The Bea-Tzu is a mixed breed, so they don’t have history as their own breed. Both parent breeds, however, are well known and loved. The Beagle, despite being well-known throughout the world, has a somewhat uncertain history. Greek documents from 400 B.C. describe Beagle-like dogs, and the Romans may have brought small rabbit-hunting hounds with them to England and bred them with the local hounds. However, it seems the breed as we know them today didn’t develop until the 19th century. In the mid-1800s Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of Beagles in Essex, England. These dogs are thought to be the ancestors of the modern Beagle. Rev. Honeywood bred for hunting skills, not looks. The American Kennel Club and the first Beagle specialty club both were founded in 1884. In that same year, the AKC began registering Beagles.
A recent study revealed that the Shih Tzu is one of the 14 oldest dog breeds, although it’s not certain exactly when the breed began development. Some believe the breed was developed by Tibetan Monks and given as gifts to Chinese royalty. Paintings, art, and writings from the China’s Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) portray small dogs similar to the Shih Tzu. References to the dogs appear again from 990 to 994 A.D. in documents, a few paintings, and carvings. In 1861, the Shih Tzu became popular in the Imperial Court after a royal concubine became the Empress of China. In 1928, the first Shih Tzus, a male and female pair, were brought to England from Peking by Lady Brownrigg, the wife of the quartermaster general of the north China command. This was the start of the Shih-Tzu’s eventual worldwide popularity. Maureen Murdock and Philip Price, her nephew, were the first to import and breed Shih Tzus in the United States. Today, according to the American Kennel Club, the Shih Tzu is the 20th most popular breed out of 196 total.