Shih Tzu


  • Height at the cross: no more than 26.7 cm
  • Weight: from 4.5 to 8.1 kg
  • Cap: long straight hair, all colors supported
  • Average life: fourteen years
  • Character: vivacious, pleasant and independent
  • Relationship with children: good
  • Relationship with other dogs: satisfactory
  • Aptitudes: service dog
  • Space needs: adapts well to indoor life
  • Shih Tzu feeding: from 120 to 200 g. dry full food diaries
  • Arrangement: bath every eight or fifteen days and daily brushing
  • Maintenance cost: means, medium

Apart from his incredible good looks, the Shih Tzu It also has a most charming character and is of a manageable size. Keep a Shih Tzu With a long and beautiful coat it requires a lot of work, an important fact to keep in mind. Despite this, a Shih Tzu Pet can wear a short coat if the owner prefers.

The Shih Tzu It has become a very popular breed, and in recent years it has been placed between the eleventh and twelfth place in the classification of most popular races across Britain. With, generally, more than 4,000 new annual inscriptions in the book of origins of the Kennel Club throughout the 90s, the Shih Tzu It is, numerically, the most important breed of the Utility Group in England.

Physical characteristics

The Shih Tzu It is a fairly small breed, although not as much as others, and even so it is exhibited in some countries in the Group of Miniature or Company Races. However, it is strong and robust for its size. In Britain, the ideal height is no more than 26.7 cm and its ideal weight is between 4.5 and 7.3 kg, although some specimens weigh somewhat more. Due to their robustness, the Shih Tzu They are perfectly capable of going for long walks, although short walks will also be equally useful: they can be adapted correctly to either of these two circumstances.

This dog's head is one of its most attractive physical attributes. Even the breed standard describes her as having a "chrysanthemum-like face," which certainly helps provide the Shih Tzu Your delicious expression. Apart from the fact that the hair on the head is collected at the top, its head is quite different from that of the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese, and would be in an intermediate place between these two races. The face or snout of the Shih Tzu It is not as elongated as that of the Lhasa Apso, and its skull is wider, but compared to the Pekingese, the snout of the Shih Tzu It is more elongated and the skull is not so flat. Due to the shape of the skull, his eyes should look fuller than those of Lhasa Apso.

  • Colors and fur

A Shih Tzu With its full exposure fur it is an animal with a glorious appearance, but keeping it in this state requires time and dedication. The Shih Tzu Not only does it have a long and falling outer coat, but it also has an abundant inner coat or sublayer. This means that the mere combing of the outer layer may give it, at first, a reasonably good overall appearance, but in a short time the sublayer will begin to form knots. The knots and the hairballs are incredibly difficult to undo if your master is neglected, so this fur must be taken very seriously before infatuation of the breed.

A bow on the top of the head tied properly can enhance the characteristics of a dog, but a poorly made ligature can, with the same ease, ruin the expression. Definitely get the hair loss from the head of a Shih Tzu Achieve the best possible effect is an art that can take months and sometimes even years of practice to the beginner. In Britain, it is usual for the dog to simply wear a knot for the hair in the central part of the head, but in the United States and in some European countries it seems that fashion is for dogs to wear ties of a eye-catching colorful In U.S.A. Some presenters seem to take the grooming to unsuspected limits and pad the head loop with cotton (a fashion that is not believed to be implanted in other countries).

A lot of pets Shih Tzu they have, anyway, a short coat, which is usually known as "pet haircut". Although this can be done at home, many owners find it easier for the fur to be cut by a professional about three times a year, although care must be taken, of course, between cutting and cutting.

Because there are no color preferences for the Shih Tzu, an owner should not worry about this aspect. That said, it is natural for everyone to have their personal preferences, as will happen with the color of their clothes or their home furnishings. What really matters is the quality of the dog's structure, its temperament and its fur. However, when choosing your pet, color can be, in fact, a decisive factor, and this is perfectly understandable. After all, it makes no sense to buy a Shih Tzu black, and even wanting the dog everything that you may want, think during the next fourteen years that it is a pity that you did not find that golden color, which was the one you preferred.

  • Tails and spurs

The tail of Shih Tzu It should always be carried happily on the back. As with the rest of its fur, the tail will also need regular care, since it is long and falls. Anyway, and due to the compact size of the breed it is unlikely that the tail will throw its precious belongings to the ground, as will the cheerful tail of a larger dog, such as a Dalmatian or a Labrador Retriever. The tail of a Shih Tzu It can be really very cheerful, but discreetly. It never cuts.

Although there is nothing stipulated as to whether the spurs should be amputated or not in the case of Shih Tzu, many breeders do it when the puppies are three days old. This makes it easier to work with the nails under the long coat of the adult dog.


The breed standard describes the Shih Tzu as an intelligent, active, alert, friendly and independent dog. It is, really, an intelligent race, although it does not ask to be constantly given new things to do, as with some work races. The Shih Tzu use your intelligence and naivety to find things to do, and see a Shih Tzu Planning carefully what you will play next can be very entertaining for the observer (as long as the game you choose is not going to cause any damage).

The Shih Tzu They are, without a doubt, dogs alert to the sounds and to what happens in their environment, but they may decide, or not, to take an active part in what happens (that is their personality). They will decide what they want to do and, although it is a charmingly friendly breed, they will make their decision about how much or how little they want to be involved.

This is not an energetic or excessively noisy race, although a Shih TzuLike other dogs, you will generally enjoy barking when you feel like it. To the Shih Tzu They love being with people. They are never as happy as when they are with their owners, so they prefer to be part of a family than to be in a kennel. Although some Shih Tzu they participate in Mini-Agility and obedience competitions (in some countries), they are not famous for being a particularly obedient race, due, in a way, to their independent nature.

Most of the Shih Tzu they get along extremely well with other dogs and, frequently, the owners see that they can have several specimens, male and female, together. Of course, individual temperaments vary, so one should always present dogs under close supervision, especially in the case of males. Although they are by no means aggressive by nature, they will remain firm when attacked. In some cases it is not, because of this, a good idea to have males together who have been used as stallions, since surely one will become the most dominant and his partner may not agree with that. Females may have a stronger temper towards their mating season, so, once again, care should be taken. Despite that and in general, the Shih Tzu They are very sociable animals in every way.

Health Considerations

The Shih Tzu It is a small and robust dog and is usually a fairly healthy breed. A few suffer from veterinary problems and possibly hereditary problems, but this is not a breed that has many serious hereditary problems. Even so, there are a few common problems about which the potential owner should be alerted.

Although most of the Shih Tzu they have well-open nostrils, which is an aspect required by the breed standard, it seems that small nostrils are a hereditary problem in this breed. Small nostrils can be seen at birth, but sometimes they cannot be seen until between ten days and three weeks of life. However, when a puppy is old enough to be sold, it should be clearly seen if the nostrils are affected or not.

At the time of birth, the nostrils may be so closed that they are effectively deformed and curved inwards. In other cases, the holes are wide enough at birth, but narrow after a short time, probably due to the varying growth rates of the puppy. The nostrils are usually corrected over time, but urgent veterinary advice should be sought anyway. If left as is and the problem does not correct itself, that puppy will probably grow weak and die as a result. It has been seen that a teaspoon of brandy added to each bowl of food helps them, in addition to maintaining the place where the puppy lives at a constant temperature.

An evil that does not usually represent a real problem, although it can scare a rookie owner is what is known as "snorting." This is quite common in brachycephalic breeds (with a short face or snout). Due to the lengthening of the soft palate the dog will breathe suddenly with short and sharp inspirations, will take on a fairly tense appearance, and will generally stand still at the same time. This usually occurs because the dog gets very excited, but usually only lasts a few seconds. A quick and simple solution is to place your fingers in front of your truffle, causing you to breathe only through your mouth. Although it is not a serious problem, it can be cause for alarm and should always be studied by the owner. There may be other reasons for these snorts. For example, there could be a grass seed retained in your nasal cavity, and this should, of course, be removed instantly.

Because the Shih Tzu It is a dog with a fairly long back one should always be alert to possible back problems, especially during the dog's old age. In ideal conditions, at Shih Tzu they should not be allowed to jump from the furniture to the floor, but this is easier said than done. In case of any sign of spinal cord injury, the veterinarian should be contacted without delay, since in some cases the total restoration can be achieved. Unfortunately, the result is partial paralysis due to spinal injury. Shih Tzu, but there are options to help affected dogs. The owner can have a small cart with wheels that hold his paralyzed hind limbs adjusted. Obviously, this is a very serious decision, and all options, however painful, should be openly discussed with the family and the veterinarian.

It has been seen that heart disease occurs in the Shih Tzu, with relative frequency, and this is not limited only to elderly dogs. However, there are many forms of heart disease and not all of them are hereditary. Obviously, the veterinarian should thoroughly examine any dog ​​that shows symptoms of heart disease, but it should be noted that many Shih Tzu They live for many years without suffering any heart problems.

Due to the relatively bulging eyes that this breed has, it is easier than the Shih Tzu Damage your eyes than in the case of other races. An eye ulcer can be caused by a scratch or a blow that we may not have noticed. At the first symptom of an eye problem, the veterinarian should be contacted, since early treatment increases the chances of the restoration being complete. Eye problems, even those that seem unimportant, could result in impaired vision or even vision loss if left untreated. Special care should be taken to avoid damage to the eyes of the Shih Tzu, especially if we take into account that they do not have any protection when the dog's hair is held by a knot.

If you want to know more about the Shih Tzu We recommend the publication of the publishing house Hispano Europea Shih Tzu Excellence Series:

Shih Tzu Origin

The history of shih tzu shares many things with the history of the Pekingese. Like this other dog, the shih tzu is originally from the Buddhist monasteries, where it was considered a sacred dog. He was also an exclusive dog of the Chinese nobility, where he was also considered a sacred dog and was given care worthy of royalty.

When the first shih tzu arrived in England in the 1930s, they were confused with the Lhasa apso. So much so, that at that time both dogs were considered as one breed. However, in the same decade it was decided to separate both races as we know them today.

Today, the shih tzu is a very much appreciated dog for company as for exhibition. His magnificent fur and small stature have made him a star within the tracks of dog shows, while his sweet character has made him one of the most popular pets of our day.

Shih tzu character

These dogs are very intelligent, sociable and cheerful. Just as there are dog people, it is said that shih tzu are people's dogs, because they love being with people. They are also playful and active when they are kept fit. It is easier to socialize shih tzu than other dog breeds, since these little furry ones are usually very friendly and sociable by nature. When they have received adequate socialization, they usually get along with people, dogs and other animals. However, it is important to carry out the socialization of dogs at an early age to achieve that friendly nature of adults.

These dogs are excellent pets for single people, couples and families with children of different ages. They usually get along very well with children as long as they know how to respect the dog and do not mistreat it. They are also excellent pets for novice owners. However, they are not good pets for families and people who spend most of the day away from home, unless they can take their dogs to work.

Shih tzu hair tends to get tangled easily and is necessary brush it and comb it daily. Although it does not require a canine hairdresser, many owners of these dogs prefer to keep them with shorter hair to facilitate their care.

Shih Tzu require good doses of physical exercise, but because of their small size they can be exercised indoors. Even so, it is important to provide them with at least one daily walk and play time to exercise and socialize them. These dogs tend to gain weight easily, so it is good to provide enough exercise to keep them fit. Of course, you have to take into account its size and do not abuse the exercise. Nor should they be forced to exercise in hot and humid climates, since their short snout makes it difficult for them to breathe in those environments.

The company needs Shih Tzu are very tall. These dogs are not suitable for living in a garden or in a yard. On the contrary, they need to spend most of their time accompanied and must live inside the house with the rest of the family. They adapt very well to life in very populated cities and to live in small apartments.

Shih tzu education

When it comes to dog training, shih tzu are a joy for their trainers. These dogs they learn easily and quickly, so it is easy to teach them many different things. However, those are true only when the positive training is carried out, since the Shih Tzu do not respond well to traditional training based on dominance. Keep in mind that these dogs are easily distracted, so it is better to train them in short but fun sessions.

In general, Shih Tzu do not present major behavioral problems when they have been correctly socialized and receive sufficient exercise and company. However, when they are left alone for prolonged periods or do not receive enough exercise, they can become destructive and barking dogs. They can even develop separation anxiety with some ease if they remain alone for a long time each day.

Shih Tzu Health

This breed has no alarming incidences of dog diseases, but it is prone to cortical kidney hypoplasia, entropion, trichiasis, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, otitis externa and inguinal hernias. It is also a race prone to ear and eye infections, so it is worth doing periodic veterinary checks.


Shih Tzu can quickly become obese if they receive too many awards so it is important to take small walks to keep them fit. The Shih Tzu participate in agility and behavior competitions with some success. Be careful with the exercise in humid and warm climatic conditions, since with its short snout it is a race prone to heat stroke.

The hair is a headache in the case of shih tzu. Most of the owners resort to a short body cut for the whole year, which suits them very well and is very easy to care for. If you want to keep your hair long, be prepared to spend a lot of time. These dogs need weekly baths with an oil to help keep tangles at bay and a daily toilet so that foreign objects do not adhere to the hair. When the hair has a correct texture, it does not get so tangled.

Shih Tzu tends to need a lot of personal attention every day. They like to share their time with people and it's easy to end up consenting to them. They enjoy training and learning tricks that make them the center of attention. They like to interact with young children, although they like people of all ages. Do not count on your shih tzu to watch the house, it will probably welcome thieves with open legs.

The Shih Tzu grew up in Tibet, probably around the 7th century, where perhaps they were simply the smallest Lhasa apso in the area. Delivered as a gift to Chinese emperors, the breed developed into the dog we know today. Fans speculate about crossings with Peking to shorten their faces and to select the smallest Lhasa dogs. The name shih tzu means león lion dog ’in Chinese, which further clouds its ancestry, since“ lion dog ”usually refers to the Pekingese.

The Chinese royalty preserved and raised this breed, and with the arrival of the British they introduced it to England to later go to the United States. Unfortunately, the communist coup in China erased most of the original animals at a stroke.

No one doubts that these lovely puppies were used as companion dogs