Grooming and standard
Topknot means a knot of hair.
It takes some time and patience to make the perfect topknot.
The hair on top of the dogs head should be cared for carefully, especially around the eyes. First the hair in-between the eyes is jointly taken and fixated with an elastic band that can be bought at specialized retailers. Afterwards a bit of hair from the upper head is carefully combed upwards. The hair is then held up and fixated with a second elastic band. It is also possible to use just one elastic band for all of the facial hair. In this case the braid is then parted in the middle so it can fall left and right. (it is necessary to use a specialized comb for the dogs beard and eyes). The hair on the nose should always be combed in the direction of the beard. There should be a little parting on the nose. The beard on the cheeks and chin should be combed and cleaned daily. After feeding there will usually be some residue in the beard.
“You can buy a great dog with money, but not it’s wagging tail”. Josh Billings (1818-1885) American writer.
If you think about purchasing a Shih Tzu you should consider that this breed requires extensive care. Thus only people who have enough time on their hands to care for such a dog should consider buying one.
It is of course possible to shorten the fur, best done by a good dog groomer, but this reduces the natural beauty of the Shih Tzu.
Being groomed needs to be learned.
As a puppy the dog should already learn the procedure of grooming, even though the puppy fur does not need daily grooming yet. You can buy brushes with rounded prongs that do not hurt your dog when brushing at specialized retailers or your dog groomers shop. With these you can brush the fur skin deep without hurting the skin.
If you wish to show your Shih Tzu at a convention, the caring is even more extensive.
Standard of the Shih Tzu
Country of origin: Tibet
Type: family dog
Height: The shoulder height of the Shih Tzu should be 25cm +- 1cm. They should weigh between 4,5kg and maximal 8kg.
Fur: The fur should be long, dense and have a good undercoat. The fur should not be curly, light waves are being tolerated. All colours are allowed for Shih Tzu. If the dog is multi coloured, bi- or tri-coloured it is desirable to have a white marking on the forehead and the tip of its tail.
Character: Shih Tzu are intelligent, like all oriental dog breeds. They are loving, cheerful, social and devoted. They are very attentive and fast learners, if they get something in return (treats), since they can also be very stubborn.
The Shih Tzu likes company. They choose their owners and are not “everybody’s friend”. The do not bark much.
Head and skull: The head of the Shih Tzu should be broad, the eyes big, round and dark, but not protrude. The drop ears should be covered with long fur that reaches the hair of the neck and set well. They should have a broad jaw and overbite (end-to-end bite is tolerated). The lips should always be closed.
Frame: The Shih Tzu should have a stable frame, a straight back, a broad and deep breast and well arched rips. The paws should be round and solid. The paws appear big because of the ample fur. The tail should also have ample fur and be carried far over the back of the dog. The walk should be arrogant, with a strong boost from the backhand during which the paw pads should be visible completely.