The primary characteristic of an imperial Shih Tzu is that it is larger than the average size of a Shih Tzu, DogTime notes. Otherwise, the breeds are the same, and the imperial label is a reference to the royal roots of the dog and a way to help market the breed. Likewise, the term "teacup" is used to market smaller Shih Tzus.Continue Reading
A common characteristic of imperial or regular Shih Tzus is their friendliness. The dog was originally bred to be a companion for humans rather than a hunter or guardian, so it is gregarious toward friends and strangers alike. Another pleasant characteristic of the breed is its adaptability. Such dogs can thrive in both urban and rural areas. Shih Tzus are friendly with small children, but the small size of the breed makes it more susceptible to getting hurt during rough play than larger breeds.
Physical characteristics of the Shih Tzu include hair on the face that grows outward in all directions. The breed also has long, flowing hair that brushes against the ground if not trimmed or held up in a topknot. The lower jaw of the Shih Tzu is wider than its upper jaw, causing the upper teeth to bite inside the lower teeth when the dog's mouth is closed.Learn more about Dogs