Super Cool Shih Tzus
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Activity Level: Moderate
Coat: Long, Wavy
Temperament: Alert, Playful, Affectionate
Information / Facts: The Shih Tzu is a small dog, typically weighing between eight and 16 pounds when fully grown. This breed of dog is recognized by its long, silky double coat and slight underbite, as well as its tail that is heavily clad with fur and curls over the top of the dog's back. The Shih Tzu breed is believed to have originated in China around the 9th century. Many experts say that the Shih Tzu is a cross of the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese, while other experts believe the Shih Tzu as we know it today has some Pug in its bloodlines. The Shih Tzu is very alert, but also very head-strong, and needs a strong pack leader who can set boundaries and enforce them. This breed of dog is very affectionate and social, but can have a short temper when provoked, so it is wise to be cognizant of the dog's mood and remove irritants from the area when possible.
Pros: The Shih Tzu is considered to be a hypoallergenic breed of dog, so it is a great companion for those who have allergies to other pets. This dog's small size makes it great for those who live in small spaces, such as apartments and condos. The small size of this dog also makes it an ideal companion for the elderly or families with small children. The Shih Tzu is also very friendly and affectionate, making it a good choice for all owners, but especially those with younger children or family members with special needs.
Cons: The Shih Tzu may be affected by several hereditary health issues. These conditions include hypothyroidism, which can be treated through the use of medication. Invertebral disk disease in the spine, and dysplasia of the hips is also common. In addition, the Shih Tzu may have breathing problems due to the way the airway is designed.