Shih Tzu

Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Good With Dogs
Watchdog Ability


Shih Tzu originates from China, where this dog was a sacred animal in the royal palaces. Their ancestors are Tibetan Lhasa Apso dogs, which the Dalai Lama gave the Chinese emperors at the end of seventeenth century. Due to Chinese isolationism, crossing the breed was kept in secret, but it is assumed that the Tibetan dogs are crossed with Pekingese and Shih Tzu is the result. Until the early twentieth century, the breed was not known outside China. Now puppies for sale can be found in Europe and North America.

Physical characteristics

The Shih Tzu is a small dog, with a compact body covered with long, thick hair. Coloration occurs in different colors. Height of Representatives is about 28 cm and their weight is between 4 and 7 kg. Head has rounded cheeks, short snout and long mustache and beard. Over a nose there are clumps of hair that are usually gripped with a hairpin. Eyes are dark in color while ears are pending. Tail is carried curled over the back.

Character and behavior

Although it has a proud and arrogant expression, the Shih Tzu has a happy and cheerful temperament and is a quite less demanding dog compared to other mini breeds. It is energetic and playful, loves to run around the yard, and this is enough for it to spend its energy. As a lover of comfort and attention, the Shih Tzu likes to sit in the lap of its owner and sleep on soft cushions, which makes it an excellent pet for older people.

Training and education

The breed has an aristocratic behavior. It is stubborn adamant when it likes or dislikes someone. The Shih Tzu doesn’t create problem problematic situations and it is easy to forgive them even when they disobey.

The results of their education will be wonderful if you rely on consistency, praise and food rewards. The hardest thing in training is teaching your puppy to go to a toilet in the right place.

Health problems

Many Shih Tzu have a long and healthy life, but unfortunately suffer from a predisposition to kidney and liver problems, knee ties, eye issues, skin allergies and other. Their life expectancy is about 15 years.

Grooming and care

You should be careful when raising a Shih Tzu in a house. Since respiratory system of this breed is impaired, these dogs must stay away from freshly cut grass or pollen allergenic. Like Huskies and Chow Chow, the Shih Tzu is also sensitive to climate change and some would not tolerate too hot and humid weather. Keep in mind that dogs are prone to heatstrokes. Compact size of the body, makes it perfect for growing in an apartment, where your puppy will feel best. This companion loves to stay close to its master and likes to be petted, brushed and cared for all day.

Despite its rather long coat, the Shih Tzu won’t fill your apartment with so many fallen hairs, it is enough to comb the fur a couple of times per week. In this respect, the dog is preferable to other long-haired breeds such as small Bichon and Pomeranian. Without regular brushing the Shih Tzu becomes a tangled mess of hair. If you cannot spend enough time to comb a hair, you will have to cut it short, which is a popular option for maintaining this breed. It gives also the impression of a dog that never ages.

Children and other pets

The Shih Tzu is fairly quiet and easily accepts other pets, unlike the Yorkshire terrier for example. Well socialized dogs can even bear the presence of cats. It is friendly and attached to all the kids in the family. Even if a child does not like the dog, it would rather behave reserved to him than to hurt him.

Interesting facts

In Chinese, Shih Tzu means "lion dog", but it is also a very independent and energetic dog, and some gave it the nickname "cat dog".