......History of the Shih Tzu

     Shih Tzu - “Sheed- Zoo”, means “Lion Dog”.


                 Shih Tzu are considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Shih Tzus where once thought to have been made up of a mix with Pugs, Pekinese and Lhasa Apso . Recently they found bones showing the Shih Tzu where a different separate breed. Originating very closely to the wolf.

     In Tibet, the Ming Dynasty, had a palace full; of these treasured temple dogs. The princesses would horde these prize fur balls very closely; never  give away any and only breed the best; one with royal markings.


        Parti- colors where highly prized, however solids where acceptable also. The only picture of the princesses is with a solid Shih Tzu. Traditions and myths have always followed China's history threw out time.  One being; Yin and Yang (Black and White) believed to  keep the world in balance. Balance was everything -fitting together as equals and opposites; happiness and sadness; up and down; good and evil. 


          These little dogs became known for balance and holding a great spirit of the lion.


       China  prided its self in the breeding and raising of these dogs; that was suppose to be blessed by Buddha. Also called the Foo Dog, legion says the little dog turned into a lion to protect it'd master from robbers. The Foo dog was kissed on its forehead and praised for courage and loyalty. The dogs forehead turned pure white showing a blessing from Buddha for all to see. This mark was known as a royal marking and this brought great luck to who ever had one. Gold and white where also highly prized, because gold resembled the lion.


       Over time there where a few lion dogs given  to royal nobles from England that created a trust with the King of China. These knobbles would bring them back to England where there where no such dogs of this kind. There they became treasures and a companion going everywhere with a few royal families. Seen in many old photos with the Misses of the home, almost like a Status statement. At this time there where still so very few around.


     Sadly, Chinas had many wars and with the princesses dyeing the Eunice in charge of the Shih Tzu became careless with the records and care. The Shih Tzu almost became extinct.

      However England has acquired about a dozen dogs and managed to bring the breed back.  The rescue of today's Shih Tzu can all be traced back to 12 original Foo dogs acquired in England.  AKC first became recognized to in 1969. The Shih Tzu  Official A.K.C. Size 9-19 lbs



       Though the Shih Tzu resembles the lion , they are believed to have the spirit of one inside them. However, I only see, it has a sweet loving personality. They have confidence and are very rarely shy. Although, one maybe quieter than others, some maybe more curious: while others just  follow their owners from room to room.  When a Shih Tzu sleeps  they dream, and can make shallow noises as they play out the adventure in their sleep. I believe they dream they are that mighty lion, protector of there family .


         Shih Tzu want to be with people they are the perfect  house dog and will go outside for short period of time. They make fine alert dogs and will tell you when someone is at the door with a few barks. Other may  prefer to whine when they need your attention, they act like babies and soon become the center of the home. With every passing day you see new and wonderful traits that keep you always wanting a Shih Tzu in your life.


        Sonshine Shih Tzu will bring you happiness and joy  for many, many years. They have a life span of 10-17 years.


        Some say, "Shih Tzu is like a potato chips you can't only have one". We'll,  it is true once you have a taste of one, you need more. They are addicting and you enjoy having more and more of them around. Let us know if you need your first one or need to add to your collection.


   * Sonshine shih Tzu has put this page top together from her knowledge; we hope all is accurate, but may not reflect all history writings. Thanks.

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