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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

Shih Tzu Shampoos and Coat Products - Updated - How to choose the right shampoo for your Shih Tzu. Exact recommendations, including those for itchy skin and other skin issues. 
Shih Tzu Halloween Photo
  • See adorable Shih Tzu pups and dogs in costume
  • Read some helpful tips for both walking around Halloween night & if you'll be staying home with your Shih Tzu
  • Learn which candies you can and cannot give to your Shih Tzu
  • Check out some super-cute costume ideas
  • Submit a photo of your Shih Tzu so everyone can see how cute he or she is
Let's have a safe & incredibly fun Halloween 2017! (Photo is of Lilly, courtesy of Dianne Smith)

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.

Also New:

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. 
How to Help a Shih Tzu Puppy Gain Weight - Reasons why a pup may struggle to put on pounds, issues to rule out, and exact details to encourage weight gain. 
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

Are you wondering about the terms of Imperial, Miniature and Tea Cup Shih Tzu dogs? 

The trend is growing and does not seem to be stopping for the demand of these dogs. Are these separate dog breeds? Why are these terms so popular? Is an Imperial Shih Tzu really different than a "regular" Shih Tzu? Do they have royal bloodlines? Learn the facts..whether you already have a Shih Tzu or are planning on bringing one into your home! 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


The Shih Tzu is a noble dog and very lively. This breed makes a wonderful family pet. Others wish for a Shih Tzu to have one of the most beautiful dogs, to enter into shows. In either case, having your dog well-trained is a must. Behavior analysis shows that this dog will interact well with children, given that attention is paid to proper training. They have animated and amusing personalities. Learn detailed information regarding behavior and temperament. See: Behavior

Health Issues

Each type of breed has their own set of red flag health issues. Shih Tzu dogs are prone to have certain conditions more than other breeds. This does not mean that your dog is sure to have an illness or health issue; we will help you know what signs to keep an eye out for.

This breed, with a long back and short legs, may have back or hip problems at some point. 

Other problems are related to facial structure. Being a bracycephalic breed, there may be some breathing problems. 

See: Health

Shih Tzu puppy with shoes


Some owners find themselves feeling helpless when their Shih Tzu displays odd health symptoms. Many times this can be attributed to allergies. Almost 25% of dogs will have an allergic reaction to either an outside source or an internal one. Arm yourself with knowledge regarding canine allergic reactions. As a responsible owner, you must know what to do if an allergic reaction suddenly strikes and how to help your dog is he or she is suffering from this.
Shih Tzu puppy


We offer detailed information regarding the training process of your Shih Tzu. Known for not only their intelligent but also for a bit of a stubborn streak, we address the topics of the stages of learning and also a step-by-step guide that examines the appropriate age for teaching your Shih Tzu various commands. 

You will also learn if your dog is at the average intelligence level for his or her age. 

Shih Tzu close up


The Shih Tzu is a very intelligent dog; therefore they can be trained just as an owner wishes. However, since this dog has a bit of a inbred stubborn streak, detailed and thorough training is necessary. Find out excellent training techniques to keep both Shih Tzu and owner happy.

Whether want fast success with a new puppy or you need to re-train an older adult, we have you covered. 

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, 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 needed 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 task 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. 
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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