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Could the Shih Tzu Be the Perfect Match for You?

Could the Shih Tzu Be the Perfect Match for You?

If you’re looking for a miniature breed that is lively, affectionate, and intelligent, then the beautiful shih tzu might just be the perfect dog for you! Carry on reading to find out more about the lovely shih tzu.

Breed Snapshot

  • Size: Small dog (4 – 7.2 kg)
  • Coat: This double-coated breed is a light shedder and has hair instead of fur. The coat requires a lot of attention, and regular clipping is recommended.
  • Energy: This is an energetic breed, but it is fairly low maintenance.
  • Lifespan: 10 – 16 years
  • Country of origin: China
  • Breed type: This breed is a member of the utility group and is a vibrant little dog with an easy-going temperament.
  • Other names: Tibetan,Chinese
  • Great breed for:  Apartments and smaller living spaces, Families with older children


What is a shih tzu?

The name Shih tzu means ‘little lion’. This name was given to the breed because, according to a legend, the Tibetan God of Learning used to travel with a small lion dog that was said to transform into a full-sized lion. These little dogs became known as noble dogs of China and were firm favourites of the Empress Tzu Hsi in the late 1800s.

The shih tzu loves attention and to be part of the family environment. The breed also gets on well with older children and other dogs and pets. They are extremely expressive dogs, and this will enable you to know exactly what your little companion is thinking and feeling.

What do shih tzus look like?

Shih tzus are quick to mature and generally reach maturity by the time they are about 10 months old. The dog’s body is slightly longer than it is tall, and it has a short muzzle, a large, rounded head, and prominent eyes. It also has a long, double coat with a tail that is carried over the back.

The shih tzu measures approximately 25.4 inches and weighs between 4 and 7.2 kg. The breed comes in a variety of colours, including black, white, liver, brindle, blue, and gold, with a darker pigment around the eyes and nose.

What makes the shih tzu special?

The shih tzu sheds little hair and is therefore great for allergy sufferers. However, they do have a long, double coat that requires lots of attention unless it is clipped regularly.

These little dogs love attention and are loving and playful. They make great therapy dogs due to their loving and playful nature.   


How often do I need to groom my shih tzu?

Shih tzus need plenty of regular grooming due to their long, flowing coats. It is important to get these dogs used to being groomed and bathed from an early age to make them more manageable when they get older. Many people get the coat clipped regularly to make it easier to manage. Remember to check out the website to find grooming services near you.

How often should I walk my shih tzu?

Shih tzus require around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day. They should also be involved in play sessions to increase their mental stimulation.


How do I train my shih tzu?

Training should be started early with the shih tzu, as these dogs have a stubborn and independent streak. Without early training, the shih tzu will try to take control of the household. These little dogs can be quite difficult to housebreak, but this can often be remedied by offering them plenty of praise and treats for good behaviour.


Quickfire shih tzu questions

How long will my shih tzu live?

Shi tzus have a good lifespan of around 10 to 16 years.


Can my shih tzu be left alone during the day?

Shih tzus are quite independent and enjoy some time on their own. Leaving them home alone is therefore not a problem.

Are shih tzus ‘barkers’?

The shih tzu makes an alert and lively watchdog, so it can have spells of intense barking. However, they are not known for excessive barking.

What kind of health risks do shih tzus face?

Shih tzus that have been well bred are less likely to inherit health problems, but they can still develop some hereditary conditions like dry eye and breathing problems.

Where can I get a shih tzu?

If you have now decided on this loving and loyal little breed, you will obviously want to know where to get one from. Research where to find reputable breeders in your area and avoid buying from pet shops, puppy mills, online marketplaces, or anywhere that does not allow you to be introduced to the puppy’s parents.

Due to puppy farming problems, there are unfortunately quite a few Shi Tzus found in rescue centres. So, if you decide to adopt a dog,  remember to take a look at the RSPCA website that will guide you on how to adopt a puppy or dog.


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