Shih Tzu History and Legends/Cross Breeding with Pekingese and Lhasa Terrier/Shih Tzu Management

By: Connie Limon

There has been a strong opinion in shih tzu history that the Tibetan Lion Dog is the result of a cross between the Lhasa Terrier and the Pekingese, which occurred out of the mixing of the two breeds in Tibet and China.

The dogs of each country had been taken to the other from time to time by tribute envoys and officials. The cross in Tibet, that had been taken out of that country by way of India, has been called the Apso, while the cross in Peking has been called the Tibetan Poodle or Lion Dog. The Tibetan cross probably had more of the Lhassa Terrier in it, while the Chinese cross has more of the Pekingese.

Shih Tzu Management:

Be cautious about the dangers of dampness and violent temperature changes when it comes to the living quarters for your shih tzu. With a heritage of luxurious living in the palaces of the Orient, the domesticated dogs of today for the most part share the lovely homes of their owners in our affluent society but still must be protected against sudden change in temperature or weather conditions, particularly true with puppies.

The Shih Tzu is a rugged little dog, it is sheer folly for a dog to sleep indoors by the stove, fireplace, or beneath a comforter on his master's bed one night, and then be expected to spend the next night outdoors in a dog house or in a drafty garage. Shih Tzu do have a way of choosing their own beds, and it will probably be the same as yours!

Probably about the most important of all aspects in the care and health of your Shih Tzu is diet! My Shih Tzu have thrived better on HealthyPetNet Life's Abundance. Fresh water available at all times is also a diet essential. Be careful about the extras you choose to feed your dog. Try to be certain that everything he eats is safe and nutritious. Again, I recommend using HealthyPetNet treats, the dental cookies, the skin and coat bar, the Porky Puffs, etc. As a breeder, I recommend and prescribe the diet I prefer using for my own dogs and that has worked best for me. I cannot say enough "good" about HealthyPetNet Products. I can't imagine anyone not liking them after once trying them. Yet.....I do realize other breeders will have their own recommendations. And, as always, your own personal vet should be included in your final decision about your shih tzu's diet.

The capacity and size of the individual shih tzu determines the amount of food he/she should consume each day. Labels on the food itself give good guidelines to follow. For my puppies before they leave home, I keep food out at all times. This can change, according to the new owner's preferences. A healthy dog should eat the approximate same amount every day, and will be in good flesh without going to fat. Table scraps are out of the question. Never feed your shih tzu table scraps. Shih Tzu are acustomed to the best and it seems this part of their heritage never fades away. Feed your Shih Tzu the very best of Premium Dog Food. HealthyPetNet Life's Abundance is my choice.

A Legend of Shih Tzu Management:

The Chinese tell a story of Ch'en, of the town of Chiang Chou as an illustration of the perfectly brought up household. Ch'en not only preserved harmony among the 700 members of his family but also had the family dogs so well trained that, if one was late for dinner, the other 99 waited for him!

No explanation was given of how this was accomplished and the stories are legend, of course, but another Chinese sage, Chang Kung-i of Shantung, provided a clue........questioned by a T'ang Emperor how he kept nine branches of the family together, Chang gave an answer often quoted in China, by writing one word a hundred times - - "jen-mai," meaning "patience" or "forbearance."

The stories being legend, there is nothing to prove that the Ch'en family dogs, if they even existed, were Shih Tzu Kou. Such tales do draw attention to the fact that the Shih Tzu can be trained in obedience since they are highly intelligent, remarkably responsive, and unusually quick to learn.

Training a Shih Tzu does call for patience, however, since a common trait of the Shih Tzu is a "strong self- willed streak." This fact has been noted down through history by many Shih Tzu Fanciers. One leading dog trainer in the United States spoke of the breed with extreme admiration, but emphasized, with a smile......."that they could occasionally be very stubborn."

So....keep that in mind when training your Shih Tzu, and remember, none of us are without downfalls. The Shih Tzu with all its other wonderful qualities far outweighs this one aspect of their personalities. Try praising your shih tzu during training with HealthyPetNet Porky Puffs (a favorite treat of my shih tzu). They go CRAZY for HealthyPetNet Porky Puffs.

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Connie Limon, Breeder of the Shih Tzu Austin, Indiana Stain Glass Shih Tzu

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