Shih Tzu

Toy Group

Three Shih Tzus lying down in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

9-10.5 in

Weight

9-16 lbs

Life Expectancy

10-18 yrs

History

The Shih Tzu (pronounced "sheed-zoo") originated in the palaces of Chinese emperors as early as 800 BCE. It is believed that they were developed from Tibetan breeding stock and are likely a cross between the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese. Shih Tzu were considered property of the royal court and anyone found with one outside of the palace could face the death penalty.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Shih Tzu will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆☆

★★★☆☆

★★★

★☆

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

★☆☆☆


Sensitivity

★★★☆☆


Noise Level

★★★


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Friendly, lively, and alert

Intelligent, playful, and known to sometimes be mischievous

Typical companion breed that will follow you around the house and cuddle in your lap all day; they can be happy when left alone during the day if given enough to occupy them

Coprophagia (stool-eating) is common

May be a bit stubborn and difficult to train- especially housetrain