The Shih Tzu (pronounced /ˈʃiːtsuː/ SHEE-tsoo, from Mandarin [ʂɨ́tsɨ]) is a breed of dog weighing 4–7.25 kilograms (8.8–16.0 lb) with long silky hair. The breed originated in China and is among the earliest breeds. Shih Tzu were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. The name is both singular and plural.
Shih Tzu (simplified Chinese: 狮子狗; traditional Chinese: 獅子狗; pinyin: Shīzi Gǒu; Wade–Giles: Shih-tzu Kou; literally "Lion Dog"), is the Chinese name rendered according to the Wade-Giles system of romanization in use when the breed was first introduced in America; the Chinese pronunciation is approximately SHIRR-tsə. The name translates as Lion Dog, so named because the dog was bred to resemble "the lion as depicted in traditional oriental art," such as the Chinese guardian lions. The Shih Tzu is also often known as the "Xi Shi quan" (西施犬), based on the name of Xi Shi, regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient China, and, less often, the Chrysanthemum Dog, a nickname coined in England in the 1930s. The dog may also be called the Tibetan Lion Dog, but whether or not the breed should be referred to as a Tibetan or Chinese breed is a source of argument, the absolute answer to which "may never be known".
DNA analysis placed the ancestors of today's Shih Tzu breed in the group of "ancient" breeds indicating "close genetic relationship to wolves". Ludvic von Schulmuth studied the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. Von Schulmuth created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog who would fight lions in packs " which evolved into the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and