By: Elaine Landau
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2010
When dog lovers around the world think “cute” they are probably thinking of the shih tzu. They are adorable, smart, social, and understandably rank among the top ten most popular breeds in the United States. They are a “small dog with a big personality” and have been cherished pets for centuries. The breed originated in Tibet about 3,000 years ago and was considered to be holy. Chinese emperors sometimes received them as gifts from the monks. They received the royal treatment then and if you’ve ever known someone with a shih tzu, you know they still are treated like royalty. Of course these days, we say they are spoiled rotten. They became a popular breed more than fifty years ago and still are to this day.
They are a small dog that measures approximately 8 to 11 inches from the shoulder and weighs between 9 and 16 pounds. Get out your ruler and bathroom scale, measure and weigh a few things and you’ll quickly understand how small they are. The AKC, or American Kennel Club, has placed them in the toy group. You’ll get to see an amazing photograph of Hallmark Jolei Surfer Girl (otherwise known as Gidget), an award winning dog. There are lots of things you’ll learn about the shih tzu and may find this is not the dog for you. For example, if you are a runner this dog just won’t be able to keep up with you. In this book you’ll learn all kinds of interesting facts, including the colors it comes in, its grooming needs, personality, the need for proper veterinarian care, what it eats, and things such as a list of things you’ll need when you bring your dog home.
This is a fun and fascinating look at the shih tzu, one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Of course if you have had shih tzus in the past, you won’t need any convincing. You’ll already know that they are “the best dogs ever,” but if you’re unfamiliar with their personality and needs, this book will prove to be an excellent introduction and overview. The book, which is peppered with an assortment of photographs of this dog, just screams ‘adorable.’ That fact in itself makes the book very appealing, but there is a lot of basic information about the dog that will help the young potential owner learn about the breed. Of course if you do decide you will be bringing home a shih tzu, you’ll need to purchase a breed specific book. There are several informative sidebars scattered throughout the book, including one that even offers suggestions for names. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: Another excellent book in the ‘Best Dogs Ever’ series.