The Shih Tzu is a confident- and sturdy-looking pooch. He weighs 4–7 kilos and stands 20–28 centimetres at the withers. A Shih Tzu puppy becomes fully grown once he reaches 9–12 months of age.
The Shih Tzu has a broad and round head with large dark eyes and big ears. He is known for his beautiful beard and whiskers. The hair on his muzzle grows upwards, giving him a chrysanthemum-like face.
The small Shih Tzu dog is distinctively known for his long and silky coat that comes in various colours and colour combinations.
According to the specific breed standard, the Shih Tzu coat usually comes in black, black and white, gold and white, brown and white, liver and white, and red and white. Merle is considered highly undesirable.
Does a Shih Tzu shed?
Does a Shih Tzu malt? Yes, but his fine and soft coat sheds less compared to other breeds, making him hypoallergenic. But beware of Shih Tzu puppies that are about to turn one-year-old as they tend to shed heavily. Fortunately, this phase only lasts for about three weeks.
Maintaining the Shih Tzu’s gorgeous locks takes a lot of work. Owners need to brush his hair, which should be done in sections, a few times a day to avoid tangles. Be sure to brush his moustache and topknot too.
Bathing the Shih Tzu should be done at least once a week. Before bathing the Shih Tzu, always brush his coat until the mats are removed. If you fail to do so, the mats will bunch up once they soak up water. After washing your dog, make sure to fully blow-dry his coat to prevent it from getting cold.
Consider keeping the Shih Tzu’s long coat short to make grooming easier. It is advisable to take him to a professional groomer that knows how to handle his hair needs. Should you decide to clip the coat short, it should be done every six to eight weeks.
Remember to keep the hair around the Shih Tzu’s genitals trimmed short. This will prevent urine and faeces from sticking on his coat.
The Shih Tzu’s silky coat locks may require full attention but his nails, ears and other parts also need a little dedication. His nails should be trimmed regularly, ears checked weekly for dirt or signs of infection, and teeth should be brushed at least twice or three times a week.
The Shih Tzu is one of the dog breeds that are prone to tear stains. Keep the fur surrounding his eyes short or tied into a topknot to avoid irritating his eyes. Use a dog-safe eye cleaning solution and a soft damp cloth or a cotton ball to remove the stains.
Since the Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic or flat-faced breed, he cannot handle hot weather well. He is prone to heatstroke, as his flat snout prevents the air from entering his lungs from cooling properly. For this reason, the chrysanthemum dog should be kept indoors often.
During the hot season, there should be sufficient air conditioning in rooms to keep the Shih Tzu safe from overheating.