• Reading time:6 mins read

Pekingese and Shih Tzu are small, charming dogs that make wonderful family friends. The two are often confused by someone who is not familiar with the breeds due to their similar appearance. Selecting between a Pekingese and a Shih Tzu can seem tricky—how do you decide between two equally cute breeds? Well, it all boils down to taste and compatibility.

Both kinds have their roots in ancient China, where emperors and their households maintained them as loyal friends. They could look similar to the untrained eye but don’t worry, it will be a lot simpler to distinguish between Pekingese and Shih Tzu thanks to a few crucial differences.

To help you choose which of these cuddly and fluffy companions may suit best for you best, we have broken down all the differences between Pekingese and Shih Tzu in the article below.

Doggy Fur and Other Physical Traits

Shih Tzu is known for having a consistent body and a deep, broad chest. Also, they have balanced fore and hind legs that are straight. Pekingese dogs are small and stocky. Their body is uniquely shaped as pear-shaped because it is heavier in the front than their backs. The front legs of Pekingese are short and bent, while they have narrower, closer-spaced back legs.

The Pekinese are somewhat smaller and can reach heights of 15 to 23 centimeters. They range in weight from 5 to 6 kg. In contrast, the Shih Tzu is 20 to 28 centimeters tall. Also, their weight varies between 4 and 7 kg.

Even though both breeds have a similar appearance, one clear difference between them is their coats. The Pekingese has a double-layered coat that is long, thick, and smooth, with fluffier, coarser hair around the neck and shoulders that resembles the fur of a lion’s hair. The outer fur of the Shih Tzu is longer, silkier, smoother, denser, and more voluminous. A show cut is one of the most noticeable Shih Poo haircuts style that you can consider for your cuddly dog’s luxurious fur.

One main point that should be kept in mind while choosing between the two breeds is that the owners of Pekingese dogs report heavy shedding, as compared to the Shih Tzu breed as they shed very little hair on a daily basis.

Pekingese and Shih Tzu Behavior and Training

Shih Tzu and the Pekingese are lively and active dogs. Both of these dogs are lap dogs and they can live happily in small apartments and spaces with their owners. One thing to consider is that they both require considerable playtime.

Pekingese are loving, loyal, brave dogs that have a royal-looking appearance. Shih Tzu are friendly, lively, happy, and active dogs. In comparison to Pekingese, Shih Tzu is better at tolerating dogs and other animals, and they also get along well with small children.

The Pekingese is an independent dog that gets along but doesn’t like being handled harshly. The Shih Tzu seems more patient during rough play and gets along well with people and other animals.

Pekingese and Shih Tzu dogs are the most difficult breeds to train. Because of the stubborn personalities of both breeds, owners of Shih Tzu and Pekingese can discover training problematic and challenging.

Shih Tzu or Pekingese training sessions should be fun and brief. Any breed can be effectively trained with the correct drive or motivation. If you are prepared to work with them patiently, both of the little breeds are capable of learning basic commands.

The Pekingese dog is the ideal guard dog. They remain quiet and refrain from barking excessively but still warn everyone in the house of any suspicious or off-putting noise. Shih Tzu are alert dogs that make ideal guardians even though they are quite friendly with kids and other animals and love to be close to their owners.

Doggy Diet and Exercise Requirements

Like any other dog, both dogs require a balanced diet and regular exercise targeted to their particular demands. Both breeds have a tendency to be overweight. So, one must avoid overfeeding at all costs because it would be very bad for the health of the pet.

It is important to point out that both breeds require outdoor walks; this is true of all dogs. The Pekinese must play games and get mental activity from their human family as well as the two daily walks that the Shih Tzu needs.

Pekingese are at risk of heatstroke because of their thick coat and plenty of fur. Also, because of their short snouts, they may have trouble breathing. During exercise, which shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes in a single session, it’s important to always give them lots of water and monitor the way they breathe.

Shih Tzus, like Pekingese, have a luxurious double coat to keep them cozy and warm. This means that Shih Tzus easily becomes overheated while excelling in colder climates. To avoid heat stroke in their dogs, pet parents should make sure to provide them with enough water to drink and allow them to rest in the shade.


Which breed do you recommend for yourself? As both breeds are wonderful companion dogs, this decision can be challenging! No matter which one you choose, they both need a lot of care and regular grooming. If attitude is not a problem but shedding is, the Shih Tzu sheds much less than other breeds.

Pekingese are perfect for anyone who spends most of their time at home as they require little exercise. Pekingese is not a good choice for homes with toddlers and young kids who might accidentally poke and irritate them.

Shih Tzus is usually not the best choice if you are searching for an energetic dog. But if you’re happy to take your dog for a couple of 30-minute walks daily and spend the rest of the day cuddling inside a Shih Tzu can be a great partner as they get along with young kids as well.

Both breeds prefer to stay with their chosen family and hate it when they are left alone. Pekingese are more dependent and often have anxiety when they are left alone. Shih Tzu can stay away from their owners for a maximum of six hours.

It is tough to choose between the two incredible breeds, but maybe the information shared in this article can help you decide which breed matches your way of life.