The Ultimate Pros And Cons Of A Shih Tzu

Pros and cons of a Shih Tzu
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If you’re considering adding a Shih Tzu to your family, you may wonder whether this breed fits you.

Shih Tzus are small, toy-sized dogs with a long and illustrious history as companion animals. These charming dogs are known for their playful personality, affectionate nature, and adaptability to apartment living. They can make excellent companion animals for the right owner.

However, like any breed, Shih Tzus have their unique characteristics and needs that potential owners should consider before bringing one into their home. In this article, we’ll explore the ultimate pros and cons of a Shih Tzu to help you decide if this breed fits you.

Pros and Cons of a Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu can make a great companion, but owning one of these dogs also has some potential drawbacks. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of a Shih Tzu:

The Pros

1) Shih Tzu is Perfect for Apartment Living

Shih Tzu is perfect for Apartment Living
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Shih Tzus are generally a good choice for apartment living due to their small size and moderate exercise requirements. These dogs are adaptable to various living situations as long as they get regular exercise and mental stimulation. Shih Tzus are also relatively low maintenance in space and equipment, making them a good choice for owners with little living rooms.

2) Shih Tzu does not Need Much Outdoor Exercise

Shih Tzus are small toy breeds with moderate exercise requirements. While they need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy, they do not require a lot of outdoor exercise compared to larger breeds. Shih Tzus are generally content with daily walks or short play sessions to meet their exercise needs.

It’s essential to remember that all dogs, regardless of breed, need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. It’s crucial to provide your Shih Tzu with regular opportunities for exercise, such as walks and playtime, and to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained.

3) Shih Tzus are the Best Family Dogs

Are you considering adding a furry friend to your family? You can’t go wrong with a Shih Tzu! These friendly little dogs make great companions for people of all ages. Shih Tzus are known for being very loving and affectionate. They love nothing more than cuddling up with their favorite person on the couch. They’re also very patient, which makes them ideal playmates for young children. There’s no doubt about it – Shih Tzus are the best family dogs! If you’re looking for a loyal, loving companion, look no further than this adorable breed.

4) Shih Tzus are Affectionate with Children

are Shih Tzus good with children
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Shih Tzus are generally affectionate with children and can make great family pets. These dogs are known for their social personality and their ability to form strong bonds with their human families. They are typically patient and tolerant of children and can be a good choice for families with children of all ages.

However, it’s always essential to supervise young children when interacting with any breed of dog, including Shih Tzus. Children should be taught to respect the dog’s space and boundaries and to handle the dog gently and with care.

5) Shih Tzus have Long Life Expectancy

Shih Tzus are a popular dog breed known for their long life expectancy. According to the American Kennel Club, Shih Tzus can live as long as 18 years. That’s near twice the lifespan of the average dog, which is only 10-12 years. There are several reasons why Shih Tzus have such a long life expectancy. For one thing, they’re a small dog breed, and small breeds tend to live longer than large ones. So if you’re looking for a long-lived dog, a Shih Tzu may be the right breed.

6) Shih Tzus have a Gorgeous Coat

If you’re looking for a beautiful dog with a luxurious coat, the Shih Tzu is the breed for you! These dogs are certainly eye-catching and sure to turn heads when you’re out and about. So if you’re looking for a beautiful companion who’s beautiful and good-natured, then a Shih Tzu might be the perfect breed for you!

7) Shih Tzus don’t Shed much

Shih Tzus are considered a hypoallergenic breed, producing less dander (dead skin cells) and saliva than other breeds, making them less likely to trigger allergies in people. While they do shed, they shed less than many other breeds, and their long, luxurious coats often trap the shed hair, making it less noticeable.

8) Shih Tzu is Perfect for First Time Dog Owners

Shih Tzus can be a good choice for first-time dog owners due to their small size, moderate exercise requirements, and affectionate personality. These dogs are generally easy to train and are adaptable to various living situations. They are also relatively low maintenance in terms of space and equipment.

However, it’s essential to remember that all dogs, regardless of breed, require time, energy, and resources. While Shih Tzus can be a good choice for first-time dog owners, they need to do their research and be prepared to commit to the responsibilities of dog ownership. It includes regular exercise, grooming, training, and medical care, as well as mental stimulation and socialization.

9) Shih Tzus Great Lapdogs

While there are pros and cons to every breed of dog, the Shih Tzu falls on the pro side when it comes to lapdogs. They’re adorable, with their big eyes and fluffy coats. They’re also relatively small, making them perfect for snuggling on your lap. So if you’re looking for a lapdog that tickles all the boxes, a Shih Tzu may be your pup!

10) Shih Tzus are Strong and Sturdy for their Size

For those looking for a small but mighty companion, the Shih Tzu is an excellent choice. Despite their size, these dogs are known for being sturdy and robust and can make excellent watchdogs. They are also very loyal and loving to their family and make wonderful companions. Shih Tzus are also relatively easy to train, although they can sometimes be stubborn. They are an excellent choice for those looking for a small but versatile dog.

11) Shih Tzus are Peaceful with other Pets

Shih Tzu temperament with other pets
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Shih Tzus are generally known to be peaceful and good-natured dogs that get along well with other pets and people. They are often very social and enjoy being around others, including dogs, cats, and other household pets.

However, as with any breed, it is important to properly socialize and train your Shih Tzu from an early age to help ensure they are well-behaved and respectful of other animals. It is also essential to remember that every dog is an individual, and some may be more prone to aggressive behavior or territoriality than others. Monitoring your Shih Tzu’s interactions with other animals, especially when introducing a new pet to the household, is always a good idea to ensure that everyone gets along peacefully.

12) Shih Tzus are Usually Polite with Strangers

One of the best things about Shih Tzu is their politeness with strangers. If you’re looking for a dog who will be friendly with everyone they meet – the mailman or a new friend at the park – then a Shih Tzu is the perfect breed for you. They’re also great with kids, which makes them ideal family dogs. So if you’re looking for a four-legged friend who will add some excitement (and cuteness) to your life, consider adopting a Shih Tzu. You won’t be disappointed!

13) Shih Tzus Adapt Easily to their New Homes

Shih Tzus are generally known to be adaptable and resilient dogs that can easily adjust to new environments and routines. They are often described as very affectionate and loyal to their owners and thrive on human companionship.

Because of their small size and easygoing nature, Shih Tzus are often well-suited to living in various homes and environments, including apartments, houses, and even on boats or in RVs. However, like all dogs, Shih Tzus require care and attention, including regular feeding, grooming, and exercise, to keep them happy and healthy.

It is also essential to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to rest, such as a crate or dog bed, to help them feel secure in their new home.

14) Shih Tzu bark less as compared to Other Toy Breeds

Shih Tzus are generally considered a relatively quiet breed of dog and are not known to be excessive barkers. While all dogs can occasionally bark for various reasons, such as to alert their owners to potential dangers or to ask for attention, Shih Tzus are generally less prone to barking excessively than some other toy breeds.

However, as with any breed, the amount of barking a Shih Tzu can depend on various factors, including their personality, training, and environment. Some Shih Tzus may bark more frequently than others, exceptionally if they need to be adequately trained or left alone for long periods.

It is essential to properly train and socialize your Shih Tzu to help prevent excessive barking and teach them to communicate appropriately.

Related: Do Shih Tzus Bark A Lot: Reasons & Training Tips To Stop Them

15) Shih Tzus are Playful and Mischievous

Shih Tzus are playful and mischievous
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There’s a reason the Shih Tzu is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world – they’re adorable. But they’re not just cute but also playful and mischievous, making them ideal companions for families with kids. They may be small, but they have prominent personalities and will keep you entertained for hours. So if you’re looking for a furry friend that will bring you lots of joy, look no further than the Shih Tzu.

16) Shih Tzus are Less Tempramental

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that each breed has its unique personality. Some dogs are known for being particularly energetic, while others are more laid-back and easygoing. When it comes to temperament, few breeds can match the Shih Tzu. These charming little dogs are known for their even dispositions and loving nature. They make ideal companion animals and are particularly well-suited for seniors or anyone looking for a low-maintenance pet.

17) Shih Tzus are Social Creatures

For anyone considering adding a Shih Tzu to their family, it’s essential to know that these dogs are social creatures. They crave attention and need to feel part of the pack. It means there are better choices for someone working long hours or frequently away from home. But a Shih Tzu can be the perfect fit for those looking for a loving, companionable dog.

Related: Can Shih Tzus Be Left Alone At Home: How To Train?

The Cons

1) Shih Tzus can be Stubborn

Shih tzus can be stubborn
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Like all dogs, Shih Tzus can sometimes be stubborn and resistant to training. They may exhibit stubborn behavior when asked to do something they do not want to do or are not adequately motivated to learn. Shih Tzus are generally intelligent and eager to please their owners, but they can be stubborn if they need help understanding what is expected of them or if they need to be properly motivated.

2) Shih Tzus are difficult to Potty Train

One of the cons of owning a Shih Tzu is that potty training can take a lot of work. While they are intelligent dogs, they often have a stubborn streak and can resist using a designated potty area. It can sometimes be due to their small size, as they may not have the muscle control to hold it in until they reach their potty spot.

Another possibility is that they prefer not to use a designated area and would instead go wherever they please. Whatever the reason, it can be frustrating for owners trying to keep their homes clean and tidy. However, most Shih Tzus can be successfully potty trained with patience and consistent training.

3) Shih Tzus have a Sensitive Stomach

Some Shih Tzus may be prone to digestive issues and have a sensitive stomach, which can cause them to experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Several factors can contribute to dog digestive problems, including diet, stress, and certain medical conditions.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has a sensitive stomach, it is crucial to work with a veterinarian to determine the cause and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. It is also essential to prevent your Shih Tzu from eating anything that could potentially be harmful or toxic, such as certain plants, medications, or household products.

4) Shih Tzus are Prone to Health Problems

Like all breeds of dogs, Shih Tzus are susceptible to specific health problems. Some of the most common health problems seen in Shih Tzus include respiratory, eye, and skeletal issues.

Respiratory difficulties can be caused by the Shih Tzu’s flat face, which can make it difficult for them to breathe. Eye problems can be caused by the long hair that often covers their eyes, which can lead to irritation and infections. Skeletal issues are often the result of the Shih Tzu’s small size, which puts extra strain on their bones and joints. While these health problems can be severe, they are often manageable with proper veterinary care.

5) Shih Tzus are Not very Energetic Outside

Shih Tzus are not energetic outside
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While the Shih Tzu is a lovely dog breed, they are not known for being energetic outside. It’s because they were bred to be companions, not working dogs. As such, they are more likely to want to curl up on your lap than go for a long run. It can be great if you’re looking for a relaxed dog, but it’s important to remember that Shih Tzus need plenty of exercise to stay healthy. So if you’re thinking of getting a Shih Tzu, be prepared to take them on plenty of walks and give them lots of playtimes indoors.

6) Shih Tzus have High Maintainance Coat

A Shih Tzu’s coat is one of the most iconic things about the breed. It’s long, silky, and in a range of beautiful colors. But while a Shih Tzu’s coat may be stunning, it’s also high-maintenance. The fur needs to be brushed daily, and it tangles easily. If you’re not careful, you can end up with matt that is painful for the dog and difficult to remove.

In addition, the coat is susceptible to dirt and stains, so you’ll need to be diligent about bathing your Shih Tzu. All of this grooming can be time-consuming and expensive. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, a Shih Tzu is probably not the right breed.

7) Shih Tzus need a High-Quality Food

Shih Tzus need a high-quality diet to help them maintain good health and well-being. It is crucial to choose a dog food appropriate for your Shih Tzu’s age, size, and activity level that meets their nutritional needs. It can be expensive to look for dog food formulated for small-breed dogs and made with high-quality ingredients, such as real meat or fishvegetables, and whole grains.

8) Shih Tzus have Costly Grooming Needs

Shih Tzus are known for their long, silky coats, which require regular grooming to keep them looking their best. Shih Tzus have a double coat consisting of a soft, downy inner layer and a longer, coarser outer layer.

If you are not prepared to invest time and money into grooming your Shih Tzu, then this breed is not for you. Shih Tzus need to be trimmed every six to eight weeks and require regular baths. Grooming can be expensive, especially if you take your dog to a professional groomer. However, many people find the cost worth it, as the Shih Tzu is a loving and loyal companion.

9) Shedding in Shih Tzus can be Problematic

Shih Tzus are generally considered a low-shedding dog breed, but they can shed a small amount of hair throughout the year. Like all dogs, Shih Tzus have a natural shedding cycle in which they lose old or damaged hair to make room for new growth.

Shedding can be problematic for some Shih Tzu owners, especially if they are allergic to dog hair or prefer a clean, hair-free home. It is important to groom them regularly to remove loose hair and prevent matting and shedding.

10) Shih Tzus are Notorious for Housebreaking

Shih Tzus, like all dogs, can be prone to accidents while being housebroken, but they are not necessarily known to be more or less challenging to housebreak than other breeds. Housebreaking a dog or teaching them to eliminate outside can be challenging for any owner, but it is integral to responsible pet ownership.

It is essential to establish a routine for your Shih Tzu, including taking them outside to eliminate at regular intervals and immediately after meals and to provide them with plenty of opportunities to learn and practice good behavior. It is also important to supervise your Shih Tzu when they are inside and to correct any accidents promptly to help prevent them from becoming a habit.

11) Shih Tzus can Get Cold

Shih Tzus can get cold
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Despite their luxurious coat, Shih Tzu is susceptible to getting cold. Their coat does not provide enough insulation to warm them in colder weather. As a result, they may be more sensitive to cold weather and need extra protection to stay warm. It is essential to provide them with a warm, draft-free place to rest, such as a crate or dog bed, and to limit their time outside in extreme weather.

12) Shih Tzus can be Jealous

Shih Tzus can be prone to jealousy if they feel that they are being left out or excluded from activities they enjoy. One of the biggest cons is that they can be jealous. If you give too much attention to another person or pet, your Shih Tzu may get jealous. This jealousy can manifest in destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture or urinating in the house. Additionally, Shih Tzus may become withdrawn and stop wanting to play if they feel ignored. If you’re considering getting a Shih Tzu, be prepared to give them plenty of love and attention to avoid potential jealousy issues.


Whether you’re considering adding a Shih Tzu to your family or are just curious about these adorable dogs, we hope this article has been helpful. Weighing the pros and cons of a Shih Tzu is important before making such an important decision, and we want to ensure you have all the information you need. So far, we’ve looked at some key points on both sides of the argument. Now it’s time for you to weigh in! What do you think? Is a Shih Tzu the right dog for your family? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share with your friends who might also be considering getting one of these furry friends.

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