Italian Tzu

9-10 lbs
United States
Italian Greyhound
Shih Tzu

The Italian Tzu is a hybrid breed dog. Its parents are the Italian Greyhound and the Shih Tzu. The Italian Tzu should be a fairly low-maintenance dog requiring infrequent grooming. He is not likely to shed and is easily trained. He does not require a great amount of exercise. In fact, due to the fact that his parent breeds are not made for long stretches of exercise outdoors, you should be cautious with the Italian Tzu when outdoors. He should not be allowed to get too hot. He is also okay with being left alone for stretches of time (such as when you are at work during the day) and does not often suffer from separation anxiety. He is great with kids, and is energetic, playful, and very loving.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Italian Greyhound and Shih Tzu

Italian Tzu Health

Average Size
Male Italian Tzu size stats
Height: 10-12 inches Weight: 10-16 lbs
Female Italian Tzu size stats
Height: 9-10 inches Weight: 9-10 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Leg Fractures
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Reverse Sneezing
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • Hip X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Full Physical Examination regarding joint movement around the hip and kneecap

Italian Tzu Breed History

The origins of the Italian Tzu are not totally known. The history of the parents breeds are well documented and present an interesting look into the story behind the Italian Tzu. An ancient breed known to have been present over 2000 years ago, this sleek dog is known to have had history in Egypt, Rome and Italy. A graceful canine, painters of the past, such as Pisanello, favored him in their paintings. Members of royalty of yesteryear enjoyed him as a prized pet. Mary, Queen of Scots, Catherine the Great, and Frederick the Great all owned the Italian Greyhound. This breed was added to the American Kennel Club list of breeds in 1886. The Shih Tzu has roots in China, where he is depicted in artwork as far back as the 16th century. Some experts believe he is related to the Lhasa Apso, perhaps a descendant of the royal breed. The Chinese valued the Shih Tzu as a royal dog, and for many years, the Chinese refused to export the dog out of their country. In the 1930s, a pair was exported to England and from there made their way to America.

Italian Tzu Breed Appearance

The Italian Tzu will be a small to medium size dog. The Italian Greyhound has short, smooth hair, while the Shih Tzu has longer, silky smooth hair. You can expect the Italian Tzu to have a mixture of the length and softness of his parent breeds. Coloring is also dependent upon the dominant parent breed. He should have a great deal of white coloring with some dark patches, or he may be a darker color all over. Most often smaller that the typical Italian Greyhound, The Italian Tzu is usually more similar in appearance to the Shih Tzu. He will have a proud look in his dark eyes and a smile that projects his pleasant personality.

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

Italian Tzu Breed Maintenance

The Italian Tzu rarely sheds, so he does not require much in the way of maintenance. He should be brushed once a week with a wire-bristle brush. Bathe him only when necessary and be certain to use only a veterinary approved shampoo so as to not dry out the skin or cause irritation. You should brush your Italian Tzu’s teeth at least three times a week; however, if you want to prevent gum disease, brush the dog’s teeth daily. Trim your dog’s nails every other week.  As this breed may not want to sit still for a grooming session, it is recommended that you start the routine early, making the event a bonding time that your hybrid will look forward to.

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

Italian Tzu Temperament

The Italian Tzu will be a mixture of the personalities of his parent breeds. The Italian Greyhound is a sweet, affectionate dog who prefers to be wherever his owner is at the moment. He loves children and is good with other dogs. The Shih Tzu may suffer from small dog syndrome if he is allowed to do so. However, consistent and early training will prevent this attitude from developing. The Italian Tzu will be alert, happy, friendly, highly intelligent, loyal, and loving. He may bark occasionally, but he is great with kids and an all-around great companion.

Italian Tzu Activity Requirements

The Italian Tzu is a moderately active dog. He loves to play; however, he will do well in an apartment or home as long as he gets daily exercise in the form of a walk or trip to the dog park. Socialization with other canines is important to his development and will exercise his mind as well as his body. In warm weather, provide adequate water and shelter from the sun.

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

Italian Tzu Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$20.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Italian Tzu Owner Experiences

2 Months
2 People
Playing ball,walks, playing hide n seek
She is very smart and loves everyone. She gets along great with our havanese Jack who is 11. She also does great with our 2 cats
3 years, 10 months ago
3 Years
8 People
House & Yard
Chevy is pretty energetic, especially in the mornings, but besides from that he's pretty calm, I find that the worst traitbive found in him is that he is unfriendly with men and large people but he is gentle with women and children
3 years, 7 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd