Written by 7:59 am Shih Tzu Breed

The Essential Guide: Identify a Shih Tzu in 2024

how to identify shih tzu

How to Identify a Shih Tzu

To identify a Shih Tzu, you need to enter the world of Shih Tzus, where fluffy clouds of love wag their tails and melt your heart. Maybe you want a purebred Shih Tzu puppy, but you need to make sure. We uncover the secrets of spotting a true Shih Tzu in this comprehensive guide. We’ll explore their expressive, wide-set eyes, “chrysanthemum face,” and luscious, rich double coat that begs for hugging. We’ll discuss their lively, friendly dispositions, their eagerness to follow you, and their specific grooming and maintenance demands. Let this book guide you to discovering the perfect furry friend and unlocking the door to a lifetime of love and loyalty. Missing these essential markers could mean missing out on the joy of a true Shih Tzu puppy. Take the chance to bring home a real Shih Tzu and discover its enchantment! If you don’t read it carefully or skip it, you may not buy pure breed.

Characteristics of a Pure Shih Tzu Puppy

Physical Traits

To identify a Shih Tzu. Shih Tzu are known for their unique and distinctive physical appearance. Recognizing the characteristics of a purebred Shih Tzu puppy is a crucial step in ensuring its authenticity

Coat color and texture To Identify a Shih Tzu

Pure Shih Tzus have special coat colors and textures that distinguish them from mixed breeds. An outstanding double coat should be dense, flowing, and distinctly silky. Colors commonly seen in purebred Shih Tzus include gold, brindle, black, and white. The coat should be shiny, and the texture should be soft to the touch.

 Facial Features

The Shih Tzu’s facial features are an attractive part of their charm. The purebred Shih Tzu has large, round, and expressive eyes that are often set far apart. The nose should be short and clearly defined, and the nostrils wide. The typical sunken face, known as brachycephaly, is a racial trait.

Body structure

A purebred Shih Tzu must have a well-proportioned body structure and various body weights. Their body is slightly longer than their height, and the topline remains flat. The tail should be carried in a slight arch over the back. The compact build, strong legs, and characteristic high-set tail contribute to the overall balance and elegance of the purebred Shih Tzu.

Behavioral Traits

Identifying a pure Shih Tzu goes beyond physical appearance; their cute behavior also plays an important role.


Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. A purebred Shih Tzu puppy should have a gentle and loving character. They are known to be outgoing, social, and eager to please. A purebred Shih Tzu puppy is likely to exhibit curiosity and playfulness while being adaptable to different environments.

Energy Levels

Understanding Shih Tzu’s energy level is extremely important for potential owners. The energy level of a purebred Shih Tzu is usually moderate. Although they enjoy playtime and short walks, they are not hyperactive. Assessing the puppy and its energy level can provide insight into its cleanliness, as it reflects the breed and its characteristic calmness and adaptability.


Shih Tzus are naturally social animals. A purebred Shih Tzu puppy should have a natural inclination for social interaction. During the identification process, observe how the puppy interacts with other puppies and people. A purebred Shih Tzu is likely to be friendly and sociable, making them ideal companions for families and individuals.

Identifying a Shih Tzu’s Genetic Background

The lineage, which provides crucial information about the pet’s lineage and includes useful information about its parents, can aid in a thorough evaluation of a Shih Tzu’s purity.

The importance of genealogy in identifying Shih Tzu purity

The genealogy is an important document that describes the ancestors of the Shih Tzu. It contains information about the pet’s parents, ancestors, and others. A purebred Shih Tzu should have a well-documented pedigree that shows the Shih Tzu’s ancestry with no mixed-breed ancestry.

Reading and Interpreting Entities

Reading and interpreting entries can be a complicated process. This requires an understanding of symbols, abbreviations, and generation information. A detailed pedigree refers to a well-documented and carefully planned breeding history that confirms the purity of a Shih Tzu puppy.

How to identify a Shih Tzu?

#1: Recognizing Body Structure

Shih Tzus are classified as “standard” or “royal” but are more complex than they appear. Both versions have the breed’s fluffy coat and pleasant personality, but “Royal” is sometimes abused. No lineage or breed standard exists for “Royal” Shih Tzus. Both groups are normal Shih Tzu sizes, 8–11 inches tall and 9–16 pounds. Identifying them at first can be difficult. However, some breeders may name smaller Shih Tzus “Royal” without indicating a difference in quality or pedigree. Beware of breeders who promote “royalty” as a marketing ploy rather than a breed characteristic. Responsible breeders should follow breed standards and raise healthy, well-cared-for puppies within the acceptable size range. Remember, a Shih Tzu’s charm and temperament come from its personality, not a categorization.

See if the canine incorporates a screwy tail.
Shih Tzus have tails that twist over their backs. Their tails are tall and intensely spotted

See the dog’s ears:
The ears of the Shih Tzu are huge and rest on the sides of the pooch and head. Their ears are firmly secured

Check the pooch and the eyes.
Shih Tzu has enormous, wide eyes. Their eyes are exceptionally dull (although in liver and blue dogs they can be marginally lighter), round, and sweet.

Search for a pinchable nose.
Shih Tzus have squeezed noses and wide-open nostrils. The Shih Tzu’s nose is most likely dark, but it can be liver or blue on the off chance that the canine has liver or blue.

#2: Recognize through the coat

Circular fur and feet:
Not all Shih Tzu proprietors select to donate their pets in this fashion, but it is exceptionally common, particularly during the summer. A pooch with a puppy cut has almost 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of hair. If you take note of a puppy with brief, circular fur and feet, it can be a Shih Tzu.

Know that Shih Tzu can be any color.
Shih Tzus can be found in any coat color, even though a few are rarer than others. Numerous Shih Tzus are seen in two colors, generally white and another color. A tri-colored and strong Shih Tzu is also seen.

Feel the coat:
Shih Tzu have twofold coats, meaning their costs have two layers. Their hide is long and streams when trimmed in an appearance cut.

#3: Character Identification

Look for a playful personality.
Shih Tzus are known for their playful behavior. They are lively and friendly, and their playful nature can make them great companions for children.

Note the high energy level.
The active nature of the Shih Tzu means that it needs regular exercise and playtime. Short walks and indoor play can help your shih tzu release its energy. The Shih Tzu is likely to use its energy to seek attention. Shih Tzu can chew a lot; if so, you can entertain it with various goodies and gadgets, allowing it to reflect its independent style.

See if the dog is affectionate.
Shih Tzus loves to spend time with their owners, showing them that they love them. They are companion dogs and are sociable and friendly. They are gentle, even with strangers

Check Intelligence:
Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs. If they teach correctly, they learn quickly. They can be trained to recognize sounds and commands, such as knowing when it’s time to wash by hearing the sound of running water.

Consider stubbornness:
Despite their intelligence, training a Shih Tzu can take time and effort due to their stubborn nature. It is best to train them early and socialize them young.

Comparing the Shih Tzu breed to Comparable Breeds

Shih Tzu breed

The Shih Tzu breed can effortlessly be befuddled with numerous other pooch breeds. In any case, knowing the differences between the breeds can help you decide if your puppy may be a Shih Tzu.

Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzu:
Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzu are related breeds and have much in common. They are both little mutts, even though Lhasa Apsos are somewhat bigger than Shih Tzu, being generally 10–11 inches (25–28 cm) tall. Both mutts have long coats, but Lhasa Apsos are ordinarily gold, dark, white/cream, ruddy, or a blend of these colors, whereas Shih Tzu may be any color. Lhasa Apsos, like Shih Tzu, are warm but cautious around outsiders

Spot contrasts between a Shih Tzu and a Havanese:
Shih Tzu and Havanese are exceptionally comparative in appearance. The Havanese are, as a rule, the same size as the Shih Tzu but can be an inch taller. Both have long coats, but not at all like the Shih Tzu, which encompasses a smooth coat; the Havanese’s coat is more developed. Havanese are, in addition, simpler to prepare. since they are not that resolved

Shih Tzu and a Maltese:
Shih Tzu and Maltese can also be effortlessly confused. One of the biggest differences between the breeds is that malts are essentially smaller. Maltese colors are only white, whereas the Shih Tzu contains a more extensive range of coat colors. A Maltese includes a single coat, whereas a Shih Tzu includes a two-fold coat. Maltese mutts can make great guard dogs because of their inclination to bark.

Shih Tzu and the Pekingese:
Two oriental breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Pekingese, have a lot in common. Both can be seen in nearly every color. Be that as it may, the coat of the Shih Tzu is denser than that of the Pekingese. The Pekingese are marginally smaller than the Shih Tzu. The Pekingese can be a good watchdog and caution against inconvenience.

Separate Shih Tzu and Yorkies:
The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is another breed that’s comparable to the Shih Tzu. Both are little mutts, but the Shih Tzu could be a bigger breed. The ears of the Yorkie stand upright, whereas the ears of the Shih Tzu are on the sides of the head. Both are admirable, even though Shih Tzus are more open to assembling modern individuals
Shih Tzu and Pomeranian:
Shih Tzu and Pomeranians are both toy breeds. Be that as it may, Pomeranians are one of the smallest mutts in the world and are smaller than the Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu contains a long, streaming coat, whereas the Pomeranian contains a shaggy coat. Be that as it may, both breeds are lively and cheerful.

Breeder Reputation

Choosing the right breeder is crucial when looking for a pure Shih Tzu puppy. A reputable breeder plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the breed.

Researching reputable breeders:
Do a thorough research when choosing a breeder. Reputable breeders follow ethical breeding practices and prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. Check online reviews and testimonials and visit the breeder’s facility to ensure they meet responsible breeding standards.

Characteristics of a responsible breeder
Responsible breeders prioritize the health, character, and general well-being of their Shih Tzu. They provide relevant documents, including health certificates and pedigree documents. A breeder with a positive reputation in the Shih Tzu community is more likely to produce purebred puppies.

Princess Type Shih Tzu vs. Standard Type

Definition and Characteristics of Princess Type Shih Tzu

Definition and Characteristics of Princess Type Shih Tzu:
There are different types of Shih Tzu, including the princess type, each with their own unique characteristics.

Differences in size and weight:
Princess-type Shih Tzus are usually smaller and lighter than the standard type. They often weigh between 5 and 9 pounds, while standard Shih Tzus ranges from 9 to 16 pounds. The differences in size add to the unique appeal of the Princess Type, making them an attractive choice for those looking for a small companion.

Coat Characteristics The coat characteristics of:
The Princess-type Shih Tzus can vary slightly. While the luxurious double coat remains a signature feature, Princess Types can have a slightly finer texture that adds an extra touch of elegance to their look.

Comparison with Standard Type Shih Tzu

Assessing the key differences between Princess and Standard Shih Tzus will help potential owners make informed decisions based on their preferences.

 Major Differences

Size, weight, and coat characteristics are the major differences between princess-type and standard-type Shih Tzus. Understanding these differences allows potential owners to choose a type that fits their lifestyle and preferences.

What is the average weight of a Shih Tzu dog?

There are several different approaches to estimating the eventual weight of your puppy, but none of them are completely dependable. Add two more pounds to the result after multiplying the person’s weight by three at eight weeks. According to a different source, your puppy will weigh 10% of its adult weight at one month of age and half of it by the time it is four months old. In actuality, the growth of puppies does not occur linearly, and the exact weight journey of each dog will be unique. Following is an example of a growth chart that can be used for Shih Tzus of varying sizes: tiny, average, and large.

8 weeks2.
3 months3.51.652.36.53
4 months4.526.252.883.6
6 months6.5394.1115
8 months83.6115146.4
Adult (10m)

Choosing the Type That Fits Your Lifestyle

When choosing between Princess and Standard Shih Tzus, consider your living space, daily routine, and desired level of interaction. Both types are excellent companions, but their differences may correspond to certain preferences and lifestyles.

How many types of Shih Tzu are there?

Overview of Various Shih Tzu Breeds

There are different Shih Tzu breeds, each with their own unique characteristics. Get an overview of traditional, imperial, and teacup Shih Tzus.

Traditional Shih Tzu:
The traditional Shih Tzu represents the classic and established characteristics of the breed. Their size, temperament, and appearance meet the historical standards set for Shih Tzu breeds.

Imperial Shih Tzu:
Imperial Shih Tzu breeds are often smaller than traditional types. They can weigh less than 9 pounds and have similar features, but are more compact.

Teacup Shih Tzu:
Teacup Shih Tzu breeds are miniature versions, weighing around 4-6 kilograms. Although their size may be attractive, potential owners should be aware of the controversies and potential health effects associated with teacup cultivation.

Factors Influencing the Identification Process

Age of the Puppy

The age of the Shih Tzu puppy can affect the identification process. Explore changes in appearance with age and determine the best time to assess cleanliness.

Appearance changes with age:
Understand how a Shih Tzu puppy’s appearance develops over time and how these changes can affect purebred identification.

The best time to judge purity is:
Determine the optimal age to judge a Shih Tzu puppy and its purity and make an informed decision about its parentage.

Potential Health Considerations

A pure Shih Tzu must be in good health. Learn about genetic health issues associated with the Shih Tzu breeds and the importance of health evidence in the identification process.

Genetic Health Problems in the Shih Tzu

Emphasize common genetic health problems that Shih Tzus may be prone to and emphasize the importance of addressing these problems during the identification process.

The Importance of Health Certificates

Explore the importance of health certificates to ensure that a Shih Tzu is not only purebred but also free of known health problems, which contribute to the puppy’s well-being.


All in all, identifying a purebred Shih Tzu puppy involves a multifaceted approach. By paying attention to the intricate details of physical characteristics, understanding parentage, and researching different breed types, potential owners can make informed decisions. Choosing a reputable breeder and checking factors such as color, pattern, age, and health records will help ensure a purebred shih tzu. With the knowledge in this guide, begin your journey to find the perfect, genuine Shih Tzu companion that will undoubtedly bring joy and love into your life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main characteristics of a purebred shih tzu?

Big round eyes, floppy ears, a short snout, and an extra-hairy coat are some of the reasons why people love Shih Tzu dogs. 

Is there a princess type of Shih Tzu?

Muffin is a tiny Shih Tzu (others call it an imperial or princess type; however, I am aware that this is not a separate breed of Shih Tzu

What is the rarest color of a Shih Tzu?

Although black is one of the most dominant genes, a completely black Shih Tzu, without any white markings, is arguably the least common.

Is it necessary to have a pedigree?

In the event that you do not intend to breed from or show your dog in the future, then it is not necessarily necessary for you to choose a puppy from a pedigree.

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