Dog Breeds > Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Alternate NamesChrysanthemum Dog
OriginGreat Britain
GroupPet / Companion Dog
SectionTibetan Dog

Shih Tzu Profile

Robust (Health)
Supports Loneliness
Need Exercise
Easy To Maintain
Easy to Train
Nice Child
Agreement with Animals
First Dog
Able to Guard

Physical Characteristics

The Shih Tzu is a small, arrogant looking dog, with a rather long but compact body. The head is broad and round, with a large space between the eyes. The Shih Tzu sports tousled hair that falls over the eyes, a beard and a mustache. The hair from the nose is pointed up and forms a curious chrysanthemum-shaped design. The snout is square and short but not wrinkled. The dentition is prognathous. The eyes are large, dark and round, but not prominent. The ears are large, carried drooping and are covered with hair so that it blends with the body. The paws are short, strong and muscular, with strong bones. The tail is heavily feathered, decidedly curled over the back, set high and carried happily.

Fur: long and dense – but not curly – with a good undercoat.

Color: all colors are permitted, but a whitelist is particularly appreciated, as is the white tail tip.

Size: 22 to 26 cm for the males and 20 to 25 cm for the females.

Weight: 4 to 8 kg.

Origins and History

The Shih Tzu’s origins are very old: it resulted from the breeding of a dog living in the Chinese Imperial Palace, about whom we have very little information, and the Lhasa Apso. Its name means “Lion dog”, as it used to be shaved to look like a small lion, a sacred animal in Buddhism.

Character and Abilities

It is a rather quiet dog, but it is marvelous – as much due to its appearance as its joyful character. The Shih Tzu is always happy, very clever and courageous. It can do many foolish things, but its almost human expression immediately begs forgiveness. It is exclusively a companion dog, ideal for children old enough to treat it with respect. Despite its small size and its sweet character, this is a dog who knows how to be respected and who does not like to be the butt of any joke. It can be grumpy for hours if it thinks it was made fun of or unfairly reprimanded.

Living Conditions

It is exclusively an apartment dog. Suited for everyone from families with children to the elderly.


Despite its fragile look, the Shih Tzu is a robust dog. However, females can have difficult deliveries, and the eyes of the Shih Tzu must be kept clean at all times.

Average life expectancy: about 14 years.

Information and Tips

The Shih Tzu’s coat will demand a lot of attention. It requires a lot of care and grooming, especially if it is a show dog.

Shih Tzu Articles


Giant Cane Corso Is Scared of a Tiny, Tiny Little Shih Tzu!

Something isn’t quite right here. Maybe the Cane Corso is unaware of the size difference... or, maybe someone badly needs to see the optometrist!

Rescue Puppy Is Inseparable from His Kitty Best Friend. Watch How Cute They Are...

Ruggles, a cute, tiny Shih-Tzu, was in very poor health and was living in unlivable conditions in a puppy mill. Fortunately, this all changed when a heroic police raid set him and many other...

She Was Mistakenly Euthanized, but She Fought on Despite the Odds

Brittany Turnbill took her 8-year-old Shih Tzu, Sugar – whom she lovingly refers to as her “daughter” – to her local vet for a simple ear infection. But what began as a routine visit...

Liz the Shih Tzu Was Dying of Starvation, but Miracles Do Happen…

This picture is undoubtedly heart-wrenching and anger-inducing. How can anyone allow an animal to suffer like this? While Liz has certainly known suffering, her perseverance is truly remarkable. She is now being given the best...

They Moved Away And Left Their Dog Crying At The Door. But Moments Later…...

A small dog was seated in a corner howling at his home, wondering why the door wouldn’t open for him. What he didn't know was that the door would never be opened again. His owners had...

Shih Tzu Pictures

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