A New Owner's Guide to Shih Tzus

by Cynthia Malu

What's in the book?

Tips and tricks to make life a little less difficult

    • Introduction
    • Housetraining
    • Social Interaction and Personality
    • Caring for Shih Tzus
    • Diseases and Other Health Issues
    • Discipline
    • Shih Tzu Trivia
    • Essential Items
    • Sources and Additional Reading



The Shih Tzu is a breed most closely associated with China. One theory of the Shih Tzu's introduction to China is that Tibetans — who owned and bred the dogs — brought a pair of them to the Chinese court during the 17th century. As a result of the dog's lion-like appearance, the Chinese named the breed Shih-tzu Kou, which means "lion dog." Due to the lion's association with the Buddhist deity, these dogs were bred in the ancient Chinese court, eventually resulting in the dogs pet owners know and love today.

Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969, the Shih Tzu is currently one of America's most popular toy breeds. This small, sturdy little dog, which was originally bred for companionship, carries itself well, with a hint of arrogance. Its body has slightly more length than height. Its tail, which the Shi Tzu carries over its back, resembles a plume. Its short, square muzzle and broad nose give its face a compact, flat appearance. In addition, most Shih Tzu have an underbite, a quality most owners find endearing.

In one short read, learn how to methodically incorporate your new Shih Tzu companion into your life.


Cynthia Malu is an experienced writer and a member of the Hyperink Team, which works hard to bring you high-quality, engaging, fun content. Happy reading!


According to information on the American Shih Tzu Club website, when children are walking in a home where a Shih Tzu puppy is present, they should shuffle their feet instead of picking them up and putting them down to reduce the risk of stepping on or tripping over the animal. Explain this method of walking to your children and make it a house rule while the Shih Tzu is a vulnerable puppy. You can also make it a house rule that children sit on the floor while interacting with a new Shih Tzu puppy. This eliminates the possibility that tripping or injury will occur.

This breed has a high maintenance coat. If you leave it long, brush it daily to prevent mats and tangles. If you choose to keep its hair cut short, clip it or have it clipped approximately every six weeks. For people who do not have time to brush the Shih Tzu's coat daily, a short cut is the perfect solution. While the long cut lends a more elegant and mature look to the Shih Tzu, the short cut gives the dog the look of a perpetual puppy.

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