Shih Tzu


The Shih Tzu is a small breed with an unforgettable appearance. What stands out most about this breed is its long coat that flows to the ground. The coat may have some curl, but for most types of this breed the coat is straight and very soft. It consists of two layers: a thick top layer and softer bottom layer. The fur on the head is usually kept long, but owners usually bundle it up on top of the head. The tail, which is set high and curled over its back, also contains a significant amount of fur. The breed’s head is wide and medium-sized. Its muzzle is short with a well defined stop. The nose and eyes are both large and dark in color. Its body is compact and well defined. The neck is average in length and extends at a slight angle to its back. The breed’s chest is deep and wide. Its legs are short. The front legs are straight and well-muscled and the hind legs are well muscled and angular.


The Shih Tzu is a sociable breed that is an excellent family pet. Its significance to the family is companionship. It is too friendly to serve as a guard dog, but it will alert its family of the arrival of visitors. This breed is an excellent companion for well-behaved children. It generally gets along fine with other dogs and pets in its home or outside of the home. The good-natured personality of this breed is natural, but early training is a good idea to eliminate any shyness or nervousness.

Height and Weight

The Shih Tzu is about 8-11 inches tall and weighs about 15 pounds.

Health Problems

There are several health problems associated with the Shih Tzu. The breed may develop problems with its kidneys. It is also susceptible to develop progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hip and elbow dysplasia, entropion, and renal cortical hypoplasia.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Shih Tzu is the perfect indoor pet. It is active indoors and loves to be around people.


The Shih Tzu has a moderate energy level, and should receive daily exercise. The breed is active indoors, but should at least have a short walk on a daily basis.

Life Expectancy

The Shih Tzu has an average life expectancy of 10-14 years.

Litter Size

The Shih Tzu has an average of 2 puppies.


The beautiful coat of the Shi Tzu must be well maintained. The coat can become tangled and matted very easily. The coat should be brushed several times each week, if not daily. A professional groomer is recommended to keep the coat well trimmed and clean.


The Shih Tzu was developed in China in the 19th century.




Any color is acceptable for the Shih Tzu.