The Shih Tzu starring Lilly age 3.

The Shih Tzu profile

COAT: A long, soft, silky double coat with fast growing hair that reaches the floor. However, most owners clip the coat short for ease of grooming. The Shih Tzu has an amazing mixed range of coat colours, some more rare than others.

HEIGHT: Male & Female ……. approx. 8’” to 11”

WEIGHT: Male & Female…….. approx. 8.8 lbs to 16 lbs

LIFESPAN: 10 to 16 yrs + , approx

TEMPERAMENT: A friendly loving nature. They are alert, outgoing, playful, and very loyal. This friendly nature means that they tend to interact well with other dogs and children. It is said by some that they can be stubborn and difficult to house-train but a regular routine and a little patience will have the desired effect.

CLASS: K.C. Utility

HEALTH: Typically considered to be a healthy breed, there are still some issues. Hip Dysplasia in standard sizes and disc disease. A condition known as “Dry Eye “ can cause discharge from the eyes. As with all short nosed dogs, they can have some breathing problems. It is note-worthy that this breed are naturally small eaters and this should be taken into account when choosing their diet.

HISTORY: Always bred as a companion dog, a little lap dog, which was a mark of the wealthy and powerful, who would often carry the dogs around within their robes. The Chinese Mandarin for Shih Tzu translates directly to “lion dog”, and is said to have descended from breeding the Lhasa Apso with the Pekingese.

Viewpoint by Lilly’s owner,
Lucy Duffy.

For a little dog, Lilly has a big personality. Lilly is a very nosy dog and likes to be with you whenever you are busy around the house or garden. Lilly also likes to be sat up high so will sit on chairs, benches and windowsills so that she can see everything that is going on and watch the world go by out of the window.

As a puppy Lilly’s coat was very different to the colour that it is today. She was a dark chocolate brown colour with markings on her back and over the years this colour changed to now a grey and white coat. This colour change in Shih Tzu’s is very common so I guess when you buy a Shih Tzu puppy the markings that they have may result in a very different looking dog.

Lilly enjoys walks in the park and seeing other animals, Her favourite animals are cats so much so that we bought a kitten called Bubbles to keep her company. Lilly and Bubbles get on really well, they eat, sleep and play together. Lilly likes to mother Bubbles who is now one year old and makes sure that she washes him fully every morning so that he is ready for the day. Lilly and Bubbles have a very special bond and it is lovely to see them together.

Lilly is friendly however she is unsure of strangers especially if they are visiting the house, Lilly will bark at them until she is assured that they will not harm her.

After a busy day Lilly likes to get herself slumped and settled on the sofa and once asleep she does tend to snore really loudly. This is mostly due to the short squashed nose Shih Tzu’s have.

Grooming Lilly is made easier by sending her to be clipped every 6 weeks to a dog groomer, after Lilly has been clipped she needs brushing once per day. She needs her face washing with a cloth or baby wipe as depending on what she has eaten, her face can get dirty with the long hair around her muzzle.

Next month’s breed is the Fox Terrier. Is your pet a prime example of the breed or maybe just an aspiring model? If you would like your dog to be the star of next month’s column please email a photo of your Fox Terrier along with your viewpoint as an owner to:

pets@yorkshirereporter.co.uk or write to Yorkshire Reporter PO Box 352 Leeds LS14 9FU

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