A Shih Tzu (ˈʃiːtsuː/ sheet-soo - Mandarin: shirr-dzuh) is a plaything dog type weighing 5–7.25 kilograms (11–16.0 lb) with long smooth hair. The type began in China. Shih Tzu were formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. The title is both singular and dual.
The title Shih Tzu comes from the Chinese word for "lion dog" because this kind of dog was propagated to resemble "the lion as depicted in customary oriental art," such as the Chinese guardian lions. (There is also the Pekingese type, called "lion dog" in Chinese.) "Shih Tzu" is the Wade-Giles romanization of the Chinese individual features 獅子, significance lion; Wade-Giles romanization was in use when the breed was first introduced in America, but in modern times Pinyin romanization is used, rendering it shīzi. The Mandarin Chinese articulation is roughly shirr-dzə. The Shih Tzu is also renowned as the "Xi Shi dog" (西施犬) because Xi Shi was considered as one of the most beautiful women of very old ceramic. Shih Tzu were nicknamed the Chrysanthemum Dog in England in the 1930s. The dog may furthermore be called the Tibetan Lion Dog, but if or not the breed should be referred to as a "Tibetan" or "Chinese" breed is a source of contention, the absolute answer to which "may not ever be known".