Italian Tzu

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Italy <> Tibet -> U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Italian Tzu

The Italian Tzu is a hybrid breed. Its parents are the Italian Greyhound and the Shih Tzu. The Italian Tzu should be a low-maintenance dog, requiring infrequent grooming. It is not prone to shedding and is easy to train. It does not require a great deal of exercise. In fact, since its parent breeds are not made for long periods of outdoor exercise, you need to be careful with the Italian Tzu outdoors. He shouldn't be allowed to get too hot. He's also okay with being left alone for long periods (e.g. when you're at work during the day) and doesn't often suffer from separation anxiety. He's great with children, energetic, playful and very affectionate.

History of the Italian Tzu

The origins of the Italian Tzu are not fully known. The history of the parent breeds is well documented and provides an interesting look at the story behind the Italian Tzu.

 

        

A little of the Italian Greyhound

        
The exact origin of the Italian Greyhound is unknown, however, we do have artwork dating back to 2,000 depicting the breed. It is thought that the Phoenicians brought the Italian Greyhound to Europe, where it was developed strictly as a pet. The Greeks, Egyptians and Romans favored the dog; in fact, the Romans helped cultivate the development of the Italian Greyhound. Many members of the royal family were deeply devoted to their dogs of this breed. Rumor has it that Frederick the Great of Prussia was buried next to his beloved Italian Greyhound. Around 1900, the breed began to decline in numbers and popularity. Some breeders tried to reduce the size of the already miniature dog, which also led to a decline in the breed's health. Italian Greyhounds were brought to America in the late 1800s, and today the breed is once again gaining in popularity.
Standard of the Italian Greyhound

A little of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu has its roots in China, where it has been depicted in works of art since the 16th century. Some experts believe it is related to the Lhasa Apso, perhaps a descendant of the royal breed. The Chinese considered the Shih Tzu a royal dog, and for many years refused to export the dog outside their country. In the 1930s, a pair was exported to England and from there made their way to America.
Standard of the Shih Tzu

Appearance of the Italian Tzu

The Italian Tzu is a small to medium-sized dog. The Italian Greyhound has short, smooth hair, while the Shih Tzu has longer, silky hair. You can expect the Italian Tzu to have a mixture of the length and softness of its parent breeds. Coloration also depends on the dominant parental breed. It should have plenty of white coloration with a few dark patches, or it may be darker throughout. Most often smaller than the typical Italian Greyhound, the Italian Tzu generally looks more like the Shih Tzu. He'll have a proud look in his dark eyes and a smile that projects his pleasant personality.

Temperament of the Italian Tzu

The Italian Tzu will be a blend of the personalities of its parent breeds. The Italian Greyhound is a gentle, affectionate dog that prefers to be where its owner is at the moment. He adores children and gets on well with other dogs. The Shih Tzu can suffer from small dog syndrome if allowed to do so. However, consistent and early training will prevent this attitude from developing. The Italian Tzu will be alert, happy, friendly, highly intelligent, loyal and loving. He may bark from time to time, but he's great with children and an excellent all-round companion.

Needs and activities of the Italian Tzu

The Italian Tzu is a moderately active dog. He loves to play, however, and will do well in an apartment or house as long as he gets daily exercise in the form of a walk or a trip to the dog park. Socializing with other dogs is important for his development and will exercise his mind as well as his body. In hot weather, be sure to provide plenty of water and shelter from the sun.

Maintenance of the Italian Tzu

The Italian Tzu rarely molts, so it doesn't need much maintenance. It should be brushed once a week with a wire brush. Bathe him only when necessary, and be sure to use only veterinarian-approved shampoo to avoid drying out the skin or causing irritation. You should brush your dog's teeth at least three times a week, but if you want to prevent gum disease, brush every day. Trim your dog's nails every two weeks. As this breed may not want to sit still during a grooming session, it's advisable to start the routine early, making the event a bonding moment your hybrid will look forward to.

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