The Shih-Tzu is a sturdy, alert toy dog with a long flowing double coat. Befitting his noble chinese ancestors as a highly valued, prized companion and palace pet. The Shih-tzu is proud of bearing, has a distinctly arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation the Shih-tzu must be compact, solid, carrying good weight and substance.
Even though a toy dog, the Shih-tzu must be subject to the same requirement of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Shih-tzu as in any other breed, regardless of whether or not such faults are specifically mentioned in the standard.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size ideally, height at the withers is to 9 to 10 1/2 inches; but no less then 8 inches nor more than 11 inche. Ideally, wight of a mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds. Proportion Lenght between withers and root of tail is slightly longer that height at withers. The Shih-tzu must never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low station as to apper dumpy or squatty. Subtance Regardless of size, the Shih-tzu is always compact, solid and carries good weight and substance.
Head; Round, broad, wide between eyes, its size is balance with the overall size of dog being neither too large nor too small. Fault: Narrow head, close-set eyes. Expression: Warm, sweet, wide-eye, friendly and trusting. An overall well-Balanced and pleasant expresion supersedes the importance of individual parts. Care should be taken to look and examine well beyond the hair to determine if what is seen is the actual head and expression rather than an image created by grooming techniques.. Eyes; Large, round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very dark. Lighter on liver pigmented or blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Small, close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white. Ears Large, set slightly below crown of the skull; heavily coated. Skull Domed. Stop There is a definite stop. Muzzle Square, short, unwrinkled with good cushioning, set no lower then the bottom eye rim; never downturned. Idealy no longer thatn 1inch from tip of nose to stop. Although length may vary depending on the overall size of the dog. Front of muzzle should be flat. Lower lip and chin not protruding . Fault: Snipiness, lack of definite stop. Nose Nostrils are broad, wide and open. Pigmentation; Nose, lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except for liver and blue. Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims. Btie Undershot. Jaw is broad and wide. A missing tooth or misaligned teeth should not be severely penalized. Teeth and tongue should not show when mouth is closed. Fault: Overshot bite.
Neck, Topline, Body:
Of upmost importance is the overall well-balanced dog with no exaggerated features. Neck Well set-on and flowing into shoulders; of sufficient lenth to permit natural head carriage and balance with height of dog. Topline Level. Body Shor-coupled and sturdy with no waist or tuck up. The Shih-Tzu is slightly longer than tall.Fault: Legginess. Chest Broad and deep whit good spring of rib, however, not barrel-chested. Depth of ribcage should extend to just below elbow.
Distance from elbow to withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground. Croup Flat. Tail Set on high, heavily plumed, carried in cure well over back. Too loose, too tight, tooflat, or too low set a tail is undesirable and should be penalized to extent of deviation.
Shoulders Well-angulated, well laid-back, well laid-in, fitting smoothly into body. Legs Straight well-boned, muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set close to body. Pasterns Strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws May be removed. Feet Firm, well-padded, pointing straight ahead.