The Chrysanthimum dog! With 251 shih tzu’s under its care, this breed is Brookfield’s second-most popular patient.



A Breed More Than 2000 Years Old!

Shih tzus date all the way back to the Tang Dynasty and were kept by nearly every reigning Ming Dynasty emperor. Purportedly at least one of the royals, Dowager Empress Cixi, trained her shih tzu to lie in wait within the billowing sleeves of her dressing gown. There the dog happily napped, but was also ready to attack any harmful hand that reached towards her Highness.



The T is Silent

Shih tzu, correctly pronounced SHE ZOO or SHEED ZOO (the ‘T’ is silent in Chinese) stands for lion dog. Not to be rude, but It’s important that you get the silent T part right otherwise you end up with a dump instead of a dog.  The breed was specifically bred to look what Buddhists thought lions resembled because it was believed that when Buddha came to earth, he rode atop a lion.



10492440 - forbidden city (imperial palace) in beijing, china

Does this statue outside the Forbidden City look like a shih tzu?  How about a lion?                                                                                                            More on the history of the Shih Tzu from the UK shih tzu Club


What Do You Think?

The chrysanthemum is a reference to the similarity between this breed’s facial hair growth patterns and the petals of the aforementioned flower. I’ll leave you to decide if the connection is justified.




Bred for Companionship

The Shih Tzu’s personality is thoughtful and empathetic. Dog owners often say they have human-like abilities to understand and interact with the people members of their family.



A Word About Aggression

Too often given ‘lap’ status and carried around by their owners, this dog can quickly gain a feeling of superiority. We call it a Napoleon Complex, but it has nothing to do with the dog’s height. Though there is murky evidence that suggests that small dogs may be more prone to aggression, most likely this behavior is learned from the way we interact with the dog and how we socialize it with others.

More on the topic of the Napoleon Complex or Small Dog Syndrome at the BBC

AKC Conformation

Purist may want to reference the AKC’s conformation guide to see how their shih tzu stacks up against the paradigm, but if you’re like most owners of this breed, you already know that your dog ranks top.  To use the guide, use the scroll bar to the right of the ‘the breed standard’ window,  click on a body part, then scroll to the bottom to read the description.



Dental Disease is a Major Problem

Dental disease is a major issue. Remember that all dogs, regardless of their size, have 42 adult teeth. In large breeds like the retriever, these teeth are spread out comfortably along the length of the jaw. In the case of the shih tzu the teeth are tightly packed and sometimes overlap a bit. This tight distribution creates deep grooves and pockets that trap food which then rots and …well voila is hardly the word we should be using, but voila, your cute dog has major dental disease by the age of 4. Take advantage of Brookfield’s annual February Pet Dental Health Month special to clean your dog’s teeth BEFORE they get infected. You’ll enjoy a 10% discount off of routine dental services!

Are you one of the owners of Brookfield’s 251 shih tzus? Did we get it right? Let us know in the comment section below or weigh in on the discussion on our Facebook Page.



Don’t say they can’t be trained!