Shih Tzu Info, A Smart and Chic Dog How This Breed Came to America

Shih Tzus photo
Small Breed X-Small Breed Patella Luxation Renal Dysplasia Shih Tzu Asthma

Is the Shih Tzu right for you?

  • 1 Shih Tzus are proud little dogs with a double coat and high-held head and tail.
  • 2 Shih Tzu dogs enjoy being groomed and need it regularly.
  • 3 Shih Tzus are good apartment dogs with happy dispositions.


Thought to be a descendent of the Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu was the favorite dog of ancient Chinese emperors. Translating to "chrysanthemum-faced dog," the Shih Tzu was such a prized breed that the Chinese refused sale of them for hundreds of years. In 1930 the first Shih Tzus made their way to England, and were recognized by the AKC in 1969.

Quick Facts

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    12- 16 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    Up to 11 inches

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    Male Weight

    Between 9 to 16 pounds

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    Female Height

    Up to 11 inches

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    Female Weight

    Between 9 to 16 pounds

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    Litter Size

    1-5, with an average of 3 puppies


Highly active, vigilant, and extremely intelligent, Shih Tzus are renowned for their majestic, refined, and courageous qualities, which make them an excellent family pet and a good watchdog. The Shih Tzu is clever and adamant and turns grumpy if irritated or surprised. Basically, they are most at home doing indoor activities and love to be in the company of other people and pets. Although playful and gentle, the Shih Tzu barks excessively and can sometimes turn snappish with toddlers and babies. The Shih Tzu is extremely confident, obedient, curious, lovable, and gentle and is a good companion for older children..


Shih Tzus come in a somewhat diverse range of colors, from white to brown and black. For show dogs, it is considered better for the Shih Tzu to have highlights of white on their forehead and on their tail.

Health Concerns

The major health disorders which affect the Shih Tzu are:


Glamorous in appearance, the Shih Tzu has a long, flowing coat, a round head with abundant beard and mustache, a short muzzle, hanging ears covered with hair, big, round eyes, well-padded feet, and a thick tail curled over the back. In many circles, these dogs are lovingly called "chrysanthemum faced," due to the hair above their nose that grows upward, giving the illusion that their face is a flower.

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