Where Are Shih Tzu Dogs From?

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Where are Shih Tzu dogs from? It can be irritating when people assume that the Shih Tzu dogs are from China and they are not.

It’s even more annoying when they insist. Usually, one is left wondering if such a person is a dog expert. Most owners get irritated when such people pick fights about the dog's origin. However, anybody insisting that Shih Tzu dogs are from China is wrong.

Shih Tzu dogs originated from Tibet. They are also currently prevalent in China and all over the world. Different breeding techniques have all been used over time, explaining why there are different variations of the dog's breed globally. However, the Shih Tzu is originally from Tibet.

Breeding plays a vital role in making the Shih Tzu what they are today. However, their beauty doesn't just happen. A lot of grooming is involved, and their owner must work hard to keep them cute.

You can learn everything there is to know about the Shih Tzu dog here. Keep reading to uncover more fascinating details.

In this article

‍Where are Shih Tzu Dogs From?

Shih Tzu is originally from Tibet. So forget what you may have heard about the dog being from China or Japan. Despite being highly associated with China, the Shih Tzu dogs are from China's neighbor Tibet.

Tibetans' likely sent Shih Tzu dogs to China as royal gifts. As a result, the Chinese bred them together with pugs and Pekingese. The outcome is today's Shih Tzu.

What Was the Shih Tzu's Major Role?

Shih Tzus were used in the Chinese emperor's palace back in the day. Their role was to bark whenever people approached. Their barking would serve as an alert whenever unwanted visitors approached.

However, Shih Tzu moved from a working dog to a companion. They became the emperor's favorite companions.

What is the Meaning of Shih Tzu?

The Chinese meaning of Shih Tzu is a lion. Therefore, Shih Tzu was bred to resemble a lion dog. The dog was a form of traditional oriental art.

What is the History of the Shih Tzu Dog?

The dog first originated from Tibet, which can be traced back to the 17 century, and was the smallest of Lhasa Apsos in the region. They were majorly used as a gift for Chinese emperors.

The dog was bred and improved in China to become the modern-day Shih Tzu. However, most people get confused about the dog's history because the Chinese name means lion dog.

The confusion comes about because lion dogs are commonly associated with the Pekingese breed.

The Chinese took over the dog's breeding. Then, with the arrival of the British, the breed found a way out of Asia to England. Later the breed eventually got to the United States.

Unfortunately, none of the original stock exists today. The communist takeover in China saw to this. However, the breed somehow survived through cross-breeding.

Who Brought the Shih Tzu to the U.S.

The first instance of the Shih Tzu existing in China was when the British brought them to England. American soldiers stationed in England then took them back to the U.S. It all happened back in the 1940s and 1950s.

Currently, many people own the breed. In addition, they seem to be a favorite among celebrities. It’s not surprising considering the dog's friendly nature, making them great companions even during the loneliest times.

Celebrities love that this is a glamorous dog. Their coats make them glamorous and adorable.

However, underneath the coat is an athletic and muscular body. These dogs are bred to be athletic and sporty. As a result, they are some of the few dogs that do well as far as agility performance is concerned.

How Old is the Shih Tzu Breed?

Well, most dog breeds are not very old because of what breeders have done over time.

However, the Shih Tzu is over1000 years old. Documented ancestry records date back to 1000 B.C.

What are the Different Breeds Mixed to Create the Modern Day Shih Tzu?

There are different variations of the Shih Tzu today. Here are some of the few you will come across.

However, there are over forty different mixed breeds of the Shih Tzu. Below are some of the most popular.

· Shih Poo: A mix of a toy poodle +Shih Tzu.

· Affen Tzu: Mix of Affenpinscher + Shih Tzu.

· Aussie Tzu: Mix of Shih Tzu + Australian Shepherd.

· Shih Mo: Mix of Shih Tzu + American Eskimo Dog.

You can get the Shih Tzu in any of the mixed breeds. They are equally good as the original breeds, only with different features from the mixed breeds.

How Would you Rate Shih Tzu's Smart Levels?

It would be best if you got a dog that is smart enough. Intelligence matters regardless of whether you want a working dog or a good companion.

Unfortunately, experts believe that the Shih Tzu is not one of the smartest dogs. They appear to have one of the lowest working intelligence and obedience levels compared to other dogs.

However, the dogs have their perks despite not being great work dogs or the best in obedience training. They are a great breed as far as human emotions are concerned. Consequently, they make an excellent companion.

How to Measure Shih Tzu's Intelligence

Existing methods of measuring a dog's intelligence are not necessarily the best. Some smart dogs get the dumb label when they are smart differently. This is the case with Shih Tzus.

The 1994 Stanely Coren smart measurement scale is based on the dog's obedience level. This criterion depended on the dog's ability to learn new tricks. The more a dog obeyed these commands, the higher their intelligence level.

Such assessments are biased since dogs are much more than obedience training. The Shih Tzu needs more time to master some of the commands since they are not the fastest learner.

Some owners have also revealed that their dogs may be great at adaptive intelligence. For example, most of them claim that their dogs can communicate. Usually, the dog learns to communicate so that people can easily understand.

For instance, when they need to eat or drink, a Shih Tzu will bother the owners until they respond. Most of these dogs will pull on their owner's clothes and have them follow. Once they arrive at the feeding bowl, they will gesture to the empty bowl until the owner adds food or water.

Would You Rate the Shih Tzu as a Lover?

There is a good reason why Shih Tzu dogs are great companions. They are said to have excellent emotional interpretation skills. This makes them great with humans since they can match human needs.

While they are not hunters, the Shih Tzu are great lovers. You could best describe them as loving, happy-go dogs. They are most affectionate and love to be around people all the time.

You should not be surprised if your dog follows you from one room to another. These dogs love the attention and will work hard to cheer you up. What's more, they are comfortable around people.

After all, they are accustomed to sitting on people's laps. They have done this for years since the days of emperors.

What can be Said About Shih Tzu's Barking?

These dogs generally have no behavioral issues except for their barking. However, their barking can easily be considered uncontrollable. It is almost as if they enjoy the barking.

You should be prepared for this aspect of the breed. Sometimes the Shih Tzu bark for no reason. But, on the other hand, something as minor as dogs or people passing outside the window can make the bark crazily.

What is the Dog's Lifespan?

You want your best friend to be around for a long.

Fortunately, the Shih Tzu can live for 10 to 16 years, which is impressive. They have a long lifespan for most average dog breeds.