Shih Tzu

This dog is said to have lived in the monasteries of Tibet as early as the seventh century. Find out everything about behavior, character, activity and exercise needs, training, and care of the Shih Tzu dog breed in the profile.

This dog is said to have lived in the monasteries of Tibet as early as the seventh century. When he was bred, it was important that he looked like a small lion. The dogs were imported to China from Tibet, where they have long been one of the most popular breeds. Travelers took them to Europe, and lovers continued breeding after the start of the breed gradually faded in the Middle Kingdom.

General Appearance

According to the breed standard, a robust, profusely-haired dog with a “distinctly arrogant demeanor” and a chrysanthemum-like face. He has long, straight hair with a thick undercoat. The Shi Tzu comes in white, brown, beige, black, and black and white.

Behavior and temperament

The Shih Tzu takes people’s hearts by storm with his cheerful, charming, and lovable nature. The funny goblin is always in the mood for fun, likes to play with children, gets along with other pets, is an ideal companion not only for young people but also for older people. Total submission just isn’t his thing. However, the Shih Tzu does not “defend” its freedom with its teeth, but with great ingenuity. He may be a small dog, but he has a very big heart. Brave like a lion, but also loving and loyal, independent, devoted, and his owners even say he is wise.

Need for employment and physical activity

Especially in this respect, the little clown is often underestimated: even if he looks like a snobbish movie star: a Shih Tzu will love to accompany his people jogging and on hikes and will throw himself into dirty puddles with great pleasure. Because he is not only adventurous but also a big water fan.


When it comes to raising the shaggy dwarf, you need a lot of empathy. He is very docile and learns mainly by watching and imitating. Inconsistent behavior has consequences for this little “Einstein”: The dog just doesn’t take you seriously anymore. Due to his independent nature, he sometimes shows himself to be stubborn as a cat. But none of this leads to dramatic problems: the Shih Tzu is far too attached to its people to want to get involved in serious trials of strength with them.


A real challenge. You have to take care of the fur frequently and intensively, otherwise, it becomes matted easily. Combing, brushing and, if necessary, bathing – all of this requires a lot of time and patience. Because these dogs, despite their long fur, like to sniff around in the bushes – and collect branches and leaves in their fur – some owners start clipping the dog. Which of course “destroys” the typical appearance of the breed and is therefore controversial.

Disease Susceptibility / Common Diseases

As with all short-snouted dogs, he can experience breathing problems.

Did you know?

This breed is characterized by particularly good hearing. Because they heard suspicious noises much earlier than other dogs, they were preferred to guard the holy temples in Tibet. In contrast to other four-legged friends, they were also allowed to move freely in the temples.

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