Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
weight: 9 to 16 pounds
origin: China
lifespan: 10 to 18 years
size:

About Breed

That face! Those big dark eyes looking up at you with that sweet expression! It's no surprise that Shih Tzu owners have been so delighted with this little 'Lion Dog' for a thousand years. Where Shih Tzu go, giggles and mischief follow. Shi Tsu (pronounced in the West 'sheed-zoo' or 'sheet-su'; the Chinese say 'sher-zer'), weighing between 9 to 16 pounds, and standing between 8 and 11 inches, are surprisingly solid for dogs their size. The coat, which comes in many colors, is worth the time you will put into it'¿few dogs are as beautiful as a well-groomed Shih Tzu. Being cute is a way of life for this lively charmer. The Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children. As a small dog bred to spend most of their day inside royal palaces, they make a great pet if you live in an apartment or lack a big backyard. Some dogs live to dig holes and chase cats, but a Shih Tzu's idea of fun is sitting in your lap acting adorable as you try to watch TV.

Shih Tzu Videos

Breed Traits

Social

Stranger-Friendliness
Reserved Outgoing

How friendly is this breed towards people they don't know? Some breeds love to meet new humans and become their new best friends. Other breeds may be more cautious around people they don't know.

Playtime Potential
Just if You Want to Play Always Want to Play

How likely is this breed to enjoy playtime? Some dog breeds can wait for playtime, eager for the next game of fetch. Other breeds just want to chill on the sofa with their favorite human.

Watchdog Potential
What's Mine Is Yours Vigilant

Will this breed be a good watchdog? Some dog breeds react strongly to potential threats and will alert you to anything from an intruder to a squirrel in the yard. Others are happy to welcome anyone in, meaning they probably won't alert you to any danger.

Ability to Adjust
Routine Lover Highly Adaptable

How well can this breed adapt to changes in its life? Some breeds are happy to go with the flow, and won't be bothered by changes in noise, schedules, or living conditions. Other breeds may do better with consistency.

Physical

Amount of Drool
Less Likely to Drool Always Have a Towel

How much does this breed tend to drool? Some breeds can leave drool on your hand, clothes, and furniture. If the thought of a big slobbery kiss from your pooch isn't appealing, you might want to stay away from breeds prone to drooling.

Grooming Needs
Once a Month Every Day

How often will this breed require grooming? Whether you are doing it at home or paying a professional, some dog breeds have higher grooming needs and will need their coats maintained on a regular basis. That can mean more of your time and money to keep your pet looking its best.

Amount of Shedding
No Shedding Hair Everywhere

Is this breed going to shed a lot? Some breeds will shed more than others and may require more brushing and grooming. Those that shed may be harder on allergies, too, and you might find yourself cleaning up left-behind fur or hair more often.

Family Life

Family-Friendly
Individualistic Warmhearted

Is this breed good for families or better suited for individuals? Some dogs are happy to bond with the entire family and enjoy spending time with each member. Other breeds prefer the company of their owner and may be standoffish with others.

Child-Friendly
Not Recommended Kids Friendly

Is this breed good with children? Some breeds are tolerant of children and patient with loud noises and grabbing hands. Other breeds might be better off with an adults-only household. No matter the breed, you should always watch your dog around children.

Dog-Friendly
Not Recommended Good With Other Dogs

Is this breed good around other dogs? Some dogs are better at getting along with canine companions while others prefer the company of humans. You should always keep an eye on your dog when introducing them to new animals.

Personality

Need for Mental Stimulation
Happy to Lounge Needs Stimulus or Activity

Does this breed need a lot of mental stimulation? Some breeds, especially those bred for a specific purpose such as herding, may need more mental stimulation than other breeds. That means they need challenges to solve, decisions to make, and other ways to exercise their brains as well as their bodies.

Training Potential
Self-Willed Eager to Please

Is this breed easy to train? Some breeds catch on to things like house-training and new tricks quite easily, eager to earn their owner's praise and maybe a treat or two. It may take more time and patience to train other breeds.

Level of Energy
Lazybones Energetic

How much energy does this breed typically have? Some dog breeds have a lot of energy, meaning they'll need more exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Other breeds are happy to chill on the sofa and take a nap.

Noise Level
Only When Necessary Significantly Vocal

Is this breed likely to make a lot of noise? Some breeds love to bark, howl, and vocalize to their owners. They might bark at a stranger or howl for their dinner. Other breeds tend to be more quiet, only using their voice when they really need to.

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