Shih Tzu is a dog breed that originated in Tibet and China where it was a popular resident in royal palaces. The name Shih Tzu means Little Lion. But Shih Tzus are anything but ferocious. This is an affectionate and calm breed with a temperament that makes it perfect as a family dog. Shih Tzus are small dogs with an average life expectancy of 11-15 years.
If you decide to bring a Shih Tzu home, you can expect a lively, intelligent, friendly, companion who will follow you from room to room but will also love a little bit of independence. Some of the things to keep in mind with this breed are that they do require a lot of grooming, although they don’t need much exercise. Also, Shih Tzus have a limited ability to tolerate heat and can struggle in warm weather due to their long, double-haired coat.
Shih Tzus first came to the United States in the 1940s and 50s, brought over by military personnel stationed in Europe. This is now one of the most popular dog breeds in the US with many celebrities having owned a Shih Tzu.
If you are interested in finding your own adorable Shih Tzu, you can get your pup from breeders in practically every state in the US, given the breed’s popularity. Some of the top Shih Tzu breeders are located in California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington, and South Dakota.
The average price of a Shih Tzu puppy in the US ranges anywhere from $750 to $3,000. You can typically find lower priced Shih Tzu puppies for under $700 in the Southern States, both from home breeders and large kennels. In areas like New England, Shih Tzu prices tend to be on the higher end, upwards of $1,000.