Back to top

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Dog Breed

Aliases: Shih Tzu Kou

Life Span: 12- 16 years
Litter Size: average of 3 puppies is usual. Due to the Shih Tzu\'s size litters can range from1-5 puppies.
Group: Utility, Herding, and Toy Group
Color: Wide range of colors. Blacks, browns, and whites are probably most popular. In showing it is considered highly desirable to have white on the forehead and tip of the tail.
Hair Length: Long
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: up to 11 inches.
Male Weight: between 9 to 16 pounds.
Female Height: up to 11 inches.
Female Weight: between 9 to 16 pounds.
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Low Risk

The Shih Tzu ranks #106 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it). 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #106  4,649  3%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

They can have respiratory problems from snoring, wheezing, or infection. They can be prone to ear infections if not cleaned accordingly. Spinal disc disease is something to watch out for since they have such short legs and a long back. This breed can grow to be overweight if not taken care of. It is important to keep up with teeth cleaning in order to prevent periodontal disease.

The Shih Tzu makes an ideal dog for both city and country living. In the city these dogs become easily accustomed to the noises and apartment style living. They never feel more proud then when strutting on their leash through crowds of people. They are also at home romping in the country. Due to their size and need for companionship they should be kept as an inside dog.