The Shih Tzu's asian ancestors were the most ancient of domesticated breeds, making them one of the oldest breeds in extistence today. Shih Tzu are extremely people oriented always on the laps of people as companions. Shih Tzu's ancestors date back more than 3,000 years as the smallest and oldest of Tibetan "holy dogs". The Shih Tzu has had many names: lion dog, holy dog, royal dog, foo dog, chrysanthemum dog, Tibetan lion/holy dog, tribute dog... Around the late fourteenth century they where called the Shih Tzu.
The Shih Tzu is a compact, solid, sturdy dog. Low to the ground, but never appear squatty. A well balanced Shih Tzu is slightly longer then she is tall. Shih Tzu's have a round, broad domed head, generous space between the eyes giving them a soft sweet expression, baby like. Shih Tzu's always have a wide eyed friendly and trusting appearance, large expressive round dark eyes. The muzzle should have a definite stop and set no lower than the bottom eyelids. Muzzle is square unwrinkled and short, no longer than a inch. Ears are large, heavily coated and set below the crown of the skull. Jaw is broad and wide, lips should meet evenly. The teeth and tonque should not be visible when mouth is closed, slightly misaligned teeth are not uncommon. The Shih Tzu is an aristocratic, noble dog with a well balanced appearance. The tail is set high heavily plumed and carried over the back. Legs are straight, strong and feet point forward. Movement should be smooth, effortless and flowing. Shih Tzu's come in a variety of colors and markings, all colors are permissible. Coat should be luxurious dense double coated long and flowing.
Shih Tzu Personality: Playful, Friendly, outgoing, inquisitive, affectionate, sweet, arrogant, loves to be with people, loves to be picked up, carried, cuddled and pampered. loves to greet others, interested in new sights and sounds and investigates.