In that country, the dogs became little temple dogs and were kept in the palace and carefully guarded and cared for by the court eunuchs. When the Peking Kennel Club was formed in 1934 there was much confusion as to the difference between certain small breeds. In 1938 an individual standard was set for the Shih-Tzu and it was recognized as a separate breed from certain other Tibetan breeds.
With the war and the takeover of Peking in 1949 there were no more exported from China. In 1952 there was a strong fear that the breed was developing poor structure and it was decided to cross a Pekingese into the line in England. The purpose was to obtain a less leggy dog with a better coat and shorter muzzle. This was accomplished, however the bowed front legs of the Pekingese are something that still can be seen on some Shih-Tzu today.
There was also a faction in England called the Manchu Club that believed a smaller dog better represented the ture heritage of the temple dogs. The Kennel Club recognized this in their 1938 standard by stating the ideal weight was between 9 to 16 pounds which is what the current standard recognizes.
In the United States, fanciers obtained the first Shih-Tzus in the late 1930s. The breed gained in popularity in 1960, with many imports coming from England and Europe. The breed was shown in the Miscellaneous class at AKC dog shows. It was not until 1969 that the Shih-Tzu were permitted to be shown as a separate breed in the Toy Group. In 1969, 2,811 Shih-Tzu were registered which increased to 14,894 in 1978. Within that nine year period over 85,000 Shih-Tzu were registered with the American Kennel Club, placing the Shih-Tzu in the top 25 most popular breeds according to the AKC. It is no surprise that the temple dog had come into the homes of many owners -- this is due not only their Imperial background but also to their personality.
The Shih-Tzu is a people oriented dog, they cherish no more than the love of people. They will sit patiently, remaining still with their eyes gazing intently on your face waiting for you to call them over to be patted. The Shih-Tzu is not a one person dog. Shih-Tzus are happy to entertain any stranger, once accepted by the family. This is one reason that they are becoming popular. They make friends where ever they go.
The Shih-Tzu has a lap dog personality. It is not high strung nor demanding. The pet Shih-Tzu is content during the day to lie in a corner with his legs stretched out behind him, snoring softly. If he has a choice he would prefer to be curled up in your lap.
The coat is one of the characteristics that exemplifies the truly regal nature of the Shih-Tzu. As with the size, the coat comes in a wide range of colors: from total black, to black & white, gray & white, red & white or pure gold. A white blaze on the forehead and a white tip on the tail are highly prized. The coat is not straight as in a Yorkshire Terrier, a slight wave is normal with a curl not appropriate. The coat has an under layer and when the dog is full grown this undercoat helps give an overall graceful appearance to the coat as it falls naturally to the ground. The coat however does require care and attention. Daily grooming is necessary, otherwise the coat can become matted and tangled which will require cutting the coat. As a puppy little work is needed except to get the dog used to lying still on a table or your lap for a couple of minutes to get brushed. If one cuts the coat down, this takes away the elegant aspects of the breed.
the occurrence of renal disease in young Shih-Tzu puppies and the fact that usually more than one puppy in a litter and in some instances, the entire litter is affected leads us to suspect it is inherited and that every effort should be made by Shih-Tzu breeders to avoid breeding any stock whose former offspring have been affected. Currently the disease is irreversible and death is inevitable.
There are 3 stages of development. Unfortunately there are no clinical symptoms of early renal disease which may progress over a period of months or years to the second stage,when symptoms first become obvious. The affected dog will develop an excessive thirst and will pass greatly increased amounts of urine. The urine will appear to be very diluted or watery. Some dogs will be listless, poor eaters, and may suffer a weight loss. In the final stage, the symptoms of stage two are more pronounced and may be accompanied by severe depression, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration -- all evidences of kidney dysfunction which will sooner or later result in coma and death.
Renal disease runs high in all breeds of dogs. After the age of eight years, 85% of all dogs have some kidney degeneration or will have developed chronic nephritis. This is known to be a congenital, hereditary progressive kidney disease in certain breeds, whereby the kidneys do not maintain sufficient function to sustain life.
Urate stones, composed of uric acid are more frequently found in the urinary system of males and in these cases the urine is acid. Cystine uroliths composed of the amino acid cystine makes about five percent of all stones and occur exclusively in males. It is an inherited defect wherein cystine is reabsorbed into the kidneys rather than excreted in the urine and it accumulates in the bladder where stones form. They must be removed by surgery.
Because of copyright concerns over the collection of all the Standards at any single site storing all the faqs, AKC Standards are not typically included in the Breed faqs. The reader is referred to the publications at the end of this document or to the National Breed Club for a copy of the Standard.
Still holding puppy securely, rinse thoroughly, being careful not to get water in its nose. A few minutes of cuddling in a towel reassures the puppy and soaks up excess water.
Use a small hand dryer, low heat is normally all that is necessary. if puppy shivers,it is usually due to nerves rather than from being cold. Avoid blowing the warm air directly into the puppy's face. Use a toothbrush to clean the whiskers and ears---ears on drop-ears need special attention. Ears should be cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in mineral oil or panolog. To aviod accidental injury to the eardrums, fluff the cotton out from around the end of the swab with fingertips. Wipe the ear clean and dry with another swab, being careful not to probe too deeply into the ear.
The Joy of Owning a Shih-Tzu by Ann Seranne and Lisa Miller