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Pomeranian vs Shih Tzu: Ultimate Breed Comparison

by Tea Cup shih Tzu

Are you torn between getting a Pomeranian or a Shih Tzu as your furry companion? These two small toy dogs breeds have captured the hearts of many pet lovers. But how do they differ, and which one is right for you? Whether you’re looking for intelligent dogs or active dogs, it’s important to consider the needs of your family.

Pomeranians and Shih Tzus are both popular toy dogs and family dogs. Their characteristics set them apart, with Pomeranians known for being intelligent and active dogs. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are known for their temperament and exercise needs. Evaluating these differences will help you find the breed that aligns better with your lifestyle.

So, if you’re ready to discover whether a lively Pomeranian or a charming Shih Tzu, two popular companion breeds and toy dogs, is the perfect match for you, keep reading! We’ll cover all the essential aspects that will assist you in making an educated choice for your new four-legged friend.

Origin and History of Pomeranians

Pomeranians, those adorable small breed dogs that have captured the hearts of pet lovers worldwide, have a fascinating origin and history. These pint-sized pups are not just cute companions; they also have a rich heritage that dates back centuries. Additionally, potty training is an important aspect of owning small breeds.

Descendants of large sled-pulling dogs from the Arctic region, Pomeranians may seem far removed from their working dog ancestors. However, as companion breeds, these Pomeranians still retain some shedding traits and characteristics of their larger predecessors. Despite their diminutive size today, Pomeranians make great pets and can be easily potty trained.

The name “Pomeranian” itself is derived from the Pomerania region, which spans parts of present-day Poland and Germany. It was in this region that these companion breeds were first selectively bred to create smaller versions of the sled-pulling dogs. Over time, breeders focused on reducing their size while maintaining their distinctive appearance and temperament. Today, Pomeranians make great pets for owners who want a small and potty-trained companion.

While Pomeranians had been around for centuries in Europe, it was during Queen Victoria’s reign in England that they gained widespread popularity among pet owners. The queen herself owned several Poms and played a significant role in promoting the breed. Her love for them sparked a trend among nobility and high society, leading to an increased demand for these charming little dogs as pets.

In 1888, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized Pomeranians as a pet breed. This recognition solidified their status as beloved companion animals rather than working dogs. Since then, Poms have continued to capture the hearts of pet owners with their playful nature, intelligence, and undeniable cuteness.

Today, Pomeranians remain one of the most popular toy breeds globally, making them ideal companion dogs for pet owners. Their compact size and delightful personalities make them a great choice for those looking for a potty companion. Despite their small stature, Pomeranians strut around with confidence, adding to their visual appeal. Their luxurious double coat comes in various colors and patterns, further enhancing their appeal for pet owners.

Origin and History of Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus, an ancient breed with origins in Tibet and China, have a fascinating history that dates back centuries. These adorable dogs were originally bred as companion animals for Chinese royalty, specifically during the Ming Dynasty. With their luxurious coats and charming personalities, they quickly became beloved pets among the elite owners.

Unfortunately, during World War II, the Shih Tzu breed almost faced extinction. The tumultuous times in China led to a decline in their population, and it seemed as though these delightful dogs would be lost forever. However, thanks to the efforts of dedicated breeders who recognized their unique qualities and historical significance, the Shih Tzu pet was saved from disappearing entirely, bringing relief to pom owners.

In the early 20th century, Shih Tzus were imported to England and later to the United States, captivating pet owners worldwide. Their distinct appearance – small size, round faces with expressive eyes, and flowing double coats – sparked immense interest among dog enthusiasts, especially those who owned poms.

The journey of Shih Tzus, beloved family pets, from ancient times to modern-day is truly remarkable. These dogs have not only survived but thrived despite facing numerous challenges throughout history. Today, they are cherished by owners for their affectionate nature and ability to bring joy into any home.

Shih Tzus are popular small breed dogs, beloved by pet owners for their friendly demeanor and sociable attitude towards both humans and other animals. They thrive on companionship and love being at the center of attention. Their playful nature makes them excellent companions for families with children or individuals seeking a loyal furry friend.

In terms of appearance, Shih Tzus are a popular choice for dog owners as pets. They boast a variety of coat colors that appeal to pet owners, ranging from solid shades to combinations such as black-and-white or gold-and-white. Their long hair requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and tangle-free, which is important for dog owners who want to maintain their pet’s appearance.

While Shih Tzus may not be suitable for everyone due to their grooming needs and potential health issues, they remain a popular choice for those seeking a delightful and devoted pet companion. Whether you live in an apartment or a spacious house, these small dogs adapt well to different living situations.

Health and Lifespan Comparison

Pomeranians and Shih Tzus are both adorable small pet dog breeds that bring joy and companionship to their owners. However, there are a few key differences between these two popular pet breeds.

Pomeranians: Living Life to the Fullest

Pomeranians, a small breed of dog, have an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. They can be a faithful companion for a long time. However, like any dog breed, Pomeranians have health concerns. Dental problems are common in Pomeranians due to their small size. Their teeth can become crowded and prone to tartar buildup. Regular dental care is crucial for preventing tooth decay and gum disease in dogs.

Another health problem that Pomeranians may experience is a luxating patella, which is the dislocation of the kneecap in dogs. This condition can cause discomfort or even lameness in your furry friend. Due to their compact size, Pomeranians are susceptible to a collapsed trachea—a condition where the windpipe narrows or collapses in dogs—leading to breathing difficulties.

Shih Tzus: A Bundle of Health Concerns

Shih Tzus, a dog breed, have an average lifespan of 10 to 16 years. However, they are prone to eye problems due to their prominent eyes. Conditions like cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can cause vision loss if not treated. Pomeranians have different health concerns compared to Shih Tzus.

Shih Tzus often face allergies, including ones caused by environmental factors like pollen or certain foods. Owners should identify allergens and provide appropriate care for their dog’s comfort.

Respiratory issues can also affect Shih Tzus. Their short snouts, known as brachycephalic features, make them prone to breathing difficulties, especially in hot and humid weather. It’s crucial to keep the dog cool and provide a well-ventilated environment to prevent any respiratory distress in the dog.

Temperament and Personality Differences

Pomeranians and Shih Tzus are two popular small dog breeds with distinct temperaments and personalities. Understanding these differences is crucial for potential owners to make an informed decision about which breed best suits their lifestyle and preferences.

Pomeranians: Lively, Extroverted, and Confident

Pomeranians are known for their lively and extroverted nature. These little balls of energy thrive on attention and love being the center of attention. They are confident dogs, often displaying a fearless attitude that belies their small size. Poms have a reputation for being spirited and playful, making them excellent companions for active individuals or families who enjoy engaging with their pets.

Shih Tzus: Affectionate, Friendly, but Sometimes Stubborn

In contrast to Pomeranians, Shih Tzus are affectionate and friendly dogs. They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy spending time cuddling or simply being in close proximity. However, they can also be quite stubborn at times, requiring consistent training to ensure they follow commands effectively. Despite this occasional obstinacy, Shih Tzus generally have pleasant dispositions that make them delightful family pets.

Independence vs. Companionship

One notable difference between Pomeranians and Shih Tzus lies in their need for human companionship. Pomeranians, being more independent, can entertain themselves but still enjoy spending time with their dog owners. On the other hand, Shih Tzus thrive on constant dog-human interaction and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

Vocalization Levels

Another contrasting trait is vocalization tendencies. Pomeranians have a reputation for being vocal dogs—they bark frequently to communicate various needs or emotions. This characteristic can be endearing or bothersome depending on personal preferences or living situations where excessive noise may be an issue. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are generally less vocal, making them a suitable choice for individuals seeking a quieter companion.

Considerations for Families with Young Children

Both Pomeranians and Shih Tzus can make excellent family dogs, but certain factors should be taken into account when young children are involved. Due to their small size, both breeds may face potential safety issues around small children who may unintentionally harm or mishandle them. Pomeranians’ independent nature might not align well with the needs of very young children who require constant supervision and interaction. Conversely, Shih Tzus’ affectionate disposition often makes them more tolerant and patient in such situations.

Grooming Needs

Grooming is another aspect where these dog breeds differ. Pomeranians, a type of small dog, have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and keep it looking its best. They also shed quite heavily seasonally. On the other hand, Shih Tzus, another type of small dog, have long hair that requires daily grooming to avoid tangles and maintain cleanliness. Their hair can be styled in various ways if desired.

Choosing the Perfect Pet: Pomeranian or Shih Tzu?

Are you thinking about adding a furry friend, such as a dog, to your family? Pomeranians and Shih Tzus are both popular choices as pets, but which dog breed is the right fit for you? Let’s dive into some key factors to consider when deciding between these two delightful dog breeds.

Size Preference

One of the first things to think about is your size preference. Pomeranians are small dogs, typically weighing between 3 and 7 pounds. On the other hand, Shih Tzus are slightly larger, ranging from 9 to 16 pounds. If you prefer a pint-sized companion that can easily curl up on your lap, then a Pom might be the perfect choice for you. However, if you’re looking for a slightly bigger dog with a sturdier build, then a Shih Tzu could be more suitable.

Lifestyle Considerations

Another important aspect to consider is your lifestyle and activity level with your dog. Pomeranians, being energetic little bundles of joy, require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They love going for walks, playing fetch, and engaging in interactive playtime. On the other hand, Shih Tzus have lower exercise needs and are content with shorter walks or indoor play sessions. So if you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy spending time outdoors with your dog, a Pom might be a better fit. But if you prefer a more laid-back approach to dog ownership, then a Shih Tzu could be just what you need.

Grooming Requirements

Grooming is another factor that sets these two dog breeds apart. Pomeranians have thick double coats that require regular brushing to prevent matting and keep their fur looking fabulous. They also shed quite heavily twice a year during shedding seasons. On the other hand, Shih Tzus have long flowing hair that requires daily brushing to prevent tangles and keep their coat in top condition. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort for regular grooming, both dog breeds can make wonderful companions. However, if you prefer a breed with lower grooming needs, then a Shih Tzu might be more suitable.

Family Considerations

If you have children or are planning to start a family, it’s important to choose a breed that is known for being good with kids. Pomeranians are generally friendly and sociable dogs that can get along well with children if properly socialized from an early age. However, due to their small size, they may be more prone to injury if mishandled by young children. On the other hand, Shih Tzus are known for their gentle nature and patience with kids, making them an excellent choice for families.

Training and Behavior: Pomeranian vs Shih Tzu

Pomeranians and Shih Tzus are two popular small dog breeds known for their adorable appearance and unique personalities.There are some similarities and differences between these two breeds that every potential owner should be aware of.

Pomeranians: Intelligent but Stubborn

Pomeranians are highly intelligent dogs, capable of learning various commands and tricks. However, they can also be quite stubborn at times, which can make training a bit challenging. These fluffy little companions have a mind of their own and may require consistent effort to establish boundaries and obedience.

To effectively train a Pomeranian dog, it is important to use positive reinforcement methods. Reward-based training with treats, praise, and playtime works wonders for this breed. Consistency is key when teaching them commands such as sit, stay, or come. Potty training should start early on to establish a designated potty area for your Pomeranian dog.

Shih Tzus: Eager to Please but Easily Distracted

Shih Tzus are generally eager to please their dog owners, making them relatively easier to train compared to Pomeranians. They thrive on positive reinforcement and respond well to rewards and praise during dog training sessions.

However, one challenge you may encounter while training a Shih Tzu is their short attention span. These active dogs can quickly get distracted by their surroundings or lose interest in repetitive exercises. To overcome this hurdle, keep the training sessions short yet frequent, ensuring they remain engaged throughout the process.

Similar to Pomeranians, early socialization is crucial for Shih Tzus as well. Exposing them to different environments, people, animals, and dogs from an early age helps develop their social skills and reduces the likelihood of behavioral issues later on.

Consistent Positive Reinforcement Training Methods

Both Pomeranians and Shih Tzus, two popular dog breeds, respond well to consistent positive reinforcement training methods. This means rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime while ignoring or redirecting unwanted behaviors.

To effectively train your dog, whether it’s a Pomeranian or Shih Tzu, here are a few tips.

  1. Establish a routine: Dogs thrive on consistency, so establish a daily routine for feeding, exercise, and training sessions.
  2. When training your dog, it’s important to use short and engaging sessions. By keeping the sessions short, you can maintain your dog’s focus and prevent boredom. Aim for multiple short sessions throughout the day instead of one long session.
  3. Be patient and persistent with your dog: Training takes time and effort, so be patient with your furry companion. Consistency is key in reinforcing good behavior.
  4. Address excessive barking behavior in both dog breeds by properly training them. Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach them the “quiet” command.

Remember that every dog is unique, so tailor your training approach based on their individual personality and needs. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, both Pomeranians and Shih Tzus can become well-behaved and obedient companions.


In conclusion, when choosing a pet, it is important to consider several factors. Both dog breeds have their own unique characteristics and qualities that make them wonderful pets.

Pomeranians, a dog breed, have a rich history and origin in Pomerania, Europe. Known for their spunky personalities and fluffy coats, they are beloved pets. Similarly, Shih Tzus, another dog breed, have a long history as royal companions in China. These dogs are recognized for their luxurious coats and affectionate nature.

When comparing the health and lifespan of both dog breeds, Pomeranians generally enjoy good health with proper care. However, Pomeranians may be prone to certain health issues such as dental problems and joint conditions. On the other hand, Shih Tzus may experience concerns related to their eyes.

In terms of temperament and personality differences, Pomeranians are energetic and confident dogs. They thrive on attention and love being the center of attention. Shih Tzus are known for their friendly nature and gentle demeanor. They make excellent family pets due to their loving disposition towards humans.

When making a decision between these two breeds, it is important to consider your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re looking for an active companion who enjoys outdoor activities, a Pomeranian might be the perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a calm lap dog who loves snuggles and cuddles, a Shih Tzu could be your ideal choice.

Training and behavior can also vary between these two dog breeds. While both Pomeranians and Shih Tzus can be trained with patience and consistency, Pomeranians may require more firm guidance due to their independent nature.

In conclusion, whether you choose a Pomeranian or a Shih Tzu as your furry dog companion depends on your personal preferences regarding size, energy level, temperament, grooming needs, and overall compatibility with a dog.

Remember, owning a dog is a long-term commitment that requires love, care, and attention. Before making a decision, it’s always advisable to spend time with both dog breeds, interact with them, and consider factors such as your living situation, available time for grooming and exercise, and the specific needs of each dog breed.

So take your time, do your research, and find the perfect dog, your furry friend who will bring joy and companionship into your life!


Are Pomeranians good with children?

Yes, Pomeranians can be good with children if they are properly socialized from an early age. However, due to their small size, it is important to supervise interactions between young children and dogs to prevent accidental injuries.

Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?

Shih Tzus have hair rather than fur which means they shed less compared to other breeds. However, regular grooming is still necessary to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy.

Can Pomeranians live in apartments?

Yes, Pomeranians can adapt well to apartment living as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. They are energetic dogs that require daily walks or playtime.

Do Shih Tzus get along with other pets?

Shih Tzus generally get along well with other pets when properly introduced and socialized. However, individual temperament can vary so it’s important to monitor their interactions initially.

How often should I groom a Pomeranian?

Pomeranians have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing at least two to three times per week. They also benefit from professional grooming every few months to maintain their coat’s health and appearance.

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