The full name of this adorable dog breed is Tibetan Shih Tzu Kou, which literally means Tibetan Lion dog. It was named "Lion dog " because it's resemblance to the lion.
The Shih Tzu is also often known as the "Xi Shi Quan", which was based on the name of the most beautiful woman of ancient China, Xi Shi.
This lovely looking dog comes in different colors, such as shades of gold and white, solid silver, brown, solid black, black mask, gold, black and white, liver and white, brindle and white and silver and white and the rare solid blue.
The American Kennel Club says all colors are acceptable. The Breed standard states that the normal Shih Tzu dog should weight between 9 and 16 pounds.
Shih Tzu is one of the 14 ancient breeds of dog, according to DNA studies which indicate that is has a close genetic relationship to wolves. Other Asian breeds include the Chow Chow, Tibetan Terrier, Lhasa Apso and Shar Pei.
On average, a Shih Tzu lives up to 13 years and can attain a lidespan up to 20 years.
Famous Shih Tzu celebrity owners include Beyonce, Bill Gates, Mariah Carey, Colin Farrel, Nicole Richie and Queen Elizabeth.
The Shih Tzu's exact origins remain mysterious because the breed has been around for thousands of years, and the details of it's development are lost. There are Chinese paintings dating back to around the year 5o0 C.E. with dogs believed to be Shih Tzus. There are also documents describing the dogs as gifts to China from the Byzantine Empire.
Shih Tzus are similar breeds were present in Tibetan Buddhist temples, where Tibetan monks reverd the dogs as holy. More than just companian animals, the Shih Tzus were beside the monks, acting as guard dogs or alarm dogs, and even turning prayer wheels during daily Buddhist prayer rituals.
The breed was almost completely destroyed by the Communist Party after 1949. All surviving Shih Tzus today descended from 14 dogs, one of which was a Pekingese.
The Shih Tzu breed is a very smart breed, but can be stubborn, so gentle training methods work best. Socialization and training should begin the minute you bring your puppy home.
Shih Tzus were best companion dogs but they need excercise, and they love do things for their owners. In North America, they have been competing and winning titles in Agility since the 1990's.
There you go, fun facts about the Lion Dog.
If you're a Shih Tzu owner or planning on getting the Lion dog, then we recommend getting a proper tee to go with that. CLICK HERE to check it out, or clikc on the photo below. Enjoy!