The Shih Tzu, also known as the Chinese Lion Dog, the Lhasa Lion Dog, the Chrysanthemum-Faced Dog or the Chrysanthemum Dog, is an ancient breed dating back to 600 A.D. “Shih Tzu” means “lion.” These are docile, intelligent dogs. They have always been primarily companion dogs, and their happy dispositions reflect this today. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969, as a member of the Toy Group.
The mature Shih Tzu should be 9 to 10½ inches at the withers, but not less than 8 or more than 11 inches. Adults of this breed typically weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. The most recognizable thing about the Shih Tzu is its appearance: it has a flowing double coat that falls to the ground, and a tail that folds up over the back. The hair on the top of its head is typically tied up with a ribbon or bow. All colors and markings are permitted in this breed.