Popular Names For Shih Tzu Puppies – The Top 10 Surveyed

Shih tzu puppies in a basket.

A Name As Long As You Like

Before I go into my top ten list of popular names for shih tzu puppies, here are a few pointers you may like to take into account when choosing a name for your puppy.

I’ve read a lot about dogs being only able to understand the first syllable of any word or phrase you speak to them. This may be true for some dogs, and it does explain why, when training a dog, commands are generally kept to single syllable words such as “sit” and “stay”.

But I am sure some dogs can understand two syllables or more, otherwise commands like “lie down” or “roll over” wouldn’t work. I am convinced that my two boys can understand two syllables and sometimes whole phrases. For example, Charlie understands his whole, two syllable name and doesn’t respond when I just call “Char”. He also understands the entire phrase “want to go walkies?”. I’m in danger of a severe face-licking when I mention this!

The reason I am saying all of this is because there are those “experts” around that will advise you to choose a name for your shih tzu that is of only one syllable. I say choose a name with as many syllables as you like.

What To Consider When Choosing A Name

Having said to choose a name that is as long as you like, bear in mind that at times when your shih tzu is off the leash, say when chasing a ball in the park, you are going to have to call him or her to come back to you. It could become a little tedious to call “Princess Priscilla Cuddlemuffin the Third, come!” every time, so I would keep the name to something simple that rolls off the tongue.

Also bear in mind that it is going to cause confusion and misunderstandings if you choose a name that is the same or sounds similar to the name of another member of the household or if it sounds similar to a command you might use for your shih tzu, for instance “Sita” and “sit!” or “Stacey“ and “stay!”.

So, with those restraints in mind, choose a name that you like and matches the character of your shih tzu. You could also name your puppy after his or her coloring. Although I didn’t name him myself, Bruno got his name because of the liver colored patches on his otherwise white coat. I’ve noticed that some owners of black and white colored shih tzu have chosen the name “Oreo”.

Whatever name it is you choose, make sure it is one that you can call out in public. After all, you don’t want to end up in court for shouting obscenities in the park!

Popular names for shih tzu puppies.
ID: 51259821 © Patryk_Kosmider | Depositphotos

The Top 10 Most Popular Names For Shih Tzu Puppies

I have surveyed social media and several websites to discover the names that owners are actually giving to their shih tzu. Here are the ones that turned out to be the most popular. Some of them you may find surprising.

No.10 Girl: Lola

The name Lola has two origins. It is the shortened form of the German name Aloisia and also the shortened form of the Spanish name Dolores. Dolores means “sorrow”, which is probably the last word that comes to mind when looking at a shih tzu puppy but the meaning of Aloisia, “famous fighter” may be fitting.

No.10 Boy: Buddy

Buddy comes from the North American slang word for a close friend. Need I say more?

No.9 Girl: Mia

From its Latin origins, Mia has several meanings. “Bitter” is one you would be hard pressed to apply to a shih tzu whereas if you have a particularly stubborn young lady, “rebellion” may apply. But the meaning most likely to fit your puppy is “wished for baby”.

No.9 Boy: Lucky

If, like the 13th puppy in 101 Dalmatians, you have a shih tzu puppy that has survived against the odds or have one that has brought along good fortune, then Lucky would be an apt name to choose.

No.8 Girl: Cookie

It could be that this name became a popular name because of the coloring of the coat, perhaps resembling a cookie with chocolate chips or because the puppy is sweet like a biscuit.

No.8 Boy: Maximus

This name originates from the Roman Latin for “greatest”. If you think your shih tzu puppy is the greatest, then Maximus is a fitting name to choose.

No.7 Girl: Coco

Coco as a name came into existence as a familiar shortening of any name starting Co. Give your puppy the name Coco simply if she looks like a Coco or if she has a chocolate colored coat.

No.7 Boy: Bandit

Owners are choosing this name for their puppies for two reasons. Either the puppy has a distinctive dark band across the eyes resembling the mask worn by the stereotypical Wild West outlaw or the puppy likes to grab objects in his mouth and run off and hide them.

No.6 Girl: Willow

Willow derives from the tree of the same name. This could be the name for your puppy if she shares the same slender and graceful characteristics.

No.6 Boy: Cooper

In the past English craftsmen acquired a surname reflecting their trade. A cooper was a man who made wooden vessels, particularly barrels. It has now become a given name, though the connection with a shih tzu puppy is beyond me. Perhaps shih tzu given the name Cooper bear a resemblance to Kyle MacLachlan who played Special Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks.

Shih tzu puppy in a basket.
ID: 5224484 © thephotoguy | Depositphotos

No.5 Girl: Bailey

Bailey originates from the Old French for administrator or manager and adopted by the not quite as Old English for bailiff or law enforcer. So if your puppy is a little miss bossy boots, Bailey would be an apt name to give her.

No.5 Boy: Gizmo

Originally, a gizmo was a handy mechanical or electronic device that would neatly solve a specific need. I suspect, though, that people are naming their shih tzu puppies Gizmo for their resemblance to the Mogwai character in the Gremlins films.

No.4 Girl: Daisy

The name Daisy simply derives from the flower of the same name. This name befits a puppy that is as pretty as a daisy.

No.4 Boy: Oliver

Oliver is a name which is associated with the olive tree. As an olive branch is the symbol of peace, Oliver could be a good name for a restful, laid back puppy.

No.3 Girl: Molly

Molly is a derivative of Mary which, in turn, hails from the Hebrew name Miryam. Miryam is widely thought to mean “beloved”. Fitting for a shih tzu, I think.

No.3 Boy: Sammy

Sammy is short for Samuel which in its original Hebrew means “asked of god”.

No.2 Girl: Chloe

The name comes from Khloe, an alias of the Greek goddess Demeter. Chloe means “blooming” or “fertility” so it would be an apt name for a puppy that will later become a mother.

No.2 Boy: Charlie

I am proud to say that my boy Charlie comes in at the second most popular name for a shih tzu puppy. Charlie comes from the old medieval feudal system rank of “freeman”.

And the no.1 most popular girl’s name for a shih tzu puppy is…………


Bella is by far the most popular name for a shih tzu puppy in my survey. Bella derives from the Latin for beautiful, so its popularity is quite understandable.

And the no.1 most popular boy’s name for a shih tzu puppy is…………


I believe Teddy to be so popular because of a shih tzu’s resemblance to a cuddly teddy bear. In this case Teddy is short for Theodore, the Latin translation of “god’s gift”.

Teddy bear and shih tzu.
ID: 13914637 © willeecole | Depositphotos

Also Consider

The following names proved popular but didn’t quite make the top ten:


Dora, Nala, Pepper, Phoebe, Ruby, Sophia, Sophie, Zoe, Zoey


Cody, Frankie, Miles, Milo, Mocha, Mowgli, Obi, Ollie.

What’s Your Favorite?

My name survey was taken from a sample size of 552 different shih tzu dogs worldwide. If your favorite isn’t there, why not add yours to the survey by entering it in the comments box below. I will update the results accordingly.

Also use the comments box or the contact us form if you have any comments or questions related to the shih tzu breed.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next post.

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8 thoughts on “Popular Names For Shih Tzu Puppies – The Top 10 Surveyed

  1. I got mine after my husband passed away. I am 71 and needed company. I love her so much, called her Bonnie. My only problem is grooming and dealing with the matting. Any hints welcome.

    1. Hello Karen,

      Congratulations on adopting Bonnie, I am sure you will share many happy times together.

      I think that I can help out with Bonnie’s grooming issues as I have written about dealing with matting and other general grooming issues in other articles on this website. Just click on these links for more information:

      How To Groom A Shih Tzu Dog – Easy Home Grooming You Can Do

      How To Bathe A Shih Tzu Dog For Healthy Skin And Coat

      I hope you find this useful.

      Shih Tzu Steve.

  2. I also lost y two beautiful Shih Tzu’s lost Chewy 2019 to Cancer, and Jabba 9 months later to Kidney failure They went everywhere with me, I have applied for fostering through star, but I don’t know how long it takes, so in the meantime, I am looking for an older Shih Tzu too, any idea’s where I can get one that’s not very dear as I am an old age pensioner and don’t get much money,

    1. Hello Maria,

      I am truly saddened to hear of your double loss and pass on my condolences to you.

      However, I’m glad that you are considering fostering and also looking to adopt an older shih tzu.

      From the information you have given, I can only recommend that you contact your local animal rescue centers to find out what they have.

      If you were to let me know what country and area you live in, I could try and research something for you, or perhaps one or two of my readers could suggest something.

      Best wishes for now,

      Shih Tzu Steve.

  3. After my sweet boy Max passed, I yearned for another shih tzu to love and nurture. My prayers were answered and this coming Thursday, I am adopting another rescue – a female. She had no name while in a puppy mill, but I will proudly name her Mitzi!

    1. Hello, Paula.

      First my apologies for taking so long to reply to your comment. This website is currently a one-man operation and this one man has been AWOL for a month or three. I am now back and working my way through the backlog.

      I offer my deepest condolences for the passing of your boy, Max. I am glad that you found room in your heart to adopt a new puppy. I hope that you adopted Mitzi as planned and that she is settling in well.

      Shih Tzu Steve.

  4. I had two Shih Tzu’s, (both female) ….. named Chui and Daisy. I have a little girl now, (a rescue) named Sugar. ..(because she’s so sweet.) What wonderful companions they have all been and my baby now goes everywhere with me. I can’t imagine not having her as a companion.

    1. Hi Connie, and a big hello to Chui and Daisy.
      Yes, shih tzus are the best companion dogs, I can’t imagine life without my two boys either!
      Shih Tzu Steve.

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