Also Known As:
Area of Origin:
Lively, Friendly, Trusting, Affectionate
Silky Terrier, Pekingese, Havanese, Pomeranian, Chinese Crested
Best Breeds For:
Almost anyone with a lap. Families of toddlers might want to wait a few more years because the Shih Tzu’s small size can put it at risk with young kids.
Training a Shih Tzu can be amusing and frustrating. Stick with your training and remember that praise works better than punishment with the people-pleasing Shih Tzu.
Either works great. A Shih Tzu is happy as long as he’s with his family and gets a short walk every day.
No one is sure exactly how the Shih Tzu made its way to China, but there’s evidence that Shih Tzu were there as early as 8,000 B.C. By 1400 A.D., the Shih Tzu was the royal palace pet of the Ming Dynasty. After nearly going extinct at the beginning of the 1900s, several Shih Tzu were brought to England in the 1930s. Shih Tzu first made their way to the States after World War I, when soldiers returning from Europe and Australia brought a few back with them.
Good To Know
They’ll bark when something’s up but will settle down quickly once they’ve got it sorted out and they aren’t yappy at all. You’ll also sometimes hear them breathing because they have a short muzzle.
Health & Care
Height: 8” to 11” at the shoulder
Weight: 9 to 16 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Shih Tzus don’t really like the heat and aren’t very good swimmers, but they are generally healthy lap dogs.
Prone to: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or eye disease. One rare health problem to watch out for is juvenile renal dysplasia, which is a condition that occurs when a puppy’s kidneys don’t develop properly.
Grooming: The long double coat of the Shih Tzu requires a lot of upkeep. Frequent baths and daily brushing are necessary for a healthy, happy dog.
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They’ve been bred for centuries not just for their beautiful silky coats, but as phenomenal companions. A Shih Tzu’s idea of a great night is chilling together on the couch. After all, they don’t hunt birds, herd cattle, or pull sleds, they’re just built to love their families.