Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Tibet.

PATRONAGE

:
FCI
Great Britain.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
18.03.2015.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Companion Dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 9Companion and Toy Dogs
Section 5Tibetan breeds
Without working trial

KC
Utility
UKC
Companion Dog

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
People tend to get confused between the Apso and the Shih Tzu, but there are a number of very distinct differences. Roots of this breed are in Tibet but it was developed in China, where dogs like these lived in the imperial palaces. China became a republic in 1912 after which examples of the breed found their way to the West, though the first recorded importation to Britain was not until 1931. It was recognised as a breed separate from other Oriental breeds in 1934 and granted a separate register by the Kennel Club in 1940, with challenge certificates on offer from 1949. The chrysanthemum look to the Shih Tzu’s head is most appealing, and this is caused by the hair growing upwards on the bridge of the nose.
UKC
The history of this little dog is clouded by time and folklore, but it is thought that the Shih Tzu originated in Tibet. It resembles the Tibetan Spaniel, Lhasa Apso and Pekingese, which also originated in this area of the world. The Shih Tzu were considered so valuable that they were often given as gifts to the Chinese Court. In the early 1930's, they were imported to England, and were brought to the United States about 1958. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1966.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Sturdy, abundantly but not excessively coated dog with distinctly arrogant carriage and ‘chrysanthemum-like’ face.
KC
Sturdy, abundantly but not excessively coated dog with distinctly arrogant carriage and 'chrysanthemum-like' face.
UKC
An overall well-balanced dog with no exaggerated features is the ideal. The breed is slightly longer than tall, length being measured from the withers to the root of the tail, and the height being measured from the withers to the ground. Regardless of size, the Shih Tzu is always compact and solid and carries good weight and substance. Carriage is distinctly arrogant, with the head well up and the tail carried over the back. The manner in which the coat grows on the head gives the breed a distinctly chrysanthemum-like appearance. Any structural faults common to all breeds are also undesirable in the Shih Tzu, even though they are not mentioned in the standard. Any such faults are to be penalized to the extent of their deviation from the standard.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Longer between withers and root of the tail than height at withers.
KC
Intelligent, active and alert.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Intelligent, active and alert. Friendly and independant.
KC
Friendly and independent.
UKC
Since the sole purpose of the breed is that of a companion and house pet, the dog’s ideal temperament should be outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting toward all. Its expression is warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting.

HEAD

:
FCI
Head broad, round, wide between the eyes. Shock-headed with good beard and whiskers, hair growing upwards on the muzzle giving a distinctly ‘chrysanthemum-like’ effect. Not affecting the dog’s ability to see.
KC
Head broad, round, wide between eyes. Shock-headed with good beard and whiskers, hair growing upwards on the muzzle giving a distinctly 'chrysanthemum-like' effect. Not affecting the dog's ability to see. Muzzle of ample width, square, short, not wrinkled; flat and hairy. Nose black but dark liver in liver or liver marked dogs and about one inch from tip to definite stop. Nose level or slightly tip-tilted. Top of nose leather should be on a line with or slightly below lower eye rim. Wide-open nostrils. Down-pointed nose highly undesirable, as are pinched nostrils. Pigmentation of muzzle as unbroken as possible.
UKC
The round, broad head is wide between the eyes.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
UKC
The skull is domed. There is a definite stop.

Stop

:
FCI
Definite.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black but dark liver in liver or liver marked dogs. Top of nose leather should be on a line with or slightly below lower eye rim. Nose level or slightly tip-tilted. Wide-open nostrils. Down-pointed nose highly undesirable, as are pinched nostrils.
UKC
The nostrils are broad, wide and open. Nose pigment is black except on liver-colored dogs, when it is liver, and on blue-pigmented dogs, when it is blue.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Of ample width, square, short, not wrinkled; flat and hairy. Length about 2,5 cms from tip to stop. Pigmentation of muzzle as unbroken as possible.
KC
Wide, slightly undershot or level. Lips level.
UKC
The square, short, unwrinkled muzzle is well cushioned, and flat. Its ideal length, when measured from the tip of the nose to the stop, is one inch, although the length may vary in relation to the overall size of the dog. The bridge of the nose is straight or slightly upturned. The top of the nose should be on a line with, or slightly below, the bottom of the eye rim. The lower lip and chin do not protrude and never recede. Lip pigment is black except on liver-colored dogs, when it is liver, and on blue-pigmented dogs, when it is blue. The jaw is broad and wide.

Lips

:
FCI
Level.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Wide, slightly undershot or level (pincer bite, edge to edge).
UKC
A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in an undershot or even bite. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should show when the mouth is closed. A missing or slightly misaligned tooth is not to be severely penalized.

Eyes

:
FCI
Large, dark, round, placed well apart but not prominent. Warm expression. In liver or liver-marked dogs, lighter eye colour permissible. No white of eye showing.
KC
Large, dark, round, placed well apart but not prominent. Warm expression. In liver or liver-marked dogs, lighter eye colour permissible. No white of eye showing.
UKC
The large, round eyes are placed well apart, looking straight ahead. The eyes are not prominent. They are very dark in color, but may be lighter in liver and blue-pigmented dogs. Eye rim pigment is black, except on liver-colored dogs, when it is liver, and on blue-pigmented dogs, when it is blue. Expression is warm. An overall well balanced and pleasant expression supersedes the importance of any of the individual parts. A false image created by grooming techniques is to be severely penalized.

Ears

:
FCI
Large, with long leathers, carried drooping. Set slightly below crown of skull, so heavily coated they appear to blend into hair of neck.
KC
Large, with long leathers, carried drooping. Set slightly below crown of skull, so heavily coated they appear to blend into hair of neck.
UKC
The large, heavily coated ears are set slightly below the crown of the skull.

NECK

:
FCI
Well proportioned, nicely arched. Sufficient length to carry head proudly.
KC
Well proportioned, nicely arched. Sufficient length to carry head proudly.
UKC
The well-set-on neck flows smoothly into the shoulders. It is of sufficient length to permit a natural, high head carriage, and is in balance with the height and length of the dog.

BODY

:
KC
Longer between withers and root of tail than height of withers, well coupled and sturdy, chest broad and deep, shoulders firm, back level.
UKC
The sturdy body is longer from withers to tail than the distance from withers to the ground. The distance from the withers to the elbow is a little greater than from the elbow to the ground. The chest is broad and deep to the elbow. The ribs are well-sprung and the topline is level from withers to tail. The loin is short and strong.

Back

:
FCI
Level.

Loin

:
FCI
Well coupled and sturdy.

Chest

:
FCI
Broad, deep and well let down.

TAIL

:
FCI
Heavily plumed carried gaily well over back. Set on high. Height approximately level with that of skull to give a balanced outline.
KC
Heavily plumed, carried gaily well over back. Set on high. Height approximately level with that of skull to give a balanced outline.
UKC
The heavily plumed tall is set on high and carried in a curve well over the back. The height of the tail should be approximately the same as the height of the skull, to give a balanced appearance.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
KC
Shoulders well laid back. Legs short and muscular with ample bone, as straight as possible, consistent with broad chest being well let down.
UKC
The shoulders are firm, and well laid back.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Firm, well laid back.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The straight, well-boned, muscular forelegs are set well apart and under the chest. The elbows are close to the body. The pasterns are strong and perpendicular. Dewclaws may be removed from the forelegs.

Forearm

:
FCI
Legs short and muscular with ample bone, as straight as possible, consistent with broad chest being well let down.

FEET

:
KC
Rounded, firm and well padded. Well covered with hair.
UKC
Round, firm and well padded, the feet appear large due to the amount of hair.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Rounded, firm and well covered with hair.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Rounded, firm and well padded. Well covered with hair.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Legs short and muscular with ample bone. Straight when viewed from the rear.
KC
Legs short and muscular with ample bone. Straight when viewed from the rear. Thighs well rounded and muscular.
UKC
The thighs are well-rounded and muscular.

Thigh

:
FCI
Well rounded and muscular.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The hind legs are short, and have ample bone. They are straight when viewed from the rear. The legs look massive due to the abundance of hair.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Arrogant, smooth-flowing, front legs reaching well forward, strong rear action and showing full pad.
KC
Arrogant, smooth-flowing, front legs reaching well forward, strong rear action and showing full pad.
UKC
In order to evaluate its smooth, flowing, effortless, straight gait, the Shih Tzu is to be shown at its own natural speed; neither raced nor strung up. There is a good reach in the front and an equally strong rear drive. While gaiting, the backline is level, the head is carried naturally high and the tail is carried in a gentle curve over the back.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Outer coat long, dense, not curly, with moderate undercoat, not woolly. Slight wave permitted. Hair not affecting the dog’s ability to see. Length of coat should not restrict movement.
KC
Outer coat long, dense, not curly, with moderate undercoat, not woolly. Slight wave permitted. Hair not affecting the dog's ability to see. Length of coat should not restrict movement.
UKC
The breed is double coated. The luxurious, dense coat is long and flowing. A slight wave is permissible. The hair on the top of the head is customarily tied up. The breed is to be shown in as natural a state as possible. Trimming is done on the feet and at the anus for neatness and to facilitate movement.

COLOUR

:
FCI
All colours permissible, white blaze on forehead and white tip to tail highly desirable in parti-colours.
KC
All colours permissible, white blaze on forehead and white tip to tail highly desirable in parti-colours.
UKC
All colors and markings are acceptable and are to be given equal consideration.

SIZE

:
KC
Height at withers not more than 27 cms (101/2 ins), type and breed characteristics of the utmost importance and on no account to be sacrificed to size alone. Weight: 4.5-8 kgs (10-18 lbs). Ideal weight 4.5-7.5 kgs (10-16 lbs).
UKC
Ideally not more than 10½ inches in height. The ideal weight of mature dogs is from 9 to 16 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Not more than 27 cms.
Type and breed characteristics of the utmost importance and on no account to be sacrificed to size alone.

Weight

:
FCI
4.5 to 8 kgs. Ideal weight 4.5 - 7.5 kgs.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Appearance: So high-stationed as to appear leggy. So low-stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty.
Muzzle: Pink on lips.
Teeth: Overshot bite.
Eyes: Small, close-set or light eyes. Excessive eye white. Pink on eye rims.
Nose: Butterfly nose.
Coat: Sparse coat. Curly coat. Single coat. Excessive trimming.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.
Color: Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.