Shih Tzu Breed Description:

The Shih Tzu originally developed in Tibet. Shortly after he moved to China, where it goes under further development, they are among one of the original palace dogs, so they love to be around their people, and they have a lively outgoing nature. They are not a kind of dog breed you’d want to put in a shelter (kennel). They love to be in the environment like home, their chairs, and their sofas. As soon as you get out of your couch, they’re into it.

Shih Tzus are lovely little dogs. They’re a bit lively for the size of them. They have medium energy levels and exercise demands. They love to go for really long walks and long exercise. A healthy Shih Tzu will need up to an hour of exercise a day. Road walking is good because that builds up muscle, but they like kind of, you know, roaming spirits freely, so they want to have some wide-open spaces. And although their size is small, they do like to keep up with the larger dogs walking around in the park. But I recommend half an hour exercise minimum in a day is a must for them, and again it depends on what age, fit, and healthy they are.


Training And Home Requirements:

Shih Tzus are a delight to train. We’ve had many through class doing stunning heelwork, and they’re a beautiful little companion dog. They’re adorable, but they’ve got a genuine personality, so its a fun to train them. If you can find what their motivation is, you’re a winner. They are very good at agility and heelwork to music. But again, it does depend on the individual dog and the ability of the person who’s training them. They can be aloof. And one more thing to keep in mind that they can take time to potty train.

They are cute, good popular dogs. I think they’d fit in anywhere really. I guess because they’re gregarious, and they like to run around and have fun. You should have a reasonably sized property. They’re speedy. So maybe not suited to older people – but perhaps if they’re rehomed and they are elderly themselves, then they’re lovely lapdogs. Depending on what age and what you are going to do with them – they can fit themselves into almost any household.


Shih Tzu Grooming And Coat Care:

The only thing that I’d be very careful to train early on is – they’ve got lots of coat – quite a lot of coat that needs grooming. So you need to focus on getting them to handle first. Particularly by a gentle groomer. So you need to be looking around their ears and their eyes and their paws. Lots of people handle the front paws don’t handle the back paws. You need to handle your Shih Tzu dog from all over as soon as you get it. Finding a friendly groomer to take it to.

If you want to keep Shih Tzu’s coat long, you need to groom them regularly. Otherwise, matt will form. Their hairs grow a lot in the pads between toes – so you have to trim those hairs regularly. Even road walking won’t work. So you have to pay close attention to hairs between pads; otherwise, it will form matt in the pads, and that’s going to be very uncomfortable for your dog. You do need to check their nails and pads twice a week to make sure they’re in good condition.

Shih Tzu that is clipped off is a lot easier. And most of the people who keep Shih Tzu as a pet goes for a pet trim. You still have to check the ears, eyes, and faces because they do – even when you trimmed them – keep quite a lot of muzzle hair on – so you have to wash that regularly. 


Shih Tzu Colours:

the lovely-looking Shih Tzu dogs come in different variety of colors, such as shades of gold, white, brown, solid silver, black and white, solid black, liver and white, brindle and black mask gold.


Health Problems:

Some of them have quite prominent eyes, so you do need to check especially in the summertime that no dirt or seeds or little spikes or dry grass have got in there because they can end up with ulcers in their eyes. And that’s one of the things that not all Shih Tzus have, but the ones with prominent eyes do tend to suffer from that. You do need to clean their ears out- some of them get a lot of wax in their ears, and others don’t. Healthwise they’re sturdy, fit little dogs. You don’t have to test them for anything at the moment, so they’re pretty sturdy.


Shih Tzu as Non-Shedding Dog:

The Shih Tzu dog breed is friendly and loyal, and they are hypoallergenic, too. The breeds’ coat does not shed; their hairs only fall out when broken or brushed. They were the favorite pet of the Tang Dynasty; this “small lion dog” comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. This Toy dog is sturdy and lively, with a carriage often described as arrogant, due to his proudly held head and curling tail. The Shih Tzu is bred as a house pet, and his gentle, trusting nature makes him an exceptional companion.


Shih Tzu for Fist Time Dog Owners:

Loving and affectionate, the Shih Tzu loves cuddles and attention. They are incredibly playful and a little cheeky too. They can be quite demanding and sometimes a little arrogant, but deep down they are a lovable little rogue. Their coat will need a lot of attention and grooming, so be prepared for regular visits to the doggy beauty parlor. If you’re are looking to get your first dog, head on down to your local shelter. Your new bestie may be waiting there.


Originated in Tibet and developed in China


Toy Dog


Affectionate, smart, playful and intelligent


Small up to 11 inches/27cm


Up to 16 lbs

Exercise Needs

1/2 – 1 hour a day

Life Expectancy

12 – 16 years

Ideal Owners

Active people of all ages

Ideal Home

Large flat or house preferably with garden


Long coat (daily) Short coat (Twice a week)

Coat Type



3-5 Shih Tzu puppies




They have a long, thick, dense coat that requires a certain amount of attention, but they are very much a family dog, with an active and outgoing personality and do make an ideal pet in the right environment.



Frequent Asked Questions:

What does the name Shih Tzu mean?

The full name of this adorable little dog breed is Tibetan Shih Tzu Kou which means Tibetan Lion Dog. It was named “lion dog” because of its resemblance to the lion.

Do Shih Tzus bark a lot?

Yes, they have a high tendency to bark

Can Shih Tzus be left alone?

The affectionate, funny, joyful housedog who loves nothing more than to follow his owners from room to room, the lovable, outgoing companion doesn’t like to be left home alone.

What is the average life span of a Shih Tzu?

On average, a Shih Tzu dog breed lives up to 12 years and can attain a lifespan of up to 20 years.

Does Shih Tzu like to cuddle?

Loving and affectionate, the Shih Tzu loves cuddles and attention. They are extremely playful and a little cheeky too.

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