With a name to make you chuckle—it"s actually pronounced "sheed-zoo" or "sheet-su"—the shih tzu is a perennially popular dog breed, especially for those seeking a pet with good looks. Their long, beautiful coats and adorable faces turn heads everywhere they go, and shih tzus delight in the attention. But they aren"t just easy on the eyes; these pups will tug at your heartstrings, too. Shih tzus are very loyal and dish out lots of affection for their owners. They have literally perfected the role of lap dog for more than a thousand years. Their name translates to "little lion"—a nod to their ancient Chinese heritage, but a misnomer for the gentle pooch—and they also have a whole host of other nicknames: "under-the-table dog," "Fu dog," "shock dog," "sleeve dog," "Tibetan poodle," and the "chrysanthemum-faced dog" thanks to their unique facial fur, which has the appearance of flower petals. A shih tzu is happy and playful, but will demand quite a bit of your attention—and make sure you provide it. "They can be sweet and kind or yappy and naughty," says Pam Nichols, DVM, President-elect of the American Animal Hospital Association. "They are generally happy and are way better behaved when they are well socialized." Their friendly attitude and regal looks, coupled with their adaptability to even the smallest living spaces, make them a very popular companion.