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The Shih Tzu is a small sturdy dog. It's head is round and domed, wide between the eyes. It's muzzle is short, an inch or less from the tip of the nose to the defined stop. It's nose is black and broad, with well open nostrils. Nose, lips, and eye rims are liver on liver colored dogs, and blue on blue dogs. The teeth are level or slightly undershot. It's eyes are round and dark in color, but lighter on blue and liver dogs. The large ears hang down and are covered in abundant hair. It's back is level, while the legs are muscular straight and well-boned. It's high-set tail is carried over the back with profuse hair. Dew claws are sometimes removed. The Shih Tzu has a thick double coat that flows when it touches the ground. The hair above the eyes is often tied in a topknot. There is a profuse beard and mustache, and the hair on the muzzle is short. Coat comes in all colors.


The Shih Tzu is an alert, lively little dog, always happy and eager to please. It makes friends easily and responds well to consistent patient training. Although it is loyal to its family, it adjusts well to new situations. It makes for a very alert watch dog. Playful and spunky, this affectionate little dog likes to be with people, and is generally good with other pets.. The Shih Tzu does well if the rules of the house are made consistently clear. Although it does not need a lot of exercise, the Shih Tzu does enjoy daily walks.

Height and Weight

Height: Up to 11 inches (28cm)
Weight: 9-16 pounds (4-7kg)


The Shih Tzu, when kept in long coat requires a good daily grooming using a bristle/pin brush. A topknot is usually tied to keep the hair out of the dog's eyes. Most pet Shih Tzu are trimmed into cute cuts to make the coat easier and less time consuming to care for. It is important to
keep the ear canals and area around the eyes clean. Shih Tzu's have sensitive eyes that also need to be kept clean. This breed sheds little to no hair, and are good for allergy suffers if their coats are kept clean and groomed, as they shed little skin dander.

Other Qualities

For a more detailed description of the Shih Tzu, please refer to the Canadian Shih Tzu Club's Breed Standard.