Learn the Shih Tzu dog breed – Origin, characteristics, and how to raise it.

The Shih Tzu dog also means Stone Lion, but unlike its “fierce” sounding name, this is an amiable and somewhat shy small dog breed. So what do you know about this little guy from Tibet? Find out with me below!

Origin of the Shih Tzu dog

The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds that have survived to this day, being on the list of the first 14 known dog breeds on earth and predating the Tibetan Mastiff. Until now, the origin of Shih Tzu is still controversial, but genetic analysis studies and archaeological documents have confirmed that they appeared in the Tibetan plateau of China a long time ago.

Since ancient times, Shih Tzu has been considered the mascot of the Chinese royal family, with the meaning of bringing peace and prosperity to this country. First, they were raised by monks in Tibet and brought as gifts to feudal emperors. Then, in 1861, they were esteemed by a queen from England, and thanks to that, they lived in private palaces and were cared for by servants like princes and princesses.

However, it was not until 1928 that this breed was known to the world when it was first brought to England and loved by the elite, then spread to many European countries.

Shih Tzu is a noble breed from the highlands of Tibet
Shih Tzu is a noble breed from the highlands of Tibet

Characteristics of the Shih Tzu dog


Shih Tzu belongs to the list of long-haired small dog breeds, their height is only 20-25 cm, and their weight is in the range of 3-8kg when mature. The dog’s head is round, and the ears are drooping down on both sides, the eyes are big and round, slightly protruding dark brown, the muzzle is short, and the nose is upturned with a small mouth that looks very cute.

The most attractive feature of this breed lies in its very long coat; if not trimmed, it will sweep to the ground, and many people often tie their hair up to style. Shih Tzu’s fur is also very smooth and straight. The color is quite diverse and tends to be bright colors from yellow, cream, white or yellow, brown, and black.

With these characteristics, Shih Tzu always exudes a luxurious, graceful beauty, and they especially attract long-haired dog followers. However, despite being loved, Shih Tzu is quite difficult to raise in our country due to being used to living in the cold highlands. That’s why some hybrid Shih Tzu dogs were born to meet domestic needs. Shih Tzu is a Japanese hybrid of a Poodle and a Pekingese,…


In terms of personality, the Shih Tzu is a gentle, intelligent, loyal, and loving dog, but due to its shy nature, this small dog will appear difficult to approach and somewhat wary to strangers. Shih Tzu does not have a high need for exercise, so they adapt pretty well to small apartments or friendly environments. However, at home, they are pretty naughty and like to play and bite soft objects, so they need to be prepared when raising them. Some toys if you don’t want to damage the furniture in the house.

In part, this breed still inherits the arrogant instinct from their ancestors’ aristocratic lifestyle, so you need to train them from a young age to let them know their place if you do not want your dog to become stubborn. In addition, small dog syndrome makes Shih Tzu weak and vulnerable boys/girls. You should spend time petting and playing every day, taking your baby out for a walk to become bold.

Shih Tzu is a beautiful, gentle, and intelligent long-haired small dog
Shih Tzu is a beautiful, gentle, and intelligent long-haired small dog

Some notes when raising Shih Tzu

What does Shih Tzu dog eat?

A nutritious diet will help Shih Tzu children develop comprehensively in both physical and personality. So what does Shih Tzu dog eat?

For this dog to always have enough energy, it is recommended to provide foods rich in protein and fat, such as beef, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs, … in the daily meal. Feed rice, porridge, or other cereals to provide starch for muscle growth, and combine with vitamin-rich side meals with vegetables. In addition, you can use fine foods to change meals for your dog. Limit for Shih Tzu to use of human food because it will affect the baby’s intestinal tract.

Taking care of the Shih Tzu dog will become more straightforward if you understand this little friend
Taking care of the Shih Tzu dog will become more straightforward if you understand this little friend

Shih Tzu coat care

The long smooth coat is the pride of the little lion Shih Tzu and the worry of this breed’s owners because this is the determining factor in their beauty. It is necessary to brush the Shih Tzu’s coat at least once a day to keep the coat smooth and tangle-free, and it can help you detect abnormalities in your baby’s coat and skin early.

Bathe the Shih Tzu on average once a week with specialized shower gels to keep the dog clean and shiny. In the summer, it is advisable to trim the hair to avoid heat shock in Shih Tzu. Besides, Shih Tzu’s long shiny coat will also be more beautiful if you take care of the styling for the baby. If you are not confident, you can refer to more services at Spas dedicated to dogs.

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