The Shih Tzu, also known as the “lion dog” in Chinese is of Chinese origin and is thought to have originated from crossing Tibetan Lhasa Aspo dogs, which were introduced to China in the 17th century with the native Pekinese dogs.
The dogs became a favourite of the Imperial Chinese court. The breed was so highly regarded that the Chinese refused to sell, or even give away any of the dogs. It is believed that the first pair of Shih Tzu’s to be imported to England was not until 1930 and until the late 1930s for the US.
The Shih Tzu became recognized as a seperate breed in 1969.