8-13 lbs
United States
Shih Tzu
Toy Fox Terrier
Toy Fo-Tzu

The Fo-Tzu is a mix of the Shih-Tzu and the Toy Fox Terrier. They are both small breeds so your Fo-Tzu will be a small dog as well, standing about 13 inches tall and weighing approximately 11 pounds on average. They have a medium to long coat that is usually soft, smooth, and fine like hair rather than fur. They come in almost any color combination but the most common are black and white or brown and white. This breed may not be good for families with small children or first time pet owners because they can be snappy and headstrong.

purpose Purpose
Family pet
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Shih-Tzu and Toy Fox Terrier

Fo-Tzu Health

Average Size
Male Fo-Tzu size stats
Height: 12-15 inches Weight: 10-19 lbs
Female Fo-Tzu size stats
Height: 10-14 inches Weight: 8-13 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
  • Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Cataracts
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Urolithiasis
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Eye Problems
  • Otitis Interna and Media
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • CT Scan
  • Eye Examination
  • Skin Evaluation
  • Urine and Blood Analysis
  • Hearing Tests

Fo-Tzu Breed History

The Shih-Tzu originated in Tibet where they lived in the Temples during ancient times. During the Tang dynasty (from 618 to 907), they were used as watchdogs and companions to royalty and were sometimes given as gifts to the Emperors of China. They are believed to be part Lhasa Apso and Tibetan Mountain Dog and were then mixed with the Pekingese to become the more traditional Shih-Tzu you see today. During the Chinese Revolution, the breed almost became extinct and there were only seven females and seven males left. From those 14 dogs, the rest of the Shih-Tzu breed were rebuilt and they became popular in other countries such as England, Norway, and the United States. Because of the similarities in the Shih-Tzu and the Lhasa Apso, they were still confused until a standard was developed in 1938 to describe the wider skull and less curved tail of the Shih-Tzu. When World War II was over, some of the soldiers brought these little dogs back with them to America and they were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. Today, it is the 20th most popular dog breed in the United States. The Toy Fox Terrier is one of just a few breeds that originated in the United States. They were bred from the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier and were used to hunt rodents and other small prey. They were developed in the 1930s but were not officially recognized by the AKC until 2003 where they are only the 116th most popular breed.

Fo-Tzu Breed Appearance

This breed comes in all color combinations but is usually seen in gold, white, cream, brown, tan, and black. Their medium to long coat is more like hair than fur and does not usually cause allergic reactions. Some have a large head and short muzzle like the Shih Tzu but the majority have more of a small head and longer muzzle like the Toy Fox Terrier. They are small dogs and can weigh about 8 to 15 pounds and stand 10 to 15 inches high. They have long, slender legs, large dark eyes, big pointed ears, and a black or dark brown nose.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Fo-Tzu eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Fo-Tzu nose
brown Fo-Tzu nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white Fo-Tzu coat
cream Fo-Tzu coat
brown Fo-Tzu coat
black Fo-Tzu coat
sable Fo-Tzu coat
pied Fo-Tzu coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Fo-Tzu straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Fo-Tzu Breed Maintenance

To keep your Fo-Tzu’s coat and skin healthy, you need to brush them at least four or five times a week. It is best to use a wire pin brush for regular grooming and a slicker brush for tangles and mats. This breed has a tendency to have skin problems so you have to check with your veterinary care provider about what kind of shampoo and soap to use, if any. However, do not bathe them too often because it dries out their skin. You should also clean their ears once a week with a wet cotton ball and keep watch for ear wax buildup, mites, and redness because Shih-Tzus are susceptible to ear infections. In addition, trim their toenails when needed.

Brushes for Fo-Tzu
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Fo-Tzu requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Fo-Tzu Temperament

This breed is not great for the first-time dog owner because they can be stubborn and hard to housetrain. In addition, they are not good with young children and have been known to bite when teased. However, they do like other dogs when socialized well and can get along with cats if trained. Many people who own a Fo-Tzu use puppy pads because they are so difficult to housetrain but if you are consistent and patient, you should be able to train her eventually. Just stick with the positive reinforcement rather than physical punishment. They are smart but stubborn and can sometimes be too lazy to listen.

Fo-Tzu Activity Requirements

The Fo-Tzu can be a bit lazy if you let her so you will have to be sure to give her enough exercise to keep her from gaining too much weight. They need about 45 to 60 minutes of moderate to strenuous activity every day. This can include taking your dog for a walk in the morning and in the evening, playing a long game of fetch, going for a hike in the park, or even a trip to the local dog park. They may also like agility training and playing Frisbee if they are more like the Toy Fox Terrier than the Shih-Tzu.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Fo-Tzu Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1.5 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.00 - $1.50
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$30.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Fo-Tzu Owner Experiences

10 Months
4 People
Likes to chew many things & different things from wood, slippers, bed, clothes, to table... Knows the time for waking up (he will bite our hair) & eating (he will get our attention during that time)... Likes to sleep with us and my little brothers... Loves to pat our body using his paws..
2 years, 3 months ago
10 Months
3 People
He is a naughty little pup on most occasions won’t always bring ball back when playing fetch
5 years, 8 months ago
12 Years
4 People
House & Yard
He is very playful and pretty ugly but in a cute way. He is very controlling and always takes the lead on walks. But we all love him very much.
4 years, 11 months ago
2 Years
5 People
House & Yard
Nose work
Playing wwith toys
Barn hunting
Obedience classes
Agility training
We rescued him from the shelter, he was an owner surrender who had not had much positive interaction. He didn't know how to play with toys. House training proceeded well,though. Getting his confidence up has been a big part of training as he is sensitive and doesn't like loud noises. He is super smart, and loves training. He is very athletic, a fast runner and jumper. He is still nervous around agility equipment so we keep working on his confidence and exposing him to things to decrease his sensitivity. I think his clear neglect attention wise on the part of his first owners is why he is a bit unsure at times. He was only a year old when we got him so he has responded well to our socializing. We have an older shih tzu who is mellow, they get along pretty well. He can be very focused at playtime and loves hunting for toys and chasing things. He loves training classes and learns fast. He is sweet, a bit zany, and much like his namesake, with long skinny legs, too. He was also born on the same day as Grover from Sesame Street (a fact we realized a year after getting and naming him). His previous name was "Feo" which is ugly in Spanish, and which he is NOT. He looks like Benji with long legs. His new name suits him so much better and we adore him. His fur can matt a bit on his legs and belly where it is fine, so we use detangling spray to help prevent that. Otherwise he has not had any health issues. He is energetic and needs physical activity and mental stimulation or he can be fussy and engage in bad behaviors, like dumping over small trash cans and strewing the contents all over. He now has many toys he loves and lots of things to chew on. He is learning to cuddle more, and loves to be petted. It is a clear he didn't get much physical attention before. We are so glad he is ours now.
3 years, 3 months ago
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