The Shih Tzu ranges from 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 9 to 16 pounds. The name Shih Tzu means "lion," and this breed has its origins in Tibet.

The Shih Tzu belongs to the "toy" canine category and received breed recognition in 1969. The AKC states the breed was prized by Chinese royalty for over 1,000 years before being discovered by the British during World War II. The Shih Tzu is a compact and sturdy breed with a long and flowing coat and is known for being both courageous and friendly, states Dog Breed Info Center. The breed is considered a good companion dog that requires minimal exercise but does need to be brushed daily.