Shih Tzu dog breed
The Shih Tzu was once the prized lap dog of Chinese emperors and is believed to have been bred by Tibetan lamas to be a small replica of a lion. He’s meant to be a companion dog, and he’s generally happy to oblige. Learn more about this small, generally sweet-natured pup and whether he might be the right dog breed for you.

They tend to be content to cuddle.

The Shih Tzu has essentially been a lapdog since the beginning of his existence. This Toy breed was bred to be a companion, and his purpose in life is to love and be loved.

They tend to be adaptable.

If you want a breed who’s usually up for anything, look no further than the Shih Tzu. He doesn’t care if you’re watching TV, cleaning out the fridge or taking a snooze, the Shih Tzu generally wants to do whatever you’re doing.

They’re often playful.

The Shih Tzu likes to play and, on occasion, can even be mischievous. He may steal your shoes, often with the hope that you’ll chase him. He’s also not above taking toys from other dogs.

They’re often friendly.

Typically a dog-friendly breed, the Shih Tzu usually enjoys canine playdates and can even make a good therapy dog. Some Shih Tzus like cats and others don’t, but that seems to be an individual preference, rather than a breed trait.

Their coats come in many colors.

The Shih Tzu — who is often called a chrysanthemum dog because of the way his hair grows up from the nose and around the face in all directions — comes in gold and white, red and white, black mask gold, solid red, black and white, solid black, solid liver, liver and white, blue and white, brindle and white and silver and white.

More on Vetstreet: