©2009–2016 Beach Angel Chelsea & Sherry Skipper Spurgeon. All Rights Reserved.
Clip art from DJ Inkers is used with permission.
“What does a Shih Tzu look like?”
Go to the source, the AKC (American Kennel Club) which bases its standard on the American Shih Tzu Club’s standard. A Shih Tzu is a sturdy, compact, noble, short-nosed, long-haired, compact (9 to 10 1/2” at withers, not less than 8" and not more than 11"), toy dog weighing between 9 and 16 pounds (not more than 16 pounds). A Shih Tzu should have a luxurious, dense double-coat and a slight wave is permissible but curly hair is not. A round, broad head with large, very dark, wide set eyes (not prominent), and without excessive eye white. The muzzle should be short and unwrinkled and no more than 1" from tip of the nose to the stop. Shih Tzus should have an underbite/undershot jaw but when the jaws are closed, the teeth and tongue should not show.
Most people will keep their Shih Tzu trimmed in a ‘puppy cut’ instead of the longer, more flowing, ‘show-type’ coat. The reason for this is because it takes time to keep a Shih Tzu's coat nice and long. Daily grooming is a necessity if you want your Shih Tzu to look like the ones in the show ring (and the majority of us just don't look like those gorgeous beings no matter what!). Of course, for those who do keep the coats long, and by the way, we have HAIR and not fur, it is truly a wonderful sight. Lots of people will look at me and ask, "What kind of dog is that?" and when mama answers, "Chelsea is a Shih Tzu," people will often say, "She doesn't look like one." Well, I look like what a Shih Tzu would look like if her HAIR hasn't been cut!
Where did the Shih Tzu come from?
A Shih Tzu is a small, sturdy, toy breed that possibly originated in Tibet, and was raised in the Buddhist temples by monks. They were brought to China as a gift to the Imperial Court. The breed that we know of today we owe to Dowager Empress T’su Hsi in the late 1800s. She supervised careful breeding in her kennels (she was renowned for her Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih Tzu) by palace eunuchs. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club on September 1, 1969.
"I have an Imperial/ Teacup Shih Tzu"
Don’t let AnYoNe fool you into something called an ‘imperial’ or ‘teacup’ Shih Tzu. There’s NO such thing! If you get fooled into such a dog, then know that the person is one who does NOT know the true Shih Tzu and should NOT be breeding ‘em. Truly.
Seven dogs and seven bitches are the foundation for all existing Shih Tzu today. If you want a ‘real’ Shih Tzu, absolutely, positively do NOT get a dog that goes by something called ‘imperial’ or ‘teacup’ cuz these are INFERIOR dogs. Go to the American Shih Tzu Club’s 'Imperial/Teacup Shih Tzu' page to read more about why you do not want to get fooled by breeders who are selling these dogs.
Where did Chelsea come from?
I am one of renowned breeder Ronni & Eugene Chouinard's Shih Tzus. My pedigreed name is Ronni's Beach Angel Chelsea and I was born in Eugene, Oregon. Mama went up there to get me. Here is a picture of me when I was born. Grammy Ronni is holding me. I have a lot of show dogs in my family tree. Grammy works with breeders in the American Shih Tzu Club to help raise awareness of renal disease and test for this potentially deadly disease. Kidney problems are just one of several health issues that can face Shih Tzus and so going to a reputable breeder is imperative.
Lots of people claim that their dog is a Shih Tzu so you may wonder,