Bichon Frise vs Shih Tzu

Compare the Bichon Frise to the Shih Tzu. Use the tool below to compare temperament, size, personality, maintenance requirements, and everything else between Bichon Frises and Shih Tzus.

Quick Summary

Below are a few quick comparisons between the two breeds.
  • Owner Experience - Both breeds are good choices for new or inexperienced owners, but the Shih Tzu is better suited for new owners.
  • Children - Both the Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu are great with children.
  • Grooming - Both breeds require very high amounts of grooming.
  • Barking - Both the Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu are average barkers.
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Bichon Frise vs Shih Tzu
Bichon Frise Dog Breed
Silver & White Shih Tzu
Breed NameBichon FriseShih Tzu
General Details
Breed TypePurebredPurebred
Is Hypo­allergenicYesYes
Lifespan12-15 yrs.10-15 yrs.
Height9-11 in.9-10 in.
Weight7-12 lb9-16 lb
IntelligenceHighAverage
History
Origin CountrySpainChina
Origin Year1300 AD618 AD
Temperament
Overall FriendlinessVery GoodVery Good
Family FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Kid FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Pet FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Stranger FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Personality
  • Affectionate
  • Enjoys Attention
  • Jealous
  • Loving
  • Does Not Like Being Alone
  • Likes To Snuggle
  • Willing To Please
  • Affectionate
  • Enjoys Attention
  • Loving
  • Does Not Like Being Alone
  • Likes To Snuggle
Living Environment
ApartmentYesYes
IndoorYesYes
Small YardNoNo
Medium YardNoNo
Large YardNoNo
Temperature Tolerance ¹50°F to 75°F55°F to 80°F
Barks/HowlsAverageBelow Average
Exercise Needs
Energy LevelMedium-HighMedium
Exercise RequiredMediumLow
Top Running Speed15 mph12 mph
StrengthLowLow
Grooming Needs
Coat Main­tenanceHighMedium
SheddingNoneNone
DanderNoneNone
Drool AmountNoneNone

¹This is estimated min/max temperature range for a healthy adult dog. Dogs that live indoors, puppies, seniors, unwell dogs, and/or dogs with improperly groomed coats may overheat sooner and get cold more quickly.
Instincts & Behavior Comparison
Breed NameBichon FriseShih Tzu
Breed Mentality
Dominant/AlphaNoNo
Family/PackYesYes
IndependentNoNo
Breed Focus
Distracted EasilyNoNo
AverageYesYes
Focused & PatientNoNo
Breed Instincts
AggressionBelow AverageBelow Average
Burrow/DiggingBelow AverageBelow Average
ChasingBelow AverageBelow Average
Follow CommandsAverageBelow Average
FightingBelow AverageBelow Average
GuardingBelow AverageBelow Average
HerdingBelow AverageBelow Average
HuntingAverageBelow Average
ProtectionBelow AverageBelow Average
Remove VerminBelow AverageBelow Average
SleddingBelow AverageBelow Average
WatchBelow AverageBelow Average
Health Comparison
Breed NameBichon FriseShih Tzu
Lifespan
Lifespan12-15 yrs.10-15 yrs.
Common Health Issues
AllergiesYesYes
Bladder StonesYesYes
DistichiasisNoYes
Dry EyeNoYes
Ear InfectionsNoYes
Ectopic CiliaNoYes
Hip DysplasiaYesYes
Juvenile CataractsYesNo
Juvenile Renal DysplasiaNoYes
KeratitisNoYes
Patellar LuxationYesYes
Portosystemic Liver ShuntNoYes
Progressive Retinal AtrophyNoYes
ProptosisNoYes
Retained Baby TeethNoYes
Reverse SneezingNoYes
SnufflesNoYes
Umbilical HerniasNoYes
Vaccination SensitivityYesNo
Appearance Comparison
Breed NameBichon FriseShih Tzu
Coat
HairYesYes
Coat Type
Double CoatYesYes
Coat Texture
WavyYesNo
SilkyNoYes
Coat Length(s)
LongYesYes
Coat Color(s)
WhiteYesYes
White & ApricotYesNo
White & BuffYesNo
White & CreamYesNo
BlackNoYes
Black & WhiteNoYes
Black, Gold, & SilverNoYes
Black, Gold, & WhiteNoYes
Black, White, & SilverNoYes
BlueNoYes
Blue & WhiteNoYes
BrindleNoYes
Brindle & WhiteNoYes
GoldNoYes
Gold & WhiteNoYes
LiverNoYes
Liver & WhiteNoYes
RedNoYes
Red & WhiteNoYes
SilverNoYes
Silver & WhiteNoYes
Silver, Gold, & WhiteNoYes
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