Perhaps the only dog breed that is closely related to the wolf, Shih Tzu is also one of the most ancient of dog breeds. A cross between a Pekinese and Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu’s are one of the oldest lap dogs and are the cutest companions. Playful and mischievous, they will win over your heart with their bright big eyes and their sweet temperament. Here’s more about this breed.

Jaya and her Shih Tzu – Nzuri

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Our HUFT customer Jaya tells us about her one-year old Shih Tzu:

“Nzuri simply loves being around people. Although she’s tiny in size, she makes it up with her larger-than-life personality. She loves to play with her squeaky toys and her plush fox toy is her best friend that she carries along everywhere she goes. Nzuri is a fussy eater and when she’s not very hungry, she won’t eat even if I feed her with my hands. Nzuri loves giving a high-five to everyone. It’s funny how we have a song for everything that we do for Nzuri – there’s a song for when it’s dinner time, a song for bedtime and so on.

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She’s quite a neat freak too! Unlike other dogs, Nzuri is quite fussy about pooing and peeing at smelly places and would rather go in the middle of the road (which at times can get very awkward). She is quite like a baby and doesn’t like to jump and we have to lift her every time ‘her royal highness’ wants to get on and off the bed. We love her to bits and cannot imagine our life without our darling Nzuri by our side!”.

Shih Tzu Breed Purpose

Shih Tzu in Chinese means ‘Lion Dog’. Although the breed originated in Tibet, they were developed in China and bred for royalty. Shih Tzu’s are toy breeds that sat at the foot of the Chinese emperor’s bed as a foot warmer. Their distinct moustache and beard gives them a royal look and feature a curved tail. Shih Tzu almost extinct in the 1930s when communists put a stop to dog breeding, leaving only 14 Shih Tzu’s were left. The modern breed descends from those 14 dogs that saved the breed from extinction.

Games that you can play with your Shih Tzu

Nzuri loves to play games of fetch in the garden. However, Shih Tzu breeds do not do well in hot and humid weather so during summers it is best to play outdoors in the evening. Interactive indoor games are best for this breed as they are intelligent and playful. Hide-and-seek, maze or puzzle games; are all suitable games for your Shih Tzu to keep him/her active and agile.  

Shih Tzu Health

Shih Tzu’s are known to suffer from kidney and eye diseases. Some Shih Tzus also have misaligned teeth and are prone to periodontal diseases. As they have bulging eyes, they are more prone to getting ear injuries that causes the eyeball to bulge out of the orbit, known as Proptosis. As Shih Tzu’s are brachycephalic (short-headed) breeds, they can have respiratory issues.

Shih Tzu Size

Shih Tzu’s are small in size and generally weighs between 4-7.2 kilos.


Shih Tzu’s have an average life span of 10-16 years.


Shih Tzu’s do not shed much and have a double coat with a long lustrous and shiny outer coat. Grooming is essential for this breed that must be daily to ensure no matting. Shih Tzu’s do not shed much and have hair as opposed to fur.


  • Alert
  • Lively
  • Gentle
  • Loyal
  • Playful
  • Stubborn
  • Friendly