Shih Tzu

Country of Origin: China

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 20 of 196

AKC Classification: Toy Group

UKC Classification: Companion Dog

Exercise Requirements: <20 minutes/day

Height: Female: 10 in.; Male: 10 in.

Weight: Female: 9-16 lbs.; Male: 9-16 lbs.

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: High

Tendency to Dig: Moderate

Social/Attention Needs: High

Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Physical traits: Compact, Solid, Well-balanced

Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Playful, Outgoing


Length: Long

Characteristics: Straight

Colors: Any color permissible

Overall Grooming Needs: High

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The Shih Tzu is an old breed that is thought to have originated in Tibet. They were brought to China by the Buddhist monks and eventually became a favored pet of the Chinese royal family. The name "Shih Tzu" means "lion dog" in Chinese, and it is believed that this name was given to the breed because of their long, flowing manes.

They are sturdy, lively, alert toy dogs with a long flowing double coat. Befitting their noble Chinese ancestry as a highly valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation, the Shih Tzu must be compact, solid, carrying good weight and substance. Even though a toy dog, the Shih Tzu must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation.

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Shih Tzus were introduced to the United States in the 1930s and quickly became popular pets. Today, they are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world. They are known for their friendly personalities, good temperament, and low-maintenance coats.

They are often referred to as "the imperial lap dog" because of their small size and luxurious coats. Shih Tzus are playful and loving dogs that make great pets for seniors and families with children. They are also good dogs for apartment living, as they don't require a lot of space.

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Shih Tzus come in a variety of colors, including black, white, gold, and silver. They typically weigh between 8 and 16 pounds and stand about 9-11 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a lifespan of 10-18 years and require regular brushing and grooming to keep their coats looking healthy and shiny.

Because they are a small breed, Shih Tzus are prone to health problems like hypoglycemia and joint problems. It's important to find a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for health problems and provides health guarantees.

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Shih Tzus also need a lot of exercise, so be prepared to take your dog for a walk or play with them in the yard every day. They are intelligent dogs and will get bored if they don't have enough stimulation. Shih Tzus can be barkers, so you'll also want to make sure you have a way to train them to stop barking.

Shih Tzus are considered one of the easiest dog breeds to train. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them quick to learn basic commands. However, as with any breed of dog, training should start early and be consistent. Shih Tzus can be housebroken fairly easily, but may need a little help in learning not to bark or chew on things they shouldn't. With proper training, however, these behaviors can be curbed.

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They are usually good with other pets and children, but may be protective of their family and home. They make excellent watchdogs and love to spend time with their people. If you're looking for a small dog that is playful, loving, and low-maintenance, the Shih Tzu may be the perfect breed for you!

Fun Fact

Shih Tzu is called “chrysanthemum-faced dogs” because the hair on their faces grow in every direction.

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Do you have a Shih Tzu? Share your stories in the comments!