The Shih Tzu Belongs to the Toy Group

by Connie Limon - Date: 2007-01-06 - Word Count: 640 Share This!

How did our different dog breeds come into existence? People created each breed by choosing dogs with the desired qualities and breeding them to each other. People designed some dogs to hunt, others to herd, some to guard and some for companions. Our Shih Tzu is in the companion group of dog breeds.

According to the American Kennel Club a breed is defined as: "A relatively homogeneous group of animals within a species developed and maintained by man."

Each registry divides breeds into groups. Each registry does this slightly different. The AKC uses the following seven groups, which most of are classified by the function and purpose for which the breed was developed:

Sporting Group
Working Group
Herding Group
Hound Group
Terrier Group
Toy Group (Our Shih Tzu belongs in this group)
Non-sporting Group

The AKC has another group in which they lump together breeds that are in the process of being recognized. This group is called the "Miscellaneous Class." The breeds in the Miscellaneous Class can only be shown when the Miscellaneous Class is specifically included in a show.

In addition to the Shih Tzu, there are several other breeds that belong to the Toy Group as classified by the American Kennel Club, they are:

Brussels Griffon
Cavalier King Charles
Chinese Crested
English Toy Spaniel
Italian Greyhound
Japanese Chin
Manchester Terrier
Miniatrue Pinscher
Silky Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Although the Toy Group of dog breeds were created specifically for companionship, many of them still retain instinct and characteristics of their ancestors, such as hunting or guarding abilities.

If you are interested in showing your Shih Tzu, he or she would be shown in the Toy Group. Although there are some unpleasant realities within the show dog arena we must remember this is true with all types of sports. Just because some people may accidentally turn over the boat while fishing and drown does not mean no one should ever go fishing or participate in fishing competitions. There will always be negatives and positives to everything in life a person pursues. Just keep in mind that dog showing is a sport, a very competitive sport, one in which you are suppose to have fun at and it is suppose to be rewarding for you and your Shih Tzu. Even if your Shih Tzu does not win, he has got to have a little more poise and elegance than before he ever stepped into the ring.

I have a beautiful Shih Tzu in which I adore as with many of my Shih Tzu I adore them, however, Ginger, continues to steal my heart mainly with her beauty. Her sister has been in the show ring. However, here on the farm with me, my Ginger, although beautiful enough to be in the show ring is my ole' farmhand girl, and I call her by nickname, no not "teacup Shih Tzu," no not Imperial Shih Tzu," I call her by nickname: "Roosterhead," because she has vibrant red hair. She loves me just the same even though I have not spent thousands of dollars on her to put her in the show ring; she is still my beautiful "Roosterhead Farm Girl." She and I really like life on the farm. And no, we are not a "puppy farm" either. I just call it my farmhouse. Afterall, like Ginger, she is mine, the house is mine, I can call it whatever I please. This is the U.S. and I have Freedom of Speech. Ginger has loved living with me from day one. She was out and about all over the place as soon as I got her out of the crate she was shipped to me in. Ginger is one of the queens here, and we have a very special relationship with each other.

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Author: Connie Limon. Visit us at and sign up for our helpful newsletters. About Toy Dogs is a guide to the selection and care of toy breed dogs. We feature articles, dog training resources, dog books, dog supplies and a toy dog breeder directory. Purchase a full page with 3 pictures, a 12 picture video and advertising in our newsletters for one year at rate of $25.

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