The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert toy dog
with long flowing double coat. Befitting his noble Chinese ancestry as a
highly valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu is proud of
bearing, has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and
tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable
size variation, the Shih Tzu must be compact, solid, carrying good
weight and substance. Even though a toy dog, the Shih Tzu must be
subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed
for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the
standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural
faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Shih Tzu as in any
other breed, regardless of whether or not such faults are specifically
mentioned in the standard.
SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE
height at withers is 9 to 101/2 inches; but, not less than 8 inches nor
more than 11 inches. Ideally, weight of mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds.
between withers and root of tail is slightly longer than height at
withers. The Shih Tzu must never be so high stationed as to appear
leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty.
of size, the Shih Tzu is always compact, solid and carries good weight
broad, wide between eyes, its size in balance with the overall size of
dog being neither too large nor too small.
Narrow head, close-set eyes.
sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting. An overall well-balanced and
pleasant expression supersedes the importance of individual parts. Care
should be taken to look and examine well beyond the hair to determine if
what is seen is the actual head and expression rather than an image
created by grooming technique.
round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very
dark. Lighter on liver pigmented dogs and blue pigmented dogs.
close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white.
set slightly below crown of skull; heavily coated.
is a definite stop.
short, unwrinkled, with good cushioning, set no lower than bottom eye
rim; never downturned. Ideally, no longer than 1 inch from tip of nose
to stop, although length may vary slightly in relation to overall size
of dog. Front of muzzle should be flat; lower lip and chin not
protruding and definitely never receding.
lack of definite stop.
are broad, wide, and open.
lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except liver on liver pigmented
dogs and blue on blue pigmented dogs.
Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims.
Jaw is broad and wide. A missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth
should not be too severely penalized. Teeth and tongue should not show
when mouth is closed.
NECK, TOPLINE, BODY
Of utmost importance is an overall well-balanced
dog with no exaggerated features.
set-on flowing smoothly into shoulders; of sufficient length to permit
natural high head carriage and in balance with height and length of dog.
Body: Short-coupled and sturdy with
no waist or tuck-up. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall.
and deep with good spring-of-rib, however, not barrel-chested. Depth of
ribcage should extend to just below elbow. Distance from elbow to
withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground.
on high, heavily plumed, carried in curve well over back. Too loose, too
tight, too flat, or too low set a tail is undesirable and should be
penalized to extent of deviation.
well laid-back, well laid-in, fitting smoothly into body.
well-boned, muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set
close to body.
Feet: Firm, well-padded, point
Angulation of hindquarters should be in balance
Legs: Well-boned, muscular, and
straight when viewed from rear with well-bent stifles, not close set but
in line with forequarters.
let down, perpendicular.
well-padded, point straight ahead.
double-coated, dense, long, and flowing. Slight wave permissible. Hair
on top of head is tied up.
Fault: Sparse coat, single coat,
bottom of coat, and anus may be done for neatness and to facilitate
COLOR AND MARKINGS
All are permissible and to be considered
The Shih Tzu moves straight and must be shown at
its own natural speed, neither raced nor strung-up, to evaluate its
smooth, flowing, effortless movement with good front reach and equally
strong rear drive, level topline, naturally high head carriage, and tail
carried in gentle curve over back.
As the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a
companion and house pet, it is essential that its temperament be
outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting towards all.