Pug Shih Tzu Mix Care Guide: The Perfect Couch Potato?

The Pug Shih Tzu mix is the perfect dog for any household.

There is no surprise that this feisty, adorable, and sweet companion is starting to take the world by storm.

They are known for their sweet, good-natured temperament and easy-going attitude.

Excellent in most family households, the Pug Shih Tzu mix makes an amazing companion in a family with children or apartment living. They are an incredibly adaptable breed that just wants to be with their owners.

What is a Pug Shih Tzu Mix?

Like many other mix breeds nobody knows exactly when the Pug Shih Tzu mix was first bred.

Often known as the Pug-Zu, they have taken the world by storm and are a very popular hybrid.

Both the Pug and the Shih Tzu are very old, ancient breeds. The Shih Tzu originates from Tibet and has been found as far back as the 800s, while the Pug was first mentioned in China in 200 BC.

The Shihtzu Pug has been bred for companionship and makes an excellent lap warmer.

When you combine the confidence of a Shih Tzu and the relaxed nature of the Pug, you get a feisty little dog, known for having a curious disposition and a friendly nature.

  • Overview: Hybrid (Pug/Shih Tzu).
  • Purpose: Companion.
  • Weight: 10-20 pounds.
  • Size: 8-12 inches.
  • Temperament: Friendly, stubborn and playful.

Pug Shih Tzu Mix Appearance

A Pug Shih Tzu Mix

The appearance of a Pug Shih Tzu mix can vary greatly depending on which parent they take after more.

  • Pugs are known for their wrinkly squished face, curled tail and sturdy body.
  • Shih Tzus tend to look very different. They are often shorter, with wide bodies and longer fur. They also possess a squished face, but it is not wrinkly like that of the Pug.

Expect your mix to have a sturdy body with long legs, and the smushed face of a Shih Tzu.

Their tail can be either curly or straight, but tends to curve over their backs.

Coat and Colors

The Pug Shih Tzu mix comes in a range of different colors, including black, white, fawn, brindle and brown.

Brown and brindle tend to be the most common, and white markings are very common with these dogs.

Their coat is long and will need regular trimming as it does continue to grow. It is straight in texture and soft to the touch – this means that it is prone to tangling, so daily brushing is a must for this breed.

Height and Weight

These dogs tend to be on the sturdier side, weighing between 10-20 pounds and ranging in height from 8-12 inches. However just like most mixed breeds, their size can vary and can occasionally be out of these ranges.

5 Fun Facts About The Pug-Zu

A Pug And A Shih Tzu

  1. These dogs are also affectionately known as the Pug-Zu.
  2. Known for their love of children, these dogs make a great choice for families with young kids.
  3. Pug Shih Tzu mixes are perfect for apartment living.
  4. They do not tolerate the heat very well.
  5. Both parent breeds are ancient breeds that are over 1000 years old.

Pug Shih Tzu Mix Personality and Temperament

Pug Shih Tzu Mix

This mix combines the best personality traits of the Shih Tzu and the Pug.

Shih Tzus are known for being confident and hard headed, whilst Pugs are known for their easy going, good natured temperament.

As a result the Pug Shih Tzu mix is known for having a well balanced temperament and gets along well with everyone and everything.

They little dogs just love to play (especially with you), so make sure that you set aside time each day to play games with them. Also make sure to provide plenty of toys for them – tugs, squeaky toys and balls tend to be some of their favorites.

A quick walk around the block with some play time in the backyard or even inside is enough for this dog.

More than anything the Pug Shih Tzu mix is a couch potato and just wants to cuddle with you on the couch. They love to be with their owners so much they suffer from separation anxiety. So if you are going to be away for long hours, having someone stop by to take them for a walk can help to curb the anxiety.

One of the downsides is this breed can be very headstrong which can make training difficult (more on this later).

The good news though is they are not big barkers. They will bark to alert to someone at the door or something out of place, but other than that they tend to be very quiet. This makes them a great option for apartment living.

Is A Pug Shih Tzu Mix A Good Family Dog?

The Pug Shih Tzu mix makes an amazing family dog.

They love to play with children and get very excited, just make sure they play gently!

Caring for a Pug Shih Tzu Mix


The Pug Shih Tzu mix is a fairly easy breed to care for.

They do not require a lot of physical or mental stimulation and do well in most homes. This breed is also excellent for first time dog owners, or even families with children.

The biggest care commitment with this dog is their grooming and maintenance.

Exercise Requirements

A short walk around the block with a few minutes of play at home is plenty for this breed.

In general the Pug Shih Tzu mix is a fairly lazy breed, so you do not have to put a lot of running or walking time into them.

If you are looking for a hiking companion, this is not the dog for you.

This breed should always be walked on leash or in a fenced-in area. These dogs have a tendency to wander and are not very good with recalls, so keeping them on a leash is best for their safety.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 1.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 30 minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

The most intensive part of caring for a Pug-Zu is the grooming.

Although the Shih Tzu is considered hypoallergenic, this trait does not always carry over into the Shih Tzu Pug mix.

Daily brushing is needed to prevent their coat from tangles.

You can choose to keep your Pug Shih Tzu mix’s fur on the longer end, or trim it down to reduce the amount of brushing that you need. Your dog will need to visit the groomer about every six weeks for a trim.

Keep baths to a minimum as this can dry their skin out. If you choose to groom your dog at home, use something soft that won’t dry out their coat and skin.

Small dogs are also prone to dental issues, so make sure their teeth are brushed one to two times a week. Another thing that you will need to do is clean out their ears weekly to avoid infection.

With little planning ahead you could get reimbursed for every vet bill from now on! Save massively on your pet’s medical costs whether it’s an illness, injury, or wellness expense that needs taking care of.

Feeding and Diet

This mix should be fed kibble specifically designed for small dogs – they do not need anything super high in protein.

As a puppy it is best to feed them three times a day. Once fully grown switching to two meals a day will work.

Remember these dogs are prone to obesity, so make sure not to free fed them or give them lots of of snacks.

Calories Per Day:Cups of Kibble Per Day:

How Long Do Pug Shih Tzu Mix Live?

These dogs can live anywhere from 9-14 years old.

How Much Do Pug Shih Tzu Mix Cost?

A Pug Shih Tzu mix puppy can cost anywhere from $300 to $1100 depending on the breeder.

How to Train a Pug Shih Tzu Mix A Shih Tzu Mix

While training this dog you should remember that these dogs are highly food motivated.

So using a combination of positive reinforcement and rewarding good behavior is the best method of dog training for them.

However these mixes are known for being very stubborn and sometimes hard-headed, so repetition and patience is needed. The best way to avoid this stubbornness is to only train in small bursts of about ten to fifteen minutes – this keeps your dog from getting too exhausted.

It is important to lay down rules with them from an early age to make sure that they are well behaved when they are older.

Socialization is extremely important as a puppy to ensure they become a well-rounded adult. In general they are known for being very well behaved with children, other dogs and pets.

They love strangers so do not expect them to ever be a good watch dog.

Fortunately this little dog does not need a lot of mental stimulation. Just some basic obedience training is needed to make sure that your dog listens as they grow older.

You can also come up with fun games to play with them.

These dogs love almost any game that you can come up with – fetch, tug, you name it, these playful dogs will love it.

Buyer’s Guide

Great for apartment living.Require a lot of grooming.
Very well behaved with children.Can be very stubborn.
Do not need a lot of exercise.Do not make a good watch dog.
Good for first time owners.Can have breathing issues.
Friendly with strangers.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:8-12 inches
Lifespan:9-14 years
Coat:Long, continues to grow and needs regular trimming
Color:Black, brown, white, brindle and fawn
Do They Shed:Moderate amount of shedding
Temperament:Playful, friendly, curious and stubborn
Intelligence:Can be very intelligent but also stubborn
Socialization:In general they are well natured with everyone
Destructive Behavior:Not destructive at all
People Skills:Love everybody and make terrible guard dogs!
Good with Children:Great
Activity Levels:Not very active or energetic dogs


The Pug Shih Tzu mix is the perfect dog for any household.

They thrive in the suburbs as well as apartment homes.

Thanks to their easy going nature, they are an excellent choice for first time dog owners.

This dog does not require a lot of physical or mental stimulation. A quick walk around the block and a game of tug is all they need to be satisfied for the day. They would much rather cuddle with you on the couch than go for a walk.

If you are looking for a unique dog that is more of a welcoming couch potato, then the shih tzu pug might just be the dog for you.

More Pug and Shih Tzu Mixes

Want a Pug mix or Shih Tzu mix but aren’t keen on the Pug Shih Tzu mix? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:

Pug Mixes

Shih Tzu Mixes

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I’m retired and really miss having a small dog around the house.
    I would really like a Shih-tzu puppy or young dog

  2. I lost my best friend little pete of 16 yrs to cancer 4 mths ago, I really think I need another baby to spoil and love

  3. We have a pug shih tzu from 3months old and now is 5 months.We are an older couple and wanted a lap dog since putting our last dog down 3 months ago. I have not had a dog from a pup so is hard for me. I tried to get an older dog but after contacting every dog shelter plus in S.A. I could get one so we settled for this dog going by your notes we paid too much but wanted badly to get a dog. could give me any tips to calm him down Jill

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