Chihuahua vs Shih Tzu

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
14 to 16 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Chihuahuas are best for households with no small children or other dominant pets, and retirees or work-from-home parents who can provide lots of attention.

Chihuahua Temperament

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps an...

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps and cuddle—that is, after all, what they’re bred to do.

They like a lot of attention and are quite portable. But even though they’re easily carried, they do still need to learn how to walk on their own and be able to engage in normal dog behaviors, like sniffing, exploring and playing. In other words, don’t pop them in a purse or a stroller and tote them everywhere—unless, of course, it’s somewhere risky with lots of feet that could hurt a tiny paw, like an airport or street festival.

The Chihuahua dog breed is said to resemble a terrier with their demeanor and can become quite feisty, especially if they feel threatened. Some sites report that the Chihuahua bite force is 3,900 pounds per square inch (psi), but those so-called Chihuahua facts are wildly inaccurate, when a lion is only at 600 psi. (In truth, they usually inflict no more than a Level 1-3 bite, with no puncture deeper than half the length of one of their canine teeth.)

To help your Chihuahua puppy overcome a nipping or protective tendency, socialize them by safely and slowly introducing them to new people and places from the get-go and start training when they are young. Early training will also help this smallest of dog breeds become wonderfully friendly and receptive to all members of the family, including other pets.

Chihuahua Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 18 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Very Low

Best For

Shih Tzus are best for apartment dwellers, single people or families with older children. They're happier when someone is able to be home with them for most of the day.

Shih Tzu Temperament

Small in size but big on personality, the Shih Tzu is adored by everyone they meet. An agile and adaptable pet, your pint-sized pooch will love cuddling with you on the couch in front of the TV, but they’re equally happy trotting by your side in the park. A fu...

Small in size but big on personality, the Shih Tzu is adored by everyone they meet. An agile and adaptable pet, your pint-sized pooch will love cuddling with you on the couch in front of the TV, but they’re equally happy trotting by your side in the park.

A fun-loving breed, Shih Tzus enjoy playing with older children, who understand how to play gently with a small dog, and other four-legged pets as long as proper introductions have been made (they are descended from royalty after all). They aren’t known for biting, but they may bite if pushed too far in rough play. Be sure to supervise your Shih Tzu puppy around young children who may mistake this adorable pup for their favorite stuffy.

With their ability to assess situations much faster than other small breeds, the Shih Tzu is so much more than a pretty face. They make excellent watchdogs; they are always on alert for someone approaching your home and will let you know they’re coming. Even though they may exhibit a stubborn streak and require extra patience when training, they are worth the effort. Their loyalty and calm manner in all types of situations serve them in good stead as emotional support animals when their small size is not an issue.

Shih Tzu Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
Viewing 1 / 2