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Shih Tzu

Prudent Pet Loves Shih Tzu
Featured Breed

Prudent Pet Loves Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu means “lion dog” in Chinese, but these sweet, cuddly canines are anything but fierce.
Shih Tzus are among the oldest dog breeds. Images of Shih Tzu-like dogs appear on ancient tapestries dating back 2,000 years. There are various theories as to the exact origins of this toy dog breed, but it’s likely the earliest Shih Tzus were bred by Tibetan Monks as gifts for the Chinese emperors.
The modern Shih Tzu was developed in China during the late 1800s and eventually made its way to Europe during the 1930s. Shih Tzus didn’t appear in the United States until after World War II but since their introduction they have become one of the most popular dog breeds in the country, beloved for their affectionate and lively personalities.
Bred for Companionship
bred for:
Ancient Tibet
About Shih Tzu
A fluffy pup

About Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus require quite a bit of TLC when it comes to maintenance and grooming.
They are hunters by nature and love to explore their surroundings, but can be trained to be obedient and follow just about any command. Labs are highly intelligent and are often used as service, rescue, and hunting dogs. Today, over 70 percent of guide dogs are Labs.
Labs were originally bred to retrieve fish and fishnets, so they are strong swimmers and love the water. Their dense, oily coats keep them warm and their “otter-like” tails propel them through the water. Labs don’t require much grooming–a simple brushing once a week will do. But ensuring they get enough exercise is essential, as the breed is highly prone to obesity. A swim in the lake, a walk down the block, or a romp in the yard will ensure a Lab stays physically and mentally fit.
Though they do well outside in the elements, these lovable pups are happiest when they are indoors with their families. Labs are great with children and other dogs and their playful nature makes them perfect family companions. Just don’t count on them to be guard dogs–they’re more likely to lick an intruder than attack!
Owning a Shih Tzu
Owning a Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Health

Shih Tzus are prone to certain breed-specific health issues.
Some major health issues include hip dysplasia, liver shunt, and intervertebral disc disease, a degenerative condition affecting the discs of the spine that often requires major surgery. Minor health concerns include renal dysplasia, patellar luxation, and entropion which causes the eyelids to fold inward and become irritated.
Major Shih Tzu Health Concerns
Hip dysplasia
Intervertebral disc disease
Liver shunt
Minor Shih Tzu Health Concerns
Renal dysplasia
Patellar luxation
Shih Tzu Characteristics
At a glance

Shih Tzu Characteristics

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Females: 8 - 11 inches
Males: 8 - 11 inches
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Females: 9 – 16 pounds
Males: 9 – 16 pounds
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Approximately 1/2 to 1 cups of food per day
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Activity Level
Moderately active
Covering your Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus have a broad life expectancy — they generally live for 11 to 16 years.
This breed is prone to a variety of major and minor health issues so it’s a good idea to get pet insurance for a Shih Tzu as soon as possible. Pet insurance for Shih Tzus is generally less expensive than pet insurance for mixed breed dogs.
Since this breed is likely to have hereditary issues, it is important to get pet insurance for Shih Tzus within the first 1-2 years.
Looking to rescue a Shih Tzu dog? Here are some of the top Shih Tzu rescues in the country: