Discover 10 fascinating facts about the Shih-Tzu, one of UK's most beloved breeds. These charming dogs are perfect family pets with unique features!
Shih Tzu almost went extinct during the Chinese Communist Revolution after the death of Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi, who supervised their breeding.
In Chinese Ming and Manchu Dynasties, Shih Tzus were exclusive property of royal court. Commoners caught with one faced death sentence.
Chinese noblewomen used Shih Tzus to keep warm in winter. They carried them inside their robes, used them as bed warmers, and trained them to lie on their feet to keep their toes warm.
The Shih Tzu breed standards differ between the UK Kennel Club and American Kennel Club. American Shih Tzus have bigger eyes and rounder heads.
Shih Tzu originated in Tibet and became popular in China, prized by royal family, who received them as gifts from Tibetan monks. 2,000-year-old tapestries depict Shih Tzus.
The Shih Tzu's origin is uncertain. Popular theory suggests it's a cross between Pekingese and Lhasa Apso, but the exact breeding is unknown.
Chinese prized Shih Tzu so much that they didn't trade or gift them for years. First arrived in England & Norway in 1930s, USA in 1960s; became hugely popular.
The Shih Tzu's name derives from the Chinese word for "lion" and they were bred to resemble lions depicted in traditional Oriental art.
Shih Tzu owned by celebs like Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Colin Farrell, and Bill Gates.
Shih Tzu: "Xi Shi Dog" in Mandarin named after ancient beauty, "Chrysanthemum Dog" in UK & "Lion Dog" for its resemblance to the animal.