Shih Tzus are related to the Lhasa Apso. They were originally bred in Tibet, but it was in China where they came into their own as pampered lap dogs, living the high life among royalty.

Shih Tzus nearly vanished in 1908, when the Dowager Empress Shih Tzuspassed away, but strong efforts to save the breed have ensured that its popularity around the world.

Despite their delicate size, they’re quite spunky dogs, with heaps of personality and are both playful and tenacious.


Shih Tzu Puppies

You can, of course, buy pedigree Shih Tzu puppies from registered breeders but you can also adopt pure Shih Tzu adult dogs from various rescue organisations throughout the USA.

Shih Tzu Facts & Information

Group: Shih Tzus are definitely in the companion group of dog breeds.

Life expectancy: 11 – 15 years

Size: Small. Height: 8 – 11 in. Weight: 9 – 16 lb.

Temperament: Gentle, playful, affectionate, intelligent and sometimes stubborn.

Exercise: Shih Tzus don’t need vigorous daily exercise; a short walk and some energetic burst of play will suffice.

Shih tzu

General care: The long coat of a Shih Tzu obviously needs daily grooming to ensure it doesn’t become tangled. You might also need to tie the hair off your dog’s face. You can trim the coat to make it easier to maintain but daily brushing is still necessary. Interestingly, they don’t shed much and are quite good for people with allergies.

Health concerns: There are some common breed-related health problems that you want to watch out for in your Shih Tzu. These include cleft palate, dental problems, eye problems, renal dysplasia, knee problems, and respiratory problems.

Final word

Shih Tzus are wonderful companions for the whole family as they are affectionate and loving dogs and get on well with children and other pets. They respond well to positive reinforcement training, so you can nail down some obedience, which will help deal with that “stubborn” streak – just make sure you keep it positive as any aversive methods will do more harm than good.