20 Cool Facts You Didn’t Know About the Shih Tzu

shih tzu at show

12. Pop Culture

The Shih Tzu is well received in popular culture. With its sassy attitude and regal good looks, the pint sized, long haired dog has been featured in film. In the 2000 mockumentary “Best in Show” co written and starring Eugene Levy and co-written and directed by Christopher Guest, a Shih Tsu named Miss Agnus competed in a famous dog show. A Shih Tzu named Bonny played the character of a Shih Tzu named Bonny in the 2012 dark comedy “Seven Psychopaths” with Colin Farell.

13. Housebreaking

Maybe due to their inborn stubborn behavior, the Shih Tzu can be a very difficult dog to housebreak. The breed is notoriously known to ignore all training. The dogs tend to eat their own waste too more so than other breeds. Early training and consistency are the key to housebreaking a Shih Tzu. Before a Shih Tzu is properly housebroken and before it reaches the age of maturity, it is a good idea to keep the dog contained in a dog crate when left alone. Otherwise, your home could become a disaster.

14. Famous Owners

Several celebrities have proudly brought their Shih Tzu’s out into the public. Jane Seymore had a Shih Tzu named Suki. Nicole Richie showed off her famous dog, Honeychild. Mariah Carey likes to show off Bing and Bong. Beyancé is the proud owner of Munchie. Microsoft founder Bill Gates owns Ballmer. Fashion designer Oleg Cassini owns Mr. Flinton. Other celebrity Shih Tzu owners include actress Andie MacDowell (Lollipop), comedian Susie Essman (Sumo), Spice Girl Geri Haliwell (Harry), “Lost’s” Rebecca Mader (Bella), and stage and television star Betty Buckley owns 3 (Bridget, Gemma and Jessie). Of course the Dalai Lama has a Shih Tzu. Although Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom owns several corgi’s, she also has a Shih Tzu named Choo Choo.

shih tzu

15. The Shih Tzu breed was nearly wiped out

The Chinese Dowager Empress, Tzu Hsi, played a major role in the breeding of the Shih Tzu. The “Tzu” in the breed’s name is in honor of her. She supervised and helped advance the major breeding program durin her lifetime. When the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi died in 1908, the breeding program died with her. Many blame the decline in the breeding program on the Communist Revolution but, more likely, the culprit was the sad death of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi and the demise of the breeding program. The number of Shih Tzus dramatically began to dwindle during the early twentieth century.

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