Shih Tzu Training, Characteristics, & Care | TrainPetDog
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Shih Tzu: Breed Characteristics, Care & Exercise Needs (Lion Dog)

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About Shih Tzu

Country of Origin, History of Shih Tzus

This Breed is the smallest and oldest, with a Tibetan origin. It is a cross between the Tibetan mountain dog, the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese.

The Chinese royals favored Shih Tzus to such an extent that, for years, they refused to sell, trade, or give any away. Because of its cuteness, the dog was named after the most beautiful woman in China, Xi Shi.

The first Shih Tzus were imported into Europe (England and Norway) in 1930. Slowly the popularity of the breed spread across Europe. Finally in 1950s, after World War II, this breed was introduced in the United Sates by army men travelling back from Europe and Asia. It was in 1969 that the AKC registered the breed as a Toy dog.

Shih Tzu Tools

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Shih Tzu Calorie Calculator

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A General Description of the Dog

The dog has a round, wide, hairy head which is in proportion with the    rest of the body.  It   has round, large, very black expressive eyes and large, heavily coated pendulous ears. Another characteristic of the dog is its square, short, well-cushioned muzzle. These dogs have a broad, wide chest and are not barrel-chested.  Shih Tzus have short, well-muscled legs with well padded, firm feet and heavily  plumed  tails. 


Shih Tzus are double coated. They have a long, luxurious, thick, flowing coat and at times they might even have wavy hair.


All colors are permissible

Weight: 9-16 lbs for both males and females


Male - 8-11 inches
Female - 8-11 inches

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Shih Tzu Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog

These dogs are cute, playful,non-aggressive, intelligent  and courageous. Bred as companion dogs, they crave their owners' attention. These dogs are excellent play mates. Most of the time they love to lie all cuddled up in their owners' laps. These happy, friendly dogs love kids and make excellent watch dogs. Moreover,  these dogs do not have a habit of  unabated barking. They are sensitive and can be snappy if teased. Shih Tzus are obstinate but because of their ability to learn quickly they can be trained easily with little patience.   They should never be overfed as they might develop obesity. They often wheeze and snore.

They can often be found curled up in a corner and therefore owners should be careful lest they hurt them accidentally. They might even suffer from stress related disorders if they do not get enough attention from their owners for a considerable period of time.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

They are fairly active indoors and with proper exercise, are suitable for the apartments,   without a yard.

They are sensitive to the sun and should never be taken on long walks in scorching heat.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

They are playful and enjoy the company of small children. So households   with  small kids may have a Shih Tzu but children often confuse them with stuffed toys and end up  injuring them. Owners should thus, keep them under


These are intelligent and can be easily taught certain skills to turn them into well-behaved, housetrained dogs. Shih Tzus thrive on attention and affection and while training Shih Tzus, owners should always use the method of positive reinforcement. Consistent encouragement in the form of praise , should be used to help them adapt to the training process. They should be potty trained and house-trained from a very young age.

Extensive socialization can curb their aggressive tendencies and help them distinguish between friendly and hostile behavior. They are sensitive animals and harsh treatment would yield nothing positive. Acquainting him with words like, ‘no’,   ‘don't’, ‘yes’, ‘sit’, ‘go’, ‘wait’,    and ‘heel’, should make him receptive towards owners.

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Shih Tzu Activity Level

The dog does not require rigorous exercise. Taking him on walks once daily should be   perfect. It is fairly active indoors.

They enjoy lazing indoors for long hours and may even become fat. In such cases, short walks or indoor exercise can help a great deal.

Is your Shih Tzu causing you trouble by eliminating inside your house? Get our Free tips on Housebreaking your Shih Tzu and put an end to all the housetraining nightmares - permanently.

Training your Shih Tzu can be fun and a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. Get step-by-step tips on Shih Tzu Training – now.

How to take care of a Shih Tzu Puppy?

Shih Tzu puppies should be fed at regular intervals and are never to be force fed as they eat only when hungry. Some food and water should be left in front of their crates at night. Restricting their movements by baby gates or confining them to a secure spot with chewable toys is a must, to prevent accidents. Vaccination should be administered carefully to boost their immunity.

Pups are fragile and owners should not play with them for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Small children often confuse them with toys and might  harm them unknowingly and thus, the pups should be kept under strict watch.

If you have a Shih Tzu dog or puppy at home and you want to train it into the most loving pet, Sign-up for our Free Shih Tzu Training Course.


Shih Tzus need elaborate grooming because of their luxurious, flowing coats. These dogs should be bathed at least once every week with a mild pet shampoo. They should be brushed daily. Their coat and nails should also be clipped at regular intervals. Ears should be cleaned with an ear cleaning solution. Cleaning teeth at least twice a week will prevent infections from setting in. During bathing, their anal glands should be cleaned.

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Free Shih Tzu Training Secrets

Free Course on Shih Tzu Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Some are vulnerable to ear, eye and respiratory problems. Spinal disc disease and other health issues include entropion , portacaval shunt, renal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), patellar luxation, and trichiasis.

Cautions about Breeding the Dog

Appropriate tests should be conducted before breeding the dog to prevent genetic disorders from transmitting to the next generation

An Shih Tzu's health is directly related to it's diet. Find out how you can help your Shih Tzu to live longer.

Litter Size: 2-4 puppies

Life Span: Average15 years

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Club

British – Shih Tzu Club –
U. S. – American Shih Tzu Club –


Group: Toy Group.

AKC Popularity Ranking: 20

Also Known As: Little Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum dog

Train Your Shih Tzu To Listen To You

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  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

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  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Shih Tzus have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Shih Tzu information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Shih Tzus have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Shih Tzu training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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