The Pekingese Shih Tzu mix is a fascinating little dog.
With the dignified Pekingese and playful Shih Tzu as parents, it can be hard to predict the character of these puppies.
So what do we know about the Pekingese Shih Tzu mix? What can you expect in terms of temperament, size, health and training.
And how well would one of these loveable pups fit into your family?
Where Does the Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Come From?
While the Pekingese Shih Tzu is a relatively new mix, we do have the history of both parent breeds.
The Pekingese breed comes from Asia—more specifically, China. And these highly valued dogs were not allowed to leave the palace.
Because of this, they weren’t “discovered” by the rest of the world until 1860 but have become increasingly valued ever since.
Shih Tzus have a very similar history. They come from Tibet, where Buddhist monks kept and raised them as companions and watchdogs.
Interestingly, all Shih Tzus today are bred from just 14 of those original dogs.
Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Appearance
Mix breed pups can take after either parent, so your Pekingese Shih Tzu mix could have a variety of appearances.
As a general rule, expect your dog to be about 10 to 16 lbs in weight. They will usually have a long, dense and wavy coat, and be around 8 to 12 inches in height.
Your pup could end up with either a brown, white, red, black or fawn coat. They also may have some color variations in their coat.
They will most likely have a brown nose and brown eyes. Although sometimes the Pekingese Shih Tzu mix can have a black nose.
Finally, as both the Shih Tzu and the Pekingese are brachycephalic dogs, their pups’ faces will be quite flat. Pekingese have flatter faces than Shih Tzu in general, so the muzzle length of a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix will vary.
We’ll take a look at the effect of that short muzzle and flat face on Pekingese Shih Tzu mix health, shortly.
But first, now that we have an idea about their looks, what kind of temperament does this mix generally have?
Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Temperament
The Pekingese and Shih Tzu both share similar temperaments. So it is likely that their puppies will have similar temperaments too. Both parents are commonly described as loyal, affectionate but also independent or even ‘stubborn’.
Proper training will go a long way of preventing any mischievous behavior in these characterful pups.
Training Your Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix
It can be hard to feel motivated to train a small breed dog, when he can simply be picked up whenever he heads for mischief.
But you can get a lot of pleasure and enjoyment out of training your Pekingese Shih Tzu mix using positive training techniques. And they will enjoy it too!
Keep your training ‘positive only’ for best results.
Potty and crate training may be a bit of a challenge with a tiny dog, so do read up on advice on this before bringing a puppy home.
Both the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu can tend to be a little aloof with strangers. This means socialization is very important for a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix.
Good socialization in the first few months will help your pup to be comfortable with strangers. And will reduce the chance of later aggression problems.
Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Health
Sadly both the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu have a number of hereditary health problems. These are mostly related to their conformation (shape), especially their flat faces.
You may have heard that that mix breed dogs are healthier than purebred ones. And in some ways this is true, as introducing diversity and variation into bloodlines does decrease the likelihood of certain inherited problems.
However, a mix breed pup is at risk of inheriting any of the problems common to either of the parent breeds. So lets take a look at those problems here.
Pekingese Health Problems
The Pekingese breed is severely brachycephalic. That is to say, their faces are extremely flat.
And while this gives them a distinctive look that many people find very cute, put simply, dogs need muzzles.
The ‘squashed’ pekingese face makes it difficult for these dogs to increase their air intake when they exercise. It also makes it hard for them to cool themselves down.
Pekingese can usually only take gentle exercise and should not exercise in the heat… no matter how much they want to. Their compressed faces also cause eye problems including corneal ulcers.
Their disproportionately long backs and short legs make them prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease, a painful spinal condition that can cause paralysis.
Shih Tzu Health Problems
Shih Tzu dogs are also brachycephalic. And while this tends to be less extreme than it is in Pekingese, it can cause the same problems with over heating and inability to exercise.
In addition, brachycephalia in Shih Tzu causes problems such as nostrils too narrow to comfortably breathe through, blockages at the back of the throat, and collapsed airways. These conditions can be serious enough to require surgery.
Like the Pekingese, the Shih Tzu’s stature means it is prone to painful and damaging spinal problems such as intervertebral disc disease.
Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Health Problems
In general, when creating a mix breed pup, it is advisable to try to pick a pair that complement each other. Parents that may offset each other’s weaknesses.
If you have your heart set on a brachycephalic parent for your pup, they should ideally be paired with a dog from a breed with a healthy facial structure and nice long muzzle.
This can help produce pups with a longer muzzle than their flat faced parent. And this is likely to help offset (but not necessarily eliminate) the breathing, cooling, airway and eye problems associated with flat faces.
Pekingese Shih Tzu mix pups have two parents that are brachycephalic, with short legs and long backs. So they are likely to have the same features, and suffer any (or all) of the health problems above as a result.
Because these problems prevent the dog from leading a full life, and often cause severe discomfort and pain, we cannot recommend choosing a puppy from this mix of breeds.
Alternative to a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix
If you are very keen to bring home a Shih Tzu mix breed, or a Pekingese mix breed, in particular, we would suggest considering some of these other mixes.
If you do decide to bring home a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix, make sure your vet is involved in their care. Your vet can advise you as to how much exercise they need, and how much they can cope with. And help you to keep an eye out for other problems.
Part of this will involve having a good routine of daily care.
Grooming and Caring for the Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix
The Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix requires daily brushing and exercising.
These pups need a short walk every day. And a fenced in yard is best, as this will allow your pup to romp around freely to their heart’s content.
You should also check their eyes and skin each day to remove any irritants and to discover any issues that may arise before they become full-blown problems.
Does the Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Make a Good Family Dog?
The Pekingese Shih Tzu mix has the right temperament for a good family dog.
They are loyal and loving, and respond well to positive training methods.
However their small size makes them vulnerable to injury from small children. And they are prone to serious and painful health problem. So sadly we cannot recommend getting a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix puppy.
If your heart is set on this breed, why not consider rescuing or adopting an adult dog from this mix instead?
This option will work best if your family doesn’t have small children at home, and you don’t need your dog to carry out a high level of exercise to fit into with lifestyle.
Rescuing a Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix
A great place to start is by contacting local adoption centers and shelters.
You may not find your new pup straight away, but this will you will put you in touch with the wider community.
These organizations may also have information on whether this mix is even available close to your area.
Because of the high value placed on these pups, another great place to start is by calling up organizations or breeders of both parent breeds and explaining your situation.
You may get lucky and find someone looking to find a new home for a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix.
Making the decision to rescue or adopt your new pup might take longer and make it harder to find what you want, but it is doable.
Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Rescues
While rescue organizations for this particular mix do not exist, both parent breeds have groups and organizations devoted to them.
In the US:
- Shih Tzu Rescue is a good resource
- New Beginnings group are also dedicated to Shih Tzu rescue
- Pekingese Rescue Network may be able to help you out as well.
There may be others closer to you depending on where you’re located.
Finding a Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix puppy
If you still have your heart set on a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix puppy, there are some steps you can take to make sure you bring home a healthy and happy pup.
Unfortunately, a lot of designer dogs are vulnerable to exploitation by unethical breeders.
Therefore, no matter how badly you want one, avoiding puppy mills and pet shops should be your top priority.
How can you tell the difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy mill, especially online?
The short answer is that you may not be able to tell the difference from their online presence alone. Your best bet is to call them and then visit a potential breeder.
Look for happy, healthy parents, caring owners, and good living quarters. A completely booked up schedule can be a good sign of a popular reputable breeder.
Don’t be discouraged by this, just be aware that it may take some time. If you feel a bit lost and don’t know where to begin, our puppy search guide can give you a great start.
Pros and Cons of Getting A Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix
In summary, what are some of the pros and cons of getting a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix?
- A loving lapdog
- Affectionate and caring
- An amazing history on both sides of their family.
- Predisposition to painful back problems and paralysis
- At risk of eye problems, airway collapse and blockage
- Unlikely to be able to cope with heat, or ever do much exercise
- May need surgery to correct problems caused by their flat face
Is a Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix Right For Me?
At the end of the day, only you can make the decision as to whether a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix is right for you and your family.
These sweet little dogs are loyal and affectionate, but likely to suffer discomfort and pain due to their face shape and stature.
Whatever you decide, best of luck happy hunting and best of luck with your newest family member!
Your ideal pup is out there waiting for you! And if this doesn’t sound like the dog for you, you can always check out these other Pekingese mixes!
Do you have a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix? We’d love to hear all about your experience in the comments below.
References and Further Reading
Genetic Welfare Problems of Companion Animals
Priester W. 1976. Canine intervertebral disc disease – Occurrence by age, breed, and sex among 8,117 cases. Theriogenology. DOI: 10.1016/0093-691X(76)90021-2
Ohara K et al. 2001. Renal dysplasia in a Shih Tzu dog in Japan. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. DOI: 10.1292/jvms.63.1127
Hoppe A et al. Progressive nephropathy due to renal dysplasia in shih tzu dogs in Sweden: A clinical pathological and genetic study. Journal of Small Animal Practice. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.1990.tb00728.x
We have a 7 year old male pekinese shitzu cross ( this is our 2nd one) and we will never have a different breed…It’s like they say about this breed, they think they are a big dog, but in a little body, but they aren’t yappy or aggresive…Sami, our male is such a little sweetheart, so loving and affectionate, was very easy to train…We got him at 9 weeks and we had maybe 6 accidents with him with his potty training, mind you, I was well trained, and very attentive as soon as he woke up he was outside and did his thing…Training him to sit, stand, stay, come, etc. was a dream…He was very smart and caught on very quickly…The one that was the hardest was to get him to stay and me to walk away as he always wants to be with us, but once we got him over that hurdle, we were good to go…He always comes when he’s called and if we go out without him, you’d think he hadn’t seen us for a week instead of an hour. He is also amazing with little kids and we didn’t know how he would be, as we are retired, but the first little baby that came around was about 1 months and Sami just sat on the floor beside her and let her pet him and play with him, although I will say the parents had trained their little girl to be gentle with dogs and cats and we have cats also and she was good with both…I would highly recommend this breed to anyone…As I said earlier, this is our 2nd in this breed and Amy, our female, was exactly the same temperament as Sami…They are an awesome breed of dog, good with people, little kids, other dogs, big or small, cats and can live in any situation…We live in the country, but when we had our first dog, Amy, we lived in the city…They are a very happy breed of dog to be around and most everyone likes them and if they don’t, they don’t need to come visiting as Sami is staying at our house…lol
My Leo is 8 years old and he is a sweetheart… we got him at 8 weeks and he has run the household ever since! Easy to potty train and very affectionate; highly recommend this breed.
I have a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix. She was a rescue dog that I got when she was 3 years old and she is now 14 years old. She has just recently been acting her age by sleeping most of the day. She is extremely loving and affectionate and she loves everyone she meets. She’s great with children and adults alike – everyone is her best friend! She loves to be with me wherever I go and is always eager for snuggles. When I got her she had hot spots on her body that she had chewed until they bled. I discovered that she is allergic to red meat and flea bites and since removing red meat from her diet and making sure her flea treatments are never late, her skin has been great. She has always grunted, snorted and snored. She loves short walks but if she decides she’s had enough she will lie down and want me to pick her up and carry her home. She has occasionally had dry eyes but it wasn’t until very recently that I have had to start putting lubricating eyedrops in her eyes every day. She is very loving and very stubborn. She was easy to potty train and has never had an accident in the house. She easily learns new commands but has selective hearing and tends to only do what is asked of her if she wants to and if there’s something in it for her. She is a sensitive wee soul and she will go and sulk for a while if her feelings have been hurt. She likes to be the dominant dog and so long as she is allowed to be the dominant dog she is confident and friendly towards other dogs, including very big dogs. She gets jealous if I pay too much attention to other dogs and will make it clear to them that they need to back away.
Pamela Roberts says
My little Shinese Gracie is the best dog ever. She is three years old. I could not have picked a better dog. She has more of the shih Tzu look with the longer nose. She is so sweet, adorable and was very easy to potty train. She is very friendly with everyone she meets. She loves to go for walks. I hope to have many years with her. I can’t imagine having a dog that would be better than she is. She is a delight, I adore her and she makes me laugh often. Highly recommend this breed!
Faith Williams. says
I did not know that a Pekingese has problems and I also didn’t know that Shih Tzu has problems as well.
patricia hernandez says
My picshitzu detected my breast cancer he jumped on my breast inverted my nipple and pushed out the ball of cancer that was growing behind my nipple , he saved my life goes everywhere I go around house he’s amazing tobey my hero.
Teresa K Brown says
we are looking for a Pekingese Shih Tzu mix puppy for sale. We live in Sioux City, Iowa.
Amanda M Drake says
I’m picking up my baby boy about 11 today. After reading all the things that can go wrong, idk if I should? The article said would not recommend one. He’s so cute, and fluffy. I’m disabled & need something to snuggle and help me pass the day. Now idk what to do? They’re so cute.
Carol A Booth says
we had our Pikachu for 17 years. He was the best furbaby we ever had. His final year was tough with hip displacia and the spinal arthritis. But he was my baby and very spoiled. I would not give up those 17 years for anything.
Laurie Hawkins says
Don’t worry about what people say, I have that mix, she’s soon going to be 10 and have had not a single problem as of yet, she still bounces around like she’s a puppy and people can’t believe her age, she’s a beautiful girl and when she does go over the rainbow Bridge she will be so missed, but like I said no problems whatsoever, even going to the vet she gives kisses after injections and the dog groomers love her, I hadn’t seen one of her groomers in about 4 years and just called the other day to make an appointment and she was delighted were bringing Gabi back, one of her favorites for sure!
I have a 13 year old Hybrid. I actually got him from my daughters late mother in law. His name is Yoshi and he’s adorable. All the medical problems are absolutely true but our Vet takes good care of him. We also have a Jack Russel, Buddy but although he’s 16 years of age the JR Buddy besides being bling he’s in a lot better health than Yoshi. The athletic nature of Buddy keeps my Yoshi in a much healthier condition.
To all of you Shitzu/Pekenese owners like me don’t worry too much about the medical issues on your pups until they’re almost 10 years old except for the snoring 😴 which is actually funny. Until that enjoy your pups they’re adorable. I absolutely adore mine.
Judy Chamberlin says
Hi, We saw a precious dog at the rescue shelter today and he is a shitzu pekenese mix and is so sweet. He is four yrs old. My question- will he have to be groomed every 6 wks? Will he be a picky eater? I have never had this breed but feel he will do fine. We lost our dear dog lately and my heart is broken, so know this new fur baby will heal me. Please let me know about your dog. Thank you so much. Judy
Laurie Hawkins says
My Gabi is the mixed breed and she can be picky but not much, we do let her coat grow for about 4 to 5 months, she looks a little ragged but really cute, she’s 10 years next month but she has the personality and disposition of a much younger dog
Laurie Hawkins says
The first time I heard kine snore was one of the funniest things I’d heard
Our baby just passed a couple weeks ago. It’s been painful losing her. We miss her every day. The house is so quiet without her. It’s amazing how much space such a little dog can take up in our lives & home. She was smart, funny, energetic and loving. She did have major back problems in her final year and could barely see. I would love to have another but are worried about the health issues.
Irene Schurley says
My little girl was 15 and a half. I miss her every day. She did have a back problem and for 1 year I was her legs. She couldn’t walk but she still had her dignity to go to the bathroom. In the end she was stopping eating and I didn’t want her to starve to death. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do and in the end I left the room and my son took over. Looking into those trusting brown eyes was impossible. I will never forget her. Best dog I ever had.
Kristen Buford says
My Maxwell is a puppy mill rescue and he’s 11 this month. He has a lot of skin issues and breathes and snores funny like he’s stopped up. He’s the sweetest, gentlest boy and will not snap or bite no matter what. I had a shih tzu who would. He’s sweet and sensitive and loving and he loves walks up to a mile. He has some minor back pain, if I pick him wrong and can’t jump as high as he used to. He’s content sitting on pillows or in a corner always by us:) I love this dog beyond words and hope he lives to 18
We have 3 year old Shitzu Pekingese named Bear.
She is best pup ever!! Smart, obedient, loyal and extremely affectionate.
No health problems so far
Loves her walk every morning .
We are careful when it’s hot so she doesn’t get overheated
Elizabeth arias says
My baby girl is almost 3 she too is not presenting any problems I’m looking at her right now as she is sleeping on the couch all balled up every morning she doesn’t stretches it’s so cute to watch her stretch she has a routine already she sees the kids off to school wait for them in the window when they come home when she’s happy to see you so stand in front of you and wag her tail so wild when she loves someone she loves them with everything she has and she doesn’t like you she will bark so loud just The thought that one day she would start to have some declining health issues reading these articles was very helpful but it made me very sad to I guess we just have to take care of her and enjoy her and hopefully pray that we have a long time with her
VIVIAN BRENDEN says
Best dog we have ever owned..2 years old…loyal affectionate lap dog..lives to play and go for short walks..husband 82..dog follows him everywhere .Benji is the best companion for elderly..not keen on young kids.
Lynette Frewin says
Glad to read your comment. I am picking up my Pekinese Shih Tzu mix in a few days.
She is called Susie she will be 3yrs in Oct her owner cannot keep her & wanted a loving home for her. I am 75 & partner 80 so I really looking forward to having her.I have previously had Jack Russells/Foxie.
We just lost our baby girl. She was 18 years and 45 days old. She was the sweetest baby you could ask for. She didn’t start having the problems (eyes, back) until she was 17 years old. Most furbabies don’t live that long. So we were blessed to be in her presents as long as we were. Miss her so much. We are considering getting another shih Tzu pekingese mix, just need a little more time trying to get over our loss. Sugar was our little angel !!! We WOULD recommend this mix breed.