Shih Tzu Facts

What you need to know about your favorite dog breed

As we all know, Shih Tzu are quite a spectacular breed. Originally bred to be have a small structure, they are the perfect companion dogs.

Paw Print - Shih Tzu Facts

Physical Attributes

With their fluffy and luxurious coat, it’s no wonder this dog is referred to as a “little lion.” Their coats come in a range of colors with varying length, but as with many other dog breeds, Shih Tzu double-layered coats require grooming to not only keep them comfortable, but also to keep them looking as cute as can be! Their hair typically grows long and straight, though they only shed a minimal amount making them great for owners that don’t want to vacuum every day.

Size and Weight

Normally weighing in a 9 -16 pounds (4.1 – 7.3 kg) and growing to a height of 8 – 11 inches (20.3 – 27.9 cm), The Shih Tzu is a small but sturdy dog.


To fit in with it’s companion status, this breed is naturally very friendly, lively, and affectionate with their family. Similar to any other dog, the Shih Tzu can become skittish if mistreated or mishandled. If brought up with young children, the dog will become accustomed to the high-energy nature of kids, though they can be weary of children if they have not had previous exposure to them.

Other notable characteristics include:
  • Playful
  • Quiet
  • Stubborn
  • Relaxed
  • Loyal

Caring for your Shih Tzu

It is important to know that because of their shorted facial structure and overall stature, the Shih Tzu can be prone to ailments other larger dogs may not have.

Their respiratory system can be compromised quite easily, so it is best not to smoke around your dog. Ideally, ensure that your Shih Tzu has a cool place to be as heatstrokes are common with the breed due to their inability to pant effectively.

This particular dog breed is also pre-disposed to hip dysplasia, as well as dental and eye ailments.

For more information regarding care for your beloved friend, check out our Health Issues section.

Life Span

The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu ranges from 16 – 18 years. There are a number of actions you can take to ensure, and even lengthen, the precious time you have with your Shih Tzu. You can find some of the actions in our Life Span section.