Shih Tzu

Read our comprehensive guide to the Shih Tzu breed, including information on predisposed health issues, exercise needs, family friendliness, grooming, history, overview & temperament.

Dog
17 Oct 2023

History of Shih Tzu Dogs 

Shih Tzu dogs fall into the toy dog category and the breed itself is steeped in Chinese history. Originating in Tibet, they were given to Chinese emperors by Tibetan monks and can be traced back hundreds of years. Today they are charming lap dogs, loved for their perky personalities and doting demeanour. 

 

What to expect when caring for your Shih Tzu

Common Shih Tzu Health Issues

Are there any health problems you need to be aware of when owning this breed? Shih Tzus are not immune to health problems and are prone to the following:

Eye Conditions – Because of their flat faces and bulging eyes, Shih Tzus are prone to a number of eye conditions including bacterial infections and corneal ulcers.

Brachycephalic Syndrome – This breed is prone to breathing difficulties due to their flat faces and symptoms of this condition include laboured breathing and difficulty eating.

Intervertebral Disc Disease – This is a degenerative disease that affects the discs in the neck and spine. Dogs can recover from this, but it depends on the degree of degeneration.

 

How Much Grooming Do Shih Tzus Need?

Of course, grooming is all part and parcel of pet ownership, but this is a relatively low maintenance breed with little to no shedding. Your Shih Tzu will require routine grooming, but brushing is all you need to do in-between professional appointments. The frequency of brushing will depend on the length of your pet’s hair.

How Much Exercise Do Shih Tzus Need?

If you are looking for a breed that has moderate energy levels, the Shih Tzu is a great match. This breed will be happy with between 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day and this should be split up into two walks per day.

  1. Shih Tzu Personality Traits

    What to expect from your Shih Tzu

    Small and sweet natured, the Shih Tzu has a playful personality and is adored for its loving and lively nature. Its name literally translates to “little lion” and once you spend time with this cute yet courageous creature, it’s no surprise why. Shih Tzus are devoted to their owners and love nothing more than to lay in your lap and show affection.

  2. Are Shih Tzus Family Friendly?

    How will they behave around my family?

    Yes, Shih Tzu dogs are one of the friendliest breeds around and they love being around people making them the perfect family pet. They get on well with other dogs and because they weren’t bred as working or hunting dogs but for companionship only, they adapt well to family life. As long as you socialise your Shih Tzu puppy from a young age and teach your children how to act respectfully around your pet, you should encounter no issues.

Key Facts Summary
Size:
9-11 inches
Weight:
4kg-7kg
Temperament:
Warm and Friendly
Lifespan
10-18 Years
Average Cost:
£576-£2305

Shih Tzu FAQs:

When is a Shih Tzu Fully Grown?

So, what can you expect when your Shih Tzu reaches adulthood? Small breeds are often quicker to mature than larger breeds so you can expect your Shih Tzu to stop growing around ten months old.

How Much Should a Shih Tzu Eat?

Nutrition is a big part of keeping your dog healthy and happy and you will want to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding your pet but how much should your Shih Tzu be eating? This will depend on how old your Shih Tzu is as their needs will change as they grow from being a puppy to adulthood. The easiest way to decipher the right amount of food for your pet is to go by the weight of your pet. Shih Tzus eating habits are unique in that they need four meals per day as a puppy which can be cut down to two and three portions spaced throughout the day.

How to Train a Shih Tzu

Reward based training has the highest success rate when training a Shih Tzu. When teaching your dog commands, use a treat that they love, or clicker and you will soon be able to put any bad habits in the past.

Shih Tzus are hardy dogs but like all breeds, they are more prone to certain health issues that others, so having pet insurance can help to protect you against those unexpected vet bills. You can find out more about your cover options benefits with Asda Money Dog Insurance here.

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