• Shih Tzus are high-maintenance dogs. They need owners to focus on home environment, proper diet, grooming and appropriate veterinary care. In addition, Shih Tzus need a daily routine for teaching good potty habits.

    Adapting to Home

    A crate (not necessarily airline-approved) can be used to accustom puppies to sleeping, eating, and potty habits that fit the lifestyle of the family. Use a crate to settle an anxious puppy and even drape a sheet or large towel over the crate to block the puppy's view of the world. This will reduce stress and separation anxiety. Because Shih Tzus are low to the ground be aware of jumping activities. Short legs can equal injuries.


    According to, you must potty-train your puppy. If crating on a routine schedule is not acceptable, absorbent bed pads are efficient. Confine the puppy to a small area with the pad or newspaper until the puppy uses it. Work the dog toward the door, and always reward good behavior. A pat on the head and verbal praise are as good or better than a treat. It will take several weeks to housebreak, so do not get angry if your puppy has an accident. A puppy will become reliable at 8 to 10 months of age.

    Grooming Your Dog

    Shih Tzus can be washed as often as needed. Dry with a hair dryer and brush thoroughly. Avoid flea shampoos--they contain harsh chemicals that dry the skin and hair. For female dogs, use cornstarch or baby powder to freshen under areas. Shih Tzus are prone to eye ulcers, so their hair should be kept out of their eyes at all times. Hair in the ear canals should be removed, and toenails should be trimmed on a regular basis.

    Other Health Issues

    As with any dog, yearly veterinary check-ups are a must with shots, a stool-sample check and flea tablets administered. In older dogs, be aware of kidney dysplasia (abnormal development), hip issues and knee problems.


    According to, Shih Tzus are sturdy, high, alert toy dogs that need a high-protein diet with fats, vitamins and minerals. Avoid table foods. Commercial dog food is adequate. Give plenty of water and feed only one ounce of food per pound after three months. Do not free-feed. Finally, make sure your dog gets lots of exercise.

    Final Thoughts

    Like any dog, Shih Tzus need love. Play with your dog often.


    Info on Shih Tzu


    American Kennel Club Information

  • Money?
  • Better judgment, to get a cat instead.

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