Stepping into the world of Shih Tzus is a delightful journey filled with endless cuteness but also coupled with many financial considerations. "Unraveling the True Cost: An In-Depth Guide to Shih Tzu Dog Prices" is an exhaustive resource designed to give potential pet owners a comprehensive overview of the Shih Tzu price landscape in 2023.

This article features a detailed 2023 price guide, covering the full Shih Tzu price range, from Shih Tzu puppies cost, adult Shih Tzu, and the rare teacup Shih Tzus, to factors impacting price variation such as the breeder's reputation and certifications recognized by the American Kennel Club. Additionally, the guide addresses questions like 'How much is a Shih Tzu?' and 'Why do purebred Shih Tzus cost so much?'

As well as breaking down the expenses associated with bringing home a Shih Tzu, from food and water to veterinary costs. This article also explores why choosing a cheap Shih may not always be the best decision, the costs of adopting an older dog, and what it takes to take your dog home. By understanding the true cost of getting a Shih Tzu puppy, you'll be better prepared to offer a new Shih Tzu a loving, forever home.

History and Background of Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

The Shih Tzu breed, originating in ancient China, holds significant historical value and is known for its distinctive traits and characteristics. This breed has a rich history that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty when it was highly favored by Chinese royalty. Shih Tzu's name translates to 'lion dog,' which reflects its regal appearance and dignified demeanor.

These dogs were often given as gifts to foreign diplomats, further cementing their status as prized possessions. In addition to their historical significance, Shih Tzus possess typical traits and characteristics that make them stand out among other breeds. They are known for their luxurious double coat, which requires regular grooming to maintain its beauty.

Their large round eyes give them an expressive look that melts hearts, while their short snout and flat face contribute to their unique appearance. Despite their small size, Shih Tzus have a confident and outgoing personality, making them excellent companion animals.

Overall, the origin and historical significance of the Shih Tzu breed combined with its typical traits and characteristics make it an intriguing subject for those interested in understanding the true cost of owning this beloved canine companion. Whether you are captivated by their royal lineage or drawn to their charming personalities, there is no denying the timeless appeal of the Shih Tzu breed.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

The Initial Purchase Price of a Shih Tzu

Breeder reputation, pedigree and lineage, and location are among the factors determining the price range of an initial purchase for a Shih Tzu. Regarding breeder reputation, highly reputable breeders who have established themselves in the industry often charge higher prices for their Shih Tzus.

This is because they invest considerable time and effort in producing healthy and well-bred puppies, ensuring they adhere to strict breeding standards. Additionally, breeders with a good reputation may provide ongoing support and guidance to new owners, adding value to their puppies.

The pedigree and lineage of a Shih Tzu also play a significant role in determining its price. Dogs with pedigrees showcasing championship titles or prestigious bloodlines are more expensive. This is because these dogs have been bred from generations of successful show dogs or high-quality breeding stock, which increases their perceived value.

Moreover, location can impact the initial cost of a Shih Tzu puppy. In areas where demand is high and supply is limited, such as densely populated cities or regions with few reputable breeders available locally, prices tend to be higher due to increased competition among potential buyers.

To further evoke an emotional response in the audience who desires mastery over owning a Shih Tzu dog, here are four important considerations when it comes to understanding the difference between price and value:

  • Health Guarantee:

A reputable breeder will ensure their puppies are free from genetic diseases by conducting health tests on both parents before breeding. This not only ensures the well-being of the puppy but also provides peace of mind for the owner.

  • Socialization:

Properly socialized puppies have been exposed to various environments and stimuli early, making them more adaptable and well-behaved companions.

  • Training Potential:

Puppies from reputable breeders often come from lines with proven trainability traits, making them easier to train than those without such lineage.

  • Overall Quality:

Reputable breeders prioritize breeding for temperament, conformation, and health, ensuring their puppies meet or exceed breed standards. This results in a higher-quality dog likely to be healthier and have fewer behavioral issues.

The Cost of Shih Tzu Puppies vs Adults

When comparing the prices of Shih Tzu puppies and adult dogs, it is important to consider various factors contributing to the cost difference. The average price of a Shih Tzu puppy from a reputable breeder can range from $500 to $1500, depending on factors such as pedigree, lineage, and location. On the other hand, adult Shih Tzus are generally less expensive than puppies, with prices ranging from around $300 to $1000.

Several factors affect the price difference between puppies and adult dogs. Firstly, puppies are usually in higher demand because they are seen as more adorable and trainable than adult dogs. This increased demand drives up their price.

Additionally, breeding expenses can be quite high for breeders who carefully select parents with good genetic backgrounds and health records. These expenses are often reflected in the initial purchase price of a puppy. In contrast, adult dogs may have lower prices due to age or lack of documentation on their lineage.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

Another factor that contributes to the price difference is the cost of owning a Shih Tzu over time. Puppies require more frequent veterinary visits for vaccinations and check-ups during their first year of life compared to adults who may only need annual check-ups. Furthermore, training costs can also add up during a puppy's early stages of development.

Therefore, while puppies may initially cost more upfront, it is essential to consider the long-term costs associated with owning a Shih Tzu before making a decision. When comparing the prices of Shih Tzu puppies and adult dogs, various factors at play contribute to the difference in cost.

While puppies tend to be more expensive due to higher demand and breeding expenses, it is crucial to focus on the initial purchase price and consider the long-term costs associated with owning this dog breed. By understanding these factors and considering one's budgetary constraints and preferences, individuals can decide when choosing between a Shih Tzu puppy or an adult dog.

Associated Costs of Owning a Shih Tzu

1. Veterinary expenses (routine check-ups, vaccinations, spaying/neutering)

Veterinary expenses for routine check-ups, vaccinations, and spaying/neutering play a crucial role in ensuring the overall well-being of Shih Tzu dogs.

Regular visits to the veterinarian are important for monitoring the health and preventing potential illnesses or diseases. During routine check-ups, veterinarians can assess the dog's general condition, examine their vital signs, and conduct tests if necessary. These visits also provide an opportunity to address any concerns or questions that owners may have about their Shih Tzu's health.

Vaccinations are another essential aspect of veterinary care for Shih Tzu dogs. Vaccines help protect them from various contagious diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, rabies, and kennel cough. By following a recommended vaccination schedule, owners can ensure that their furry companions are shielded from these potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Spaying or neutering is a common procedure veterinarians recommend to control pet populations and prevent certain health issues in Shih Tzus. This surgical intervention helps reduce the risk of reproductive system-related problems and decreases the likelihood of behavioral issues such as aggression and roaming tendencies.

Investing in veterinary expenses like routine check-ups, vaccinations, and spaying/neutering is integral to responsible pet ownership as it promotes the well-being and longevity of Shih Tzu dogs.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

2. Food and nutrition costs

Food and nutrition costs are an essential consideration for responsible pet owners, as they contribute significantly to Shih Tzu dogs' overall health and well-being. A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy Shih Tzu, as it helps promote good digestion, strong immunity, and proper growth.

When it comes to feeding a Shih Tzu, several factors should be taken into account:

  • Grooming Requirements:

Shih Tzus have long, luxurious coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. This includes brushing their hair daily and occasionally trimming it to keep them looking neat and tidy. A well-groomed coat enhances their appearance and keeps them comfortable by preventing skin issues caused by dirt or moisture trapped in their fur.

  • Purebred considerations:

Being a purebred dog breed, Shih Tzus may have specific dietary needs compared to mixed-breed dogs. It is important to choose high-quality dog food that meets the nutritional requirements of this particular breed. Consulting with a veterinarian or a reputable breeder can provide valuable insights into the best food options for your Shih Tzu.

  • Cost of owning a healthy Shih Tzu:

Feeding a Shih Tzu with quality dog food can be more expensive than feeding generic brands. However, investing in premium dog food ensures that your furry friend gets all the essential nutrients they need without fillers or artificial additives. The average price of a bag of quality dog food suitable for small breeds like the Shih Tzu can range from $30-$50 per month depending on brand and size options.

3. Training costs

Moving on from the discussion of food and nutrition costs, it is essential to address another important aspect of owning a Shih Tzu: training costs. Training a Shih Tzu can be both time-consuming and financially demanding. While the initial purchase price of a Shih Tzu may already be substantial, prospective owners must also consider the cost of professional dog training or obedience classes.

Training costs for a Shih Tzu can vary depending on various factors such as the dog's age, behavior issues, and the desired level of training. Professional trainers often charge hourly rates or package fees for their services. Additionally, attending obedience classes can also add up over time. It is crucial to note that investing in proper training is essential not only for ensuring good behavior but also for creating a strong bond between owner and pet.

When considering the overall cost of owning a Shih Tzu, it is important to evaluate all financial aspects associated with purchasing a dog from reputable breeders. Reputable breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs by conducting necessary health tests and providing appropriate socialization experiences.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

Although shih tzus purchasing from reputable breeders may involve higher upfront costs than puppy mills or backyard breeders, it significantly reduces potential veterinary expenses. In contrast, acquiring a Shih Tzu from puppy mills or backyard breeders may seem more affordable initially but often leads to unforeseen health issues that require costly medical treatments in the future.

Training costs are integral to understanding the true cost implications when considering purchasing a Shih Tzu. It is crucial to invest in proper training to ensure good behavior and strengthen the bond between owner and pet.

Moreover, while reputable breeders may come with higher upfront costs compared to alternative sources like puppy mills or backyard breeders, they provide healthier dogs that ultimately reduce long-term veterinary expenses. By carefully considering these factors alongside other ownership costs such as food and nutrition expenses, prospective Shih Tzu owners can make informed decisions and responsibly care for their furry companions.

4. Grooming costs

Grooming costs for a Shih Tzu can be likened to meticulously sculpting a work of art, as it involves regular professional grooming sessions and the purchase of grooming supplies. The Shih Tzu's long, luxurious coat requires consistent care to keep it in its optimal condition.

Many owners choose to rely on the expertise of a professional groomer who is skilled in handling the specific needs of this breed. Professional groomers have the knowledge and experience to trim and style the Shih Tzu's hair to enhance their natural beauty while maintaining their overall health.

The cost of grooming services for a Shih Tzu can vary depending on factors such as location, reputation of the groomer, and individual requirements. Owners may expect to spend around $50-$100 per grooming session for their Shih Tzu dog. This price range considers bathing, brushing, haircutting, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and gland expression.

Owners should also consider investing in grooming supplies like brushes, combs, shampoos, conditioners, and clippers specifically designed for their Shih Tzu's coat type. These supplies can range from basic necessities to high-quality products tailored for show dogs or those with special needs.

Owning a Shih Tzu entails considering the initial cost of acquiring one and factoring in ongoing expenses such as grooming costs to ensure their well-being and appearance are properly maintained.

5. Cost of necessary accessories (leashes, beds, toys)

When it comes to the essential accessories for a Shih Tzu, owners should consider investing in leashes, beds, and toys that provide comfort and security and cater to this breed's specific needs.

Shih Tzus are small dogs that require gentle handling, so a high-quality leash is necessary to ensure their safety during walks. Additionally, due to their long and silky coats, grooming tools like brushes and combs are essential for maintaining their coat's health and preventing matting.

Investing in a comfortable bed is also crucial since Shih Tzus love to curl up and sleep for long periods. A cozy bed will provide them with a sense of security and help prevent joint issues that can arise from sleeping on hard surfaces.

Furthermore, toys are important in keeping Shih Tzus mentally stimulated and entertained. Since they are intelligent dogs with an instinctual desire to explore and investigate their surroundings, providing them with interactive toys can help prevent boredom and destructive behavior. It is recommended to choose toys specifically designed for small breeds or have features catering to their unique needs.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

Considering the size of a Shih Tzu puppy when purchasing accessories is important because these items should be appropriately sized for their small stature.

Dog owners must consider the cost of necessary accessories when considering the overall expenses of owning a Shih Tzu. Leashes, beds, and toys are crucial investments that promote the well-being and happiness of these adorable companions.

While there may be initial costs associated with buying these items, they contribute significantly towards creating a safe environment conducive to the physical health and mental stimulation of Shih Tzus.

Understanding the importance of these accessories allows potential buyers to make informed decisions regarding the price of a Shih Tzu puppy and estimate the monthly cost of owning one more accurately, ultimately ensuring that they can provide the necessary care and resources for their new furry family member.

The Hidden Costs: Time, Effort, and Lifestyle Changes

The analysis of the time commitment required for owning a Shih Tzu reveals that it is crucial to consider the hidden costs in terms of lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise and companionship needs, which can greatly impact an individual's daily routine.

When bringing a Shih Tzu puppy into your home, it is important to understand that they require significant time and attention. This breed thrives on human interaction and craves companionship, meaning they need to be engaged and stimulated throughout the day.

This translates into regular walks, playtime, grooming sessions, and socialization activities. Shih Tzus are known for their emotional attachment to their owners and can become distressed when left alone for extended periods. Therefore, owners must be prepared to dedicate considerable time to ensure their Shih Tzu's well-being.

In addition to the time commitment involved in owning a Shih Tzu, lifestyle changes need to be considered. These dogs have specific exercise requirements that should not be underestimated. Regular daily walks are essential for maintaining their physical health and mental stimulation.

Moreover, Shih Tzus thrive when they have a consistent routine in place as it helps them feel secure and balanced. This means that potential owners must be willing to adjust their schedules accordingly and prioritize activities that cater to their furry companion's needs.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

Furthermore, emotional investment is associated with owning a purebred Shih Tzu. These dogs form deep bonds with their owners and become integral to the family dynamic. They require love, attention, patience, and understanding from their human counterparts. Building this relationship demands effort and dedication but ultimately leads to a rewarding connection between owner and pet.

The Long-Term Investment of Owning a Shih Tzu

One crucial aspect to consider when owning a Shih Tzu is the long-term financial investment, including potential unexpected costs and the importance of pet insurance. While the initial cost of purchasing a purebred Shih Tzu can vary depending on factors such as pedigree and breeder reputation, it is important to consider the additional costs of owning this breed.

These costs can include regular grooming sessions, high-quality food and treats, vaccinations, routine vet visits, and necessary supplies like beds, toys, and leashes. It is essential to budget for these expenses in order to provide proper care for your Shih Tzu.

In addition to the annual cost of owning a Shih Tzu, potential unexpected costs may arise throughout their lifetime. Dogs can experience health issues or emergencies requiring immediate attention and costly treatments like any other living creature. Common health issues in Shih Tzus include eye, dental, allergies, respiratory problems, and joint disorders. These conditions may require specialized veterinary care or surgeries which can significantly impact your finances.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to have pet insurance for your Shih Tzu as it helps alleviate some financial burden during unexpected situations. Pet insurance covers veterinary bills related to accidents or illnesses and ensures that your beloved furry friend receives the best medical care without putting you under excessive financial strain. Investing in pet insurance can provide peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise throughout your Shih Tzu's life journey.

Shih Tzu Dog Prices

Why are Shih Tzus so expensive?

Shih Tzus command high prices due to their unique characteristics and popularity among dog enthusiasts, making them a sought-after breed for those looking to own a small, affectionate companion.

When purchasing a Shih Tzu puppy, several factors contribute to the overall cost. Firstly, the reputation and credibility of the breeder play a significant role. Reputable breeders invest time, effort, and resources into breeding healthy, well-socialized puppies. They conduct health tests on parent dogs to ensure genetic diseases are not passed down to the offspring.

Additionally, reputable breeders provide proper care for both adult Shih Tzus and their puppies, including veterinary expenses, vaccinations, deworming treatments, and quality nutrition. All these factors contribute to the higher price tag of purebred Shih Tzu puppies compared to those obtained from backyard breeders or pet stores.

Moreover, the demand for Shih Tzus also contributes to their expensive price range. These adorable little dogs have gained immense popularity over the years due to their friendly nature and charming appearance. Many people specifically seek out Shih Tzus as family pets or companions because they are known for being loving and adaptable in various living situations.

The limited supply of purebred Shih Tzu puppies further drives up their cost as reputable breeders carefully plan each breeding pair to maintain quality standards while ensuring responsible reproduction practices. As a result, potential owners should expect higher prices when purchasing a Shih Tzu from a reputable breeder compared to other breeds or mixed-breed dogs available in shelters or rescues.

Is Shih Tzu a good dog to own??

Symbolizing loyalty and adaptability, the Shih Tzu breed has become a popular choice for those seeking a reliable and versatile companion. These small dogs are known for their friendly nature and affectionate demeanor, making them ideal pets for individuals or families alike.

When considering becoming a Shih Tzu owner, it is important to understand the costs of owning one of these adorable dogs.

  • Much does a Shih Tzu cost:

The price of a Shih Tzu can vary depending on several factors such as pedigree, breeder reputation, location, and demand. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2000 for a purebred Shih Tzu puppy. Additional expenses may include initial vaccinations, spaying or neutering, grooming supplies, and regular veterinary check-ups.

  • Where to find Shih Tzu puppies:

Finding reputable breeders is crucial for a healthy and well-bred Shih Tzu puppy. It is recommended to search for breeders who are registered with recognized kennel clubs or breed associations. Online platforms that connect potential buyers with responsible breeders can also be valuable resources in finding your perfect furry companion.

  • How much is a Shih Tzu's upkeep:

Owning a Shih Tzu involves ongoing expenses such as grooming costs (due to their long hair), high-quality dog food tailored to their specific needs, regular vet visits for vaccinations and preventive care, as well as occasional trips to professional groomers, if you prefer not to handle their grooming, needs yourself.

  • Why they make great family pets:

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus have big personalities, making them excellent family pets. They are generally good with children and other animals if properly socialized from an early age. Their adaptability allows them to thrive in various living situations.

While the initial cost of purchasing a Shih Tzu may vary, it is essential to consider the long-term expenses associated with owning one. From grooming and vet bills to providing a loving and stimulating environment, being a responsible Shih Tzu owner requires financial commitment and dedication. However, the rewards of having these lovable companions as part of your family are immeasurable.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Shih Tzus prone to any specific health issues that could result in unexpected costs?
    • Shih Tzus are prone to specific health issues, potentially leading to unexpected costs. These include respiratory problems, eye conditions, dental issues, and genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia. Owners should be prepared for potential medical expenses related to these conditions.
  • How much does pet insurance typically cost for a Shih Tzu?
    • The typical cost of pet insurance for a Shih Tzu can vary depending on factors such as the age and health of the dog, as well as the coverage options chosen. Researching different insurance providers to find the most suitable and affordable plan for your pet's needs is advisable.
  • Are there any specific grooming requirements for Shih Tzus that should be considered in terms of cost?
    • Shih Tzus have specific grooming requirements that should be considered in terms of cost. Regular grooming sessions, including brushing, bathing, and hair trimming, are necessary to maintain their long coats and prevent matting. Professional grooming services may add to the overall expenses of owning a Shih Tzu.
  • Do Shih Tzus require any special dietary needs or expensive food?
    • Shih tzus do not have any special dietary needs that require expensive food. However, providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet is important to maintain their overall health and well-being.
  • Are there any additional expenses associated with training or behavior classes for Shih Tzus?
    • Are there any additional expenses associated with training or behavior classes for Shih Tzus? Training and behavior classes can be beneficial for Shih Tzus, but they may incur extra costs. Such expenses should be considered when budgeting for a Shih Tzu.


In conclusion, uncovering the true cost of owning a female Shih Tzu involves more than just the initial purchase price. The history and background of this breed provide valuable insights into their significance and distinct traits.

Understanding the factors that affect the initial cost, such as breeder reputation, pedigree, and location, allows potential owners to make informed decisions.

Additionally, comparing the prices of Shih Tzu puppies versus adults highlights the importance of considering age-related factors when determining value. Owning a Shih Tzu entails various associated costs, including grooming, veterinary care, and nutrition. However, it is essential to recognize that hidden costs extend beyond finances; they encompass time commitment, lifestyle changes, and emotional investment.

Furthermore, owning a Shih Tzu is a long-term investment requiring careful financial planning due to unexpected expenses like health issues or emergencies. Prospective owners must consider pet insurance to safeguard against these unforeseen circumstances.

Ultimately, while Shih Tzus may have higher price tags compared to other breeds due to their popularity and unique characteristics, they can bring immeasurable joy and companionship into one's life.

As the saying goes: 'A dog is man's best friend.' This sentiment rings true for those who welcome a Shih Tzu into their lives. Despite the monetary considerations involved in acquiring and caring for this beloved breed, the rewards far outweigh any costs incurred.

With proper understanding and preparation for financial obligations and lifestyle adjustments, owning a Shih Tzu can be a worthwhile adventure filled with love and loyalty.