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White, black and brown Shih Tzu dog standing between brown columns outside image

Shih Tzu puppies and dogs

If you're looking for a Shih Tzu, Adopt a Pet can help you find one near you. Use the search tool below and browse adoptable Shih Tzus!

  • Ashburn, VA
  • Ashburn, VA

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What is a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu traits

Chrysanthemum Dog, Tibetan Lion Dog
9-11 inches
10-16 lbs
10-16 years
Shih Tzu characteristics
5 yr 20 yrs
Grooming needs
Occasionally Frequently
Good with kids
Needs lots of supervision Ready to play
Good with cats
Likely to chase Hey, new pal!
Training aptitude
Headstrong Eager to please
Full-grown size
Teeny tiny Super size
Shih Tzu adoption

Find a Shih Tzu Near You

Photo of Kate and Goldie (Bonded girls)

Kate and Goldie (Bonded girls)

Shih Tzu

Female, 10 yrs 3 mos
los angeles, CA
(when grown) Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
Good with kids, Good with dogs, Good with cats, Spayed or Neutered,
Special Needs
Photo of Chloe CP

Chloe CP

Shih Tzu

Female, Senior
Beverly Hills, CA
(when grown) Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
Needs special attention, Spayed or Neutered,
Chloe, an 11-year-old Shih Tzu mix, is searching for her forever home. Her previous owners are unable to care for her due to age, but Chloe's heart is still full of love. She is deaf but incredibly adaptable. 💕 Deaf but Determined: Chloe's resilience shines. Deafness doesn't hinder her zest for life. She's a joy to be around and a master at making the most of her other senses. 🐶 Loving and Loyal: Chloe is a gentle, affectionate soul who craves human companionship. She's ready to be your loyal companion, offering boundless love. 🏡 Ready for Love: If you're seeking a low-maintenance, loving senior dog, Chloe is perfect. She enjoys leisurely strolls and cuddles on the couch. Chloe is looking for a new home where she can thrive. Are you ready to provide her the love and attention she deserves in her golden years? 📞 To meet Chloe and give her the loving home she longs for, contact us today. Open your heart to this sweet senior pup! 🐾❤️ #AdoptChloe #SeniorDogLove
Photo of Akeem


Shih Tzu

Male, 2 yrs
Los Angeles, CA
(when grown) Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
Good with kids, Good with dogs,
Meet Akeem, a playful Shih Tzu! This 2-year old boy was a baby when he was brought into his current home. The family had hoped to find a companion for their older dog but Akeem’s playfulness has proven to be too much for him. His human will also begin traveling for work soon and knows Akeem would benefit from a family that can spend more time with him. He’s a loving 20-lb guy with lots of energy! Akeem knows a few commands such as sit, stay and settle down, however, more training would be beneficial. He is playful, well-behaved and never aggressive towards humans or other dogs. He should be in a home that is willing to take the time to continue his training. The ideal family for Akeem enjoys keeping active daily. Does Akeem sound like your Soul dog to rescue? Apply today!
Photo of McKenna


Shih Tzu Terrier (Unknown Type, Small)

Female, 7 mos
Studio City, CA
(when grown) Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
Good with kids, Good with dogs, Good with cats,
McKenna is an adorable 5-month old Shih-Tzu/Terrier mix puppy that weighs about 8-9 lbs. She was rescued from a bad living situation in the desert. McKenna is very sweet, and gets along with dogs, cats and all people. We are working on her house training. She still needs vaccines and will be spayed at the end of September. We are taking applications for her now. If you are interested in McKenna, please complete the application on our website: LOCAL AREA ADOPTION ONLY
Photo of Chewy


Shih Tzu

Male, Senior
Los Angeles, CA
(when grown) Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
Spayed or Neutered,
Meet Chewy, a dapper 8-year-old fellow abandoned at the shelter because of skin issues. People can be so cruel. Chewy, though, is a very forgiving soul and knows a loving family will come along soon. Until then, we’re treating his skin and envisioning the day his luxurious coat returns. Healthy in every other way, Chewy weighs 13 pounds and is neutered, microchipped, and current on his vaccines. So, you’d better get ready ‘cause this gentleman is ready to steal your heart.
Photo of Zava


Shih Tzu

Female, 5 yrs 1 mo
Los Angeles, CA
(when grown) Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
Good with kids, Good with dogs, Good with cats, Spayed or Neutered,
Hi I'm Zava. So nice to see you. I'm a very nice, very easy going lady. 12 lbs 5 years old with one micro eye and one eye "in the works"-big ulcer when I was rescued but it's getting better every day. I just did not receive the proper care before but now I sure am! I am great with everyone-as gentle as can be. Dogs-Kids-Cats-a ok! can't wait to meet you! *please note All of our dogs are in private foster homes. Once you fill out an application it will be screened by our volunteer adoption team. From there, if your application looks like a good fit for the particular dog, it will be sent to the foster where you can ask all the questions you would like and schedule a meet and greet. We do not transport our dogs. If you apply from out of state we do request you come to Los Angeles to meet us and fly home in cabin or drive.
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Shih Tzu information
Frequently asked questions

Shih Tzu Basics

Learn about about Shih Tzu basics like where Shih Tzu come from, how many different types of Shih Tzu you can find, and what other breeds mix with Shih Tzu.

“Shih Tzu” means “lion dog” in Chinese. This breed earned the moniker due to its lion-like appearance and regal demeanor, resembling the traditional Chinese lion.

Shih Tzus typically live between 10 to 18 years. Proper care, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups can significantly influence their longevity. Individual factors such as genetics, health care, and overall well-being can also impact their lifespan.

No, there is just one type of Shih Tzu. Slight differences may exist based on the dog’s lineage or intended purpose, but there is one recognized breed standard for Shih Tzus. There are variations of Shih Tzu in size, coat texture, and appearance nuances rather than distinct types. 

Shih Tzus were bred to be companions and lap dogs for royalty. They were highly revered in Chinese and Tibetan cultures and served as loyal companions to the emperors and nobility. These pups have been known as companion animals and trusted household pets for centuries.

Shih Tzu is a small yet sturdy toy breed dog known for its luxurious double coat, a distinct underbite, and a friendly, affectionate temperament. Their flowing coat, pleasant personality, and endearing expression have made the Shih Tzu a beloved household pet and a popular breed in the toy group.

Shih Tzus usually stop growing around 10 to 12 months old. While they may physically stop growing by their first year, their behavioral and mental development may continue for a little longer. Maintaining a healthy diet, proper exercise, and consistent care during this growth phase is essential for them to become healthy adults.

Yes, Shih Tzus are considered hypoallergenic due to their low shedding. However, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic as allergens are not solely from shedding. People with allergies may have fewer reactions to Shih Tzus, but it varies from person to person. Regular grooming and cleaning can help minimize the spread of allergens and minimize potential allergic reactions.

Shih Tzus are commonly mixed with a Poodle (Shih-Poo), Bichon Frisé (Shichon), Maltese (Mal-Shi), and Yorkshire Terrier (Shorkie), among others. These combinations result in unique appearances, temperaments, and characteristics inherited from both parent breeds. 

The Shih Tzu originates from China, dating back thousands of years. Bred as a companion dog and a symbol of royalty, they were favored by Chinese royalty during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Revered for their graceful appearance and charming nature, Shih Tzus were treasured as lap dogs in the imperial palace and revered for their graceful appearance and charming nature.

Shih Tzu Appearance

Learn about about the Shih Tzu general appearance like their size, colors, and grooming needs.

Shih Tzus come in gold, brindle, liver, black, red, and blue. They also come in various combinations like black and white, liver and white, or blue and white, and even tri-colored combinations. These dogs may exhibit different shades, and their coats may change over time, especially during their first few years.

The rarest color of Shih Tzu is the lavender or lilac shade, which is a diluted silver color with a slight purple hue. However, it’s essential to note that the concept of rarity might differ based on individual opinions and the perception of the particular shades of the breed’s coat.

Shih Tzus weigh between nine to 16 pounds when they reach adulthood, with some variances based on their specific lineage and gender. Typically, male Shih Tzus tend to weigh slightly more than their female counterparts, and individual dogs can fall outside this average weight range.

No, Shih Tzus are not considered a low-maintenance dog, but they’re not extremely high-maintenance, either. Shih Tzus generally require moderate maintenance due to their long coats, which need regular grooming and brushing to avoid tangles and matting. While they may need a fair amount of care in terms of grooming, they adapt well to apartment living, making them easy to manage in other aspects.

Shih Tzus have hair that grows continuously, similar to human hair, rather than fur that sheds. Their double coat consists of a soft, luxurious undercoat and a longer, silky topcoat. The absence of an undercoat reduces shedding, but their hair requires regular grooming to prevent matting and maintain its health and appearance.

Yes, Shih Tzus shed, although their shedding is relatively low compared to many other dog breeds. Their hair grows continually rather than entering specific shedding seasons. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional trimming, can help manage the shedding and maintain their coat’s health and appearance.

Shih Tzus are small dogs with a distinct appearance, characterized by a dense, luxurious double coat that hangs straight down. They have a short, broad muzzle with large, dark, round eyes giving them a sweet, warm expression. Their ears are covered with hair and hang down close to their cheeks. The breed is known for its elegant and distinctive gait, and their tail curls over the back, covered in a profuse plume of fur. They typically have a sturdy, compact body, a short neck, and a small head relative to their body size.

Shih Tzu Temperament

Learn about about the Shih Tzu temperament and how well they fit into your lifestyle, home environment, and family.

Yes, Shih Tzus are known to bark a lot. They often use barking as a means to communicate or as a response to different stimuli in their environment. However, with proper training and socialization, this trait can be managed and minimized. Early obedience training and positive reinforcement techniques can help in curbing excessive barking tendencies in Shih Tzus.

Yes, a Shih Tzu can be a service dog. Their small size might limit their suitability for some specific service roles, but Shih Tzus can excel in medical alert and emotional support roles due to their affectionate nature. Ultimately, whether a Shih Tzu can be a service dog depends on the specific needs and requirements of the individual seeking assistance.

No, Shih Tzus are not known to be easy to train. They are known for their independent nature, which can make training a bit challenging. While they are intelligent, their independent streak sometimes causes them to be less eager to please, making training more time-consuming. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods are crucial for training Shih Tzus. 

Yes, Shih Tzus are smart. They are known for their intelligence, although they might not be top-tier performers in obedience or training when compared to some other breeds. However, their intelligence is evident in their ability to understand and respond to their pet parent’s emotions and needs, demonstrating a strong ability for empathy.

Yes, Shih Tzus can be good with cats when introduced and socialized properly. Their friendly temperament makes it possible for them to live peacefully with other pets, but the success of their relationship depends on gradual introductions and fostering positive interactions. Supervision is recommended during their initial interactions to ensure a safe and friendly relationship between a Shih Tzu and a cat.

Yes, Shih Tzus are good with kids when raised and socialized in a family environment. They have a friendly and affectionate nature and enjoy the company of children. With proper guidance and training, Shih Tzus can form wonderful and loving relationships with kids.

As with any breed, it is recommended that your child is always supervised when interacting with your Shih Tzu to keep both the child and dog safe.

Yes, Shih Tzus make excellent house dogs due to their small size, adaptability to indoor living, and affectionate nature. They are well-suited for apartment or house living and require moderate exercise, mainly indoor play or short walks. Known for their loyal and loving disposition, Shih Tzus thrive in close contact with their human families and enjoy indoor companionship. However, their grooming needs and potential for separation anxiety are aspects that should be considered when welcoming a Shih Tzu into a household.

Yes, Shih Tzus can be taught to swim with patient training and a gradual introduction to water. However, Shih Tzus typically aren't natural swimmers due to their small size and short legs, making it difficult for them to stay afloat. Their physique requires supervision around water to ensure their safety.

Shih Tzu Health

Learn about about the Shih Tzu health outlook and what diseases they may be prone to at various stages of their life.

Shih Tzus might shake a natural response to cold temperatures, excitement, fear, anxiety, or even happiness. Sometimes, shaking could indicate pain or health issues, so it’s essential to observe and seek veterinary advice if the shaking becomes frequent or out of the ordinary. If the shaking is continuous or associated with other symptoms like weakness, appetite loss, or unusual behavior, it’s crucial to consult a vet to rule out any underlying health concerns.

Shih Tzus should be groomed daily to prevent tangles and mats. Daily brushing and regular bathing, around once every three weeks, helps keep their coat clean and in good condition. Additionally, their facial hair needs routine cleaning to prevent irritation or eye problems, and professional grooming every four to six weeks can maintain their coat’s health and appearance. Regular nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning are also necessary for their overall health.

Yes, Shih Tzus have health problems despite being a fairly healthy breed. Shih Tzus can be prone to certain health issues, including:

  1. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): This condition leads to bulging or rupture in the discs between vertebrae, causing pain, nerve damage, and potential paralysis. While mild cases might improve with rest and medication, severe cases may require surgery or a wheelchair cart. Signs of trouble walking, refusal to jump, incontinence, loss of appetite, or anxiety should prompt an immediate vet visit.

  2. Eye problems: Shih Tzus are prone to severe eye injuries due to their eyes not sensing contact with objects and their bulging size. Conditions include corneal ulcers, dry eye, keratitis, proptosis, distichiasis, ectopia cilia, and progressive retinal atrophy, which may lead to blindness.

  3. Hip and elbow dysplasia: These skeletal issues involve abnormal hip or elbow joint growth, causing pain, lameness, and secondary osteoarthritis. Surgery can correct joint abnormalities if diagnosed early. Vet check-ups are essential, especially if adopting a Shih Tzu, to assess any predisposition to these issues and manage their activity level.

  4. Portosystemic Liver Shunt (PSS): This is a hereditary problem causing blood flow obstruction to the liver. Without proper detoxification, toxins circulate to vital body parts, leading to severe symptoms such as behavioral changes, stunted growth, and even life-threatening issues if left untreated. Antibiotics, diet changes, and ultimately surgery are the potential treatment options.

  5. Others: Shih Tzus can face additional health problems including hypothyroidism, gum issues, bladder stones, labored breathing, epilepsy, patellar luxation, allergies, and ear infections. Veterinary examinations including thyroid, blood, and eye tests are vital for early detection and management.

Adopting a Shih Tzu

Learn about about acquiring a Shih Tzu – the pros and cons of adopting versus going through a breeder, and associated costs.