Owning A Shih Tzu

Owning A Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu’s are a breed very close to my heart. I was lucky enough to share my life with two Shih Tzu cross breeds called Holly and Alfie. Sadly, they are no longer around but feature heavily in this Waggy Tales blog. In fact, it was Alfie’s death that prompted me to start writing about dogs back in 2017. Holly lived to eighteen years old and she was my soul mate and constant companion. She was by my side through some tough times and I still think about her everyday.

I wanted to write about the Shih Tzu breed, but admit I am a little biased! However, I will point out both the pros and cons of owning a Shih Tzu, to give a complete picture.

Shih Tzu


The Shih Tzu or ‘Lion Dog’ were originally bred as lapdogs for Chinese Emperors. They were kept hidden behind Palace walls for centuries, only becoming known to the outside world in the 1930’s.

It is believed that the first Shih Tzu was a cross between the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese.

Shih Tzu’s were once known as ‘chrysanthemum dogs’ due to the way the fur grows in a circle around the face.


Shih Tzu’s are a healthy breed and can live up to eighteen years. Their thick  coats and short muzzle’s mean that they have a tendency to over heat in hot weather. Breeders should do screening on puppies to rule out knee, hip and eye conditions.

They are known as a Brachycephalic breed, which applies to dogs with  flat faces and short muzzles.

You can read more about  health problems of Brachycephalic breeds here

They belong to the ‘toy group’ and grow to a height of around 10 inches and weigh under 16 pounds.

Shih Tzu


Owning a Shih Tzu will require regular grooming. Their long, thick fur needs daily brushing or a visit to the groomers every six to eight weeks for a trim. Many owners choose to keep the fur short with longer ears and tail. This is much easier to maintain and keeps the dog cool in hot temperatures.

They have double coats which grow continuously and are minimal shedders.


These small, sociable dogs  were bred to be companions, and love nothing better than being constantly at their owners side. They are good with children and other dogs and adapt well to apartment living. This devoted breed needs an owner to be around for most of the time and enjoy short daily walks.

They love to play and will keep you amused for hours witnessing their great zest for life, which is infectious!

It’s a pleasure every morning to wake up to such happy, excited faces, eager to start the day.

Shih Tzu puppies

Shih Tzu’s are known to be hard to house train. In my experience the male dog was easy to train, the female took much longer. However, once training was complete they were exceptionally clean and there were never accidents in the home.

This breed loves to please so positive reinforcement training works well. Plenty of toys will keep them amused and reduce the chance of their mischievious character emerging. My dogs loved small plush toys and kongs filled with a tasty treat.

They are protective of their owners and have a tendency to bark.

Holly and Alfie

More About My Dogs

About Alfie

About Holly


Recommended Dog Toys For Shih Tzu’s

Conclusion – Owning A Shih Tzu

  • Happy, playful and intelligent dogs who are devoted to their owner.
  • Need regular grooming.
  • Good with children and other dogs
  • Need someone around most of the time.
  • Can be difficult to house train, but respond well to positive reinforcement training.

Breeds Similar To Shih Tzu

Maltese Dog Breeds

Yorkshire Terrier

Chihuahua puppy


Are you a Shih Tzu lover?

 Tell us in the comments about your Shih Tzu’s, I would love to hear more!

*post contains affiliate links.

One thought on “Owning A Shih Tzu

Add yours

Leave a Reply


Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: