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Differences Between the Pekingese and Shih Tzu

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: September 6, 2017
Differences Between the Pekingese and Shih Tzu

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Both the Pekinese and the Shih Tzu are two oriental canine breeds, although of slightly different origins. Both types of dogs are small, fit well for family life and have a simply adorable appearance.

Despite this, they are also quite different and if you are considering adopting either breed, it is important to know which traits they possess. Discover in this AnimalWised article, the differences between Pekingese and Shih Tzu to find out what type of dog is best suited to you. Read on!

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Physical characteristics

Although both are small dogs, the Pekinese is slightly smaller and has a height that can go from 15 to 23 cm. Their weight oscillates between 5 and 6 kg. In contrast, the Shih Tzu has a height of between 20 and 28 cm. Similarly, their weight oscillates between 4 and 7 kg.

Their appearance is similar although there is one very noticeable difference - their coat. The Pekingese has a double-mantled coat that is long, abundant and smooth. On the other hand, the Shih Tzu has an abundant but denser, longer and smoother coat.

Here we must highlight an important difference. Precisely because of the type of coat, the Shih Tzu breed requires more care for their hair. In both dogs, virtually all colors are accepted.

Differences Between the Pekingese and Shih Tzu - Physical characteristics

Behavior of the Pekingese and Shih Tzu

The behavior of both dogs is similar, however, here we will focus on the differences. Remember that to get the best out of the character of any dog, adequate socialization is necessary.

The Shih Tzu is a dog that stays alert and consequently is a good guardian but nevertheless prefers to stay close to their owners - even though they are very sociable with children and other pets.

In contrast, the Pekingese dog can be defined as a guard dog par excellence. They can be silent and avoid excessive barking but still be able to alert the whole family to the slightest suspicious or strange noise.

Both dog breeds become strongly attached to their owners. However, the Pekinese loves the comfort of their home far more than the Shih Tzu. In that sense, while both dogs are suitable for family life, the Pekingese will especially enjoy this environment.

Differences Between the Pekingese and Shih Tzu - Behavior of the Pekingese and Shih Tzu

Diet and exercise requirements

Both dogs, like any other dog, need a balanced diet and daily physical exercise adapted to their individual needs. What is certain is that both breeds have a tendency to be overweight. Therefore we must avoid overfeeding at all costs, as this would be highly detrimental to the health of the animal.

It is important to emphasize that just because a dog can adapt perfectly to living in an apartment, does not imply that they don't need outdoor walks - the same goes for all dogs. The Shih Tzu requires about two daily walks, yet, the Pekinese requires a greater number of walks and must stay active through games and mental stimulation with their human family.

Differences Between the Pekingese and Shih Tzu - Diet and exercise requirements

Health and longevity of both breeds

Both dogs can enjoy a remarkably long life. It is estimated that the average life expectancy of a Pekingese is 11 years and 5 months, whereas the average life expectancy of a Shih Tzu is 13 years and 2 months. However, we cannot take these stats as definitive, since with good consistent care throughout their life, these dogs can reach ages that even exceed 16 years.

Both breeds are considered brachycephalic, that is, they have a short and flat snout which may increase the risk of respiratory difficulties. Precisely because of this physical feature, we must avoid intense physical exercise or walks during the hottest hours, as we could spark a heat stroke in our pet.

Also, in both breeds, we can observe large and bulging eyes that will require special care.

All in all, both the Pekinese and the Shih Tzu will enjoy good health if we provide the necessary care. So, it's up to you to be that responsible owner.

Differences Between the Pekingese and Shih Tzu - Health and longevity of both breeds

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