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Yorkies vs Shih Tzus: Which Adorable Breed Is Right for You?

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: A Comparison of Appearance and CharacteristicsAre you considering bringing a new furry friend into your home? Yorkies and Shih Tzus are both popular choices among dog lovers, but they have some key differences that you should be aware of before making your decision.

In this article, we will compare Yorkies and Shih Tzus in terms of their appearance and characteristics. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of which breed might be the best fit for you.



When it comes to height, Yorkies and Shih Tzus are quite different. A typical Yorkie stands around 7-8 inches tall at the shoulder, while a Shih Tzu is a bit taller, averaging around 9-10.5 inches.

This means that Shih Tzus tend to have a more substantial presence, while Yorkies are smaller and more delicate in stature.


In terms of weight, both breeds are relatively light, but there is still a difference. A Yorkie typically weighs between 4-7 pounds, while a Shih Tzu weighs a bit more at 9-16 pounds.

Yorkies can be comfortably held and carried around, while Shih Tzus may require a bit more strength due to their slightly larger size.

Coat Type

One of the most significant differences between Yorkies and Shih Tzus is their coat type. Yorkies have a long, silky, and straight coat that requires regular brushing and grooming to prevent tangles and matting.

On the other hand, Shih Tzus have a dense and luxurious double coat that can be either long and flowing or cut short for easier maintenance. Both breeds are known for their beautiful coats, but they do require different levels of care.


When it comes to colors, both Yorkies and Shih Tzus come in a variety of shades. Yorkies are most commonly seen in tan and blue and tan colors, with the possibility of some black and white markings.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, come in a wide range of colors, including black, white, gold, silver, and even brindle. Whether you prefer a more uniform coat or a mix of colors, both breeds offer plenty of options.


Sensitivity Level

While both Yorkies and Shih Tzus are known for their loving and affectionate nature, they do differ in terms of their sensitivity levels. Yorkies tend to be more sensitive and can sometimes become anxious or stressed in certain situations.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are generally more laid-back and tend to handle stress and changes in their routine with ease. If you have a busy household or frequently entertain guests, a Shih Tzu may be a better fit.

Impulse to Wander

Another characteristic to consider is the impulse to wander. Yorkies have a strong instinct to explore and may try to wander off if given the chance.

They require constant supervision and a secure yard or leash when outside. Shih Tzus, however, have a lower tendency to wander and usually stay close to their owners.

If you prefer a dog that sticks by your side, a Shih Tzu might be the better choice.


In conclusion, Yorkies and Shih Tzus have their own unique characteristics and appearances. Yorkies are smaller and more delicate, while Shih Tzus have a more substantial presence.

Both breeds have beautiful coats but require different levels of grooming. Yorkies are more sensitive, while Shih Tzus are generally more laid-back.

Lastly, Yorkies have a higher impulse to wander compared to Shih Tzus. Consider these factors carefully when deciding which breed is best suited for your lifestyle.

Health Factors

Energy Levels

When it comes to energy levels, both Yorkies and Shih Tzus have their own distinct characteristics. Yorkies are known for their high energy and love for playtime.

They enjoy engaging in various activities such as fetching, running, and even agility training. Due to their small size, they can burn off energy relatively quickly, making them suitable for apartment living.

On the other hand, Shih Tzus have a more moderate energy level. They still enjoy playtime and walks but are generally more content with relaxing indoors, making them a better fit for those who prefer a dog that is not overly active.

Health Problems

Although both Yorkies and Shih Tzus are generally healthy breeds, they are prone to certain health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Yorkies are known to have dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, which can be prevented with regular dental care.

They are also prone to patellar luxation, a condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, as well as tracheal collapse, a narrowing of the windpipe. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are more susceptible to respiratory problems due to their brachycephalic (short-nosed) face.

They can experience difficulty breathing, especially in hot and humid weather, so it’s important to keep them cool and provide proper ventilation. Shih Tzus are also prone to eye problems such as corneal ulcers and cataracts, as well as skin allergies.

Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help prevent and manage these health issues in both breeds.

Wrapping up Yorkie and Shih Tzu

Comparison of Behavior

Yorkies and Shih Tzus may differ in their behavior, and understanding these differences can help determine which breed is the right fit for you. Yorkies have a reputation for being courageous, confident, and sometimes even a bit stubborn.

They are generally more independent and may require consistent training and socialization to ensure they don’t develop small dog syndrome. Despite their size, Yorkies make great watchdogs as they are alert and will readily alert their owners if they sense anything amiss.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are known for being affectionate, friendly, and social. They thrive in human company and are excellent with children, making them an ideal family pet.

Shih Tzus have a loving and gentle nature, and their desire to be around people can sometimes lead to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Early socialization and training can help Shih Tzus develop well-rounded behavior and prevent any potential behavioral issues.

Suitable Home Environment

Both Yorkies and Shih Tzus can adapt well to various living situations, but there are certain factors to consider when determining the right home environment for each breed. Yorkies, due to their smaller size and higher energy levels, can thrive in an apartment as long as they are provided with enough exercise and mental stimulation.

They enjoy indoor playtime and regular walks to burn off energy. Shih Tzus are also well-suited to apartment living, but they tend to be a bit more relaxed and adaptable.

However, they do need daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Shih Tzus love being around their human companions, so a home environment where they are not left alone for extended periods is ideal.

Final Words

In summary, Yorkies and Shih Tzus both have their own unique health factors and behavior traits that potential owners should be aware of. Yorkies are generally more energetic and alert, while Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and social nature.

Both breeds require proper care, including regular grooming and veterinary check-ups. Consider your living situation, activity level, and lifestyle when deciding between a Yorkie and a Shih Tzu.

Whichever breed you choose, both Yorkies and Shih Tzus make wonderful companions and can bring joy and love to your life. Take the time to learn about each breed’s specific needs and characteristics, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect four-legged friend for your home.

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