Are Shih Tzus Good Pets?

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Are Shih Tzus good pets? Yes, they sure are. This adorable little breed is fun-loving, loyal, friendly, and easy to please. Of course, there do come with some more difficult traits, but you really can’t go wrong with a Shih Tzu for a pet.

A Shih Tzu’s Best Qualities

Shih Tzus have a lot of good qualities and your life will be better if you share it with one or more of these cuties. 

1.They Are Affectionate

Shih Tzus love humans and they especially love their owners. All they really want to do is to be with you whether it’s watching TV at night or taking a nap on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Shih Tzus were bred to be lap dogs and to be a companion for their owner, and they are really good at doing just that. 

You can rest assured that wherever you go in the house, your Shih Tzu will follow.

2. They’re Good With Kids

Shih Tzus make good family pets because they like everyone and that includes children. It is true that when a Shih Tzu gets older, they may not like to be around children as much, but a Shih Tzu puppy or adult dog will get along with children very well.

Just be sure that your Shih Tzu puppy has plenty of socialization with kids. 

Also, it is best if your children get on the floor to play with your Shih Tzu instead of picking it up and carrying it around. 

Because Shih Tzus are a smaller dog, it is best to supervise your kids when they are playing with your dog to keep rough play to a minimum, so there are no accidental injuries to your Shih Tzu.

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3. They’re Good with Other Pets

Shih Tzus are social animals and tend to get along with almost everyone and that includes other pets. So, if you have another dog or even a cat, your Shih Tzu should end up being good friends with them.

I do have to admit that my Truman wasn’t thrilled when Sammy came to live with us. (You can learn more about them here.) Truman had been the only pet in my household for a number of years before I rescued Sammy. Truman wasn’t too thrilled to have to share attention with her. 

Not to mention, I don’t think Truman ever saw himself as a dog. In his mind, he was always a human, and he never really wanted much to do with other dogs.

It all worked out in the end. I can’t say that Sammy and Truman were ever great pals, but they get along just fine.

Truman may be the exception as he was a litter of one, so he has always been the top dog, and he sees no reason to change that or to share anything with anyone.

4. They’re Not Big Shedders

Some breeders might tell you that Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, but that’s not actually true.

What is true is that they tend to shed a lot less than other breeds. Shih Tzus have hair similar to humans instead of fur like most other dog breeds. 

They shed hair just like we do, but not nearly as much as other types of dogs. They also have an undercoat that catches a lot of the hair as it falls out.

You won’t find yourself having to clean up hair all the time and you won’t need a lint brush to get it off of you.

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5. They Don’t Bark as Much as Other Small Breeds

Don’t get me wrong, Shih Tzus do bark and some of them might bark a lot. It will depend on the specific personality of your Shih Tzu.

Even so, they don’t bark as much as some small dog breeds. You know the ones I mean that never stop yapping. 

Shih Tzus will bark mostly when someone comes to the door or if they are watching out the window and see people and other dogs.

6. They Can Live Anywhere

Because they are a small dog, a Shih Tzu is just as happy in a big house with a big yard as they are in a small apartment with no yard. 

They don’t need a large area for play or exercise, so wherever you may live, they will be more than happy to live there with you.

7. They Don’t Need a Lot of Exercise

Shih Tzus only need about a 20-minute walk per day and if that isn’t possible, some interactive play with you in the house will get the job done.

For this reason, Shih Tzus are a great option for seniors or anyone that can’t get out of the house a lot for long walks.

8. A Shih Tzu Has Never Met a Stranger

Sure, your Shih Tzu might bark at someone they don’t know, but a lot of that is just because they want to get to know them. 

It’s like my Truman. He loves only me, but he likes pretty much everyone else, and that’s true of most Shih Tzus. 

They were bred to be companions, so they are naturally friendly even with strangers. 

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A Shih Tzu’s Less Than Positive Qualities

While Shih Tzus are great dogs, they do have a couple of less than positive traits.

1.Training Your Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus tend to be stubborn and temperamental. Because of this, they can be difficult to train. This is especially true when it comes to housebreaking.

You will need to have a lot of patience and be willing to work with your Shih Tzu daily if you want them well trained and housebroken.

Even so, Shih Tzus don’t really go looking for trouble and they rarely find it.

2. Daily Grooming

Part of the Shih Tzu charm is all that hair. The downside is that if you want to keep all that hair looking nice, you have to brush them daily.

If you don’t, very quickly you will have a matted mess.

Your other option is to go with a really short cut. I do that with both Truman and Sammy. They look cute, are comfortable, and don’t need brushing every single day.

Of course, if you go the short cut route, you will need to take them to the groomers every couple of months or so.

If you’re thinking about getting a Shih Tzu, check out to rescue a Shih Tzu in need of a good home.

Related Questions:

Are Shih Tzus Easy to Train?

Unfortunately, this is one area where Shih Tzus are a bit of a problem. While they are one of the cutest dogs out there, they are also stubborn. 

You will see this stubborn trait come out when you are trying to train them. Even so, they will respond to treats and praise when training.

Also, Shih Tzus are especially difficult when it comes to housebreaking. 

Are Shih Tzus Smart?

Yes, Shih Tzus are actually very intelligent. They might get a bad rap because they are difficult to train, but it’s not because they aren’t intelligent. It is due to them being stubborn and temperamental. 

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive?

In general, not they are not aggressive. Unlike a lot of small breeds, most Shih Tzus aren’t prone to snap at strangers and are almost always happy to make a new friend.

Of course, it is important to socialize your Shih Tzu when it is a puppy, so it can get used to being around all different types of people including young children.

Do Shih Tzu Dogs Bark a Lot?

Shih Tzus do not bark as much as other small breeds in general. However, you can expect them to bark when someone is at the door or if someone is walking by your house and your Shih Tzu is looking out the window. 

It’s funny, my Truman never barked at people or other dogs as long as he was outside on his leash. If he wasn’t on his leash then he would bark at anyone who walked by or knocked on the door. 

He would even bark at someone he didn’t know who was in the house unless I picked him up. 

When we were home alone, however, he wouldn’t bark at all, and now that he is an old man, his barking days seem to be behind him. 

To Sum it All Up:

Overall, Shih Tzus are great pets and will bring a lot of joy and happiness to your life. They are smart, friendly, and a great family pet. Even so, they can be difficult to train due to their stubbornness, so be prepared for that and you and your Shih Tzu will have a wonderful relationship and your life will be fuller for having one in your home.


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s in any way. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.


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