It is one opinion in Shih Tzu History documentations that the Scandinavian imports were nearer to the direct imperial line, although those who brought the first Imperial Shih Tzu to the British Isles did so at about the same time. These early English and Irish fanciers acted according to the best knowledge available to them and went to very great trouble to secure the finest possible specimens of the breed. However, noted throughout Shih Tzu history, is the fact that a Danish couple were able to bring home a "palace-born" Imperial Shih Tzu.
A Shih Tzu named Lung-Fu-Ssu was one of the first three Shih Tzu to have been brought to Europe from Peking. A woman by the name of Miss Hutchins brought the black and white dog to Ireland in 1930 and exhibited him at the Cheltenham Show in 1933.
In England in 1937, Lady Brownrigg imported Hibou and Shu-Ssa and a Shih Tzu called Yangtse was born in quarantine. These were some of Lady Brownrigg's first Shih Tzu.
In pictures, of which I have seen, of these early Shih Tzu, their coats were a "shaggy mess." It would seem the norm in those days was more of an "unkempt" look. Their hair very long and covering their eyes. They were typically smiling, showing their teeth and hanging out their tongues in these early pictures as well. It is written that it was a small wonder that they seem to have made a highly favorable impression. At that time they were mistakenly described as Apsos in England.
Of note is that in early photographs of the Scandinavian imports, Shih Tzu sitting up on their hindquarters in a fascinating pose which comes naturally to the breed and which they must have inherited from their palace ancestors as well.
I ran across a picture of Chumulari Hsing Yun, a gold bitch with black mask sitting on her hindquarters such as mentioned in the above paragraph and it reminded me of the look from my Danny Boy and Jane Jane. Shih Tzu history is so fascinating I don't believe anyone will ever unravel all the legends and mysteries associated with the Shih Tzu breed.
Shih Tzu - The First Imports to The British Isles
by Connie Limon
Connie Limon, breeder of the Shih Tzu Stain Glass Shih Tzus www.stainglassshihtzus.com.