The Imperial Standard: AKC Guidelines for Imperial Shih Tzus

If you’re a Shih Tzu lover, then you’ll want to know all about the Imperial Standard: AKC Guidelines for Imperial Shih Tzus.

This article will take you through the history, size and weight requirements, coat and grooming standards, temperament and personality traits, as well as health and care guidelines for these adorable furballs.

Get ready to dive into the world of Imperial Shih Tzus and discover what makes them so special.

Key Takeaways

  • Imperial Shih Tzus have a rich and ancient history dating back to the Ming Dynasty in China.
  • The ideal weight for an Imperial Shih Tzu is between 4 and 7 pounds.
  • Regular grooming is essential to maintain the breed’s unique characteristics.
  • Imperial Shih Tzus are known for their loving and affectionate nature.

History of Imperial Shih Tzus

You should read the article about the history of the Imperial Shih Tzus. It’s fascinating to learn about how these adorable dogs came to be.

The Imperial Shih Tzu has a rich and ancient history that dates back to the Ming Dynasty in China. These dogs were highly regarded as companions to the Chinese royalty and were often given as gifts to foreign dignitaries. They were treasured for their small size, luxurious coats, and friendly personalities.

Over time, the breed spread beyond the royal court and became popular among the Chinese nobility. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that the Imperial Shih Tzu gained recognition in the Western world. In the 1930s, a pair of Imperial Shih Tzus was presented to the British royal family, which sparked interest in the breed among dog enthusiasts.

Today, these delightful dogs continue to capture the hearts of people worldwide with their affectionate nature and regal charm.

Size and Weight Requirements

If you want to own an Imperial Shih Tzu, it is important to understand the size and weight requirements set by the AKC. These guidelines ensure that the breed maintains its unique characteristics and appearance. According to the AKC, the ideal weight for an Imperial Shih Tzu is between 4 and 7 pounds. They should have a sturdy and compact body, with a height ranging from 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder. To help you visualize these measurements, refer to the table below:

Weight Range (in pounds) Ideal Weight (in pounds) Height Range (in inches)
4 – 7 5 8 – 11

It is important to note that these guidelines are not set in stone, and slight variations in size are acceptable as long as the overall balance and structure of the dog remains intact. When choosing an Imperial Shih Tzu, it is crucial to select a reputable breeder who adheres to these standards to ensure you are getting a healthy and well-bred dog. By understanding and following the AKC size and weight requirements, you can ensure that your Imperial Shih Tzu will be a true representative of the breed.

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Coat and Grooming Standards

To maintain the breed’s unique characteristics, it’s essential to groom your Imperial Shih Tzu regularly and use the recommended grooming products. The coat of an Imperial Shih Tzu is one of its most distinctive features, requiring proper care and attention. Regular grooming helps to keep their coat healthy and prevents matting and tangles.

Start by brushing your Imperial Shih Tzu’s coat daily using a soft bristle brush or comb. This will help remove any loose hair and prevent it from becoming tangled. Pay special attention to the areas around the ears, under the belly, and between the paw pads, as these are prone to matting.

It’s important to use grooming products that are specifically designed for Shih Tzus, as their sensitive skin requires gentle and hypoallergenic products. Regularly bathing your Imperial Shih Tzu is also important to keep their coat clean and free from dirt and debris. Use a mild dog shampoo and be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any irritation.

Additionally, routine trimming of the hair around the eyes and bottom is necessary to ensure your Imperial Shih Tzu’s comfort and hygiene. By following these grooming practices, you’ll help maintain the breed’s unique appearance and ensure your Imperial Shih Tzu’s overall well-being.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Understanding the temperament and personality traits of your Imperial Shih Tzu is crucial in forming a strong bond and ensuring a harmonious relationship. These adorable little dogs have unique characteristics that make them wonderful companions. To help you better understand your furry friend, here is a table highlighting some common temperament and personality traits of Imperial Shih Tzus:

Trait Description
Affectionate Imperial Shih Tzus are known for their loving and affectionate nature. They thrive on human companionship and love to cuddle.
Playful These dogs have a playful and energetic spirit. They enjoy interactive games and playing with toys.
Alert Imperial Shih Tzus have a keen sense of alertness. They make excellent watchdogs and will quickly alert you to any potential danger.

By understanding these traits, you can tailor your interactions and activities to meet your Imperial Shih Tzu’s needs. For example, knowing that they are affectionate, you can spend quality time cuddling and providing them with plenty of love and attention. Additionally, their playful nature means they will enjoy activities that stimulate their minds and keep them entertained.

Now that you have a better understanding of your Imperial Shih Tzu’s temperament and personality traits, it is important to also consider their health and care guidelines to ensure their well-being.

Health and Care Guidelines

Now that you know your Imperial Shih Tzu’s temperament and personality traits, it’s time to discuss the health and care guidelines for keeping them happy and healthy. Here are four important things to consider:

  1. Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Just like humans, dogs need regular check-ups to ensure their overall health. Schedule regular visits with your vet to monitor your Imperial Shih Tzu’s well-being and address any potential health issues promptly.
  2. Balanced Diet: Providing your furry friend with a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health. Consult with your vet to determine the best diet for your Imperial Shih Tzu, considering their age, size, and specific nutritional needs. Remember to provide fresh water and avoid overfeeding.
  3. Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Imperial Shih Tzus may be small in size, but they still need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Engage them in short walks, playtime, and interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.
  4. Grooming and Hygiene: Keeping your Imperial Shih Tzu clean and well-groomed is essential for their health and overall appearance. Regular brushing, bathing, nail trimming, and dental care are important aspects of their grooming routine. Consult with professional groomers if needed.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Imperial Shih Tzus Participate in Dog Shows and Competitions?

Yes, imperial Shih Tzus can participate in dog shows and competitions. They meet the AKC guidelines for this breed and have the opportunity to showcase their unique characteristics and skills.

Are There Any Specific Training Techniques Recommended for Imperial Shih Tzus?

Yes, there are specific training techniques recommended for Imperial Shih Tzus. They respond well to positive reinforcement and consistency. Focus on socialization, obedience, and potty training. Seek professional guidance if needed.

How Long Do Imperial Shih Tzus Typically Live?

On average, Imperial Shih Tzus live for 12-15 years. However, keep in mind that individual lifespan can vary. For instance, your Imperial Shih Tzu, Max, might live happily for 16 wonderful years!

Are There Any Known Genetic Health Issues That Imperial Shih Tzus Are Prone To?

Yes, there are known genetic health issues that Imperial Shih Tzus are prone to. These include brachycephalic airway syndrome, patellar luxation, eye problems, and dental issues. Regular vet check-ups are important.

Can Imperial Shih Tzus Be Left Alone for Long Periods of Time?

You wouldn’t leave a little flower all alone in a vast desert, would you? Similarly, Imperial Shih Tzus shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. They thrive on human companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety.


In conclusion, the Imperial Shih Tzu breed stands tall with its rich history, elegant appearance, and delightful temperament.

By adhering to the AKC guidelines, owners can ensure that their furry companions meet the size, weight, coat, and grooming standards. These guidelines not only promote the breed’s beauty but also emphasize the importance of their health and care.

So, embrace the imperial standard, and experience the joy and love that these enchanting dogs bring to your life.

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