How Much Are Shih Tzu?

With a funny name and a cute face, how can one resist the temptation to explore the idea of welcoming a Shih Tzu to your family. If you’re on the hunt for a pup we applaud this endeavor and suspect one of your top questions to be “how much are Shih Tzu”?

Often a new addition to your family comes with a lot of questions and concerns. Never fear, here at we provide answers to questions such as how much are Shih Tzu puppies along with a lot more information around this breed.

What is a Shih Tzu?

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that is known for its distinctive long, flowing hair. It was originally bred to be a companion dog for Chinese royalty and aristocrats. The Shih Tzu is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, ranking as the 20th most popular breed in 2020.

Shih Tzus have been known as “the dog with a human face” because of their cute, round faces and big eyes. 

Breeds of Shih Tzus

The Shih Tzu is a small breed that typically weighs between 10 and 18 pounds. They are generally well-behaved albeit a bit stubborn at times. They make great companions for families with small children or other pets. Though they do not shed much,  it does require regular grooming to keep the long hair breed neat and clean.

There are over 5 different breed types of Shih Tzu. Most common breeds are known as the American, European, Imperial, Blue-Eyed, and Teacup Shih Tzu. The most common colors are white or black and tan, but the Shih Tzu can also be found in a number of other colors such as apricot, cream, red, blue, brown and silver. The coat can be either long or short depending on the breed.

The Shih Tzu is a small, gentle, and playful dog that has been bred for centuries to be a companion animal. As a Shih Tzu ages it can become a bit stubborn, which can make training them difficult at times. The breed likes to do things their own way!

Why Get a Shih Tzu?

There are a lot of reasons to get a Shih Tzu. They are loyal, intelligent, and playful. Like most small dogs, they are great companions for people who live in apartments because they don’t need a lot of space to run around.

Shih Tzu dogs are the perfect breed for people who want a low-maintenance dog that will be happy to spend time with them while they watch TV or work on their computer.

What to Expect from Owning a Shih Tzu?

A Shih Tzu is a small dog that is considered to be very cute and cuddly. They are also very good with children and other animals.

Shih Tzus are known for being hypoallergenic dogs, which means they do not shed as much hair as other breeds of dogs. They require minimal grooming and only need to be bathed occasionally.

This breed of dog gets along well with other animals, including cats, birds, rabbits and even fish. They are also very protective of their owners, so they will bark at strangers who come near their owner’s home.

Shih Tzu Cost?

As with any breed of dog the cost can vary quite significantly. Prices range from $250 all the way up to $2500 if purchased from a registered breeder. Cost often depends on the place of purchase and “purity” or purebred of the breed standard.

The average price of a Shih Tzu Puppy depends on the breeder, the type of dog, and whether or not it is show quality. A Shih Tzu Puppy that is show quality will be more expensive than one who isn’t. A male gender may have a lower price than the female Shih Tzu. Age may affect costs as well, everyone wants a puppy and that can increase the price whereas an older dog, adult Shih Tzu,  may be a lower cost option.

Shih Tzu Food Cost?

Being a relatively smaller dog the Shih Tzu won’t eat as much food as say a larger breed would. This will keep the cost of feeding down a bit, with a monthly average around $40-60 depending on the food type.

Shih Tzu Health Cost?

In terms of health related costs, Shih Tzu are generally a healthy breed and live between 10-16 years when cared for properly. Unfortunately, they are prone to conditions such as eye problems, ear problems and back pain.

Just so we’re clear, Shih Tzus from a responsible breeder are usually healthy but pet parents should still be knowledgeable about common Shih Tzu health conditions. This way they can spot any symptoms early and make sure that any medical issues are addressed right away.

It’s important to check up on your pet’s health at least once a year with a visit to the vet. We typically set aside $50-$80 per month for that vet visit and any unexpected health cost.  Though not used every year, especially during their “teenage” years,  it helps to have a buffer budgeted. Not only will the vet be able to spot any potential issues early, but they can also help you make sure your pet is living and eating well. Truly caring for them in this way will help you develop an even more special bond!

Shih Tzu Average Cost Comparison Chart

CriteriaFemale Puppy (0-1yrs)Female Adult (1+yrs)Male Puppy (0-1yrs)Male Adult (1+yrs)
AKC Registered$2500$1500$2300$1300
Breeder (no register)$1000$800$800
Private Seller$500$500$500$500
Champion/Show Quality Bloodline+$500+$500+$500+$500

These are average prices and could vary depending on various factors.  Like anything in the world, where you live affects pricing, the overall supply and demand, and general social popularity. Further criteria such as coat colors and whether it being a purebred or not all play a factor in cost. 

Do your research so you know what to look for…with that, let’s look at some criteria when buying a Shih Tzu…

What To Look For When Buying A Shih Tzu

How Much Are Shih Tzu?

As a puppy buyer, it’s important to note that the price of a puppy isn’t always an indicator of quality. Low prices could signal that the breeder is attempting to get rid of unhealthy pups, or worse—they may be coming from a puppy mill. At the same time, high-priced puppies could be an unethical breeder’s attempt at tricking you into believing there is something unique about their dogs. 

The best advice is to consult reviews of any potential Shih Tzu breeder before buying. Stay away from pet stores and always avoid puppy mills if you want a healthy dog for the right price.  

Here at we love all animals, and want nothing more than to see all have a safe and loving home to go to.  But, we also want you to have a great experience when purchasing a pup, ultimately leading you to become a lifelong animal advocate.  Below are a few more things to check before purchasing:

  • Vaccinations: Check with your breeder to see if they have provided any vaccinations. A reputable breeder will perform this step in order to avoid any issues with the puppy litter. 
  • Bloodline and health history: Check with the breeder to see what health issues the parents have had, if any. In particular, with a Shih Tzu, any eye or ear problems.
  • Registration: American Kennel Club (AKC) registered litters have come from AKC registered parents.  This could also include a certified pedigree certificate and other documentation showing the breed quality. 

Shih Tzu Other Costs

Although we might have covered some of these above, it’s good to review potential extra costs.  Not all listed will in fact be something you need or choose to purchase, but just in case…

Shih Tzu Additional Costs Table

DescriptionAverage Annual Cost
Veterinary Care$500 – $1000
Preventative Medication$300 – $600
Pet Insurance (for emergencies)$800 for accident/illness, $300 for accident only
Vaccinations$100, check if your breeder has done this already
Crates/Beds/Blankets$100 – $500

The costs for Shih Tzu owners can add up quickly. Although little dogs like the Shih Tzu dog breed may eat less dog food than say a larger dog, and hopefully health conditions don’t become a common problem. 

Are Shih Tzu Good Pets?

How Much Are Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu’s being one of the smaller dog breeds don’t need a lot of exercise but to keep medical costs down dog lovers know a walk or two a day is recommended. 

It’s a good idea to groom the long coat Shih Tzu often and take it to a professional groomer at least a few times per year. Groomers are a great option for those of us with busy schedules. You’ll get all the basic care your pup needs, plus help with curly hair, trimming excess hair, cleaning ears and brushing teeth. The best part is the groomer will take care of the cleanup once they’re done so you don’t have to.

They may not be the most intimidating dog breed, but rest assured they will bark and let you know when a stranger comes nearby. Shih Tzu make for awesome lap dogs and have a reputation as a good family pet.  Safe with children and easy to manage.  They don’t need much exercise but a play session with a walk or two is necessary for any dog.  Overall, they are one of the best dogs to own for both young and older folks alike.

Shih Tzu For You?

We hope a Shih Tzu is in your near future. While answering how much are Shih Tzu can be a bit tricky, and really depends on various factors, they are a wonderful breed to own. I have been fortunate enough to have a few in my life and miss them dearly. Regardless of the cost, it’s hard to put a price on a lifelong friend who will greet you with excitement every moment you’re around and always be up for a bit of adventure. Until next time…



Corey Turner
Corey Turner, owner of, draws on a lifelong love for dogs and extensive pet ownership to offer a unique perspective in the pet industry. With a successful background in project management, he excels in critical analysis, precise attention to detail, and quality assurance. This expertise allows him to effectively differentiate true value from marketing hype in the pet sector. Corey’s contributions have been featured in various publications including Rockery Press Guide Books and During his free time, he enjoys disc golfing, rock climbing, and bonding with his cherished FurBall friend, Harvey.