What Kind Of Dog Is Shih Tzu?

what kind of dog is shih tzu

The Shih Tzu breed of a dog, defined as one of the 25 oldest dog breeds out there, originated in China even 8k years B.C.

Now that is a long time ago. It isn´t strange that this dog breed is as popular today as it was in ancient times.

This dog is specifically made to belong to a so-called ¨toy group¨ and to be a family-devoted dog.

As some of you may or may not know, the Shih Tzu breed actually means ¨little lion¨, although it is obvious they don´t have one fierce bone in their body. On the contrary, their cuteness is overloading all our senses with their loving, happy, and affectionate nature.

This beautiful and cute lap dog is highly adaptable and a perfect fit if you are looking for a family-oriented dog who is ready for all the adventures you are all going to have. Just remember to take amazing pictures and send them to us.

Where Are Shih Tzu Dogs From?

When we fall in love with a certain dog breed, we want to know everything there is to know about them. This obviously includes the very common question, where is this dog breed from?

Why is the answer to this question so important to the owners? This is because people like to find out all they can about the origins of the breed, so they fully understand their needs.

Shih Tzu is a tiny dog breed, often referred to as toy dog breed. This breed originates from Tibetan Plateau, but they were developed in China. They were considered royalty breeds back in Tibet and even lived in huge temples. Later, they were gifted to one of the emperors of China.

This dog breed is said to have spread around the world after World War 2 when military members brought them back home with them from Asia and Europe.

Fun fact is that when you translate Shih Tzu (Xi Shi) from Chinese, it literally means ‘lion dog’.

It’s quite funny actually when you take a look at the Shih Tzu dog, they resemble the famous Chinese teachers senseis because of their long straight coat.

Breed Specifications

The famously small dog breed that is Shih Tzu, weighs only 9 to 16lbs and is only 10 inches tall (or small).

As for the features they have the specific iron squashed face and floppy ears. Their coat is extremely soft to the touch and it requires grooming and for you to take care of it daily in the form of brushing and washing.

Depending on what you search for in a dog, this breed isn´t the most active one there is, so if you are looking for a dog that is calm in nature and enjoys some downtime, the Shih Tzu´s are perfect for you and your family.

They usually live from 11 to 14 years on average, and they spend those years enjoying every single day by playing, being social, barking, and in search of lots of pets and cuddles.


These little cuties are perky, always happy and interested in some play and family time. They will get along extremely well with all kinds of people, especially kids who love to play fetch with them and give them lots of attention.

Yes, they love to be spoiled.

As mentioned above, they are very sweet and prone to being a lap dog to many different types of people. They are easy to keep around and live with. Especially if you offer them lots of treats.

So as long as you don´t leave them alone for too long, play lots of fetch with them, offer them delicious snacks and cuddle them when they need rest, you will be everything in their eyes.


A generally healthy breed of dogs, Shih Tzu´s are prone to just a few illnesses and conditions.

To start us off, we have some allergies that are the usual condition for dogs. From food allergies related to poultry to inhalant allergies and ambrosia, these dogs might be affected by them. Of course, paying attention to what is happening to your dog, and reacting by asking for advice from your vet, might just do the trick. There are always other food options and medicine to help your doggo.

Second, we have hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, a.k.a. the abnormal formations of the socket in the hip that can provoke a lot of pain and discomfort, alongside with the dislocation of the kneecap in dogs.

These dogs are also affected by bladder infections and some liver issues. These can be caused by a lot of different reasons but the most common ones are due to excessive protein nutrition and using a lot of human minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorous.

Of course, there are some other illnesses that Shih Tzu dogs are prone to have, but all of the mentioned and those who threaten our beautiful pet friends, are bound to not appear or be as dangerous if we take care of them and offer them the best healthy and happy life possible.


When it comes to grooming the Shih Tzu´s, they are pretty high maintenance. They require everyday brushing of their coat so it doesn´t get all tangled up and dry. So if you think you don´t have the time to invest in this beautiful breed of a dog, then consider investing your finances in a good groomer which will help you maintain this fluffy and silky coat.

On the other side, brushing the coat daily won´t take as much time as you might think, but it will go a long way with your dog´s coat and fur and its healthy life.

This Shih Tzu coat will not always be the same. When they are young (up to 1 year of age), their coat sheds all the puppy fluff and becomes this beautiful silky smooth coat we all know and love.

A big part of the grooming is cleaning their ears and eyes and its stains. This is also something you might want to invest your time. Of course, none of this would be possible if you don´t invest some love and time into your dog. Check out our article about cleaning the eyes and tear stains here. (insert link)

So if you are not sure about the dog breed you want, but you want a less maintenance dog, you might want to continue looking.


Now that you got familiarized with the Shih Tzu, what do you think? Is this the dog for you? Let us know in the comments below, and share your story with us.

We will be happy to hear from you and all your adventures with the little one.

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