shih tzu pros and cons


Shih Tzu Pros And Cons Owners Need To Know

Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Denise Leo. Post first published on August 18, 2021.

The Shih Tzu is a popular breed among many dog-lovers worldwide, but before you bring one home, do your research and consider how this might fit into your lifestyle. Here are some Shih Tzu pros and cons we feel would be good for anyone considering bringing  them home.

Shih Tzu Pros And Cons Explained

The Shih Tzu is the perfect companion for your daily life. These small, social furry companions don’t mind going out with you and enjoying a good time! However, they do require frequent grooming to keep their luxurious coat in top condition.

Shih Tzu loves getting attention from people around him, whether it be at home or on an outing with new friends; these cuddly companions just want some playtime too. Surprisingly, the average size is about 10 pounds. However, Shih Tzu can grow up to 11 inches or as short as eight inches when fully grown and mature.

Shih Tzu Pros

Shih Tzu Cons

Excellent companions

Requires lots of grooming

Adaptable to small homes

Can be difficult to potty train

Less exercise needs.

Shih Tzu can be stubborn

Gentle with children and other pets

Moderate health issues

Low shedding dogs

Can easily gain excess weight

Pros of Shih Tzu

Here are some Shih Tzu benefits:

Excellent Companions

The Shih Tzu is perfect for families, providing a friend to love and befriend everyone in the household. While you may find a Shih Tzu in every single family situation, the breed is especially good for those who are looking for a companion. These dogs can provide companionship and love to anyone of any age or background that needs it most, making them ideal pets.

The Shih Tzu is a breed that loves to provide comfort and peace when its human companion needs it the most. The Shih Tzu can be seen as the perfect pet for those in stressful situations since they love nothing more than making their owners feel at ease with them.

That’s why It is no surprise that these pups are one of the most popular breeds for senior citizens. The calm, affectionate nature and playful temperament make them a perfect companion. They’re also ideal among families with older children who want to have some company on their walks around the block.

Adaptable to Small Homes

The Shih Tzu is the best choice for people who live in condominiums or apartments. They enjoy staying close to you and will be content with just a little attention every day, so they won’t break your peace of mind when it’s time to rest.

The world is a much quieter place when you have an intelligent, well-trained dog. You won’t hear that endless barking from them even if there are times where you might be away for work or doing shopping around town.

For some dogs, being left alone for too long can cause high levels of social anxiety. This is why it’s important to spend plenty of time with your pup before planning on a breed that likes company more than others.

If you are looking for something more than just a cute face dog, then the Shih Tzu is an excellent choice. This small dog breed typically has better manners and will rarely yap at your guests as some other toy breeds might do.

Less Exercise Needs

The Shih Tzu is the perfect option for those who need a smaller and less active dog. They are not very demanding when it comes to outdoor exercise, which makes them great companions for people with busy schedules or otherwise unable to be as active each day.

Shih Tzus are great pets with minimal needs, but they still need a whole lot of attention. They’re not called “little lions” for nothing. A balcony might be enough to keep them happy and healthy, as it gives the dog some room to roam around outside while also providing you an easy-to-clean.

Shih Tzus have an innate need for physical activity, which means if you can’t take them out there, they will want lots more opportunities and require different types than simple walks to stay mentally stimulated and physically engaged indoors.

They need a variety of toys available inside your house and outside in the yard so they can get their energy out!

Gentle with Other Pets

Shih Tzus are known to be a headstrong breed. They have been bred for centuries as companions and guard dogs, so it is not surprising that when they think they are in charge and there can’t be any compromising or changing of plans

Shih Tzus have a particular kindness that is uncommon in other breeds of dogs. They are not prone to fighting or being aggressive, and they will usually stay out of any tension between pets who might otherwise be four times their size. Even if you have cats around your house, your pup prefers playing with the cat over picking a fight with them.

They Are Not Trouble Makers

Shih Tzus are the perfect choice for those who don’t want to deal with a lot of trouble. They eagerly keep their home clean and love nothing more than being around people. They love to curl up on the couch with you after a long day and be near your side at all times (unless they’re napping).

Even if there is the occasional temptation to be slow in obeying a command, you’ll find that most Shih Tzus are easy to forgive because of their so much love for just about everyone.

Shih Tzus are small and have a regal look about them. They may be picky sometimes, but they always know their own mind when it comes to what pleases or displeases them most.

When you look at their size, they may not seem very strong. But don’t let that fool you because Shih Tzu is actually surprisingly sturdy and can be stronger than many people expect when looking into the dog’s overall build.

Shih Tzu Pros And Cons
Shih Tzu Pros And Cons

Less Shedding in The House

If you are not a fan of having to clean up dog hair at home, then the Shih Tzu is one breed that can help. These small dogs have long coats, which, if trimmed, will reduce shedding and keep your house cleaner for longer periods of time.

Shih Tzu’s are much smaller dogs that people who suffer from pet allergies might want to consider. They’re also known for their low shedding rate, so they can be perfect companions even though it won’t do anything against the fact that these cute little guys will still cause your eyesight to water up when he sheds more hair in one day than most other bigger breeds would during an entire year.

They shed less because they are smaller. You can control how much of their fur is lost with regular grooming work and brushing, but you will still want to use a sticky roller on your clothes since it’s usual for them to get some hair all over the place!

Polite with Strangers

While Shih Tzu dogs have been popular, they are not the best guard dog in the world. They have a natural kindness that prevents them from being aggressive towards strangers or other animals.

While it is true that many people assume Shih Tzus make good guard dogs due to their aggressiveness and tenacious nature, these breeds do not possess both qualities at once; therefore making them less than perfect for this role.

Shih Tzus bark joyfully at any strangers who dare approach your home–but this might be because these dogs enjoy showing off how good guard dogs they are. They bark and wag their tail when they sense someone unfamiliar but with a happy disposition instead of malice or fear.

They will often greet you with an excited bark or two before they trot up to say hello; their tails always seem to be waving about from side to side no matter what mood they’re feeling – which is usually quite jovial.

Good for New Owners

The Shih Tzu is an excellent family pet for those who have little or no experience with dogs. Its small size and playful nature make it perfect in a new environment where there are kids, other pets, and people around all the time. It has been said that “Kids love them.”

Easily Adjust in New Places

Shih Tzus are easy to please and love being taken care of. They will quickly adapt your routines without much effort at all, making them perfect for families with busy lives.

No matter how many pets or children you have in your home, these pups will adjust easily to the new environment. They are not too big and can be a little tricky for those inexperienced, but they’re perfect for those who need an animal that is too heavy to carry around.

Housebreaking these dogs can be tricky, but patience also aids with housebreaking as these dogs learn best when you’re consistent about what behaviors are appropriate inside or outside the home. If there’s an occasional accident, simply clean up accidents promptly and provide plenty of love while praising good behavior once again just afterward, so they remember why their actions were rewarded.

Lower Blood Pressure

Here’s a secret you probably didn’t know about your Shih Tzu they can lower blood pressure. According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, people who live stressful lives are much more likely to develop high blood pressure than those living less stressful lifestyles. Having pets in your home can help alleviate some stress and reduce blood pressure levels by up 10%.

Shih Tzu Pros And Cons
Shih Tzu Pros And Cons

Cons of Shih Tzu

Require Extra Grooming

The Shih Tzu is a breed of small dogs known for their long fluffy hair. They need to be brushed daily; otherwise, they get matted and tangled. Obviously, no one wants that. But in the end, it’s worth it because when you take time out every day to brush them, your life becomes much more pleasant with all those sweet little kisses from such an adorable pup.

Some grooming work can be reduced by keeping the bangs of hair away from their face and cutting it a little shorter. This will not eliminate your need to groom them entirely but may make things easier for you.

If you are not a fan of traditional brushing, the best way to keep your pup’s fur soft and manageable is by using a de-shedding glove. You can pet their coat while removing the excess hair all day long.

Difficult to Housetrain

If you want to own a Shih Tzu, then it’s important that you know how hard they can be when dealing with housetraining. Their small size and natural instincts make them difficult for some owners to potty train.

Shih Tzus are like other small breeds-they typically have smaller bladders than larger dog breeds do and hence take more frequent trips outdoors in order not to soil indoors.

Getting Shih Tzus to the point where they recognize when their bladder is full can be challenging for some owners. But there are ways around this. For one, you could always train your dog with pee pads or an indoor potty and then gradually adjust them outside over time.

Shihtzus come out with their own set of stubborn habits that may make it hard for some people to get through at all. But don’t worry trainers will teach them how to be more disciplined by being persistent enough with different methods such as use positive reinforcement or treat rewards if they’re really struggling. The process of training Shih Tzu is much more difficult than training other small dogs.

Shedding can Cause Allergies

Some people say that Shih Tzus are not hypoallergenic, but they never mention the shedding. The truth is that every breed of dog will shed at some point. This can cause issues for people who have allergies due to their fur being constantly in close contact with allergy triggers, including pollen and dust mites. These particles build upon one’s skin and make us sneeze.

Shih Tzu pups have a double coat, and each follicle has a life cycle of its own.  Eventually, this can lead the tiny hairs to stick all over your floor or end up in your carpet fibers, where they’re less noticeable than on hardwood floors.

Shih Tzu has a long hair coat that can get tangled and matted. Dogs with short coats are easier to brush, but if you decide to keep the Shih Tzu’s fur at its natural length, it is best to clip them. So the outer layer of their fur doesn’t get caught in their undercoat hairs.

shih tzu pros and cons
shih tzu pros and cons

Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

Shih Tzu has a generally very sweet nature, but sometimes they can be stubborn. They also have the potential to become manipulative with time, like some other dogs.

They are the pack leader! It’s up to you as a parent or guardian to be absolutely consistent about what you say. If they don’t know where their boundaries are, it can lead them into bad habits that will have lasting negative consequences for years.

Shih Tzu loves the food, and they can do anything in order to get the food they love. You can use the food to lure them for training. But sometimes, Shih Tzu only obeys commands when there are treats around, which can be problematic.

Shih Tzu Health Issues

The shape of the Shih Tzu’s face creates some unfortunate considerations that prospective owners will need to take into consideration before adding them as part of their family. With these little dogs having such distinct physical characteristics, it makes sense that there are certain things we should look at closely in order to keep them healthy and happy.

One of the habits that you need to change should be to stop smoking around your pet. They are more susceptible than humans with a much weaker immune system and compromised respiratory tract, which means that even small irritants can cause major damage over time.

To cut down on the number of visits to your vet, you’ll need to keep an eye out for freshly-cut grass and pollen. If Fido does not mind his manners in these areas, then it can be difficult to protect them from these problems.

They need us to help them stay cool during the hot and humid months of the year by providing plenty of indoor activities for their active little bodies. The dog can be at risk of overheating due to intense heat, so we must give them ways to feel better.

Potential Shih Tzu Health Problems Include:

  • PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Entropion
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Fold Dermatitis
  • Distichiasis and Ectopic Cilia
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease
  • Stenotic Nares
  • Hernias
  • Proptosis

Pros and Cons of Shih Tzu Conclusion

Shih Tzu dogs are small, funny-looking little things that might make you laugh when they’re running around. But there is more to these canine creatures than their silly appearance and high energy level. In fact, the pros outweigh the cons so much that it may be difficult for some people not to fall head over heels with them.

If you are considering adopting one of these adorable furballs but aren’t sure if this would be a good fit for your lifestyle or home, then this blog can help you. Our explanation of pros and cons of owning a Shih Tzu gives you all the facts. We have explored both sides of owning a Shih Tzu dog because we want you to have all the information before making any decisions.

There’s no need to rush into anything; you deserve time to think about what type of dog you want.

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Shih Tzu Information.
National Institutes of Health


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page