Pug-Zu Overview

Parent Breeds:
Pug & Shih Tzu
Breed Nickname:
8 to 12 inches
10 to 20 pounds
Life Span:
9 to 14 years
Coat Colors:
Black, white, brindle, fawn, and brown

Pug-Zu Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Pug-Zu

What Is A Pug Shih Tzu Mix Called?

The offspring between a Pug and a Shih Tzu is called a Pug-Zu. They’re also known as Pug-Tzus.

These small dogs have larger-than-life personalities, and they are very confident companions.

They get the best traits from both parent breeds, making them both sweet-natured and headstrong.

Our ultimate guide will show you whether this is the best breed for your family.

Pug-Zu Breed History

  • Originally bred in the 1980s. 

  • Health issues are minimized through cross-breeding. 

The Pug-Zu is a newer breed dating back to only the 1980s.

This is when breeders began mixing other pedigree breeds together to minimize the health conditions that many dogs carry.

Mixed-breed dogs tend to offer fewer health scares than pedigree dogs. 

The Shih Tzu can be traced back to the 800s in Tibet, while the Pug is seen in ancient Chinese drawings dated to 200 BC. 

These two breeds were likely mixed to minimize the breathing troubles Pugs have, as well as to produce a lovable companion dog that is still small enough for apartment living. 

Pug-Zu Personality & Temperament

  • Good with children and other pets. 

  • Love cuddles and spending time with their owners. 

  • Good for apartment living. 

Shih Tzus are known for being confident and headstrong, while Pugs are known for being well-mannered and sweet.

Mix them together, and what do you get? A great family pet with a balanced temperament that works well with children, strangers, and other pets. 

Pug-Zus love to play with their owners, so set aside some time in the day to give them this attention. 

They don’t bark much unless there is someone at the door who needs your attention. Unless they’re stressed, they tend to be quiet and relaxed.

While these dogs do need exercise every day, they much prefer being couch potatoes with their owners.

They love cuddles and being with their owners constantly, so they are likely to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. 

Due to the fact that they don’t need much exercise and don’t bark, they are excellent pets for apartments.

Considering their anxiety, they’re best suited for people who work from home or who are around a lot during the day. 

Pug-Zu Health

  • Can inherit health concerns from both parent breeds. 

  • Pugs are susceptible to breathing difficulties and skin infections.

  • Attend regular checkups with a professional vet.

The Pug-Zu is generally considered to be a healthy dog, but it can still inherit health concerns from the parent breeds. Here are some of the health issues to be aware of:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Eye Issues
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Skin Infections

Pugs are susceptible to many breathing problems due to overbreeding, used to get the squished face look.

These can be inherited by a Pug-Zu, who will also have a shorter snout, and therefore need to be monitored regularly.

Pugs also tend to suffer from heatstroke more. As the Pug-Zu has a longer coat thanks to the Shih Tzu parent, it is imperative that you look out for the warning signs of heat stroke. 

It is wise to keep up to date with your vet checkups to ensure that your dog is healthy and to diagnose any issues as soon as possible. 

Pug-Zu Training

  • Intelligent and eager to please dogs. 

  • Can be stubborn when they don’t want to train. 

  • Shorter training sessions are the most effective. 

Pug-Zus are smart dogs that are very eager to please their owners.

They love positive reinforcement, so make sure that you have plenty of treats and kind words to say to them after every good behavior.

Ignore the bad behaviors instead of shouting. 

While the fact that they’re eager to please makes training easier, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s quicker. 

Pug-Zus love chilling on the couch. They’re lazy and don’t always want to be trained.

If you keep them for too long or they get too tired, they’ll resist your training methods and might even show you a stubborn streak. 

When training a Pug-Zu, it is imperative that they are well-rested, fed, and happy. Keep training sessions short and sweet. 

Pug-Zu Exercise Requirements

  • Intelligent and eager to please dogs. 

  • Can be stubborn when they don’t want to train. 

  • Shorter training sessions are the most effective. 

Pug-Zus are lazy dogs and don’t need much exercise at all. They’re usually fine with a short walk around the block and play sessions at home.

They’ll rarely need any more exercise than 30 minutes a day, but if you see them getting restless, take them outside.

If you live in an apartment, your Pug-Zu will need to use the bathroom every few hours.

This is a good opportunity to take them for a quick walk up and down the street to get some of their energy out.

Once they’re tired out, they’ll be more than happy to spend the next few hours curled up on the couch or in your lap.

Pug-Zus are also excellent dogs for taking on errands and are best suited to seniors with lots of time who might struggle to keep up with a high-energy needs dog.

Pug-Zu Diet & Feeding

  • Choose a food formulated for small dogs. 

  • Speak to your vet if you need help with portion sizes.

Pug-Zus should be given food formulated for small dogs, and they don’t need much protein in their diets.

This is because they don’t have lots of energy and they won’t be moving their muscles as much as other dogs. 

Two meals a day is best for Pug-Zus to prevent them from overeating.

They are susceptible to obesity due to their low exercise requirements, so only feed them as much as their weight requires. 

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Pug-Zu Cost

  • Costs between $300 and $1,100.

  • Ongoing costs include grooming appointments, food, and insurance. 

Pug-Zus can cost between $300 and $1,100. While it might be tempting to opt for the lower price, we recommend doing your research on the breeders so that you opt for a reputable one.

Since the parent breeds are susceptible to many health concerns, it pays to choose a trusted breeder who has had the parents screened and checked.

Backyard breeders might be using dogs that have been overbred and are therefore at higher risk of health issues.

Ongoing costs include higher vet bills and insurance, food, grooming costs, and toys.