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Frenchie vs. Shih Tzu

Pictures of a Frenchie and a Shih Tzu meeting in the middle on the diagonal with the letters VS in the middle.

Whether to go with a historical dog or not, both dog breeds have a bit of history to them. The Shih Tzu is said to have been developed in the 10th century BC while the Frenchie has been said to only go back roughly 200 years.

Owning a historical dog may give you some status but it won’t change the nature of the pet and you would be surprised at how well these two dog breeds adapt to their new families.

Frenchie vs. Boston Terrier? Check out this post to see how they are similar and learn their differences.

What is a Shih Tzu?

Portrait of a Shih Tzu outdoors sitting in grass

A Shih Tzu is an ancient dog breed with some references from ancient China calling it an under-the-table dog. They are called the little lion dog as they are very good guardians and watchdogs.

Their life span is anywhere from 10 to 15 years, depending on their breeding and how they are treated throughout their lives. They do not get too heavy but you should watch their diet to make sure they get all the nutrition they need but not too much of a good thing.

This breed is a great family dog and likes both kids and other pets. They are very affectionate and like to get lots of attention.

What is a Frenchie?

black and white French bulldog laying  in front of a white brick wall.

Despite its name, the Frenchie is not originally French. It was first bred in England but when it was not readily accepted some dog breeders moved to France where their new breed was very accepted and popular.

This dog breed grows to a heavier weight than the Shih Tzu but only lives to 10 to 12 years of age. It is also a great family dog that is pet and kid-friendly. It has a low energy level so you do not have to spend a lot of time playing with it or taking it outside.

How Are They Different?

Shih Tzu on a leash being walked outdoors in grass

Their overall body design makes them different as the Frenchie suffers from a flat face while the Shih Tzu does not. Then while growing to a larger size than the Shih Tzu the Frenchie will shed. The Shih Tzu seems not to be a shedder.

The Frenchie may also drool more than the Shih Tzu, In fact, the latter dog does not drool at all. Then the Frenchie may bark more than the Shih Tzu. Finally, their countries of origin make them a bit different.

Check out our post “Frenchie vs. Yoda” to learn about the differences between Frenchies and Yoda Dogs.

How Are They Similar?

Dappled/ Merle Frenchie laying outdoors in grass.

These two dog breeds are small which is great if you live in a small house or apartment. They are both affectionate, do not like being left alone, and they are both indoor dogs.

Their energy levels are also similar and you do not have to set aside a lot of time devoted to their exercise regime. They are also not the fastest dog breeds around with their top speeds in the 15 mph neighborhood.

What’s better about a Shih Tzu?

Portrait of a Shih Tzu sitting on a yellow background.

This dog breed is not supposed to shed. That is good for those people who like a clean house or have allergies. Plus, they are not supposed to drool which makes your living environment a lot healthier.

It appears that the Shih Tzu is not a stubborn or jealous dog. That gives you a better training time and you can show affection to your other pets. It also likes to snuggle.

What’s better about a Frenchie?

Overhead view of a Black Frenchie looking up at the camera.

To start, it is a little bigger than the Shih Tzu which means while you have to be gentle playing with it, you do not have to be as gentle as you do with the Shih Tzu.

It is also a short hair dog which means that even though it does shed, its hairs do not need as much grooming as the Shih Tzu. This dog breed is a lot less work and easier to bathe and trim its coat, etc.

Then currently, the Frenchie is about the 2nd most popular dog breed out of 197 listed at the AKC. The Shih Tzu sits at number 20 right now.

Frenchie vs. Poodle? How are the alike? Click here to learn more.

Who should get a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu puppy sitting on a white bed

Anyone who has a family and likes dogs. This is a great companion pet that is very family-friendly. Also, if you live in an apartment or tiny home, this dog should fit in very easily. A little exercise is needed.

Who should get a Frenchie?

Silver Frenchie Puppy standing on a brick paver floor.

The same would hold true for this dog breed as well. It is a very friendly dog that while stubborn, enjoys their families and makes life better. Also, families who are not outdoorsy would enjoy this indoor dog breed. A little exercise is needed.

Comparison Chart

Category Frenchie Shih Tzu
Country of origin England China
Hypoallergenic No Yes
Lifespan 10 to 14 years 10 to 15 years
Intelligence Average Average
Temperament Friendly Friendly
Height 11 to 14 inches 9 to 10 inches
Weight 16 to 28 pounds 9 to 16 pounds
Barking Can be often Below the average
Apartment/ small home Yes Yes

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