The Shih Tzu Terrier Mix: Origins and History

The Shih Tzu Terrier Mix: Origins and History

The Shih Tzu Terrier Mix, often referred to as a "Shihtese," is a charming and endearing hybrid breed that combines the Shih Tzu and Terrier breeds. To understand this delightful mix, it's essential to delve into the origins and history of both parent breeds.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, a small toy breed with a distinctive flowing coat and a sweet, friendly disposition, has a rich history dating back over a thousand years. This breed hails from Tibet, where they were initially bred as companion dogs for Tibetan monks and royalty. Shih Tzus were highly prized for their companionship and were often given as gifts to Chinese emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The name "Shih Tzu" translates to "Lion Dog," which reflects the breed's resemblance to a lion, as depicted in traditional Chinese art. These dogs were considered sacred and were pampered in the Imperial Court. However, during the Chinese Revolution in the early 20th century, many Shih Tzus were brought to other countries, where their popularity grew.


Terrier breeds, on the other hand, have a more diverse and extensive history. Terriers are known for their tenacity, hunting skills, and energetic nature. They were initially bred in Great Britain and Ireland for hunting vermin and small game, making them excellent working dogs. Terriers come in various sizes and coat types, but they all share a strong, feisty personality.

The word "terrier" is derived from the Latin word "terra," meaning earth, reflecting the breed's penchant for digging and going underground to pursue their prey. Terriers were bred to be courageous and determined, which made them popular choices for hunting and as companions.

Shih Tzu Terrier Mix

The Shih Tzu Terrier Mix is the result of crossing these two distinct breeds. The exact origin and history of this hybrid are somewhat elusive, as it is a relatively recent development in the world of designer dogs.

However, it is believed that breeders sought to combine the Shih Tzu's affectionate nature and luxurious coat with the Terrier's intelligence and spirited demeanor.

The purpose of mixing these breeds was likely to create a companion animal that possesses both the endearing qualities of the Shih Tzu and the Terrier's lively personality.

As a result, the Shih Tzu Terrier Mix typically exhibits a friendly, affectionate disposition with a touch of feistiness, making them delightful pets for families and individuals alike.

In terms of appearance, Shih Tzu Terrier Mixes can vary widely depending on the specific Terrier breed used in the cross. Their coat may range from silky and long to shorter and wiry, and their size can vary from small to medium-sized dogs. This variability adds to their unique charm and appeal.


The Shih Tzu Terrier Mix is a delightful blend of two distinct breeds with rich histories and unique characteristics. While the origins and history of this hybrid remain somewhat mysterious, their popularity as loving and spirited companions continues to grow. These dogs offer the best of both worlds, combining the Shih Tzu's affectionate nature with the Terrier's lively personality. Whether you're looking for a devoted family pet or a lively companion, the Shih Tzu Terrier Mix is a breed that brings joy and warmth to the hearts of those who welcome them into their homes.