The Head on a Shih Tzu Goes Round and Round

Generally speaking, the first thing we notice about a dog is its head because that’s where his or her face is, and while Lee Ann Shepherd’s foreshortened depiction of a Shih Tzu may exaggerate the fact just a tad, the first impression we should get when looking at a Shih Tzu’s noggin, whether he’s in a show ring or at the dog park, is of roundness. This breed’s head should be round not just from front to back (or stop to occiput), but from side to side, as well.

A Shih Tzu may be rocking a “bubble” (or top knot, and if you think making one of these isn’t any more complicated than a pony tail, check out these instructions), but anyone who needs to know if the head is truly round (a judge, for instance, or a breeder trying to ascertain the strengths or weaknesses of a potential sire or dam) is well advised to use their hand to find out (and yes, that means the topknot might get mussed up when fingers grope around the base of it). A nice round head in balance with the body is a hallmark of this breed, and narrow heads are a fault, so remember the old children’s song when looking at a Shih Tzu’s head: The wheels on the bus go round and round…..

Image: Shih Tzu by LA Shepard/thedoglover
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