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Shih Tzu Breed Information and Photos

Category Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu
These lively, small dogs make great companions. This guide contains shih tzu breed information and photos.


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By 0 found this helpful
May 1, 2006
Breed Description: Shih Tzus have compact, sturdy bodies with long flowing double coats and long facial hair. Considered a sacred animal in its native China, the nimble Shih Tzu was once described as having a lively gait 'like a goldfish.' Bright and expressive, this breed excels at what it was bred for-companionship.

Group: Toy Group

Purpose of Breed: Chinese court dog

Country of Origin: China

Average Size: Shih Tzus range from eight to eleven inches. Shih Tzus range from nine to sixteen pounds.

Color(s): All colors; a white blaze on the forehead and tail is highly prized.

Coat Type: Long, dense, and straight. Daily grooming is essential to keep the Shih Tzu's coat soft.

Grooming: Daily grooming is essential to care for this breed's coat, and the Shih Tzu needs bathing weekly. Wet hair should be carefully blown dry to avoid colds and hair over eyes can be pinned or clipped to aid in vision. Standard care is required for ears, pads, and nails. Eyes should be examined for problems often.

Exercise Needs: Shih Tzus are lively little dogs that easily adapt to apartment or condo life. Vigorous indoor activities may provide an adequate amount of exercise as well as short walks outdoors.

Temperament: The Shih Tzu is a gentle, but energetic, breed of dog that excels at being a loving companion. They are highly intelligent and love to learn new things. This breed is a good choice for the elderly or for families with older children that are not prone to roughhousing. Tzus enjoy traveling and will absorb and reflect the energy of whatever type of household they are a part of.

Common Ailments: Susceptible to kidney disorders, liver disease, eye problems, and umbilical hernias; teeth need regular veterinary attention

Life Expectancy: Can average from 10-18 years. Trivia: The Shih Tzu is often called "the chrysanthemum-faced dog" because of the way the hair grows around their face.

More Information: American Shih Tzu Club, Inc.


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June 2, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about house training a Shih Tzu. Some dog breeds seem more difficult to house train.

Shih Tzu laying on belly with chin on the ground looking at the camera.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 7, 2006

I am wondering if anyone else has a Shih Tzu in this color?

CHEWIE from New Brunswick, Canada


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By guest (Guest Post)
April 7, 20060 found this helpful

Yes, I have one that is very close to that, has a little white, though. Aren't they just adorable. I have a Bichon Frise also, looks kind of like a poodle.

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April 7, 20060 found this helpful

No, I've never seen one this color - he/she is beautiful, tho. My sister has a black/white male and his brown daughter, tho. They are precious children!

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April 7, 20060 found this helpful

I have a friend with one this color. He (BamBam) is a sweetie!

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April 7, 20060 found this helpful

I had one who was completely black when young and as he became older turned the color of yours. I rescue Shih Tzus who have been abused or have major health problems. Have 6 right now! JoanDogs

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April 7, 20060 found this helpful

I had to peek what a pretty pup! I had never seen

one this color and I think it is so much prettier than the white ones.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 8, 20060 found this helpful

What a beautiful dog!

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 8, 20060 found this helpful

thanks everyone, they are the most lovable dogs!

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 8, 20060 found this helpful

thanks for the comments he is a very lovable dog!!

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 13, 20060 found this helpful

We have one similar to this

E-mail me and I will send you a pic.

connie AT

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 29, 20060 found this helpful

Hi, I have a shih tzu x toy poodle that is all black with a flash of white on chest and beard. She was bread with a caramel shitzu and the puppy is mixed black and tan. We called him Chewie also as he reminded us of Chewie in Star Wars. We love our Mum/baby Bindi and the pups are so hard to part with. We'd keep them all....

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 6, 20060 found this helpful

i have a shi-poo that is mostly black, with a bit of white on his chest and one white paw. he's the best! when i take him for his haircuts, his back becomes

more of a silvery gray...

benny is now 2 years old, and my best friend in the whole world...these dogs make the best friends, don't you agree?

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February 2, 20070 found this helpful

I would like to introduce Miss Akemi. She is 4 months old and the center of my world.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 18, 20070 found this helpful

heres a pic of my shihtzu. he's dark as you can see but has white tip of tail and 4 white socks. he's gorgeous.

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January 26, 20080 found this helpful


I'm Laura from Lake Charles, Louisiana. I have one just like that. Absolutely adorable!!!

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April 29, 20080 found this helpful

I couldn't resist posting a picture of my Beautiful Boy Shih-tzu, Chappers, I keep them trimmed as they like it so much better and they are gorgeous this way, only problem is, I've had several people try to steal them when I have taken them out , So now They stay at home or are never left unattended while in our vehical, not for a second, Locked doors or not people still try to steal them, It's terrible! anyways here's one of my adorable Babies

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

I was wondering if it normal for Shih Tzus to change colors. When we got Brookln "Brooke" he was all black with white paws and a white chest. Now he is sort of brown on the bottom and kind of charcoal with white still. is that normal?

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November 20, 20080 found this helpful

I have a white with blue eyes and a white a liver with one blue and one green eye!

I got them from the puppyfinder website,they were flown to me.My little Mindy -the one with the ball- died last year-her kidneys stopped working-I have a particolor peke- Nikke and a gold and white one eyeliner shih.

If you want to visit the website petshed- you can buy revolution for a very economical price- 6 pack for 65 sounds good to you?

It sure is, specially if you have as many babies as I do!

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November 20, 20080 found this helpful

Shih puppies always get lighter.If they have very dark spots- it's better not to shave them or the color dilutes-my baby Lolita-bought from puppyfinder:

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20090 found this helpful

Hi I am a shih-tzu breeder and it is very normal for them to change colors. All of mine are either gold and white,red and white, brindle and white, and black and white.

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

Shih Tzu's can change color till the day they pass on, some more so then others. Also shih tzus eyes can only be blue if their points are blue lips,eye rims, nose and pads. Liver shihtzus have yellow/green eyes. A liver nosed shihtzu will never have a black hair on their body. I have blues ,livers and standard colored shihtzus. My brindle and white is going to be 3 years old and she was a gold/red brindle and now is a silver brindle. She has changed the most as some colors do more so then others.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 2, 2015

I have two pure Shih Tzus, one is seven kgs and the other five kgs. Both are young and both are girls. The smaller one makes a weird noise when you pick her up. It seems to come from her throat, it's almost like grimacing deep in her throat. Neither snore. I have taken her to vet and she said she is fine. I'm not convinced. I'm worried sick. I can't lose her. They both mean the world to me.

By billiecharli

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have had dogs who did this. I always thought it was just the way their throats were made. When you pick them up air moves through their throats. It seemed to be involuntary. They both lived to be over 15 years. I don't think it really means anything.

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February 25, 20141 found this helpful

I have a Shih Tzu and he is 4 months old. I want to grow his fur out, but the fur on his face is too short to tie and it's like sticking out in front of his eyes. Is there a way that I could put anything in it to at least hold it down? Kinda like how people would use a hairspray or gel to hold their hair to a certain style.

By Angel L.

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February 18, 2015

My female Shih-Tzu only weighs 1.8 pounds, but since she's 9 weeks old is that normal?

By Mickey and Ginger

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By 0 found this helpful
April 8, 2016

My Shih Tzu is just over 11kg. His legs are longer than a small Shih Tzu, he is solid, and heavy, his waist curves in where it should. The vet says he's fine, but I think he is overweight. Is there anyone on here who thinks I need a second opinion?

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

February 28, 2011

Tulip was 6 when she passed away. We both knew she was dying. Her cancer was far too aggressive, incurable. I estimated her to pass by December 5th. She died December 30th. She was a shih-tzu. We found each other at a pet store.

In this photo, we're doing our last dance at the beach surf. Look at Tulip's eyes so focused on the position of my foot. See her interest in attempt to copy this dance we are both doing with the right foot.

We shared a mere 6 years of fun, love, compassion, and friendship. Such a smart, always happy, love dog. My forever, favorite, faithful friend. Tulip was so very sick but still danced with me, using the right steps. She will be missed forever but will always be held in my heart as my most precious adventure. Who only wanted to be a hug me, hold me, love me dog. That was the easy part.

By Sandra B. from Montvale. NJ

Tulip (Shih-tzu)

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By 7 found this helpful
February 5, 2012

Taylor is a 4 year old Shih Tzu. I found this little guy at a year old on Craigslist. He was malnourished, injured, and ready for a permanent home after having 4 in one year. He was my husband's 55th birthday present. He is definitely a "daddy's boy!"

He loves to wrestle with my husband when he comes home from work. He also likes going for walks, riding in the car, boat, and even tubing with someone behind the boat. He loves tennis balls and will play fetch until he drops from exhaustion. He is a real cuddler, and hasn't met anyone who isn't his instant buddy.

By Patricia from Traverse City

Taylor (ShihTzu), a small white dog on a couch.

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By 10 found this helpful
March 9, 2011

Digger is a 4 years young Shih-tzu. I had always wanted another Shih-tzu, so when my husband came home the weekend of Mother's Day, he surprised me with him. I had to climb up in my husband's semi to retrieve a "box" for him. Only it was a tiny puppy in a pet taxi. The best present ever! He mostly likes to sleep. He is one of the laziest dogs I have ever known!

By Crystal S.

Digger (Shih-tzu)

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By 17 found this helpful
June 8, 2015

Your Pet's Age
Cooper, 5 months, Bentley, 5 months, Harley, 3 months

Your Pet's Breed

How and when did you get your pet?
Cooper and Bentley in March (2015) and Harley in June (2015)

What does your pet like to do for fun?
Play, play, play

Do you have anything else to share about your pet?
My babies are so sweet they love more than anything, kisses, kisses and more kisses.

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By 16 found this helpful
May 11, 2010
Lil Missy is 4 months in this picture (Easter). She is a Shih Tsu. Lil Missy is my Birthday gift, I'm 52. I have always wanted a small doggie. Lil Missy is three 1/2 pounds. Lil Missy is like a baby doll, a baby that won't grow up to be big. I wanted a puppy to stay very small. She's my baby at 52! Can't beat a puppy that wants to be held all the time like a baby!

Lil Missy plays with her toys, a bunny rabbit (big as her), a stick from outside, a red and white chew toy, til she wears herself out! She snuggles in her snuggley bed. She runs around trying to get her furry little shih tzu tail, It's so cute.

Lil Missy was at Easter with our family, she had a blast chasing the children around outside, hunting Easter eggs. Center of attention. Once the Easter egg hunt was done, we went inside as shih tzus don't like heat. She ran under my Mom's coffee table and just lay there happy to be alone.

By Janet

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By 5 found this helpful
August 4, 2010

Nikko is 3 1/2 years old and a Shih Tzu. We bought Nikko from a Shih Tzu breeder in our area at 8 weeks old. He likes to retrieve his toys and go for runs in the park.

Nikko (Shih Tzu)

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By 8 found this helpful
May 14, 2017

My son got her for me when she was about 3 months old. She takes all the toys and hides them on the couch under her blanket so her sister (an 8 year old Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler) can't play with them.

Georgie (Shih Tzu) - sitting on the couch

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By 6 found this helpful
January 19, 2011

Gizmo is a 12 year old Shih-tzu. I got him when he was 4, as a surprise at Petsmart! He sits under the bed and table. Gizmo likes to spend time with me on the bed and eating snacks.

Gizmo (Shih Tzu)

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By 11 found this helpful
April 1, 2015

Bailey came into our lives in October of 2014. The lady that had her was unable to care for her and left her alone for 5 days at a time. Bailey was given to us because the lady knew we would love and care for her like one of our children.

closeup of Bailey

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By 9 found this helpful
May 14, 2010

Rosie is a 5 year old Shih-tzu. I got her 5 years ago from Texas. She likes to walk and play with toys.

Rosie (Shih Tzu)

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By 3 found this helpful
February 3, 2010

Luckie is a 15 1/2 year old Shih Tzu. My husband bought me our wee guy after we lost our other dog. He doesn't like to do much now really, as he's getting to old.

Luckie (Shih Tzu)

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By 8 found this helpful
June 22, 2015

A friend found him caught in a barbed wire fence and had to cut him out. She couldn't keep him so we brought him home. Nobody ever claimed him - so he claimed us.

Dexter (Shih Tzu)

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By 8 found this helpful
November 30, 2009

Kortney's Puppies are 8 weeks old! Their mama Kortney is 5. They are Shih-Tzus. Kortney was a puppy of my original Shih-Tzu, Kallie. They like to roll over and let me pet their tummy before they will do anything for me!

Kortney's Puppies (Shih-Tzu)

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March 22, 20116 found this helpful

Sir Victor is a 21 month old small Shih-Tzu. I got him at 9 weeks old from a breeder in Bellingham, WA. He likes to run and play fetch, as well as hide and seek. He is a a very bossy little guy and likes to bite toes.

Sir Victor (Shih-Tzu)

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By 1 found this helpful
June 20, 2007

Venom is 1 year and 1 month old. He is a Toy Shih-tzu. We got him a year ago, he was the runt of the litter (of a toy shih-tzu breed, you would never know it though, the little monster is 11 pounds!) And no one wanted him :(

Venom (Toy Shih-tzu)

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By 4 found this helpful
January 24, 2015

Sir Domino is a two year old Shih Tzu that has his own Facebook page.

Sir Domino

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By 11 found this helpful
June 3, 2010

Olive is almost a 2 year old Shih Tzu mix. The mother of a coworker adopted a puppy and turned out not to have the time necessary to properly take care of her.

Olive (Shih Tzu)

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