How Much Does A Shih Tzu Cost?

Many people who love dogs think that the Shih Tzu is an adorable breed. They have long fur, and some people put bows in their hair. They are from Tibet, but they are now famous worldwide, especially among people who like toy dogs.

Shih Tzus cost between $400 and $4,000. This extensive range is based on a few factors, including the breederโ€™s reputation and the dogโ€™s lineage. Purebred Shih Tzu, when groomed correctly, can be gorgeous. They are also small and hypoallergenic, making them popular among dog owners. Monthly maintenance costs will typically range from $50 to $200, depending on how often one would like to groom the dog.

Shih Tzus can be expensive to buy and raise. Is it worth it? Here is more about what makes them so costly and what you have to look forward to from your investment.

Are Shih Tzu Puppies Expensive?

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Shih Tzu puppies cost on average from $750 to $2,500 with most breeders.

However, purebred Shih Tzus from prized bloodlines can be very expensive, costing up to $10,000 or more. Unfortunately, they are not very common, so your chances of getting one for free or for much less from a rescue shelter are not very significant.

So why is it that Shih Tzu puppies are so expensive? Here are some potential reasons:

They Are Great Pets

Shih Tzus are great companion pets. They make great first-time dogs, and they are also suitable for families. A large group of people who like smaller dogs would opt for a Shih Tzu. That is why they are in high demand.

They Have A Unique Aesthetic

People love Shih Tzus because they are so cute. People like to let their fur grow out or trim it, so they stay cute. It is one of the things that determines how popular a Shih Tzu is, and thatโ€™s why it can be expensive.

They Are Generally Popular

Finally, the popularity of Shih Tzus could be why they are so expensive. They were ranked the 20th most popular dog in 2019 by the American Kennel Club. This popularity is due to both evident and inexplicable reasons.

In addition to the high purchase price, you will have to spend between $1,180 to $2,570 on yearly maintenance. Shih Tzus are relatively high-maintenance due to their coat and unique health needs.

What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Shih Tzu?

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The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is 10 to 16 years.

However, when healthy and well taken care of, they have been known to live for much longer. A great example, in this case, is Smokey the Shih Tzu, who lived up to 23 years.

Most of their health issues manifest when the Shih Tzu is fully grown, at around 9 to 12 months. Here are a few that you may have to deal with.

Breathing Problems

One of the main reasons Shih Tzus are so cute is their flat faces. However, this brachycephalic structure comes with a lot of problems. The most important of which are breathing difficulties.

Severe cases could result in respiratory distress and generally poor quality of life for the doggy.

Eye Injuries

Another common issue associated with their flat faces is an eye injury. Their big eyes are more exposed, lacking the protection that a longer snout and more protruded forehead would offer.


Coprophagia is a psychological condition that manifests with the Shih Tzu eating their poop. It could be due to several reasons, mainly stress, nutritional deficiency, or even boredom. It should be discouraged, especially if they eat other dogsโ€™ poop, resulting in worm infestations.


A good weight range for an adult Shih Tzu is 8 to 18 lbs. It depends on several factors, including diet, activity level, and gender.

Due to their high appetites and tendency to be lazy, Shih Tzus are at risk of becoming obese. Regular exercise and healthy portions are all you need to prevent this.

How To Take Care Of Shih Tzus?

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Although Shih Tzus can be expensive to keep happy and healthy, they are not high maintenance in terms of time investments. Here are all the general care needs you need to think about.

Get Them On A Healthy Diet

Shih Tzus need a healthy balanced diet for their health and wellbeing. We recommend Pet Plate if you want to feed your Shih Tzu the best quality food. The meal plans are customized and include fruits, vegetables, and very high-quality meat sources.

Quantity Is As Important As Quality In The Diet

Adult Shih Tzus should eat between ยพ and 1 cup of food per day. Daily meals should be divided into 2 or 3 servings, depending on how active your dog is and when they usually eat.

Incorporate Multivitamins Supplements

Shih Tzus are like other small dogs in that they often have musculoskeletal issues, including problems with their discs, hips, and shoulders. Multivitamin supplements can be beneficial for these and other health problems.

Keep The Shih Tzu Occupied

While these doggies are typically very lively, they have a lazy side and will do nothing all day if allowed to get away with it. Therefore, it is essential to keep them active by investing in toys and playtime.

Do Shih Tzus Like To Cuddle? Temperament Of Shih Tzus

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Shih Tzus are often considered lap dogs because of their temperament traits. Once they get home and feel comfortable, they will act like this.


These little dogs might not be the biggest, but they are loyal. They form strong bonds with the people who play with or feed them the most. Once you earn a Shih Tzuโ€™s trust, itโ€™s for life!


Shih Tzus are very affectionate. They will come and cuddle with you or play with you when they get to know you. They are also very affectionate with strangers, even if the stranger doesnโ€™t seem threatening.


Shih Tzu dogs tend to bark a lot.

This can be pretty annoying to you and your neighbors, especially if you live in a small apartment setting. The bright side is that this trait comes in handy if you want to keep the dog as a watchdog.


Shih Tzus are amiable and outgoing dogs. Do not be surprised if your pup makes a lot of friends at the doggy daycare or the pooch park. They are particularly social if exposed to new people and pets from an early age.


You should never leave a Shih Tzu for more than 4 to 6 hours maximum. They thrive on company and may develop separation anxiety when left alone for very long.

Mistrusting Of Strangers

Shih Tzus can be very friendly with strangers, but they are often mistrusting. They will bark at and even charge at humans they deem suspicious.

This mistrust is why Shih Tzus are sometimes thought of as aggressive and mean. Fortunately, socialization can solve this issue.


It costs about $150 to $200 for about 2 to 4 weeks of professional training for a Shih Tzu. This high price tag is because they are not always easy to train due to their stubborn nature. You could save a lot by doing the training yourself, in which case we recommend the Brain Training for Dogs program. It works wonders whether you want to generally housebreak or potty train your Shih Tzu.

Can I Groom My Shih Tzu Myself? Grooming Tips For Shih Tzus

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Shih Tzus are known for their long, beautiful coats. If allowed to grow out, they can reach past the level of the paws.

However, Shih Tzus actually do not shed much.

Shih Tzus are considered hypoallergenic dogs. Your job as far as grooming is therefore not going to be too hard. You could also get it done professionally for $50 to $100 per session, depending on the length of the coat and the specific grooming you want to be done.

For DIY care, here are a few tips that should help you figure things out:

Establish A Grooming Routine

Shih Tzus should be brushed 3 to 4 times every week. Regular brushing will help prevent matting, especially with very long-haired doggies. They should also get a bath every 6 to 12 weeks. It is entirely up to you to find the best schedule for you and your dog.

Get That Mane Under Control

For the most part, only Shih Tzus bred for shows and competitions have fur grown out to ground length. While it is super cute, it may not always be the most practical option.

Therefore, it is essential to schedule regular trimming to make the coat neater and easier to manage. Again, this is entirely up to you, depending on your preferences.

Find A Style That Suits Your Poochโ€™s Personality

Finding the best hairstyle for your Shih Tzu is always fun as they are very versatile in terms of aesthetics. You can have them rock a shaggy mane or invest in professional grooming for a super cute teddy bear cut.

Whatever you go for, they will no doubt look incredibly cute.

What Is The Rarest Color Shih Tzu? The rarest color for a Shih Tzu is solid black. While it is quite an edgy and cool look for the dog, it is, unfortunately, super uncommon due to the recessive nature of the genes required for the trait. So two solid black Shih Tzus need to mate to produce black puppies.

Is A Male Or Female Shih Tzu Better? Male Shih Tzus are more popular when it comes to temperament. They tend to be very affectionate and social and are also known to be more loyal to their human companions. However, females also have a lot to offer. They may take a bit more time to open up, but they are every bit as loving and friendly with love and care.

How Long Do Teacup Shih Tzus Live? A teacup Shih Tzu can live for 10 to 16 years when kept safe and healthy, similar to the full-sized version, despite weighing fewer than 2.5 lbs. Despite the small size, they are more or less the same as regular Shih Tzus in terms of health issues.

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Pete Decker