About Breed

Available Pets

Weight: 9–16 pounds

Height: 8–11 inches

Clubs, Registries & Associations

  • American Canine Association
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • Universal Kennel Club International
  • American Kennel Club
  • United All Breed Registry
  • America's Pet Registry, Inc.
  • United Kennel Club

(Based on breed recognition. See store for details on this particular puppy.)

Group

Toy

Heritage

The Shih Tzu is an ancient breed with skeletal remains found in human communities as far back as 10,000 years ago. The Shih Tzu is thought to be a cross between the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese.

Description

Small, up to 11” at the shoulders, weighing anywhere from 9-16 pounds. The Shih Tzu is a sturdy dog in a small package with a long, double coat that comes in colors of gold, white, red, black, liver, liver and white, black mask gold, black and white, blue and white, brindle and white, silver and white and occasionally a blue.

Health Awareness

The Shih Tzu has a life expectancy of 15+ years and is prone to back diseases, ear infections, respiratory challenges, and teeth problems.

Personality

The Shih Tzu is alert, courageous, active, curious and clever little dog. Your Shih Tzu will want to cuddle and snuggle with you, being truly happy to get your affection. They are not pushovers, though, and will stand up for themselves if confronted. You need to be a calm, knowledgeable, and humane owner giving consistent and committed leadership to your Shih Tzu using only motivational training methods.

Exercise/Energy Level

The Shih Tzu requires a daily walk with off-leash play and running in a safe, fenced area. They also need mental stimulation so be sure to provide your Shih Tzu with plenty of interactive toys that challenge their problem-solving skills. This breed does not do well in warm temperatures due to the brachycephalic muzzle. Be sure to get your veterinarian’s permission before exercising your Shih Tzu in warm temperatures.

Additional Information

 Grooming Requirements:   Requires daily brushing and professional grooming.
 Coat: Long
 Shedding: Little to no shedding
 Hypoallergenic: Yes
 Apartment Living: Good for apartment living if given sufficient exercise
 Lap Dog: Yes
 Good With Children: Good with children when well socialized at an early age; may be best with older children who understand how to safely handle a small dog.
 Good With Other Pets: Good with other dogs and non-canine pets when socialized at an early age

General Appearance

The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert toy dog with long flowing double coat. Befitting his noble Chinese ancestry as a highly valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu is proud of bearing, has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation, the Shih Tzu must be compact, solid, carrying good weight and substance. Even though a toy dog, the Shih Tzu must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Shih Tzu as in any other breed, regardless of whether or not such faults are specifically mentioned in the standard.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size - Ideally, height at withers is 9 to 10½ inches; but, not less than 8 inches nor more than 11 inches. Ideally, weight of mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds. Proportion - Length between withers and root of tail is slightly longer than height at withers. The Shih Tzu must never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. Substance - Regardless of size, the Shih Tzu is always compact, solid and carries good weight and substance.

Head

Head - Round, broad, wide between eyes, its size in balance with the overall size of dog being neither too large nor too small. Fault: Narrow head, close-set eyes. Expression - Warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting. An overall well-balanced and pleasant expression supersedes the importance of individual parts. Care should be taken to look and examine well beyond the hair to determine if what is seen is the actual head and expression rather than an image created by grooming technique. Eyes - Large, round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very dark. Lighter on liver pigmented dogs and blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Small, close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white. Ears - Large, set slightly below crown of skull; heavily coated. Skull - Domed. Stop - There is a definite stop. Muzzle - Square, short, unwrinkled, with good cushioning, set no lower than bottom eye rim; never downturned. Ideally, no longer than 1 inch from tip of nose to stop, although length may vary slightly in relation to overall size of dog. Front of muzzle should be flat; lower lip and chin not protruding and definitely never receding. Fault: Snipiness, lack of definite stop. Nose - Nostrils are broad, wide, and open. Pigmentation - Nose, lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except liver on liver pigmented dogs and blue on blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims. Bite - Undershot. Jaw is broad and wide. A missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth should not be too severely penalized. Teeth and tongue should not show when mouth is closed. Fault: Overshot bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

Of utmost importance is an overall well-balanced dog with no exaggerated features. Neck - Well set-on flowing smoothly into shoulders; of sufficient length to permit natural high head carriage and in balance with height and length of dog. Topline - Level. Body -Short-coupled and sturdy with no waist or tuck-up. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall. Fault: Legginess. Chest -Broad and deep with good spring-of-rib, however, not barrel-chested. Depth of ribcage should extend to just below elbow. Distance from elbow to withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground. Croup - Flat. Tail - Set on high, heavily plumed, carried in curve well over back. Too loose, too tight, too flat, or too low set a tail is undesirable and should be penalized to extent of deviation.

Forequarters

Shoulders - Well-angulated, well laid-back, well laid-in, fitting smoothly into body. Legs - Straight, well-boned, muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set close to body. Pasterns - Strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws - May be removed. Feet - Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.

Hindquarters

Angulation of hindquarters should be in balance with forequarters. Legs - Well-boned, muscular, and straight when viewed from rear with well-bent stifles, not close set but in line with forequarters. Hocks - Well let down, perpendicular. Fault: Hyperextension of hocks. Dewclaws - May be removed. Feet - Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.

Coat

Coat - Luxurious, double-coated, dense, long, and flowing. Slight wave permissible. Hair on top of head is tied up. Fault: Sparse coat, single coat, curly coat. Trimming - Feet, bottom of coat, and anus may be done for neatness and to facilitate movement. Fault: Excessive trimming.

Color and Markings

All are permissible and to be considered equally.

Temperament

As the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a companion and house pet, it is essential that its temperament be outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting towards all.

Interesting To Know

  • The name Shih Tzu translates as Lion Dog