Why Are Shih Tzu’s So Expensive!?

The Shih Tzu is an adorable and extremely popular dog breed. Many people around the world have fallen in love with these tiny toy dogs.

shih tzu price
Why are Shih Tzu So Expensive?

Shih Tzus make for an excellent family pet. Being the owner of a Shih Tzu isn’t a cheap pastime. This cuteness comes with a price.

Here is what we have learned about Shih Tzu’s price and what affects their price. We would like to share it with you.

Related Reading: Are Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic? [FIND OUT]

How Much Should A Shih Tzu Cost?

A Shih Tzu puppy’s price can range between $500 and $2000 per puppy. The price of Shih Tzu pups can fluctuate widely depending on the breeder.

The reputable and high-quality breeders tend to be on the upper end of the price spectrum. You may get a Shih Tzu at a lower price from unethical backyard breeders but it is never recommended.

Other factors that can influence Shih Tzu puppy prices include

  • Gender
  • Coat colour
  • Overall appearance
  • Breeder reputation 
  • Demand for puppies 
  • Kennel Club registered or not
  • Champion bloodline 
  • Breeder’s years of breeding 
  • Purpose of buying (pet, show, or breeding)

What is included in the price also depends on country laws and on the breeder himself.

Shih Tzu sitting in grass with plenty of room on left side to place text or design elements.

Female and Male Shih Tzu Price Differences

When we compare the prices of male and female Shih Tzu, it seems that female Shih Tzu puppies cost more than males in many cases. However, many breeders will sell their puppies for the same price irrespective of gender. 

Female puppies are priced higher when the breeders are selling for breeding purposes. Similarly, if a female Shih Tzu is meant to compete in dog shows, it will be usually priced higher than other companions.

Other Costs Associated With Shih Tzus

The initial price is only the beginning of your Shih Tzu’s expenses. There are many ongoing costs to factor in as well.

Let’s dive into the hidden aspects of the Shih Tzu price.


Shih Tzus have some very specific needs and require a lot of grooming. They require frequent trips to the groomer, about once per month or every other month. They also need routine dental care.

Health issues

Shih Tzus are prone to a lot of health problems, especially eye issues due to their abnormally large and bulging eyes. Their medical bills can often really break the bank.


Training is a crucial part of Shih Tzu’s ownership. Training classes almost cost between $75 and $200 for a 5- or 6-week class. Hiring a private owner for one-to-one training will be even more expensive.

Wardrobe and hair accessories 

Most Shih Tzu owners love to dress their dogs in cute sweaters and jackets. They also need adorable clips and accessories for their hair. Shih Tzu wardrobe is pricey but it is optional.

Dog walkers or daycare

If you are a working Shih Tzu parent, you have to invest in a dog walker, doggie daycare, dog door, or pee pads.


Although Shih Tzus eat less food, they require high-quality and expensive food. Their food should not have artificial colors, flavors, and filler ingredients such as corn or animal by-products.

Before you own a Shih Tzu, ask yourself the following question: “Can you afford to own a Shih Tzu in terms of food, grooming, vet fees, and pet insurance?”

It is always important to do your research before owning a Shih Tzu. You need to budget for ongoing expenses apart from the initial price.

The average life expectancy of a Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus has a life expectancy of around 10 – 16 years. This can only be so if proper care and nutrition are given to them. These dogs should be given regular exercise to avoid health problems.

You can help your Shih Tzu hit its life expectancy by following these simple tips:

  1. Supervise your Shih Tzu while they play in the yard. This may prevent injuries or attacks by other dogs.
  2. Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic breed. You need to protect them from heat stress in the summer and hypothermia in the winter.
  3. Clean and fresh water should be made available to your Shih Tzu at all times.
  4. Be aware of what you’re giving to your dog. Offer all-natural, no-chemical, wholesome foods with no additives.
  5. Brachycephalic indoor dogs still require daily exercise. Keep your Shih Tzu on a regular exercise program. This will help regulate their metabolism, release pent-up, and prevent the onset of many diseases.
  6. Provide good dental care to your Shih Tzu.
  7. Take your Shih Tzu for vet checks. Regular examinations will check for heart issues, allergies, kidney issues, hormone deficiencies, cancer, and much more.
  8. Make sure that the house is completely puppy-proof to remove dangers or prevent injuries.
  9. Socialize your Shih Tzu as much as you can. Make sure your furry pal gets to encounter all kinds of people, animals, and objects in different places.

The oldest documented Shih Tzu dog to ever live was Smokey. This dog reached the age of 23 years.

How Do I Know If My Shih Tzu Is Purebred?

So, ready to bring a Shih Tzu puppy home? Shih Tzu puppies are heartwarming, adorable, and hard to resist.

For a Shih Tzu to be registered as a purebred with reputable Kennel Clubs, specific rules need to be followed. The main principle is that both parents need to be registered with a reputable kennel club as purebred.

Here is what you should look for in a purebred Shih Tzu puppy:

Look for a responsible breeder:

Always go for a responsible breeder who follows good breeding practices. They take special care to breed their dogs for good health and temperament.  

A reputable breeder will be happy to accommodate your visit and will be willing to show you around. This will increase your chances of ending up with a happy, healthy Shih Tzu that lives for a long time.

Contract of sale: 

The breeder should give you a contract of sale or purchase agreement.

Shih Tzu Parents: 

There is no better way to see how your Shih Tzu will grow up than by looking at its parents. The breeder should allow you to see the puppy with its mother and the rest of the litter.

It will help you to know your Shih Tzu’s temperament, size, and appearance.

Vet Records: 

Ask the breeder to provide you with the vet records, including vaccination cards, for the Shih Tzu pup. Health records help you to see if there are some hereditary diseases in the puppy or its parents.


Verify all paperwork for the Shih Tzu puppy. Also, ask for the Kennel Club Registration paperwork if it is a Kennel Club Registered puppy.


The breeder should provide the microchip transfer paperwork which should have the microchip number on it.

shih tzu price
Shih Tzu price

Final Thoughts

Owning a Shih Tzu brings great joy despite the cost of looking after your dog throughout its lifetime. After all, the little furry friends are worth every penny and more!

Hope you enjoyed reading this article! Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts and questions. We would be happy to hear from you!

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.