Shih Tzu’s personality, characteristics, longevity, and tips on how to care

Shih Tzu, which has a round face and a colony body, has the image of being easy to keep as a domestic dog. In fact, Shih Tzu is a gentle and friendly breed that makes it easy for first-time dog owners to breed. However, there are times when you need to be careful about discipline and illness. Here, we will explain the character and characteristics of Shih Tzu and introduce the diseases that you should be careful about when breeding.

Shih Tzu's personality, characteristics, longevity, and tips on how to care

The first thing you need to know about Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu has long been loved by people as a pet dog.

Since entering Japan around 1963, it has been a stable and popular domestic dog, and has always been in the TOP 10 in the number of registered dogs by Japan Kennel Club.

History of Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu has a long history and has been bred in the Chinese dynasty for hundreds of years. The beginning of the breed is said to be a cross between Pekingese and Lhasa Apso, but for some time after its birth it was classified as Lhasa Apso.

After that, in 1934, he separated from Lhasa Apso and continues to the present day.

In Japan, Shih Tzu has more registrations than Lhasa Apso, but it seems to be about the same popularity in the United States.

Features of Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a short-headed species of muzzle, characterized by an underbite with the lower jaw slightly forward.

Under-bite dog breeds are not good at catching food when eating, so let’s support them by adjusting the height of the bowl and making the dog food easy to eat.

Body shape / constitution

Height: 26.7 cm or less

Weight: 4.5kg-7.3kg is ideal.

Petite but never delicate, it has a solid torso and thick, strong limbs.

The length of the dog is a little longer than the height of the body, and it is a cute breed that walks around with short legs.

Hair color / coat / hair loss

Shih Tzu’s coat color can be any color, and it is preferable that the tip of the forehead and tail is white for party colors.

The coat is a long-haired double coat. The upper hair is beautiful, straight and dense, but the lower hair does not become wool-like in a moderate amount.

Since the lower hair is not densely packed, there is not much hair loss during the moulting period, but regular brushing is necessary to keep the upper hair clean.

Shih Tzu's personality, characteristics, longevity, and tips on how to care

Lifespan and illnesses

It is said that the average lifespan of Shih Tzu is 15 years, but 20-year-old Shih Tzu is not uncommon because it may live longer depending on the breeding environment and heredity.

Tracheal collapse is a disease that is susceptible to Shih Tzu. Knowing what kind of illness you have will lead to early detection, so we will explain the symptoms and treatment methods.

Tracheal collapse

Tracheal collapse is a disease in which the organs of the throat are narrowed and deformed. If you have symptoms such as a dry cough or painful breathing, you may have tracheal collapse.

This disease tends to develop mainly in brachycephalic species including Shih Tzu, and it is said that the cause is related to dog breed characteristics and obesity rather than genetic ones.

Preventive measures include avoiding obesity and avoiding throat-stressing behaviors such as barking and strenuous exercise.

If you have tracheal collapse, if it is mild, you can relieve the symptoms by taking cough medicine or organ-widening medicine. Surgery may be required in severe cases, so prevention and early detection are desirable as much as possible.

Shih Tzu's personality, characteristics, longevity, and tips on how to care

Shih Tzu’s personality

Shih Tzu has a very gentle and gentle personality. Sometimes I run around energetically, and sometimes I calmly look at the situation, so it can be said that I have a stable temperament that I can use on and off properly.

I would like to introduce the character of Shih Tzu in detail.

Loving, gentle, loyal, playful and curious

Affectionate Shih Tzu loves his family. Since it is not a nervous breed, it can live in a family with small children without any problems.

I often spend a relaxing time at home, and my gentle personality makes it a very suitable breed for domestic dogs.

He is very curious, so he is willing to show interest in people and dogs he meets for the first time. The friendly personality is also a characteristic of Shih Tzu, who was born as a pet dog.

One side that is alert

Shih Tzu does not seem to move in the new environment, but it also means that he is calmly looking at the situation and making decisions. You may feel a little distance from Shih Tzu right after you start keeping it, but if you look at it and decide that you can trust it, you will soon become a friendly dog.

If you keep your dog without seeing anyone other than your family or your dog, you will end up with an exclusive dog, which can lead to barking and aggression. Create opportunities to interact with people and dogs on a regular basis to keep Shih Tzu’s friendly personality.

How to grow Shih Tzu

Basically, Shih Tzu has a gentle and gentle personality, but it is also necessary to raise it so as not to show caution and stubbornness.

Prepare an environment suitable for Shih Tzu and train with your personality in mind.

Shih Tzu's personality, characteristics, longevity, and tips on how to care


Shih Tzu is a breed of dog born as a pet dog, so it is basically kept indoors. I love my family and prefer to be in the same space, so make Shih Tzu’s place in the living room or other place where people gather.

A sunny place is good, but Shih Tzu is a breed of dog that has a short muzzle and is vulnerable to heat, so avoid places that are constantly exposed to direct sunlight.

Also, even though you have strong limbs, your legs are short, so keep the steps in your living area small. Be aware that if you live in a place with many steps, you will be more likely to have a herniated disc.


Although it is a breed of dog with a low amount of exercise, it is not necessary to go for a walk. For dogs, going for a walk can release stress by smelling various odors, and walking can help maintain good health.

If you go to a dog run, you may be able to play with other dogs, but if you force it too much, you may develop tracheal collapse and herniated disc, so try to finish it at an appropriate place.


Shih Tzu is famous as an easy-to-train dog breed, but some individuals may have a slightly stubborn side. If you keep it from a puppy, we recommend that you create a master-slave relationship from an early stage.

Keep in mind that if you leave the stubborn part as it is, there are also patterns of problem behavior in order to stick to your own will.

When disciplining, make sure that the whole family uses consistent language. Because he is smart and memorable, he becomes a dog who decides and acts by himself if the discipline is not unified.

You may be mischievous because you are very curious, but it is also important that you do not change your response by forgiving or paying attention to the owner’s mood.


Shih Tzu is characterized by long, straight hair, but recently it has been increasingly cut short. There is little hair loss, but the amount of hair is large and it is easy to get dirty, so brush it every day.

Brushing not only improves the condition of the hair, but also stimulates the skin to improve blood flow.

In addition, checking the body during brushing will lead to early detection of skin diseases and illnesses.