10 Reasons Not To Get A Shih Tzu

Considering adding a furry friend to your family? While Shih Tzus are undeniably adorable and have captured the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide, there are essential factors to contemplate before bringing one into your home. In this guide, we delve into the intricacies of owning a Shih Tzu, shedding light on ten compelling reasons why this breed might not be the perfect fit for everyone.

From grooming demands to health concerns, training challenges to socialization needs, and more, we aim to provide prospective dog owners with a well-rounded understanding of what to expect when considering a Shih Tzu as a companion.

By exploring these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet the unique needs of this beloved breed.


10 Reasons Not To Get A Shih Tzu

Before delving into the intricacies of why a Shih Tzu might not be the ideal choice for every dog owner, it’s essential to acknowledge that every breed comes with its own set of characteristics and considerations. While Shih Tzus are undoubtedly charming and loving companions, it’s crucial to assess whether their particular needs align with your lifestyle and preferences. With that in mind, let’s explore ten reasons why getting a Shih Tzu might not be the best decision for everyone.


1. Grooming Requirements

Shih Tzus has a luxurious double coat that requires regular maintenance to prevent matting and tangling. Their long, flowing hair needs daily brushing to keep it free from knots, which can be time-consuming and require commitment.

Additionally, their facial hair tends to grow continuously, which means frequent trimming around the eyes and mouth is necessary to prevent irritation and hygiene issues.

For individuals with busy schedules or those who are not prepared to devote significant time and effort to grooming, a Shih Tzu may not be the most suitable choice of pet.

Failure to properly groom a Shih Tzu can lead to discomfort for the dog and potential health problems, making it essential for prospective owners to thoroughly consider their ability to meet these demands before bringing one into their household.


2. Health Concerns

While Shih Tzus are generally known for their friendly demeanor and affectionate nature, potential owners should be aware of several health concerns associated with this breed.

Shih Tzus are prone to various genetic health issues, including brachycephalic syndrome due to their flat faces, which can lead to respiratory problems and difficulty regulating body temperature, especially in hot weather.

They are also susceptible to eye problems such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal ulcers due to their large, protruding eyes.

Additionally, their compact size makes them prone to dental issues such as overcrowded teeth and gum disease if proper dental care is not provided.

Moreover, their long, floppy ears are susceptible to infections if not kept clean and dry.

While Shih Tzus can make wonderful companions, potential owners should be prepared for the potential health challenges associated with the breed and be ready to provide the necessary care and attention to ensure their well-being.


3. Training Challenges

Prospective dog owners should carefully consider the training challenges associated with owning a Shih Tzu before deciding to bring one into their home.

While Shih Tzus are intelligent and affectionate companions, they can also exhibit a stubborn streak, making training a potentially challenging endeavor.

Their independent nature and tendency to be easily distracted can make consistent obedience training a lengthy process.

Additionally, Shih Tzus may be prone to small dog syndrome if not properly trained and socialized from an early age, leading to behaviors such as excessive barking, guarding, and even aggression towards other animals or people.

Their sensitive temperament requires a gentle yet firm approach to training, which may not be suitable for novice dog owners or those with limited time to dedicate to training sessions.

Therefore, individuals considering a Shih Tzu as a pet should be prepared to invest significant time, patience, and consistency in their training efforts to ensure a well-behaved and balanced companion.


4. Exercise Needs

While Shih Tzus are small in size and often considered suitable for apartment living, they still require regular physical activity to maintain their health and well-being.

However, due to their relatively low energy levels and brachycephalic (short-nosed) anatomy, Shih Tzus may not require as much exercise as some other breeds.

This can lead to a misconception that they are low-maintenance in terms of exercise needs. However, lack of sufficient exercise can contribute to obesity and other health issues.

Additionally, Shih Tzus may have a tendency to be more sedentary and enjoy lounging indoors, which means owners may need to actively engage them in play and short walks to ensure they get the necessary exercise.

Potential owners should be prepared to commit to providing regular, albeit moderate, exercise opportunities for their Shih Tzu to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.


5. Potential for Barking

While Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and loyal nature, they can also be quite vocal. These dogs may bark to express their excitement, and alertness, or as a response to external stimuli such as other animals, unfamiliar noises, or perceived threats.

Furthermore, Shih Tzus is known to develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods, which can exacerbate barking behavior.

Their tendency to bark excessively can be problematic, particularly in apartment or shared living situations where noise levels must be kept to a minimum.

Potential owners should be prepared to invest time and effort in training and socialization to teach their Shih Tzu appropriate barking behavior and to address any excessive vocalization tendencies.

Additionally, providing mental and physical stimulation, along with positive reinforcement training techniques, can help mitigate barking issues in Shih Tzus.


6. Sensitive Temperament

While these dogs are known for their affectionate and loving nature, they can also be quite sensitive to changes in their environment and the emotions of their owners.

Shih Tzus thrives on companionship and may become anxious or stressed when left alone for extended periods.

Additionally, they may be sensitive to loud noises, harsh reprimands, or abrupt changes in routine, which can lead to behavioral issues such as excessive barking or withdrawal.

This sensitivity requires a gentle and patient approach to training and socialization to build their confidence and trust.

Potential owners should be prepared to provide a stable and nurturing environment for their Shih Tzu, as well as devote time and attention to their emotional well-being to ensure they thrive as happy and well-adjusted companions.


7. Separation Anxiety

Prospective dog owners should be aware of the potential for separation anxiety when considering whether to get a Shih Tzu.

These affectionate and loyal dogs form strong bonds with their owners and can become deeply attached, leading to distress when left alone for extended periods.

Shih Tzus are known to suffer from separation anxiety, exhibiting behaviors such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, and inappropriate elimination when they feel abandoned or isolated.

This can pose challenges for individuals who have busy schedules or need to leave their dogs alone for significant portions of the day.

Addressing separation anxiety in Shih Tzus requires patience, consistency, and gradual desensitization to being alone.

Potential owners should be prepared to invest time and effort in training and providing appropriate mental stimulation to help alleviate separation anxiety and ensure the well-being of their Shih Tzu companion.


8. Socialization Needs

Prospective dog owners should carefully consider the socialization needs of a Shih Tzu before deciding to bring one into their home.

While Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and loving nature, they may also exhibit shyness or wariness around unfamiliar people, animals, or situations if not properly socialized from a young age.

Early and consistent socialization is crucial to help Shih Tzus develop into well-adjusted and confident companions.

Without adequate socialization, Shih Tzus may become anxious or reactive in new environments, leading to behaviors such as excessive barking, hiding, or even aggression.

Additionally, Shih Tzus may not always get along with other pets if not properly introduced and socialized, which can pose challenges for households with existing animals.

Potential owners should be prepared to dedicate time and effort to exposing their Shih Tzu to a variety of experiences, people, and animals in a positive and controlled manner to ensure they grow into sociable and well-behaved companions.


9. Expense

Prospective dog owners should carefully consider the expenses associated with owning a Shih Tzu before deciding to bring one into their home.

While these dogs are often beloved for their affectionate demeanor and charming personality, they come with significant financial responsibilities.

The initial cost of purchasing or adopting a Shih Tzu puppy can range from $200 to $2,400, depending on factors such as pedigree, breeder reputation, and location.

Additionally, annual veterinary care for routine check-ups, vaccinations, and potential health issues can amount to $500 to $850.

Necessary supplies such as a crate, leash, collar, and toys can add another $195 to $740 to the yearly expenses.

Grooming, which is essential for Shih Tzus due to its long, flowing coat, can range from $35 to $720 annually, depending on whether professional grooming services are utilized.

Training costs, including obedience classes or private sessions, can range from $120 to $825 per year. Finally, food expenses for a Shih Tzu can amount to $160 to $360 annually, depending on the quality and type of food chosen.

When considering these expenses, the total annual costs can range from $1,210 to $3,495, making it crucial for potential owners to budget carefully and ensure they can afford the ongoing care and maintenance required to provide a happy and healthy life for their Shih Tzu companion.


10. Time Commitment

Prospective dog owners should carefully consider the time commitment required before deciding to get a Shih Tzu. While these dogs are often adored for their affectionate nature and cute appearance, they demand a considerable amount of time and attention.

Shih Tzus thrives on companionship and requires regular interaction and engagement with their owners to prevent boredom and loneliness.

Additionally, Shih Tzus have specific grooming needs that necessitate consistent maintenance, including daily brushing to prevent matting and regular trimming of their facial hair and nails.

Moreover, Shih Tzus require daily exercise to maintain their health and well-being, although they may not need as much physical activity as larger breeds.

Potential owners should be prepared to dedicate significant time to grooming, training, exercise, and companionship to ensure the happiness and fulfillment of their Shih Tzu companion.

Failure to meet these time commitments can result in behavioral issues, health problems, and a diminished quality of life for the dog.

Therefore, individuals with busy schedules or limited time may need to reconsider whether a Shih Tzu is the right choice for them.


Key Takeaways

In conclusion, while Shih Tzus are undoubtedly adorable and affectionate companions, it’s vital for prospective dog owners to carefully consider whether this breed is the right fit for their lifestyle, preferences, and capabilities.

From grooming requirements to potential health concerns, training challenges, and more, the decision to bring a Shih Tzu into your home should be based on a thorough understanding of the responsibilities and commitments involved.

By weighing the ten reasons presented in this guide and evaluating your ability to meet the needs of a Shih Tzu, you can make an informed decision that ensures a fulfilling and harmonious relationship between you and your canine companion.

Whether you ultimately choose to welcome a Shih Tzu into your family or opt for a different breed, the most crucial aspect is providing a loving and nurturing environment where your furry friend can thrive and bring joy to your life for years to come.


10 Reasons Not To Get A Shih Tzu: FAQ


Q.1 Are Shih Tzus good with children?

Shih Tzus can be great family pets and often get along well with children. However, it’s essential to supervise interactions between young children and Shih Tzus due to the dog’s small size and delicate nature. Additionally, early socialization and training can help ensure that both the dog and children understand appropriate behavior and boundaries.


Q.2 Does Shih Tzus shed a lot?

While Shih Tzus have a long, flowing coat, they are considered to be low-shedding dogs. However, their hair continues to grow, much like human hair, so regular grooming is necessary to prevent matting and tangling. Some Shih Tzus may require professional grooming every 4-6 weeks to keep their coat in good condition.


Q.3 Can Shih Tzus be left alone for long periods?

Shih Tzus are known for their companionable nature and can experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. It’s best to gradually accustom them to being alone for short periods and provide plenty of mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys or interactive games, to keep them occupied when you’re away.


Q.4 Does Shih Tzus have any special dietary requirements?

While Shih Tzus don’t have any specific dietary restrictions, they may benefit from a high-quality diet formulated for small breeds. Owners should be mindful of their dog’s calorie intake to prevent obesity, as Shih Tzus can be prone to weight gain. Additionally, some Shih Tzus may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients, so it’s essential to monitor their reactions to different foods and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.


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