Dog Breeds

Shih Tzu Dog

We elaborate the Shih Tzu puppy breed with Shih Tzu temperament, training, appearance, weight, life span and much more information about this breed.

Other names: Lion Dog

Shih Tzu Puppy Appearance

The Shih Tzu is a small, compact and robust dog with a luxurious coat, an upright head, an easy gait, and a furry, curved tail over its back.

Shih Tzu Dog Weight

9-16 lbs.

Shih Tzu Size

Between 8 and 11 inches,

Average Shih Tzu Dog life span

13-14 years

Shih Tzu Temperament

Although the Shih Tzu has the appearance of being proud and arrogant, it is a very affectionate, playful and intelligent dog. It is a good option for a family with well-behaved children, as they love to play, as long as they are handled carefully. It gets along well with other animals if they have been socialized from an early age. It is a very alert watchdog and although it likes to bark, it is usually quiet around the house. He craves human attention and does not like to be left alone for long. You tend to express your discontent through destructive chewing. It is not the right breed of dog for people who work outside the home for a long time.


They have an independent mind, can be stubborn, manipulative and have a tendency to resist doing what they are told, therefore basic obedience training is highly recommended to help develop a pleasant environment with family members. They can be difficult to train.


These little dogs require good daily grooming with a bristle brush to maintain their elegant appearance. You can put a bow tied with a bow to make it look nice. Knots that may form in the coat should never be pulled with great force because this will cause the hair follicle to die. Some owners prefer to keep their fur short so that it is easier to care for them and less time they will require in grooming. The area around the eyes should be kept clean and dry to avoid staining.


They require exercise but are very happy to be in the house and allow them to play in it. They are perfectly happy with short walks.

Health. Hip malformation or dysplasia

results in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the acetabulum of the hip. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, although with consequences for dogs and owners since dogs with dysplasia usually produce puppies with the same condition. Buyers should ask if both the sire and dam of the puppy they are interested in have been recently tested and are free of hip dysplasia. Don’t take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate and ask for a copy to take to your vet.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

It is a group of dog diseases that involve all the gradual deterioration of the retina. It is diagnosed by retinoscopic examination using an electroretinogram (ERG). Early in the disease, affected dogs begin to suffer from night blindness and lack the ability to see in low light, and later day vision also fails. As their vision deteriorates, affected dogs can adjust to their disability very well, as long as their environment remains constant. Some breeds are affected early in life, while in other breeds, PRA develops much later.


Distichiasis or double eyelashes is a condition in which a dog is born having an extra row of eyelashes, usually on the lower eyelid, causing irritation of the cornea and tearing.

Shih TzuHistory

Although the Shih Tzu is generally thought to be a Chinese breed, it was developed from Tibetan “lion” dogs that had been bred in Tibet around 2000 years ago. The “Lion Dogs” were an exclusive group of dogs bred by Buddhist Monks that included the Lhasa Apso and the Tibetan Spaniel. The Shih Tzu, whose name means lion, is reputed to have been the oldest and smallest variety of the Sacred Tibetan Dogs. At one point there was considerable contact between the rulers of ‘Tibet and China, and the’ Lion Dogs’ were presented to the Chinese Emperors as gifts of high esteem. The Chinese called them Tibetan Dogs Shih Tzu Kou, or Tibetan Lion Dog. Dogs were specifically bred to please the emperors in the palace.

In 1908, the Dalai Lama, the Spiritual Leader of Tibet, sent some small Shih Tzu dogs to Empress Tzu Hsi, a widow of the Manchu Dynasty. The Empress was a renowned Pekingese breeder and she added the Shih Tzu to her darlings and bred them in such a way that they acquired different lengths in coat.

After the death of Empress Tzu Hsi there was a lot of competition between the different palaces to breed dogs with finer coats and varied colors, so their practices were carried out with great caution, secretly and without leaving records. During the rise of the Communist Government in China, many of the royal dogs were euthanized. The breed found its way to England by Mrs Brownrig when she visited Beijing in 1930. From that time breeding began in Great Britain and, in 1935, the breed was officially named the Shih Tzu, but was not brought to championship status in Great Britain until 1949.

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