Animal-World > Dogs > Toy Dogs > Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog

Family: Canidae Shih Tzu PictureCanis lupus familiarisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough
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I have alway;s wanted a companion for my now 7 year old shih ztu Benji plus I just LOVE shih ztu's . I hope you contact me Thank You Laura  Laura

The Shih Tzu is an ornamental toy breed, known for its beauty and happy disposition.

Shih Tzu dog is one of the oldest small dog breeds. They are also called the Chinese Lion Dog, and described as an is an ornamental toy dog breed. They are spunky, loyal, and friendly. They are very attractive, admired for the long hair of their coat. They make both a wonderful show dogs and an excellent companion.

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that is basically an indoor pet. It doesn't require a large amount of space and it doesn't need a yard. This makes it great for apartment living. As with most toy breeds, the Shih Tzu can be very vocal, but training can reduce indoor barking. Things to look for when choosing a Shih Tzu include eye, ear, and respiratory problems.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris
Shih Tzu Facts

Common Name(s) Shih Tzu, Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog, Chinese Shih Tzu

Breed Type The Shih Tzu is an ornamental toy breed, and one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Known for its beauty and happy disposition, the Shih Tzu is best suited to moderate to cool climates.

Background The Shih Tzu is thought to have originated in the seventh century in China. A prized breed, it was not exported to other countries until the 1900s. The Shih Tzu may have been bred from the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese. Today, Shih Tzus are often crossbred with Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Maltese.

Description Shih Tzus are known for their small size and long hair. They have short muzzles, large, usually dark eyes, and small ears that are covered with hair. The 'Apron; is a term used to describe the long hair on the dog's chest and a 'Pot Hook Tail' is a term used to describes the breed's tail, which is held in an arc.
Shih Tzus can be found in a variety of colors, all of which are acceptable for show purposes. Average height is about 11 inches, and average weight is 9-16 pounds.

Care and Feeding A Shih Tzu's diet should include high levels of animal fat and low levels of protein. Good food options include poultry, soy, and rice. Care should be taken not to overfeed, and teeth cleaning chews can be beneficial.
Shih Tzus require lots of brushing, and their hair is usually tied in a topknot if left long. The hair may be trimmed shorter for easier care, but this should not be done with show dogs. Teeth require special care and observation. Some Shih Tzu owners have their dewclaws removed, but this is optional.
Shih Tzus are usually fairly healthy, but yearly checkups are advised. Vaccinations should be administered on the following schedule:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Due to the Shih Tzu's frequent respiratory problems, it is advisable to keep their environment as dust-free as possible. They shed very little hair and dander.

Housing Your Dog The Shih Tzu is an indoor dog, and does not require a large amount of space or a yard. They are sensitive to high temperatures, so they should be kept inside with the air conditioning on during hot weather.

Social Behaviors Shih Tzus are friendly dogs, and tend to get along well with most people. They usually do well around well-behaved children and other pets of all types.

Handling and Training The Shih Tzu is somewhat stubborn, so training requires patience and consistency. They may be difficult to housebreak.

Activities Shih Tzus are playful and active, and they need to be walked daily. They enjoy playing with dog toys, and like to go outside without a leash every now and then.

Breeding/Reproduction Eye, ear, and respiratory problems are things to consider when looking for a mate to breed a Shih Tzu with. Litters usually consist of three to five puppies, and whelping is usually uncomplicated unless the mother is small.

Common Health Problems Potential health problems include ear, eye, and respiratory problems, as well as spinal disc disease. This breed also has a tendency toward dental problems, so its teeth should be checked regularly by a veterinarian.

Availability Due to the Shih Tzu's popularity, breeders can be found in most areas. Prices range from $300 to over $1,000.

References "Shih Tzu", Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
"Shih Tzu", Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
"Choosing a Shih Tzu",, Intelligent Content Corp., Copyright 1999-2008
Cusick, William D., "What to Feed a Shih Tzu", Referenced online, 2008
"Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale", Copyright, LLC, Referenced online, 2008
"Shih Tzu and Other Dogs: Canine Terminology Glossary of Terms", Terridon Shih Tzu and, Copyright 1998-2006, Referenced online, 2008

Lastest Animal Stories on Shih Tzu

Laura - 2015-01-20
I have alway;s wanted a companion for my now 7 year old shih ztu Benji plus I just LOVE shih ztu's . I hope you contact me Thank You Laura

jason - 2010-03-23
I just rescued a dog it is either a shih tzu or a lhapsa opso not sure. I was wondering if there were any distinct differences betweeen the two?

  • dee - 2010-10-12
    I own both a lhasa and a shih tzu. A huge difference is the length of the legs. The shih tzu has much shorter legs.
  • Ellie - 2013-02-10
    I've got a Lhapsa opso who's 11 weeks old and they're quite similar to a shih tzu.
  • Rosie Veg - 2014-01-10
    A Shih Tzu,(Sheed Zoo) has a smaller Muzzle,like the Pekinese,large eyes,and only has long legs if it's a reg sized Shih Tzu,a toy on will be short about 11' tall, about 9-16lbs and 9-16' long along their back. Males are always on the larger side. I hope this helps? Any q's just ask
Makica - 2013-03-02
This is my Maltipoo . Her name is Sasha, she is now 1 year old this picture was taken when she was 3 months old. I really love designer puppies. They are always the best of the two breeds, in my case Maltese and French Poodle.

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-02
    The picture above actually is a Shih Tzu, which is a very old dog breed, and not one of the recent designer dogs. The photo was taken in 2006 at the 'Family Pet Show' in Pomona, California. But I bet I your designer dog is really cute, being a cross between two such adorable dogs as the Maltese and French Poodle!
Anonymous - 2013-01-22
I would like to know if you still have a puppy?

  • Shonette Shankey Lee - 2013-01-22
Laura - 2015-01-20
I have alway;s wanted a companion for my now 7 year old shih ztu Benji plus I just LOVE shih ztu's . I hope you contact me Thank You Laura

mac calista - 2012-02-24
Hi there,
my shih tzu gave birth to some puppies and I am looking to relocate them. If inteested in getting one for free, just email me at
Mc calista

  • Jennifer - 2012-03-12
    I'm interested in a puppy if you still have them. Could you e-mail me a pic? Thanks
  • Tracie - 2012-03-13
    Hi, do you still have pups? I am very interested but unsure where you live etc

    I am in the Greater Manchester area

    Best wishes, Tracie Carmody x
  • Arleen - 2012-03-16
    Hi there,

    My daughter is crazy for a Shih Tzu, do you still have them?
    Please consider us please!!!
  • Louise Freitas - 2012-06-05
    Hi, just wondering if you still have any female puppies? please let me know

    Thanks, Louise
  • Vianda - 2012-06-21
    I know I am late. However, if you still have any puppies, I will be interested in having one. Preferrably a girl.
  • laura - 2013-01-10
    looking for toy shih-tzu to be a bay sister to my two boys. tiny and sweet, please reply asap
Anonymous - 2012-07-16
Hi there, I might be late but my daughter loves shih tzus and she was wanting one for her birthday possibely a female puppy so could you email me and tell me is you still have any please

  • samantha steeden - 2012-11-20
    i ;love you