Shih Tzu Dog & Puppies


The Chrysanthemum Dog

Breed Origins: China ( 1800's )
Breed usage: Lap dog and Companion
Dog Weight: 9 - 16 Pounds
Dog Height: 8 to 11 inches to the shoulder
Cost of Puppies: Cost of puppies varies depending on location, breeder and pedigree history


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Information, Facts & Origins of the Shih Tzu Dog Breed
The Shih Tzu originates from China and was bred originally as a lapdog and companion. It's origins can be dated back to the 1800's when it was developed in China during the reign of the Empress Dowager Cixi (Tzu-shi, 1861 1908) which clarifies the origin of its name. The Shih Tzu is also known by the other name of the Chrysanthemum Dog. This dog is classified as one of the Toy Dog Group which we go on to describe in detail in the section at the bottom of this page. The Shih Tzu was first Registered by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1969. Dog Name Facts and Dog Names:It is not surprising that the name Shih Tzu is often mis-spelt as Shih Zu, Shitzu, Shihtzu, Shihzu and Shizu.

Shih Tzu Dog Names

Description of the Shih Tzu Dog and Puppies - Coat and Colours information
The Shih Tzu's coat comes in a variety of shades and colours. The coat is normally
long, dense and straight.


Dog Health information - potential health problems of the Shih Tzus
All owners of dogs and puppies are concerned about the health care of their pets and just as with humans dog health issues arise from time to time. Resolving dog health problems, including those of the Shih Tzu, can prove to be costly and it would be wise to consider the benefits of obtaining dog health insurance. Diseases in dogs may occur because of trauma, infection, immune system abnormalities, genetic factors, or degenerative conditions. Common health problems and questions occur in relation to the Bones, Joints, Muscles, Nerves, Ears, Eyes, Teeth and the Mouth. Other, more serious, issues can relate to the Digestive System, Heart & Respiratory Systems, Immune & Blood Systems, Reproduction and Urinary Systems. Potential health problems of the Shih Tzu may be checked via the Dog Symptoms Sorter, but can include:

  • Entropion (the inversion, or turning inward, of the border of the eyelid against the eyeball)
  • Kidney disorder

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems
Please click the following link for additional information which we have provided via our:

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems


Dog photograph


This describes the most common canine health problems concisely but simply without using medical jargon. A section on Dog and Puppy Vaccinations is also included offering information on each of the diseases, symptoms and effects for which immunization vaccines are available. Not sure of the name of the dog or puppy illness? A Dog Illness Symptoms Sorter is also featured. The Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems should only be used as an informational guide and when and if any dog or puppies health problems occur it is essential to raise any questions you may have with a Dog Health care professional.

Information on Grooming and Care of the Shih Tzu Dog Breed
The Shih Tzu requires weekly care and grooming. All dog breeds require a certain amount of grooming and care is necessary to keep dogs and puppies looking at their best. Grooming consists of not only brushing out the coat and bathing but also giving attention to the eyes, teeth, ears, feet and nails. A regular routine also ensures that any potential health problems are identified as quickly as possible, especially important in puppies and older Shih Tzu dogs.

Life Expectancy information of the Shih Tzu Dog Breed
The life expectancy for this particular breed is 12 16 years.

Age comparison between the Shih Tzu Dog Breed and a Human
Age comparisons between dogs and humans are always a matter of debate - we hope that the following information clarifies the situation. After the first year of life, a dog is equivalent to sixteen human years. After two years, they are equivalent to a 24 year old, at three years a 30 year old, and each year after, add 5 human years to determine a dog's age.

The Pictures reflect the Size of Adults - not Children and Puppies!
The pictures above allow for a useful comparison of sizes providing an accurate portrait of the size of an average Shih Tzu - essential information but unique to this site. It should also be noted that the pictures feature adults. The size of puppies are naturally considerably smaller and the full grown size of the animal can easily be forgotten when confronted with cute puppies! The slogan " A dog isn't just for Christmas - it's for life!" was necessitated by well meaning people buying puppies at the Christmas, unaware of the puppies growth rate. The pictures provided make it extremely clear exactly how small puppies will develop and whether it will suit the life and living conditions of the family.

Shih Tzu - Teacup Dogs and Puppies - An Unofficial Term
The term 'Shih Tzu Teacup' is not recognised or endorsed by any of the major Canine Associations such as the AKC (American Kennel Club) or the British KC ( Kennel Club ). It is a purely descriptive term for a Toy dog which might, or might not, be smaller than the official size standard. Whether the term 'Shih Tzu Teacup' is recognised or not people obviously like using it and regardless of varying Associations the phrases Shih Tzu  Teacup Dog or Shih Tzu Teacup puppies are, no doubt, here to stay! The Teacup Dogs Agility Association is open to all dogs, regardless of breed or pedigree, measuring 17" or less, and who are at least 12 months of age. For additional information about 'Teacups' please click on the Site Map link to Teacup Dogs and Puppies

Yorkshire Terrier Dog (Yorkies) - Puppies Info and Names
The Puppies section, accessed via the Site Index, provides detailed information about Choosing the right puppy, Puppy Training, Puppy Care and Puppy Behavior, Growth & Development. We recommend that the following considerations should always be taken into account when choosing puppies:

  • Budget - Purchasing, training, equipment, medication and feeding costs of the breed
  • Convenience and Grooming time e.g. long or short hair
  • Personal situation - time available and medical conditions such as allergies, asthma or back pain
  • Exercising requirements for the Shih Tzu breed
  • Living Conditions for the dog breed - suitability for puppies
  • Family - child suitability
  • Puppy and Dog Names - The Importance of choosing the right names

If you are considering buying a Shih Tzu Teacup dog or Shih Tzu Teacup puppy it will almost certainly bring great you pleasure but caution must be adopted when purchasing a 'Teacup'. Remember that the diminutive size of Teacup Puppies have been achieved by selective breeding - and the price should not reflect a rare or special dog.


Toy Dog Breed Information
Dogs in the Toy Group, which include the Shih Tzu, were initially developed to ease the lifestyle and provide pleasure to rich people. These dogs were initially owned by the wealthy and were viewed by others as status symbols - a luxury item with little apparent purpose. Dogs in other groups had specific working roles and played a major part in providing food for the table and therefore justified the cost of their upkeep and care - these were the dogs which were commonly owned by the lower classes. Changes in the economy, lifestyles, living conditions and the environment brought the luxury and pleasure of owning a toy breed dog, such as the Shih Tzu, to everyone.


The Toy dogs which includes the Shih Tzu are small and even diminuitive in size.  Toy dogs are generally easy care pets however some do not like young children and their fragility can be a concern in large families. They have a tendency toward yappiness. Toy dogs are loyal and intelligent and especially good at learning tricks.

Toy Dog Breed Duties
Characteristics and features of Toy Dogs, including the Shih Tzu, have been introduced and strengthened by breeding with animals who already demonstrated the desired traits. Breeding for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century. Before this time dogs and puppies were bred to increase useful abilities and traits helpful for the duties they were intended for. Toy Group dogs had limited duties which included the following tasks were were specifically utilised in Oriental and European Courts by royalty and the nobility: 

  • Warmth - A dog's temperature is between 100.2-102.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Warmth - toy dogs sat on laps (hence the term 'lapdogs')
  • Warmth - toy dogs warmed beds in cold castles and palaces
  • Companionship
  • Status symbols 

Although toy dogs are most commonly known as lap dogs Oriental Emperors and courtiers carried them around in their copious sleeves!


Shih Tzu Dog Breed

Examples of other Breeds within the Toy Dog Group 
The Toy group includes the Shih Tzu
and all of the following breeds:
Affenpinschers, Brussels Griffons, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Chinese Cresteds, English Toy Spaniels, Havanese, Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Chins, Maltese, Manchester Terriers (Toy), Miniature Pinschers, Papillons, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Silky Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, and Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies). The name Shih Tzu is often mis-spelt as Shih Zu, Shitzu, Shihtzu, Shihzu and Shizu. Pictures and information about all of the above Toy breeds
, together with all other dog groups and breeds, may be found on this website via the following links:

Dog Breeds - ABC List

Dog Names & Breeds Site Index

Toy Dog Breeds  

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