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Yorkies vs Shih Tzu: Unveiling 8 Key Differences!

Are you torn between two adorable small dog breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Shih Tzu? Well, let’s dive into the fascinating world of these tiny dogs. These popular pups, known for their puppy cut, have their own unique charm that captivates pet lovers worldwide. With distinct characteristics and origins, these pint-sized companions from reputable breeders offer more than meets the eye.

Originating from Yorkshire, England, Yorkies, a popular terrier breed, boast a glamorous appearance with their silky coats and perky ears. On the other paw, Shih Tzus, a beloved small dog breed, trace their roots back to ancient China, flaunting a regal mane-like coat that demands attention. But it’s not just about looks; both breeds share an unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature that melts hearts wherever they go.

Whether you’re seeking a sophisticated companion or a cuddly lapdog, these Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus, two extraordinary tiny dogs, have got you covered. So buckle up and embark on this delightful journey as we explore the captivating world of Yorkies and Shih Tzus – two extraordinary small dog breeds that will steal your heart in an instant.

Size comparison: Shih Tzu vs Yorkie

Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers are both popular small-sized dog breeds. However, there are noticeable differences between Shih Tzus and Yorkies. Shih Tzus tend to be larger than Yorkshire Terriers, making them a bit more substantial in stature. Both breeds are known for their playful nature and tendency to bark.

Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, with Yorkies being a toy breed. Shih Tzus typically weigh between 9 to 16 pounds, while Yorkies weigh around 4 to 7 pounds. This significant disparity in weight can impact various aspects of their lives, including exercise needs and living arrangements. Both breeds make great companion dogs.

The exercise requirements for dogs can vary based on their size. Shih Tzus, being larger, may need slightly more exercise than Yorkies. Daily walks or play sessions are beneficial for keeping both breeds physically fit and mentally stimulated. While Yorkies require less intense exercise due to their smaller size, they still enjoy mentally challenging activities.

Furthermore, considering the different sizes of toy breeds is crucial for dog owners. Shih Tzus’ larger size means they generally require more space compared to Yorkies. They may not be as well-suited for apartment living as their smaller counterparts. However, with proper training and regular exercise, Shih Tzus can adapt well to various environments and are less prone to infections.

In contrast, the compact size of Shih Tzus and dogs like Yorkies makes them ideal choices for those residing in apartments or smaller homes with limited space. Their diminutive stature allows them to comfortably navigate through tight spaces without much difficulty.

When traveling or transporting your furry friend, size disparities between dogs become apparent. Shih Tzus, being larger, may require bigger carriers or crates compared to smaller Yorkies.

To summarize:

  • Shih Tzus are generally larger than Yorkies.
  • Shih Tzus, a popular breed of dogs, typically weigh around 9 to 16 pounds, while Yorkies, another beloved dog breed, weigh around 4 to 7 pounds.
  • Shih Tzus, like other dogs, may require slightly more exercise due to their larger size, while Yorkies, another breed of dogs, need less intense physical activity.
  • Shih Tzus, like dogs, might not be as well-suited for apartment living as Yorkies due to their larger size.
  • When traveling, dogs like Shih Tzus and Yorkies may require bigger carriers or crates.

Understanding the size differences between these two dog breeds, Shih Tzus and Yorkies, is essential when considering factors such as exercise needs and suitable living arrangements. Whether you prefer a larger companion like the Shih Tzu or a smaller one like the Yorkie, both breeds have unique qualities that make them lovable additions to any family. Additionally, many families are drawn to owning many yorkies due to their small size and adorable appearance.

Temperament and behavior differences

Shih Tzus and Yorkies are two popular breeds of dogs that have distinct temperaments and behaviors. Understanding these differences can help potential dog owners choose the breed that best suits their lifestyle and preferences.

Shih Tzus: Friendly and Outgoing

Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They tend to be sociable dogs who enjoy being around people. Shih Tzus often thrive on attention and love to be the center of their owner’s world. Their affectionate personality makes them great companions for individuals or families looking for a loving and loyal pet. When comparing yorkie vs shih tzus, it’s important to consider their sociability and affectionate nature.

These little yorkie dogs are generally gentle in temperament, making them suitable for households with young children. However, it’s important to note that Shih Tzus may have different energy levels compared to other breeds. While they are usually calm indoors, they still require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Yorkies: Independent and Confident

On the other hand, dogs like Yorkies exhibit a more independent and confident personality. They are known for their self-assured nature, often displaying high levels of confidence even in unfamiliar situations. This breed tends to be more assertive than Shih Tzus, which can sometimes lead to stubbornness during training sessions.

Shih Tzus are also energetic dogs that require regular exercise to prevent behavioral issues such as excessive barking or destructive chewing. Despite their small size, Shih Tzus possess a big personality that can fill your home with joy and entertainment.

Compatibility with Children

Both Shih Tzus and Yorkies can be good with children, but there may be some differences in how dogs interact due to their varying temperaments.

Shih Tzus’ friendly disposition makes them generally well-suited for households with young kids. They are patient dogs who can tolerate the playful antics of children without getting easily overwhelmed. However, it’s essential to supervise interactions between yorkies and young children to prevent any unintentional harm.

Shih Tzu dogs, while still compatible with young children, may require a bit more supervision. Their independent nature can sometimes make them less tolerant of rough play or excessive handling. It’s crucial to teach young kids how to interact gently with Shih Tzu dogs and respect their boundaries.

Grooming Needs

Both Shih Tzus and Yorkies are dog breeds with specific requirements. Shih Tzus, like Yorkies, have long, flowing coats that need regular brushing and occasional professional grooming to keep them looking their best. Their luxurious hair can be prone to tangling and matting if not properly cared for.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, have a silky coat like Yorkies that requires regular brushing as well. However, many owners opt for shorter haircuts that are easier to maintain for these dogs. Regular grooming sessions help keep their fur healthy and prevent mats from forming on Shih Tzus.

Health problems: Shih Tzu vs Yorkie

Shih Tzus and Yorkies are both adorable small dog breeds that make wonderful companions. However, like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. It’s important for owners of these breeds to be aware of the potential health problems that may arise and take necessary precautions to ensure their furry friends lead happy and healthy lives.

Shih Tzu Health Problems

Yorkies, like Shih Tzus, are known for their expressive eyes, but unfortunately, they are also prone to various eye issues. These include cataracts, corneal ulcers, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch these problems early on and prevent further complications in dogs.

Respiratory problems are another concern for Shih Tzus and yorkies due to their short snouts. Their flat faces can cause breathing difficulties such as brachycephalic airway syndrome. Dental diseases are common in this breed of yorkies because of their crowded teeth and small mouths. Regular teeth cleaning by a professional or using specialized dental products can help maintain good oral hygiene for yorkies and Shih Tzus.

Yorkie Health Problems

Yorkies may experience different health issues compared to Shih Tzus. One common problem is patellar luxation, which occurs when the kneecap slips out of place. This condition can cause discomfort and difficulty in walking. Tracheal collapse is another concern for Yorkies due to their delicate windpipes. It is important not to use collars that put pressure on their necks and instead opt for harnesses when walking them.

Liver shunt is a serious condition that affects the liver’s ability to filter toxins from the blood properly in shih tzus and yorkies. This genetic disorder can lead to stunted growth, neurological symptoms, and even death if left untreated. Early detection through regular vet check-ups is crucial for managing this condition effectively in shih tzus and yorkies.

Importance of Regular Vet Check-ups

Regardless of breed, regular vet check-ups are essential for maintaining the overall health of Shih Tzus and Yorkies. These visits allow veterinarians to monitor their weight, dental health, and detect any potential issues early on. Vaccinations and preventive treatments for fleas, ticks, and heartworms can also be administered during these visits.

Infections can occur in both breeds if proper care is not taken. Eye infections are common in Shih Tzus due to their prominent eyes, while Yorkies may develop ear infections if their ears are not kept clean and dry.

Breast cancer is a concern for female dogs, including Shih Tzus and Yorkies. Spaying at an appropriate age can significantly reduce the risk of developing this life-threatening disease.

Regular teeth cleaning is crucial for both shih tzus and yorkies as dental diseases can lead to pain, bad breath, and even tooth loss. Owners should regularly brush their shih tzus’ and yorkies’ teeth using canine toothpaste or provide dental chews approved by veterinarians.

Training comparison: Shih Tzu vs Yorkie

Shih Tzus and Yorkies are both popular dog breeds known for their adorable looks and charming personalities. However,There are a few differences worth noting.

Shih Tzus can be a bit stubborn during training sessions

Training a Shih Tzu or yorkie can sometimes be a challenging task due to their independent nature and occasional stubbornness. These little furballs have a mind of their own and may not always respond immediately to commands or instructions. Patience is key when training a Shih Tzu or yorkie as they require consistent guidance and positive reinforcement.

To effectively train your Shih Tzu:

  • Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards to train your yorkie and shih tzu.
  • Break down the training sessions for your yorkie and shih tzu into short intervals to keep them engaged.
  • Stay calm and patient, avoiding harsh punishments or yelling.
  • Keep training sessions interesting for your yorkie or shih tzu by incorporating interactive toys or games.

Yorkies are intelligent but may have a tendency towards stubbornness as well

Yorkshire Terriers, often referred to as Yorkies, are known for their intelligence and quick learning abilities. However, like Shih Tzus, they can also exhibit stubborn behavior during training. It’s essential to establish yourself as the pack leader early on while maintaining consistency in your approach.

To train your Yorkie effectively:

  1. Establish clear boundaries from the beginning to prevent any behavioral issues with your shih tzu.
  2. Utilize positive reinforcement methods such as treats or verbal praise when training your shih tzu.
  3. Keep training sessions for your shih tzu short but frequent to maintain their focus.
  4. Engage your Shih Tzu in mentally stimulating activities that challenge their intelligence.

Consistent positive reinforcement methods work best for both breeds

One common factor stands out – the effectiveness of positive reinforcement techniques for training shih tzus. Both shih tzus and other breeds respond well to rewards-based training rather than punishment-based methods.

By consistently rewarding desired behaviors, you can motivate your furry friend to repeat them. Treats, verbal praise, and affectionate gestures are all powerful tools in shaping their behavior.

While training these breeds, remember the following tips:

  • Be patient and persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a well-trained dog.
  • Stay consistent with your commands and expectations throughout the training process.
  • Make training sessions fun and engaging to keep their attention.

Factors to consider before getting a dog

Before bringing home a new furry companion, it’s important to carefully consider various factors. From lifestyle and time commitment to grooming requirements and breed-specific traits, these elements play a crucial role in ensuring a successful and fulfilling relationship with your four-legged friend. Let’s delve into the key factors you should keep in mind when deciding between Yorkies and Shih Tzus.

Lifestyle, time commitment, and financial responsibility

Owning a dog entails more than just cuddles and playtime; it requires dedication, time, and financial resources. Both Yorkies and Shih Tzus are small companion dogs that thrive on human interaction. However, their energy levels may differ slightly. Yorkies are known for their liveliness and need for regular exercise, while Shih Tzus tend to be more laid-back lap dogs.

Consider your lifestyle when choosing between these breeds. Are you an active individual who enjoys long walks or someone who prefers cozy evenings at home? Assessing your daily routine will help determine which breed aligns better with your activities.

Owning a dog comes with financial responsibilities. Both Yorkies and Shih Tzus require routine veterinary care, vaccinations, quality food, grooming supplies, toys, training sessions (if necessary), and occasional visits to professional groomers. Ensure that you can comfortably meet these financial obligations before making your decision.

Grooming requirements

Grooming needs vary significantly between Yorkies and Shih Tzus. While both breeds have long coats that require regular attention, the techniques employed differ slightly due to their distinct hair textures.

Yorkies possess fine silky hair that closely resembles human hair rather than fur. Their coat necessitates daily brushing to prevent matting or tangling. Regular bathing is also essential to maintain cleanliness.

On the other hand, Shih Tzus have a dense double coat comprising an outer layer of coarse hair and a soft undercoat. Their coat requires daily brushing to avoid tangles, as well as regular professional grooming to maintain its shape and prevent matting.

Consider your willingness to invest time in grooming when choosing between these breeds. If you prefer low-maintenance coats, a Shih Tzu might not be the ideal choice for you.

Breed-specific traits

Researching breed-specific traits is crucial before welcoming any dog into your home. Yorkies are renowned for their playful and confident nature. They are intelligent dogs that can be easily trained with consistency and positive reinforcement. However, they may exhibit some terrier-like behaviors such as excessive barking or chasing small animals like rats.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, have a reputation for being affectionate and friendly lap dogs. They thrive on human companionship and make excellent family pets. However, due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) structure, they may encounter respiratory issues or eye problems that require special attention.

Understanding the specific characteristics of each breed will help you determine which one aligns better with your preferences and lifestyle.

History of the breed: Shih Tzu and Yorkie

The history of the Shih Tzu and Yorkie breeds is filled with fascinating tales that stretch back several centuries. These tiny dogs, known for their adorable appearances and friendly dispositions, have captivated dog lovers around the world. Let’s delve into the intriguing origins of both the Shih Tzu and Yorkie.

The Shih Tzu originated in China as companion dogs for royalty

Dating back to ancient China, the Shih Tzu breed has a rich history as esteemed companions to Chinese royalty. They were highly regarded for their beauty, grace, and loyalty. In fact, “Shih Tzu” translates to “lion dog,” which perfectly captures their regal appearance.

Emperors and Empresses cherished these small dogs, often adorning them with luxurious garments and even carrying them in sleeves or special baskets. The Shih Tzus were considered symbols of good fortune and were highly sought after by nobility.

Yorkshire Terriers were bred in England as rat catchers in textile mills

On the other side of Europe, in 19th-century England, Yorkshire Terriers emerged as hardworking rat catchers in textile mills. These tenacious little terriers were specifically bred to hunt down rats that infested factories during the Industrial Revolution.

Yorkies quickly gained popularity due to their remarkable ability to navigate tight spaces within machinery while effectively eliminating vermin. Their small size allowed them to squeeze into crevices where larger breeds couldn’t reach. Despite their humble beginnings, they soon found favor beyond mill life as beloved family pets.

Both breeds have long histories dating back several centuries

While originating from different corners of the world and serving distinct purposes initially, both Shih Tzus and Yorkies share a common thread: they are toy breeds that have stood the test of time.

Shih Tzus continue to enchant families with their affectionate nature and distinctive appearance. Their long, flowing coats require regular grooming, but many owners opt for a practical “puppy cut” to keep them comfortable and stylish. Shih Tzus are recognized by kennel clubs worldwide as a breed of distinction.

Yorkies, with their confident demeanor and elegant appearance, have also become cherished companions around the globe. These small dogs boast a silky coat that requires diligent care to maintain its lustrous beauty. The Yorkshire Terrier is another breed honored by various kennel clubs for its unique qualities.

Today, both Shih Tzus and Yorkies can be found in households across continents, bringing joy and companionship to their owners. Breeders continue to uphold the standards set by kennel clubs, ensuring the preservation of these beloved breeds.


In conclusion,There are several factors to consider.

Firstly, the size comparison between these two breeds is important. Shih Tzus are generally larger than Yorkies, so if you prefer a smaller dog, the Yorkie might be the better choice for you.

Secondly, temperament and behavior differences should be taken into account. Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, while Yorkies tend to be more independent and feisty.

Health problems can also vary between these two breeds. Shih Tzus are prone to certain issues such as respiratory problems and eye conditions, whereas Yorkies may experience dental problems and patellar luxation.

Both breeds can be stubborn at times. However, with consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques, they can both become well-behaved companions.

Before making a decision on which breed to get, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle and preferences. Factors such as exercise needs, grooming requirements, and compatibility with children or other pets should all be taken into consideration.

Lastly, understanding the history of each breed can provide valuable insights. The Shih Tzu originated in China as royal companions while the Yorkshire Terrier was bred in England for hunting rats in mines.

In conclusion, whether you choose a Shih Tzu or a Yorkie ultimately depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. Both breeds have their unique characteristics that make them lovable companions. It’s important to do thorough research and interact with individuals of each breed before making your final decision.

If you’re still unsure about which breed is right for you or have any further questions regarding Shih Tzus or Yorkies, check out the FAQs below for more information.


Are Shih Tzus good with children?

Shih Tzus can be great with children if they are properly socialized and trained from a young age. However, it’s important to supervise interactions between small children and dogs to ensure everyone’s safety.

Do Yorkies require a lot of grooming?

Yes, Yorkies have long, silky hair that requires regular grooming. Daily brushing and periodic trips to the groomer are necessary to keep their coat in good condition.

Are Shih Tzus prone to separation anxiety?

Shih Tzus can develop separation anxiety if not properly trained and gradually accustomed to being alone. It’s important to start training early and provide them with mental stimulation when you’re away.

How much exercise do Yorkies need?

Yorkies are energetic dogs that need daily exercise. A couple of short walks or play sessions per day should be sufficient for their exercise needs.

Can Shih Tzus live in apartments?

Yes, Shih Tzus can adapt well to apartment living as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Are Yorkies good for first-time dog owners?

While Yorkies can make great companions, they may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners due to their stubborn nature and potential for behavioral issues without proper training and socialization.

These FAQs should help address some common concerns when choosing between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkie. Remember, always consider your lifestyle, preferences, and consult reputable breeders or rescue organizations before making a decision on which breed is right for you.

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