Shih Tzu – Your pint-sized companion

If you are looking for an energetic, affectionate and friendly dog then look no further than the Shih Tzu. The word Shih Tzu is a Chinese term for ‘lion’. Also known as the Chinese Lion dog, the Shih Tzu is an ancient breed that has been existing since 600 AD.

They are obedient and intelligent dogs. Their sunny and happy temperament make them all the more endearing.


Shih Tzu is a toy breed. It stands from 9 to 10 ½ inches but never less than 8 or more than 11 inches. They weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. The most attractive thing about a shih tzu is their long double coat, that comprises of a thick woolly undercoat and a long silky topcoat. Their long coat falls to the ground and their tail curls at the back.

Since they have a long coat they require regular grooming. Some get their hair trimmed for easy maintenance. Pet parents can even try their hand at making creative hairdos by tying their hair in ribbons or bows.

They may be of any colour seen in dogs, but a white tip on their tail and a blaze on their forehead should be noticeable in a pure shih tzu breed.


The Shih Tzu has its roots in China and is a very old breed that has been existing from 624 AD. The breed was developed by crossing small Tibetan breeds with miniature Chinese breeds, particularly the Lhasa Apsos with the Pekingese.

Shih Tzu is one of the most popular toy breed who make good companions, are extroverted, gregarious and dignified. They are very social and affectionate.


Shih Tzu in Mandarin means ‘little lion’. But these tiny buggers are anything but fierce! This breed is ideally suited for families, singletons and make good companions for elderly people. Since they are a small breed they can live in any sized home, from an apartment to an estate.

Apart from looking very adorable, Shih Tzus are also well behaved and easy to train.

Activity requirements

Shih Tzus are not a very active and outdoors sort of a dog. A short walk around the neighbourhood or a quick play in your garden or the park are quite enough to meet their daily exercise requirements. Their small size makes them an ideal choice for people staying in apartments or condominiums. But they can also be equally happy in a large mansion or a huge estate.


Shih Tzus can be stubborn and will not be willing to learn unless they are given suitable rewards. Training must begin at an early age. The sessions must be short, with new activities to ensure they never get bored. Lots of praises and treats will motivate a Shih Tzu to learn a new trick.

Housetraining a shih tzu can take about six to eight months, depending on the dog.

Behavioural traits

Shih Tzus are excellent watch dogs. They are alert and aware. They will bark at anyone who approach your home. However, if they are not properly trained they can be barking for no reason and this may go out of control. So, training should begin at an early age and you must include lesson on obeying commands to stop the unnecessary barking.

So, if you are looking for a small sized four-legged companion then Shih Tzus are an ideal choice. They are good watchdogs and very friendly. They are also very trusting and can live anywhere from a poky flat to a palatial estate!

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