Quick Look

  • Height

    • Male20 – 27 cm
    • Female20 – 27 cm
  • Weight

    • Male5 – 8 kg
    • Female5 – 7 kg
  • Common Colors

    • All colours
  • Coat Texture

    • Long and dense with a good undercoat.
  • Average Lifespan

    • 11 to 16 years

Shih Tzu

History of the Breed

The Shih Tzu was known as the noble dog of China, but they can be traced as far back as 5th Century Asia. The name itself comes from the Chinese word for "lion" due to its similar appearance to a lion. The Shih Tzu has never been bred for any purpose other than a house pet and is still one of the most common breeds of dog.


  • Adaptability
  • All-around friendliness
  • Cheerful
  • Child Friendly
  • Noisiness


  • Affectionate
  • Alert
  • Friendly
  • Lively
  • Possessive
  • Stubborn

Common Health Problems

  • Breathing problems
  • Epilepsy Epilepsy can occur in animals other than humans (see main article Epilepsy). It is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures.
  • Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease Degeneration of one or more intervertebral disc(s) of the spine.

Top Tips for Caring for a Shih Tzu

  • Start socialising them with other dogs early to prevent them from getting too possessive over their owners
  • Try a variety of methods to toilet train your Shih Tzu; commands, clickers, rewards
  • They can be prone to excessive barking so make sure you train them properly
  • Comb/brush daily, as well as keeping their coat regularly snipped to prevent skin problems

www.pet-insurance.co.uk makes no warranty as to whether any of the breeds are suitable for you or your family. This encyclopaedia is only intended to be a basic guide to general breed characteristics and does not constitute advice or recommendation. www.pet-insurance.co.uk strongly recommends children are never left unsupervised with a dog.