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Shih Tzu Information

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Shih Tzu Information Center 

The Shih Tzu is an ancient breed, developed over centuries to be the perfect canine companion and lap dog.

He is friendly, outgoing, amusing, clever, and often bonds tightly with his humans. 

Though a toy breed, he is sturdy at 9 to 16 pounds, making him easy to own in a variety of household settings.

This is a brachycephalic breed, which means the snout and face are compressed. Being such, breathing issues may develop.

Found in a multiple of colors, and with options for a short to long coat, the Shih Tzu is a unique, beautiful breed. 
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"A dash of Lion, several teaspoons of Rabbit, a couple ounces of wise Chinese men, a bit of Beggar, a tablespoon of Monkey, one part Baby Seal, and a dash of Teddy Bear."...~ Dr.James E. Mumford, talking about the Shih Tzu

New Right Now

New Years with Your Shih Tzu - Start 2018 right by choosing one (or more) New Year's resolutions to ensure an awesome year for your canine family member. 

Also New:

Shih Tzu Dry Skin - Updated - With winter at our doorstep, it's a good idea to go over top reasons a Shih Tzu may develop dry skin, how to prevent this, and how to treat this. 
My Shih Tzu Rolls Around in Poop - This behavior may seem odd and it's understandably frustrating. See the possible reasons and 5 steps to stopping this for good. 
Shih Tzu Harnesses - Updated - Having the wrong accessories can have dire consequences. We encourage you to read the differences between a collar and a harness. And, see updated tips and more exact recommendations.
Shih Tzu Allergies - Major Update - This section has been entirely re-written. Read the 3 steps to resolving allergies for good, with exact step-by-step guidance. 
When a Shih Tzu is Eating Poop - There are 4 main reasons why a dog does this, and 5 steps you can take to fully stop it from happening. 
Shih Tzu Licking Problems - A super helpful article that covers both problems with a Shih Tzy licking themselves, and what to do if your puppy won't stop licking you.  
Your Shih Tzu in the Car - See the top 5 reasons to use a car seat and 7 top tips for preventing motion sickness.
The Best Dog Treats for a Shih Tzu - A look at what to avoid, and some fantastic, all-natural choices for tasty rewards and snacks. 
Shih Tzu Supplies - An organized list of all supplies needed to take proper care of a Shih Tzu of any age. Plus recommended products for optimal health and happiness. 

Breed Stats

Pronunciation:ˈSHē ˈdzo͞o (She Dzoo)
Original Pronunciation: Sure-ds
Current Translation: Lion dog, Lion son
Original Meaning: Lion
Common Misspellings: Shihtzu, Shihju, Sheetzu, Shitzu, Sheetzo
Origin of the Shih Tzu: Tibet & China
Date of Origin: Arguably the Shih Tzu dates back to the 17th century
Weight: 9-16 lbs (4.08-7.26 kg)
Height: 8-11 inches(20.3-27.9 cm)
Group: AKC Toy Class
Recognized: In 1969
Purpose: Companion dog and Show dog
Popularity: 17th most registered dog, 3rd most registered toy breed (AKC)
Litter size: 1 to 5
Maturity: Adult at 1 year old

Learn What Imperial, Miniature and Tea Cup Shih Tzu Dogs Are

If you're looking for a tiny toy-sized dog, the Shih Tzu won't fit the bill. Though this is a toy breed, the Shih Tzu is compact, sturdy, and usually between 9 and 16 lbs.

Issues arise with breeders who market Imperial, miniature, and/or teacup Shih Tzu puppies.  This trend is growing and there is a demand for these dogs. Do Imperials really have royal bloodlines? How small will be a teacup be and are there any related health concerns? 

Whether you already have a Shih Tzu or are planning on getting one, learn the facts about Imperial, teacup Shih Tzu

Yummy Home Cooking for the Shih Tzu

Find out the difference between manufactured dog food and home cooked food. Learn how this directly impacts your Tzu... More


Shih Tzu dogs are the perfect combination. You get a relatively small package (9 to 16 lbs.), and a lively, active dog with a friendly disposition. 

The majority of Shih Tzu are non-barkers (only being vocal if there's trigger), get along very well with children, and do rather well around other dogs (though they may be a bit wary). 

A Shih Tzu will want to be engaged with the family and enjoy your daily walks together. This breed is incredibly loving and fits in well in just about any type of household. See: Behavior

Health Issues

This is a pretty healthy breed, though there are some issues that the Shih Tzu is prone to. With good breeding practices, there will be pre-breeding health checks for certain hereditary issues; so, conditions like hip dysplasia and kidney issues are not usually passed down. 

Some issues that are commonly seen are those related to this breed's brachycephaic profile (compressed jaw and snout). This includes breathing related conditions (elongated soft palate, stenotic nares). It also includes eye issues, due to prominent eyes in rather shallow pockets. See: Health 

Shih Tzu puppy with shoes


Allergies can be a tricky thing. About 20% of dogs suffer one at least one type and while there are some common symptoms, each dog is unique in their reactions.

A Shih Tzu may have one, some, or all signs. These may come and go or remain constant. Symptoms may change with the seasons. 

See how to reduce allergens and treatment options to get your puppy or dog feeling better fast. See: Allergies.
Shih Tzu puppy


One of your jobs as owner is to train your Shih Tzu for a variety of elements. From housebreaking to commands, and hopefully heeling as well. This breed can be a bit stubborn and training can take a bit longer than with some other breeds. 

However, any sort of training is completely doable when you are consistent and follow certain guidelines. Ensure that your Shih Tzu is a well-trained dog by checking out Training Tips
Shih Tzu close up


Housebreaking is one of the biggest challenges that you and your Shih Tzu will face. However, when you prep and follow training techniques to a tee, you can find rather fast success.

Depending on how often you are home to house train your pup, your Shih Tzu can be doing quite well within 2 to 4 months.

When done, you'll realize that it wasn't as difficult as you thought. See: Housebreaking

Essential Care Information

No matter the age of your Shih Tzu, if this is your first puppy or you've had this breed all your life, you'll find heaps of helpful information here.

Care Tips - A list of all elements that come together to provide optimal health and happiness.

Supplies - There are some basic items that are needed to keep your Shih Tzu safe, properly care for the coat, and offer the right type of toys. With this breed, there is also the need to provide the right elements when a Shih Tzu is home by himself. 
Shih Tzu close up

Heat & Pregnancy

Do you have any questions regarding the Shih Tzu heat cycle? Learn all aspects of female cycle to become well informed regarding your pet. Are you planning on breeding your dog? Or perhaps you suspect your Tzu may be pregnant? Find out the early signs, how long it will be until you have little puppies running around and important health information specific to Shih Tzu pregnancy.

Exercise Requirements

While some dog breeds, such as the Basset Hound are perfectly content lazing around near your feet, the Shih Tzu is an active dog that requires a brisk walk. This is needed daily. Our exercise section will show you how much is required and how often. Since this dog is an inside dog, learn some great methods of providing much needed indoor activity as well.
See: Exercise Requirements

Leaving Your Shih Tzu Home Alone

It's not easy to leave your puppy or dog home alone, especially when you know that your Shih Tzu struggles with separation anxiety. This refers to overwhelming feelings of isolation and loneliness, and is very common with this breed.

Fortunately, there are quite a few things that when combined can quite dramatically improve things. 

This involves setting up the right environment and providing your Shih Tzu the right tools to better cope with your absence. See: Shih Tzu Separation Anxiety

Unique Grooming

This breed is quite versatile in regard to coat; having hair as opposed to fur allows for everything from a shaved to a long show coat. Though, no matter the length of your Shih Tzu coat, quite a few grooming techniques will need to be followed. 

Grooming will include baths, brushing, nails, paw and nose care, wiping the face, touch-ups between baths, and more. 

Knowing what to do when and having the right tools and products will help you stay on track. 

There may be times when you will need to contend with tear stains, odd odors, coat problems, dry skin, and other issues. 
Check out these helpful grooming related articles:
A great overview of all the tasks that need to be done, following a schedule, and helpful tips to keep your Shih Tzu looking wonderful. 
Toy breeds tend to be prone to tooth decay, and the Shih Tzu is no exception. Read how to maintain your dog's oral health. 
Bathing on time and using the right methods will ensure that each bath is successful and leads to good skin and coat health.  
Body oil accumulation and skin issues are to blame for most odor issues. Read why this happens and exactly how to resolve issues.  
There are several conditions that can cause thinning or balding hair. Top causes and treatments, including some at-home remedies. 
A fun look at some cute hair cuts that can be done with this breed for both puppies and adults. Photos are courtesy of site Members. 
Discolored hairs under or around the eyes should not be ignored. The key to fixing these for good are to rule out the triggers and use the right remover. 
It's important to use the right brushes, combs, and other grooming tools for ease of use and excellent results. 
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The Most Comprehensive Shih Tzu Care Book That Exists

Paperback (8.5x11", 360 pg) or ebook

Whether you have a new puppy or an adult, let’s get started on a wonderful, fulfilling, fun, and healthy road for your Shih Tzu!

Shih Tzu quote

"A house or apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog." 
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