Bulldog Shih Tzu Mix Guide: 27 Things to Know About a Shitzu Bulldog

The Shitzu Bulldog is a loving and playful miniature mix that craves attention at all times. Is it right for you? If you are ready to spend time training it and intertwine your life with its, taking it everywhere you go, this might be the dog for you.


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Your Shitzu Bulldog, also called a Bully-Tzu or Bullshitz, is a first-generation hybrid of the frisky French Bulldog and the magnificent Shih Tzu. Very likely, it will be a bit flat-faced, small to medium-sized, with a compact, muscular, tail wagging look. It will be love at first sight.

Weight & Height
The Bulldog Shih Tzu mix usually takes its head and coat from the Shih Tzu, and body from its “Frenchie” parent. It is a toy dog, at around 23 pounds (11 kg), and stands about 11.5 inches (30 cm) high. Males and females tend to be about the same size.

Given the Bulldog ancestry, the Shitzu Bulldog is never going to escape that characteristic “rolling” gait entirely. Despite this, this mix’s gait is swift with a strong forward drive. This dog always looks as if it is on a mission and ready for any tempting mischief.

Coat Color
You will have a wide choice coming mainly from the Shih Tzu side: a mixture of black, white, brown, fawn, red and cream, and perhaps even some blue. There will also be a wide range of different markings. The nose should always be black and the eyes brown.


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Coat Length & Thickness
The Bulldog Shih Tzu mix should have a straight, single coat, short to medium-long, and perhaps with a slight wave. It can be slightly shaggy, but should never look fluffy. You might want to trim the hair around its eyes a little while you are grooming it.

The ears of the Shitzu Bulldog should be upright, widely set, and rounded rather than pointed. These types of ears are characterized as “bat ears” and are open towards the front. This mix’s ears are the standard ears for its French Bulldog parent, as determined by the American Kennel Club.


The parents are similar: both are loving, family dogs; playful, and delighted to be the center of attention. They are moderately intelligent. The “Frenchie” placed 58 in Stanley Coren’s list, and the Shih Tzu placed 70th. They are happiest sitting on their owner’s laps, and both suffer separation anxiety.


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Does Not Like Being Alone…Ever
You will quickly become the center of your dog’s universe, and it will never tolerate being left alone. Both parents were primarily bred as companions and lapdogs. If you live alone, you must work at home or have a job that allows you to take your dog to work.

Will Bark and Chew If Bored
No amount of toys, educative or otherwise, will make up for being alone. Leaving the television on or getting another pet will not replace your company. If you have to leave it regularly for more than two hours, you must begin crate training as its special happy place.

Stubborn Streak and Needs Training
The miniature English Bulldogs were crossed with terriers to increase their “ratting” skills when they were brought to Normandy in France in the 1800s, thus their nickname of “Frenchie.” This introduced a stubborn streak in their ancestry. However, both parents want to please, and your patient training will be rewarded.

Not Aggressive but Unruly If Untrained
Your mix should inherit a laid-back attitude from its parents. However, the Shih Tzu parent tends to be snippy with strangers and defensive in new situations. Socialization and training using consistent, positive reinforcement will be required from the very beginning.

Prefers a Temperate Climate
Your Shih Tzu Bulldog will dislike both cold and hot temperatures. A lot will depend on the length of your dog’s muzzle and how well the nostrils are opened (in other words, how brachycephalic it becomes). You will have to be alert to signs of it overheating.

Companion or Suitability Factor

Whether you are single, a couple, or a large family, the Bully-Tzu is going to change your life for the better. This is a little dog with an enormous heart. It has a unique personality: irresistible, funny, amiable, and dependable. It is also alert and will be possessive of you.


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Kid-Friendly with Caution
The Shitzu Bulldog will likely be good with children if it has been trained well and if the children are not too noisy. Playtime should be on the floor, and children must be careful with a puppy’s growing bones. Children should never be left alone with dogs.

Is Perfect for Apartment Living
The Bulldog Shih Tzu will happily live in an apartment as long as it always has companionship. Ideally, you should train it to have its bed or crate as its “me place.” It will still need two short walks a day to stay healthy, and bathroom breaks as needed.

Is a Reasonable Watchdog
The Shitzu Bulldog is not a great guard dog, but both of its parents are reasonable watchdogs because they are very alert, and the Shih Tzu is protective of its family. Despite the size of this mix, its large, flat face and wide mouth can make it look quite aggressive.

Suitable for Senior Citizens
The low exercise requirements and temperament of the Bully-Tzu could be a good match for an older person, but only if they are prepared to adopt an adult dog. An adult dog from a shelter or rescue will have been thoroughly evaluated for its behavioral traits and its health issues.

An Okay Emotional Support Dog
The Bulldog Shih Tzu mix is not generally used as a service, therapy, or search and rescue dog, but could be used as an emotional support dog if it were trained properly.

Tends to Get Along with Other Pets If Trained Properly
Early socialization and “puppy school” is a must for this busy mix. This prepares it to do the next best thing to playing with you – playing with other dogs! Consider using social media to locate, or even start, an informal playgroup that meets in your local park.

At-Risk Around Water
Your Shih Tzu Bulldog is not comfortable, nor safe, near water. This is because its head is disproportionately large for its body, making it literally top-heavy. It will have difficulty keeping its head above water. Be sure it is wearing a life jacket if it is near water.


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Intelligence & Training

The Bulldog Shih Tzu mix needs early socialization and obedience training so that it behaves well around children and generally behaves. Its moderate intelligence and stubborn streak will mean it will not be easy to train. You will need to start early and with simple commands.

Moderate Intelligence
Stanley Coren is the dog intelligence guru, and he scores the Bully-Tzu’s parents’ as “low” to “fair” in working/obedience intelligence. This means it takes 100 repetitions for it to learn a new command with a 25% chance of obeying the first time. Thankfully, it seems to have more intuitive intelligence.

Training Could Be Challenging
Keep training sessions short and game-based. Your Shitzu Bulldog wants to please you and is happiest when it has all of your attention. Train it to go with you on errands and be patient with “potty” training, which may take longer than expected.


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Physical Needs

The genetic variations from the breeding of your Shitzu Bulldog will affect its coat and the face, in particular. Its coat could be short or fairly long and dense, and its face could have eyes that are protruding. Depending on its breeding, it may or may not be hypoallergenic.

Adults Eat One Cup of High-Quality Dry Food a Day
Food should be divided into two meals a day. Your Shitzu Bulldog will eat all day if you let it, so be careful to avoid letting it overeat and become obese. Ask your vet about hard-boiled eggs to keep its coat healthy, and fruits and vegetables for snacks.

Needs At Least 30 Minutes Exercise Per Day
The Bulldog Shih Tzu is an intense, happy dog and gets most of its exercise from energetic game playing. But it still needs a short, brisk walk around the neighborhood to once or twice a day. Its lifespan is 8 – 12 years.


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Shedding & Bathing
Your Shitzu Bulldog will shed lightly. Brush at least three times a week, preferably once a day if it has a longer coat. Wipe its eyes and ears regularly with a clean damp cloth and check for any injuries. Teeth should be brushed every day. Bath when dirty.

Background & Pricing for a Puppy

The Shih Tzu hails from Tibet, where they were companion dogs in the monasteries and taught to spin the monk’s prayer wheels. They were gifted to the Chinese, who started a breeding program in the Tang dynasty (618 – 907 CE). Lady Brownrigg, the wife of the Chinese Quarter Master, brought a breeding pair to England in 1928. Shih Tzu’s then became enormously popular and spread all throughout Europe. American soldiers took them to the USA in the late 1900s.

The “Frenchie” hails from the miniature “bullies,” companions to the cottage lace makers who were forced by the Industrial Revolution to leave England and seek work in Normandy, France. They became popular in fashionable households. The first breed club was formed in Paris in 1880, and they were depicted in paintings of “ladies of the night” by Lautrec and Degas. Visitors from the USA took them home, and by 1897 they were all the rage in New York.

The background of this mix explains its devotion to its human owner and how important integration into the life of its owner and family is. Integration is critical. Do you have the time to devote to this dog? It will become aggressive, destructive, or depressed if you don’t.

Price for a Puppy
This is one of the latest “designer dogs,” and it might be difficult to find a reputable breeder. You should expect a significant price tag, as breeding usually requires artificial insemination and often a C-section (cesarean section) birth. This mix will likely cost around US$3,000 to US$5,000.


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Health Issues

Both parents are brachycephalic, translating into breathing, overheating, dental and eye problems. This mix may inherit hip dysplasia, which is unusual for smaller dogs. This will manifest before it is a year old, and you should get the parents’ hip scores. Anything above 4-6 (UK) or “Fair” (USA) is unacceptable.
Some other key health concerns are below.


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Pulmonic Stenosis
Pulmonic Stenosis is a congenital heart valve defect in the artery that takes the blood to the lungs. If you notice your dog takes a long time to recover from exercise, seems depressed, or suddenly loses consciousness, see your veterinarian to test it for this condition.

If a Bulldog Shih Tzu mix has mild pulmonic stenosis, it can live with it for years without symptoms and without it being noticed. If your dog has an advanced stage, it will show up in a cardiac exam and can usually be treated with surgery.

Though a tightly curled or “corkscrew” tail is cute, it actually indicates malformed spinal vertebrae, which can cause the entire spine to twist. If you notice weakness in your dog’s back legs, incontinence or difficulty in cleaning its tail, and signs of back pain, you need to see your veterinarian.

An X-ray will reveal if it requires surgery. You should clean your dog under its “screw tail,” where there is a little skin pocket that fills with feces. Wear gloves and clean out the pocket with a moist cotton ball, using a second cotton ball to dry the area.

Bladder Stones (Hyperuricosuria)
Hyperuricosuria is inherited from a recessive gene, meaning getting the same gene from both its parents. It happens when excess uric acid forms crystals in the bladder. It occurs from 3 to 6 years, mostly in females. Signs include bloody urine, frequent/little urination, pain, and difficulty or straining to urinate.

Consider reviewing a copy of the DNA results of the parents from the breeder to see if your dog has the gene. Depending on the severity of the condition, a veterinarian will explain your options. Avoid surgery if possible because it is dangerous to put flat-faced dogs under anesthesia.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.