Shih Tzu Dog Breed – here is all the basic information you to know about the Shih Tzu dog breed.
It is important to know that having a Shih Tzu comes with lots of Shih Tzu pros and cons, which you should know before getting one.
From the brief history, health concerns, grooming, temperaments, how long they live, to how you can train them to be at home while you are away. So read through for details.
Brief History of Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu has a long history in China, specifically in ancient Tibet, where imperial breeders developed it to be a companion dog. Shih Tzu dog breed is from Tibet and has a history of 1000 years.
As in many cultures, people from this remote country keep dogs at home. Shih Tzu is known as a small breed, and it is said that these small dogs or lion dogs are kept in monasteries all over Tibet.
They are trained to turn the prayer wheel as part of the daily ritual.
However, when Audrey Dudds told this story to a Tibetan monk, he said that it was completely absurd, Shih Tzu was never bred as a temple dog.
The breed is believed to be a cross between two other Tibetan breeds: the Pekingese and the Lhaso Apso.
Tibetan dogs, such as the Shih Tzu, very first ancestors are the Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog, dating back to over 10,000 years ago. For more on Shih Tzu history visit.
Shih Tzu Dog Breed Physical Appearance
On average, a full-grown Shih Tzu can grow around 22 cm to 27 cm and can weigh around 4 kg to 7.5 kg.
Shih Tzu have a double coat of hair that needs regular grooming, especially if kept long and flowy instead of short. Their coat varies in color and is typically multicolored.
The typical look of the Shih Tzu is to keep the hair long and put it in a ponytail on the top of their head to keep it from hanging in their face.
It is a cute look but needs regular brushing. It is important to note that Shih Tzu is a Hypoallergenic breed of dog.
How long can Shih Tzu live (Life Expectancy)
Shih Tzu is actually among the breeds of dogs that can live for long. However, in a suitable environment, under proper care and feeding the Shih Tzu can live around 10-18 years.
But the Shih Tzu can only be very active for about 14 years, as they get older their activeness drops.
Shih Tzu Dog Breed Colors
The Shih Tzu dog breed comes in different colors and designs, which is as follows:
- Liver & White
- Light Brown
- Dark Brown
- Black & White
Shih Tzu Dog Breed Temperaments
Here is the list of unique Shih Tzu dog breed temperaments you should note:
Shih Tzus are generally known as a know aggressive small breed of dogs, but there are some activities that can trigger Shih Tzu aggression.
Shih Tzu Breed Characteristics (Summary)
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Shih Tzus are companion dogs but can develop some Shih Tzu behavior problems due to the action of their owners.
Shih Tzu Grooming Needs
Shih Tzu in a long coat needs to be brushed every day, even though Shih Tzu doesn’t shed, there are some things that can trigger shedding in Shih Tzus.
Use a good quality wire brush with flexible tweezers and thread the hair so that you can reach the skin.
Bathing every three or four weeks will keep your Shih Tzu hair clean and in tip-top shape.
Comb the mustache and top knot daily and clean the corners of your eyes with a damp cloth.
To protect the Shih Tzu’s eyes from irritation, the hair on the top of the head should be cut short or tied at the top.
If you don’t have time or want to spend time on your dog’s coat, the Shih Tzu can look adorable when cut at the puppy stages by a professional groomer.
Cutting nails and cleaning ears should be a part of routine Shih Tzu maintenance.
Here is a detailed video about Shih Tzu grooming do check it out.
Shih Tzu Exercise Needs
The Shih Tzus doesn’t require long-running or extensive exercise, but regular walking.
Because they can make you curious about too much food, they are at risk for obesity.
They tend to enjoy agility training while enjoying it, so this is a great choice for training your Shih Tzu.
Their muzzles also hurt them in the swimming section, so don’t rely on swimming as a Shih Tzu training option.
Because they are quite small and don’t need too much space to walk, they get along well with apartment life.
Just pay attention to the weather conditions when you train. Because of their short snout and thick fur, they can quickly overheat and are at risk of heatstroke.
In summary the Shih Tzu was bred to be a house companion.
Therefore, require minimal exercise. Short daily walks with their owner and indoor playtime will satisfy the activity needs.
Shih Tzu Nutrition
Shih Tzu is always good at handling good quality dog food, whether it’s made commercially or prepared in-house with the supervision and approval of your veterinarian.
Any food you are giving your Shih Tzu must be appropriate for the dog’s age (puppy or adult).
Most breeds of dogs tend to be overweight when eating a particular food. Shih Tzus also has eating problems.
Therefore, monitor your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.
However, snacks like treats can be an important training aid, but too many of these snacks can lead to obesity.
One important thing to note is that if you have a Shih Tzu you should always make clean and fresh water available at all times around your Shih Tzu.
Here is the list of human foods Shih Tzus can eat which are safe.
Here is also a list of human foods Shih Tzus shouldn’t eat that are not safe.
Shih Tzu Health Concerns
Most Shih Tzu are generally healthy, however, there are still some health concerns which are as follows:
- Brachycephalic Syndrome
- Eye anomalies including cataracts
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- retinal detachment
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye)
- patellar luxation (a slipped kneecap)
Aside from all these mentioned health concerns the most important thing is to get your Shih Tzu breed from a reputable breeder as this will take care of some health concerns.
Can Shih Tzu Be Left Alone for Long
Yes, Shih Tzu is a very fun dog and can be left alone but not be left alone for more than 8 hours as Shih Tzus are prone to separation anxiety and show anxiety symptoms when left alone.
After the 8-hour mark if your Shih Tzu is not asleep the Shih Tzu dog will become lonely, and separation anxiety may set in.
Sometimes when you leave the Shih Tzu dog alone for long they will start spoiling items like their play toys or other valuables.
How to Train a Shih Tzu to Stay At home alone
Here are the basic 5 smart ways to help train your Shih Tzu to stay at home alone:
1. Get enough play toys
There are too many play toys you can buy for your Shih Tzu to keep them busy while you are away for some time.
Make good research to find out some of the best toys for your Shih Tzu.
2. Create a playpen
You can create a playpen for your Shih Tzu to stay in when you are away. The playpen should contain toys and any other items that will keep your Shih Tzu even treats.
3. Train your Shih Tzu to remain in Crate
The use of a crate to keep dogs while you are away is still under debate for many reasons.
However, you can still create your Shih Tzu while you are away. But be sure to come back soon and also feed your Shih Tzu before going.
4. Command and instructions
Use of simple commands to tell your Shih Tzu that you are going out is important, don’t just leave without saying Hey buddy am off stay cool I will be back soon, take care. A simple hug is cool.
You can use a good cartoon movie to keep your Shih Tzu busy while you are away.
Just get your Shih Tzu bed and place it a bit far from the TV stand and make sure no wire is exposed.
Your Shih Tzu dog can stay and watch cartoon movies all day long, make sure you feed your Shih Tzu before going.