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Also Known As
Little Lion
Area of Origin
Breed Birthday
8000 B.C.
Breed Type
Personality Traits
Lively, Friendly, Trusting, Affectionate
Related Breeds
Silky Terrier, Pekingese, Havanese, Pomeranian, Chinese Crested
Best Breeds For
Almost anyone with a lap. Families of toddlers might want to wait a few more years because the Shih Tzu’s small size can put it at risk with young kids.
Training a Shih Tzu can be amusing and frustrating. Stick with your training and remember that praise works better than punishment with the people-pleasing Shih Tzu.
Either works great. A Shih Tzu is happy as long as he’s with his family and gets a short walk every day.

Breed Popularity

Labrador Retriever
Shih Tzu
Golden Retriever
German Shepherd Dog
Based on DogVacay data

Top Shih Tzu Name

Based on DogVacay data
History of Shih Tzu


No one is sure exactly how the Shih Tzu made its way to China, but there’s evidence that Shih Tzu were there as early as 8,000 B.C. By 1400 A.D., the Shih Tzu was the royal palace pet of the Ming Dynasty. After nearly going extinct at the beginning of the 1900s, several Shih Tzu were brought to England in the 1930s. Shih Tzu first made their way to the States after World War I, when soldiers returning from Europe and Australia brought a few back with them.
Facts about Shih Tzu

Good To Know

They’ll bark when something’s up but will settle down quickly once they’ve got it sorted out and they aren’t yappy at all. You’ll also sometimes hear them breathing because they have a short muzzle.
Shih Tzu health and care

Health & Care

Height: 8” to 11” at the shoulder
Weight: 9 to 16 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
On the whole, they don’t really like the heat and aren’t very good swimmers, but they are generally healthy lap dogs. As with all breeds, some Shih Tzu have health issues like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or eye disease. One rare health problem to watch out for is juvenile renal dysplasia, which is a condition that occurs when a puppy’s kidneys don’t develop properly.
Shih Tzu personality


They’ve been bred for centuries not just for their beautiful silky coats, but as phenomenal companions. A Shih Tzu’s idea of a great night is chilling together on the couch. After all, they don’t hunt birds, herd cattle, or pull sleds, they’re just built to love their families.

Top Shih Tzu DogVacay Hosts

Jay V.
2 miles from you
6 Reviews
Why Jay is a great sitter:
Nicole N.
4 miles from you
24 Reviews
Why Nicole is a great sitter:
Kaitlin W.
2.9 miles from you
Why Kaitlin is a great sitter:
Remember, adopting is always an option, even if you’re looking for a particular breed (or a classic mutt). If you can rescue a pup and give him a loving home, why not? There are breed-specific rescues all around the country. Search for rescues near you here.
Our sitters love all dogs, no matter what breed, age, or size!
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