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Yorkie vs. Shih Tzu: How Do They Compare?

By mawoo · 18 Apr · 5 mins read
Yorkie vs. Shih Tzu: How Do They Compare?

If you are a prospective pet owner, deciding between a Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) and a Shih Tzu can be a tough call. Both, with their distinct charm and character, tend to wrap everyone around their little paws. Let's bring you a step closer to making this decision by delving into a comprehensive comparison between these two delightful breeds.

Understanding the Breeds

Quick overview of Yorkie: 

Yorkies are small, lovable dogs with an average height of 7-8 inches and weight of 6-7 lbs. Their coats are long and silky, and they can be steel blue, gold, black, or tan in color. They're affectionate, playful, and can sometimes bark more than usual. They are smart animals, excellent for families and adjust well to new environments. Prices can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Their average lifespan is 11-15 years. But, like every breed, they're prone to some health issues. Grooming is a frequent activity due to their silky coats, and a moderate amount of exercise is needed. 

Quick overview of Shih tzu: 

Shih Tzus are compact, friendly pups with a long, colorful coat. They're known for being sociable, making good companions for families and individuals alike. They need moderate exercise but require frequent grooming. Average lifespan is 10-16 years, and they can be prone to health issues due to their flat face.

Yorkie and Shih tzu Similarities

Size and Appearance:

Both Yorkies and Shih Tzus are considered toy breeds, with similar small statures and weights.

Exercise Needs:

Yorkies and Shih Tzus have relatively moderate exercise requirements, typically needing around 60 minutes of activity per day.


Both breeds are considered somewhat difficult to house train, requiring patience and consistency from owners.


Yorkies and Shih Tzus are known for being affectionate, loyal companion dogs that bond closely with their owners.

Potential Health Issues:

As small breeds, Yorkies and Shih Tzus can be prone to some similar health concerns like dental problems.


With proper socialization, both breeds can generally get along well with families, including children, though Yorkies may be less tolerant of young kids.

Yorkie and Shih tzu Differences

Size and Weight:

Shih Tzus are generally larger, standing 8-11 inches tall and weighing 9-16 lbs, compared to Yorkies which are 8-9 inches tall and 4-8 lbs.


Shih Tzus have a rounder head, larger eyes, shorter muzzle, and slightly longer body compared to the Yorkie's square-shaped head and well-proportioned frame.

Yorkie fur is silkier and easier to maintain than the Shih Tzu's dense, double coat.


Yorkies are described as more feisty, bold, and energetic compared to the Shih Tzu's friendlier, more regal demeanor.

Shih Tzus may be less tolerant of young children than Yorkies.


Yorkies are generally considered smarter and easier to train than the Shih Tzu, which can be more difficult to house train.

Health Concerns:

Shih Tzus may be prone to more respiratory issues due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) structure.


Choosing a pet involves assessing shared and distinct characteristics of breeds. Yorkies and Shih Tzus are known for their warm, protective natures and multiple talents. Important factors for potential owners include their recognizable physical features and potential health issues. These breeds benefit from starting their training from puppyhood, focusing particularly on their socialization. Remember that choosing a pet is a long-term commitment, as they will become part of your family.

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