Opinions about the worst dogs have sparked much discussion throughout the years. Many individuals who own Shih Tzus would fiercely refute any accusations that they are anywhere near the “worst” dogs, so we have taken it upon ourselves to determine if the commonly cited reasons hold any weight.
Shih Tzus can be a challenging for some owners. They require frequent grooming, like to bark and laze around, are prone to dental, respiratory, and eye problems, and can be hard to train.
Keep reading below as we discuss these common issues in more depth.
Before scrolling down “Reasons Why Shih Tzus Are the Worst Dogs,” check out: Where to Find Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale Under $300 and $400! (2023) and Best Shampoo For A Shih Tzu – Top 7 Picks! (2023).
Is the Shih Tzus’ Reputation Justified?
Is there any truth to the Shih Tzu stereotypes? We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.
1. High Maintenance
Many consider Shih Tzus a headache mainly because they are very high maintenance. These dogs have luscious coats, which can give you a lot of fun braiding their hair and putting them in cute ponytails.
However, it also means frequent pricey cuts or grooming treatments depending on how thick their hair is.
2. Frequent Barking
Shih Tzus can also be quite a handful when it comes to their temperament. This breed barks frequently, making it potentially unsuitable for city life or those searching for a calm furry friend.
You would certainly not like to disturb your neighbors. While dealing with Shih Tzus is not always a piece of cake, this breed sure brings liveliness to a home. Some people prefer this trait because they may make excellent watchdogs.
3. Risk of Dental Issues
What’s more, owing to their smaller size in comparison to other types of dogs, Shih Tzus are substantially more susceptible to developing dental problems as a result of their little teeth pressing together in their jaws. If not properly cared for with regular brushing and annual professional cleanings, this can result in tooth decay or gum disease as they age.
4. Risk of Respiratory Issues
Shih Tzus have trouble getting enough oxygen to regulate their bodies because of their tiny stature. Respiratory distress can show up as difficulty breathing and a sudden rise in heart rate and pulse.
In serious circumstances, this is followed by a reduction in cerebral blood flow, which can cause uncertainty, instability, or loss of consciousness. You should always contact your veterinarian right away if you detect any of these symptoms.
They are also susceptible to reverse sneezing, which may be disconcerting to pet parents. When the dog’s soft palate contracts and restricts its airway, it causes a reverse sneeze.
If the dog does not receive enough oxygen, it will produce unusual snorting sounds and may faint. Fortunately, this is not a hazardous condition that would require treatment other than allowing the dog to relax until it can resume breathing properly.
5. Risk of Eye Issues
Shih Tzus are vulnerable to eye disorders due to their huge eyes in comparison to their small heads. Their eyes can get readily inflamed or infected, and they are predisposed to glaucoma or cataracts as they grow older. Shih Tzus require frequent eye exams with a veterinary ophthalmologist due to these eye issues.
6. Hard to Train
Shih Tzus, while typically clever, may be obstinate and challenging to teach. A Shih Tzu is unlikely to be ideal if you want an attentive dog who will obey every order. Without adequate training, they can also become dominant or territorial, which can escalate to violent behavior.
One of the primary motivations of Shih Tzus barking is to interact with their humans. They may yap to attract attention, request food and water, or signal that they want to go for a walk. Shih Tzus may also cry out of apprehension or simply boredom.
However, if you’re prepared to invest the time and effort necessary to properly educate your dog, you may discover that a Shih Tzu may be an excellent friend. This means you should be prepared to take them on strolls, play with them, and make them feel at ease in your house.
It is also critical to create clear limits and regulations in the home by showering your Shih Tzu with love when he is not barking as part of positive reinforcement and teaching him to stay quiet on command.
Shih Tzus are naturally house dogs. Although they like strolling and socializing outside, they are not the best companion breed for outdoor pursuits such as trekking or sprinting. These dogs, on the other hand, may be suitable for people who lead a more leisurely lifestyle and happily spend time indoors.
However, Shih Tzus are known to have bursts of energy, causing them to play and rush around the house.
Are Shih Tzus Worth It?
You might be second-guessing whether you should own a Shih Tzu. However, these dogs make cute, entertaining, loyal companions. In addition, they also possess traits that distinguish them from other breeds.
Shih Tzus are considered to be hypoallergenic, which means that they produce less dander, a common allergen for people with pet allergies. This can be a major benefit for people who are allergic to dogs but still want to have a pet.
For people with allergies, living with a pet can be challenging, as even the most seemingly insignificant amounts of dander can trigger symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. With a hypoallergenic dog like the Shih Tzu, the allergen level is significantly reduced, making it possible to live with a pet without experiencing symptoms.
Moreover, Shih Tzus are known to have a low prey drive, which means they do not have a strong instinct to chase small animals such as birds or squirrels. This can be a major benefit for pet owners who live in areas with a lot of wildlife, as it reduces the risk of the dog running off or getting into dangerous situations.
A low prey drive also means that Shih Tzus are less likely to be aggressive towards other small animals, such as cats or small dogs, making them a great choice for families with other pets. This characteristic can also be useful for Shih Tzus that are used as therapy dogs, as they are less likely to be aggressive toward other animals around them.
Will You Make A Good Shih Tzu Owner?
When thinking about bringing a Shih Tzu home, it is crucial to assess if you will be a responsible pet parent. Due to the supposed issues with this dog breed as discussed above, it is necessary to ensure that you are ready to tackle them before finalizing a decision.
For instance, you have to consider your lifestyle. Shih Tzus are a petite breed, which implies they do not necessitate a lot of space, but they do need daily exercise, frequent grooming, and loads of attention. Therefore, if you have a hectic schedule and don’t have much time to give to your dog, a Shih Tzu might not be the optimal option for you.
Similarly, you have to give thought to your training capacity. Shih Tzus need suitable training and socialization from an early age to become confident canines. This requires persistent and positive instructions, so you must be willing to invest the effort to properly train and socialize your Shih Tzu.
If you are not well-versed in dog training, you might need to acquire professional services, which can be pricey. You might also need to get comfortable with incessant barking until your Shih Tzu is fully trained.
Frequently Asked Questions
Shih Tzus can be stubborn, which makes it hard to get them to do exactly what you want.
Generally, reward-based training is ideal, so avoid yelling or punishing your Shih Tzu when it misbehaves. Negative reinforcement will likely backfire.
As companion dogs, Shih Tzus tend to be comfortable with being held.
Conclusion for “Reasons Why Shih Tzus Are the Worst Dogs”
Truth be told, Shih Tzus have amazing characteristics despite what some people may view as worrying shortcomings. It is crucial to understand that the qualities of all breeds, including Shih Tzus, are innate after thousands of years of evolution and breeding. Hence, it would be an injustice to brand Shih Tzus as the worst dog even if there are reasons to dislike them.
No dog can really be categorized as “the worst,” and an alternative way to refer to them is as dogs that require just a little extra training. Therefore, the smart way to own a Shih Tzu is to invest energy in proper training, which takes persistence, compassion, and a fundamental grasp of the dog’s requirements.
Once all is said and done, this endearing little puppy could be your new best buddy.
For more Shih Tzu-related topics, you might enjoy reading:
- Maltese vs Shih Tzu – Dog Breed Comparison! (2023)
- The 6 Best Scissors for Grooming a Shih Tzu in 2023!
- The 11 Best Dog Foods for the Shih Tzu! (2023)
Learn more by watching “5 Things You Must Never Do to Your Shih Tzu Dog” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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