Toy Shih Tzu is one of the many varieties of toy dogs, which are tiny stature and have winsome expressions and very popular with city dwellers especially those with small living spaces. Toy Shih Tzu are ideal for apartment dogs and on nippy nights are perfect lap warmers. Toy Shih Tzu minimizes problems caused by dogs that are bigger in sizes such as shedding creating messes and the cost of care and food. Toy dogs are easier to control compared to bigger canines.
Toy Shih Tzu Origin
Toy Shih Tzu is said to have originated from Tibet where the monks were breeding a lion-like dog that was small. The dogs were kept in the temples and were bred because the monks believed that Buddha always walked with a small sized dog that could sometimes turn into a lion and Buddha rode on its back to earth.
Toy Shih Tzu was given to Chinese emperor as a present, and it became a suitable royal companion to the royal family mainly due to its small size and its beautiful hair. It was illegal for the lower Chinese classes to own them. Dowager Empress Tzu is known to breed Toy Shih Tzu as she considered them sacred. She gave some of the dogs to the English who popularized the breed to the western world.
Toy Shih Tzu Physical Appearance
Toy Shih Tzu have a height that ranges from 9 to 10.5 inches and weight that ranges between 9 to 16 pounds. The dogs have a little black nose. The abundant beard and mustache grow from the nose of the Toy Shih Tzu upwards giving the dog a face that looks like a chrysanthemum. The Toy Shih Tzu’s eyes are large, round and are wide set. On most dogs, the eyes are dark colored, but on the blue and liver dogs, they are lightly colored.
The Toy Shih Tzu have a short and squared muzzle with no wrinkles and small ears which are the size of a pendant. The ears are covered by hair and a high-set tail that curls over the back and thickly plumed with hair.
Toy Shih Tzu Coat
Toy Shih Tzu have a long and thick coat with many bright color variation of at least seven colors with up to three shades at a time. These colors include black, white, gold, brindle, liver, red, blue and silver. Liver color ranges from light red, cream colored, orange, to deep chocolate. Some Toy Shih Tzu may have green eyes. Toy Shih Tzu color may change as they grow older according to their genes. Toy Shih Tzu with “G” gene fade their coat colors with time, and their coats become of a lighter color. Toy Shih Tzu with Chinchilla gene (CH series) gray their coats with time and turn silver.
Advantages of Toy Shih Tzu
Toy Shih Tzu have several advantages compared to dogs that are bigger in size. The advantages include less outdoor exercises compared to the bigger dogs, being peaceful with other pets and the fact that they shed less fur and therefore they are not hypoallergenic.
Disadvantages of Toy Shih Tzu
Toy Shih Tzu are stubborn at times causing difficulty in housebreaking. The regular brushing, combing, and shearing of their coat are tedious and costly. Health problems due to their unnaturally short face can be very expensive.