Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

The name means ‘Lion Dog’. Happy, intelligent, playful, affectionate, self confident and outgoing. Shih Tzus make great apartment dogs and companion dogs for the elderly. They are charming and devoted to their families, but like just about everything. They make great travelling companions.

Minimum Exercise:

Exercise/Activity Level: Low. They appreciate a daily walk and regular playtime. But will happily accompany active walkers on longer hikes.

Size: 8-11 inches

Weight: 9-16lbs

Colour: White main colour with cream, tan or black patches or swathes in the coat

Town or Country: Both – though ideally suited to town

Low Allergy: Yes

Best Suited for: Town households with older children, or singles and couples, who have limited living space and low to moderate time for exercise, but would like a really sociable, undemanding companion dog. Makes a great dog for older and less mobile people.

Group: Utility/non-sporting

Originally From: China/Tibet

Original Purpose: Companion. Bred for the royal family in China.

Living Space: Low – they can make good apartment dogs if given a regular walk/exercise. A small garden is ideal for a run around.

Coat: Long, silky, slightly waved

Grooming: High if kept long. The coat needs to be brushed and combed thoroughly every day to prevent tangles and the dog’s bottom checked for cleanliness. Long hair can scratch the dog’s eyes and should be tied up with a hair band.

Children: High. They love everyone, but are easily upset or frightened by rough handling. Great with older and considerate children.

Sociability with strangers: High

Sociability with animals or other dogs: High

Trainability: High, using positive and reward based training.

Noise Level: Low

Known Health Issues: Respiratory problems. Eye and eyelid disorders such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, dry-eye, entropion (eyelids turning in), ectropion (eyelids turning out), and eye lacerations. Also slipped knees and back problems. Kidney problems. Von Willebrands disease and ear infections. Ask for eye scoring results and orthopaedic scoring results.

Lifespan: 10-14 years

Special Needs: Could be difficult to housetrain. May need to seek professional help to overcome this. Does not do well in hot humid weather.

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