8 Types of Shih Tzu and How To Identify Them

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Shih Tzus, renowned for their lovable nature and adorable looks, come in various types, each with unique traits and qualities. Despite their diversity, all Shih Tzus share core characteristics like being small, furry, and affectionate. This video provides a comprehensive overview of the different kinds of Shih Tzus, highlighting their distinct features and qualities.

Common Traits Among All Shih Tzus

  • Size and Nature: Shih Tzus are small, furry, and cuddly, known for their energetic, loving, and friendly nature.
  • Misleading Name: “Shih Tzu” translates to “Little Lion,” but their character is far from lion-like.

Various Types of Shih Tzus

  1. American Shih Tzus: Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969, they have high legs, short necks, and small chests. They are characterized by their tiny bodies, long legs, deep-set black eyes, square-shaped cranium, and long silky fur.
  2. Solid Black Shih Tzus: Extremely rare, they must be completely black to be recognized as purebred by the AKC. They have a black nose, eye rims, and paw pads.
  3. European Shih Tzus: Similar to American Shih Tzus but with a longer neck and round head. They have big eyes and a broad chest.
  4. Imperial Shih Tzus: Often misunderstood as purebred, they are actually a crossbreed and the smallest among Shih Tzus. They are energetic and require frequent pampering.
  5. Teacup Shih Tzus: Among the tiniest, they remain small due to genetic breeding. They require extra care and attention due to their size.
  6. Brown Texture Shih Tzus: Includes chocolate and liver colors, resulting from lightening genes. They have different nose colors and lighter coats.
  7. Brindle Shih Tzus: They have a base color with streaks of other colors, giving them a multi-colored appearance.
  8. Japanese Shih Tzus: These are mixed breed dogs, often involving a Japanese Chin and a Shih Tzu. They are cuddly, intelligent, and somewhat stubborn.


All these different types of Shih Tzus stem from the same parent breed. They share similar body sizes and long fur but exhibit unique characteristics in appearance and personality.


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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