Shih Tzu vs Yorkie

Shih Tzus and Yorkies are two adorable toy dogs that capture the hearts of many especially small-breed lovers. These fluffy companions may seem similar at first glance, but their unique traits both physical and behavioral set them apart.

Yorkies and shih tzus coat is one of the distinct differences that you may notice if keen enough. Although their coat is more like human hair and not fur, you are able to notice that the shih tzus coat is more dense, unlike Yorkies which is fine (single coat) and glossy. 

Looking for an energetic yet small pet? Or maybe you just wanna cuddle on the couch as you binge-watch your favorite programs?

In this article, we will explore more key differences and similarities between Shih Tzus and Yorkies to help you decide which furry friend perfectly matches your preference and energy.

Shih tzu

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a small-breed dog that originates from China. They are a crossbreed of Pekingese and Lhasah apso. Shih Tzus are renowned for their luxurious, dense, and flowy coats, which often come in a captivating blend of gold, white, and brown colors. Their dense coat should not be a thing to worry about as they are minimal shedders, making them a good choice for those with allergies. However, maintaining their elegant appearance requires frequent coat trimming, and daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling which can be painful.

Shih tzus typically weigh between 10 to 16 pounds and stand at a height of 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder. Their small size makes them a perfect fit for small apartments or condos as they do not need much space like the large energetic breeds.

What sets them apart from other dogs is their impressive lifespan, often spanning from 10 to 18 years, making them wonderful long-term companions.

Worried about what will happen once you get babies along the way? The good thing with shih tzus is that they are affectionate and co-habit well with toddlers with supervision at first, then develop a trustworthy friendship with time. They are not only good with children but are also outgoing and friendly dogs making them excellent companions for families and individuals alike.

Their eagerness to please and gentle nature makes them easy to train, especially when using positive reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and petting.

For exercise needs, Shih Tzus requires around 30 to 45 minutes of daily activity. This could include short walks, playtime in the yard, or interactive indoor games. Although they may not be as active as yorkies, shih tzus are good in agility due to their masculine body hidden in their thick coat. Therefore engaging them in agility exercises is a plus for them.

Adorable Shih Tzu pup
Notice the bulging eyes

Like all breeds, Shih Tzus do have some potential health concerns to be aware of. They are prone to hip dysplasia, which can affect their mobility. Although it is hereditary, things like obesity and too much or wrong exercise could also be a trigger. Therefore, giving high-quality nutrition in the right portion and avoiding exercises like high jumps, fetching, and catching a ball could help keep your pet healthy.

 Additionally, their distinctive bulging eyes make them susceptible to various eye problems, so regular check-ups with a veterinarian and trimming hair around their eyes are essential to maintain their eye health.

Despite these health considerations, Shih Tzus makes wonderful companions for those willing to provide them with the love and care they deserve.

Height10 inches
weight10-16 pounds
Lifespan11-18 years
TrainabilityEasy to train
TemperamentFriendly(Good with other dogs and children)

Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkshire Terriers, often affectionately known as Yorkies, originate from England. They stand at a height of 7 to 8 inches and weigh around 7 pounds, making them perfect lap pals that are easy to manage. These little companions typically enjoy a relatively long life, living for about 11 to 15 years if well cared for.

One of their notable features is their silky, long coat, which is not only hypoallergenic but also quite elegant. This coat comes in various color combinations, including black & tan, blue & tan, black & gold, and blue & gold. Due to the length of their coat, matting and tangling are common, therefore, daily brushing is necessary to keep their coats looking their best.

Yorkies are energetic little bundles of joy and need around an hour of exercise like walks and running after a ball each day to stay happy and healthy. Failure to which they may become restless due to pent-up energy.

They have a tendency to bark more than some other breeds, which can make them excellent watchdogs, alerting you to any potential intruders. Also, Yorkies will help keep off rodents in your home due to their strong ratting trait.

However, it’s important to note that Yorkies might not be the best fit for families with toddlers and other dogs. Their small size can make them more delicate, and they may not always tolerate the rowdy play of young children or the presence of other dogs. They prefer a quiet environment where they can shine as the watchful, loyal companions they are. 

Yorkies tend to suffer laxation patella if much weight is exerted on their joints. Therefore, try to avoid high-calorie food that may cause unnecessary weight gain and jumping games which may strain their joints. Also, yorkies are prone to diabetes so regular vet check-ups and high-quality nutrition are essential to ensure their well-being.

Height7-8 inches
Weight7 pounds

Differences between Shih Tzus and Yorkies

Shih Tzu vs Yorkie

Shih Tzus and Yorkies may both be small and charming, but they have distinct differences worth noting. Firstly, Shih Tzus are slightly larger than Yorkies, both in height and weight as indicated on the chart below. Although their faces may look similar (round faces), Shih Tzu’s eyes tend to be slightly popping out unlike Yorkie’s.

If taken well care of, Shih Tzu enjoys a lifespan of 11-18 years while Yorkies live up to 11-15 years.

Shih Tzus boast a dense double coat that requires daily brushing, while Yorkies have a single, silky coat. When it comes to energy levels, Shih Tzus tend to be more laid-back and enjoy lounging on the couch, whereas Yorkies are known for their boundless energy and need for more exercise.

In terms of compatibility, Shih Tzus are often patient and tolerant, making them a good fit for families with toddlers and other pets. On the contrary, Yorkies, due to their small size and sometimes ratting background, may not always get along with young children or other dogs. Yorkies also tend to bark at any small provocation and may not be a perfect fit for condos, unlike Shih Tzus.

Finally, Shih Tzus tend to be easier to train, as they are eager to please, while Yorkies can be trained but may require more patience and consistency as they tend to be bossy.

These distinctions between Shih Tzus and Yorkies emphasize that each breed has its own unique qualities, making them better suited to different lifestyles and preferences.

Key differencesShih tzuYorkshire terrier
Height9-10 inches7-8 inches
Weight10-16 pounds7 pounds
Coat typeDouble coatSingle coat
Coat colorGold, white and brownBlack & tan, Blue & tan, Black & gold, Blue & gold
TrainabilityEasy to trainTrainable
Energy levelLowHigh
CompatibilityDoes well with toddlers and other pets (tolerant)Gold, white, and brown

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