Aug 27 2018

Breed Spotlight: The Shih Tzu | Winslow Animal Hospital Dog & Cat




Like the Pekingnese, this little dog enjoyed the good life as a pampered palace pooch. In fact, it has been suggested that the Shih Tzu was bred from Pekingnese mixture. Like their royal human companions, the Shih Tzu stayed behind palace walls – never seeing the outside world. However, in the 1930s these little dogs made their way west.  In 1969, the Shih Tzu was an American Kennel Club breed. They are still one of the most popular toy dog breeds to date. 


These are some of the most affectionate dogs that you will find with bigger then life personalities. They are great with other pets and dogs. Shih Tzus also warm up to humans easily. They would make an amazing addition to any family. 

However, if they aren’t socialized properly as puppy, this breed does have a tendency to become snappy and antisocial. Make sure you are giving your Shih Tzu puppy all the socialization it needs from people and other dogs!

Be warned… they like to bark. And can be hard to house train. Good Luck!


A Shih Tzu can live 10 to 16 years. While this breed can live a while, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some health concerns to watch out for. This little pup has trouble in the heat and can get heat stroke easier. Make sure you look out for symptoms if you have your Shih Tzu is in the heat. Make sure they drink plenty of water, and are not out in the heat for too long. This breed can also have eyes problems due to their naturally protruding eyes. Other health problems can include:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Stones
  • Different Types of Heart Disease
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Dental Abnormalities

Your Shih Tzu is also prone to weight problems. This breed, on average, should weight 8 to 16 pounds.  Make sure that your furry friend is eating a healthy and balance diet. Daily exercise in the form of a game or leisurely walk is also important.

Make sure your pet is getting regular visits with a veterinarian and contact them if you notice anything abnormal for your pet.


If you choose to keep your Shih Tzu’s fur long, then daily brushing will be necessary. Brushing should be done in layers to make sure that you can get to the roots of the fur. Bathing about once a month should suffice. But be sure to clean around the eyes with a damp cloth. If you wish to keep your Shih Tzu’s hair long, be sure to keep the fur on the top of the head in a top knot. This prevents eye irritation.

A lot of people opt for a “puppy trim” for their Shih Tzu for more ease. You would have to brush less frequently and wouldn’t have to worry about giving your pooch an up-do. 

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