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HomeComparisonBeagle Vs Shih Tzu Comparison Guide

Beagle Vs Shih Tzu Comparison Guide

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Beagle vs Shih Tzu? Which is a better choice for your family?

Both Beagles and Shih Tzus are affectionate and cheerful house pets. They have a great personality, are good with kids and make great companions.

So which breed is better for you? Let’s find out.

BasisBeagleShih Tzu
Lifespan12-15 years12-18 years
Size13 to 15 inches tall8 to 11 inches tall
Physical TraitsMuscularSturdy
CoatLushSilky
SheddingMediumLow
GroomingBrushing is enough Regular grooming sessions needed to avoid shedding
Cost$500-$800$500-$1500
MaintenanceLow High
TrainingEasier to trainNot so easy to train
BarkingBarks a lotBarks a lot
FriendlinessVery friendlyVery friendly
TemperamentCheerfulPlayful and slightly aggressive
Activity NeedsDaily exercise is a must Requires minimal exercise
IntelligenceIntelligentIntelligent
Health IssuesHealthyLess Healthy

Lifespan

Both Shih Tzus and Beagles are among breeds that live for a very long time.

A Beagle has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Shih Tzus live for 12 to 18 years. The oldest Shih Tzu lived for 23 amazing years. On average, you can expect a Shih Tzu to thrive for 14 years.

shihtzu posing

Size 

Both Beagles and Shih Tzus are compact dogs. They are considered toy breeds, which makes them good lap dogs because of their size. 

Beagles come in several sizes: Standard – 15 inches tall and weighs up to 35 pounds; and Small – 13 inches tall and weighs between 22 and 30 pounds. 

Shih Tzu literally means lion, which is not surprising once you get a good look at its coat. Typically, they have compact and solid bodies with slight variations in size. A Shih Tzu weighs between 9 and 16 pounds and stands between 8 and 11 inches tall.   

Beagle standing near a door

Physical Traits

The Shih Tzu has a regal carriage while the Beagle has a sturdy build. Beagle vs Shih Tzu. Which do you find more appealing?

Beagle

The Beagle is a compact breed with long floppy ears that make them so adorable. This muscular hound has a slightly domed skull, a squarish muzzle, and a broad nose. A Beagle would have a deep chest, ruler-straight back, and moderately long tail.

A beagle’s signature is its white-tipped tail. All purebred beagles have an extremely prominent white marking on their tail.

Shih Tzu

The hair on a Shih Tzu’s face grows in all directions and covers it entirely. Often, they resemble a blooming flower with the nose as the center. That’s why they are called chrysanthemum dogs. 

They were originally bred as palace pets and sure look the part. A Shih Tzu’s head is held high, reminiscent of their royal owners. Its tail is slightly curved over the back. This breed has a unique smile due to its undershot bite. Look closely and you’ll notice that the lower jaw is wider than the upper. 

Shih Tzus that have a small spot on the forehead are more expensive than those without this trait. That spot is called the “the Star of Buddha” and is sought after by breeders. 

shih tzu wearing a cap

Coat 

Both breeds are vastly different when it comes to their coats. When it comes to choosing a companion, some people want a pet with a no-fuss coat. Others are willing to devote time and effort to care for a flowing mane that looks absolutely adorable.

Beagle

A Beagle’s coat is lush and weather-resistant. Since they were originally intended as hunting dogs, this double coat was meant for protection against the elements.

They come in somber colors like black, tan, and white. A Beagle can be bicolored like Snoopy or sport a tricolored coat. The white tip on the tail of a Beagle has a purpose; it helps hunters keep track of their hounds. 

Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu has a gorgeous double coat that comes in several patterns. Up to 14 colors have been observed by breeders. This breed’s silky coat ranges from solid black to dual-colored, with white being the only constant.

After a Shih Tzu turns one, the coat changes from fluff to a silky, luxurious coat. 

Grooming the dog

Shedding 

If you want a dog with a gorgeous coat that won’t shed as much, the Shih Tzu should be your choice.

Beagle 

A Beagle cannot be mistaken for a low-shedding dog. It requires frequent brushing. You will have to brush more often during shedding seasons: spring and fall. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus do not require frequent brushing. They shed very less hair. Their human-like hair won’t get on your clothes or furniture. There’s no need to worry about vacuuming the house all the time. Any loose hair is brushed out in your regular grooming sessions.  

dogs sitting on the couch

Grooming

The Beagle comes out on top if you are looking for a breed that requires no-fuss grooming. In contrast, the Shih Tzu  has a breathtaking coat that is highly demanding to maintain. 

You don’t have to worry much about grooming a Beagle. Regular brushing is enough to manage its shedding. They don’t need to bathe that often either. This also means your pet will not need too many trips to a professional groomer. 

The luxurious coat of a Shih Tzu requires care and maintenance to keep it looking its best. Daily brushing is a must as it tangles and mats easily. Plus, you will have to bathe your Shih Tzu weekly. 

Cost

Beagle vs Shih Tzu. Which breed costs more? Beagles are less expensive to adopt and care for than Shih Tzus. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Owning a Beagle is quite economical. Adopting a pup costs between $500 to $800. Annual costs are quite low as well.

A Shih Tzu costs anywhere between $500 and $1,500. A purebred from a great lineage may cost you between $2,000 – 10,000. Taking care of a Shih Tzu will cost you about $1,600 per yer; including vet visits, professional grooming, food, and so on. 

an image of styling a shih tzu

Maintenance 

Some breeds like the Shih Tzu demand more care and attention. If you prefer a low-maintenance pet, a Beagle is a better bet.

Beagle

Beagles tend to wander off if they pick up a scent. You also need to keep up with their energy levels, which is a boon if you want to stay in shape. They need your constant attention, but they are pretty low maintenance. 

You will have to check for ear infections weekly. Long ears have poor air circulation and trap dirt easily, which may lead to infections. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are like toddlers. They are prone to wander and may end up in trouble. They always have something or the other in their mouth.

Their nails need monthly trimming, while ear care is a must once a week. You will also need to wipe their faces regularly. Shih Tzus also require regular brushing to keep their teeth healthy.

Shih Tzus are also prone to heatstrokes. They need to be kept in air conditioned rooms if it’s too hot outside.

an image of a dog playing

Training

While not the easiest thing to do, it is far easier to train a Beagle compared to a Shih Tzu.

Beagle

Beagles are clever dogs that can end up being quite stubborn. If you want to train a beagle, the best thing to do is to start young.

Positive reinforcement works best with them. Beagles love food, which can be used to your advantage. You will be astonished at what they are willing to do for treats. 

These long-haired dogs are people-pleasers who love attention. You will have to practice separation time so that they learn to cope with separation anxiety.   

Shih Tzu

Training Shih Tzus can be a huge challenge. They are intelligent animals, but may resist commands at first. You should be able to train them to a degree with a lot of patience and consistency in your approach.

an image of beagle barking

Barking

Both Beagles and Shih Tzus love to express themselves. This can be reduced with proper training, but do expect them to express their opinions. Even when it’s not wanted. That said, a Shih Tzu barks less when compared to a Beagle.

Beagles are typical hounds who love to talk. You cannot curb it because that’s how they were bred. They will bark at everything until they are trained properly. And even then, they bark way too much.

Shih Tzus are less yappy compared to other breeds, but they still bark a lot. They bark at everything they see: a person, a car, another pet, their favorite human and even the post man. Shih Tzus are alert and lively, and they express it loudly.

shih tzu sitting at the balcony

Friendliness

Beagles and Shih Tzus are social animals and get along well with humans. 

Beagle

Beagles need to be around humans. They love to be lavished with affection. An active family is best suited for this breed.

They are great around kids and also get along with other pets of socialized at a young age. Beagles love cuddling and snuggling. 

Shih Tzu

Although Shih Tzus appear to be snobbish, they are quite friendly and fit perfectly with all kinds of families. Shih Tzus were bred to be companions, so expect these dogs to be sweet and devoted. However, like beagles, they require a lot of attention.

A Shih Tzu is affectionate with children and does well in apartments. It won’t chase your cat or insist on tugging you outside to play. It loves lying down on your lap and cuddling.

beagle playing with the owner

Temperament 

A dog’s personality plays a huge role in deciding which breed to adopt. Let’s compare Beagle and Shih Tzu personalities.

Beagle

Beagles are rowdy in nature. This can be attributed to their hunting instinct. However, they are generally cheerful, alert, and gentle

Don’t leave them alone for too long or they will howl for hours on end.

Shih Tzu

These beautiful canines naturally command attention anywhere they go. It’s not just for their striking appearance.

A Shih Tzu’s playful and happy personality is contagious. No wonder people are drawn to these animals.

shih tzu lazying around

Activity Needs

The Beagle is extremely energetic. You need to burn that energy with at least 60 minutes of walking per day. In contrast, a Shih Tzu is better off with minimal activity. 

Beagle

Since they are working dogs, you need to keep a Beagle interested and active. A lack of exercise will lead to destructive behavior. As a release, they may run around your house. You will also need proper fencing to keep a Beagle pup from wandering off while following a scent. 

These hounds will beg you to take them for walks. Beagles are almost always ready for any activity you can throw at them. You can play fetch or hide-and-seek with their favorite toy. They love adventures so you can also plan treasure hunts. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus require minimal exercise. A short walk or indoor playtime is more than enough for the day. They’ll wander around the house and play with toys. But they will get bored if they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation.

beagle playing with the owner

Intelligence

Beagles are known to be smart hounds with highly developed hunting instincts. They pick up on gestures quickly and are keen observers.

You will find it hard to pull a fast one on a Beagle.

Shih Tzus know their way around human emotions. They will have your back and be alert of strangers.

Shih Tzus can also follow simple commands and signals.

image of sick shih tzu

Health Issues

Both of these dogs may be susceptible to health problems and genetic issues.

Beagle

Beagles are generally healthy. However, this breed is prone to breed-specific problems like Musladin-Lueke Syndrome. This genetic disease affects connective tissues in the body.

The breed is also prone to obesity because they love food. You will need to measure each meal and snack carefully to keep them fit. These dogs must have at least one hour of exercise daily.

Shih Tzu

Although generally healthy, Shih Tzu may suffer from these conditions: 

  • Ear infections
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Allergies 
  • Eye problems 
  • Umbilical hernias
  • Reverse sniffing
  • Gum problems 
  • Portosystemic liver shunt

Their unique undershot jaw may also cause discomfort or feeding issues in these dogs.

image of a sick beagle

Guarding Your Family

Some dogs will scare off intruders and even attack them, but others simply aren’t built to be guard dogs.

The Shih Tzu and the Beagle are quite bad at guarding your family. Their friendly personality means that they are more likely to cozy up to strangers.

Both breeds are extremely alert, so they might work as a good alarm system, but they certainly cannot offer more than that. These dogs are quite small so they may not have the strength to fend off larger animals, much less a human attacker. 

image of beagle and shihtzu playing together

Final Word

When it comes to choosing between a Beagle vs Shih Tzu, which breed wins? Both are great options. It depends on your preferences.

A Beagle is a low-maintenance pet that is also the perfect exercise buddy. A Shih Tzu is charming, affectionate, and laidback. Shih Tzus make great apartment dogs and will join you on the couch.

Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the right dog breed. No matter your choice, you are in for years of caring companionship. 

Paul Andrewshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/
A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show quality dogs to help guide first time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.

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