How do you care for a Shih Tzu?

The Shih Tzu is proven to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Similar to Pugs, Shih Tzu’s were kept as pets by Chinese Royalty. Originating from Tibet they gained popularity throughout China being a Royalty Luxury being used as lap dogs, keeping the laps of their owners warm.

It wasn’t until the 1960s where they made their way to the western world by being a gift to Queen Elizabeth. This breed cries out cute and luxurious with the lovely long hair along with their cute size and underbite making them one of the cutest and most photogenic dogs around.

Shih Tzu

Feeding them

Due to being primarily indoor dogs, they do not require a lot of food to keep them sustained at a healthy level. It’s important to make sure that you do not fall into the habit of overfeeding as they’re liable to becoming overweight due to their little need and desire to exercise.

When in their puppy stages, they require more feeding times compared to when a full-sized adult. This is due to their higher activity levels as well as needing more calories for growth. When a puppy, you should look to feed them an ounce of food per pound of body weight and when they’re an adult this is to be reduced by half.

Although they’ll need to be fed more frequently it should be smaller portions averaging 4 meals a day from 8 weeks to 3 months, 3 meals a day from 3 months to 6 and 2 meals from thereafter.

When it comes to what Shih Tzu’s should eat you should follow a trial and error process. Typically Shih Tzu’s can be very picky eaters and take a liking to one food product and not many other similar ones.

In the case of many dogs, it is good to start with raw dog foods and meats. This is a major key to many dogs diets and will most likely take favourite with a Shih Tzu however it is important that they also get other nutrients through kibble and other dry dog foods.


Shih Tzus have a very warm personality, they’ve been bred for centuries for companionship dogs and that’s precisely what they want to be. They prefer to follow you wherever you go and find comfort in your lap whenever possible.

They can be very social, excitable whenever guests come to visit. They’re also fond of other dogs and sometimes even cats. As with most dogs though, it’s wise to socialise them with other dogs and pets from a young age to avoid any potential issues.

Despite being small and don’t require a lot of exercise, don’t mistake that for them being a lazy breed. They tend to enjoy outings and adventures whilst having a tenancy to be mischevious.

adult white and black Shih Tzu

Are Shih Tzu’s good for families?

As they’ve been bred for companionship and families they have a strong reputation for being good in families. With their playful nature, they can keep themselves and children entertained for hours on end. Supervision is recommended as you have to be careful that their tails and hair aren’t pulled to harshly or often as this can make them grouchy or snap at the people pulling.

Exercise and training?

Shih Tzu’s have a stubborn personality and this can transcend into their training habits. In order to house train a Shih Tzu you have to be very patient, consistent and not allow accidents and slip-ups to slide. You shouldn’t leave them unsupervised until they’re house trained as this may allow them to relieve themselves in a hidden area.

selective focus photography of black dofg


As they spend a lot of time in the house they don’t tend to be very messy dogs. When it comes to grooming the majority of your time will be spent brushing their long hair. This is to keep it silky smooth and without knots. It’s important to be careful when grooming as aggressive grooming and incorrect products can damage their skin and delicate coat.

Need a bed for your Shih Tzu?

At Raised by Humans, we stock a superb range of designer dog beds that are ideal for Shih Tzu’s. Get in touch to find out more!

Designer dog beds

By Raised By Humans