Height: 8-11 inches
Weight: 9-16 lbs.
Life Span: 12-14 yrs.
Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Shih Tzus are outgoing, happy, and affectionate companions that respond
well to gentle obedience training. They love children, and get along with
other animals and strangers. These small lapdogs are well suited to apartment
The luxurious double coat is long, dense, and flowing, sometimes with a
slight wave. Hair on top of the head is customarily tied up not only to
enable the dog to see and to prevent eye infections, but also to be fashionable.
All colors and markings are seen; the most common are black and white, gray
and white, and tan and white. The heavily coated ears hang down, and the
densely plumed tail curves well over the back.
Grooming & Exercise Needs
This breed must be brushed and combed daily to avoid severe matting. Most
Shih Tzus are satisfied with a daily walk around the block and an occasional
Over the centuries, depictions of this breed have appeared on Chinese carvings,
embroideries, and other art objects. They were valued companions in Imperial
It is especially important to obtain a Shih Tzu from a reputable breeder.
Breed-related health concerns: congenital kidney problems, eye problems,
hypertrophic pyloric gastropathy (a thickening of the junction of stomach
and small intestine resulting in obstruction and vomiting), von Willebrand's
disease (common disorder that causes excessive bleeding during or after
Reference: AKC - American Kennel Club