The Shih-Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds, originating in Tibet thousands of years ago. Known as the "lion dog", these small lap dogs were prized by royalty as household pets. Shih-Tzus are affectionate companion and family animals, known to live long, healthy lives. They prefer to be indoors and, while often docile and quiet, are also playful and spunky. They become very attached to their owners and love to be spoiled. Because of their small size (they typically weigh in at 10-15 lbs.), Shih-Tzus are well suited for most living spaces, large or small.
The word ""shih-tzu"" means ""lion"" in Chinese.
The origins of the ancient Shih-Tzu are both mysterious and controversial. Evidence exists linking the dog to both the Tang Dynasty of China and to Tibetan Monks. Various Chinese artifacts feature Shih-Tzus in their artwork and in documents revealing its popularity amongst royal families.
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