If you’re looking for a little dog that is quite lovable, you may just find what you want in the Shih Tzu. They are a loyal companion dog that has been bred specifically for that purpose. When you have one in your home, you will find that they are following you from one room to another and there is going to be no escape from their constant companionship. In more recent years, they have also been used for specialized training in obedience and agility competitions.
The origin of the Shih Tzu is somewhat mysterious but it is known that they are a very ancient breed. In fact, it is thought that they are among the 14 oldest breeds of dogs, as bones have been uncovered in China from thousands of years ago. It was thought that they may have been developed by monks and given to Chinese royalty and the breed we are familiar with today is likely a combination of those ancient dogs that were bred with Pekingese or the Lhasa Apso. They were a lapdog then and they tend to be a lapdog now.
The Shih Tzu has plenty of personality but it typically shows through in the fact that they are willing to do anything to gain your approval. They will commonly be found sitting on your lap and will very rarely be any further than a few feet away from you at any given time. Don’t expect them to go out of their way to impress you with tricks, they are just there to give affection and they do so in a large measure. That being said, they are also a lively breed and will certainly let you know when something is not quite right.
One of the more common problems that are experienced by the Shih Tzu is a difficulty with allergies. This can happen to many different types of dogs and could be associated with inhalants, contact allergies or food. Another problem that they have is associated with the eye because they tend to have eyes that bulge. Other common problems include ear infections, bladder stones, skin infections and reverse sneezing.
In almost every case, the Shih Tzu will appreciate any location, provided it is close to you. They can live in a small apartment, a large home or any area where their master is nearby. Some daily exercise is always a good idea as it helps to keep them healthy but they don’t need to run for an hour or more like other, more active breeds of dogs. The Shih Tzu tends to be acrobatic as far as jumps are concerned and they don’t have a fear of heights, so be sure to hold on to them tightly when carrying them.
When you want a constant companion, you will always find it available with the loyal Shih Tzu. They can be a welcome part in any size family but once you have one in your household, you will never have an empty lap again.