It’s really a personal decision, but I can say that it can be tough to see their cute little faces looking up at you and begging to get up and still say no. But, if you’re wondering should I let my Shih Tzu sit on the sofa, here are some pros and cons to consider before you make your decision.
Should I Let My Shih Tzu Sit on the Sofa?
This is the age-old question.
For some dog owners where they sit or sleep is where their Shih Tzus sit and sleep.
For others, they try to keep them off the sofa.
And for others, they have family members that don’t want their dog to be anywhere near the sofa, bed, or even on the carpeting.
I get it that dogs can be messy.
Trust me, I have cleaned up more than my fair share of dog pee, poop, and vomit, but honestly, if you’re not going to let your Shih Tzu be with you, then what’s the point of having one?
Even so, there are some more serious concerns about letting your Shih Tzu on the sofa or other pieces of furniture.
Falling Off the Furniture
With toy breeds or any dogs really, you have to be careful if you let them on the sofa.
If they get excited or even fall asleep, they might roll off and hurt themselves.
It doesn’t take much to break one of their little bones and that’s the last thing you want for your doggy friends.
You need to be especially careful if you have a coffee table or some other item they might hit on the way down.
Your Shih Tzu could hit their face or eye and that would be really bad.
I know that my Shih Tzu, Truman used to like to sit on the arm or even lay on top of the back of the sofa.
He liked to get as high as he could.
It wasn’t too much of an issue at the time because the sofa was against the wall, so he couldn’t fall off backward.
But, falling can be dangerous, so if you do let your Shih Tzu on the sofa or other furniture, be sure to keep a close eye on them.
Becoming Too Territorial
Dogs, and yes this does include Shih Tzus can be territorial.
This can include becoming territorial with their favorite spot on the sofa or even possessive of you.
Either way, they may bark or growl if someone else tries to sit in their spot or next to you.
This may not seem like a huge issue, but if you have guests over they might not appreciate it.
Also, while having your Shih Tzu on the sofa with you may work out fine for now, what if you have a new baby or grandbaby?
Are you going to change the rules?
This can be very difficult and your Shih Tzu might act out.
So, whatever you decide when it comes to letting your dog on the furniture, think it through all the way before coming to your final decision.
Then stick to your plan.
Letting your Shih Tzu sit with you or sleep with you one day and not the next will cause your dog stress and confusion.
Dealing With an Older Dog and Furniture
When your Shih Tzu is an adult and active and in the prime of life, they can most likely jump up on the sofa and make themselves comfortable all by themselves.
When they want to get down, they can do that as well.
But what happens when they get older?
My Truman is now 17 years old.
I have always let him up on the sofa and he would jump up and down at will.
Now, he can’t get up or down by himself.
He needs help doing both.
I don’t mind helping, of course, but it can get a little frustrating at times.
Instead of going into my living room after work and sitting down to relax and watch TV for a couple of hours, my real job begins.
Truman wants up, so I put him up.
Then he wants down, so I put him down.
This continues over and over as the night wears on.
Even worse, and much more dangerous is that he has lost his balance as he has gotten older.
He falls over quite easily.
That means when he is on the sofa if he gets up to turn around to sit back down, or even if he sneezes, he can lose his balance and go tumbling off the sofa.
It has happened a few times and he was lucky enough not to hurt himself.
Now, I have to put pillows around him so he doesn’t accidentally fall off.
You might be wondering why I don’t just make him stay on the floor.
I’ve tried that but after 17 years of being on the sofa, he is none too happy if I try to keep him off of it.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard to change the rules.
So, if you have a young Shih Tzu, think about how things might be years down the road.
Having your buddy on the furniture with you might be great right now, but years from now that could change.
It is the same with letting your Shih Tzus sleep with you on your bed.
I always did and they were fine for years, but now that Truman and Sammy, my other Shih Tzu, are older dogs, they keep me awake at night with twisting and turning and wanting up and down.
Again, it is too late to change the rules.
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How To Teach Your Shih Tzu Not to Get On the Sofa
If you decide that sofa life isn’t for you and your Shih Tzu, there are some things you can do to keep your dog off the furniture.
It is best if you start this the day you get them, but if you didn’t that’s okay too.
You can try to make it work.
First off, be sure to have a comfy bed for them in the room that you are in, such as your living room.
You’ll then want to train them to go to that bed with a command such as “go to your bed.”
They will still feel connected to you and be happy they are nearby.
It will take them some time to learn the command, but with a little practice, they will get it.
When they try to get on the sofa, pick them up put them in their bed, and use the command.
Once you have made the decision not to let your Shih Tzu on the furniture, you need to stick with it.
You can’t let them up some of the time.
This will confuse them and frustrate you.
It really needs to be an all-or-nothing situation.
You can’t let them up on some furniture and not other pieces of furniture.
They won’t know the difference and will be confused.
Finally, you shouldn’t allow them to have access to furniture when you are away.
A gated area or inside dog pen will help with this.
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To Sum it All Up:
Getting on the furniture is one of those behavior issues that might not be a big deal at all. You may want your Shih Tzu sitting next to you. I always did. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if you feel that getting up on the sofa is one of many unwanted behaviors then you need to deal with it from day one if you can.
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. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.