with their family nucleus and are compatible with small children and also when living with other animals, but they are reserved and arrogant with strangers. Its double and very long coat needs daily care through brushing, as well as picking up or trimming the hair on the fringe to help them have good vision and not develop health problems.

The shih tzu has a particularity that has given it the name “chrysanthemum face” due to the way in which facial hair grows from the base of the nose or nose.

As it is a breed that went through that aforementioned “bottleneck” with very few surviving specimens to recover it, and that we are talking about a brachycephalic dog, with all the problems that this entails, it must be noted that it is a breed with a long list of associated genetic diseases such as meningoencephalitis, cardiac disorders or retinal detachment. We remember that acquiring dogs through unreliable sources and outside the legal circuit of registered breeders and that comply with the legislation, increases the probability that we will find an animal that develops any of these diseases. For this reason, we recommend contacting the Royal Canine Society of Spain or another canine organization such as the Kennel Club of Spain for more information or to locate breeders that provide health guarantees and breeding under animal welfare parameters.

We suggest that responsible adoption be valued. Dissemination groups on social networks such as SOS Shih Tzu Spain can help us give a second and we trust, definitive opportunity, to some shih tzu or their crosses that are looking for a home.

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