Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small, lively dog with a luxurious long straight coat that can grow down to the floor. The Shih Tzu is thought to have originated from Tibet, and then developed in China. The Shih Tzu is also commonly known as the Chrysanthemum Dog and forms part of the utility group of dogs.

Shih Tzu Breed Group


Size of the Shih Tzu


Colour Varieties of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu comes in a wide variety of colours and markings including:

  • Black & White
  • Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • Gold & White
  • Gold Brindle
  • Gold Brindle & White
  • Gold With Black Mask
  • Grey & White
  • Solid Black
  • Solid Gold 

Size and weight of the Shih Tzu

Height bitch 20-28cms

Height dog 20-28cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 4-7.25kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 4-7.25kgs

Exercise requirements of the Shih Tzu

Low. The Shih Tzu only requires up to an hour of exercise every day, making it an ideal choice of dog breed for the older or less active pet owner. The Shih Tzu can live happily in an apartment or city as long as its exercise requirements are met.

Shih Tzu Temperament, socialisation with children, other dogs and other pets

The Shih Tzu breed is a generally confident dog for its size and has a stubborn and determined temperament. The Shih Tzu can be nippy, so not an ideal dog for families with small children.

Is the Shih Tzu a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, but potential owners should be aware of the demanding grooming involved in keeping this breed in good condition.

Shih Tzu coat length

Long. The Shih Tzu has a long silky coat that can grow to the ground if not trimmed.

Grooming requirements of the Shih Tzu

High. The coat requires daily brushing with a soft slicker brush or comb to keep the coat matt and tangle free.


Yes. The Shih Tzu does not shed fur, so may be a suitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a fairly hardy dog, but the following health problems have been found in the breed:

  • Breathing problems
  • Hyperthyroidism

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Shih Tzu

A healthy Shih Tzu should expect to enjoy a lifespan of around 10-16 years.

Estimating how much a Shih Tzu would need to be fed each day

A bitch or dog weighing 5kgs will require around 123gms of complete dry food daily. The estimated weekly cost of feeding a 5kgs bitch or dog is around £3.50

Our figures are based on feeding a slightly ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket on the high street.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies.

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment