Shih Tzu: all about the dog, description, photo of the breed, character


  • Country of origin: Tibet
  • The size:
  • Growth:
    25–27 cm
  • The weight:
    4.5–8.1 kg
  • Age:
    up to 16 years
  • FCI breed group:
    toys and companion dogs
  • Brief information

  • Shih Tzu dogs are clean, quickly get used to the tray, so you can skip a walk on the street with them;
  • Shih Tzu are loyal to all family members;
  • Shih Tzu wool requires special care, this will require financial investments;
  • As a rule, these dogs behave very quietly. As adults, they even bark extremely rarely.
    1. Description of the Shih Tzu breed
    2. Head
    3. Frame
    4. limbs
    5. Wool
    6. colors
    7. Shih Tzu character
    8. Education and training
    9. Maintenance and care
    10. Food
    11. Health
    12. Shih Tzu photo
    13. History of the Shih Tzu breed
    14. Who is this breed for?
    15. Famous owners
    16. How to choose a puppy
    17. Photo of Shih Tzu puppies
    18. Shih Tzu price

    Description of the Shih Tzu breed

    Shih Tzu are small dogs. On average, the growth of this breed is 27 centimeters at the withers. Weight from 4.5 kilograms to 8.5. At first glance, the Shih Tzu may appear to be a fragile and light dog. But under a plentiful mop of airy wool, a knocked down and muscular body can be hidden.

    Shih Tzu is often confused with a dog breed that is remarkably similar to it. This is a Lhasa Apso, which has the same physique, but surpasses the “Tibetan” in size. There is a theory that these breeds are related, but there is not enough evidence for this version.

    Head. It has a medium size, round wide shape. In relation to the body proportional. The occipital protuberance is not expressed. Forehead with a bright transition to the muzzle, convex shape.

    Muzzle. Square shape, no wrinkles. The length is about two and a half centimeters. The upper line of the muzzle is located at the level of the lower edge of the eye.

    Ears. Large, set high. Hanging, fit well to the skull. There is a lot of hair on the ears, which mixes with the hair on the neck.

    Nose. The lobe is large, the nostrils are pronounced and well developed. Nose black. But liver-colored dogs can have a brown earlobe.

    mouth. Jaws well developed. Slight underbite or direct bite is allowed.

    Teeth. Small, white, smooth.

    Lips. Tightly closed, fit well to the teeth.

    Eyes. Large size with dark iris. Set wide apart, set deep in the skull and round in shape. Liver colored dogs may have lighter eyes.

    Neck. Medium length, well muscled, dry. Hanging and folds are absent. planted high.


    Frame. The withers are well defined, the top line is straight. The back is well muscled, straight and strong. The loin is slightly convex, powerful. Croup slightly sloping and rounded.

    Breast. Wide, oval. The ribs are convex, well palpable. Belly tucked up.

    Tail. Set on high, lying on the back, not tight. Covered with long and thick hair.

    Shih Tzu photo


    Front. Shortened, strong bones. Shoulders are slanted, elbows fit well to the body. If you look at the dog from the front, then the forearms will stand straight and parallel to each other. Pasterns have a slight slope, well muscled.

    Rear. Stand parallel when looking at the dog from behind. They are distinguished by strong bones and powerful muscles. Articulation angles are pronounced. Hocks set vertically, strong and dry. The paws are round, the fingers are tightly pressed to each other. Between them there is a lot of wool, because of which the paws seem large.


    The Shih Tzu’s coat consists of a soft and fluffy undercoat that is combined with a long outer coat. The latter should be straight, but slight waviness is allowed. This is not considered a defect. The dog has a long hairline on its head, there is a “mustache” and a beard on the muzzle. Wool does not interfere with vision, so these dogs see no worse than other breeds.


    One of the most common colors of the Shih Tzu is golden with white markings. Color intensity may vary. The nose must be black.

    The second most popular color is black and white. It has good pigmentation. It is inherent in red and white dogs. The hue can be from red to deep brown. Nose only black.

    Another common color is solid. It can be black, gold with a black mask, or red with a black mask. Rarer ones include:

  • brindle;
  • silver;
  • chocolate;
  • hepatic;
  • blue.
  • Some of them are extremely rare.

    Shih Tzu character

    The hair on the nose of the Shih Tzu grows up, so their muzzles have an unusual look for a dog. Because of this, Shih Tzus are sometimes called chrysanthemum dogs. According to legend, they bring happiness to the house.

    Shih Tzu are very sociable, they show interest in everything that surrounds them, they easily make contact even with strangers. Affectionate, extremely friendly and active by nature, Shih Tzu require constant attention from the owner, have boundless devotion and are strongly attached to their family.

    You should not expect that the Shih Tzu will turn into a hunter or watchman, a dog of this breed, first of all, will become a friend and companion for its owner.

    Therefore, do not be surprised when you find that the dog faithfully follows you literally on your heels. Even in an apartment, he will pursue relentlessly. But that’s no reason to let your guard down on the street. If you allow free range, the pet should always be in sight.

    There is also a side effect from this attachment. Most dogs of this breed do not tolerate loneliness. They don’t care where they live, it’s more important with whom. Lion Dogs Should Always Have Company. Good if you work from home. Then the dog will feel calm. He doesn’t have to spend all his time. He will be happy to just lie at your feet while you are sitting at the computer or reading a book. Abandoned Shih Tzu will not only suffer. His character may deteriorate, the animal will become aggressive and angry.

    Shih Tzu do not choose only one owner. They are happy to serve the whole family, distributing their attention to everyone equally. The dog will be happy, both for a child and an adult. But starting it where there are kids under five years old is not a good idea. Even this docile and peaceful breed can begin to growl and bite if you behave carelessly with it and pull its fur or paws.

    Shih Tzu treats other animals with indifference. He prefers to spend time with people. With proper upbringing, your pet will be able to get along under the same roof with other four-legged animals, but he will not show much zeal for joint games and fun.

    Many mistakenly believe that this breed, like some other ornamentals, is stupid in nature. Behind the puppet appearance of these dogs lies a sharp mind. They quickly learn commands of medium complexity, and basic ones literally catch on the fly. Chronic stubbornness may be the only problem. The dog will perfectly understand what you want from it. But it will execute only if it considers the command necessary.

    Education and training

    One of the most common mistakes dog owners make is the wrong or frivolous approach to raising and training a pet. This is especially true for those who start decorative breeds, which include the Shih Tzu. It seems to many that such a cute dog cannot cause problems and inconvenience. But it is a mistake to think that only large and serious breeds of dogs need education and training. A spoiled Shih Tzu who knows no boundaries and commands can be a serious problem in the family.

    An ill-mannered dog, despite its small size, can spoil things in the house, bark for no reason, rush at people or other animals. Very often, owners realize that the dog needs to be trained when precious time has already been lost. And re-educating an adult animal is much more difficult than instilling the basics of cultural behavior in a puppy.

    If you find the right approach to the Shih Tzu, then the animal will be able to show its best sides. Her energy and bright temperament can be directed in the right direction. Otherwise, instead of having a good time with your pet, you will get an annoying dog that knows no boundaries and obedience.

    You need to start training from the very moment when the puppy crosses the threshold of your house. It is a mistake to assume that he is still too small for this. It’s too early to learn complex commands, but basic skills need to be developed immediately.

    Show your puppy where he will sleep and eat. Set boundaries for what is allowed. If it is unacceptable for you to have a dog lying in bed or dozing on the couch, then do not allow him to do this, even as an exception. Make sure your dog has toys he can chew on. Stop his encroachments on furniture, shoes or any other things.

    Shih Tzu are among the dog breeds that have a good sense of the mood of their owner. Therefore, if you give up slack in education, then the dog will quickly learn to manipulate you. If you set the rules, then even a plaintive look and whine cannot be a reason to break them. Firmness of character is necessary even in the education of companion dogs.

    Shih Tzu upbringing includes socialization. It is important that on a walk the dog feels confident and calmly. She should not show aggression or, conversely, be afraid of cars or loud sounds.

    Shih Tzu Doesn’t Need Overprotection. This is not a helpless animal. This breed is not afraid of extreme cold, with proper upbringing, friendship with larger breeds will also not pose a danger. Do not be afraid to take a pet in crowded and noisy places. Over time, he will get used to them and will behave completely naturally. Teach a dog to travel in personal and public transport.

    Seize the moment and start training your puppy when he is three to four months old. At this time, he can learn the simplest commands:

  • “Sit!»;
  • “Voice!»;
  • “Place!»;
  • “Lie!»;
  • “Give me a paw!” and so on.
  • In the first weeks of staying in the new family, the puppy should remember his nickname and start responding to it. It is very important to learn the commands “Fu!”And” You can’t!» before you walk your dog outside. So, you will protect it from possible dangers. These are unwanted contacts with people, animals, as well as picking up garbage or food from the ground.

    In education and training, you must observe perseverance, sequence and regularity. In no case should you offend the dog, shout at it and use physical force. This will not help to achieve the desired result, but will destroy trusting relations with the animal. The dog can become aggressive or, conversely, cowardly and downtrodden. The best option is praise and treats when the dog does what is required of it. This positive reinforcement allows you to learn faster and increases your dog’s trust in you.

    Content and care

    Representatives of the Shih Tzu breed, which for many centuries adorned the imperial court, have aristocratic beauty. They are covered with thick hair along the entire length of their body. At the same time, it is very long and stiff, falling in even strands on the muzzle of the animal, closing its eyes and forming a beard and mustache. That is why, in addition to the regular procedure for washing the paws after a walk, it is necessary to comb the pet daily to prevent tangling of the coat. Shih Tzu owners should also learn how to clean their ears and trim their nails.

    Particular attention should be paid to the teeth: the shi-tzu is naturally a direct bite (snack), and this obliges the owner to brush his teeth at least twice a week. This will avoid problems with the gums and teeth, as well as reduce the risk of intestinal infections.

    To simplify the care of shi-tzu breed dogs, many owners prefer to cut their pets. Gruming Shi-Tzu is very complicated, so it is better to trust its professionals.

    The power of these dogs should be proper and balanced. In order to avoid allergies and to maintain the health and beauty of the pet’s wool, it should be fed with special diets.

    If you decide to start this breed of dogs, then you will need various accessories to care for it:

  • For wool. Air conditioner in the form of a spray that will make wool more obedient after bathing will facilitate combing and prevent the formation of stiffons. Crest with rare metal teeth. Brush with metal cloves of various lengths.
  • For water procedures. Special shampoos for bathing dogs with long dry hair with neutral pH. Mahra towel, well absorbing moisture. Quiet hair dryer with warm airflow.
  • For eyes and ears. Cotton pads and swabs. A special cleansing lotion, which can be purchased at a pet store or veterinary pharmacy.
  • For teeth. Special cleaning paste. Small brush with soft bristles. An alternative would be a finger tip. Bones that clean the teeth in the process of chewing them.
  • For a comfortable life. Food and water bowls on a height-adjustable stand. Soft couch or house in size. Several toys, including a ball.
  • Shih Tzu is a dog that will feel comfortable even in a small apartment. With regular walking, this breed does not require spacious rooms for a full life. But with the conditions of content, there may be slight difficulties. It’s about temperature sensitivity. This is due to the structural features of the skull. Shih Tzu are brachycephalic, which means that high temperatures can be detrimental to the animal. You should not take the dog for a walk on a hot afternoon, and it is better to place his bed away from the batteries.

    If you have to move around the street with a dog on a hot summer day, then do not forget to bring water and a drinker with you. Give your dog a drink every half an hour. Monitor his well-being and breathing. Overheating for an animal can result in serious health problems.

    Never leave your pet in a closed car in the sun. The air in it instantly heats up, and even in a short period of time the dog can die from heat stroke.

    Shih Tzu: all about the dog, description, photo of the breed, character

    In sleet and rain, many Shih Tzu prefer to stay at home and postpone the walk. Their royal coat instantly gets wet and dirty, the dog will have to be completely bathed after visiting the street. To protect against such troubles, you can use a raincoat or overalls.

    Despite the fact that Shih Tzu are quite freedom-loving and independent pets, dogs of this breed do not require high physical activity. Shih Tzu are ideal for apartment life, but you can also keep them in a country house. However, we must not forget that this dog requires constant attention, and therefore a separate aviary or a dog house on the street will not suit her. Dogs of this breed do not tolerate loneliness, so they should only be in the house with their family.

    To make the pet comfortable, it is necessary to equip him with his own corner, where you can put a bed and toys.


    Many dog ​​owners prefer commercial food, which is great for the Shih Tzu breed. Modern manufacturers produce a product that fully complies with quality standards and satisfies all the needs of the animal in vitamins and minerals.

    Feeding a dog dry or wet food is much more convenient than natural food. No need to make a diet, weigh each ingredient separately, give nutritional supplements and vitamin complexes. The most important thing is to choose a quality product for your Shih Tzu.

    Feed can be of different quality and price category. Economy class consists mainly of bone meal. Many feeds contain flavor and odor enhancers to make the pellets more attractive to animals. If you choose economy class food, then carefully read the composition. The more meat it contains, the better.

    Premium food of higher quality. If the cheapest feed contains about 5% of meat, then in premium it is from 25% to 30% of the total mass. At the same time, we are talking about meat, and not about bone meal or offal. Most of this food is usually rice. It is a hypoallergenic cereal that is suitable for many dogs. Premium pellets are suitable for adult dogs, puppies should choose more nutritious options.

    The superpremium class of feed differs from premium in its composition. In this case, manufacturers indicate in detail what exactly the granules were made of. The percentage of pure meat reaches forty percent. If the composition contains by-products, it will be indicated which ones and in what quantity. This food is suitable for both adult dogs and puppies.

    One of the best options for feeding is holistic. These are the most balanced feeds, which include high-quality meat, fruits and vegetables. The cost of such a product is not small, but when compared with other classes of feed, your pet will receive many times more benefits from it.

    Shih Tzu can be fed dry or wet food, or a combination of both. For a puppy, dry granules must be soaked in water.

    At the age of one to three months, babies receive food six times a day at regular intervals. But, as a rule, they get to their new “parents” later. Be sure to ask what kind of food the breeder gave them.

    At four months, small Shih Tzu can be transferred to five meals a day, and then reduce the number of feedings to four. From six months, dogs are fed three times a day, and from nine months two, like adult dogs. The amount of feed is easy to calculate by reading the recommendations on the product packaging. At first, you will have to weigh each serving, but then you can determine the number of granules per eye.


    Although the Shih Tzu is distinguished by good health, and among the representatives of this breed there are many centenarians, these dogs sometimes get sick. Most often, diseases are associated with the structure of the body or skull.

    Common problems that can occur in these dogs include:

  • Abscesses. Due to the thick hairline, it is very difficult to notice wounds on the skin in time. In hot weather, they do not heal well, which can lead to abscesses.
  • parasites. Thick wool is attractive to fleas and ticks, which are also difficult to find in it. Therefore, after each walk it is recommended to inspect the dog.
  • Ear diseases. Inflammation can occur due to long hair that grows from the ears.
  • Eye diseases. Shih Tzu can suffer from cataracts, proptosis (prolapse of the eyeballs), eversion of the eyelid, retinal atrophy. All this is due to the characteristic structure of the muzzle.
  • Loss of teeth. The special structure of the jaws, which is inherent in this breed, provokes early tooth loss. The dog may begin to refuse food, inflammation or swelling sometimes occurs in the mouth.
  • atopy. Manifested in the form of allergies, itching, redness and dandruff. Atopy can be caused by poor-quality diet, shampoo, external stimuli.
  • History of the Shih Tzu breed

    Now it is difficult to say exactly which country is the birthplace of Shih Tzu. Some historians claim that dogs appeared in ancient Byzantium, but most are of the opinion that it was China and Tibet. In the seventeenth century, the Dalai Lama gave the emperor an unusual gift. He presented the tall lady with the most beautiful dogs of small size, which won the hearts of the whole eminent family and their courtiers. Dogs were greatly valued and made sure that their puppies did not fall into the hands of commoners. So, dogs lived exclusively with high-ranking and respected people. Therefore, for many years this breed was inaccessible to most.

    There is a legend that a dog of the Shih Tzu breed accompanied the Buddha himself on the road. At any moment, a faithful friend could turn into a formidable lion and protect his master from enemies or carry him away from dangers on his back.

    The breed came to Europe only in the thirties of the last century. Norwegian diplomat took the dog with him to his homeland, where she made a splash. But it took a lot of time and effort to breed it. Had to try hard to bring a few more dogs. But the popularity of Shih Tzu was gaining momentum, and soon the first club of this breed appeared in Britain. In 1948, its standard was developed.

    Who is this breed for?

    The dog will be the perfect companion for the owner of a small apartment. These dogs love to walk, but do not require much exercise. This means that the breed is suitable for inactive or older people.

    These dogs love to give and receive love. If you feel lonely, they will gladly keep you company and will cheer you up.

    Shih Tzu: all about the dog, description, photo of the breed, character

    Shih Tzu are decorative breeds, therefore they are not suitable for hunting, guarding or protection. They are trusting and inquisitive. They are happy to take part in games, so they will be an excellent option for a family with school-age children.

    Famous owners

    Many celebrities could not resist the charm of this wonderful breed. The famous singer Beyoncé lives Shi-Tzu named Mancu. The same dogs were chosen by Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Ford, Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey. Even Bill Gates has a favorite of this breed. The ex-soloist of the Spice Girls group, Jerry Halliwell, could not resist the Shih Tzu. It’s safe to say that this cute breed is very popular with celebrities.

    How to choose a puppy

    Shih Tzu has become such a popular breed that literally every second owner of these dogs decides to have puppies. Because of this, a mass of inexpensive, but not up to standard dogs appeared.

    If you want to buy a healthy and purebred baby, then you need to do this from experienced and well-known breeders with a good reputation. They will help you with the choice of a puppy, advise on nutrition, training, keeping and caring for him. You should be able to choose your own puppy from the litter. Pay attention to the cheerful and curious baby who does not show signs of fear.

    Be sure to specify the age of the puppy. A pet-class baby can be picked up from a breeder two and a half months after birth. If you buy a show class dog, then this should be done only after six months. It is by this age that the dog will show possible breed defects, if any.

    Shih Tzu price

    The price of puppies depends on many factors. The most important thing is what class the dog belongs to:

  • Pet class. Such puppies may have pronounced defects in appearance or character. Because of them, dogs are not allowed to breed. The cost of pet-class puppies starts from 5 thousand rubles.
  • Brid class. These dogs belong to the middle class, they can participate in exhibitions and breeding. Their price starts from 25 thousand rubles.
  • Show class. These are puppies with the perfect pedigree. They have the blood of famous parents who have won at exhibitions more than once. The show class puppies lack defects in appearance and character. Their cost can vary from 50 to 120 thousand rubles.
  • A good puppy should have a puppy metric, as well as a veterinary passport, which confirms the presence of all necessary vaccinations. Later puppy metric can be changed to RKF pedigree.

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