- Height: 12-19 inches
- Weight: 25-35 lb
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Group: Not Applicable
- Best Suited For: families without young children or other pets, apartment or home owners, experienced dog owners
- Temperament: loyal, cheerful, protective, active
- Comparable Breeds: Chinese Shar Pei, Shih Tzu
Shar Tzu Basics
The easy-going Shar Tzu brings together the quiet, willful Chinese Shar-Pei and the fun, spunky Shih Tzu for a great companion dog who is devoted to his owner and loves to hang out with his family. While typically sweet-natured, he can be aggressive toward other animals if not properly socialized and isn’t recommended for homes with young children who may test his patience.
The easy-going Shar Tzu combines the willful Shar-Pei and the fun-loving Shih Tzu for a great family dog.
The Shar Tzu is the result of crossing a Shih Tzu with a Shar-Pei and while they have ancient lineage; Shih Tzu dates back to Tibet around the year 800 and the Chinese Shar Pei goes back to 200 BC China, the Shar Tzu himself is a little more recent. He likely dates back just 30 or 40 years to when breeders first began crossing pure-bred dogs to create pups that were free of the health issues impacting their pure-bred parents. These dogs are also often bred to be gentler, smaller and hypo-allergenic.
Although the Shar Tzu doesn’t qualify to join the American Kennel Club (AKC), both of his parent breeds are members. The Shar-Pei joined the club’s “non-sporting” group in 1992 while the Shih Tzu became a member of AKC’s “toy” group in 1969.
The Shar Tzu is a medium-sized dog who is moderately active and will require a nutrient-rich kibble specifically designed for his age, size and activity level. As he is not overly active and can be prone to joint issues its important his weight be controlled. Avoid fillers that may cause him to overeat to feel full and plan to feed him 2 to 3 small meals daily versus free-feeding.
The Shar Tzu is an intelligent dog that picks commands up quickly.
The Shar Tzu is an intelligent dog that picks commands up quickly however can be headstrong when it comes to obeying them. Patience will be needed along with establishment of pack leadership early on. Because he can become bored and distracted, try introducing rewards such as lots of verbal praise and treats to your training regimen to keep him engaged and on point.
Once fully grown, the Shar Tzu will weigh between 25 and 35 pounds.
The Shar Tzu can be a headstrong little dog that requires early socialization and obedience training. He is generally a loyal, loving little companion dog that is happy to just hang out with his human pack versus engage in outdoor activities. Praise and lots of pats are important to this attention-loving pooch however young children should be supervised as this dog can have a short fuse when being teased and nips can be expected. He may well inherit the Shar-Pei’s hunting instinct and will need to be watched when around smaller pets or when off-leash as the urge to chase may be strong.
Common Health Problems
Although the Shar Tzu is considered a healthy dog, it’s always important to know what can be inherited from pure-bred parents. For the Shar Tzu, that can include joint issues including patellar luxation and hip dysplasia as well as eye disorders including glaucoma and SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome) which the Shar-Pei can be prone to.
The Shar Tzu has a life expectancy of between 10 to 12 years.
The Shar Tzu is not an overly active dog so will do well with just a couple of good daily walks throughout his neighborhood. Visits to the dog park will help keep him physically fit, mentally alert and allow him to socialize with other dogs. He may pick up the Shar-Pei’s hunting instinct, and chase smaller animals so ensure he is properly socialized and obeys commands before letting him off leash.
The Shar Tzu can be a headstrong little dog that requires early socialization and obedience training.
Also known as the Shih-Pei, the Shar Tzu cannot joint the American Kennel Club (AKC) because of his mixed breed status however he is recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA).
Your Shar Tzu may inherit the longer flowing mane of the Shih Tzu or the shorter coat and wrinkled face of the Shar-Pei. Either way he will have a dense coat and be a low- to moderate-shedder that requires daily brushing. If his coat is longer, you can expect periodic visits to the groomers for trimming and if he inherits the wrinkling of the Shar-Pei, you will need to be diligent about inspecting and carefully drying the folds after bathing to prevent infection. If your pup has longer, floppy ears, weekly inspection and cleaning will be needed to remove dirt and debris.
Shar Tzu pups can grow into stubborn, difficult to manage dogs if they are not socialized and trained in obedience early on. Establish pack leadership from the time he is young in order to ensure this little guy obeys commands and knows how to place nice with other animals.