The Shih Tzu is a Playful and Alert Little Dog

Shih Tzu Portrait with Hair Tied Up, Lying on Drawers
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Shih Tzu

One of the oldest breeds of dogs known to mankind, the Shih Tzu is a beautiful little dog known for its long silky coat and playful, energetic demeanor. Perfect for both singles and families, this breed adapts easily to their surroundings and is rarely aggressive.

This Chinese breed of dog is a warm and loving companion who never meets a stranger but they do require a lot of grooming and upkeep. Measuring approximately 10-11 inches in height and weighing in at an average 9-16 pounds, these fuzzy creatures can be the perfect pet for the owner who has the time to love and care for them.


Easily one of the world’s oldest and most noble breeds, the Shih Tzu is believed to have originated sometime during the 6th Century A.D. A cross between the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese breeds, these furry creatures were a favorite pet of the Chinese royals of that time. The dogs eventually made their way to England sometime during the 1930’s where they were discovered and brought to America by soldiers during the Second World War. Recognized in 1969 by the AKC, this active and friendly breed have been loving household pets and companions ever since.

Home Life

A good household companion, this dog will quickly make themselves a known part of the family. They love having their presence recognized and enjoy being where the action is, especially the females. They are not aggressive and can get along with children of most age groups, as long as the smaller children do not handle them roughly, as they have been known to snap or nip when their patience is tried. Known for being avid watchdogs, the Shih Tzu will use its loud, echoing bark to alert its family that a stranger or potential danger is nearby.

Health Issues

The Shih Tzu has a life expectancy of up to 15 years and does not have a lot of health issues, provided they receive normal care. These pups, especially the youngsters, love to eat and owners should closely monitor their food intake, since they can easily gain weight and become obese. As with most breeds, tooth decay, ear and eye infections can persist and cause problems if early signs are not addressed. This type of dog is known for its loud, over powering snoring, which is caused by the shape and length of its nose. Also be advised that this breed has been known to develop hip dysplasia and minor respiratory issues.


Grooming is one of the most time consuming aspects of caring for this dog. They have immense amounts of long hair and it needs to be kept clean and manageable, for the health and comfort of your pup. Depending on preference and whether or not the dog is a show dog, many owners make the decision to keep the hair short. This cut is known as a “puppy cut” and will give the dog a younger appearance.

Owners who opt to keep the hair long should remember to bathe and groom their pet on a regular basis. You should brush daily to prevent tangles and painful matting of the coat. These dogs also need help keeping their ears and eyes clean and healthy. Use vet prescribed drops to help with runny eyes, and clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.

Although loving and loyal, the Shih Tzu does require more attention and grooming than most dogs and may not be the best breed for those with a lifestyle that keeps them away from home. For those who do have the time to care for them properly this bundle of energy makes a wonderful companion for both adults and older children and with proper care can be a part of your family for many years to come.

Shih Tzu Puppy Sitting on Grass
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