Shih Tzu Dog – AKC Breed Standard Part II

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When someone in the world of dogs refer to the word “forequarters” they’re talking about the front of the dog. This includes the shoulders and front legs when watching the dog face-to-face. All of this relates to the AKC breed standard of the Shih Tzu.

The shoulders should fit perfectly so that the dog can move easily. Straight and muscular legs are crucial as well as adequate space between them to compliment the broad chest. However, the elbows should reside close to the body as possible.

Your Shih Tzu’s feet should be robust, cushioned, and facing frontward. Not inward or outward. Shih Tzu’s need a frontend that enables them to stand with strong assurance.

The term “hindquarters” simply refers to the back of the dog facing his or her tail. To make sure that the dog is well balanced with strong muscular legs and a sturdy bone, the angles of the hips and back legs of the dog must match the forequarter (frontend of the dog).

Shih Tzu Coat, Color and Markings – AKC Breed Standard

One of the most fascinating and impressive feature of the Shih Tzu is probably the coat. The coat is luxurious and thick, straight, or just fairly wavy; it also has a dense undercoat beneath a longer overcoat.

The Shih Tzu’s hair on its head and ears should be long and flowing and in some cases tied up into a little topknot.

Coats that are thin are considered to be a fault. However, some females that have not been spayed may experience some thinning of the hair due to hormonal changes.

Shih Tzu’s that compete in dog shows may get a little trim here and there to neaten up the coat for the judges, but too much trimming is looked upon as a fault.

The Shih Tzu should look as natural as possible; you do not want it to resemble a Poodle. When it comes to color and markings, there is really no standard per say, because they can be any color with any markings.

No one color is considered more appealing than the other; however, the gold and the white Shih Tzu are more popular, therefore more sought after.

The Gait of the Shih Tzu

When you hear the tern “gait” it refers to the movement of the dog. Your Shih Tzu should not be trying to race around or appear as if he or she has to be dragged around the dog show ring by the leash.

The way your dog walks tells the judges a lot about him or her such as how well they’re put together as well as their attitude.

Your Shih Tzu should walk on his or her own without waddling or difficulty and should walk with grace, power and confidence.

For example, your dog should move with his or her topline parallel to the ground and their tail should stay swirled over their back gently.

Shih Tzu Temperament or Personality

When it comes to the temperament of a Shih Tzu, take the matter seriously. For instance, if your dog does exude confidence, friendliness, a little arrogance and trustworthiness. Calling him or her a Shih Tzu would be hard.

That is what a Shih Tzu is all about, the attitude and quintessence of the breed is what makes them some of the most highly sought after dogs in the world.

Your dog’s temperament matters just as much as his or her coat, head shape, or anything else for that matter when in the show ring.

The judges should witness a trusting, outgoing, and happy dog when they’re judging. Shih Tzu’s are not a shy breed; therefore, they should not be shy in the show ring or at home.

In the world of the Shih Tzu, everybody should appear kind, friendly, and compassionate. Therefore, they should act accordingly.

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