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Shih Tzu Kou (lion dog)
Shih Tzu (or more properly, Shih Tzu Kou) means "lion dog," designating the breed as one of the most esteemed animals in China because of its association with Buddhism. Even though the Shih Tzu is most often associated with China, it probably originated in Tibet as early as the 17th century, where it enjoyed status as a holy dog. The Shih Tzu, as it is known today, developed most distinctively in China during the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi (Tz'u-shi, 1861 1908). The Shih Tzu and Pekingese share similar histories
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Pekingese
The Pekingese owes its existence to the Lamaist form of Buddhism in China, in which the lion was an exalted symbol of Buddha, sometimes appearing in miniaturized form. The Foo dogs then in existence bore some resemblance to a lion and were carefully bred to accentuate this similarity. In fact, these dogs eventually came to be known as lion dogs. Extensive breeding programs fell under the auspices of palace eunuchs, with no expense spared.
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