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The Shih Tzu is a wonderful companion breed. These social butterflies are fabulous and they know it. Maybe that’s why celebrities like Mariah Carey, Nicole Richie and powerhouses like Bill Gates and Queen Elizabeth favor the breed. Keep your Shih Tzu well groomed and provide them with lots of attention and they’ll shower you with love and affection in return.

9-16 lbs.
Exercise Requirements:
As a small companion breed, Shih Tzus are far from being long-distance runners. They love to go for walks, but are happy to chase their toys around your apartment to get some exercise, too.
Mess Factor:
These dogs don’t make much of a mess. Shedding and drooling is not an issue. It would be beneath them, of course.
Barking and Volume:
Shih Tzus may bark to let you know that someone is at the door, but are generally not a noisy breed. They are happy to keep things nice and peaceful.
Training Requirements:
Shih Tzus are very intelligent and want nothing more than to please their parents. While they can be trained at home using simple (but consistent) techniques, a professional puppy training class will not only help your Shih Tzu learn the basics, but will assist in properly socializing him. To avoid bad behavior while you are away from these social butterflies, be sure to leave your Shih Tzu with toys to keep him safe from boredom—and away from your shoes!
Ongoing Costs:
Health Factors: Various eye diseases, hip dysplasia, thyroid disorders, renal dysplasia and umbilical hernia. *A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Home grooming is acceptable, but it is a hefty commitment. Trips to a professional groomer every two or three months can help keep coats matt-free and looking their best.
Training: Basic training. A puppy class as well as home training will do the trick.
Grooming Requirements:
With a long and flowing double coat, it’s no wonder that Shih Tzus can be much more high-maintenance than other breeds. Face washing and brushing to prevent tangles are necessary parts of your little friend’s daily routine. However, you can also keep your Shih Tzu’s coat cut short with the trips to the groomer every two or three months.
Kid Compatibility:
Shih Tzus are loyal and affectionate family companions, but may be easily hurt by the poking and prodding of a curious child. As with all breeds, supervision of dog and child interaction is essential, but the two can become fast friends as long as boundaries are respected.
Shih Tzus can live to the age of 18, so be prepared to make a long-term commitment to this breed.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
Shih Tzus want to be friends with everyone…and that includes other animals. They typically do not display aggression towards them. Keep in mind that not all breeds are as friendly — before introducing a Shih Tzu to your home, ensure that any other animals you have will welcome this playful new friend.
Friendliness: Towards People
Shih Tzus are known for being outgoing and happy little dogs — with a healthy dose of self-importance. (They’re fabulous, and they know it!) As a companion dog, the main goal of a Shih Tzu is to please people and they freely show affection towards their family and strangers alike. They require plenty of attention, but will offer you even more in return. Proper socialization will ensure that your Shih Tzu is as friendly with strangers as he is with your family and will keep barking to a minimum.
BE PREPARED FOR: Many hours of grooming in return for years of affection from this happy little companion.

Links and Resources:
American Shih Tzu Club
Shih Tzu Rescue
*Most large cities have their own rescue organizations for the breed.
Shih Tzu Puppies Palying

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