Everything You Need to Know About the Majestic Shih Tzu Breed

With a rich history and undeniable charm, the Shih Tzu breed captivates hearts through its regal manner and enchanting aura. Originating from ancient China, these majestic furbabies have long held a special place in the hearts of emperors and nobility. In modern times, the Shih Tzu remains popular, enchanting dog lovers from all over the world.

Let's take a fun and interesting journey to learn all about the history and special qualities of this awesome breed! Read on to dig deep and find out what makes this small dog breed so unique and loved.

shih tzu dog breeds

History of Shih Tzus 

Originating from China, the Shih Tzu breed, which translates to "lion dog," was a treasured companion of emperors and other esteemed individuals. The Chinese believed that these small dogs possessed a royal image similar to that of lions. 

These small and adorable dogs were like the superstars of the imperial family. They lived like royalty, dressed up in fancy outfits, and their owners took them everywhere. Back in the day, people thought that having a Shih Tzu brought them good luck, and wealth and attracted positive energy.  

The Shih Tzu dog breed has gained immense popularity not only in native China but also globally. In modern times, these adorable creatures have captivated the affection of dog enthusiasts with their classic style and timeless charm, they have been cherished as beloved family pets for generations until the present day.

shih tzu characteristics

Shih Tzu's Physical Characteristics 

The Shih Tzu is a remarkable small dog breed recognized for its distinct characteristics. With its strong and compact build, this double-coated dog effortlessly exudes elegance and grace.  

The Shih Tzu breed has a one-of-a-kind shaped head that’s a little flat and round. Their short and turned-up nose makes their appearance even more unique. They also have huge, dark eyes that are expressive, friendly, and curious. 

Shih Tzus are notable for their double coat. It's made up of a long, dense outer layer and a soft, woolly undercoat. Their hair can grow long and often drags on the ground, which makes it easier for Shih Tzus to have different grooming styles. With their fancy solid-colored coats or wild mixes of colors, they remain one of the most eye-catching and charming dog breeds. 

shih tzu behavior

Shih Tzu's Behavior and Traits

The Shih Tzu breed is characterized by its playful nature. Although small in size, these dogs possess lively and energetic behavior. They love engaging in interactive playtimes with their owners, making them ideal companions for families with children.

These furry little dogs are deeply affectionate and form a strong bond with their owner. They love cuddling, spending time on laps, and simply being in the company of others. Those lucky enough to share their lives with one of these adorable creatures will testify to the comfort, warmth, and joy that Shih Tzus brings.

Another defining trait of Shih Tzus’ personality is its cleverness. Despite their royal and sometimes headstrong attitude, they are remarkably quick learners. So, if you want to know to to train a Shih Tzu, it’s great to know that they are clever breeds that can easily understand commands and tricks.

Shih Tzus also possesses an exceptional trait of adaptability. They can comfortably adjust to different living environments. Their adaptability to various lifestyles makes them a versatile breed, whether you're a single individual, a couple, a family with children, or a senior looking for a devoted companion.

how to take care of shih tzu

How to Take Care of Your Shih Tzu 

The average lifespan of Shih Tzu ranges from 10 to 16 years. To ensure a happy and healthy life for your Shih Tzu, it is crucial to provide comprehensive care that encompasses grooming, feeding, exercise, and veterinary attention. Here are some essential tips to guide you in caring for your beloved pet:


Every dog and every coat are different, but for Shih Tzus, it’s recommended to groom them every four to six weeks. Regular brushing is also needed to prevent their coat from matting and tangling. You can schedule professional grooming sessions to keep their coat trimmed, well-maintained, and looking their best. Just ask your groomer for the best Shih Tzu grooming style or cut.


Small toy breeds like Shih Tzus should have a nutritious and well-rounded diet. Feed adult Shih Tzus at least three times a day. Shih Tzu pups, on the other hand, may need four meals a day. 

Remember to provide your dog with food tailored to their unique and specific needs. There are dog food recipes made specifically for Shih Tzu puppies and adults like Royal Canin’s Shih Tzu dog food. 

Don’t forget to regularly monitor their weight and make necessary adjustments to their diet to prevent obesity and keep them at a healthy weight for their size. Always provide your dog with fresh, clean water to ensure its hydration needs are met.

how to train a shih tzu

Exercise Tips

Engage in daily walks with your Shih Tzu dog to satisfy their exercise requirements and maintain their overall well-being. Have interactive play sessions in their routine, like fetch or using puzzle toys to provide mental stimulation and encourage physical activity. Remember that small dogs are more prone to overexertion, so keep an eye on your Shih Tzue up and take breaks as needed. 

Essential Vet Care

Aside from regular grooming, dental care, plenty of exercise, and a healthy diet, Shih Tzus also needs regular veterinary check-ups as preventive care for diseases and health conditions. Ensure they receive regular vaccinations, effective flea and tick prevention, and proper dental care.

royal canin shih tzu puppy

The Takeaway

The Shih Tzu breed holds a special place in the world of canines, carrying a rich and captivating history. These dogs are not only visually striking with their distinctive physical characteristics, but their delightful temperament makes them cherished companions. To provide the best care for a Shih Tzu, understanding and meeting their needs in areas such as grooming and exercise is of utmost importance.

These kingly creatures deserve the best, and with proper care, they will bring charm and affection to your home for many years. To help you provide your beloved Shih Tzus the best care they deserve, Pet Express offers a curated selection of products that are carefully chosen to enhance the lives of Shih Tzus. At Pet Express, you can shop for essential pet products for a royal breed including the best dog food for Shih Tzu, dog leash, and more.

Visit the nearest Pet Express store or browse our collection of pet products online. Explore more tips and guides on taking care of your beloved pets here.


Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy Shih Tzu Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Food 

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult Shih Tzu Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Food

Doggo Easy Clean Slicker Pet Brush

Doggo Easy Clean Slicker Pet Brush



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