Shih Tzu Pug Mix โ€“ Your Complete Breed Guide To The Pug-Zu

If youโ€™re a dog lover, you must have heard a lot about Pugs and Shih Tzus being known as โ€˜clown dogsโ€™ and โ€˜little lions.โ€™ But what do you call a Pug crossed with a Shih Tzu? Yes, you have guessed it right! Today we are here to introduce you to another breed of a cute little dog named Pug-Zu.

Pug-Zu is a mixed breed dog that is the offspring of a purebred Shih Tzu and a purebred Pug. This Shih Tzu Pug Mix is a sweet petite doggie that is quite friendly, which makes it a perfect family pet for everyone.

If you are thinking of bringing Pug-Zu home, this article is for you. We have discussed everything about them from their lifespan, grooming, shedding, and tips for taking care. But before that, letโ€™s have an overview of its physical appearance in detail!

How Big Will A Pug Shih Tzu Get?

With an average weight of 10 to 20 lbs, a Pug-Zu grows as tall as 8 to 12 inches in size. However, the size varies depending upon the parentsโ€™ sizes and physical traits.

Physical Appearance

As Pugzu is a mixed breed dog, its physical appearance varies depending upon the dominant parent breed.

Pugzu can look more like a Shih Tzu with a small but wide body and long silky hair. It can also look more like a Pug having a curled tail, a sturdy body and a wrinkly squished face. Or it can be a mix of both. The tail can be straight or curled that is usually curved over its back.

Image from Instagram:@gundioy


The Shih Tzu Pug Mix comes in different coat colors, such as white, black, brindle, brown, apricot, and fawn. Brindle and brown colors with white patterns are prevalent in this breed.

Its eyes are typically brown, while the nose is often seen as black in color.


Just like the overall physical appearance, the coat color, length, density, and texture varies in different Pug-Zu dogs. That will significantly depend on what it inherits from both of the parents. Usually, the puppyโ€™s coat hairs are small to medium. In contrast, a fully grown Pug-Zu bears long hairs that require regular trimming.

The coat texture ranges from straight, wavy, wiry, curly, to corded. In each case, the hair gets tangled quickly. So, you have to brush it on a regular basis.

How Long Does A Pug-Zu Live?

On average, a healthy Pug-Zu has a lifespan of about 9 to 14 years. But it is possible only if you take proper care of it as these little canines are pretty sensitive.

Letโ€™s get to know about some of their common health issues.

Heat Intolerance

The Pug-Zu is very sensitive to heat and susceptible to heatstroke. Given that both Shih Tzu and Pug dog breeds can get overheated easily, the Pug-Zu is not spared from this sensitivity.

You have to provide the Pug-Zu with a cool or โ€‹โ€‹air-conditioned environment, especially during hot summer days. Otherwise, this mixed dog can get ill or sometimes even die from heatstroke.

Image from Instagram:@angeltrueform

Hip Dysplasia 

Pugzus can get this disease from its parent Pugs. It affects bone development in puppies, and the grownup dogs show a symptom of joint pain.

The veterinarian primarily suggests weight reduction, exercise restriction on hard surfaces. Medications such as joint supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs, and joint fluid modifiers are usually prescribed.

Eye Problems 

Eye problems are commonly seen in every Pug-Zu dog. It includes dry eye, proptosis, distichiasis, and progressive retinal atrophy

Common symptoms include:

  • Rubbing eyes
  • Excessive discharge
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Most of these eye infections are treated with antibiotic drops, artificial tears, and other oral medications.


Shih Tzu Pug Mix suffers from different types of allergies, including contact, inhalant, and food allergy. If you ever notice your dog is rubbing his face vigorously or licking his paws more often, get him checked by a veterinarian. Depending on the type of allergy, the vet will provide the treatment accordingly.

How To Take Care Of Pug-Zus?

Pug-Zu needs a proper healthy feed with essential nutrients and a regular exercise routine to keep itself healthy and fit.

Healthy Diet

This mixed breed requires a kibble that is low in carbs and protein filler. Feed them 2 to 3 times a day with small food portions to make them feel fuller. But make sure he is not overeating as it may result in bloating and obesity that later on causes joint problems.

You can get a healthy meal plan for your dog from Pet Plate. It contains a good mix of beef, apples, and carrots that are great for active dogs like Pug-Zu. The diet must have all the essential multivitamins and minerals that are ideal for your dogโ€™s age.

Exercise Routine

Pug-Zu is small in size; thatโ€™s why it is relatively active. Your furry friend requires almost 30 minutes of activity or exercise each day. This will keep him physically and mentally fit. He loves to play every type of game like fetch, tug, and many more.

Oral Hygiene

Like humans, oral hygiene is essential for this dog breed as well as it prevents many bacterial diseases, dental deposits, and bad breath. Healthy feeding and exercise are just not enough to provide proper care for your Pug-Zu.

You should pay attention to the oral hygiene of your Pug-Zu as well. Invest in some good-quality dental water additives or chews that help clean and freshen its teeth. This will save your dog from gum diseases, prevent bacterial growth, and reduce tartar buildup.

Do Pug-Zus Bark A Lot? Temperaments Of Shih Tzu Pug Mixes

Pug-Zus do not have barking tendencies and usually bark when something is out of place or when they see an outsider. Hence, this is why Pug-Zus are easy-going for everyone who will get easily attached to such a friendly dog breed.

Here are more on the temperament of the Pug-Zu dog breed.

Need Attention 

As we all know now, these Pug-Zus are pretty friendly. You may be wondering whether such a dog breed can be left all alone while you are away.

These cute little potato couches crave your attention and love to cuddle with you on the couch. So, donโ€™t leave Pug-Zus alone for more than 6 hours, as they may likely suffer from separation anxiety in this way.

If you are going away for a day or more, leave your Pug-Zu in the care of a professional sitter or someone close who loves your pooch as well as you do.

Image from Instagram:@rubytherescuedog


Shih Tzu Pug Mix has a pleasing and playful nature. It loves to spend time with its owners and play with kids, making it a good family dog. In return, it will love you and give you sweet, warm cuddles when you need a friend.


Like their parents, Pug-Zus are smart and known for their intelligence. They are always willing to learn new tricks and play new exciting games.

Thus you can quickly train them due to this quality and of course, with training treats for rewards. However, puppies are a lot easier to train and deal with, unlike the adult Pug-Zus who may get stubborn at times.

Do Shih Tzu Pugs Shed? Grooming Tips For Shih Tzu Pug Mixes

How much Shih Tzu Pug Mix sheds all depends on the genes it got from both parents. Some hardly shed in some months while others have shedding throughout the year.

Unlike one of its parents Shih Tzu who is considered hypoallergenic, Pug-Zus typically are not considered hypoallergenic unless they have the dominant genes from Shih Tzu get expressed.

Letโ€™s have a look at the grooming tips for Pug-Zus.

Hair Trimming

As this furry little doggie has long coat hairs, you have to trim its hairs regularly. Otherwise, it may get tangled and become difficult to brush and trim after that.

Also, the dog feels quite annoyed when the long hair comes into its eyes. You can use a Furminator Undercoat Tool to de-shed and remove any loose hairs of your dog.

Brushing The Coat

Whether your Pug-Zu has long or short hair, there is a need for regular brushing the coat. Brushing 3 times a week is often recommended.

Brushing can help prevent tangled hairs and make your Pug-Zu neat and good-looking. Pugzu with shorter hair is relatively easy to maintain in this regard.


Bathing should be done only when required after a particular period. Use a good quality dog shampoo like Mighty Petz 2-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo And Conditioner. Such a shampoo will not interfere with the natural oil of the dog hairs.

How Much Is A Pug-Zu? The average cost of a Pug-Zu ranges from $300 to $1,100. The cost usually depends on multiple factors like their origin, age, and of course, the breeder. However, the Shih Tzu Pug Mix is typically less expensive than purebred Pugs which can individually cost more than $1,000.

Which Is Better: Shih Tzu Or Pug? A Shih Tzu is perhaps the better choice for inexperienced or new owners. It also requires less maintenance and grooming as compared to a Pug. Pugs can be a little stubborn at times when they may not always be obedient when commanded. All in all, both breeds are loving and affectionate, making them ideal to be family companion dogs.

Can Pug-Zus Swim? Depending on how much the Pug-Zus inherit from either parent, their swimming behavior is different for each individual Pug-Zu. If the pup is more like Shih Tzu, the Pug-Zu will not love being in the water. On the other hand, Pugs are relatively fond of water, but we canโ€™t say that they are good swimmers without proper training.

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Pete Decker