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Shih Tzu Questions & Answers


Here, we'll cover some of the frequently asked questions about the Shih Tzu breed and then dive into more detailed articles that answer a wide variety of questions revolving around behavior, health and more. 


How big do Shih Tzu get?

This breed has a range of between Weight: 9-16 lbs (4.08-7.26 kg). Some can be on the small end of this, ranging from 6 to 8 pounds; however, this comes with an increased risk of some health issues.  See also: Shih Tzu Size.

What's the plural of Shih Tzu?

Just like more than one fish is 'fish', one or more Shih Tzu are simply 'Shih Tzu'. Even some popular breeders mistakenly use the term Shih Tzus; however, this is not correct. 

How do you pronounce Shih Tzu?

Despite a huge number of people saying 'Shit zoo' and even t-shirts and other merchandise making a play on this, it is correctly pronounced 'Sheet-zoo'. See also: Shih Tzu Pronunciation

At what age does a Shih Tzu become an adult? What about a senior?

A Shih Tzu will be an adult at 2 years old. An adult will transition into a senior usually at the 8 year mark, but no later than 10 year old. See also: Shih Tzu Senior Care

How long do Shih Tzu live?

This breed has a range of 10 to 16 years, with 13 being the average. See also: Shih Tzu Life Span

Do Shih Tzu get along with other dogs? What about children? Or cats?

Typically, yes to all. With dogs, this breed is very friendly and generally does well with other dogs. In the house, a dog of any other size including much larger can be a good companion. Outside of the house, expect some hesitancy toward larger dogs (not a necessarily a bad thing). 

In regard to cats, this is something that you'll want to test first before having both under one roof. This said, many Shih Tzu and cats can get along well in the same household. 

With kids, while small youngsters will need to be taught proper handling techniques and a Shih Tzu may have nipping or growling issues if a strong, proper hierarchy is not put into place, most do well with children

Do Shih Tzu Shed?

This breed is classified as a light shedder, though some will say the Shih Tzu is a non-shedder. There is a year-round light shed that is part of the coat renewal process. 

During both the winter and summer, some environmental elements can cause faster-than-normal hair fall. See also: Shih Tzu Shedding

How do I provide the best care?

It boils down to safety, comfort, health and happiness. Once you are organized yourself with all of the care tips for Shih Tzu, arm yourself with what you need, create a schedule, get everyone in the house on board and you'll be all set! 

Articles to Answer More Detailed Shih Tzu Questions


Whenever your puppy or dog has a sudden change in personality or behavior, it's wise to assess what may be happening. This would include acting irritated, shy, afraid or otherwise out of character. 

While this breed is often referred to as hypoallergenic, no dog is 100% guaranteed to not cause an allergic reaction. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help resolve this.  

There are several elements that can cause a puppy or dog to have bad breath. Most are easily remedies, though some do point to a larger, more serious issues. 

This is a common and very important question, since the wrong OTC meds can be toxic. Yet, the right one can help in a pinch if you need to treat your Shih Tzu and cannot reach the vet. 

Due to being a brachycephalic breed, Shih Tzu can have an array of breathing issues, ranging from getting out of breath during exercise to snoring at night. In some cases, medical intervention may be needed. However, there are steps you can take at home to help your Shih Tzu breath easier. 

There are some basic, essential supplies that are needed for proper care and optimal health and happiness. The more thought you put into choosing your Shih Tzu's care items, the happier he'll be, the better he'll look and the easier it will be to ensure his needs are met. 

Do be careful to not get manipulated into paying more than you should. Price does vary depending on where you live (demand for purebred Shih Tzu pups) and even the time of year.  See also: Shih Tzu breeders (personally recommended by us)

It's so heartbreaking to have to leave the house knowing that your dog will have a lot of trouble dealing with being alone. It can be very overwhelming and stressful. Fortunately, there are many things you can do, that all work together to help. 

This breed is not typically a 'yapper'; some Shih Tzu can be very vocal and some may be quieter. Though, if your puppy or dog truly does not bark at all, there are some elements to look into. 

This is one of the more sturdier toy breeds and usually his appetite is robust. However, if it appears that nothing is satisfying your Shih Tzu, it will be time to take a closer look. 

If you're stuck in a bit of a rut and are looking for something more interesting to do beside go for a routine walk, there's lots of fun things you can do. 

And Even More Helpful Advice:

Tips for Traveling with a Shih Tzu - Whether by plane, train, or automobile, these helpful tips will keep your Shih Tzu comfortable and stress levels low. 
Help for Teething Shih Tzu Puppies - This can be a tricky time, but not if you're prepared. See the 4 things you'll need to do. 
Care Tips for a Rescued Shih Tzu - If you've adopted a Shih Tzu or are thinking about it, this article is for you. 
Can my Shih Tzu be a Medical Alert Dog? This breed can indeed be trained to be a medical alert dog. Read about what these dogs can do, meet Angel - a Shih Tzu that has saved her owner's life, and how to start your own dog on the road to becoming your helper. 
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