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All you need to know about the furry Shih Tzu breed

They have a flattened face, they look like little furballs with a long and beautiful tail: the puppies of the Shih Tzu breed have enchanted us for a long time. It’s not hard to find some of them walking around, is it? In this article, we will know a little about its origin and its features. Enjoy reading and have fun!


It was in ancient China that this fluffy furry appeared. There are paintings and art objects with representations of the Shih Tzu breed dating back to 624 BC. An interesting (and sad) fact is that, during the Chinese Revolution, the Shih Tzus were massacred and almost extinct, leaving fourteen individuals in the entire country, between males and females. Therefore, we can say that all Shih Tzu dogs that exist in the world are descendants of these war survivors, as some of them were imported to England, which, in 1930, began its breeding. 

Shih Tzu


In Chinese, the name of this cutie means “little lion” and this gives us a good hint about its most striking physical feature: the long, rich coat and its flattened face, with hair growing on its head in all directions. The Shih Tzu breed can have up to nineteen different combinations of colors in the coat and are very confused with the Lhasa Apsos. However, those who know easily differentiate due to the shape of the skull, face, and muzzle.

The weight of an adult Shih Tzu ranges from 8 to 17 pounds, its height from 9 to 10 inches. They are small dogs and perhaps this is also one of the reasons that made them so esteemed by the ancient Chinese nobles, who used to let them sleep on their feet.

When well cared for, the lifespan of these furry ones can reach 15 years, with an average of 12 years. The main care for the Shih Tzu concerns the shape of their eyes: they have a very exposed eyeball and therefore care is vital to avoid accidents, corneal ulcers, dry eyes, etc. Every week, the corners of the eyes should be cleaned, where secretion accumulates, and this should be done with specific veterinary products or with physiological saline. Because of the delicacy of this part of their body, Shih Tzu dogs are not suitable for very young children.

Shih Tzu


Anyone who has long hair knows that it takes some work to maintain it, right? Even more when it is curly or wavy hair. In the case of Shih Tzu, it’s no different! Their long, beautiful coat requires regular grooming to avoid matting, which can damage your pet’s skin. Oh and a positive detail: their hair almost doesn’t fall out, which is great if you suffer from rhinitis or any other allergy.

As for their physical appearance, it is important to emphasize: there is no “mini Shih Tzu” naturally. All mini-sized individuals are bred outside the breed standards to meet commercial demand, ignoring the health problems that this causes in a small animal, such as open fontanelle, epilepsy, and hydrocephalus. As well as several characteristics of dwarfism, such as a domed head and eyes too round.

SAY NO to miniature dogs and look for a naturally small breed if this is your goal.

Shih Tzu


Do you want a companion, docile and friendly friend? So are the puppies of the Shih Tzu breed. Don’t expect them to be protectors of the house or owners, because they don’t have that trait. But they are just like that friend of yours who just says ” Let’s go?” that they are already ready for any activity. Despite this, they are “warning dogs“, that is, they bark at the news, be it someone coming home or some unusual noise. They are pranksters, the kind who are capable of stealing your slipper just to make you run after it. Even so, they are not dogs that require a lot of activity. Perhaps an explanation for this is the shape of its flattened muzzle, which makes breathing difficult and prevents it from long exercises and physical activities. They are not agitated and love to be in the lap of their humans.

Although they are a little stubborn, obedience is one of the traits of the breed. They are intelligent, but it can take a while for them to learn a new trick, so patience and persistence are needed if you decide to train your Shih Tzu. They enjoy company, are sociable, and can become good friends with other animals, including cats.

Now a detail of their behavior that I bet they wouldn’t want us to talk about here: coprophagy, which is the act of eating feces, both their and other animals. This is quite common in the breed and must be corrected as a puppy or it will last a lifetime. A veterinary behaviorist can help.


We know a little about the playful and companion Shih Tzu dog, the care and characteristic details of the breed, as well as its temperament and appearance.

Do you have a friend like that? Tell us in the comments below and keep following us, soon we will have other articles.

Until next time!

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