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Shih Tzus

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Regal in bearing and requiring little exercise, Shih Tzus are one of the most popular of all dogs. Their name means “lion”, but they have a gentle temperament that everyone can love. They are tolerant and easy-going around children. This is a great first breed for people who have not had a dog before.

This breed has a long flowing coat requiring either daily brushing or frequent trimming, however they shed very little and are hypoallergenic. All colors are allowed.


This is an ancient breed, at least 1000 years old. They were bred to be the house pets of Chinese emperors and are believed to be descended from crossing the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan mountain dog and Pekingese.

By the Numbers

Size: They should be 8 - 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh 9 -16 pounds.
Coat Care: 10: Very high; requiring a daily brushing, unless the coat is trimmed.

Trainability: 5: They are eager to please. As long as they can hang with you, they are up for any activity.Check out this video showing a young dog in the last seconds before going in the show ring:

Energy level: 4: They are mellow dogs.

Good with Children: 7 -- They easy going around children.
Noise level: low -- 3
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: 8 Shih Tzus shed very little and are hypoallergenic.

To get more information or to find a puppy, first read What is a Responsible Breeder.

I met Hershey several years ago in Maryland. He is a small, friendly fellow who's best buddy is the energetic Dobie Rosie. The two play constantly, either chasing toys, playing tug-a-war or rough housing gently with each other. Watching them in action inspired me to create this comic strip. Obviously Rosie is very good natured, but Hershey rules the roost, without ever having to raise his voice (or a lip).

Then start your search at the American Shi Tzu Club of America.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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