It is important to look to the parent's history to see what characteristics your Shar Tzu may inherit. While the Chinese Shar-Pei's history is a bit vague, it is believed to be an ancient dog with statues having been found dating back to the Han Dynasty (200 B.C) in China that look very much like the Shar-Tzu. This dog originated in the southern provinces of China where he was valued as a hunter, guardian, herder and fighter. During the time of the People's Republic of China, the dog population in the country was all but wiped out. A man by the name of Matgo Law of the Down-Homes Kennels in Hong Kong made a concerted effort to save the breed and thanks to him it saved the Shar-Tzu from extinction. Matgo Law brought a small number of the Shar-Pei breed to America in 1973 and breed fanciers were fascinated with this wrinkled wonder dog. They formed the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America Inc. in 1974. This action accentuated the dog and it became quite popular because it was unique in appearance, and proved to be a good companion dog that also doubled as a watch dog. The Chinese Shar-Pei was accepted in the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1988 and as a member of the Non-Sporting Group in 1991. This calm, independent thinking dog appeals to many but is best suited to an owner who can establish leadership firmly and kindly. The Shar-Pei doesn't respect an owner who is weak willed. The Shih Tzu enjoys a rich history and is credited with being one of the fourteen oldest dog breeds. Paintings and writing from China's Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 A.D) show dogs similar to the Shih Tzu. Marco Polo in the 13th Century reported that the Mongolian Emperor Kubla Khan had small lion like dogs who kept the trained lions calm. Protected by the Chinese Royal Family, these small elegant dogs enjoyed a life as a treasured companion. Anyone caught harming the Shih Tzu were put to death - that is how much these dogs were revered. Foreign visitors of high importance often received a pair of Shih Tzu dogs as a gift. In 1928, the first pair of Shih Tzus arrived in England, and soon after another arrived, and from these first dogs the formation of a breeding kennel. Maureen Murdoch and her nephew, Phillip Price, were the first to import and breed the Shih Tzu into the United States of America. In 1969 The breed was recognised by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group. Today, this attractive lion like dog still has a popular following and makes a devoted companion.