Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: What are 8 Key Differences?

Teacup Yorkie
© DOPTOON/Shutterstock.com

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Published: March 18, 2022

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The Yorkie vs Shih Tzu are two little yet beloved breeds of dog that may be found in many homes around the United States. However, what distinguishes these two dogs? Here, we’ll examine eight important differences between the Yorkshire terrier (also known as a Yorkie) and the Shih Tzu dog breed. Appearance, character qualities, and health status are all differentiating variables. Let’s dive right in!

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: A Comparison 

yorkie vs shih tzu
A Yorkshire Terrier can reach 9 inches tall and 10 pounds in weight, while Shih Tzus grow slightly larger on average.
Key DifferencesYorkieShih Tzu
Height8 – 9 inches8 – 11 inches
Weight7 to 10 lbs.9 to 16 lbs.
Coat typeFine, Long, SilkyDense, Long, Flowy
ColorsBlack, Tan, Blue, GoldBlack, Blue, Brindle, Brown, Double- Colored, Red, Silver, Tri-Colored, White
Sensitivity LevelHighAverage
Impulse to WanderAverageLow
Energy LevelsHighLow
Health ProblemsViral and Bacterial IllnessesAllergies, Hip Dysplasia, and Infections
Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: A Comparison

Key Differences Between Yorkie and Shih Tzu

yorkie vs shih tzu

Yorkies have silky fur, while Shih Tzu fur is more dense.


There are many differences between Yorkies vs Shih Tzus. Yorkies and Shih Tzus are both little, long-haired dogs, but there is little in common between them. Yorkies have silky fur, while Shih Tzu fur is more dense. Shih Tzus grow slightly larger than Yorkies on average. Let’s look at the most obvious distinctions between the two breeds.


yorkie vs shih tzu

Yorkshire Terriers are often big dogs trapped in little bodies, while Shih Tzus are shyer overall.

©iStock.com/Attila Fodemesi

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Height

The shoulder height of a mature Yorkie, male or female, is between 8 and 9 inches. The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, stands 8 to 11 inches tall.

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Weight

Compared to the Yorkie, the Shih Tzu is heavier. A Yorkie’s weight ranges from 7 to 10 pounds. In contrast, the Shih Tzu can weigh between 9 and 16 pounds.

yorkie vs shih tzu

Shih Tzus come in more colorations than Yorkies do.


Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Coat Type

Yorkies are a single-coated breed with human-like soft, long, and silky hair. Just like human hair, it grows, needs to be cared for, and is eventually cut or shaved. The breed standard describes the Shih Tzu coat as dense, long, and flowing. The plush, puffy, double coat refuses to drape.

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Colors

The official Yorkie colors are black, tan, blue, and gold. Colors in Yorkies change with age, and every dog is unique. Because of its unique hair texture and coloration, the Shih Tzu stands out among other dog breeds. Standard color descriptions include black, blue, brindle, brown, double-colored, red, silver, tri-colored, and white.


yorkie vs shih tzu

The Shih Tzu is not the most sensitive breed, while Yorkies are very sensitive to changes in their environment.

©Angel LeBlanc/Shutterstock.com

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Sensitivity Level

Yorkshire Terriers are quite sensitive to changes in their daily routine. Yorkies aren’t big fans of people coming and going from the house, and this is especially true if you have a lot of house guests.

Shih Tzus are a small to medium-sized dog breed with an average emotional capability and are not the most sensitive of canine breeds. It’s not uncommon for Shih Tzus to like to spend as much time with their owners as possible.

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Impulse to Wander

When a dog is infatuated with a scent trail or a wild animal, he or she will pursue it without thinking about how to go back home. Shih Tzus are less inclined than other breeds to take off on their own, whereas Yorkies are more likely to wander with an average wanderlust propensity.

Health Factors

yorkie vs shih tzu

The Yorkie is a high-energy dog that needs to play and run around vigorously, while Shih Tzus are more low energy overall.

©Utekhina Anna/Shutterstock.com

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Energy Levels

Shih Tzus have less energy than most other dogs, while Yorkshire Terriers have a lot. The Yorkshire terrier is a ferocious, yet lovable, breed. The Shih Tzu is a low-energy dog that should still be stimulated on a regular basis. This means scheduling time for them to run around and play daily.

Yorkie vs Shih Tzu: Health Problems

Parvo, rabies, and distemper are bacterial and viral infections that Yorkies are particularly susceptible to. Reverse Sneezing, Hypoglycemia, and Patellar Luxation are some of the other illnesses that might affect Yorkies.

Despite the Shih Tzu’s good health, you should consult your vet regularly as they are prone to disorders like allergies, bladder stones, ear infections, hip dysplasia, juvenile renal dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Wrapping up Yorkie and Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu (Canis familiaris) - standing against white background

The Shih Tzu is a low-energy dog that still requires play and exercise.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Yorkshire terriers and Shih Tzus both make excellent lap dogs. However, these two breeds are diametrically opposed in numerous aspects. For instance, they do not behave identically. Yorkshire terriers are far more active and bark much more than Shih Tzus. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, has a considerably more relaxed disposition. Both are endearing in their own ways and can make excellent friends in the correct home environment and with proper guidance.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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