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The Shih Tzu has an adorable appearance reminiscent of a plush lion. Yet, within its petite frame lies a dog with a unique personality – affectionate, social, playful, and somewhat independent. In this article, we present and delve into the 7 curious facts you should be aware of regarding the Shih Tzu:

  • The Lion Dog.
  • The Most Affectionate.
  • Never Aggressive.
  • Perfect for Apartment Living.
  • Quite Stubborn.
  • Heat-Sensitive.
  • A Sacred and Historical Breed.

Adorable Appearance

The first curiosity about the Shih Tzu is its teddy bear-like appearance, thanks to its dense, abundant, and silky fur. It’s often referred to as the “Lion Dog” or the “Chrysanthemum Dog” due to how the hair on its face grows in all directions. You can find puppies in a wide range of colors and patterns, and there are even various grooming styles for the Shih Tzu, such as the puppy cut, lion cut, or Japanese cut. Keeping their fur short eases grooming and suits them wonderfully. However, for those wishing to participate in dog shows, the Shih Tzu must maintain long fur.

This extravagant coat, while charming, requires some maintenance, including regular brushing to prevent matting and remove dead hair, although Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic and don’t shed.

Affectionate Companions

Unlike breeds originally developed for hunting or herding, the Shih Tzu has always been a devoted companion dog. They love spending time with their owners and relish being part of a family. This breed is highly amiable, enjoys playtime, and has a knack for creative games. Shih Tzus are relaxed and don’t demand extensive exercise.


Perfect for Apartment Living

Another interesting fact about Shih Tzus is their suitability for apartment living. They don’t require much activity, preferring to lounge on the sofa with their family. Even when they want to play, they don’t need much space. However, while Shih Tzus can lean towards laziness, it’s advisable to take them for a couple of daily walks to keep them in shape and prevent overweight.

Never Aggressive

Aggressive Shih Tzus are extremely rare. They are calm, enjoyable, and affectionate dogs. They relish being pampered with massages and cuddles and adore being the center of attention. Shih Tzus usually get along well with other dogs, even cats, particularly if raised together. They also enjoy playing with children as long as their moments of rest are respected.

Stubborn by Nature

Though Shih Tzus love to be pampered and treated as part of the family, they possess a streak of independence. This means they can be somewhat stubborn and don’t always obey orders. They appreciate making their own decisions, choosing when to play, and when to relax. This attitude may sometimes make them seem aloof, particularly when they don’t feel like doing something. Their unique personality is cherished by Shih Tzu enthusiasts.



The Shih Tzu is susceptible to brachycephaly due to its short muzzle and flat face. The short path air takes for breathing doesn’t allow it to cool down adequately, making them especially sensitive to high temperatures. Protecting them from extreme heat, avoiding walks during the hottest hours, and ensuring a constant supply of water are advisable precautions.

A Sacred and Historical Breed

The Shih Tzu is an Asian breed descended from the Lhasa Apso (a Tibetan breed dating back to 800 B.C.). In the 17th century, it was considered a sacred breed, and both the Dalai Lama and the Emperor had Shih Tzus as pets. The exact year and place of origin of the breed remain unknown, but it’s believed to have emerged in China and Tibet. It was an adored dog of notable Chinese dynasties. It didn’t reach the United States until 1955. The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) officially recognized the breed in 1957.

Were you aware of these 7 curious facts about the Shih Tzu? It’s a unique breed, and we offer a comprehensive profile for an indepth understanding of Shih Tzus. If you’re interested in the Shih Tzu, we recommend checking out our article on the negative traits of Shih Tzus to gain insight into both the positive and negative aspects. On our website you will find complete information about all small dog breeds.