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Shih Tzu: Complete Dog Breed Info

Shih Tzu:  Complete Dog Breed Info
Shih Tzu

Do you want to own a “Little Lion,” a dog with an incredibly long and rich history, a dog that was the emperors’ closest friend? If the answer is “Yes,” then you need to get a Shih Tzu. 

There are many reasons why Shih Tzu is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Today, we will take a look at one of the most amazing dog breeds in the world.

Shih Tzu: Dog Breed Info


The world found out about the Shih Tzu dog breed in the 1930s. Up until then, it was basically hidden inside the Chinese emperor’s palace. However, Shih Tzu has a long history, it was the favorite dog of Chinese emperors and royal families. We don’t know for sure, but Shih Tzus are most likely a crossbreed of Tibetan breeds Pekingese and Lhaso Apso.

Today, Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dogs in the world. Shih Tzu even found their way to the heart of Queen Elizabeth II.

Physical Characteristics

Shih Tzus are small but sturdy, compact, and solid dogs.


Shih Tzus are toy dogs, which means they have miniature dimensions in comparison with some other dog breeds. The average height of Shih Tzus is between 9 and 10.5 inches, while the average weight is between 9 and 16 pounds.


Shih Tzus have beautiful, dense, long double coats. Hair on top of their heads is tied up. 

The coat comes in a variety of colors such as white, black, gray, black and white, red and white. Especially prized features are the white tip on the tail and the white blaze on the forehead.

Personality & Temperament

Shih Tzu is not a hunting dog, guard dog, or watchdog. Shih Tzu is a lap dog and is extremely good at it. These dogs are playful, affectionate, outgoing, gentle, intelligent, and friendly. They are also great with kids and love to meet and greet strangers.

Health & Lifespan

Generally healthy dogs, Shih Tzus have a fairly long lifespan for dogs. On average, a Shih Tzu will live between 10 and 18 years. However, like all other dog breeds, Shih Tzus are susceptible to certain health issues.

The most common health issues in Shih Tzus are:



Shih Tzus are house dogs, lap dogs. Therefore, they don’t need much exercise. Regular indoor playtime and short daily walk are all the physical activities your Shih Tzu needs. 


Shih Tzu’s coat is beautiful, but it’s also demanding. You will need to brush and comb your dog once a day. Also, bathe your Shih Tzu on a weekly basis. Shih Tzus need frequent hair trimming, usually every six to eight weeks. 

Trimm the dog’s nails monthly and check his ears weekly. Also, pay attention to Shih Tzu’s dental hygiene as they are prone to dental problems.


Recommended daily amount of dry food is 1/2 to 1 cup. However, every dog is different and has different needs that depend on its age, size, and activity level. Of course, high-quality, nutrient food is a must if you want to have a healthy and happy dog.


Training a Shih Tzu can be a bitter-sweet experience. They are intelligent, and praise-driven dogs which is great for training. On the other hand, Shih Tzus are known to misbehave and charm their owners into letting them do their things. Therefore, you will need a lot of patience and persistence to properly train your Shih Tzu.

Also, early socialization is important for the proper development of your dog. Therefore, make sure your dog meets a lot of other dogs, people, animals, and sounds while he is still a puppy.

Commonly Asked Questions

Do Shih Tzu bark a lot?

Shih Tzus tend to bark a lot at strangers, other dogs, or people passing by.

Is a male or female Shih Tzu better?

There aren’t big differences between males and females of the breed. However, male Shih Tzus tend to be more attentive, affectionate, and less moody than females. 

Does Shih Tzus get attached to one person?

Yes, Shih Tzus get attached to one person in a household. In fact, we can call Shih Tzus a one-person dog.