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Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs: Shih Tzu Struggles

Why Shih Tzus are the worst dogs? Think again. Before you judge these pint-sized furballs, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Shih Tzus, with their adorable faces and flowing coats, might seem like the perfect pet. But hold your horses! Or should I say, hold your dogs? Before you rush to the nearest breeder, let’s dive a bit deeper into the Shih Tzu characteristics that might make them less than ideal for some people or why they’ve earned the reputation as the worst dogs.

Some people might consider Shih Tzus as less ideal due to several reasons. 

  • Shih Tzus are known for their high maintenance needs, particularly in terms of grooming due to their long, flowing coats that require daily care. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as ear infections, dental problems, and breathing issues.
  • Behaviorally, Shih Tzus can be quite stubborn, making training a challenge, and they are known to bark quite a bit, which can be disruptive. 
  • Additionally, they may not be suitable for very active individuals as they prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.
  • Lastly, they are not hypoallergenic, which can be a problem for allergy sufferers. However, it’s important to note that these characteristics don’t necessarily make Shih Tzus “the worst”, but rather, they might make them less suitable for certain lifestyles or individuals.

Overview of Shih Tzus

Origin and History

Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

The name “Shih Tzu” translates to “lion dog” in Chinese, which reflects the breed’s distinctive lion-like appearance. 

Shih Tzus hail from the mystical lands of China, where they were once prized possessions of Chinese royals. Now, they’re prized possessions of anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of dog hair on their black pants.

The Shih Tzu was brought to the Western world in the early 20th century when a few were imported from China. The breed gained popularity and was recognized by various kennel clubs and breed organizations.

Physical Characteristics

Now, let’s get to the meat of the matter. Why might Shih Tzus be the worst dogs for some people? Well, it’s not because they’re evil little creatures plotting to take over the world. It’s more about their Shih Tzu characteristics and the Shih Tzu care they require

These little furballs are small and sturdy, with a head that’s round and broad, much like a well-made burger. Their eyes are large and round, and their ears hang down, covered in a waterfall of hair. They’re basically a walking, barking hair salon (Lol).


Shih Tzus are known for their lively and alert nature. They’re like the nosy neighbor who’s always peeping out the window to see what’s going on. But despite their alertness, they’re also known for their Shih Tzu temperament which includes a dash of stubbornness and a sprinkle of noise.

Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

Now, let’s get to the meat of the matter. Why might Shih Tzus be the worst dogs for some people? Well, it’s not because they’re evil little creatures plotting to take over the world. It’s more about their Shih Tzu characteristics and the Shih Tzu care they require, which are:

Health Issues

Prone to Certain Diseases

Like a delicate flower, Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues. They’re like the hypochondriacs of the dog world. They can suffer from slipped stifle, spinal disc disease, ear infections, and early tooth loss. You might find yourself spending more time at the vet’s office than at your own office!

Behavioral Issues

Stubbornness and Training Difficulties

Shih Tzus can be as stubborn as a mule. Training them can be a challenge, and you might find yourself pulling your hair out in frustration. But don’t worry, your Shih Tzu will be there to keep you company with its own hair-pulling antics.

From the moment you try to teach them a simple command, you might feel like you’re speaking a different language. But fear not! With the right tips and strategies, you can turn this training rollercoaster into a smoother ride. It’s all about finding what motivates them (treats, anyone?) and being patient enough to outlast their stubbornness.

Dealing with Excessive Barking

Shih Tzus love to make their presence known. They’re like that person at the party who talks loudly and laughs at their own jokes. They have quite a reputation for their vocal talents. You might find yourself wondering if you accidentally adopted a miniature opera singer. Don’t panic, there’s hope.

Excessive barking can have various causes, from boredom to anxiety or just a need for attention. By understanding the reasons behind their bark-fest and using training techniques like positive reinforcement and distraction, you can help minimize their barking and maintain a harmonious household.

Socialization Challenges

Shih Tzus may struggle with making new friends and blending into social situations. It’s like they’re carrying a sign that says, “I’m adorable but a bit shy.”

Early socialization is key. By exposing them to various people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner, you can help them develop the social skills they need. So, get them out there, let them explore the world, and watch their confidence grow.

 Separation Anxiety

They might be small in size, but when it comes to missing their favorite humans, they can fill the whole neighborhood with their melodramatic howls. You leave the house for a few minutes, and they act like it’s the end of the world.

Don’t worry, there are ways to help them cope. Understanding the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety is the first step. Then, you can gradually introduce them to being alone, using calming techniques and positive reinforcement to build their confidence.

Maintenance and Care

Dietary Needs

Shih Tzus are also known for their dietary needs. They’re like that friend who’s always on a new diet. They can gain weight easily and should not be overfed. So, if you’re the type who can’t resist those puppy dog eyes begging for a treat, you might have a chubby Shih Tzu on your hands before you know it.

Grooming Needs

Shih Tzus require a lot of grooming. And by a lot, I mean you might need to quit your day job. Their long, flowing coat needs daily brushing to prevent matting, and their eyes and ears need regular cleaning. If you’re not a fan of grooming, a Shih Tzu might not be the best choice for you.

Forget about those 15-minute brushing sessions you see in commercials. We’re talking about a time-consuming routine that will have you questioning your life choices. Oh, and let’s not forget the cost. Professional grooming visits, quality grooming tools, and fancy shampoos can quickly take a toll on your wallet. So, get ready to invest in your dog’s fur more than you would in your own hair!

Not Ideal for Certain Living Situations

Not Suitable for Allergy Sufferers

If you’re prone to sneezing fits and itchy eyes, a Shih Tzu might not be the best choice for you. Despite their long hair, they’re not hypoallergenic. They’re more like a walking, barking allergen.

Not Ideal for Active Lifestyles

If you’re the type who enjoys long hikes and outdoor adventures, a Shih Tzu might not be able to keep up. They’re more of a “let’s stay in and watch Netflix” kind of dog.

So, there you have it. While Shih Tzus can be great companions, they’re not for everyone. They require a lot of care, patience, and grooming. But if you’re up for the challenge, they can also bring a lot of joy and laughter into your life. Just remember, no dog breed is perfect, and every dog deserves a loving home.

And hey, if you decide that a Shih Tzu isn’t for you, there are plenty of other Shih Tzu alternatives out there.

Alternatives to Shih Tzus

Table: Alternatives to Shih Tzus

BreedSizeTemperamentGrooming NeedsActivity Level
PoodleSmall to MediumIntelligent, ActiveHighHigh
MalteseSmallAffectionate, PlayfulHighModerate
Cavalier King Charles SpanielSmallGentle, FriendlyModerateModerate
Bichon FriseSmallCheerful, PlayfulHighModerate
Lhasa ApsoSmallIndependent, AlertHighModerate
PekingeseSmallIndependent, Good-naturedHighLow
Boston TerrierSmallFriendly, BrightLowModerate
French BulldogSmallLively, CharismaticLowLow
Cocker SpanielMediumGentle, HappyHighHigh
BeagleMediumFriendly, CuriousHighHigh

Shih Tzus and Children: Compatibility Concerns

Ah, the dynamic duo of Shih Tzus and children. While it may seem like a match made in pet heaven, there are a few things you should consider. These pint-sized pups are undeniably adorable, but their small size and fragility can pose challenges when it comes to cohabitating with little humans. Here are some points to ponder if you’re thinking of bringing a Shih Tzu into your family:

  • Potential challenges: Shih Tzus, though gentle and loving, may not be the best fit for households with very young children. Their petite stature and delicate frames make them more susceptible to accidental injuries during rough play or mishandling.
  • Size matters: Keep in mind that Shih Tzus are like tiny teddy bears, and just like you wouldn’t squeeze a teddy bear too hard, you should be gentle with these furry friends too. Teaching children to handle them with care and respect their boundaries is essential.
  • Recommendations: If you have older children who understand how to interact responsibly with pets, a Shih Tzu can make a wonderful companion. Supervision during playtime and teaching children to be gentle and considerate are key to fostering a safe and harmonious relationship.

Considerations Before Getting a Shih Tzu

Exercise Requirements and Energy Levels

Don’t let their small size fool you – Shih Tzus have exercise needs that deserve your attention. While they may have mastered the art of lounging like royalty, they still require regular physical activity to keep their bodies and minds in tip-top shape. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Energy levels: Despite their regal demeanor, Shih Tzus are not couch potatoes. They have a moderate energy level and enjoy going for walks and engaging in playtime with their humans.
  • Suggestions for physical activities: Take your furry friend for daily walks, play interactive games like fetch or hide-and-seek, or provide puzzle toys that challenge their minds. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise.

Consequences of Inadequate Exercise

Just like us humans, a lack of exercise can lead to boredom, weight gain, and behavioral issues in Shih Tzus. So, make sure to keep their bodies and minds active to prevent any unwanted mischief.

Shih Tzus and Household Compatibility

Living situations can sometimes be a challenge for Shih Tzus, whether you’re in an apartment or a house. Here are some things to consider when it comes to their compatibility with your living arrangements:

  • Apartment living: Shih Tzus can thrive in apartments, thanks to their small size and moderate exercise needs. However, keep in mind that they may bark more due to their alert nature. Training techniques and providing mental stimulation can help minimize excessive barking.
  • Potential conflicts with other pets: Introducing a Shih Tzu to your existing furry family members requires patience and proper introductions. Some Shih Tzus may have a more dominant personality and might need time to establish harmony with other pets. Gradual introductions, positive reinforcement, and supervised interactions are essential.
  • Creating a suitable environment: Ensure that your home is a safe and comfortable space for your Shih Tzu. Baby gates, hiding hazardous items, and providing cozy spots for relaxation are a few ways to create an environment where your furry friend can thrive. Read Also

The Financial Aspect of Owning a Shih Tzu

Let’s talk about the financial aspect of owning a Shih Tzu. Owning a Shih Tzu comes with its fair share of financial responsibilities. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • The costs: From quality dog food to grooming supplies, vet visits, and potential medical expenses, owning a Shih Tzu can put a dent in your wallet. Regular grooming sessions, especially for those luxurious locks, can add up too.
  • Budgeting tips: Planning ahead and budgeting for your furry friend’s needs can help ease the financial burden. Research affordable yet nutritious food options, compare prices for grooming services, and consider pet insurance to help with unexpected medical costs. Saving a few bones here and there can make a big difference in the long run.

Dietary Considerations

Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

Just like us, these little furballs need the right fuel to keep them healthy and happy. Here are a few things you should know:

Table: Shih Tzus and Dietary Considerations

Nutritional NeedsRecommended Food Ingredients
ProteinsChicken, turkey, fish
CarbohydratesSweet potatoes, brown rice
Healthy FatsSalmon oil, flaxseed
Vitamins and MineralsLeafy greens, carrots, blueberries

Dietary Restrictions and Sensitivities

While Shih Tzus may not have specific dietary restrictions, some may be more sensitive to certain ingredients. Keep an eye out for any adverse reactions, like upset tummies or itchy skin, and adjust their diet accordingly.

Shih Tzu Lifespan and Aging Care

Like all of us, these pups go through the circle of life too. Here’s the scoop:

  • Average lifespan: Shih Tzus are known to be long-living canines, with an average lifespan of around 12 to 16 years. That’s a whole lot of time for making memories and snuggles!
  • Age-related health issues: As they age, Shih Tzus may encounter some health challenges, such as dental problems, joint stiffness, or vision issues. Regular vet check-ups and early detection can help manage these issues and keep them feeling their best.
  • Proper care and support for seniors: When your furry friend enters their golden years, it’s important to provide them with extra TLC. Consider adjusting their diet to meet their changing needs, provide regular exercise tailored to their abilities, and create a cozy and comfortable environment for their well-deserved naps.

Shih Tzu as Therapy Dogs or Emotional Support Animals

You won’t believe the incredible potential of Shih Tzus as therapy dogs or emotional support animals. These fluffy wonders have a natural gift for providing comfort and companionship. Let’s dive in:

Suitability For Therapy Work 

Shih Tzus possess a special charm that makes them perfect candidates for therapy work. Their gentle and affectionate nature can bring smiles to the faces of those in need. They’re like furry rays of sunshine, spreading happiness wherever they go.

Comfort and Companionship

The mere presence of a Shih Tzu can work wonders in providing emotional support. They have an innate ability to sense when someone needs a little extra love and will gladly offer their snuggles and wagging tails. It’s like having a fluffy therapist by your side, ready to lend an ear.


It’s important to consider the challenges they present and evaluate if they align with your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re up for the task, with proper care, training, and a dash of humor, you can navigate the Shih Tzu journey like a champ. So, go forth, my friend, and make an informed decision that suits both you and your potential companion.

Frequently Asked Questions: Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

Are Shih Tzus High Maintenance?

In a word, yes. Shih Tzus are the divas of the dog world. They require regular grooming, have specific dietary needs, and can be a bit stubborn at times. But hey, who said being fabulous was easy?

Why Do Shih Tzus Bark So Much?

Shih Tzus are like the town gossip. They like to keep everyone informed about what’s going on. Whether it’s a squirrel in the yard or the mailman at the door, your Shih Tzu will make sure you’re in the know.

Are Shih Tzus Good For First-Time Dog Owners?

Shih Tzus can be a good choice for first-time dog owners, as long as you’re prepared for the grooming and training they require. They’re small, they’re cute, and they’re great at convincing you they didn’t just chew up your favorite pair of shoes.

What Are Common Health Problems In Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus can be prone to a few health issues. They’re like that friend who always seems to catch the latest bug going around. They can suffer from things like ear infections, dental problems, and breathing issues. But with regular vet check-ups and a healthy lifestyle, many of these issues can be managed.

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive?

Aggressive? Nah, Shih Tzus are more like peace-loving hippies. They’d rather chase butterflies and sniff flowers than start a fight. Just don’t mess with their treats, or you might see their sassy side.

What Are Shih Tzus Afraid of?

Shih Tzus have a few fears, just like the rest of us. Thunderstorms? They’ll hide under the blankets faster than you can say “rainy day.” And vacuum cleaners? Let’s just say they think it’s a noisy monster ready to gobble them up.

Are Shih Tzus Disobedient?

Disobedient? No, Shih Tzus just have their own interpretation of commands. It’s more like a creative dance routine, where they add their own flair and timing. Patience, treats, and a sense of humor will go a long way in training these independent thinkers.

Do Shih Tzus Get Jealous?

Jealous? Shih Tzus? Oh yes, they can turn into furry balls of jealousy when they see someone else getting attention. It’s like they have a radar for affection. Just make sure to spread the love equally, or you might end up with a pouting pooch giving you the cold shoulder.

Key Learning Points on Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

  • Shih Tzus are not for everyone: Despite their adorable appearance and friendly nature, Shih Tzus may not be the best fit for everyone due to their specific needs and characteristics.
  • Understanding Shih Tzu characteristics: Shih Tzus are small, sturdy dogs with a lively and alert temperament. They are also known for their stubbornness and can be quite noisy.
  • Health and grooming needs: Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues and require regular grooming due to their long, flowing coat.
  • Behavioral issues: Shih Tzus can be stubborn and training them can be a challenge. They also tend to bark a lot, making them less ideal for those who prefer a quieter environment.
  • Anxiety: Shih Tzus may develop separation anxiety, exhibiting signs of distress when separated from their owners. Understanding and addressing separation anxiety is essential for their emotional well-being.
  • Maintenance and care: Shih Tzus require regular grooming and specific dietary needs. They are not hypoallergenic and may not be suitable for allergy sufferers.
  • Assessing your lifestyle: Shih Tzus may not be ideal for very active individuals or those living in certain situations, such as high-rise apartments without elevators.
  • Understanding the responsibilities: Owning a Shih Tzu requires time, commitment, and financial resources. 
  • Alternatives to Shih Tzus: If a Shih Tzu doesn’t seem like the right fit, there are many other dog breeds to consider, each with their own unique characteristics.
  • Shih Tzus are not necessarily the worst: While they may have certain characteristics that make them challenging for some, Shih Tzus can also be wonderful pets for those who are prepared for the responsibilities.
  • Socialization: Socialization is important for Shih Tzus to develop good behavior and adaptability. Early and positive exposure to different people, animals, and environments can help them become well-adjusted and confident companions.
  • Cost: The financial aspect of owning a Shih Tzu should be taken into consideration, including costs for food, grooming, veterinary care, and potential medical expenses. Budgeting and planning can help ensure that you can provide for their needs comfortably.
  • Exercise: Shih Tzus have moderate exercise needs and should engage in regular physical activities to prevent boredom and maintain a healthy weight. Providing them with appropriate exercise outlets and mental stimulation is key.
  • Barking: Excessive barking is a common trait among Shih Tzus. Identifying the underlying causes, such as boredom or anxiety, and utilizing positive training methods can help curb excessive barking and maintain a peaceful environment.
  • Ultimately, the decision to own a Shih Tzu should be based on a balanced perspective. Despite their challenges, Shih Tzus can bring joy, love, and companionship to the right owner who is willing to put in the time, effort, and resources to care for them properly.

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