Shar Tzu

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20-35 lbs
10-17"
United States
Chinese Shar-Pei
Shih Tzu
Shih-Pei
A rare and unusual combination, the Shar Tzu is the result from crossing the Chinese Shar-Pei with the Shih Tzu. The results is a small to medium dog (depending on the dominant parent genes) who is proud, sweet natured and a dog who just really wants to have fun. The Shar Tzu combination tempers the Chinese Shar-Pei's natural reserved nature with the outgoing social nature of the other parent. These dogs are ideal companion dogs as they are not overly active, they love cuddling and would prefer the comforts of home to hard exercise. While the Shar Tzu is easy to train, they do have a bit of an aristocratic demeanor, with definite likes and dislikes. One way to overcome this trait is to use praise and food rewards to get them on your side. While it is easy to spoil this dog because of its winning ways and slightly manipulative nature, it would be the worse thing to do. They need a strong leader who is consistent in their demands and expectation that the Shar Tzu will obey the house rules. If you let them get away with one thing, they will sense a weakness and start to boss you around. Being the leader means being firm but kind; aggression never has a good outcome for any dog when training. They are ideal family dogs, polite to strangers, good with children and protective of the family and the property.
Purpose
Companion, Watchdog
Date of Origin
1990s
Ancestry
Chinese Shar-Pei, Shih Tzu

Shar Tzu Health

Average Size
Male Shar Tzu size stats
Height: 12-18 inches Weight: 25-40 lbs
Female Shar Tzu size stats
Height: 10-17 inches Weight: 20-35 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
  • Renal Dysplasia
  • Urinary Stones
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Skin Allergies
  • Eye Disease and Disorder
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Weight Gain
Occasional Tests
  • Serum Biochemistry
  • Urinalysis
  • Full Physical Examination
  • Ear Tests and Myringotomy Tests
  • Laryngeal Examinations
  • Ophthalmic Examination
  • Blood Tests and Blood Count
  • Ultrasound to detect urinary stone location
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging

Shar Tzu Breed History

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.

Shar Tzu Breed Appearance

The Shar Tzu is a unique blend of two different and distinctive parents. The Chinese Shar-Pei has the wrinkled coat that looks as though the dog has chosen the wrong sized coat, while the Shih Tzu has the long flowing coat, and distinctive long facial hair. Therefore the puppies in a litter can vary in appearance depending on what genetics they inherit from the parent dog. Generally they are a medium sized dog, strong in build and beautifully proportioned in the body. The head tends to be quite either fine and narrow, or blocky like the Chinese Shar-Pei but either way it is rounded at the top with well placed ears to the sides. Again, the ears can vary in each litter or puppy, from small and erect to long and floppy. The chest is usually quite deep and it has strong but elegant legs and well padded paws to power it from a standing start to a run in a matter of seconds. Whether your dog inherits the wrinkled face of the Chinese Shar-Pei or the lion-like mane of the Shih Tzu is all up to genetics. But whatever you get, it is sure to be one very special dog that will be a loyal and devoted companion with natural good looks and sculpted appearance.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Shar Tzu eyes
Brown
amber Shar Tzu eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Shar Tzu nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
cream Shar Tzu coat
Cream
fawn Shar Tzu coat
Fawn
brown Shar Tzu coat
Brown
black Shar Tzu coat
Black
red Shar Tzu coat
Red
white Shar Tzu coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Shar Tzu straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Shar Tzu Breed Maintenance

The Shar Tzu has a dense coat that will need a daily brushing just to keep it from matting. They are minimal shedders but still require brushing to keep their coat looking at its best. During the brushing, it is a good time to check your pet for any injuries or sores and treat if required. If your dog has the longer coat of the Shih Tzu it may be easier to have the coat trimmed to reduce the maintenance. These dogs often have skin wrinkles around the face or shoulders, so check within the fold for inflammation or sores. When your dog is wet either through play or bathing, make sure the folds of the skin are dried out to prevent health problems. The ears and eyes are also prone to infections or health issues with this breed, so once again, check your dog to ensure they don't have red weeping eyes, or smelly infected sore ears. Use of speciality dog products such as shampoos, ear cleaning lotion and others will help your dog's skin to retain its natural oils and prevent allergies. Your dog's teeth also need cleaning on a regular basis. When you first get your new puppy this should be one of the things you teach it as it will make life easier for you as your dog gets bigger and stronger. Make grooming time fun, and offer plenty of praise and reassurance and your dog will welcome this special time with you.
Brushes for Shar Tzu
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Shar Tzu requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Shar Tzu Temperament

The Shar Tzu can be a little reserved around strangers, aloof even, but never with you. They are known to be loyal and devoted companions, and have a happy outlook on life. While not exactly a small dog, they do adapt well to apartment living as long as they get a daily walk to get out and socialise. They are not highly active, they prefer to lounge around and watch what you are doing, but are not immune to a game or two should one eventuate. If you have a house with a secure yard, they will patrol the yard to ensure no unwelcome furry critter comes in and will warn off strangers making them think twice about loitering on your property. The Shar Tzu responds well to training as it is an intelligent dog, but it can get bored if the training is the same day in and day out. Mix it up a bit, add in a bit of fun, and your dog will have a longer attentions span and will learn quicker. Toys that challenge your dog are fun, especially those ones that they have to manipulate to get a treat. But be aware that most toys will probably be destroyed during play but they will be fun while they last. As a family dog the Shar Tzu is a good choice, although do supervise any play with young toddlers. This dog breed doesn't like its ears or tail being pulled so teach your youngsters to treat the dog nicely to prevent any nipping or growling. They are quite protective of the family, very loving and loyal. They are fun to have around as they have a cheerful disposition and respond well to praise and petting. The Shar Tzu is a hard hybrid to find, but if you do find one, they will become a treasured companion and friend.

Shar Tzu Activity Requirements

The Shar Tzu dog will enjoy a daily walk around the neighbourhood or to the dog park where they will be able to burn off some energy and socialise with other dogs and people. Ensure you keep a leash on your dog to prevent it from chasing after small furry animals it may consider prey. The hunting instinct from the Chinese Shar-Pei will be strong. Exercise your dog in the cooler part of the day, as they may suffer with heat stroke in extreme heat. Your dog will enjoy a selection of toys to play with, and they love playing with older children. The Shar Tzu responds well to consistency in training, and a kind attitude with plenty of praise. This attention to their ego will often overcome the slight stubbornness that they may have. Keep the training fun with lots of surprises and your dog will stay focused and enjoy the training rather than switching off and sulking. This breed of dog is moderately active, and enjoys a good walk, but equally it enjoys a good snuggle and snooze on or beside you.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Shar Tzu Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.4 - $2.2
Monthly Cost
$36 - $40

Shar Tzu Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Shar Tzu size stats at six months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 12 lbs
Female Shar Tzu size stats at six months
Height: 6 inches Weight: 11 lbs
12 Months
Male Shar Tzu size stats at 12 months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 18 lbs
Female Shar Tzu size stats at 12 months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 15 lbs
18 Months
Male Shar Tzu size stats at 18 months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 32 lbs
Female Shar Tzu size stats at 18 months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 27 lbs

Shar Tzu Owner Experiences

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