copyright © 2006 Chris Jones Chinai Shih Tzu
What does Shih Tzu mean?
What does Shih Tzu mean?
Shih Tzu means "Lion Dog"
Shih Tzu; pronounced correctly is either SHE ZOO or Sheed Zoo.
In Chinese �T� is silent or in some dialects pronounced as a �D�.
Shih Tzu means �Lion Dog� in Chinese. The Shih Tzu was one of the
dogs of the Imperial Court of Peking.
Shih Tzu means �Lion Dog� in Chinese. The Shih Tzu was one of the dogs of the Imperial Court of Peking.
The Shih Tzu was considered a �sleeve dog� as was the Pekinese.
The Shih Tzu was a treasured companion. The breed found much favor with the Empress Dowager.
They lived inside the palace and were treated as small humans. They were often considered to be re-incarnated family members.
Their "job" was probably to accompany, entertain and keep the ladies of the court warm in cold winter months.
Naturally the Shih Tzu ate their meals from the Imperial table!
The Shih Tzu may have occasionally accompanied the monks as they traveled within China and Tibet .
History has it that their canine cousins, the Lhasa Apso, were the alarm dogs at the palace.
The Apsos ran the turrets and barked the alarm when visitors or strangers approached.
This may explain why the Shih Tzu is friendly and
trusting towards all while their
The Lhasa is naturally very protective and expected to be �chary of strangers".
This depiction and distinction of the respective differing temperaments in these two closely related breeds remains the same to this day.
In fact, these traits are recorded and considered "ideal".
They are representative as true to the AKC standard for each of these breeds.
All dog breeds have a beginning in their service to man. This is the rational for how individual breeds were developed.
The term �form follows function� is used to describe how the canine conformation (structure, i.e. form)
is determined by what task (job/function) they were to perform.
Since �toy� dogs are companions to mankind, they could be quite diverse in their conformation.
Many breeds of dogs provided hair for spinning yarns so long hair was a plus for that purpose.
A long coat also offered protection from harsh weather conditions.
Very small dogs could chase mice or rodents.
Terriers for example were �ratters" it follows then that they must be tenacious, close to the ground, have a quick eye. and good nose.
Working dogs were to be "protectors" of man and children. They also performed other duties such as pulling weight. (sleds, wagons etc)
Herding dogs were usually large, hardy and fearless as they had to live outdoors. They had an innate instinct in them to "herd" flocks.
Shih Tzu were bed warmers, foot warmers, happy go lucky companions and little clowns - as they still are today.
They are hairy, warm little dogs. Shih Tzu are very devoted and loving.
The Shih Tzu wish to please and to be close to their humans. (form/function)
Another larger cousin, the Tibetan Terrier was considered to be a "good luck" dog.
It�s interesting to note that the Boxer and Chow also came from China .
Sadly during the Chinese occupation by the communists during the so called Boxer Rebellion in 1940,
most dogs in China were destroyed. (many eaten)
As fate would have it, many dogs of these breeds did find their way to the western world.
In more recent years dogs of these breeds have been exported back to China .
For more history of this wonderful breed, let me suggest Jon Ferrante�s Book. � The Shih Tzu Heritage".
(You�ll also find photos of several Chinai Shih Tzu in the book.)
This is Chinai's TeddyTerrific
Affectionately called Tedd E
He is owned and loved by Jann and Don Dials.
This is Chinai's Cappuccino Cowboy
Affectionately known as Java
Shown here as an adult in a pet clip.
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copyright © 2006 Chris Jones
Chinai Shih Tzu