How Much Are Shih Tzu Puppies

Shih Tzus are known for their attractive looks, small sizes which makes it easy to carry them around and a friendly demeanor. Research shows that many dogs in shelters are abandoned by their owners who cannot cater for their needs anymore. So, as a responsible paw parent, you should be aware of the cost of buying a puppy and general cost of bringing up him up.

How Much Are Shih Tzu Puppies

The cost of a Shih Tzu puppy is determined by many factors. A regular Shi Tzu will cost around $750 – $1,500, a tea cup Shi Tzu will cost around $1,250 – $2,500, a Shi Tzu mix ranging from $400 – $1,000. You can also get a Shi Tzu puppy for as little as $250 from backstreet breeders (but will cost you much later) and also a Shih Tzu can cost up to $6,000 if he is purebred and from a champion bloodline.

3 Reasons Why Shih Tzus Are Expensive

1.Small Litters

Shi Tzus give birth to an average of 3-4 litters. This is contrast to big breeds who can give birth to 10 to 14 litters. This means that they are hard to find hence their high prices.

2.Pure Bred

If you want a pure breed from a recognized breed, you will have to go deeper in your pockets. This is because the breeders incur a high cost in breeding and vet care. You can get less expensive Shi Tzu mixes.

3. High Demand

Shih Tzus ranked #20 on the AKC Breed Popularity List. Even though they are not on the top 3, they are still popular than many more breeds on the list.

Cost of a Shih Tzu from a breeder

Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder will cost you more than from any other sources. This is because the following reasons;

The breeder will have the history of both parents and their temperaments. This information is very crucial before you take a puppy to your home. You can know whether he can fit your family needs.

The puppies are screened for diseases, microchipped and dewormed. You also get to know the health of the parents. The neutering/spaying fee is not included and you can opt to keep him/her intact or pay the breed to do the procedure.

You will have to pay double or triple the normal price of a Shih Tzu if you a puppy is from a champion breed or have rare colors and patterns.

Rescue Shih Tzu puppy prices

Pet adoption statistics reveals that approximately 25% of pets in animals shelters are purebred. This means you do not have to incur a high cost to get a pure breed Shi tzu puppy.

Puppies in rescues and shelters are given out for as low as $350 which is inclusive of medical care.

Some shelters spay/neuter their puppies, deworm, and vaccinate them. Rescues cannot confirm fully that a dog is pure breed or not. This means you should get puppies from shelters if you are okay with Shih Tzu mixes like Rat Tzu, Sichon, and Shiranian.

What Is Included in Shih Tzus Price by Breeders And Rescues?

IncludedShih Tzu from BreedersShih Tzu from Rescue Sites
ContractYes Yes
Health CertificateYesNo
Health guarantee YesNo
Age-appropriate Vaccines Yes Yes
Deworming YesYes 
Microchip implantationSomeSome  
Puppy deliverySome breeders for nearby areasNo
Lifetime support YesNo
Care packageSomeNo

Factors Influencing The Cost Of A Shih Tzu

1. Breed or mixed

A pure breed Shih Tzu will cost more than a mixed breed. Shih Tzus are bred with other breeds like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, beagles, Golden retrievers and many more.

2. Age

Puppies are on a higher demand than adults making their prices high. Many people prefer to buy puppies because they can be easily trained as per their needs.

3. Gender

Shi Tzu bitches are on a higher demand compared to males. This is because they can be bred in the future.

 4. Breeders Reputation or the Bloodline of the puppy

If a breeder is well known in the area and have many people he can refer you to that have bought puppies from him and are doing well, he is likely to sell his puppies at a higher price.

If a puppy is from a lineage of an award winning dog, the breeder is likely to charge more.

5. Health Screening and Medical expenses

A certified breeder will screen for any diseases that can be passed to generations. They also ensure that their puppies have the required medical attention.

Even though the cost might seem too high, it will save you from many medical bills that can result if the puppy’s parents are not screened.

6. Registration Papers

If a breeder is registered with AKC or CKC, he will charge extra money in order to give you the registration papers for your puppy.

7. The colors and markings of a Shi Tzu

The colors of a Shi Tzu can greatly impact their price. If a puppy have rare markings and colors, he will be sold a higher price than normal ones. Additionally, a puppy with bright colors is expensive than a dull colored one.

Below is a chart showing the relationship between Shih Tzu prices and colors;


8. Socialization and training

If a dog is socialized and trained by a breeder, you will have to pay more. This will spare you the time you could have used on training him and have a well behaved dog.

What Is The Long Time Cost Of Owning A Shih Tzu?

On top of the buying cost, you should be aware that owning a puppy is life time commitment and be prepared for the long time cost. These costs are;

1. Feeding Cost

Since Shih Tzus are small breeds, they do not eat much. A Shih Tzu puppy will feed roughly 32 Kgs of food annually which sums up to around $50 -$150 depending on the quality of food.

A Shih Tzu adult will feed approximately 41 Kgs of food annually which sums up to around $70-$160.

There is an additional cost of buying treats of around $150 per year.

It is advisable to buy high quality food by reading the ingredients but not based on the price. Many people mistake price for quality.

2. Supplies Cost

Before you take your Shi Tzu puppy home you will require supplies like beds, collars, harnesses, crates, food and water bowls, blankets, poop bags and scoopers.

You also require grooming tools like nail clippers, shampoos, combs, brushes, and a towel.

This expenses can cost $150 to $650 in the first year. However, the cost will decrease in the following years as you will only have to replace which will not be regular.

3. Veterinary Cost

It is mandatory to include veterinary bill in your list if you want a healthy puppy. The first year your puppy will spend an average of $590 for veterinary care.

It is advisable to have your pet insured because Shih Tzus are affected by many diseases like;

  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Patellar luxation
  • Collapsing trachea
  • Eye problems like Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry eye) or Entropion
  • Dental disease
  • Joint and elbow dysplasia.
  • Degenerative Myloeopathy.

Some of these diseases are expensive to treat.

4. Shih Tzu Grooming

You can groom your dog at home but at times you will require to take him to a professional groomer for about 6 times a year.

A groomer will trim his coat, bath, trim his nails, and brush the teeth. Groomers services coat from $40-$60 per year.

5. Training

The level of training you give your dog will determine how he will behave. You can train your dog if you are experienced in that area or pay a professional. Depending on a trainer, training classes can cost about $150-$200 per hour.

6. Dog Boarding and walking services

If your work is demanding or you travel a lot, you should consider setting money for boarding services aside. You can also hire a dog sitter. These services will cost you around $25-$85 a day.

Additionally, if you have no time to walk your dog, hiring a dog walker is advisable. A day, a dog walker will require an average of $20-$40 per hour.

7. Microchipping

A dog without a microchip is at a higher risk of getting lost and never finding his way back home. A microchip will cost you between $25-$50.

8. License

If you own a dog in some states, you will be required to get a license for each dog. The license will cost around $10-$20. The cost will increase if your dog is not neutered or spayed.


Adding a Shih Tzu in your family is great because they are fun to be with, require minimal exercises and are suitable for apartment lifestyle.

How much a Shih Tzu puppy will cost depends on where you buy him, pedigree, colors, size, and age among other things. The average of buying a Shih Tzu puppy is between $1000-$3000.

You should remember that after buying a Shih Tzu puppy, there are other long term costs that are ahead of you like; vet bills, supplies, training fees, grooming costs and feeding.

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