Shih Tzu dog: What you need to know About This Royal Breed

a little shih tzu dog running in an open field of grass having fun

Throughout history, dogs have been a man’s best friend. These creatures have not only offered man love and affection but have worked together with their human counterpart for thousands of years. One breed that has won the hearts of many pet lovers is the Shih Tzu dog.

This breed is one of the most popular dogs globally and is well-known for having plentiful energy and effervescent splendor. Shih Tzu dogs can survive well without a garden or yard. However, they do enjoy playtime, which helps to burn off their excess energy.

Origin of the Shih Tzu Dog

Shih Tzu origin

The Shih Tzu is an ancient breed of dog whose history goes back more than 1000 years. This breed is a sacred dog, and they were well-maintained in the temples of Tibet.

Eventually, the dog found its way to China, where it became the court’s favorite. The Chinese royal house favored them, and the native stock got crossed with the Pekingese to produce the breed that we see today.

China refused to let any Shih Tzu dog leave the country for many years until the 1930s when the first dog left for England.

Shih Tzu Description

Shih Tzu dogs weigh 9 to 14 pounds (6.35 kg). They are small, healthy, and long-bodied dogs that grow long flowing fur in various colors. The coat may be black and white, gray and white, red and white, gold or black.

History of the Shih Tzu

Unlike other breeds of dogs, Shih Tzu dogs don’t need a lot of exercises, and usually are very proud, dignified, yet cheerful and playful.

The only pitfall to owning these beautiful dogs is that they suffer separation anxiety and may become destructive if left alone for a long time.


Carrying himself with a proud, snobbish bearing, yet having a cheerful, sweet-natured personality, this breed is less destructive than other canines.

Shih Tzu temperament

Although built, energetic, and playful, he doesn’t need much exercise. The Shih Tzu is a lover of comfort and attention and loves cuddling on laps and into soft pillows.

He makes excellent companions for older adults as he is less demanding. Most Shih Tzu dogs are friendlier with strangers and are also at peace with other pets. Though he is sometimes stubborn, the Shih Tzu does not get into a lot of trouble.

Health of the Shih Tzu Dog

Each breed of dog has its set of health issues. For the Shih Tzu, however, his list of health worries is pretty short. The most common health problem with this dog is a condition known as Renal Dysplasia.

Shih Tzu health information

It is a genetic disease that can stop the kidneys from working if not taken care of early. The Shih Tzu can also experience back, and neck problems, the most common one is intervertebral disk disease.

Because of his short face, he is not only prone to visual problems, but also respiratory diseases and heatstroke. When temperatures rise, it becomes difficult for short-faced pets such as the Shih Tzu to breathe well.


Because the Shih Tzu has a very long coat, it is essential to groom him regularly. Shih Tzu grooming is an absolute must to keep her healthy and happy.

Shih Tzu grooming information

Most Shih Tzu owners prefer to have their pets professionally groomed to achieve a beautiful look. But if you choose to groom him by yourself, patience is critical so your pet can become acquainted with the process.

While he may have a “high maintenance” appearance, grooming isn’t time-consuming or difficult. Daily quick brushing and combing will do. Some owners tie the hair on the dog’s head into a top knot.


Because of the stubbornness present in the Shih Tzu’s temperament, housebreaking can take anywhere between 6 and 8 months. It is vitally important to train your pet as early as possible by using a range of items like clickers, commands, and reward treats, to name a few.

Shih Tzu training information

Training a stubborn and proud dog such as the Shih Tzu requires consistency in tone and schedule. You can get a breeder to do the housebreaking for you. Even then, all dogs act differently in new environments, and so you need to offer him training for your home.

Living condition

The Shih Tzu does not mind where he lives, provided he is with his owner. He is a very adaptable pet who can be content in a confined city apartment or a large country home.

Image of a Shih Tzu dog

His temperament is excellent enough to get along with other pets. Though he loves a bit of garden play, he is a house dog and shouldn’t be left in a kennel outside.

These breeds love being close to its owner, without whom it can suffer from separation anxiety. The Shih Tzu also prefers places with cold weather, since its thick hair makes it more sensitive to heat.


Shih Tzu exercise

The Shih Tzu is a very energetic breed but is also susceptible to laziness if given a chance. Therefore, you must ensure that he gets his everyday stroll.

They enjoy a stroll in a secure, open area, such as a spacious, fenced-in garden. The Shih Tzu doesn’t need a vast amount of activities.

He loves being a house dog, and he is by no means in need of vigorous exercises like hiking, biking, and climbing.

Life expectancy

While the Shih Tzu may seem flimsy, with his long, falling coat, he is a tough dog. The Shih Tzu has a life span of around 16 to 18 years, but for them to live this long, proper care is paramount.

Shih Tzu life expectancy

Although the daily walk is enough as their exercise, you need to play with them from time to time for your bonding moments.

Diet also plays an integral role in increasing their life span. Because the Shih Tzu is a small dog, do not overfeed. This breed is susceptible to obesity, so you need to monitor portion sizes.

The Shih Tzu is an excellent dog that makes a beautiful companion, especially for introverted people. He revels in the attention you give him and needs nothing more than to be near you, which he will demand all the time.

If trained early, he can be the most affectionate buddy in your home and will never let there be a dull moment in your life.

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