Did you know that the average Shih Tzu is less than 12 inches tall and range from 8 to 16 lbs.? Don’t let their small stature fool you though. The Shih Tzu (which means “Lion Dog”) is thought to be a descendant of the wolf – specifically, an ancient Chinese wolf known as the Senji, which had drop ears, a short muzzle, and big, dark eyes.
The colors of a Shih Tzu’s coat can vary wildly. Many are solid and have coats that are black, white, brown, liver, and blue. Others can be bi-colored, including black and white, liver and white, silver and white, brindle and white, and black and gold. Their coats grow quickly and can be either long or short. In fact, the coat of the
long-coated Shih Tzu will often touch the ground even while the dog is standing.
According to the UK Kennel Club, the average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is more than 13 years with many reaching the ages of 16 to 20. However, the Shih Tzu breed is known to be subject to some not-so-fortunate health issues. Among these are IVD (Intervertebral Disk Disease), hip dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, and, like all dogs with short muzzles, they can be prone to breathing problems.
Yet don’t let these concerns distress you. The “lion dog” can be an excellent companion. Their disposition is playful and affectionate and they generally get along well with other animals. Plus they make great watchdogs because they are very brave and always on alert.
Evan Price is a Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. He is a true dog lover at heart with a particular interest in Daschunds. Evan is also an avid sports enthusiast and bridge player. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet weekly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.