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Shih Tzu Dog Breed Profile

Shih Tzu

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
This little dog is a member of the utility group. In Australia it is classified as a non-sporting dog, and in America as a toy dog. They were originally kept by the Emperor as a court dog in China, today they are companion dogs. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
Feeding will be less than £4 per week. 
Other Expenses
A puppy will cost between £400 to £550. 
9 - 15 years
The Shih Tzu can live well into its teens. 
Average Litter Size
The average size of litter is 4 to 6 puppies, although litters of 9 puppies have been known. 
General Physical Description
The Shih Tzu is a long coated sturdy little dog They move in quite an arrogant manner with their tails carried over their backs
Height Min Max
Bitch 23cm (9") 27cm (11")
Dog 26cm (10") 27cm (11")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 4kg (9lbs) 8kg (18lbs)
Dog 4kg (9lbs) 8kg (18lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
The height at the withers should be no more than 26.7cms. The weight is between 4.5-8.1kgs, the ideal weight being 4.5-7.3kgs. 
They are prone to eye problems as they protrude. Due to this they are susceptible to lacerations and their eye lids and lashes can grow in such a way as to irritate the eye. The tear ducts may produce too much or too little and need to be treated. 
Common Ailments

General Respiratory Problems
Renal Cortical Hypoplasia, Thyroid malfunction
Eye ulcers  
Susceptibility To Illness
They are believed to have originated in Tibet, where they lived in the Temples and were occasionally given as a gift to the Emperors of China. Once they were in China they were crossed with the Pekinese to become the breed we recognise today. They arrived in Britain after 1912, but they were not given recognition until 1949. It wasnít until the 1960ís that they were recognised in America. 
They are intelligent little dogs, but can be quite independent. They enjoy learning and like to please. They can be obstinate at times and can give the impression, with their dignified attitude, that some tasks are beneath them. With patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient.< 
Show Characteristics
The head should be broad and round with hair falling over the eyes. The eyes should be set well apart and be large and round. The muzzle should be short and square with an abundance of hair. The nose may be level or tilted slightly upwards. The ears should be large and long with the hair appearing to blend into the hair of the neck. The mouth may be level or slightly undershot. The neck should be arched, falling into well laid back shoulders. The legs are short and muscular. The body should be longer than it is tall. The feet should be round and well padded, appearing large due to the amount of hair. The tail is long haired and should be set high and carried over the back. The coat should be long and dense, a slight wave is allowed but no curls. The hair on the head, that falls over the eyes, is usually tied in a topknot. 
Country Of Origin
Tibet (China) 
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
0 - 20 minutes per day.
They do require exercise but are quite happy to stay at home and play. They are perfectly content with short walks. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The Shih Tzu is an affectionate, playful and intelligent dog. They do love children and will accept other dogs and household pets if introduced from an early age. As a breed they can be independent and wary of strangers. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Requires Professional Groomer
The coat of the Shih Tzu is long, soft and dense, with a good amount of undercoat. They do require a lot of daily grooming to keep their coats looking in top condition. It is best to start getting the dog used to being groomed when it is very young. Also they do require frequent bathing, sometimes as much as once a week, remember they must be dried completely. As the hair grows upwards from the bridge of the nose it is often tied up in a topknot, on top of the head. Their faces may need to be washed daily as food etc can get stuck on the hair. If the coat becomes too much they can be kept short, a groomer or the breeder is probably the best person to advise on how this is carried out. 
The coat comes in a variety of colours including black, gold, grey, silver, red, beige and brindle, all these colours can have white with them. 
Suffers From Allergies

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