What Do Shih Tzu Look Like: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Appearance

shih tzu

what do a shih tzu look like

Are you considering What Do Shih Tzu Look Like? These adorable little dogs are known for their charming appearance and friendly personalities. Before you decide to add a Shih Tzu to your family, it’s essential to understand what they look like and what sets them apart. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the appearance of a Shih Tzu, highlighting its distinctive features, coat colors, and more.


The Shih Tzu, a breed originating from China, is a small dog known for its long, flowing coat and sweet expression. They are considered a toy breed and are highly sought after as companion dogs due to their friendly nature and adaptability to various living situations.

General Appearance

Shih Tzus have a compact and sturdy body, slightly longer than their height. They have a distinct head shape and a regal posture. Their overall appearance is elegant and dignified.

Head and Face

The head of a Shih Tzu is round and broad, with a well-defined stop. They have a short muzzle and a black nose. Their face is covered with long hair, which gives them their characteristic expression.

Eyes and Expression

One of the most fascinating features of a Shih Tzu is its large, round, and dark eyes. Their eyes are set wide apart and have a gentle, warm expression that exudes kindness and intelligence.


Shih Tzus have pendulous ears that are covered with abundant hair. Their ears are set slightly below the level of the skull and hang down, framing their face beautifully.


The nose of a Shih Tzu is black, regardless of the color of its coat. It should be well-pigmented and not have any signs of discharge or irritation.

Mouth and Teeth

Shih Tzus have a slightly undershot bite, meaning their lower jaw extends slightly beyond the upper jaw. Their teeth should be clean, strong, and in good condition.

Body Structure

These small dogs have a sturdy and well-balanced body structure. They have a level topline and a deep chest. Their legs are short but muscular, giving them a confident and agile gait.


The tail of a Shih Tzu is carried over its back and is heavily plumed with long hair. It adds to their overall elegance and is a distinguishing feature of the breed.

Coat and Colors

The most iconic feature of a Shih Tzu is its luxurious double coat. They have a soft, dense undercoat covered by a long, flowing topcoat. The coat comes in various colors, including gold, black, white, silver, brindle, and combinations of these colors.

Grooming Needs

Due to their long and dense coat, Shih Tzus require regular grooming to keep them looking their best. Daily brushing is necessary to prevent the matting and tangling of the hair. Regular bathing and trimming are also essential to maintain hygiene and overall appearance.

shih tzu


Size and Weight

Shih Tzus are small dogs, typically weighing 9 to 16 pounds (4 to 7 kilograms). They stand around 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. Their compact size makes them ideal for both apartments and larger homes.

Health Considerations

Like all dog breeds, Shih Tzus are prone to specific health issues. Some common health concerns include brachycephalic syndrome, dental problems, eye conditions, allergies, and patellar luxation. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper exercise can help maintain their overall well-being.

Also Read:

Shih Tzu Black And White: Characteristics, Care, and Health Considerations

Shih Tzu Mixes

Shih Tzus are often bred with other dog breeds, resulting in adorable mixed breeds. Some popular Shih Tzu mixes include the Shih Poo (Shih Tzu and Poodle mix), Shih Chon (Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise mix), and the Shih Tzu Yorkie (Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier mix). These mixes combine the best traits of both breeds.


In conclusion, a Shih Tzu is a small and elegant dog with a distinctive appearance. Their regal posture, beautiful facial features, and flowing coat make them beloved companions for many dog lovers. However, it’s important to remember that appearance is just one aspect of a dog’s qualities. Shih Tzu’s friendly and affectionate nature makes them cherished members of the family.


Are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic?

 While no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, Shih Tzus are known to produce fewer allergenic particles. Regular grooming and maintaining a clean living environment can help reduce allergens.

How often should I groom my Shih Tzu?

 Shih Tzus require regular grooming. Daily brushing, monthly bathing, and occasional professional grooming sessions are recommended to keep their coat healthy and tangle-free.

Are Shih Tzus good with children?

 Yes, Shih Tzus are generally good with children. However, as with any dog breed, supervision, and teaching children how to interact appropriately with dogs are essential.

Do Shih Tzus shed a lot? 

Shih Tzus have hair rather than fur, which means they shed less than other breeds. However, regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting and remove loose hair.

How long do Shih Tzus live? 

On average, Shih Tzus have a lifespan of 10 to 16 years. Providing them with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and veterinary care can improve their longevity.