Bothe The Shih-Tzu Visited us in Antioch

Some of the newest breeds and some of the oldest of all and with their humans, too, at http://facebook.com/dogandcatshots

Bothe Shih-Tzu collected his attendant human and came out to our Antioch pet vaccination clinic. Whether clipped or unclipped, you can always tell a Shih-Tzu by its silky hair and pronounced mustache. As unlikely as it seems, DNA analysis shows the Shih-Tzu to be one of the ancient breeds – and that means that Bo is closely related to wolves from which all dogs derived! In ancient times these and the Lhasa Apso were favored by Chinese royalty and the breeding was carefully controlled. The dogs probably originated with a cross of Apso dogs, Tibetan plateau dogs and perhaps Pugs and since at least 800BC the Shih-Tzu has been identified as one of the ‘Lion Dogs’ as their name (in Chinese) states. Their long silky hair does not shed and is hypoallergenic. It grows in a characteristic pattern with a colored mustache which is almost always clipped but which, if left to grow can reach down below the dog’s shoulders. This beautiful long flowing mustache can be identified in a clipped dog because it has a color of its own and a typical distribution. The breed was introduced to England in the 1930s and soon became known there as the ‘Chrysanthemum Dog’ and my guess is that’s because when their hair is tied up on top of their head it gives them a Chrysanthemum-shaped flower head . . . – just a guess. The breed did not make it to the United States until the 1950s and over here has only been known as the Shih-Tzu. The long, beautiful and silky hair can grow to the ground and therefore requires either constant grooming or it must be clipped. One thing to remember about the dogs which need to visit the groomer is that often groomers require the Bordetella (a kennel cough) and/or the Canine Influenza vaccination before dogs are allowed into their facility, so check with them before choosing vaccinations. These wonderful little dogs were bred as pets and they are perfect and perfectly safe in that role. We love having them around our clinics. – Geoffrey Antipa

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