Shih Tzu is a small-sized, moderately weighed and exceedingly “cute” Toy Group Dog breed.
Noticed how much we are emphasizing on the ‘cute’ part?
The face of a puppy is what melts even the coldest hearts.
It’s long, silky coat is the definition of royalty.
No wonder, Shih Tzu origins are from the Chinese royal family.
Dog temperament is of a beautiful breed but that does not mean that it’s not active.
This four-legged creature is a ball of energy inside the house and always either wants or give attention.
And No, Don’t even try ignoringthis canine.
And if you want to know more about the amazing breed,
Table of Contents
Shih Tzu Facts
- Avg. Weight: 9-16 pounds.
- Avg. Height: 9-10 1/2 inches tall.
- Life Expectancy: 10-18 years.
- Dog Group: Toy Dog Group.
- Colors: Black, Black & White, Gray & White, or Red & White.
At A Glance
- Size (2/5)
A typical Shih Tzu weighs in the range of 9 to 16 pounds.
He stands at around 9 to 10 and a half inches from the ground.
- Affection Level (5/5)
We can’t stress enough but this is where the breed is at its best.
You can count on your Shih Tzu to be the people’s charmer.
- Apartment- Friendly (4/5)
Shih Tzu characteristics are of a highly-domesticated type of a canine.
A space like an apartment is where he is at his most comfortable self.
- Cold Weather Tolerability (3/5)
A Shih Tzu has a long, smooth coat on himself which protects him from moderate cold weather conditions.
For harsher cold conditions, an overcoat can be used for protection.
- Hot Weather Tolerability (2/5)
A Shih Tzu has a straight-face that means there’s no presence of nose passage for air to cool down.
Also, the coat can also cause over-heating in extremely hot conditions.
The parent needs to have knowledge of cooling down his dog when a Shih Tzu can’t tolerate the heat by himself.
Dog is world’s Advice: Try avoiding outings with your Dog when there's extreme hot weather outside. An air-conditioned room for staying in is advisable in such conditions.
- Barking Tendencies (2/5)
A Shih Tzu is generally a very quiet breed mostly not reacting to any external stimuli.
Sometimes it can though bark to any outsider, human or an animal.
- Cat-Friendly (4/5)
At first, it might resist feline creatures.
He can quickly befriend them also, a specialty that it posses deeply.
- Dog-Friendly (4/5)
The breed is considered as a docile pet from the start.
You don’t have to worry about your Shih Tzu to react to his other counterparts.
- Exercise Needs (2/5)
The breed doesn’t require necessary outings every day.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t active.
You can play small backyard games with your little one to keep his health in check.
- Grooming Needs (4/5)
The long, shiny fur coat needs the most attention from the start of a Shih Tzu’s developing stage to the adult phase.
Many Shih Tzu parents assign a grooming professional as the task can get overwhelming for many of us.
While we are talking about grooming here, take care of his nails and clip them regularly.
Dogisworld’s Advice: Keep a check of your Dog’s eyes for dog eye discharge. They can get cause irritation if not cleaned at regular interval.
- Playfulness (3/5)
As a parent, you should always get your little pet to play some backyard games with you regularly.
Your Shih Tzu will be an active participant in those games, we’re sure.
- Trainability (3/5)
Training based on rewards and treats is a positive way to train a Dog.
Shih Tzu’s are a very impressionable breed and get easily trained with positive training reinforcements.
Trainings such as potty training can begin with puppy stage in a Shih Tzu.
- Intelligence (4/5)
For his small size, the breed is a very intelligent dog.
Easy to differentiate who is an outsider to his space, a Shih Tzu makes sure that he has your attention when he wants it.
- Mouthiness (4/5)
A Shih Tzu has chewing tendency at his developing stage.
With proper training, it reduces as he gets used to behaving around a family.
- Price Group (2/5)
The breed’s cost generally ranges from $900-$2500.
While getting a Shih Tzu for your household, keep knowledge of the bloodline of that particular canine.
About Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu is generally considered as a sociable, docile canine but there is always the need for early training and socializing.
With the essential training, the breed grows up to be more rounded dogs and less timid in general.
The dog is mostly happy with any sort of space they are in, provided they have humans around. An ideal place would be an apartment-like space.
There is a high degree of attention needed from the parent which means he either wants to play with you or sit on your lap.
Being a Shih Tzu also includes some small, regular activity as adult dogs can easily get over-weight if not a part of some fitness routine.
Where Shih Tzu Came From?
‘Shih Tzu’ in the Chinese language refers to as “lion-dog” and it is where his origin lies.
These were breaded by Tibetan monks by the crossing of two much older Sino-Tibetan breeds, the Lhaso Apso and the Pekingese.
The monks offered them as a gift to the king which led to the breed becoming a royal breed.
With the British occupation of China, the breed also went to places such as Europe and the Americas, ultimately becoming very popular there also.
Dogisworld 's Facts: When you're around a Shih-Tzu, you're around someone that has witnessed world history. From the Chinese to the British and the Americas, this breed has truly been in every corner of the world during its journey.
Shih Tzu Size:
ShihTzu is particularly small in appearance, standing at around 9 to 10 and a half inches from the ground.
A typical healthy ShihTzu weighs in the range of 9 to 16 pounds.
Shih Tzu Trainability
A Shih Tzu has always been brought up as a docile pet and that is what he does the best.
He can be trained a few games in the backyard where a dog can show his active side also.
But major training should be inside the home where he can quickly learn instructions to become a more socially able dog.
Shih Tzu Grooming
As we said earlier, grooming this breed can be overwhelming for many of us as it requires patience and precision at the same time.
Firstly, start at the puppy stage so that you can get better when the adult coat comes on his skin. Be Gentle on him at this stage.
The adult coat comes at around 9-11 months of a Shih Tzu which will be accompanied by a matting of the coat as well.
Don’t worry though as this phase will go in 2-3 months.
As you’re grooming the coat, don’t forget his ear and face as both are susceptible to infections thus requiring regular cleaning up.
Dogisworld’s Advice: Shih-Tzu’s flat face structure can be a cause of concern as the face will get dirty with eating and dirt, requiring regular cleaning up.
1. TARGETING THE SKIN
- SKIN ALLERGIES
Items such as Dog shampoos, Dog powders can lead to skin allergy in Shih Tzu through contact as they have a high tendency of developing allergies in some particular breeds.
2. TARGETING THE NASAL CAVITY
- AERIAL INFECTIONS
Allergies can also be triggered through dust, pollen that are present in the air causing aerial infections in the breed.
3. TARGETING THE EYES
- EYE INFECTIONS
The breed is susceptible to eye problems because of the big eye-bulge.
Usually, these eye problems are limited to minor inconvenience such as ‘dog dry eyes‘ which can be addressed by keeping a check on the condition of his eyes regularly.
The major problems include conditions such as Shih Tzu keratitis which is a type of cornea inflammation if not treated in time could lead to blindness even.
4. TARGETING THE BONES
- HIP DISPLACEMENT
This is a peculiar problem for dogs in general but one that is seen a lot among Shih Tzu.
It leads to the formation of the hip socket which in turn causes pain in the movement of the dog.
5. TARGETING THE EAR
- EAR INFECTION
The breed’s ears are built-up in such a way that they give ample condition for bacteria growth.
Hence, having a look on his ear regularly to check on redness, irritations advisable for the dog parent.
6. TARGETING THE TEETH
- TOOTH PROBLEMS
Tooth Decay is the most common among the dogs with a Shih Tzu being more prone to such problems.
Usually, regular brushing can help combat the tartar build up early which could prevent tooth infections in the future.
7. TARGETING THE BODY
The breed is prone to obesity as there is no urgent requirement for exercise every day.
Hence, there is need to keep dog weight in check regularly to regulate the amount of food being given and the physical activities being done.
Feeding a dog depends highly on the age of the canine and also the kind of food being fed to him.
Usually, for Shih Tzu feeding, its amount is 1 ounce of food per pound of body weight during the puppy stage and around ½ ounce of food per pound of body weight.
It’s highly important to check the dog weight regularly to keep the calories in check and also if you’re feeding him too much or not otherwise chances of obesity are high.
Shih Tzu food as prescribed by experts:
- Organs (liver, heart)
- White chicken meat
- Baby carrots
- Whole yogurt
- Plain white or brown rice
There are a number of food items on the market which could be dangerous and potentially toxic to your dog.
You have to be aware of this when getting the food from the marketplace.
Suggested: Senior Dog Food
Dogisworld’s Advice: Shih-Tzu doesn't need massive amounts of food every day. Rather, a balanced diet with regular exercises will go a long way in keeping a Shih-Tzu healthy in the long term.
Vaccination and Care
There are a number of Shih Tzu vaccines in the market.
For ease of understanding, we have divided them into two categories, Core Vaccines, and Non-core Vaccines.
- Core Vaccines :
These are the essential Shih Tzu vaccines which are given to puppies and dogs across the spectrum as they protect against the potentially fatal diseases.
- Canine distemper (+ measles)
- Non Core Vaccines:
These vaccines are more breed-specific and are given based on the risk-level of your own dog.
These are optional Shih Tzu vaccines in practical terms but are capable of also combating serious illness.
- Lyme disease
Suggested: Guide To Dog Vaccination
Shih Tzu temperament is based on not requiring much exercise or big spaces for living.
He is at his most comfortable, in a small, cozy apartment and sitting on your lap watching TV.
For its size, he can be notoriously difficult to handle sometimes as of his tendency of making sudden jumps which results in injuries in many cases because of the flat face structure.
As we told earlier, early socialization and behavior training for the puppy will go a long way to have a better-behaved Shih Tzu adult dog.
Also, you have to keep check of the weather and the effect it is having on your Shih Tzu as he can be prone to hot weather conditions if not looked upon.
Monthly Expense Estimation
The initial Shih Tzu price could be about $500-$1500.
This Shih Tzu cost is heavily dependent on the breed line you’re getting and in that case, it could run even higher.
If not on sale, you can always try from places where there are available for adoption.
Being a small-sized breed, the breed has a small appetite.
It will cost somewhere between $50/month to feed an adult with quantity being 1 to 1 1/2 pounds every day.
The regular checkup cost and treatment would come somewhere around a few hundred dollars in a normal year.
Again this is entirely dependent on the breed’s health which could even shoot the treatment cost to thousand dollars in extreme cases.
Dogisworld’s Advice: Owning a Shih-Tzu can be a 'Hard-on-the wallet' experience. This is a major factor that you should look upon before deciding to bring him home.
A Shih Tzu dog is normally good with kids of all ages.
Although, an adult should be in presence if there’s a toddler around as he can be an agile dog when in the mood to play.
Usually, the breed is not considered to be someone which causes trouble when interacting with other dogs and cats but some initial training at puppy stage should be given to avoid any case of misbehavior in the future.
Becoming a Shih Tzu parent is something that always catches attention in the crowd.
For what it’s worth, you get a real companion when you get this breed.
What shouldn’t be put aside is the responsibility that comes with being a Shih Tzu parent.
He will require your time and attention every now and then, never forget that.
There are other number of things that you need to consider before getting this breed.
All that said, you can rest be assured that having a Shih Tzu in your life will only make it better if you devote your time and attention to it, as every rewarding relationship does.
Something Fun About Shih Tzu!
1. 14 Dogs Saved the Breed From Extinction.
After the communist revolution in China, the breed got almost wiped off.
In order to save the breed from extinction, 14 dogs (7 males and 7 females) were used to rebuild the breed.
Every ShihTzu’s lineage can be traced to these 14 to this day.
2. Shih Tzu is a celebrity favorite.
As the breed possesses a royal touch of its own, the breed has been a favorite of celebrities.
From Queen Elizabeth-II to Mariah Carey, these dogs have always filled the back pages of the celebrity magazines.
Dogisworld’s Facts: Did You Know? Shih-Tzu is also known as “chrysanthemum-faced dogs” simply because of the reason that their facial hair grows in all direction.
This was all about Shih Tzu from our corner.
Wait, we would really love to hear back from you in the comment section.
Do tell us how you feel about owning the breed!
Or, if you already have one at home, how’s it like?
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Happy Petting To You Guys!