Shih Tzu dogs are companionable members of the toy family. Shih Tzu puppies are fluffy and adorable but they need care and grooming. Learn more here.

As the owner of several Shih Tzus and Shih-Tzu mix breeds for 18 years, I can’t say enough good things about these tiny jewels. Originating from Tibet, “Shih Tzu” means “small lion” and these small breed dogs certainly would have us all believe that they are indeed king of their jungle.

Shih Tzu Temperament

Shih Tzus make wonderful family pets. Known for their friendly disposition, they love being around people, snuggling and going for walks. They don’t require a great deal of exercise but I’ve never known one to say “no” to a walk.

Shih Tzu Appearance

Weighing usually between 9 and 16 pounds, Shih Tzus are stocky little dogs with a long feathery tail. They have round heads and round eyes, with a fair amount of distance between the eyes. Their nose is round and their face is fairly flat. It’s not uncommon for Shih Tzus to snort at times due to restrictive airways. Our female Shih Tzu has snored for her entire life. Their teeth can be quite crooked and it’s common for them to have what we might refer to as an underbite. They generally have a very pleasant look on their faces. I’ve often thought that I could tell when our Shih Tzus were smiling.

Shih Tzu Coat

Generally a solid or color combination of white, black, gold, red or silver, Shih Tzus have a double coat that is soft, grows quickly and requires regular brushing and grooming. Most people who own Shih Tzus for reasons other than showing, keep them clipped short. Professional grooming is required every 8 to 10 weeks or so and can be expensive. On the upside, Shih Tzus don’t shed and are often suitable for people with allergies.

Shih Tzu Puppies

Certainly one of the cutest puppy breeds, the Shih Tzu with its dark round eyes, furry face and button nose is hard to resist. If you have older children, the Shih Tzu is an excellent breed to consider raising from puppyhood. If you have a children, you will need to supervise your

children at all times when your puppy is around. Shih Tzu puppies are very small and exuberant children could accidentally cause the puppy harm.

Shih Tzu Breeders

Purchase your Shih Tzu from a reputable breeder rather than from a pet store. Many pet stores purchase puppies from puppy mills which results in a puppy prone to anxiety and nervousness. Additionally, puppy mill pups often have trouble bonding with people since they are exposed to so little human contact while at the mill. To help you locate an ethical breeder, download this pamphlet from the Humane Society called, “How to Find a Good Dog Breeder.”

Being a pet owner entails a great deal of responsibilities. Your pet will need regular veterinary visits, frequent grooming and lots of care. Take your time making your choice. If you decide that a Shih Tzu is the perfect dog for you, be prepared for lots of fur, fun and love.