Shih Tzus are a cute little dog whose name roughly translates to ‘little lion’ from Mandarin Chinese. Shih Tzu tends to weigh between 9 and 16 pounds, or 4 and 8 kgs. They’re strong for their size, but really are a tiny dog at just 8-11 inches or 20-28 centimeters tall. They come in a range of colours and markings too, depending on their heritage. Shih Tzu dogs have an average lifespan of 10-16 years. According to the American Kennel Club, they are very affectionate with family, great with young children and good with other dogs too. This makes them excellent candidates for families looking for a new addition, as well as those families who already have another dog.
How much are Shih Tzu puppies? Shih Tzu puppies can cost as little as $250 from a classifieds site like Craigslist, all the way up to $4,000 from a registered, reputable breeder. As you can see, there is a huge range in a Shih Tzu puppy price. Like most dogs, a Shih Tzu puppy price is dictated by a number of factors that include:
- it’s parents/bloodline
- difficulty to breed
- the person selling
Shih Tzus that are not pure bred come with a lower price (around $250 dollars). Through a respected, reputable breeder, shih tzu puppies can cost as much as $4,000. At this price you would expect the dog to come from a respected bloodline, potentially even the quality of show dogs. A reputable Shih Tzu breeder should also be happy to show you the adult Shih Tzu, potentially even both parents.
You may also be fortunate enough to find a Shih Tzu through you local shelter. This is a good idea if you want be a more responsible dog owner, and would likely have to incure minimal one-time costs which covers the adoption fee and medical costs like vaccinations and check ups. We encourage dog owners to always look at local shelters and dog pounds first as there are many dogs, even purebred dogs that end up in these facilities and are in need of a caring, loving home.
When buying through a classified site, or when a Shih Tzu cost seems too good to be true – you should do your due diligence and make sure it isn’t coming from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are operations basically set up to breed dogs for a profit. They sell dogs at much lower than the average price they would go for, thereby making quick and easy sales to unsuspecting customers. Dogs from puppy mills rarely have any documented heritage, can live in extremely poor conditions, and could have health issues and health conditions that might cost you a lot of money in veterinary care later on in life.
Generally speaking, as a smaller dog, a relatively healthy Shih Tzu will not cost much apart from the annual cost of food, grooming and medical costs like vaccinations. A responsible breeder would also screen their litter for common health conditions like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (a slipped kneecap) and eye issues, which should give some confidence that you won’t have to deal with extra costs. Another benefit of getting a smaller dog is that they have lower ongoing costs since they eat very littel dog food and would cost less for grooming even through a professional groomer!
The Shih Tzu is a great family pet, and there is a good chance that it will live for a long time – 16 years or older. You should expect minimal medical bills, and the small size of the Shih Tzu make it a good option for dog lovers looking for a loving family pet or a small pup for apartment living.