As part of our “Dog-Eared Reads” series of book reviews, today we look at “The Complete Shih Tzu,” by Victor Joris.
As part of our Dog-Eared Reads series of book reviews here at Dog O’Day, a wide variety of selections might pop up – from cookbooks to classics to current novels and picture books – even romances sometimes. This time up, it’s The Complete Shih Tzu, written and edited by AKC judge Victor Joris.
Part of the Howell Dog Book collection, which also includes The Complete Samoyed, The Complete Shih Tzu was published in 1994, and while most of the work was written by Joris, other chapters were written by Audrey Dadds, Richard Paisley and Peggy Hogg.
While it doesn’t help with the pronunciation of the breed, it does very well at tracing the history of the Shih Tzu, which is apparently both the singular and the plural form of the breed’s name.
If a reader is interested in the history of the breed in the conformation world, there’s plenty of information about that here as well. If readers don’t care for a litany of those facts, they will likely find these sections exhausting.
The first three chapters deal with the history of the breed in Asia, which originated between the exchange of royal dogs between Tibet and China, which happened for around a thousand years.
By around 1750, the original royal dogs had become extinct, though the Chinese dogs developed into the Shih Tzu and the Pekingese as we know them.
With the Boxer Rebellion in the late nineteenth century, things fell apart societally, and in the chaos the Shih Tzu were able to scatter throughout the world.
There are also chapters on the breed’s population throughout the world, as well as separate chapters on the Shih Tzu’s spread throughout Canada and America. The breed standard is also discussed, as are proper coat conditioning, the breed in sickness and health, whelping tips and a look at how the Shih Tzu performs in obedience competitions.
The final chapter of The Complete Shih Tzu looks at the Shih Tzu in Chinese art throughout history, which seems like something the Museum of the Dog would have in their collection.
While not a book that the casual reader would likely find interesting, for the dedicated Shih Tzu fan this could be a valuable resource.