Shih Tzu Information

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(Chrysanthemum Dog, Chinese Lion Dog) The Shih Tzu is a sturdy toy dog with a compact, solid build. These dogs have a distinctive, arrogant carriage that is befitting of their noble Chinese heritage. The length between the withers and the tail root is slightly longer than the height at the withers. This breed is always solid, compact, and substantial, with good weight carriage and proportions. They have an overall look of balance, and none of their bodily features are over-exaggerated. Their neck blends gracefully into their shoulders, and it is of adequate length to permit a naturally high head carriage. The breed’s topline is level and the chest is broad and deep. They have well-sprung ribs and the depth of their ribcage extends to the point just below their elbows. Tails of this breed are high-set, heavily plumed, and carried in a curve well over the dog’s back. Their properly angulated shoulders are well laid-back and fit smoothly into the dog’s body. They have muscular, well-boned, straight limbs that are set well-apart and under the chest. Their elbows are set close to their body, and their hocks are well let down and perpendicular. Feet of this breed are firm, thickly padded, and point straight ahead. The round head of the Shih Tzu is broad, wide between the eyes, and in tune with the size of the rest of the dog’s body. Their skull is domed and their stop is pronounced. The muzzle is square-shaped, short, and unwrinkled, with good cushioning. The breed’s nostrils are broad and open, and their jaw is wide and undershot. The Shih Tzu has a luxurious, long, dense double coat that is straight or slightly waved and flowing. The hair on the top of the dog’s head is usually tied up. Any coat color is acceptable.

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There coat is sliky smooth and may feel like you're touching a feather.

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Because the Shih Tzu is solely bred to serve as a companion and house pet, it is especially important for their temperament to be cheerful, affectionate, outgoing, and trusting towards everyone. They are spunky and full of spirit, and they possess good character. They are naturally very dignified, and they sometimes have a tendency to appear arrogant. They are gentle and kind, and they get along well with polite, careful children. This breed likes to bark outside, but they are usually quiet in the house. If surprised, teased, or pestered, they may have a tendency to snap. The Shih Tzu needs a great deal of interaction with people.

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9-12 inches
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9 – 16 pounds
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General Health

The Shih Tzu has a propensity to wheeze and snore. Some lines of this breed are susceptible to ear, eyes, and respiratory problems. Because of their long back and short legs, spinal disc disease is also a concern. Teeth of this breed require regular veterinary attention. The Shih Tzu gains weight easily. They typically live for 15 or more years.

A poorly bred Shih Tzu may wheeze and snore. This type of breathing is also common in puppies when they are teething. Most puppies out grow it. When selecting a puppy, it is advised to look at a puppies nostrils and make sure they are round and open. Pinched nostrils cause wheezing, snoring and respiratory problems. A properly breed Shih Tzu will have a short, cobby body that is not long. Most Shih Tzus carry a marker for kidney disease, however, that doesn't mean they will have any problems. Breeds with at least 2 genetic markers are more prone for this disorder.

The Shih Tzu are very calm.

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Recent research and DNA analysis confirms that the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds. It originated in China, probably as the result of crossings between the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso. The breed was a favorite of the Imperial Chinese court, and for many years the Chinese refused to trade or sell these dogs with the Western World. It wasn’t until 1930 that the Shih Tzu was imported to England. The breed was officially recognized in Britain in 1946. The United States recognized the breed in 1969. The Shih Tzu is very popular as a companion and show dog.

The Shih-Tzu comes from China and is the mix of the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso.They are known as the “Holy Dog “.Shih Tzu were occasionally given to distinguished visitors as a token of goodwill and good luck. It came into France and England in the 1950s.They found their way into the US in 1938. They are known as the most high-classed breed. And are also known as the most ancient breed.

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The Shih Tzu should be groomed on a daily basis with a bristle brush. Many of these dogs have a topknot that is tied with a bow. Eyes and ears of this breed should be kept clean. They shed little to no hair, and they are a good choice of pet for allergy sufferers.

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Ideal Environment

The Shih Tzu is well-suited to life in a small household or apartment. They are a comparatively active breed indoors, and they are content to live without a yard. They are sensitive to hot weather.

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Dog Training!

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Shih Tzu Q&A

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How are they with other dogs in the household??? I have a Cavalier King Charles who is very sweet and timid. Is this dog the alphadog type?

This breed will probably take charge of a less dominate dog. Depending on how old and timid your King Charles is he/she may or may not like having a new partner.


up to how many puppies a shih tzu may give birth to?

My shih tzu just gave birth to six. The one died soon after birth though. Typically the have 4-5 pups.


We have a two year old what would he be like with a puppy of the same breed?

Two years ago we got our two year old a companion. Our first is a male. He is a sweet dog, loves feet. The first few days after we got the little girl puppy he wasn't so sure what to think of her. They get along great now. She definantly takes control of things, though.


How often in one month should I use my male as stud?



is the removal of their tear ducts recomended?

Well, maybe but not necessarily. these dogs are prone to it. Just to be sure, you should ask your vet for advice.


my shih tzu has this black sticky gunk in his ears and i have no idea what it is.does any body know what it could be?

it prabably ear wax. :p


I have a nine year old shih tzu. is she too old to have puppies safely.

are they too old to give at five years


I am getting a shih Tzu pure bred puppy from a private breeder. She has been e-mailing me pictures of the pup, and the last ones I got showed a raised scar-like line on his nose. He is only 4 weeks old and is dark chocolate in color (liver). In the previous pictures this was not there. The breeder said that the puppy’s nose pigment was changing to a darker shade. Is this true?

Yes it is. The puppies are generally born with light noses and they darken over time


How many puppys do shih tzus normaly have?

3-4 pups per birth. there could always be complications with female shih tzus when getting pregnant.. and female pups are more likely to die


At what age to Shih Tzus reach maturity and stop growing?

Usually just after they turn 1.

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