The Shih Tzu Can Be the Best or Worst Dog You Bring Into Your Home — Here's Why

Kori Williams - Author

Jun. 5 2023, Published 12:51 p.m. ET

A small Shih Tzu in front of a dog bowl.
Source: Getty Images

If you like small dog breeds, you may have considered bringing a Shih Tzu home. These mighty yet tiny pups have cute fur and big eyes that can draw you in. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. Plenty of people think Shih Tzu are the worst dogs you could have. Here are the pros and cons of the breed so you can make the best decision for yourself, your home, and your family.

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Why do some people think Shih Tzu are the worst dogs?

One of the simpler reasons is that some people just don't like small dogs. They can have yappy barks that can be rough on your ears. And because they are so small, it can be difficult for them to reach certain places if they are too high. Although, for many people that second reason may actually be a reason they like tiny pups.

A man holding a Shih Tzu while sitting on the floor.
Source: Getty Images
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In addition, some people don't like small dogs because of the health issues they can develop. According to Healthy Paws Health Insurance, this includes common problems like Intervertebral Disk Disease, when the cushion between the vertebrae pushes into the spinal cord and Hypoglycemia which is an acute drop in blood sugar.

Particularly for dogs with short snouts (which also tend to be a feature in small dogs including Shih Tzu), Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is common. This is a condition where a dog is born with compressed airways making it more difficult for them to breathe. And this could get even worse if the dog is overweight.

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What are some reasons that people like Shih Tzu?

For one, some people really do like short dogs. That typically means they make great lap dogs thanks to their size and you don't have to take them for long walks since their legs can only go so far at one time.

On top of that, Hill's Pet Nutrition states that Shih Tzu have upbeat personalities and can make great family dogs since they tend to like people of all ages. Plus, they can easily become your best friends since they love attention.

Kids holding a shih tzu on an outdoor swing.
Source: Getty Images
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In addition to that, Rover points out that the Shih Tzu is a loyal companion who has a beautiful coat. If you're looking for a dog to snuggle up with that has hair long enough to decorate, this could be the breed for you. And despite having such long hair, they don't tend to shed much at all so you don't have to clean up behind them often.

If you're looking to bring a Shih Tzu into your home, keep in mind that adoption is a much better option than buying a dog from a puppy mill or breeder. Shelters are already so full of dogs that millions of them are euthanized every year because of the lack of space. Getting a dog from a breeder doesn't lessen this burden on the organizations currently in place to take care of the pups without homes.

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