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Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A small, fluffy dog with a distinctive topknot and friendly disposition.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Shih Tzus are considered a Small Dog breed. read more >>
Weight:4-8 kg.
Height:25 cm (10 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:25-28 cm (10-11 inches).

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is 10-16 years. read more >>

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Shih Tzu, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Shih Tzus are known for their friendly, outgoing personalities and are often described as being playful, lively and affectionate. They are loyal and devoted to their owners and enjoy spending time with them. They are intelligent and alert, making them great watchdogs. They are generally good with children and other pets, though they can be territorial and may not get along with other dogs.

Shih Tzus are usually quite active and enjoy playing and exploring. They can be very vocal, so they may bark or whine when they want something. They can be stubborn at times and may not always listen to commands, but they are usually eager to please their owners.

Shih Tzus are generally quite easy to train and can learn basic commands quickly. They are also quite adaptable and can adjust to different environments and routines. They do need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy, so it is important to provide them with plenty of opportunities for play and exploration.

Intelligence

Shih Tzus are very intelligent dogs. They are have the ability to learn quickly and retain information. They are also very loyal and affectionate, making them great companions. read more >>

Trainability

Shih Tzus are very intelligent and highly trainable dogs. They are eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement. With patience and consistency, you can train your Shih Tzu to learn basic commands, tricks and good manners.

Sleep

Shih Tzus typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and individual needs. Puppies and older dogs may sleep more, while younger and more active dogs may sleep less. It’s important to provide your Shih Tzu with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area where they can rest undisturbed. read more >>

Bark

Shih Tzus are known to be a vocal breed and can bark quite frequently. Some Shih Tzus may bark more than others, depending on their personality and environment. read more >>

Drool

Shih Tzus do not typically drool, but they may occasionally drool when they are excited or stressed. read more >>

Lick

Shih Tzus are known to be affectionate and loving dogs and they may lick their owners as a way to show their affection. However, the amount of licking can vary from dog to dog and also depends on the individual dog’s personality and behavior. Some Shih Tzus may lick more than others, while some may not lick at all. It is important to establish boundaries and train your Shih Tzu to understand when licking is appropriate and when it is not. read more >>

Jump

Shih Tzus are not renowned for their jumping ability and are generally not considered to be high jumpers. Their small size and short legs make it difficult for them to jump very high. However, they may be able to jump up to a foot or two in height if they are motivated or trained to do so. It is important to note that jumping can be harmful to their joints and should be avoided or limited.

Dig

Shih Tzus are not generally big diggers, but they may occasionally dig small holes in the yard. If your Shih Tzu does dig, it is important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied and to discourage digging.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Shih Tzu the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Shih Tzu.

Exercise

Shih Tzus are a relatively low-energy breed, so they don’t need a lot of exercise. A daily walk of 20-30 minutes should be enough to keep them healthy and happy. read more >>

Space

Shih Tzus are a small breed of dog and do not require a lot of space. They can live happily in an apartment or small house. They do need regular exercise, so it is important to provide them with daily walks and playtime.

Apartment

Yes, Shih Tzus can make great apartment dogs. They are small and don’t require a lot of exercise, so they can adapt well to life in a smaller space. They are also very affectionate and loyal, making them great companions. read more >>

Left Alone

Shih Tzus can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time, but they do best when they have companionship and attention. If left alone for too long, they may become anxious and develop separation anxiety. It is important to provide your Shih Tzu with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and companionship to ensure they are happy and healthy.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Shih Tzus are generally very good with kids and families. They are friendly, loyal and affectionate and also known for being very patient and tolerant, making them a great companion for children. read more >>

Perfect Fit

A Shih Tzu is a great fit for any household, as they are loyal, affectionate and easy to train. They are also relatively low maintenance, making them ideal for busy households. They are also good with children and other pets, so they are a great fit for families.

Pros and Cons:

Shih Tzus are small, adorable dogs that make great companions for many people. However, like any pet, there are both pros and cons to owning a Shih Tzu. Here are five of each:

ProsCons
1. Affectionate and loyal1. Can be difficult to house train
2. Low exercise requirements2. Can be prone to health problems
3. Good with children and other pets3. Requires regular grooming
4. Adaptable to different living situations4. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
5. Generally quiet and well-behaved5. May suffer from separation anxiety

Overall, owning a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly. However, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before making the decision to bring one into your home.

Cost:

The cost of a Shih Tzu in Australia can vary greatly depending on the breeder, the age of the dog and the quality of the dog. Generally, the cost of a Shih Tzu puppy in Australia can range from $1,000 to $2,500. read more >>

Breed History:

Shih Tzus were bred as companion dogs in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). They were bred to be small, loyal and affectionate and were favored by the Chinese imperial court. They were also used as watchdogs, alerting their owners to the presence of strangers. Today, they are still popular as companion dogs and their small size and friendly nature make them ideal for apartment living.

Current Usage

Shih Tzus are primarily used as companion pets. They have loving, loyal and affectionate personalities, which make them great family pets. They are also often used as therapy dogs, as their calm and gentle nature makes them ideal for providing comfort and companionship to those in need. Additionally, Shih Tzus can be trained to compete in agility, obedience and other canine sports. They can also be used as service dogs, helping those with disabilities with tasks such as retrieving items, opening doors and providing emotional support.

Guard Dogs

No, Shih Tzus are not typically good guard dogs (although they can be very good watch dogs). They are small and friendly dogs that are more suited for companionship and indoor living. While they may bark to alert their owners of strangers, they aren’t usually aggressive or protective. If you are looking for a guard dog, you may want to consider breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers or Doberman Pinschers. read more >>

Where Are They Found?

Shih Tzus are popular in many countries around the world, but some of the countries where they are most popular include:

1. United States6. Japan
2. United Kingdom7. South Korea
3. China8. Germany
4. Canada9. France
5. Australia10. Italy
read more >>

Climate

Shih Tzus are best suited to moderate climates with temperatures ranging from 60-80°F (15-27°C). They can tolerate colder temperatures with proper protection such as a sweater or coat, but they are not well-suited for extreme heat or cold. In hot weather, it is important to keep them cool and hydrated to prevent heatstroke. In cold weather, it is important to keep them warm and dry to prevent hypothermia. read more >>

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Shih Tzus in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for all dogs. However, according to the American Kennel Club, the Shih Tzu is the 20th most popular dog breed in the United States, with thousands of new puppies registered each year. Additionally, Shih Tzus are popular in many other countries around the world, so it is safe to say that there are likely millions of Shih Tzus worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Shih Tzus are small, sturdy dogs with a round head and a short, flat muzzle. They have large, dark, round eyes that are set wide apart and a pair of floppy ears that hang down close to their cheeks. Their body is compact and muscular, with a straight back and a fluffy tail that curls over their back. Shih Tzus have a long, dense coat that can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown and gold. Their coat is often described as “shaggy” or “silky” and requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Overall, Shih Tzus have a charming and endearing appearance that makes them a popular choice for many dog lovers. read more and view all Shih Tzu images >>

Coat:

Colours:

Shih Tzus can be a variety of colours, including black, white, red, silver, gold, blue, cream and liver.

Hair/Fur Length:

Shih Tzus typically have long, silky hair that can reach up to 8 inches in length.

Shedding:

Yes, Shih Tzus do shed. They are a low-shedding breed, however and their shedding is usually minimal. Regular brushing can help to reduce the amount of shedding. read more >>

Grooming:

The Shih Tzu requires regular grooming to keep its coat and skin healthy. This includes brushing its coat at least twice a week, bathing it every two to four weeks and trimming its nails regularly. It is also important to clean its ears and brush its teeth regularly. Yes, you need to cut its hair. The Shih Tzu’s coat should be trimmed every four to six weeks to keep it looking neat and tidy.

Hypoallergenic:

Yes, Shih Tzus are considered to be hypoallergenic. They are a low-shedding breed and produce less dander than other breeds, which makes them a good choice for people with allergies. read more >>

Speed:

Shih Tzus can run at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15 mph). read more >>

Health:

Yes, Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues they are faced with include:

  • Brachycephalic Syndrome: A condition caused by the Shih Tzu’s short snout, which can lead to breathing difficulties.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: A condition caused by the Shih Tzu’s long back, which can lead to spinal cord compression and paralysis.
  • Eye Problems: Shih Tzus are prone to eye problems such as dry eye, glaucoma and cataracts.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland, which can lead to weight gain, hair loss and lethargy.
  • Patellar Luxation: A condition caused by the Shih Tzu’s kneecaps slipping out of place, which can lead to lameness.

read more >>

Teeth:

Shih Tzus have 42 teeth. read more >>

Eyesight:

Shih Tzus have average eyesight, which means they can see reasonably well but not exceptionally. However, they are prone to certain eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers and dry eye syndrome, which can affect their vision. Regular eye check-ups and proper care can help maintain their eyesight.

Nipples:

Shih Tzus typically have eight to ten nipples. The exact number can vary slightly among individuals, but most Shih Tzus will have either eight or ten nipples. This count applies to both male and female Shih Tzus. The nipples are typically evenly distributed along the underside of the abdomen.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The average litter size for Shih Tzus is between two and four puppies. However, some litters may be larger or smaller.

Gestation Period:

The average gestation period for Shih Tzus is approximately nine weeks. read more >>

Heat:

Shih Tzus typically go on heat twice a year, but this can vary depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

Male Shih Tzus tend to be slightly larger and heavier than female Shih Tzus, with males typically weighing between 9 and 16 pounds and females weighing between 8 and 15 pounds. Male Shih Tzus also tend to have a more masculine look, with a larger head and a more pronounced muzzle. Female Shih Tzus tend to have a more delicate and feminine look, with a smaller head and a more rounded muzzle. Male Shih Tzus also tend to be more active and energetic than female Shih Tzus, while female Shih Tzus tend to be more laid-back and relaxed. read more >>

Tips and Advice:

Shih Tzus are small, adorable and affectionate dogs known for their long, flowing coats and charming personalities. Caring for these lovable companions requires attention to their specific needs. Here are some essential tips: Grooming Needs: Shih Tzus have long, luxurious coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy. Brush their fur daily and consider professional grooming every 4-6 weeks.

  • Eye Care: Shih Tzus have large, round eyes that are prone to issues such as eye infections or eye discharge. Clean their eyes regularly and consult your vet if you notice any signs of redness, irritation or excessive tearing.
  • Dental Care: Shih Tzus are prone to dental problems, so establish a regular dental care routine. Brush their teeth regularly using a dog-specific toothpaste and provide dental chews or toys to promote good oral hygiene.
  • Training and Socialization: Start training your Shih Tzu from a young age using positive reinforcement techniques. They can be intelligent but may have a stubborn streak. Socialize them with other dogs, animals and people to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and friendly.
  • Regular Exercise: While Shih Tzus are small, they still need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity. Daily walks, indoor play sessions and interactive toys can help fulfill their exercise needs.
  • Balanced Diet: Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet for your Shih Tzu’s age, size and activity level. Feed them a high-quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Be mindful of portion control to prevent overeating.
  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your Shih Tzu’s overall health, vaccinations and preventive care. Shih Tzus may be prone to certain health issues such as dental problems, patellar luxation or respiratory problems, so regular check-ups are important.
  • Safety Measures: Shih Tzus are small and can be vulnerable to injury. Ensure your home is puppy-proofed, keeping small objects, toxic substances and electrical cords out of their reach. Use a harness and leash when walking to prevent them from slipping out of collars.
  • Attention and Companionship: Shih Tzus are social dogs that thrive on human companionship. Spend quality time with your Shih Tzu, provide them with attention and include them in family activities. They enjoy being part of the family and being showered with love.

Remember, Shih Tzus are adorable and affectionate dogs that bring joy to your life. With proper care, grooming and attention to their specific needs, they can make wonderful companions.

Food:

Shih Tzus typically eat between 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. They are not particularly food-orientated dogs, but they do enjoy treats and can be prone to begging for food. read more >>

Facts:

Here are three interesting facts about Shih Tzu:

  1. Shih Tzu were originally bred to be lap dogs for Chinese royalty. They were highly valued and often given as gifts to foreign dignitaries.
  2. Despite their small size, Shih Tzu are known for their bravery. They were often used as watchdogs in ancient China and would alert their owners to intruders.
  3. Shih Tzu have a unique feature called a “topknot,” which is a small bundle of hair tied on top of their head. This was originally done to keep their hair out of their eyes while they were working as watchdogs.

read more >>

Names:

When it comes to naming a Shih Tzu, many owners opt for names that are cute, playful and reflect the dog’s small size and adorable features. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Shih Tzu:

1. Gizmo6. Teddy11. Lulu
2. Peanut7. Daisy12. Simba
3. Toto8. Bella13. Oliver
4. Biscuit9. Coco14. Rosie
5. Mimi10. Charlie15. Luna

Famous:

Over the years, some Shih Tzus have gained fame for their unique talents, appearances in movies or being owned by famous people. Here are some of the most famous Shih Tzus of all time:

  1. Gizmo – The adorable Shih Tzu from the movie “Gremlins” who stole the hearts of viewers with his big eyes and fluffy fur.
  2. Mimi – The Shih Tzu owned by fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who was often seen accompanying him to events and fashion shows.
  3. Pudsey – A talented Shih Tzu who won the 2012 season of “Britain’s Got Talent” with his owner Ashleigh Butler, showcasing his impressive dance moves and tricks.
  4. Toto – The beloved dog from “The Wizard of Oz” was actually a Cairn Terrier, but a Shih Tzu named Terry played the role in some scenes.
  5. Mochi – A Shih Tzu with the longest tongue in the world, measuring 7.3 inches, as certified by the Guinness World Records in 2018.
  6. Miss Asia Kinney – Lady Gaga’s Shih Tzu, who often accompanies her to events and has even appeared in some of her music videos.
  7. Smokey – A Shih Tzu who was rescued from a puppy mill and went on to become a therapy dog, visiting hospitals and nursing homes to bring joy to patients.

These famous Shih Tzus have left their mark on popular culture and the hearts of dog lovers around the world.

Summary:

The Shih Tzu is a small, toy-sized breed of dog that is known for its long, silky coat and friendly, outgoing personality. This breed originated in China and was bred as a companion dog for royalty. They are a loyal and affectionate breed that loves to be around people and other animals. They are also intelligent and trainable.

Shih Tzus are generally good-natured and patient, making them a great pet for families with children. They are also very adaptable and can do well in both small and large homes. They do require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and free of tangles.

Shih Tzus are a great pet for those looking for a loyal and loving companion. They are low-maintenance and easy to train, making them a great choice for first-time pet owners. They are also great for those looking for a small, cuddly companion.