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Shih Tzu

Personality:Outgoing, affectionate, playful and charming

Coat & Grooming:The Shih Tzu’s long, flowing coat needs regular brushing and maintenance to avoid tangles

Energy Level:Somewhat Active; Daily walks and indoor playtime will satisfy this small, short-legged companion

Originally: China

Nicknames: Lion Dog

Size: Small

Meet the Shih Tzu

​These popular toy dogs can weigh between 9 to 16 pounds, and stand between 8 and 11 inches at the shoulder. Shi Tzu are surprisingly sturdy and solid for a small dog. The coat is worth the time you’ll put into it—few dogs are as beautiful as a well-groomed Shih Tzu. And that face! Those big dark eyes, that sweet expression! It’s no surprise that Shih Tzu fans have been so devoted to their little “Lion Dogs” for a thousand years.

What's Their Story?

​The Shih Tzu was developed centuries ago in the palace of the Chinese emperor. For hundreds of years, Shih Tzu lived the life of royal “lap warmers,” pampered by emperors and their families. The breed was nearly unknown in Europe and America until the 20th century. Since then, the Shih Tzu has been one of the most popular toy dogs here and in the United Kingdom. And they still treat their owners, no matter who they might be, like royalty.

What are they Like?

​Being cute is a way of life for these lively little charmers, who live to love and amuse their owners. Where Shih Tzu go, giggles and mischief follow. Bred to spend most of their day inside royal palaces, they make a great pet if you live in an apartment or don’t have a big backyard. Some dogs live to dig holes and chase cats, but a Shih Tzu’s idea of fun is sitting in your lap and distracting you while you watch TV.

See more Shih Tzu photos here

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He wins the Internet today.

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That's what big brothers are for.

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No dog has ever been as excited by fishing as Crusoe the Dachshund.

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This purr-sonality test will tell you whether your instincts sway to the feline or the canine.

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The sweetness, the smiles, and the—er—scents. See what we love about this breed.

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