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Shih Tzu Dogs

Updated on May 27, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Birds and wildlife fascinate me. I enjoy observing them and photographing them wherever I go. I share what I learn here.


Meet the Loving Lapdog Called the Shih Tzu

Are you the proud owner of one of these lovely dogs or thinking of getting a Shih Tzu? In either case, I hope you'll find some useful information and suggestions here on this elegant small breed.

Shih Tzus may be on the petite side, but, like most all dogs of any size, they still require some exercise, be it a 15-minute leash-walk in the neighborhood each day or a daily dose of indoor play time.

As with other "toy" breeds, Shih Tzus are not suited for being left outdoors for long periods of time or to live outside in general. These are primarily house dogs who don't tolerate hot, humid weather all that well. And that luxurious coat really does need grooming on a regular--often daily--basis.

This is a wonderful, loving breed, but be prepared to take proper care of these beauties. You'll find some tips below.

The card on the right is from Zazzle: Shih Tzu Dog Portrait Greeting Card by jaiart

My mother has the cutest (in my biased opinion ;) shih tzu named Coco. And you're right about scoring high on the friendliness scale. She thinks it's her job to make sure everyone who walks in the door is properly greeted and made to feel like their arrival is the AWESOMEST thing ever!

— MerryChicky

Shih Tzu History and Temperment - An overview of the breed

Breed Background:

Shih Tzu, meaning "Lion Dog" in Chinese, is a toy breed with origins dating back to 17th-century Tibet.

Most canine breeds have been listed as official members of the American Kennel Club since the 19th and early 20th centuries; however, the Shih Tzu was not officially recognized by the AKC until 1969. The 60s actually saw a great increase in the popularity of Shih Tzus as household pets and, as their popularity grew, the AKC took notice and registered this toy breed.

It's believed that the Shih Tzu descended from a cross between the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan mountain dog and the Pekingese.

Shih Tzu Temperament:

Shih Tzus are known to be rather spunky yet very sweet and friendly. They're lovable lapdogs who also enjoy romping and running around with their human companions, including children. In fact, the Shih Tzu scores high on the "friendliness scale" and are generally very sociable with other dogs, other types of pets, and strangers.

I Found Some Great Christmas Items Featuring Shih Tzu

There were tree skirts, Christmas cards, mousepads, stationary, stickers and even a Christmas necktie featuring a shih tzu. Click on the link if you want to see any of them better.
There were tree skirts, Christmas cards, mousepads, stationary, stickers and even a Christmas necktie featuring a shih tzu. Click on the link if you want to see any of them better. | Source

How Many Ways Can You Spell Shih Tzu?

People see a Shih Tzu and ask "what kind of dog is that?" When they hear it is a Shih Tzu, they often want to learn more about it.

Looking on the Internet, it helps if you can spell. Here are variations that people have tried when seeking information about the Shih Tzu: schitsoo dog, shitzu, shizu dog, shitsui, shitsoo,

Training Products for your Shih Tzu Puppy

SHIH TZU DVD! + Dog & Puppy Training Bonus
SHIH TZU DVD! + Dog & Puppy Training Bonus

Great... a DVD for training your Shih Tzu... just what you were looking for.


Do You Have a Shih Tzu Puppy?

Vote in the Poll

See results

Protect Your Shih Tzu in the Car - with a safety harness

Car safety should be second nature when you have a dog in the vehicle. If your Shih Tzu isn't secured with a car harness, make sure he is confined to the back seat and take measures to prevent him from climbing on your lap or down at your feet where he could interfere with your driving.

Protect Your Car Upholstery from Your Shih Tzu - Kurgo Bench Seat Cover, Khaki

Kurgo Wander Dog Car Seat Cover, Khaki - Stain Resistant - Water-Resistant - Universal Fit
Kurgo Wander Dog Car Seat Cover, Khaki - Stain Resistant - Water-Resistant - Universal Fit

There is no getting away from it, dogs are messy! If they are not wet and muddy from a walk, they are shedding hair, and all of that transfers onto you and your clothes if you aren't careful. Cover the back seat (safest place for the dog) with this cover. If you want to see a variety of styles, click through to the Amazon link here to see more choices.


Fun Outfit for Small Dogs


Zazzle dog shirt: Shih, Tzu, Happens! 2 Pet T-shirt by itsmev

Have You Owned a Shih Tzu? - Tell us about your favorite dog (of any breed)

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    • chezchazz profile image


      5 years ago from New York

      Our shih tzu, Nietzsche, is wonderful and a wonder. He's a seizure alert dog and very good at his job! But we'd love him anyway. Great lens!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love my shih tzu... I call her munckin, coz her hair color is black and white..., :-)

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      @karMALZEKE: I'll stop by to see your lens. Thanks for visiting.

    • karMALZEKE profile image


      5 years ago

      I have a shih tzu and I think he is the BEST dog I have ever had. I am crazy about my Jack. I wrote a lens about, five good reasons to get a shihi tzu puppy. I really like your lens!

    • CoolKarma profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great page for Shih Tzu owners or aspiring owners.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have always had cats, since I was a little girl. I've never actually owned a dog. But in my old age I'm beginning to like dogs better all the time.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      6 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I once had a Shih-tzu named Star - and she was a clown indeed. A very fun loving, sweet natured dog.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      I know a little shih-tzu and she is very cuddly and also loves a good run around! She has a gorgeous coat and she loves being groomed :)

    • northwestarkansas profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I have had 3 shih-tzu's over a period 30 years. They are wonderful companions.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am new to the breed and will say that I am hooked! We got a female tzu from a puppy mill that was shut down and lo and behold she blessed us with THREE baby girls in February! We are now owned by 4 of the most adorable girls on the planet! Olivia, Sophia, Grace and Tia!

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 

      6 years ago

      They are a delight. A pair of them often visit me on my walks.

    • mel-kav profile image


      6 years ago

      Such beautiful dogs!

    • gypsykitschpres profile image


      6 years ago

      These dogs are so cute. My favorite is a Gordon Setter. We had one for 12 years and he was a sweetheart. Needless to say he passed away from old age. Very sweet, very loyal dogs.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      We have a rescue pit mix who happens to be the most loving dog we've ever known. Not pretty like the Shih Tzu, but very sweet all the same. :) (The cannister of dog bows is such a cute idea!)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've never owned a Shih Tzu but they are so adorable when someone takes the time to keep them healthy and maintained.

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 

      6 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      I love Shih Tzus!

    • wheresthekarma profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a little Shitzu myself named Oliver. He is my baby and constant companian. I type this as he is trying to lay across my arms as I'm typing.

    • chezchazz profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      My Shih Tzu is 8 months old and a joy! He's smart, adorable, and a great addition to our family.

    • queenofduvetcover profile image


      6 years ago

      I am a proud owner of a shih tzu! My shih tzu has quite a personality! She can be playful, but a little arrogant at times lol, but I love her! Thinking of getting a male shih tzu as well. Thank you for this great lens! =)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      They have the sweetest faces when they are puppies and become such wonderful friends as they mature.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My little mutt is Shih Tzu - Chihuahua mix and just about the cutest thing on Earth! we call her our "dandelion dog" (as opposed to Shih Tzus being referred to as "chrysanthemum dogs") because she looks like her stand-up, see-through hair could be all blown away with a single breath. Love your lens :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My favorite dog was a Shepard named Elliot. We used to go camping together in the wilderness country where I grew up. I was safer then safe with the friend around.

    • kathysart profile image


      6 years ago

      My little rescue doggie Maxwell is darn cute. I have heard that Shih-tzu are indeed very sweet dogs too. Angel blessed.

    • safereview profile image


      6 years ago from Kansas City

      Loved this lens! We have two dogs, both Shih Tzu mixes. A Shih Tzu/Poodle and a Shih Tzu /Sheltie... beautiful dogs!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd have to say Shih-tzu dogs are one of my favorites!

    • jeremecausing profile image

      Jereme Causing 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      so that's how you spell Shih Tzu .. they're so cute .. although they say it's difficult to feed them because the fur can get messy :D

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      6 years ago from France

      These look pretty but I couldn't do with all that grooming. We have a pointer and a very sensible dog she is too - but needs a whole lot of exercise.

    • BruceBuss profile image


      6 years ago

      I absolutely love my Shih Tzu Teddy. He is a super cool and super affectionate dog who loves to play. This is a great lens that I am choosing as my quest lens., "I brake for animals."

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      i like shih-tzu dogs, easy to maintain.

    • kislanyk profile image


      6 years ago from Cyprus

      Very sweet dogs!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      We had a great dog, Duchess, a German Shepherd, growing up, then her son became a favorite.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Although I think the shih tzus are pretty darn adorable. I'm partial to Maltese and Umbrella Cockatoos of course. : ) Thanks for sharing.

    • scrapperkare profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice lens! Though I'm not a small dog fan (our Corgi mix is a 50-pounder), the photos on this lens are so adorable, it could change my mind! ha . . .

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Grew up with dogs as a kid. Never had one through growing up years! Passed on to dog lovers and friends!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sadly I had to have my baby,well he was 15,put to sleep a year ago. He got a horrendous cancerous tumour on the bottom of his paw. Lovely Lens. Thank you for your blessings on mine

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My daughter had a black and white Shih-Tzu named Pookey. They lived with me about 9 months before we had to put him to sleep. He was the smartest, most affectionate dog. We were devastated when he had to be put to sleep. He had experienced multiple health problems during the nine months and finally developed a tumor on the liver. I still miss him.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      7 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Thank you for the info on this adorable breed. I have listed this lens as a related lens on my Shih-Tzu lens.

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh I love all kinds of doggies . . it would be too hard for me to pick just one type. Great lens!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      7 years ago from Houston

      I have two many but several years ago I lost a giant old-style Labrador Retriever named Beau who was a prince among dogs. Today I have dogs from a Mi-Ki and a Shih Tsu to a Cocker Spaniel and a Great Pyrenees. Love them all and they are all favorites.

    • Doglover5 profile image


      7 years ago

      My favourite dog has always been the collie, all my collies have been my best friend and companion, with me through thick and thin. Great lens by the way, Shih Tzu's have the cute factor.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Now I was sure I got this little sweetheart featured on my I Want A Dog lens back a few months ago, but was just looking and its not there...must have been one of those days, now featured.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Cute lens on the Shih Tzu dog breed. I recently did an article on the intelligence of dogs and the Shih Tzu came up pretty low on the list. Good thing they are so cute huh? Best wishes.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love dogs and this lens, my favorite type of dog is a Blue Great Dane, I had mine for 10 years, he passed a couple months ago I miss him.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We have Keeshond, my sister has a shih tzu named Eve, and our neighbor's shih tzu is Chloe. Lovely pictures and great reflection on your breed...the puppy bowl had a shih tzu beagle mix that was the star or MVP-most valuable puppy!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Your articles really are beautifully done. I wish mine looked half as good.

    • Amelia7410 profile image


      7 years ago

      I love Maltese, German Shepherd and Sharpie the most. But never had pure bred dogs myself, I always have mix breed dogs..

    • natashaely profile image


      7 years ago

      I love medium size dogs especially collies though I am more of a cat dog. I have never taken the time before to look at toy dogs as I thought it was just a fad by celebrities, however this is a fascinating lens and the pictures show them to be so cute, i can almost imagine getting one if I didn't know my cat would have it for breakfast (this would be true of any dog!) wonderful and informative lens! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These dogs are absolutely adorable, but until recently I was a big dog fan. Then a chihuahua happened to come into my life, and now my family and my other dog (a pit bull mix) would not part with him for the world. He is such a bundle of fun.

    • choosehappy profile image


      8 years ago from US

      My favorite dog is my little yorkie, but I sure do love those adorable little shih tzu doggies too.

      *blessed* by a squid angel;)

    • GonnaFly profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      What a delightful lens. We have another small dog, a Tenterfield terrier. Must say that I am definitely a fan of small dogs.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This dog breed is really cute, but I guess they are on the high-maintenance side. We had a doberman for a little while when growing up, we were looking after it for a friend. Well trained dog though.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These are such lovable dogs. I would like to have one.

    • KokoTravel profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm not in the market for a dog yet, but will be when I am not working so much... have thought about a Shih-tzu as a friend has one. Lovely little dog... a bit needy and they definitely need frequent baths and grooming. Honestly, hers is the sweetest little guy.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Now I hadn't considered a Shih-tzu before but you have perked up my ears here! I would love spending the time grooming and loving on one of these little guys! It sounds like you can't go wrong here ~ friendly, good with kids, small size! A nice point with these little ones don't eat much either as compared to the big guys. A well deserved Purple Star and I must lensroll to my I Want a Dog lens, Thank you!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm probably going to get a shih tzu, so this was really interesting. Thanks so much!

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      8 years ago

      I do like Jack Russel, and other terrier dogs. But I could think of going a bit bigger next time.

    • mrsm54321 profile image


      8 years ago

      How can I pick my favourite? I love them both equally :) I have a lurcher and a cairn terrier cross but previously had two Jack Russells before they sadly died.

      An excellent lens with so much information on the Shih Tzu breed in general and lovely graphics making it a pleasure to read!

      I have a few Shih Tzu designs in my zazzle store which could be of interest to Shih Tzu owners so if you are interested please visit -


    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Wonderful Lens on Shih Tzu Dogs. I have Boston Terrier Grand Pups. Little dogs are so entertaining. Congrats on your Purple Star and Giant Squid Awards Nomination! :)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      9 years ago

      Congratulations on your purple star. I love your photos and graphic elements. My dogs have all been mutts, and I hope to have a couple more someday. My cats would have to approve. Squid Angel Blessings to you.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      The lay out of this lens is fantastic. You have really put a lot of work into it! Great photos and everything. Love it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      OK - I'll admit it. Small dogs dont do much for me because I am a German Shepherd owner, but this lens is rather cute and so well put together that I am just going to have to bless it!

    • karen550 lm profile image

      karen550 lm 

      9 years ago

      I have a charcoal colored shih tzu with one white very cute. We picked him up at a shelter. Thanks for the page. It is great. Love the pictures, too.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens! You've put together a lot of helpful information here. I'd love for you to visit my lens and say hello when you have the chance.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My favorite dog was Elliot, a German Shepard that I use to camp with in an untamed wilderness. A dog I could depend on!

    • kimark421 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Lens. I am a German Shorthaired Pointer man myself, but my sons have a Shih Tzu and he's a great dog. 5 stars and Fan.

    • amandascloset0 profile image


      9 years ago

      I had a Shih Tzu Wicket for years until about a year after I married. This would have been a very lonesome time had it not been for him. He was my best freind, he's been gone for about 6 years now and sometimes I still miss him very badly. I haven't had any desire for another indoor pet since. Shih Tzu's require a huge amount of work, mainly for grooming but they are so worth it. Great lens! 5 stars!!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i used to have a min pin but now i have a shih tzu and i absolutly love her (honey)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My favorite dog was my Shih Tzu, Charlie. He was like my child and I had him for 15-1/2 years. I even made a lens about him:

    • pawpawspet profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens. My favorite dog ever was my Cocker Spaniel Baby. My new favorite are my Shih-Tzu Zorro, Suzy-Q and Cutie Pie

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 

      10 years ago

      my friend has one of it, its adorable, i prefer when it has short hair for it wont look messy. Pantherart, 6 star for you.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image


      10 years ago

      I just wanted to leave a short note to say, your lens formatting is beautiful. You do excellent work!

    • michelledurakis profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens , I had a shitzu growing up ,great dog, My favorite breed well i have two

      German Shepherd and border collie. I own both and i love them both but all dogs are

      great . I love dogs period.

    • Aquavel profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a wonderful Shih Tzu lens. I have 2 soft coated wheaten terriers and that's my favorite.

    • awakeningwellness profile image


      10 years ago

      I loved the pictures, they were so adorable! Golden Retrievers are the love of my life...I have had 7 of them and fostered several others. 5*

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love the pictures on this favorite dog is the Border Collie.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Louis... my trusty Shih Tzu friend is the best dog that I ever had. He's dying of congestive heart failure. I'm doing everything that I can to make him comfortable and happy, and I do it with pleasure. This is an awesome lens!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Right now, my dog Buddy (German Shepherd) is my favorite dog. But every dog that has been in my life has been my favorite. It is always cool to see the different personalities that each pet has.

    • XpectMore profile image


      10 years ago

      This is such an amazing and educational lens on Shih Tzus. I am such an animal lover and very strong supporter. I pet sit all sorts of dogs. And the Shih tzus have been my most favorites and most interesting. I love their temperments, manners, affection, personality, and on and on. I even have one of my own. I used to foster dogs until I could not let them go easily. The Shih Tzu that I have is a foster that I could not let go. He is mixed with Lazo. So he is a "Lots o Shitz". He is precious and now very old.

      Shih Tzus are great and wonderful doggies. There is not another bread like them. They are Unique.


    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      10 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you for including your loving little shih tzu's in the Month of Thanks Challenge.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My sister's dog Xena is a Springer with an extremely friendly bouncy personality. I unfortunately, am allergic so I can't have my own dog, but I don't mind taking the tablets when I visit Xena.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      10 years ago

      That is cool cats have rescued you! Thanks for stopping by Lucky's lens! I love this lens and am going to lensroll it to Luckys and my dogs lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      You have lots of adorable photos included. This breed is amazing.

      House Training Shih Puppies

    • JVandewalker LM profile image

      JVandewalker LM 

      10 years ago

      I love Yorkies...but my wife really wants a Shih Tzu. Got the two yorkies already...hopefully I won't buckle

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 

      10 years ago from PA

      These are the most snuggable dogs! ~Wendy

    • Rich-H profile image


      10 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Great lens! Never owned this breed, but used to have a Sealyham Terrier. An idea for a lens just came to mind...5*s

    • pmalynn profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens about a great dog. I have a Shih Tzu and they are the most lovable dogs you can have. They don't need a lot of exercise and they are so good at cuddling!

    • delia-delia profile image


      10 years ago

      I just finished a portrait of a Shih Tzu! cute as can be...5*s

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great Lens, I love dogs, I use to show and breed several breeds, lots of great information in here, 5 stars

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      10 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      We have 3 Min. Australian Sheep Dogs and just love them! I'd like to have a Shih-tzu but maybe later. 5 star lens!

    • JustAls profile image


      10 years ago

      This page is so cute!!! I really want to get a shih-tzu... I was watching one of the national dog shows the other day... these dogs are just so great. Great lens!!

    • Barkely profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by the Groups Mentor lens:) It's so cool you have a Shih-tzu lens. I have a shih-tzu named Lily, we adopted her after her previous owner didn't want her any more. She's rotten, but she's the cutest thing ever.

    • sassydiva lm profile image

      sassydiva lm 

      10 years ago

      My favorite dog is my dog Dogee (chee chee). He is a Labrador and Cocker Spaniel mix. Great Lens

    • debmc1 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens, I love dogs and am partial to beagels. Keep up the good work.


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