shih tzuThe Shih Tzu is an adorable dog breed that cam from China. It’s name means "lion" in Chinese and belongs to the toy dog group of breed categories. The Shih Tzu vaguely looks like a lion but its usually flowing mane seems to give it a somewhat similar appearance. It is also less often known as the Chrysanthemum dog as well as the Tibetan or Chinese Lion Dog.

Breed Origins

Shih Tzus have been considered as one of the oldest breeds of dogs. They originally come from China. Their presence in several ancient Chinese paintings and tapestries dating back to 624 AD have shown Shih Tzus existed for that long. They have long been considered as part of the ancient Chinese court, being the pet of choice among ancient Chinese royalty. Shih Tzus even then were already bred with great care. 

Appearance and Size

The Shih Tzu is a small but sturdy with its body slightly longer than its height. The average Shih Tzu stands between 8 to 10 inches high from the shoulders and weighs an average of 9 to 16 pounds. The Shih Tzu is known for its characteristically long and flowing double coat. Their coat can be so dense that it may require daily care.

The Shih Tzu generally has a rounded head, a slightly pushed in face, a short nose and with a hairy muzzle. The hair in most breeds can be so long that they are usually tied on top of the head as a topknot. Their eyes are usually large and round and wide set.


Shih Tzus are bred to become pets although they can be very intelligent. This breed is known for being lively and playful although at first sight, people may see them as proud and arrogant. Shih Tzus are actually very friendly, sociable and gentle.

Home and Relations

Shih Tzus are considered as indoor dogs. They can adapt to family situations and easily get along with other people. It is gentle enough to be safe around small children although its lively attitude can make it a bit mischievous sometimes. They make excellent companions for small children. Shih Tzus can be quite patient with kids especially when playing dress up. They are also loyal companions even for older people.

Health and Care

Shih Tzus are considered as the least delicate of toy dogs. They are strong and sturdy enough to withstand less than ideal treatment. Shih Tzus are also sensitive to high temperatures, partly because of their flowing double coat. Shih Tzus also require more than the usual grooming for dogs with regular hair brushing and hair cuts to keep them prim and proper.