Is this dog a Shih Tzu?

by Debra Zammit
(New Carlisle, Ohio)

Lil black sheep is our only black Shih Tzu, the other five are black and whites. However I don't think our blackie is a Shih Tzu, I think he looks mixed like maybe w poodle. He is also our only chunking dog. him chunky monkey. Wonder if you see his pics if you think he is a full bred Shih Tzu?

Thank you soooo much
BLACK SHEEP / CHUNKY MONKEY/ NOBAMA....we call him all these names and he is surprisingly smarter than the other five won't make a difference I LOVE them all either way but he just doesn't have a flat enough face for Shih Tzu does he??

He is 9 lbs at only 13 weeks old...all my others are average weight 8,5 lbs at 20 weeks..yes the lil princess with mostly black face is a mix, malteses and shih tzu, she is 5.5 lbs at 13 weeks old...
Their names are:
Karma the oldest 3 yrs
Hippy 2 years
Black sheep

Hi Janice Here from Miracle Shih Tzu

What adorable dogs you have. All have typical Shih Tzu characteristics but the two you mentioned do not seem to be full (100%) Shih Tzu. I can definitely see the Maltese-Shih Tzu puppy but your Little Black Sheep, Chunky Monkey looks a little different. His size, for one does not seem to fit into the Shih Tzu standard at all.

If he is 9 pounds at 13 weeks, he is going to be one BIG boy. I've never had a really big Shih Tzu personally, but others have told me that they had 20 and 25 pound Shih Tzu dogs.

I'm wondering where you got him? He must have had fairly large parents. There are several possibilities, but the only way to know for sure is to do genetic testing on him.

1. His coat seems fairly straight, at least in the picture, which might rule out miniature poodle or bichon heritage.

2. There may be some Lhasa Apso in his background that would account for the larger size and straighter hair.

3. It is also possible that one or both parents may have some Shih Tzu and something else which would make the dog look Shih Tzu but not completely.

4. His size alone would rule out a Maltese mix in my mind because Maltese dogs are usually small with smaller bones.

5. There is a possibility that he could even have some short haired breed in his genetic mix. Long hair is generally considered to be a recessive trait but if both parents have some short haired genes (overly simplified), then there is a possibility that one of the offspring could be longhaired. This happens in some breeds such as the Dachshund.

6. There is a possibility that he could be 100% Shih Tzu and have parents that do not conform to the breed standard. Two Shih Tzu with poor conformation will create a puppy that doesn't conform to the standard. Many of the Shih Tzu in European countries are much larger than the ones we have here in the U.S.

The only scientific way to know what a dog's genetic background is to have their DNA tested. This is becoming more common and much easier.

It relies on a sample of DNA that you collect by doing a cheek swab and then sending it to a lab. The cost of this service has come down in recent years and is more affordable for average people. You can do a Google Search for "DNA testing for dogs" and get a list of laboratories that do this type of work.

He is really cute and like you said, breed doesn't really matter when you have a happy puppy.

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Jul 26, 2016
Thanks for the response
by: Janice

Thank you so much for those kind words. I have always been fascinated with the many breeds of dogs out there today, but I also know it is nearly impossible to guess what a dog is just by looking at them.

This is even a problem in many rescue shelters where the workers must choose a breed label. Unfortunately, some breeds come with some bad press, so it is important to get it right.

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

Jul 25, 2016
thank you!!!!!
by: Anonymous

oh my!! What a knowledgeable person!! Im just as thankful for your input and your time as i am impressed with your knowledge! Thank you so much!!

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