A Shih Tzu's average life expectancy is 11 to 16 years. The Shih Tzu is an ideal indoor dog, and it is great with cats because of its low prey drive.
The common diseases to watch out for with the Shih Tzu as it ages are eyelash malformation, progressive retinal atrophy, canine hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, otitis externa, renal dysplasia and hernias. The Shih Tzu is known as the "mini lion" in China, and it was bred to be a dog of beauty, grace and strength. The dogs were originally bred to lovingly guards of Buddhist temples. The Shih Tzu was recognized in 1969 by the American Kennel Club, and it is now a beloved family pet all around the world.