This canine which was once considered a sacred dog and exclusive to the Chinese nobility is one of the most beloved dogs as a pet.
Originally from Tibet, the Shih Tzu is one of the most glamorous dogs, perhaps because of its shiny and unique coat, making it a favorite in dog beauty contests and competitions.
Although it may look like the typical lap dog, do not be fooled if you are thinking of having one, you should know that it is an active, energetic dog and an excellent companion.
Although the Shih Tzu is one of the most popular breeds when it comes to small dogs, as with other breeds or any pet, there are always going to be pros and cons when deciding to have them as part of your life.
If you are thinking of including one as part of your companion, you should evaluate all the possibilities.
As a potential owner, you will be able to decide if the temperament, characteristics, and needs of this breed suit you, your environment, and if it is really what you are looking for in a doggy companion.
- Characteristics of the Shih Tzu
- 10 Pros of having a Shih Tzu.
- 1. It is a dog with a docile temperament
- 2. It is very intelligent and learns very fast
- 3. It is alert and likes activity
- 4. It adapts very well to small spaces
- 5. It is a very homely dog
- 6. It is a perfect companion
- 7. Little shedding
- 8. They do not get angry easily
- 9. High life expectancy
- 10. Little exercise
- 10 Cons of having a Shih Tzu
- 1. They demand a lot of attention
- 2. The coat requires care
- 3. It is a very independent dog
- 4. They may have respiratory problems
- 5. It shows affection when it wants to
- 6. They can be jealous
- 7. They have a big appetite
- 8. It is not a territorial dog.
- 9. They are very spoiled
- 10. Loneliness is not good for them
- Closing Points
Characteristics of the Shih Tzu
- It can be up to 27 cm tall and weigh up to 7 kg.
- The Shih Tzu is considered a small dog, with a round and wide head, covered by its rather long hair. It may give the impression that it is a “big-headed” dog, but it is not. Rather, it is quite the opposite; proportionally, its head ends up being very small concerning its body.
- Its coat is normally long and covers its eyes, it also gives the impression that it has a beard and particular whiskers.
- The Shih Tzu’s tail is long and thickly furred, usually carried on its back.
- These canines’ coats are usually smooth, although some have wavy hair. It can be of a single color or with spots, and even have areas of different colors.
10 Pros of having a Shih Tzu.
1. It is a dog with a docile temperament
Shih Tzus generally are very affectionate, cheerful, and sociable dogs.
These dogs love dealing with people; they are very playful and always full of energy.
They are usually easier to get along with than other breeds, as it is in their nature.
They have no difficulty getting along with people and even with other pets.
Besides, one of the reasons why they are the best friend of families is because they also love children.
2. It is very intelligent and learns very fast
The Shih Tzu is considered one of the most skilled dogs when it comes to participating in competitions and beauty contests.
It is a dog that learns very easily and quickly.
Besides being intelligent by nature, you will not have to give it instructions so many times for it to understand what you are telling him.
3. It is alert and likes activity
Shih Tzu dogs are full of energy, so you will always have activities to do with them.
Ideally, try to have a good schedule so you can keep up with it, although it doesn’t need to be exercising constantly, you can take advantage of their full potential.
4. It adapts very well to small spaces
They are dogs that can be very quiet, especially if they are receiving constant attention.
You will hear them bark very little as long as you give them the necessary attention and affection.
5. It is a very homely dog
Once it adapts to its space, the Shih Tzu is a dog that will love to be at home.
It is the kind of pet that loves to have its own space, its bed, its accessories.
It is a dog that will enjoy a walk in the park but will also be happy to be at home.
6. It is a perfect companion
If you have elderly people at home or with some disability, then this dog can be ideal to accompany you, since it does not measure his love towards others.
His or Her company will become a perfect friendship for anyone who may need them.
It can even be recommended for those who live with constant stress or anxiety, this dog can help them find some peace of mind.
7. Little shedding
Usually, small breed dogs are number one when it comes to shedding hair everywhere, however, in the case of the Shih Tzu is not so.
They are one of those dogs that don’t shed as much hair as long as you comb them frequently.
I would recommend you to have with you one of those special brushes to pick up the little hairs that they may shed on the sofa or your clothes.
8. They do not get angry easily
The Shih Tzu is an extremely friendly dog, it will hardly get angry or have episodes of rabies.
It usually coexists peacefully and is friendly with other pets and your children without any problem.
9. High life expectancy
Shih Tzu dogs can live between 10 and 18 years, especially if they receive the proper care and feeding.
It is a dog that can accompany you during a good stage of your life.
10. Little exercise
Although it is a very active dog, cheerful and full of energy.
You do not need to keep doing constant exercise with them.
You can be satisfied with a short walk to the park or throwing a ball, you don’t need to dedicate hours to an exercise session like larger breed dogs.
10 Cons of having a Shih Tzu
1. They demand a lot of attention
The Shih Tzu is a very clingy dog. It will always demand all the attention it can get, it will follow you wherever you go when you are at home.
If you don’t give it the necessary time or attention, it could develop anxiety and think that you will leave it alone every time you go out to work or have something to do outside the house.
2. The coat requires care
Shih Tzus have long hair and if you want to take care of it so that it always looks straight and shiny, it requires regular visits to the groomer to have it washed and cut.
You don’t want to neglect their coat, as it can get tangled, full of knots, and end up being painful for them to cut, wash or comb.
The ideal is to brush them weekly to keep their coat in order.
3. It is a very independent dog
Despite being a very intelligent dog, it could be said that obedience and the Shih Tzu do not go hand in hand, they are very independent dogs, and even if you give it an order, it might not obey it just because it already has an idea of what it wants.
This does not mean that it is a defiant dog, it is simply stubborn.
4. They may have respiratory problems
Although these dogs are very healthy and their breed does not carry hereditary diseases, having a flat nose and a small head, they can have problems breathing well.
Perhaps this is one of the biggest drawbacks of owning a Shih Tzu, normally a very healthy dog, a Shih Tzu has a short face and bulging eyes.
This makes this dog prone to respiratory problems as the nasal passage is also small.
It can also make for a restless sleep sometimes, as our Shih Tzu after a long day is prone to snoring!
In addition, their bulging eyes can easily become infected. But with good care, you can prevent this.
5. It shows affection when it wants to
Although the Shih Tzu is affectionate, sociable, and full of love, they can behave like cats and only show their affection when they want to. They are stubborn dogs, so if they don’t feel like giving you love, they simply won’t do it unless they want attention.
6. They can be jealous
Although it is a docile temperament dog and has no problem with sharing attention with other pets and children, it will not hesitate to be jealous if it is not getting all the attention it needs.
They may even become angry if small children steal their space.
Don’t worry though, an angry Shih Tzu can be quite funny and it’s nothing dangerous at all.
They will just try to steal your attention back from whatever is currently your primary focus.
7. They have a big appetite
If you are thinking of having a Shih Tzu at home, be prepared to maintain a good diet for them, as they love to eat.
They are dogs that have a voracious appetite and will eat everything you give them.
You should consult with your trusted veterinarian so that it has a diet that does not make it put on too much weight, especially if you do not have much time to take it out to exercise.
8. It is not a territorial dog.
Although it is a home dog that loves space and home, it does not count as a guard dog that would be willing to protect its territory.
It may not even be interested when someone new is at home, but it will depend a lot on how you decide to raise and educate him.
9. They are very spoiled
Because of their size and their fun and playful personality, the Shih Tzu can develop the “small dog syndrome” very easily.
That is to say, they become extremely spoiled pets to the point that they may think they are the bosses of the house and behave as such.
10. Loneliness is not good for them
If you are going out of the house or to work, you should make sure that the dog has everything it needs around it so it does not feel alone.
You can leave the radio or TV on so it can listen to something while you are not at home.
Your Shih Tzu can show signs of depression if it spends many hours without company.
This was one of the main reasons why we purchased a second Shih Tzu to keep our first Shih Tzu company whilst we were at work and it has been very happy ever since.
So this is something certainly to consider if you’re able to afford it.
Although we have managed to find ten cons about owning a Shih Tzu, it was a real struggle!
If you speak with any Shih Tzu, they will only tell you about the positives of owning this adorable and intelligent dog.
We forgot to add one con though, and that is you might end up buying another friend for your Shih Tzu; I know that we certainly did!
Read More Shih Tzu Advice Articles: