If you’ve fallen for the charm of a Shih Tzu, there’s a good chance your adorable companion might not be a purebred. Shih Tzus, a relatively new breed, originated from a cross between the Tibetan Spaniel and the Lhasa Apso. Though known for their cuteness, determining the purity of your Shih Tzu involves observing specific characteristics and temperament.
Starting with size, Shih Tzus come in two main categories—normal and Imperial. The distinction, often challenging unless side by side, sees both varieties weighing between 9 and 16 pounds, standing 8 to 11 inches tall. Noteworthy features include their large, heavily coated ears that rest at the sides, large expressive eyes (usually dark), and a smooshed face with a black or occasionally liver/blue-colored nose.
Shih Tzus also sport a comically long, pink tongue, and their double coats, whether long and flowing or short and dense, reveal the thickness of their fur. Identifying their playful and outgoing temperament, Shih Tzus make excellent companions, especially for playful children. Their affectionate nature and high energy levels contribute to their charm.
For those opting for a puppy cut, recognizing the short, rounded fur of 1 to 2 inches length can be a distinctive trait. While similarities with Lhasa Apsos exist due to shared ancestry, DNA tests or pedigree papers can offer clarity on your Shih Tzu’s lineage. So, whether it’s the distinctive features or the endearing personality, your Shih Tzu’s unique blend of characteristics makes them a lovable addition to any family.