4 Major Perspectives Why Shih Tzu Are The Worst Dogs

Shih Tzus the worst dog breed

For many dog owners contemplating a Shih Tzu, headlines claiming they are “yappy” or “high maintenance” give pause. Are these toy breeds truly deserving of their mixed reputation? Why shih tzu are the worst dog? As an experienced pet writer, I understand the desire for balanced information over anecdotes when making such an important choice.

This article explores the reality of Shih Tzu temperament and care from a place of research rather than bias. Through interviews with veterinary behaviorists and long-time owners, we’ll separate fact from fiction around these dogs’ typical behaviors. You’ll learn what to reasonably expect in terms of barking, house training challenges, and other potentially stressful traits.

Just as importantly, guidance is provided for setting new Shih Tzu adopters up for success. Proper socialization and training techniques can help curb many “problem” behaviors commonly attributed to the breed. The strong human-canine bond Shih Tzus thrive on is well within reach of dedicated owners equipped with the right knowledge.

By the end, you’ll have an accurate sense of both the demands and rewards that come with Shih Tzu ownership. My aim is to empower informed choices, not stoke debate, through a balanced presentation of perspectives from all sides. Let’s explore further.

The controversy surrounding their reputation

Much debate surrounds the Shih Tzu’s reputation as a barking busybody unsuited for modern homes. As an experienced pet writer, separating fact from fallacy is pivotal for empowering prospective owners.

While their historical background and size lend to natural alertness, behavioral studies show profound individual difference based largely on early experience under ownership’s guidance.

Decisive socialization redirected potential stress-cues, transforming these attentive dogs into quiet, trust-reliant companions for countless families. Experts acknowledge genetic predispositions but assert lifelong environmental influences matter greatly, with commitment to training building confidence over compounding nerves.

Transparency reveals while watchfulness comes naturally, outcomes depend on each home’s nurturing, validating many find quality parenthood minimizes reputed issues.

Various perspectives on why some people consider Shih Tzu dogs to be the worst breed.

One view cites their potentially vocal nature exacerbated by small size and heritage guarding alarms. However, studies show individual variation and success greatly relies on supportive early ownership experiences. Others feel this watchful tendency licenses constant noise, irrespective of environmental training’s influence. Yet balanced research indicates genetics merely lay a foundation which nurturing guidance builds confidently upon.

Some point to an assumption of pampered delicacy from their refined adornment in royal courts. But millions attest with care, these resilient companions thrive on engagement like all dogs. A minority even allege poor health or difficult temperaments, though data shows long lifespans and reward-based relationships enhance welfare for responsible owners.

The 4 Major Perspectives Why Shih Tzu Are The Worst Dogs

Why shih tzu are the worst dogs

Why shih tzu are the worst dogs

Perspective 1: High Maintenance Requirements

When delving deeper into any breed, examining their needs brings practical insights. Regarding Shih Tzus, Perspective 1 contemplates their maintenance requirements.

A. Grooming/costs:

With their long, silky coats, Shih Tzus demand regular brushing to distribute natural oils and prevent matting. Professional trims are also needed several times yearly. However, many owners find brushing bonding activities that strengthen relationships at a cost of only $50-75 quarterly with preventative care.

B. Health issues:

Their flat faces pose minor increased risks for dry eye and respiratory allergies without proper veterinary guidance. But committeed guardians report that monthly eye washes and limited fragrance exposure helps control such manageable conditions.

C. Training/socialization:

Puppies require 30 minutes daily of positive reinforcement housebreaking and exposure to new persons/locales to offset any ancestral alarms. Yet enthusiasts agree such quality time yields well-adjusted adult companions and has lifelong rewards much like raising respectful children.

In summary, while vigilant maintenance, most owners testify these benefits far outweigh nominal costs and dedication for a beloved family member’s quality of life and friendship for over a decade.

Perspective 2: Prone to Behavioral Issues

When exploring a breed further, taking a thoughtful look at potential behavioral tendencies provides valuable insight. Regarding Perspective 2’s concerns over Shih Tzus:

A. Separation anxiety/clinginess:

Due to their history as lap companions, some Shih Tzus grow quite attached to their humans. Guardians leaving them alone for long periods while away at work could result in distress barking or destructive behaviors stemming from loneliness and unease. However, with positive crate training and desensitization exercises from an early age, many dogs acclimate well to short absence periods.

B. Stubbornness challenging training:

As intelligent self-thinkers, Shih Tzus may occasionally resist direction in lessons if an owner lacks patience or uses abrasive methods counter to their sensitive nature. Yet experienced trainers assert that consistency, positive reinforcement and playful sessions make them highly food-motivated to learn despite any independent streak.

C. Territorial/possessive tendencies:

Some note the potential for guarding behaviors towards strangers approaching their property or toys/food if not properly socialized. But early exposure to varied people/situations under supervision and reward of calmness can help them welcome guests graciously into their home without issue.

Overall, with guidance, natural behaviors emerge able to be harmoniously managed within most homes.

Perspective 3: Fragility and Health Concerns

Let me thoughtfully consider Perspective 3 regarding fragility and health worries for Shih Tzus:

A. Small size/injuries:

At only 9 inches tall, Shih Tzus are certainly delicate. However, safety precautions like gated rooms helps avoid accidents for both humans and dogs. Many owners find their nimbleness and flexibility aids burrowing into laps to escape mishaps too.

B. Potential health issues:

As with smaller breeds generally, conditions like irregular dental alignment (due to miniature mouths) and kneecap dislocations pose more risk. But loyal guardians appreciate catching issues early with regular checkups minimizes disruption.

C. Medical costs:

Specialized surgeries could carry higher price tags than for larger dogs. While an unexpected cost, most note pet insurance offsets substantial costs, just as responsible vehicle owners budget for care. Owners also appreciate the emotional support these beloved canines provide, enriching lives in ways money cannot measure.

In summary, proactive health maintenance and preventative steps like limiting jumps and early socialization reduces risks for an attentive family. Healthier dogs also mean fewer costly visits, maximizing time together, the true reward.

Perspective 4: Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

When considering any breed’s suitability, assessing family dynamics holds importance. Regarding Shih Tzus under Perspective 4, let’s examine companionship prospects:

A. Interactions with children:

Being delicate, untrained Shih Tzus could dislike enthusiastic hugs from toddlers. However, regular supervised exposure from puppyhood secures their comfort in a household. Many families also find their patience ideal for teaching kids respect.

B. Compatibility with other pets:

Some note they get along best as only dogs due to inborn alarms, but most acclimate well to stable resident cats/canines through socialization. New visitors require introductions with positive results.

C. Individual personalities:

Just as in larger dogs and people, personality variances occur – some prefer solitude while others adore company. With discernment and compassion towards each dog’s unique nature, guardians find fulfilling roles for them all.

With time and tolerance, Shih Tzus often prove a contented part of multi-species families. But preparedness remains key to keep all family members happy and stress-free.

Within any discussion, balance arises from understanding all viewpoints. Let’s explore positive counters to concerns regarding Shih Tzus:

A. Positive qualities:

Millions attest their loving, playful natures lift spirits through unconditional affection. As social as they are petite, their delighting antics bring daily joy.

B. Responsible breeding/training:

Reputable, care-focused breeders minimizes hereditary issues when matched to educated families. Knowledgeable guidance also redirects natural behaviors constructively through proper socialization regimen.

C. Individual circumstances:

As with all breeds and people, experiences vary dramatically depending on commitment level and personal proclivities. A sedentary neighbor rightly finds needs daunting while an active veteran testifies how mutual dedication mends trauma for man and dog alike.

As with parenting any pup, success stems from secure bonds of responsibility, wisdom and care on both human and canine ends. An open-minded review honors lived realities, and how under conscientious guardianship, Shih Tzus thrive rewardingly as esteemed companions.


While many find Shih Tzus rewarding companions, it’s important to acknowledge the viewpoints that lead some to question their suitability. As the most vocal critics argue in labeling them the worst dog breed, Shih Tzus require:

  1. Significant grooming care that not all are willing/able to provide regularly.
  2. Advanced training and socialization that potentially exceeds some owners’ commitment levels.
  3. Around-the-clock attention that may be incompatible with busy schedules without separation anxiety challenges.
  4. Higher risks of health issues that could prove financially burdensome without preventative veterinary guidance.

So for guardians unprepared to meet these demands through the lifetime of a Shih Tzu, valid frustrations could emerge that reinforce this potentially hyperbolic label.

However, many experts and proponents counter that with guidance, natural behaviors are harmoniously managed for most homes. Responsible breeding also mitigates genetic health concerns.

Overall, while not denying genuine trouble cases require rehoming, a balanced perspective acknowledges that both merits and challenges exist within any breed depending greatly on individual circumstances.