Shih Tzu Guide, Origin, Characteristics, and Personality

Shih Tzu Guide, Origin, Characteristics, and Personality

Breed Info Summary

Breed Suits: Families with children, apartment living, companionship

Shedding/Non-Shedding: Moderate

Size: Small


The Shih Tzu has a long history that is shrouded in mystery and debate.

Some people claim it was created by Tibetan monks and handed to Chinese royalty as a gift. The Shih Tzu is also thought to have been created in China by mixing various breeds with the Lhasa Apso or Pekingnese.

Regardless of where the Shih Tzu originated—Tibet or China—it is certain that the Shih Tzu has always been a beloved companion. The American Kennel Club classified the breed as a part of the Toy Group in 1969.


A Shih tzu's personality will slightly differ from one Shih tzu to another. Some are confident, outgoing, and brave, while others are timid, quiet, and even shy. While some are energetic, others will much prefer to cuddle on your lap!

Shih tzus are not particularly inclined, or likely to perform anything you ask of them if they are not in the mood, as they are usually stubborn in nature. However, kindness and tenderness are also the common characteristics of Shih Tzu — they are popular with families because of their friendly attitude, and if properly socialised while young, they will get along with other pets.

Pros and cons to consider


  • Affectionate with children
  • Great lapdogs
  • Perfect for small home living
  • Doesn't require a lot of outside activity
  • Friendly to other pets


  • Can be challenging to housetrain
  • Stubborn nature
  • Extensive grooming needs

Blog posts