If you’re looking for a small, friendly dog that makes a good family companion, the Shih Tzu could be just what you need. The Shih Tzu is a friendly dog, and is also known for its long coat. Their long, flowing locks make them favourite show dogs, and many people like to keep them around the home just to help make the place look good. Although friendly around those that they know and love, they can be unsure of strangers. This can make them a good sentinel as they like to take up vantage points where they can see people coming and going, alerting their owners to the presence of visitors.
In addition to being friendly toward family members, they also get on well with other pets around the home. They are also very good around young children, which is particularly important for young families. They are not a demanding dog, with low exercise requirements, and are generally more than happy to live in small apartments. This helps to make them great companions for senior citizens or anybody that may be restricted in their movements. They are not entirely maintenance free, though, as their long coats need regular grooming.
As you might expect from such an interesting breed, there are some fascinating facts surrounding them.
Shih Tzu Fact #10: The Shih Tzu is an Ancient Breed
Many breeds of dog that we see today had been developed in the last few hundred years or so. We often know the circumstances for them being conceived as a breed, and sometimes even know the individual people involved, and the individual animals that founded the breed. The Shih Tzu breed, however, is so old that not that much is known about its origins. We can tell by their DNA, though, that they are an ancient breed and are, believe it or not, closely related to wolves.
They are thought to be descendants of a short breed referred to an ‘under the table dog’, that lived around 3,000 years ago. The Shih Tzu breed as we know it today is at least 1000 years old, and they could be a lot older than that. Paintings dating from around 500CE have been found depicting what are thought to be Shih Tzus. Some records also indicate that the dogs were gifted to the Byzantine Empire by the Chinese.