About the Shih Tzu

About the Shih Tzu

DNA analysis of the Shih Tzu has suggested the breed to derive from some of the most ancient dog breeds.  The Shih Tzu originated in Tibet during the Tang/Ming dynasties and were highly regarded due to their resemblance to the lion which often is associated with deities.  For hundreds of years the Chines refused to trade the Shih Tzu with foreigners as they were such an important symbol of Chinese culture.

It was only in the early 1830s, the Shih Tzu first appeared in Europe and it was after the 2nd world war were the American soldiers stationed in Asia, brought some back.


The standard height of the Shih Tzu is between 20cm to 27cms. The weight should be between 4.5kg to -8.1kg.


Shih Tzu’s can appear in black, blue, brindle, gold, liver, red, silver or any combinations of these colours.


Although the Shih Tzu seems to have a thick double coat, there is very little shedding, thus the breed has been recommend for people who have allergies.

The typical Shih Tzu look requires frequent grooming, possibly twice a month.  In order to maintain great show quality of the breed, a professional groomer is recommended.  If this is not possible, a short course learning basic grooming should be considered.


The Shih Tzu is an intelligent breed that is playful and has a good temperament.  They can be independent and with their dignified attitude could be hard to train so patience is of essence.

Shih Tzu get along with children and are compatible with other pets.  However, the younger they are introduced the better.


The Shih Tzu considered to be a healthy breed with a lifespan of more the 16 years.  Common health problem typically have impact on the knees (due to their height), eyes (as they have a flat face) and back problems as their short legs put immense pressure of their backs.