Home Breed Everything Dog Lovers Need to Know about the Shih Tzu Breed

Everything Dog Lovers Need to Know about the Shih Tzu Breed

by Vetic Editorial
Published: Last Updated on 39.2K views

Today, we’re diving deep into the part-wonderful and part-whimsical world of the Shih Tzu breed. These little fluffballs are like a mix of elegance and goofiness, wrapped up in a cloud of fur. 

So, let’s introduce you to the ultimate truth about the cute fluffy breed, with a sprinkle of humour, of course!

A photo of a Shih Tzu with flowing long fur on the grass by Vetic. She has a cute pink bow and a classic Shih Tzu pony. She is on a green leash.

The 10 Nuggets of Wisdom about the Shih Tzu 

  1. They’re royalty in disguise: Shih Tzus may be small, but they sure act like they’re the emperors of the doggie kingdom. You must bow down to their majestic presence!
  2. Bad hair day? This fluffer has never heard of it: These pups have fabulous fur, putting Robert Plant to shame. Brushing their luxurious coat is like being in a spa – fur real!
  3. Pro lap warmers: Shih Tzus are expert lap warmers. They take their job very seriously and will snuggle up with you as if they were auditioning for the role of your heat pad.
  4. Sassy attitude: Don’t let their adorable looks fool you. Shih Tzus can have a sassy side, and they’ll make sure you know it. They’ve got the confidence of a runway model!
  5. Tail up, nose high: Ever seen a them walking with their tail up in the air? It’s like they’re saying, “I own this place!” Confidence level: 9999!
  6. “I’ll take the couch, thanks”: Exercise is essential, but Shih Tzus might have a secret motto – “Why run when you can nap?” Follow your Shih Tzu to find the comfiest spot in your home.
  7. A touch of stubbornness: Training a Shih Tzu can be a tad challenging because they like to do things their way. Treats and belly rubs are their weak spots – use them wisely!
  8. Doggo DJs: They are known for their bark. In fact, they might think they’re professional DJs, remixing the sounds of doorbells and passing cars.
  9. Fashionistas at heart: These pups love to dress up. From cute bows to fancy bandanas, they always want to look their best. Fashion-forward and fabulous!
  10. “You’re home! Let’s party!”: Returning home to a Shih Tzu is like being a superstar returning from a world tour. The excitement and enthusiasm are next-level!

The 10 Traits that Define the Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzu breed pup sitting on a stone pavement looking up at the camera. The pup has light brown fur around their eyes, on their ears and back. The photo also has a Vetic logo on the top left corner.

Now that we’ve had our dose of fun facts, let’s get serious (not too serious, though) and explore the key traits that define the Shih Tzu breed.

1. The Ideal body weight and size of a Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are compact and sturdy little dogs. They usually weigh between 9 and 16 pounds and stand around 9 to 10.5 inches tall at the shoulder. They may be small, but they’ve got huge personalities!

They are brachycephalic. So always ensure they do not become overweight. Becoming too heavy can cause breathing problems in pups and dogs of this breed. 

Find a good veterinarian near you using the Vetic App. The app will help you find the Vetic Pet Clinic nearest to your home.

2. The Perfect Diet for the Shih Tzu Breed

When it comes to food, they enjoy a balanced diet just like the rest of us. They need a generous touch of vitamins, essential amino acids and good fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) to maintain that fabulous coat. 

The Royal Canin Shih Tzu puppy and adult food are specially formulated to keep their fur shining and their tummies happy. It’s like fine dining for our furry friends!

3. Friendliness Level of Shih Tzu dogs

They are incredibly friendly and affectionate. They love being around their human pals, and their charm can melt even the coldest hearts. 

Shih Tzu breed adult sitting on a man's lap looking back at the camera. He has dark brown fur around his eyes and on his ears. It is a photo posted by Vetic, veterinary care.

Here’s a challenge – Got a friend who claims to dislike dogs? Introduce them to a Shih Tzu pup. We have never seen these furballs fail at converting people to dog lovers. 

4. Affection Towards Humans

These little fluffballs are experts at forming strong bonds with their humans. They crave attention and will follow you around like a loyal shadow. Forget being alone in the bathroom, kitchen or panty, forever!

Scared of ghosts? Afraid of spooky noises when your home’s empty? Need some unconditional love? A Shih Tzu is your answer! 

5. Acceptance of the Shih Tzu Breed Towards Other Dog Breeds

Shih Tzus may have a touch of diva behaviour, but they usually get along well with other dog breeds. They’re the social butterflies of the dog world, making friends wherever they go!

In reality, they do not care about the personal space of other dogs as long as they feel they can be great friends. 

6. The Grooming Necessities of a Shih Tzu Breed Dogs

Remember that fabulous coat we talked about? Well, it requires some grooming magic to stay fabulous. 

A happy Shih Tzu breed adult dog on a grooming table. They are being groomed with professional scissors by a professional groomer wearing a printed on black scrub. The photo has a logo of Vetic on the top left corner.

Regular brushing and occasional trips to the groomer are a must to keep them looking like royalty. You will need at least one visit to the professional groomers near you every 21 days for proper cleaning, deShedding and trimming. 

The Vetic Pet Clinic Dog Grooming offers trained groomers and international pet products highly suitable for the Shih Tzu breed (all ages).

7. Watch Dog Qualities of a Shih Tzu

Okay! So you will be surprised by the courage and vigilance this tiny dog packs.

They might not be huge guard dogs, but they’ve got excellent watchdog qualities. They’ll alert you to any suspicious activity with their signature bark – a true “paw-lice” officer!

8. The Energy Level of a Shih Tzu Breed Dog

While they love a good playtime, Shih Tzus are generally low-energy dogs. Additionally, they have a flat face, so you should never exercise them too much, especially when it’s hot

A short walk or some indoor play is usually enough to keep them content. Couch potato goals achieved!

9. The Trainability of a Shih Tzu

Let’s be real; Shih Tzus can be a bit stubborn during training. But don’t worry, with patience, positive reinforcement, and some tasty treats, they’ll eventually catch on. 

Funny photo of a Shih Tzu adult dog lying on green grass outdoors, looking up at their human. the dog is wearing a purple harness with a pink and white retractable leash. The photo has a logo of Vetic - veterinary care

Although a small toy breed, they have huge personalities. They will test your patience, but they are smart lil pooches. They catch up with other puppers in terms of training pretty easily.

10. The Common Health Problems of the Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they may have some specific health concerns. 

According to AKC, the most common health concerns that plague adults of the Shih Tzu breed are –

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • IVDD
  • Patellar Luxation (Slipped Kneecap)
  • Eye Anomalies

Keeping up with regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet can help ensure they lead a long and happy life. Visit the Vetic clinic closest to your location, for example, the Vetic Pet Clinic Thane or Vetic Pet Clinic Domlur for a quick yet comprehensive health check. 

Here are the more frequently asked questions about Shih Tzus:

Should You Get a Shih Tzu Breed Pup?

In conclusion, Shih Tzus are awesome! They are the most perfect dogs ever. They’re affectionate, friendly and oh-so-cute. If you’re looking for a furbaby that will bring joy, laughter and unconditional love into your life, adopting a Shih Tzu might be the best decision you’ll ever make. Just be prepared for a lifetime of snuggles and hilarious moments with your little fur-baby!

What is the average size and weight of a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus are small and sturdy dogs, typically weighing between 9 to 16 pounds and standing around 9 to 10.5 inches tall at the shoulder. Their compact size makes them perfect for indoor living.

Are Shih Tzus good with children and other pets?

Yes, Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They generally get along well with children and other pets, making them excellent family companions.

Do Shih Tzus require a lot of grooming?

Yes, Shih Tzus have a luxurious double coat that requires regular grooming. Daily brushing helps prevent matting, and occasional visits to a professional groomer are recommended for trimming and maintenance.

Are Shih Tzus easy to train?

Shih Tzus can be a bit stubborn during training, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, they can learn commands and tricks. They respond well to rewards like treats and praise.

What kind of exercise do Shih Tzus need?

Shih Tzus are low-energy dogs and don’t require vigorous exercise. Short walks and indoor play sessions are usually enough to keep them happy and healthy. Avoid over-exercising them, especially in hot weather due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) structure.

What health issues are common in Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus are prone to certain health problems such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (slipped kneecap), intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), and various eye issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet can help mitigate these risks.

Are Shih Tzus good watchdogs?

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus make excellent watchdogs. They are alert and will bark to alert their owners of any perceived threats or unusual activities.

What is the lifespan of a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus typically live between 10 to 16 years, depending on their overall health and quality of care. Providing them with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and veterinary care can help extend their lifespan.

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