Shih Tzu

Terrier Mix in Shih Tzu

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    A Terrier mix with Shih Tzu genetics is a crossbreed dog that embodies the traits of both a Shih Tzu and a terrier breed. This mix can result from breeding a purebred Shih Tzu with a terrier or from mating two Shih Tzu terrier mixes.

    Shih Tzus, tracing their roots back approximately 1000 years ago in Tibet, were initially bred for companionship, unlike larger breeds used for guarding. These dogs, sometimes gifted to Chinese emperors, were then known as Tibetan lion dogs and were highly favored for their distinct appearance and demeanor.

    Chinese emperors further developed the breed by crossing Tibetan Shih Tzus with breeds like Pekingese and Chinese Pugs, shaping the Shih Tzu we recognize today. Subsequent breeding in England refined the breed further, focusing on perfecting body size and reducing certain hereditary health issues.

    Terriers, historically bred for hunting and controlling rodent populations on farms, are characterized by their deep chests, beneficial for breathing during hunts in rabbit warrens, and strong tails, essential for farmers to retrieve their dogs from burrows.

    The exact origins of the first Shih Tzu terrier mix are unclear, but their popularity surged in the 1960s and 70s. Common terrier breeds used in these mixes include:

    • Yorkshire Terrier
    • Skye Terrier
    • Norwich Terrier
    • Norfolk Terrier
    • West Highland Terrier
    • Cairn Terrier

    Smaller terrier breeds are often chosen to pair with Shih Tzus due to size compatibility, reducing health risks for the offspring of these charming, petite canines.


    Appearance of Shih Tzu terrier mix

    The appearance of a Shih Tzu terrier mix varies widely, as it combines the distinctive traits of the Shih Tzu and various terrier breeds. This means that each Shih Tzu terrier mix dog will have its unique look, with no two dogs being identical.

    Shih Tzu terrier mix

    In terms of coat, Shih Tzu terrier mixes may exhibit a range of textures and lengths, from short and smooth to coarse, curly, long and silky, or even wiry. The specific terrier breed mixed with the Shih Tzu influences the coat’s texture and color.

    The color spectrum of Shih Tzu terrier mixes is equally diverse. Shih Tzus themselves come in 10 recognized coat colors and five distinct markings or patterns. Factor in the array of colors and markings from the terrier side, and the potential appearance of the puppies expands exponentially.

    Coats of Shih Tzu terrier mixes might display colors like black, chocolate, liver, white, grey, merle, and brindle. Patterns can range from white with solid color patches to a solid body color with white patches. Notable markings include:

    • Tuxedo: predominantly solid body color with white on the chest, belly, and paws.
    • Blaze: a white stripe running between the eyes and possibly extending down the neck.
    • Saddle: a marking over the back resembling a horse’s saddle.
    • Collar: a solid body color with a contrasting, lighter shade encircling the neck.

    In terms of size, Shih Tzu terrier mixes typically weigh under 30 pounds and stand no taller than 15 inches. However, this is just an average, as the mix with larger terrier breeds might result in bigger offspring.



    The temperament of a Shih Tzu terrier mix combines traits from both the Shih Tzu and terrier parent breeds. Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, often displaying a playful and sociable demeanor.

    Terriers, on the other hand, are recognized for their independence, confidence, and sometimes stubborn character. They are also known to be excellent watchdogs and are typically very active.

    In a Shih Tzu terrier mix, you’re likely to see a blend of these temperaments. Understanding your dog’s unique personality early on is crucial for effective training.

    Both the Shih Tzu and terrier breeds need ample mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

    To keep your Shih Tzu terrier mix engaged and content, incorporate lots of short training sessions, puzzles, and brain games into their routine. These can be purchased from pet stores or online, or you can create DIY games using common household items like toilet paper rolls and empty soda bottles.

    Such activities will not only entertain your dog but also provide the necessary mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.


    Exercise needs

    Active by nature, both Shih Tzu and terrier breeds require a significant amount of exercise. A daily regimen of at least an hour, including some off-leash activities, is recommended for Shih Tzu terrier mixes.

    Shih Tzu exercise

    Swimming serves as an excellent exercise option for these mixes, promoting cardiovascular fitness while being easy on their joints.

    While many Shih Tzu terrier mixes enjoy social interactions and playtime with other dogs, some may display the terrier’s more independent streak and prefer solo activities.

    Shih Tzu terrier mixes often excel in canine sports like agility and scent tracking. Enrolling in a local club can be a great way to meet their exercise needs. These sports not only cater to their high energy levels but also require focused engagement with their owners.



    Shih Tzus are known for their intelligence and a strong desire to please their owners. Terriers, while also smart, can exhibit a degree of stubbornness. Therefore, starting training early is crucial for your Shih Tzu terrier mix.

    To facilitate quicker learning, training sessions should be consistent and engaging. Tailor your approach to your dog’s preferences to keep them focused. Use treats if they are food-motivated, or incorporate play with their favorite toys if that’s what they enjoy.

    House training may present some challenges with Shih Tzu terrier mixes due to their small size, necessitating more frequent bathroom breaks. Additionally, their occasional stubborn streak calls for consistent and patient training. Avoid reacting negatively to indoor accidents, as this could heighten their nervousness and counteract the training progress.



    Initially, it’s best to maintain the diet your dog had with their previous owner when you bring them home. Should you decide to switch their dog food, transition them slowly throughout 2 to 3 weeks to avoid digestive issues like diarrhea.

    Shih Tzus are known to have food sensitivities and are prone to skin ailments. Therefore, a grain-free and gluten-free diet is most suitable for a Shih Tzu terrier mix.

    Ingredients like pea protein, spring greens, pumpkin, and sweet potato are excellent for maintaining healthy skin, muscle development, and digestive health.

    Incorporating supplements such as fish oil into your dog’s diet can promote a shinier coat and hydrated skin, which strengthens hair follicles and minimizes shedding.

    For small breed puppies like Shih Tzu terrier mixes, feeding them 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old is advisable.

    After reaching this age, you can gradually reduce their feedings to twice a day. For healthy treats, consider fresh fruits like sliced apples, watermelon, and blueberries, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Avoid processed treats high in fat and never give them citrus fruits, nuts, chocolate, or avocado, as these can be harmful to dogs.



    Regular grooming is essential for your Shih Tzu terrier mix, regardless of whether they have a short smooth coat or a long, dense one.

    For shorter coats, utilize an undercoat rake or a fine-toothed comb to remove loose hairs from the undercoat, and a firm-bristled brush to maintain a smooth and shiny top coat.

    a grooming dog

    For those Shih Tzu mixes with longer hair, they require more frequent grooming to avoid matting. Additionally, their hair should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks to prevent it from becoming excessively long. Using a hair dryer on a low, cool setting after baths can help to keep their coat dry and fluffy.

    Nail trimming is also important, to be done every 4-6 weeks to prevent discomfort or ingrown nails. While nail clipping can be done at home, if you’re not comfortable with the task, a professional dog groomer can assist. This ensures your Shih Tzu terrier mix is comfortable and well-maintained.


    Bathing routine

    It is recommended to bathe your Shih Tzu terrier mix about once a month. Bathing too frequently can strip their coat of essential natural oils, leading to dry skin and increased shedding. Conversely, waiting too long between baths can cause unpleasant odors and the risk of skin infections due to bacterial buildup.

    Before bathing, give your dog a quick brush to remove loose fur. Ensure they have a thick towel or a non-slip mat to stand on during the bath. Wet their coat with lukewarm water and gently apply a dog-friendly shampoo, taking care to avoid their face. After thoroughly rinsing off the shampoo, check their paws for debris or cuts.

    After the bath, dry your dog with a towel. If they have a longer coat, use a hair dryer on a low setting to finish drying. This is also a good time to clean their face with a specially formulated dog wipe and use ear drops to clean their ears, ensuring your Shih Tzu terrier mix is fresh and well-groomed.


    Dental care

    Incorporating dental care into your regular grooming routine is crucial. You can purchase specially formulated dog toothpaste from pet stores or obtain it from your veterinarian.

    Dog toothbrushes are designed with soft bristles to be gentle on your dog’s mouth, which is particularly important for puppies.

    Begin by familiarizing your dog with toothpaste, allowing them to lick it off your finger to get accustomed to its texture.

    Then, gently introduce the toothbrush by touching their teeth and gums with it, followed immediately by lots of praise and a treat.

    Slowly increase the duration the toothbrush is in contact with their teeth until you can comfortably brush with gentle strokes. Aim to clean your dog’s teeth at least once a week to maintain optimal dental health.



    So, that covers all the essential information about Shih Tzu Terrier Mix. These dogs are incredibly lively and spirited, effortlessly adjusting to various environments.

    With appropriate training and a touch of patience, your Shih Tzu should mature into a harmonious, amicable companion that seamlessly integrates into any dog community.

    They exhibit a natural affinity for children and, under vigilant supervision, can coexist harmoniously with the majority of other household pets.



    What are some common health concerns for Shih Tzu terrier mixes?

    While Shih Tzu terrier mixes can be generally healthy, they may inherit certain health issues from both parent breeds. Some common concerns include dental problems, allergies, and joint issues. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help address these issues.

    Do Shih Tzu terrier mixes shed a lot of fur?

    The shedding tendencies of Shih Tzu terrier mixes can vary depending on their coat type, which is influenced by their terrier lineage. While some may shed minimally, others with longer, denser coats may require more grooming to manage shedding. Regular grooming can help minimize shedding.

    Are Shih Tzu terrier mixes good for families with children?

    Yes, Shih Tzu terrier mixes are generally known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them suitable for families with children. However, it’s crucial to teach children how to interact respectfully with dogs and always supervise their interactions to ensure safety.

    What type of exercise is best for Shih Tzu terrier mixes?

    Shih Tzu terrier mixes are active dogs that benefit from a daily exercise routine. Activities like walks, playtime, and interactive games can help meet their exercise needs. Additionally, some may excel in canine sports like agility, which can provide mental stimulation and physical exercise.

    How can I ensure the best grooming and coat care for my Shih Tzu terrier mix?

    Proper grooming for your Shih Tzu terrier mix involves regular brushing, bathing, and nail trimming. Depending on their coat type, you may need to groom them more frequently to prevent matting. Consider professional grooming services for more intricate grooming needs, and maintain a consistent grooming routine for a healthy coat.



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