Best family
Best guard
Kid friendly
Best watch
Easy to train
Low shedding
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Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu PictureShih Tzu Picture
Breed Information
Popularity 2016: #202015: #192014: #17
Name Shih Tzu
Other names Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog
Origin China
Breed Group Toy (AKC:1969)Companion Dog (UKC)
Size Small
Type Purebred
Life span 10-16 years
Temperament ActiveCourageousFriendlyGentleHappyIntelligentLivelyOutgoingPlayful
Height 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)
Weight 9–16 pounds (4-7 kg)
Colors BlackBlueBrindleGoldLiverRedSilver
Litter Size 2-5 puppies
Puppy Price Average $800 - $1200 USD
Breed Characteristics
Adaptability 5 stars
Apartment Friendly 5 starsThe Shih Tzu is good for apartment life. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to the heat.
Barking Tendencies 5 starsFrequent
Cat Friendly 5 stars
Child Friendly 2 starsNot Good with Kids: In isolation, this dog breed might not be the best option for kids. However, to mitigate the risks, have the puppy grow up with kids and provide it with plenty of pleasant and relaxed experiences with them. This breed is also very friendly toward other pets and very friendly toward strangers.
Dog Friendly 5 stars
Exercise Needs 2 starsHe requires minimal exercise. Somewhat Active; Daily walks and indoor playtime will satisfy this small, short-legged companion.
Grooming 5 starsHigh Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. Professional groomers can be sought after for assistance.
Health Issues 3 starsThe UK Kennel Club survey puts the median life span of a Shih Tzu at 13 years and 2 months, with most living 10–16 years.Hypoallergenic: Yes
Intelligence 3 starsRanking: #70. (See All Rankings)
Playfulness 2 stars
Shedding Level 1 starsMinimal Shedding: This dog will shed a negligible amount. Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with dog hair in their cars and homes.
Stranger Friendly 3 stars
Trainability 3 starsModerately Easy Training: The Shih Tzu’s somewhat obstinate nature makes consistency essential in the training process. Patience is important as housebreaking may be difficult. The Shih Tzu should be taught from puppyhood to relax during the grooming process as it will be a constant throughout the Shih Tzu’s life.
Watchdog Ability 3 stars
Shih Tzu Puppy PictureShih Tzu Puppy Picture
Puppy Names
Rank Male Female
01 Max Bella
02 Buddy Molly
03 Gus Sasha
04 Rocky Maggie
05 Leo Lilly
06 Oliver Sadie
07 Milo Chloe
08 Rusty Penny
09 Jack Luna
10 Dexter Zoey
See All Names ›

Compact, yet slightly longer than it is tall, the Shih Tzu hides a sturdy body beneath its mantle of luxurious hair. It has a smooth, effortless stride with good reach and drive. Even though its function is that of companion, it should nonetheless be structurally sound. Its expression is warm, sweet and wide-eyed, imparting the impression of trust and friendliness. The long, dense coat is double and fairly straight.

The spunky but sweet Shih Tzu is both a gentle lap dog and a vivacious companion. It has an upbeat attitude and loves to play and romp. It is affectionate to its family and good with children. It is surprisingly tough and does have a stubborn streak.

The Shih Tzu, also known as the ‘Chinese Lion Dog’, ‘Chrysanthemum Dog’ (because its face resembles a flower), or ‘Shih Tzu Kou’ (which translates to ‘Lion Dog’, designating its revered status in Buddhism) originates in Tibet as far back as the 1600’s. The Shih Tzu in its current form was primarily developed in China during the reign of Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi in the late 1800’s, likely from crosses of the Pekingese with the Lhasa Apso. The Shih Tzu was a favored pet of royalty, but fell into decline when British troops raided the Forbidden City in 1860. The breed survived, but was generally not distinguished from the Lhasa Apso until 1934, when the smaller, shorter nosed variety was reassigned its original Chinese name, ‘Shih Tzu’. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 and has continued to climb in popularity to this day. Crossbreeds between Shih Tzu and other toy breeds are also increasing in popularity, particularly crosses with the Poodle and Bichon Frise.