Breed At A Glance: Shih Tzu - Wagr Petcare

    Breed At A Glance: Shih Tzu

    Shih Tzu

    Shih Tzu Breed Overview

    • Lifespan: 10-18 years
    • Size: Small (Toy breed)
    • Maintenance Level: High due to grooming needs
    • Shed Level: Low
    • Temperament: Active, Friendly, Affectionate
    • Friendliness: High
    • Coat Colours: Varied, often in shades of black, white, brown

    Best For:

    • Families or individuals seeking a companion dog
    • Owners willing to invest time in regular grooming


    • Compact and solid build, typically weighing 9–16 pounds
    • Long, flowing hair coat, often styled or trimmed
    • Distinctive flat face with an underbite and expressive eyes
    • Height averages around 10 inches


    • Pleasant, social, and enjoys being around people and other animals
    • Alert but not typically used as a working dog in modern times

    Care Guide:

    • Grooming: High maintenance due to long hair; requires regular brushing and professional grooming
    • Training: Responsive, benefits from early socialisation
    • Diet & Nutrition: Balanced diet, monitoring for obesity
    • Exercise: Moderate; enjoys walks and play, needs less than 30 minutes of exercise daily
    • Ideal Environment: Adaptable to various living situations, preferably indoors


    • Common health issues include obesity, luxating patellas, periodontal disease, hip dysplasia, eye problems, liver shunts, ear infections, glomerulonephropathy, brachycephalic syndrome

    Nutritional Considerations:

    • Watch for overfeeding to avoid obesity
    • May benefit from supplements like omega fatty acids and dental chews

    Behaviour & Training Tips:

    • Naturally sociable, playful, and intelligent
    • Trained easily with rewards and positive reinforcement
    • Good with children and other pets when socialised early

    Grooming Guide:

    • Coat Care: Requires frequent grooming; weekly bathing and brushing
    • Eye Care: Regular cleaning to prevent irritation
    • Ear Care: Check and clean regularly to prevent infections

    Considerations for Pet Parents:

    • Ideal for those who enjoy a close bond with their pet and can dedicate time to grooming
    • Not suitable for outdoor living due to their brachycephalic nature and grooming needs
    • Good for apartment living and families with children
    • Good for Allergy Sufferers: Often considered hypoallergenic due to low shedding
    • Ideal Environment: Thrives in a loving, indoor environment with regular human interaction

    Curious to know more? Check out our Shih Tzu guide!

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