Jags Goldie
Last updated: 18th October 2022

Chinese Imperial Dog


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Chinese Imperial Dog, also popular as the Imperial Shih Tzu and the Teacup Shih Tzu, is a toy breed with a small, sturdy body that is longer as compared to its height. It comes with a round, broad head, short, square muzzle, well-open nostrils, large, round eyes, low-set ears that are covered in plenty of hair, well-boned, straight, muscular legs, and a high-set tail with abundant hair. The hair above its eyes can be tied in a topknot, making it look increasingly cute.

Chinese Imperial Dog Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names Lion Dog, Miniature Shih-Tzu, Micro Shih-Tzu, Princess-type Shih Tzu, Chinese Imperial Chin Dog
Coat Long, dense double coat
Color Any color, including liver and blue
Breed Type Purebred
Category Toy Dog
Lifespan 10-15 years
Weight Less than 9 lbs
Size Small
Height Less than 9 in
Shedding Little
Temperament Energetic, playful, willing to please, affectionate
Hypoallergenic No
Litter Size 1-4 puppies
Good with Children Yes
Barking Quite vocal when required
Country Originated in China
Competitive Registration/Qualification Information NCA, DRA, CPR

Video: Imperial Chinese Puppies Playing


The Chinese Imperial Dog, a smaller variation of the Shih Tzu, is thought to have been developed during the 700 A.D. in the Chinese Imperial Palace. Since these animals have a dense coat, they were carried by the noble men and women in their robes as body warmers to protect themselves from the cold.

Although bred in the US for many years, they were not registered by any significant organizations or kennel clubs until March 2005.

Temperament and Behavior

The Chinese Imperial Dog is an affectionate family companion that likes to stay close to its people, and whenever it gets the chance, it may curl up on a lap just to show some love. Because of its spirited and vivacious nature, it will always keep you entertained with its antics.

Although this outgoing dog greets visitors with a sweet and innocent face, it can alert its owner to anything that it feels suspicious. It can get along well with other pets if socialized at a young age.



Being an active little dog, it needs daily walks on a leash. Since it loves to play, a good, off-leash romp in a fenced-in yard will take care of its exercise requirements.


Regularly brush your Chinese Imperial Dog’s coat with a bristle brush. You may also trim its hair once every four to six weeks so that it becomes easy for you to care for its coat. Occasionally bathe your dog to keep it clean and odor free. Check its eyes and ears for infection on a regular basis. You may use a damp washcloth to clean its ears and a vet-recommended drop for relieving eye infections.

Health Problems

Since it is a small-sized dog with short legs, it is susceptible to spinal disc and slipped stifle disease. It may be affected by hypoglycemia, ear infections, early tooth loss, respiratory disorders, or eye problems like cherry eye.


The Chinese Imperial Dog is always eager to please its handler and can be easily trained.

Even though it is naturally friendly, the Imperial Shih Tzu should be properly socialized at a young age to prevent it from becoming timid. Take it out for a walk to a public place and help it grow comfortable with the people and pets around it. After it has received its vaccinations, you may set up playdates at your friends’ house so that it can have great fun with their dogs.

Crate training
Since it is difficult to housebreak, you should crate train your Chinese Imperial Dog. Introduce it to the crate by bringing it near the crate and talking to it in a low, happy tone. Make sure the door is open. Toss food treats near the crate door and then inside the crate to encourage it to go and explore this new place. After a successful introduction, start feeding it regular meals inside the crate. If it stands comfortably to eat, you can close the door while it is eating. When it finishes its meal, open the door quickly. With each successive meal, leave the crate door shut for a longer period so that it learns to stay calmly in the crate for more than 10 minutes. Practice leaving your dog inside the crate for 30 minutes or so. You can keep some safe toys within for its entertainment.


Since it has the propensity to gain weight, you should measure its daily portion size. You may give it a high-quality dry food formulated for a dog of its size, weight, and activity level.

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