Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Photo

Quick Facts

Origin: Tibet

Height: 8”-11”

Weight: 9-16lbs

Color: Black, brindle, blue, gold, liver, red, silver, or a combination of any of these with white

Lifespan12-14 years

Temperament: Lovable, charming, confident, playful


The name Shih Tzu (pronounced SHEED-zoo) translates into “little lion”. While these charming little pups may not be the king of the jungle, they sure will become royalty in your home. They originated in Tibet and have been part of Chinese culture since the Tang dynasty (618-907).

Shih tzus are best known for their flowing double coat of hair. They require a bit more grooming than other breeds especially if you decide to keep your pup’s hair long. However you decide to style your sweet pup, it is sure to be the envy of the town. Shih tzu want light exercise and lots of love and affection. They are great for apartment living and exceptional family pets, great with kids and warm up with strangers.

Celebrity Owners

Beyoncé, Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Colin Farell, Bill Gates, Queen Elizabeth II, Kathrine Heigl, Andie MacDowell, Jon Stewart, The Dalai Lama, The Hanson Brothers, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Miley Cyrus

Fun Facts

  1. The legend goes that while traveling, Buddha was attacked by some miscreants and his puppy companion transformed into a fierce lion which chased the scoundrels off. In gratitude, Buddha kissed his little companion’s face leaving behind a little white mark. This mark which is now known as the “Star of Buddha” graces many shih tzus’ faces today.
  2. These tiny pups are closely related to wolves.


The most common health issue for shih tzus is intervertebral disc disease. Other issues include:

  • Brachycephalic syndrome: This syndrome describes anatomic abnormalities in certain breeds where the upper airways disfunction and/or are obstructed.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: Also referred to as dry eyes, this refers to the dryness of conjunctiva that lines the eye under the eyelid.
  • Distichiasis: This condition is where an extra eyelash grows through a duct or gland in the eye.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?


Grooming is the most important part of owning a shih tzu, they require frequent brushing which can be done up to once daily if you keep your pup’s hair flowing. Even if your pup’s hair is cropped short, you will need to monitor the hair around shih tzu’s eyes, because unkempt hair can irritate them.

Pulling shih tzu’s hair up into a top knot can easily remedy this. Bathing should be done weekly. As with all dogs, keep your pup’s nails clipped, regularly check their ears to make sure they are clean and clear of debris and brush their teeth several times a week.


Minimal exercise is required for a shih tzu. Short walks and house play will suffice.


On average shih tzus eat one cup of food per day. Common with all small dogs, you must be aware of any weight gain or loss, with such small bodies slight variations in weight are significant. Shih tzu nutrition needs will vary with age and activity level.

We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?


Early socialization with people and other dogs is important. Due to their size many other dogs may mistreat a shih tzu resulting in your shih tzu having increase aggression issues. Make sure especially when your shih tzu is a puppy, that small children do not unintendedly become rough with your dog.

They have a tendency to bark at strangers that enter their property. This should be trained out early as bad habits are hard to break. Shih tzus can be stubborn but early and consistent training will create the best result.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.


A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

The Good

  • Excellent with little children

The "Ruff"

  • Snorting and snoring
  • Stuffed dog link
  • Will eat other dogs’ feces if not monitored

Annual Vet Bills: $1,500+

Be Prepared for the unexpected.