The Shih Tzu!

The Shih Tzu is nicknamed the “Chrysanthemum Dog” because of the upward growing hair on its nose, thus creating a chrysanthemum face. The breed has a round face, large wide-set eyes and furry ears that seem to disappear into its equally furry body. The Shih Tzu’s body is long and abundantly covered with a long and silky outer coat with a wooly under coast beneath. The tail is curled and is spread across the dog’s back.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
15+ years

Energy Level:
Spunky and playful..

Living Conditions:
Ideal for apartments; sensitive to heat.

High around strangers.

Exercise Needs:
Daily 25 minute walk. Gains weight easily.

Breed Group:


9 to 11 inches

9 to 16 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Variety of colors. White markings forehead and tip of the tail.

National breed club:
American Shih Tzu Club

Shih Tzu Skills

The Shih Tzu is said to be a cross between the Tibetan Lhasa Apso and the native Pekingese. The breed was developed in the 17th century, when dogs from Tibet were brought into the City of Peking. Regarded as a holy dog, the Shih Tzu became a favorite of the Chinese Imperial Court, especially Empress Dowager Cixi, that members refused to give away or even sell the dogs. In fact, 16th century paintings show portraits of Shih Tzus. Today, the Shih Tzu is popular both as a companion and famous show dog.

Shih Tzu Personality

The Shih Tzu, much like its endearing appearance, is easy to love because of its spunky character. The breed makes friends with both people and animals easily because of its naturally playful and affectionate demeanor. The Shih Tzu can also be a good watch dog, always alert and perpetually barking at strangers. It is not noisy, however, and is actually quiet when inside the house.

Exercise Needs

Daily walks are recommended for Shih Tzus because while they are an active breed, they tend to lounge about in their favorite areas when allowed. Walking will help them keep fit, as this breed gains weight easily.

Living Conditions

Given its size, the Shih Tzu can live in small areas. While they are quite active indoors, a small yard can also be advisable. The Shih Tzu also prefers areas with cold climate, because its thick coat makes it sensitive to the heat.

Grooming Requirements

Because of its very lush coat, Shih Tzus need to be combed daily using a bristle brush. Some owners tie the topknot with a bow to allow the dog to see properly while others have it trimmed for easier maintenance. The Shih Tzu’s eyes are very sensitive and should be cleaned with specially formulated drops. Likewise, the ears and the area around the eyes should be kept clean at all times to avoid allergies.

Health Issues

The Shih Tzu is prone to bloating, spinal disc disease and ear, eye and respiratory infections. The teeth should also be taken cared of, as they tend to fall out at an early age.

If you liked this dog…

You may also enjoy having a Pomeranian. It may be small in size but it definitely doesn’t lack in charm, intelligence and affection. It is also very alert and can be a good watch dog, when trained properly.


Dog Resources

Raising Your Dog

Dogs By Size

Dogs By Group

petside media network

Breeds: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z