Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information | Dogs 101 Shih Tzu

Royal, regal, and radiant. These are the traits that define the Shih Tzu breed. Many believe that these creatures are fierce. Little do they know how amazingly affectionate and sweet they really are. Ranked as the 20th most popular breed by the American Kennel Club, the Shih Tzu is one of the most charming dogs you will ever encounter.

The Shih Tzu is known for its short nose, beautiful head, and magisterial coat. Most owners allow their dog’s hair to grow longer so they can style it in different designs. Plus, you can’t deny that you love combing their hair. It’s like holding the golden locks of a Barbie doll. They are so exquisite to handle! But these are not the only traits that make them lovable worldwide.


The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds that ever walked the Earth. They originated in Tibet way back in the 7th Century. The Shih Tzu was initially the smallest of the Lhasa Apsos, that’s why it was considered a designer and luxury dog during this period. They were even offered as gifts to Chinese emperors. Because of their regal nature, ancient civilizations continued to foster the royal breed.

Finally, the British came to China and saw how beautiful and elegant the breed is. This was the time when the breed became more popular and established its charm to the public.

Other Names

The name Shih Tzu, in Chinese, means “little lion.” You might think they’re aggressive. But this is only a stigma. The only reason they are called “lions” is their majestic coat. You can observe as it grows longer, that it looks like a lion’s mane.

But this is not the only name of the Shih Tzu. They are also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog. Like the flower, the Shih Tzu is a combination of elegance and beauty. They are both symbols of love, happiness, and longevity. This explains the lifespan of the Shih Tzu, which is as long as 16 years.


These adorable little creatures can easily fit inside your designer bag. Both the male and female Shih Tzus can grow up to 28 cm. In terms of weight, the females are lighter, weighing up to 7.25 kg. Males, on the other hand, can weigh up to 10 kg. These statistics depend on genetics and the environment. But no matter how big they grow or how heavy they weigh, I’m sure you will find these pooches irresistible.


Shih Tzus are generally affectionate, playful, and outgoing. They love hanging out with people and other animals. They easily make friends and they easily adapt to the environment. Even if you live in an apartment, you can get a Shih Tzu for your own. Imagine coming home to their sweet cuddles and kisses. It’s the best therapy after a long day’s work.

Some believe that Shih Tzus are aggressive towards strangers. On the contrary, these creatures greet everyone warmly with wagging tails and smiling nuzzles. However, some Shih Tzus are shy and more indifferent but they rarely become aggressive.

Like any other dog, the Shih Tzu also needs training and socialization, to keep them from developing behavioral issues. If you pair their training with play, this strategy will be more effective to make them obey.

Pet Compatibility

These dogs are friendly and welcoming to other dogs. However, they do not like it when their ears and hair get pulled. They easily get irritated when other dogs play hardball with them. But when they’re in the mood for rough play, they’ll be the ones to initiate the games.


Shih Tzus display more human emotions than any other dog. They tend to be moody and snobbish. There are times when they get overly possessive and jealous of others. Sometimes, they don’t even want to cuddle with their owners.

To trim down their stubbornness, instill training and socialization as early as possible. This way, they can manage their moodiness and displace it to more positive behaviors.

It takes a deep bond between the Shih and the owner to understand each other’s needs. If you’ve established a close relationship, you can easily detect what your Shih is feeling, so you know what to do to comfort it.

Family Life

The Shih Tzu is an outstanding member of the family. Because of their active nature, you never get bored with them at home. They always find a way to play and have fun. Believe it or not, there are times when they expend their energy on activities that will make you laugh. Their positive mood will get to you. So, even if you’re feeling down, having a Shih around will help you throw your worries away.

Children Compatibility

This breed easily gets along with children, especially those above 5 years old. They are gentle around children and display a sense of alertness to protect their masters from harm. Believe it or not, Shih Tzus can be protective when they need to be. So, don’t you dare hurt their masters?

Before you let a Shih babysit your child, acquaint your children never to pull the hair and ears of the dog. They are sensitive about that. It’s okay to cuddle and play with them but they must always be gentle with the dog’s hair.

Owning A Shih Tzu

While letting their hair grow longer is beautiful, it makes it prone to tangles and fleas. This is why you need to upgrade your methods to care for their coat. Combing them every day is the first responsibility to consider. It’s also important to bathe them regularly to prevent flea and tick infestations.

Vet visits are also essential to caring for this dog. Shih Tzus are prone to various diseases such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems. To prevent these, you need to consult the vet regularly. This ensures that they get the proper care and nutrition to grow healthy and strong.

Other than that, caring for a Shih has lower maintenance compared to others. Have at least $500 to cater to their needs such as food, hair products, and consultations.

There you have it, despite being called the royal dog, their maintenance is lower than most. All they need is a family to cling to and to care for them. They don’t really care about the place you live in. All they want is to have you by their side. That’s how sweet this breed is. Do you think you can handle raising one? if you can, nothing is stopping you from having a royal dog of your own.

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