Shih Tzu Breed Standard
Size - Ideally, height at withers is 9 to 10.5 inches; but, not less than 8 inches nor more than 11 inches. Ideally, weight of mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds. Proportion - Length between withers and root of tail is slightly longer than height at withers. The Shih Tzu must never been so hight stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as too appear dumpy or squatty.
Head - Round, broad, wide between eyes, its size in balance with the overall size of dog being neither too large nor too small. Fault: Narrow head, close-set eyes. Eye - Large, round, not pominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very dark. Lighter on liver pigmented dogs. Fault : small, close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white. Ears - Large, set slightly below crown of skull; heavily coated that they appear to blend with the hair of the neck. Skull - Domed. Stop - There is a definite stop. Muzzle - Square, short, unwrinkled, set no lower than bottom eye rim. Ideally, no longer than 1 inch from tip of nose to stop, although length may vary slightly in relation to overall size of dog. Pigmentation - Nose, lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except liver on liver pigmented dogs may have liver noses and slightly lighter eyes. Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims. Bite - Undershot or Level. Jaw is broad and wide. Teeth and tongue should not show when mouth is closed.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck - Well set-on flowing smoothly into shoulders; of sufficient length to permit natural high head carriage and in balance with height and length of dog. Topline - Level. Body - Short-coupled and sturdy. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall. Chest - Broad and deep with good spring-of-rib. Depth of ribcage should extend to just below elbow. Distance from elbow to withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground. Tail - Set on high, heavily plumed, carried in curve well over back.
Shoulders - Well-angulated, fitting smoothly into body. Legs - Straight, well-boned, muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set close to body. Dewclaws - May be removed. Feet - Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.
Angulation of hindquarters should be in balance with forequarters. Legs - Well-boned, muscular, and straight when viewed from rear with well-bent stifles, not close set but in line with forequarters. Dewclaws - May be removed. Feet - Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.
Coat - Luxurious, double-coated, dense, long. and flowing. Slight wave permissible, Hair on top of head is tied up. Fault: Sparse coat, single coat, curly coat.
All colors permissible.
The Shih Tzu moves straight and must be shown at its own natural speed, neither raced nor strung-up, to evaluate its smooth, flowing, effortless movement with front reach and equally strong rear drive, level topline, naturally high head carriage, and tail carried in gentle curve over back.
As the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a companion and house pet, it is essential that its temperament be outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting towards all.
Data From The American Kennel Club.