Breed Priorities Shih Tzu

By Nikki Riggsbee

The Shih Tzu (meaning Lion Dog) began in Tibet and became a treasured dog of royalty in China. Some suggest it may have been the product of other Chinese/Tibetan breeds such as the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese. The breed arrived in the United States from Europe in the mid-twentieth century. it currently ranks 20th in AKC registration.

The Shih Tzu's popularity surely derives from its primary job as a delighted companion, good with children and other pets. Its temperament is happy, even tempered, and loving. It is beautiful and glamorous as well as great companion, with its long flowing coat.

The Shih Tzu provided a challenge in doing a survey of their breed priorities because normal show photos pose the Shih Tzu facing the camera to show off their heads and expressions. It was very difficult to find photos of the dogs standing in full profile to outline for the survey. Many thanks to the Shih Tzu folks who helped find enough suitable photos for this project.

Many other breeds also pose the dogs facing the camera. Let me solicit photos here of those facing-camera breeds we haven't done surveys for, with the dogs in full profile. High quality typical dogs in high resolution photos are needed for Affenpinschers, Maltese, and Yorkshire Terriers - with the dog in full profile including the head.

We found thirty-three Shih Tzu breeder-judges and mentors. Twenty-four of them accepted the invitation to take a survey on their breed priorities. By the deadline, fifteen surveys were received. This group has been in the breed nearly forty years on average. Those who are judges have been judging their breed for over twenty-two years on average.

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