Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits 2022

Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits 2022

Vivacious and happy, the Shih Tzu tends to require much personal attention. Because he needs human company, he can be easily indulged.

Shih Tzu, at a glance                                      

To maintain the Shih Tzu’s coat, the owner must be prepared for tough brushing times. 

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Weight range:

Male: 9-16 lbs.

Female: 9-16 lbs.

Height at withers:

Male: 10 inches

Female: 10 inches


Brachiocephalic (flattened face), floppy ears (naturally)


Required exercise: <20 minutes per day.

Energy level: average

Average lifespan: 11 to 14 years

Tendency to drool: Low Tendency to snore: Low

Tendency to bark: High

Tendency to Dig: Moderate Social/Attention Needs: High

The Shih Tzu is one of the most friendly and playful companion dogs. That added to its beautiful coat and sweet appearance explain why it is one of the currently preferred breeds. These dogs are very affectionate and intelligent and need constant attention from their owners, so they are not recommended to live outside the house or be left alone for a long time.

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Suppose you want to know more about this pleasant puppy in this AnimalWised breed file. In that case, we will tell you everything you need to know about the Shih Tzu’s physical characteristics, origin, character, care, health, and education that you know everything beforehand. To adopt a Shih Tzu dog.


  1. Origin of the Shih Tzu
  2. Shih Tzu Characteristics
  3. Shih Tzu characters
  4. Shih Tzu care
  5. Shih Tzu education
  6. Shih Tzu health
  7. Where to adopt a Shih Tzu?

Origin of the Shih Tzu

The history of the Shih Tzu shares many things with the history of the Pekingese dog. Like this other dog, the Shih Tzu originates from Buddhist monasteries, where it was considered a sacred dog. Although many people write it as shitzu, it was a dog exclusive to the Chinese nobility, where it was also held as a sacred dog and given royal care.

When the first Shih Tzu arrived in England in the 1930s, they were confused with the Lhasa Apso. So much so that both dogs were considered a single breed at that time. However, it was decided to separate both breeds as we know them today in the same decade.

Today, the Shih Tzu is a highly prized dog for companionship and show. His magnificent coat and small stature have made him a star on dog show rings, while his sweet disposition has made him one of the most popular pets of our day.

Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits 2022

Shih Tzu Characteristics

According to the International Cynological Federation (FCI) standard of the breed, the Shih Tzu has the following characteristics that we will comment on. Pay attention to them, as they will help you how to know if a Shih Tzu is pure or not.

  • The height of the Shih Tzu dog does not exceed 26.7 centimetres, whether male or female.
  • The ideal weight for Shih Tzu dogs is between 4.5 and 7.3 kilograms.
  • The Shih Tzu is a small dog with a body that is longer than tall: the entire body is densely covered with fur, the back is straight, and the chest is broad and deep.
  • The Shih Tzu breed has a broad, rounded head: it is covered with shaggy hair that falls over the eyes and forms a beard and whiskers on the muzzle. The stop is well defined, and the nose is black in most dogs but can be liver-coloured or blotchy. The muzzle is short, square and broad. The eyes, with an affectionate expression and well separated from each other, are large, round and dark.
  • The Shiih Tzu dog’s tail is set high: it is also completely covered with dense fur in the form of feathers. The Shih Tzu happily carries her on his back.
  • The Shiih Tzu has curious characteristics, such as the nose hair growing upwards; this way, the face is shaped like a chrysanthemum.
  • Shiih Tzu dogs have large, hanging ears: this body part is covered with dense fur.
  • The hair is one of the most noticeable characteristics of this breed: it is long, very dense and has a good layer of internal fur. It is not curly and is usually straight, although a slight wave is allowed. According to the breed standard published by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the Shih Tzu is one dog breed with a coat of any colour.

How to tell if a Shiih Tzu is purebred is made more accessible by following this comprehensive feature guide. Even so, at AnimalWised, we want to emphasize that whether a dog is purebred or not does change the value and importance that we must give it. A dog is an animal in our care, so we are responsible for having a life as healthy and pleasant as possible.

Shih Tzu characters

Shih Tzu dogs are brilliant, friendly and cheerful. They love to be with people; they are playful and active when kept in shape. Shiih Tzus are more accessible to socialize than other dog breeds, as these furry little guys are usually amiable and outgoing by nature. When they have proper socialization, they tend to get along with people, dogs and other animals. It should be noted that it is essential to carry out the socialization of dogs at an early age to achieve the friendly character of adults.

It is one of those dog breeds that are excellent for single people, couples and families with children of different ages. They usually get along very well with children as long as they know how to respect the dog and not mistreat it. Shih Tzu dogs, or shitzu, are excellent companion animals for novice handlers. However, they are not suitable pets for families and people who spend most of the day away from home unless they can take their dogs to work.

These two articles on How to socialize a dog correctly? And Dog socialization can help you understand more about the complexity and importance of a newly arrived dog, whether an adult or a puppy, correctly socializing with other animals and with people.

Shih Tzu care

The Shih Tzu dog’s hair tends to tangle easily and requires daily brushing and combing. Although it does not require a dog groomer, many keepers of these dogs prefer to keep their hair shorter to facilitate their care.

Shih Tzu dogs require a good dose of physical exercise, but due to their small size, they can be exercised indoors. Still, giving them at least one daily walk and playtime to exercise and socialize is important. These dogs tend to put on weight quickly, so it is good to give them enough exercise to keep them fit. Of course, you have to consider its size and should not abuse the exercise. Nor should they be forced to exercise in hot and humid climates since their short snout makes it difficult for them to breathe in those environments.

The companionship needs of the Shih Tzu breed are very high. These dogs are not suitable for living in a garden or patio. On the contrary, they must spend most of their time with others and live indoors with the rest of the family. They adapt very well to living in crowded cities and small apartments.

Shih Tzu education

Regarding dog training, Shiih Tzus are a joy to their trainers. These dogs learn easily and quickly, so it is easy to teach them many things. However, that is true only when positive training is carried out, as Shiih Tzus do not respond well to traditional dominance-based training. Remember that these dogs are easily distracted, so it is best to train them in short but fun sessions.

Shih Tzus generally do not have significant behaviour problems when adequately socialized and given enough exercise and company. However, the Shiih Tzu can become a destructive, barking dog when left alone for long periods or not given enough exercise. They can even develop separation anxiety quite quickly if they are alone for too long each day.

If you want to know more about positive reinforcement in dogs or traditional dog training, don’t hesitate to look at these two other articles we recommend from AnimalWised.

Shih Tzu health

Due to the greatness of their eyes, which are always bulging, we must pay more attention to them than to other areas of the body. It is a breed of dog prone to ear and eye infections, so it is worth regular veterinary check-ups. Even so, this breed does not have alarming incidences of dog diseases, but it is prone to some others, such as:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Cortical hypoplasia of the kidney.
  • Entropion.
  • Trichiasis.
  • External otitis.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Groin hernias.

Where to adopt a Shih Tzu?

Adopting a dog is not easy, and to start the process, we must be clear that we want a new family member. As we have mentioned many times in AnimalWised, a dog is not a toy but rather an animal to which we must provide the maximum possible care and affection. To be able to adopt a Shiih Tzu, we specifically recommend going to a shelter, kennel or dog association and investigating which dogs there may be with characteristics similar to the Shiih Tzu.


Shiih Tzu is known for being graceful, and his temperament is so happy. They are enthusiastic and friendly. He gets along very well with people of all ages, with other dogs, and with different types of pets from other species. You rarely find a shy Shiih Tzu, but most are very sweet.

With their short snouts, they are not many chewers but enjoy digging, and some enjoy barking. They have a great desire to be with people, whether sitting on their lap or taking a walk in the park.

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The Shih Tzu is easy to keep but can become obese if given too many treats. They don’t need a mile walk every day, but they enjoy walking and staying fit. The Shiih Tzu successfully competes in obedience and agility. Caution should be exercised in hot, humid weather because the breed is prone to heat stroke with the short muzzle.

The coat is of the utmost importance when speaking of the Shiih Tzu. Most Shih Tzu owners prefer to wear a brooch which looks nice and is easier to care for. If you want to keep the coat long and flow, you should plan on spending a reasonable amount of time on its upkeep. These dogs require weekly baths with hair oils to keep them untangled and daily brushing to keep out foreign objects that may become entangled in their fur. Dogs with the correct coat texture will not tangle as much as those with a soft coat.

The Shiih Tzu requires a great deal of personal attention daily. They require human company and can be easily indulged. They enjoy training and learning new tricks, making you the centre of attention. 

The Shih Tzu must socialize with the children close to him since childhood, although they enjoy people of all ages. Please do not count on them to be guards of your house; he will probably welcome anything.

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