About Breeds

The Lovable Shih-Tzu

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Many people worldwide consider the loveable Shih-Tzu breed to be the best small dog to own. A very strong case can be made for this statement because of all the great qualities this breed exhibits. Let’s take a deeper look into why so many dog owners feel this way concerning the Shih-Tzu.

The Shih-Tzu breed hails from China. While it is uncertain, the common consensus among those who trace the origins of dog breeds, believe the Shih-Tzu originated in Tibet. From this isolated nation the breed began showing up in the Chinese city of Peking. Because of the breeds elegant appearance and regal bearing the Shih-Tzu soon became the preferred dog of the Chinese Imperial family and rulers. Because this dog breed was so secretly guarded by Chinese royalty, nations in the western part of the world only began learning of the breed in the early 1930’s. Since this time the breed has grown in demand and popularity worldwide.

Officially included in 1946 by the British AKC, and 1969 by the American AKC in the Toy Group, this breed makes the perfect pet for those who live in small homes and apartments. The breed grows to a height of about eleven inches tall and weighs between nine and fifteen pounds.

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  1. Avatar Of Carolyn Mcgraw

    Carolyn Mcgraw


    I have one of the best dogs in the world! His name is Buddy, he’s 8 years old and is a rescue Shih Tzu. I bought him as a companion for my husband who got to enjoy Buddy for one month before passing away. Buddy has been such a joy in my life! He cuddles with me in my easy chair and sleeps with me in bed. He is a fierce watch dog, but is your best friend if you rub his belly. He is such a picky eater that he drives me to distraction sometimes. I previously had 3 miniature Schnauzers—all with distinctly different personalities. All of them were very frisky. Buddy is frisky once in a while, not often. Taking Buddy for a walk is so funny—he has to stop every 5 seconds to smell everything! He is the perfect companion for me because we both love to take naps, sleep late in the morning and go easy on the exercise. Buddy is the perfect dog!

  2. Avatar Of Kel



    I have a 3 yr old Male, his name is Bear… Thats what this guy is, he is loyal protecting and fun. This guy rides on a scooter with me everyday, i can take him into any situation and he will trust. hHe loves any of my friends because of the way i greet them, if my voice is in distress look out he would take on a Bear, and win.. Love u Bud.

  3. Avatar Of Marta Zobeniak

    Marta Zobeniak


    My Shih-tzu Tina is a one year old. She’s clever (at only up to 5-6 months she learned cues such as: sit / stay / lay down / wait / come / sit pretty / roll over / high five / paw / speak). In spite of her stubborn streak, it takes only a couple of minutes to teach her new tricks. She’s a true joy to play and cuddle with. Friendly and personable, she would greet almost every stranger (kids especially) and dog during our walks. Keeps her distance from bulldogs and yappy yorkies. A true-blue companion.

  4. Avatar Of Sean



    I am not a dog person. Wait… I WAS not a dog person. My wife and daughter called me to see Frankie, who they wanted to buy via Petsmart but probably from a puppy mill. I thought, barking, peeing, chewing… what are we getting into? I had imagined this breed as a yapping annoyance. Well…

    I saw this little guy, and he literally hugged me and tried to lick my face. He was just a bundle of happy goodness. I couldn’t resist the urgings and relented. He was our problem now.

    Not so. Now, he is a fluffy, integral part of the family. He did require consistent discipline. He had many accidents with the pee pad and with poo but these have tapered off after a year and can be pretty much avoided if he gets regular walks. He only barks when you are playing with him and rarely, if he hears something out of context. Not consistent, just an alert bark. And he does not chew things since we let him know early on this was bad.

    But he is so much fun! Active, energetic, alert, docile, playful, super fast, and loving. He loves fetch and tug of war, to the point of addiction. He meets all newcomers enthusiastically, with a waggy tail. He has so many expressions with the eyes, ears, tilted head… and he goes everywhere with us. He has to be in the drivers seat though. He is a lap dog, loves to be picked up, and follows you everywhere because he has to know what’s going ON! And yes, I love Frankie, and yes, I am now a dog person.

  5. Avatar Of Bjruffin



    Forgot to mention Maddy is potty trained and will only use it on newspaper, which is put where she can see it. I must admit she is very spoiled!
    Thanks again, Bj

  6. Avatar Of Bjruffin



    My little Madison is two and will be three on February 24. I love her so much. She requires lots of love and attention. I am in a situation where I have to work two jobs. Therefore, I can’t be with Maddy as required. Anyone interested in loving my little Maddy by giving her a good home and attention email me. My email address is [email protected].

    Thank you!

  7. Avatar Of Carol Rommel

    Carol Rommel


    We have 2 great Shih Tzu. Both are girls, Emily and Chrissy. They were both adopted through rescue and both were in a puppy mill. We lost our Golden Retriever at age 14 1/2 and had her as a pup. Since we are getting older we thought smaller dog would be more appropriate for us. Chrissy must have been very abused and she is afraid of everyone except me. It took her 2 years before going to my husband but now gives him kisses before bed every night. Emily is the protector and barks at everyone that goes buy and all the other dogs, cats, deer in the yard. The only problem we have with both the girls is the peeing in the house, if I put them in a crate all day they are fine and can’t wait to get out when we come home from work. I hate to put them in a crate because they were stuck in one most of their lives. I have tried puppy pads and they just chew them up. They are the most loving little things but I need a little advise on the training. We both work all day 5 days a week. I love having 2 little critters running around as they keep each other company and they truly love each other. And, they don’t shed very much at all.

  8. Avatar Of Dee Cummins

    Dee Cummins


    I came across this site from a post on FB. I cried as I read these. Right now I have my second Shih Tzu lying next to me. I lost my first in August of 2003 and her brother, a chocolate American Cocker in November of 2003. He was a wonderful companion.

    I was so grief stricken, getting another dog was the last thing on my mind. God told me to check petfinders.com. I found a group of 4 sisters, who were only on the site for a few hours. I had missed the time line, but submitted anyway. The woman who did the rescue called me to tell me I was too late, but wanted to interview me. I didn’t have a fenced in yard, so that kicked me to the curb right away. I got a call on December 14th to tell me that after interviewing me, she knew she had a perfect match for both of us. She said to come pick her up on the 20th of December.
    When I got there, 2 puppies had already met their owners. I asked where mine was and she pointed to the kennel, where clear in the back was a little one hiding. I said I didn’t want her, I wanted one of the others. The rescuer said that I did want this one, that Avery and I were perfect for each other. It was notlove at first sight but she and my friends said to give it a few days. On the 3.5 hour ride home, she crawled up on my shoulders, snuggled into the back of my neck and peed on me! That really made me fearful. By the time we ended our trip, I was head over heels with her. She is the love of my life. She was named Avery, like an aviator,
    Because she was the first and bravest to explore anything. She has been with me through the passings of my sister and father, many trying times. I regired in Auvust and realized, I would of nevermade it without her. Like everyone’s, she does what she wants on her own time, when I come home she greets me at the door thrilled to see me, loves to lay in the sun, just to be outside, go bye-bye perks her ears and cocks her head. Everyone loves her, she knows no strangers. And guess what? We are a perfect match. We are both the oldest of 4 girls, she has lost a sister, I am bullheaded, I love to e outside, tanning my belly. I love to go for rides, and I am just as happy to see her. She gets kisses and hugs every day. Her name? It is Abby Jo, short for Abigial Grace…translated into “a father’s love”. God knew!

  9. Avatar Of Rita Potenza

    Rita Potenza


    IWe love our Shih Tzu. Our 2 passed away last year one in Aug. and thee other in Nov. Mia chew, and Chew Bear they had many babies love them so much but we can’t seem to find any other . We live in N. Mexico .Northern New Mexico have girls in Albuquerque. If any one has 1 or 2 one to 5 please contact us .575-377-3658 getting desperate. I read all your stories and very jealious.
    Thank you so much.

  10. Avatar Of Bill Trewyn

    Bill Trewyn


    My wife and I have a five year old Shih Tzu “Sally”. She is a real sweetheart, the word stranger does not fit in her vocabulary. If someone new happens to walk by, she runs to them as if to say “Hi, I’m Sally, I’m in town for a while so come on over. We also have a male cat that Sally raised from a kitten. She is truly amazing, and I would definitely recommend the breed. But you can’t have Sally.

  11. Avatar Of Cindy Cindy says:

    I have my third shih Tzu, Bentley Bear. He is a delight. Wouldn’t have any other breed!!!

  12. Avatar Of Terri



    I own a Shi-Tzu. He is the love of my life! He is 13 yrs old now, & his name is Snookums! He has been the best dog I have ever owned. I would recommend to anybody ,to get a Shi-Tzu. I will get another one or two when he goes to doggy heaven!

  13. Avatar Of Wanda Mello

    Wanda Mello


    Over the years of my adult life I have had three Shih Tzus and two litters of Shih Tzu puppies. All of them were lovable and special. Penny was the queen of the house who would knock down the couch pillows in order to make a throne for herself. Gizmo was the fearless dad who would have nursed his babies if he could have done so and he lived to be 18 years old. At the moment we have Flossie who loves to have her belly rubbed and is the best friend of our St. Bernard Clifford. Of all the breeds we have owned the Shih Tzu is my favorite! They are not really dogs, but are “fur-persons who are love in fur”!

  14. Avatar Of Sharon Cimino

    Sharon Cimino


    I volunteer for a Shih Tzu rescue and would encourage anyone who is interested in having a great dog in their life consider rescue. It is hard to imagine that such a gentle and lovable breed would ever be in need of a loving home. Our dogs come from owner turn-ins, shelters where they are found as strays and puppy mills. This resilient breed responds well to love and will be one of the best things you ever do for yourself. But please do your homework and if you are not going to include him/her in your pack, don’t get a dog, especially a Tzu.

  15. Avatar Of Krystle



    My shihtzu is Romeo . He is the love of my life. Everyone that sees Him thinks he is a girl cause he is beautiful.when they find out he is really a boy they say he is gorgeous. Someone wanted to use him as a stud but I told them he is neutered. I am ready too get another one hopefully a female. I just love them.

  16. Avatar Of Susan susan says:

    I have 2 boys Charlie and Buster. They are what keep me going. every day when I wake up Buster is there happy its another day. Charlie is like me and takes a while to get going in the am. then the day begins they are there every minute and Always a pleasure even when they get into trouble.I love them so .would not give them up for anything have them in my will.

  17. Avatar Of Sue Tinsley

    Sue Tinsley


    After my husband died, I would wake each morning under a Shih Tzu blanket…I have three! The little one would sleep in his slipper while I was at work. My guys are very rough and tumble! They chase each other around the yard like maniacs every morning, waking the neighborhood. My boy loves to roll in the rocks for a good scratching then lays on his back for a good belly sunning! They love to ride in the car and go anywhere on the leash. They love hiking! I finally had to resort to a bark collar on my oldest female because her barking was so bad, she is very demanding! She still barks, even with the collar but not nearly as much. My youngest female will probably end up with a collar in the not too distant future! The older they get, the girls seem to bark more and more. My little boy is so quiet, with a very distinctive bark when he uses it!

  18. Avatar Of Joelle



    I have two Shih Tzu’s, neither of whom bark, but the most significant advantage to owning this breed, that is not mentioned in the article is the fact that they don’t shed! At all. Shih Tzu’s are great for sufferers of mild allergies. The downside of their coat though is that they do need to be groomed.

  19. Avatar Of Vada Vada says:

    My little guy is the love of my life….ChuChu stole my heart when he was less than 1 lb, four years later this dog is amazing. He greets me at the door with excitement and love, I only stepped outside to take the trash out, but too him I was gone a long time. He loves to play fetch the ball and tug of war. If I ignore his request he does voice his opinion. Shih-Tzu’s are prone to sulking and depression if they don’t get the attention they feel they deserve. If you are looking for a dog that does not require interaction this breed is not for you…they love attention and thrive on it. My little guy loves his walks and going bye bye with me. Grooming is most important with these little dogs…they are very hot natured. I would definitely get another Shih-Tzu…such a joy and delight. I had no problems with training my little guy, even at 4 he still loves to learn.

  20. Avatar Of Mary Giberson

    Mary Giberson


    I so agree, just wish I could control the barking. She will steal any raw veggies left with in to her.

  21. Avatar Of Lee



    I have one. She thinks she’s the Queen of the House. Those other peasants (i.e. our other pets) do not deserve to kiss her feet, and she will tell them so.

    Yes, they are spunky, even into old age. They are quite opinionated, but love nothing more than curing up in your lap or next to you. If you are looking for a dog to play fetch or go on long walks with you, forget it. They are used to being pampered. 🙂

    • Avatar Of Aurora Huston

      Aurora Huston


      My husband & are on our 2nd Shih Tzu. Our first was wonderful and the love of our lives. She died suddenly ate the age of 7. Now looking back I am sure it was from her food & treats. When she died we were both so grief stricken that we went out to get another Shih Tzu the very next day.
      Candy was 6 weeks old when we got her from a breeder. We tried not to make comparison between the two. We love Candy but she is just a little rascal. Very stubborn, head strong and mischievous. There are remarkable similarities that I think are related to the breed. How in the world can we turn our little Candy into a better companion? She is 2 years old and will be 3 on Valentine’s day (hence the name Candy). We really can’t afford a dog trainer but we’ll make the sacrifice if necessary. Any suggestions?
      Aurora Huston

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