27 Fun Facts About Shih Tzus Story


Fun Facts About Shih Tzus

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From humble beginnings in the desert to regal advances into royal courts and eventual domestication by the average homeowner, they have an interesting story to tell!

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Here are some of the best things to know about Shih Tzus.

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They’re the Official Dog of the Ming Dynasty

They may have been popular in China for centuries but were the dog of choice in the Ming Dynasty from 1368 -1644 A.D.


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They Were Only Deemed a Pure Breed Fairly Recently

It was only in the mid-nineteenth century that Shih Tzus were considered purebred, when the Dalai Lama presented two purely bred dogs to Empress Tzu Hsi. 


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They Were Almost Wiped Out

Tzu Hsi was the Chinese Dowager Empress and played a large role in breeding Shih Tzus. She supervised a major breeding programme for them while she lived, but when she died in 1908 the programme died with her.

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The Breed Was Saved by 14 Dogs

After the first half of the 20th century, only 14 purebred Shih Tzus remained — seven males and seven females. They were used to rebuild the breed, and every purebred Shi Tzu alive today can be traced back to these 14 dogs.

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They’re Recognized by the AKC

Both the American Kennel Club and United Kingdom Kennel Club recognize the Shih Tzu, and breed standards have been set in place since 1938.

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