Shih TzuThe Shih Tzu is a beautiful toy dog with long silky hair that was bred to be a companion dog. These small dogs have a charming personality and they are very playful and happy dogs.


The origin of the Shih Tzu dog breed dates way back to ancient China or Tibet and was a favorite breed of the Emperors of China.

They were brought into Europe in 1930 and later brought to the United States after World War II. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969.


The Shih Tzu dog breed is a member of the American Kennel Club’s toy group of dogs.


A Shih Tzu can be 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and they can weigh from 9 to 16 pounds.


The Shih Tzu dog breed can be many colors. According to the American Kennel Club they can be one of 14 colors with 3 markings.

A Shih Tzu may be black, black and white, blue, blue and white, brindle, brindle and white, gold, gold and white, liver, liver and white, red, red and white, silver, silver and white, black gold and white, black white and silver, silver gold and white, or white.

The three standard markings for the Shih Tzu are black markings, black mask, and tan markings.


The Shih Tzu dog breed is a companion dog that has an outgoing and charming personality. They are affectionate, playful and good with children and other pets.


With a moderate energy, a daily walk and playtime will satisfy your Shih Tzu. Due to their small size, playtime and training sessions can be indoors.


The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is 10 to 16 years of age. They are generally healthy dogs but they may be prone to hip dysplasia, eye issues and breathing problems.


Daily brushing and/or combing is necessary to keep their long silky coat tangle free. Some people prefer to clip the coat short every six weeks, avoiding the tangles.

Other Grooming

You should clean their ears once a week and trim their nails as needed. To prevent tartar and gum disease, brush their teeth several times a week.


Shih Tzus can be stubborn and difficult to train, but food based rewards should bring them around. You should keep training sessions short and vary the training activities to keep it interesting.

Separation Anxiety

Being a companion dog, the Shih Tzu may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, although many will do well alone.

Exercising your dog before leaving them alone in your home will help with separation issues. Providing a special toy, especially a treat filled one, can keep your dog busy while you are away.

Shih TzuRescue

If you have an interest in the Shih Tzu dog breed, please consider adoption. There are many purebred dogs and puppies that are available for adoption. Search for a dog or rescue group in your area by starting here at PetFinder.

What do you think about the Shih Tzu dog breed? Share a story about your dog or leave a comment below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.