Shih Tzus are one of the oldest known dog breeds dating back to China’s Tang dynasty. Shih Tzus have round, broad skulls and heavily furred ears that hang down like pendants. Their face is well-framed with fur, their eyes are large, and their muzzle is short and square with an underbite. Their tails are heavily plumed and curve up over the back. Their traditional coats are long and flowing and typically straight, although some may be slightly wavy. Black markings, tan markings, and black masks are common in this breed. Their coats come in many colors from white to black and anything in between. Because the long, flowing coat requires a lot of maintenance, most Shih Tzu parents use a topknot to keep their long hair out of their eyes, and many opt for a puppy or teddy bear cut.

Shih Tzus were originally bred as companions to royalty, and they have a long history of being friendly, vivacious companions. While they are loving and devoted to their human families, they will definitely alert you when strangers are around. Their small stature means they can easily get enough exercise in compact spaces, so they can adjust well to apartment or condo living. In addition, the Shih Tzu’s short snout makes them sensitive to extreme temperatures. You’ll need to protect them from excessive cold or heat. On those days, indoor exercise will be the best choice for your Shih Tzu.

Exercise Recommendations

  • Moderate activity level
  • 30 minutes of activity per day

Grooming Tips

  • Brush and comb daily
  • Bathe weekly
  • Tear-stains? Wipe face with damp cloth daily
  • Trim nails; clean & dry ears regularly
  • Get regular dental care

Temperament & Behavior

  • Friendly, vivacious, playful
  • Good with other pets and kids
  • Affectionate; easy to train