Pug-Zu: Shih Tzu Pug Mix Facts, Pictures & Guide

Also known as the Pug-Zu or Pug Tzu, the adorable Shih Tzu Pug mix is a resultant hybrid gotten from a cross between the Shih Tzu and the Pug.

Not so much is usually documented on the origin of mixed breeds, so we can’t tell when exactly the Pug-Zu came to be.

However, it has quickly risen to become popular amongst others of the same nature and is loved for its companionship spirit.

This is a good partner for those weekends when you lounge in front of the TV for your favorite shows. 

The combination of a confident Shih Tzu with a laid-back Pug is sure to bring forth a hybrid with feistiness and sweetness standing side by side.

That said, getting this Pug and Shih Tzu mix requires knowing both the pros and cons of it.

Although it isn’t a troublesome crossbreed, there are hurdles to jump across.

See below for complete information, characteristics, appearance, temperament, grooming, and other important facts you should know about the Pug Tzu.

Shih Tzu Pug Mixed Breed Information

Height8 to 12 inches
Weight10 to 20 pounds
Life Expectancy9 to 14 years
CoatMedium to long, flowing or dense, silky
ColorsBlack, brown, white, brindle, fawn
TemperamentPlayful, affectionate, friendly, sweet, stubborn 
Ideal ForApartment dwellers, families in need of a companion
Breed RecognitionAmerican Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America, Inc.
 Puppy Price $300– $1100

Shih Tzu Pug Mix Puppy Characteristics

Close Up of Shih Tzu Pug Mix Puppy
HealthMedium to high

The Parent Breeds

Shih Tzu

Cute Shih Tzu Dog Resting on Couch

A native of China, the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world with a lineage that’s both enigmatic and confusing.

Its name translates as ‘little lion‘, an expression that doesn’t represent Shih Tzu’s personality well enough.

Even in history, it has always been a companion.

There are many old Chinese paintings from the Tang Dynasty that portrayed Shih Tzu’s lookalikes.

This breed was also employed to calm down trained lions, and it became a companion for royals in the Ming Dynasty, and that continued into the 1860s.

It got into the United States courtesy of Maureen Murdock and Philip Price. In 1969, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed.

The Shih Tzu has a lovely look with its long, silky coat and little size.

With a weight that’s up to 16 pounds and a height that gets to 10 inches, the Shih Tzu is a toy breed.

It comes in many colors like black, black and white, gray and white, red and white. 

A docile and friendly breed, affection is the biggest trait of the Shih Tzu. It remains a companion and should be gotten only for that role.

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Pug Resting on Pillow

The Pug shares the same roots as the Shih Tzu as it is from China. It is also a toy breed bred for the sole purpose of companionship.

Similar to the Shih Tzu, Pugs were admired by Chinese royals and found their way into palaces.

Pugs got into Europe thanks to the Chinese trades with European countries.

There, they also became companions to European royals and even saved the life on.

They got into the United States in the period following the Civil War and got recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. 

The Pug is slightly bigger than the Shih Tzu with a weight that peaks at 18 pounds and a height of 10 to 14 inches.

Its coat is short and double, making it a shedder, especially during the summer period.

Its coat colors include fawn and black with some apricot and silver touches.

The Pug, like the Shih Tzu, is happier when it is with its family. Its favorite spot is its owner’s laps, but it finds time to play and goof around.

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Important Facts About Shih Tzu Pug Mixes You Should Know

Close Up of Pug Mixed with Shih Tzu Dog Sitting on Walkway

1. They’re good apartment dogs

Though it has energy, the Pug-Zu can fit in an apartment and is an ideal dog for small environments.

It doesn’t bark a lot, which is good news for your neighbors. It also remains calm once it has gotten the exercise it needs.

Those with houses and large spaces can own this mix too. It adapts to different settings.

2. They are good for first-time dog parents

This Pug mixed with a Shih Tzu is low aggressive, docile, and easy to train.

This makes it suitable for someone who has never had a dog before.

Its energy is also easy to manage because of its size, and it doesn’t have a high exercise need. 

3. The Pug-Zu may not be hypoallergenic

On this issue, the mix can swing to either side of the pendulum.

The Shih Tzu is known to be hypoallergenic as it doesn’t shed, but the Pug is ill-fitted for an allergy sufferer because it has a shedding season.

Therefore, it is safe not to keep the Pug and Shih Tzu mix close to someone vulnerable to allergies as one can’t predict whose coat it would inherit.

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4. They don’t do well with heat

Both the Shih Tzu parent and the Pug have short faces, making them intolerant to the heat.

Therefore, the mix can’t escape this attribute. It will get exhausted if exposed to heat for a long time.

During the summer, keep it in a ventilated environment with a fan or air condition. 

5. They suffer from separation anxiety

As an offspring of two excellent companions, the Pug-Zu loves the company of people.

On one hand, this helps cure loneliness if you live a sedentary lifestyle.

On the other hand, the mix is prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long.

Pug-Zu Appearance

Black Pug Shih Tzu Mix Dog on Leash Standing

What Does a Pug and Shih Tzu Mix Look Like?

In appearance, the Pug and Shih Tzu are different. Predicting how the resultant crossbreed will turn out is a gamble of its own.

The Pug has wrinkles on its face and it looks squeezed. The body is sturdy and the tail is curled.

The Shih Tzu has a wider body and longer fur. Its face is void of wrinkles but is also squeezed.

The mix usually comes with a sturdy body, long legs, and the face of the Shih Tzu.

It has brown eyes, a black nose, and a tail that’s either curly or straight.

There are no standards, however, so don’t be surprised if you see a Pug-Zu that’s slightly different from our description.

Size: How Big Do Pug and Shih Tzu Mix Get?

This toy hybrid’s size is in the same toy category as its parents and weighs between 10 and 20 pounds with a height of 8 to 12 inches.

Colors & Coat Type

The coats of both parents are different too. The mix could either inherit the Shih Tzu’s long, silky coat or the Pug’s short, double coat.

You have a 50/50 chance of ending up with a shedder. The coat colors on the mix include black, brown, brindle, white, fawn.

Shih Tzu Pug Mix Temperament & Behavior

Pug and Shih Tzu Mix Dog Lying on Sofa

The Pug mixed with a Shih Tzu is a delightful combo of confidence and easygoing nature, making it a more balanced version of both parents.

It has its headstrong moments, but it is also gentle and eager to please, a companion fit for different categories of people. 

This mix is sociable and loves interacting with humans, so it should be socialized to encourage this behavior.

It is not a worker or a guard dog, though it may act as a watchdog as it barks when a person is approaching.

Even that isn’t certain as this mix isn’t a barker.

It does have some energy so exercise and some outdoor time are necessary, but it loves relaxing with its owner.

Separation anxiety is the biggest issue you’ll face with the Shih Tzu mixed with a Pug, so make arrangements for a dog sitter if you live alone and have a hectic schedule. 

The docile nature and Intelligence make it easy to train them, except for some stubbornness due to its Shih Tzu side.

With the right steps, training your puppy will work fine. 

Overall, only get this mix is your pet objective is companionship, not work or security. 

Is a Pug and Shih Tzu Mix a Good Family Dog?

The answer to this is a resounding yes! This mix is an excellent family dog. If anything, its parents have been companions for royal families.

If old Chinese Emperors and European Queens could fancy Shih Tzus and Pugs, then the offspring should be a master in the game.

The Pug and Shih Tzu mixed dog is as good with adults as it is with kids. Unlike many other toy breeds, this mix isn’t fragile and can handle rough play from toddlers.

You should teach your children to treat dogs well, though.

Are They Good With Other Dogs & Pets?

Besides being a good fit for kids, the Pug Tzu is also good for a house with other dogs.

If anything, you should be more concerned over how the other dog will react, especially if it is a big one with a high prey drive.

This mix also gets along well with cats and smaller pets.

How Much Do Pug Shih Tzu Mix Puppies Cost?

Being a popular hybrid, the mix isn’t too difficult to find. Pug and Shih Tzu mixes don’t come too cheap either and you should budget around $300 to $1,100.

That’s almost the same price range as the Shih Tzu which costs around $250 to $1,200.

The Pug is more expensive, however. It costs between $1,200 and $2,500. 

The price for the mix can vary, depending on some factors that could make the breeder either increase or lower the price.

Don’t be too eager to get a puppy at a bargain price because the low price could mean that the puppy is flawed.

The rule of investment applies to buying a puppy: If it feels too good to be true, it probably is. 

Before you seal the deal, ask questions and seek documented proof that your pup was well-bred and doesn’t have any hidden health problems.

Avoid getting a teacup-sized Pug-Zu as you may battle with health issues for long. 

If you don’t want to shop from a breeder, adoption from a rescue shelter is the next choice, one that’s preferred by many animal rights activists.

It is cheaper than shopping, but you may not be getting your pet “brand new”.

Getting its backstory and medical history will help you handle whatever you might face with the adopted dog.

Shih Tzu Pug Mix Food & Diet

The Pug-Zu’s diet should be tailored for small dogs and fed accordingly. This diet should meet some requirements that would make it fit for a small dog.

For starters, it should have at least 20% protein. Each serving should also contain the calories needed, as well as a healthy amount of fat and fatty acids.

Antioxidants and probiotics are important too. 

The Pug tends towards obesity, so ensure that the mix doesn’t overeat. Sometimes it’s hard to determine how much food your dog needs because of its small size.

That’s where you seek the advice of a veterinarian or nutritionist. 

Generally, feed the adult Pug-Zu twice a day in 0.5 to 1 cup. While shopping, get the best dog dry food with enough nutrients.

Puppies and senior dogs have their specific diets and don’t experiment with them by giving a meal they can’t stomach. The occasional treat is encouraged. 

Exercise Requirements for a Pug Mixed With a Shi Tzu

Pug and Shih Tzu Mix Pup Playing on Grass

Moderate exercise is what this mix requires to remain the calm apartment dog it is.

Without exercise, it becomes highly active to the point of restlessness and may endanger your properties. At least 30 minutes of exercise should suffice.

The activities shouldn’t be intense for both puppies and adults because of your size. Puppies are also delicate and should be exercised indoors mostly.

The adult will need some outdoor time, and a good walk will do it some good.

You can also go to a dog’s park and let it play with other dogs, or take it along while you go to a restaurant (one that allows pets, of course). 

During the summer, this Mix will need to stay indoors more. Get games and fun activities that would help it run around and release energy.

If it does go out during the summer, do not overexert it.

Training & Socializing a Pug and Shih Tzu Mix

The best time to start training this mix is when it is a puppy. That way, you can curb the stubbornness it has.

It isn’t too frustrating to train it, however, and you should be getting positive results in a short while. 

Training should also be kept short lest your dog gets tired. When it is tired, it is more likely to be stubborn.

Keep the training sessions at 10 to 15 minutes, after which you stop and give it time to rest. 

You should also lay down some ground rules and repeat them till your pooch gets the memo. Do not use harsh methods to reinforce these rules.

With enough patience, it will get accustomed to your boundaries. 

Treats are good motivations for this dog as it likes to eat. When it comes to associating obeying you with a reward, it will be eager to co-operate with you.

For this dog, it is a form of positive reinforcement, a method that suggests motivating your dog to train as opposed to using punishments. 

Socialization is important for this dog’s wellbeing, though it harbors no reservations against strangers and other animals.

Socializing your pup will help bring out the confidence and sociable nature it already has.

Some basic obedience training will help, as well as some mentally stimulating activities. 

Pug Shih Tzu Mix Grooming Needs

Groomed Pug Tzu Dog Standing on Table

The grooming requirement of the Pug-Zu mix will depend on which coat it takes from its owner.

The mix with a Shih Tzu coat has different needs when compared to another with the Pug’s coat.

Either way, this is a high-maintenance mixed breed. If you need it tidy, you must put in a lot of effort. 

With the Shih Tzu coat, brushing should be done daily to prevent tangles and mats. Some owners prefer trimming the coat to reduce their chores.

This could work and is best done by a professional groomer. The latter can also trim your dog’s nails and clean its ears if you don’t fancy doing those yourself. 

The member with the Pug’s shorter coat doesn’t need as much brushing as its counterpart, but be ready for the summer shedding. Both would need bathing, but not regularly.

Don’t forget the teeth, as well. 

Pug-Zu Health & Conditions

The parent breeds are susceptible to many health issues, so be ready to deal with those too.

Getting a healthy pup will help reduce your struggles, and you should also take care of it to ensure they live a long and happy life.

Here are some health problems to look out for:

Hip Dysplasia

This happens as the dog grows and is usually inherited. It leads to the loosening of the hip joint, which can affect a dog’s movement.

The common symptoms of hip dysplasia include abnormal movements, limping, and a reluctance to move.

Hip dysplasia can be cured with treatments like physical therapy, supplements to strengthen the joints, and anti-inflammatory drugs. 

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation occurs when the kneecap dislocates. It causes pain and can make your dog lame.

Symptoms of patellar luxation include limping, swelling of the leg, a refusal to exercise, and constant display of pain while moving.

The milder forms can be treated without surgery, with physiotherapy and exercise. 


Like other breeds, this Mix can suffer from many allergies, including food and plants. Allergies manifest with signs like itching, coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.

Anti-inflammatory drugs help with allergic reactions, and you should also modify the dog’s lifestyle. 


Epilepsy is an incurable condition that causes seizures. The degree to which these seizures are severe depends on the treatment the ailing dog receives.

The major symptom is the seizure it causes characterized by convulsions, foaming at the mouth, and loss of control.

Drugs like Phenobarbital and Imepitoin help with epilepsy. 

Eye Problems

This mix can suffer from some eye-related conditions like progressive retinal atrophy, proptosis, distichiasis, and dry eye.

Symptoms vary, but the common ones include redness, difficulty seeing, discharge, swelling, or even bleeding.

Treatment depends on the particular issue.  

Demodectic Mange 

This is a skin condition caused by mites and is highly contagious. It can lead to hair loss, scales on the skin, crusts, and swelling.

Treatment often involves the use of shampoo and some forms of oral medication. Sometimes, it goes away on its own.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is a Pug mixed with a Shih Tzu called?

The Pug Shih Tzu mixes are commonly called Pug-Zu or Pug Tzu.

How long do pug and Shih Tzu mix live?

Compared to other designer breeds, the Pug-Zu’s life expectancy is around 9 to 14 years, which is shorter than many other mixed breeds out there that get to 15 and even 16 years.

Is a Pug Tzu hypoallergenic?

Whether the Pug Tzu will be hypoallergenic or not depends on the parent’s coat it inherits.

A resultant mix with the Shih Tzu’s coat tends to be hypoallergenic, while only those with a Pug’s coat will shed.

Will a Pug and Shih Tzu mix shed?

Pug Zus don’t have a standard coat, thus can have a coat closer to either of the parent breeds.

If the mix inherits the longer Shih Tzu’s coat, it will be low shedding, while those with the Pub’s shorter coat will shed much more.

Wrap Up

If you need a canine friend, someone to stick close to you and keep you company as you go about your activities, the Pug and Shih Tzu mix is the right doggy for the job.

What it lacks in security and work, it makes up in companionship.

Despite its few challenges, this is a great family dog for almost everyone. Its rising fame is a testament to that.

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References & Notes:

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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