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Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu

Country of Origin: China

Group: Companion and Toy Dogs

Section: Tibetan breeds

Original Function: lap dog

Todays Function: companion

Dimension Male: 20-28 cm

Dimension Female: 20-28 cm

Weight Male: 4-7 kg

Weight Female: 4-7 kg

Litter Size: 1-5 puppies, average 3

Life span: 11-14 years

Other Names: Chrysanthemum Dog

Colors: Wide range of colors. blacks, browns, and whites are probably most popular. in showing it is conside

Living: the shih tzu makes an ideal dog for both city and country living. in the city these dogs become eas



This small sturdy dog, like the Lhasa Apso, is covered over with an abundant double coat of long hair lined with a woolly undercoat. This proud looking little dog has hair above the nose growing upward, creating a "chrysanthemum" face. The head is rounded, with a profuse beard and mustache, short hairy muzzle, and black nose (except in liver-colored dogs which have liver noses). There is a definite stop. The eyes are large, round and wide-set, dark on most dogs but lighter on liver and blue colored dogs. The pendant ears are so covered with hair that they blend right into the body coat. The teeth should form a level or undershot bite. The topline is level and the body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. Dewclaw removal is optional. The heavily plumped tail is curled over the back. Any color is acceptable, though white on the forehead and tip of the tail is preferred by most dog show judges.


The spunky but sweet Shih Tzu is both a gentle lap dog and a vivacious companion. It has an upbeat attitude and loves to play and romp. It is affectionate to its family and good with children. It is surprisingly tough and does have a stubborn streak.


Despite its small size, the Shih Tzu needs daily exercise. Because of its small size, it can meet its requirements with vigorous indoor games or short frolics outside or with short walks on leash. It does not do well in hot humid weather, and it should never be expected to live outdoors. Its luxurious coat needs brushing or combing every other day; puppies should be taught to accept grooming from a young age. Pets may be clipped.


These little dogs require a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. A topknot is usually tied with a bow so that the dog can see properly. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time consuming to care for. Keep the ear


Major concerns: none

Minor concerns: renal cortical hypoplasia, entropion, trichiasis, PRA, KCS, CHD, otitis externa, portacaval shunt, inguinal hernias

Occasionally seen: vWD

Suggested tests: eye