Home ReTreat

Hard Truth: Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

Shih Tzu Are The Worst Dogs Shih Tzu Sitting
People ask why Shih Tzus are the worst dogs. Is it their stubbornness, difficulty grooming, health problems or bad social skills? Our article has your answer.

Table of Contents

Of all the breeds in the canine world, the Shih Tzu stands out as one of the most popular pocket-sized companions; Adored for its charm, affection, and distinctive appearance. However, as we delve into the nuanced world of Shih Tzu ownership, it becomes evident that beneath the veneer of cuteness lies a controversial perspective on their suitability as ideal pets. The controversy of Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs revolves around challenges associated with their temperament, grooming needs, health concerns, and more. This article seeks to explore these concerns, offering a balanced perspective on why some may find Shih Tzu ownership to be less than idyllic.

To summarize the Shih Tzu Challenges and Charms:

  1. Temperamental Traits: Shih Tzus are known for their independent, somewhat stubborn nature, making training challenging.
  2. Unique Background: Bred as companion dogs for Chinese royalty, their historical role didn’t emphasize strict obedience, influencing their attitude towards training.
  3. Training Strategies: Patience, positive reinforcement, and consistency are key to overcoming training challenges. Harsh methods may lead to resistance.
  4. Socialization Considerations: Shih Tzus may have socialization challenges, particularly with other pets, children, and strangers. Early exposure and positive experiences are vital.
  5. Health Awareness: Shih Tzus have genetic predispositions to certain health issues, requiring regular veterinary check-ups, grooming, and preventive care.
  6. Individual Variation: While the breed has common characteristics, individual Shih Tzus vary in temperament and trainability. Understanding each dog’s unique personality is essential.

Shih Tzus Have A Bad Temperament And Are Stubborn

While their affectionate and friendly disposition is widely acknowledged, a subset of owners has encountered challenges in managing their inherent stubbornness. This characteristic, often attributed to the breed’s history as companions to royalty, manifests in various ways, from selective obedience to a reluctance to follow commands.

1. The Peoples Opinion: Challenging Behavior

Training Challenges: Owners commonly report challenges in training Shih Tzus, citing instances of resistance to basic commands. Stories include reluctance to follow commands such as “sit,” “stay,” or “come.”

Selective Obedience: Shih Tzus may exhibit selective obedience, choosing when to comply with commands. This behavior is often attributed to the breed’s independent nature.

Housebreaking Difficulties: Stubbornness can manifest in housebreaking challenges, with some Shih Tzus taking longer to grasp toilet training.

2. Stubbornness In Other Dog Breeds

Labrador Retrievers: Labrador Retrievers, known for their friendly disposition, can also display stubborn behavior, particularly during training. This breed’s stubbornness may arise from a strong sense of curiosity or a desire to explore their surroundings.

Border Collies: Despite being highly trainable, Border Collies may exhibit stubborn tendencies if not adequately mentally stimulated. Their intelligence and energy levels require engaging activities to prevent boredom-induced stubborn behavior.

3. Factors Contributing to Shih Tzu Stubbornness

Historical Role as Companions: Shih Tzus have a historical background as companion dogs to Chinese royalty, leading to an independent streak.This historical role contributes to their characteristic stubbornness.

Small Size and Perceived Vulnerability: Small dog breeds, including Shih Tzus, are sometimes treated with less consistent training due to their size, contributing to perceived stubbornness.

Training Techniques: Inconsistent or negative training techniques may exacerbate stubborn behavior in Shih Tzus.Positive reinforcement methods are generally more effective in managing their independent nature.

Shih Tzus Are A Nightmare To Groom

Most Shih Tzu owners dread talking about the amount of grooming required for their furry friend. The demanding grooming needs of Shih Tzus are rooted in their unique coat composition. While the breed requires consistent attention, grooming sessions can also serve as valuable bonding opportunities. While neglecting grooming can lead to potential health issues; emphasizing the importance of establishing a positive grooming routine, to ensure the well-being and aesthetic appeal of these delightful canine companions.

Shiz Tzu Nightmare Grooming

1. Regular Brushing Requirements

Double Coat Composition: Shih Tzus boast a luxurious double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer outer coat. Regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and tangling of their hair, which can lead to discomfort and skin issues.

Daily Brushing Recommendations: Grooming experts recommend daily brushing for Shih Tzus to maintain the quality of their coat. Daily sessions help remove loose hair, prevent mats, and distribute natural oils for a healthy coat.

Special Attention to Facial Hair: The breed’s facial hair, particularly around the eyes, requires special attention to prevent irritation and infection. Daily cleaning and gentle brushing of the facial area are crucial to maintain hygiene and prevent tear staining.

2. Potential Health Issues Related to Grooming Neglect:

Skin Infections: Neglecting regular grooming may lead to skin infections, especially in areas prone to moisture accumulation. Matting can trap dirt and bacteria close to the skin, increasing the risk of dermatological issues.

Risk of Parasites: Unattended grooming increases the risk of parasites, such as fleas and ticks, finding refuge in the dense coat. Parasites can lead to discomfort, itching, and potential transmission of diseases.

Impact on Overall Health: Grooming neglect can have broader implications for the Shih Tzu’s overall health. Matting can restrict movement, cause pain, and lead to behavioral changes, affecting the dog’s quality of life.

Shih Tzus Commonly Develop Significant Health Complications

Shih Tzus, like any breed, can be prone to certain health problems due to a combination of genetic factors, anatomical characteristics, and environmental influences. While Shih Tzus may have predispositions to certain health problems, responsible breeding practices, regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper grooming, and attentive care can significantly contribute to their overall health and well-being. It’s crucial for Shih Tzu owners to be aware of breed-specific health considerations and work closely with veterinarians to address any potential issues promptly.

1. Respiratory Problems:

Brachycephalic Anatomy: Shih Tzus have a brachycephalic (short-muzzled) facial structure, which can lead to respiratory challenges. The anatomy can result in issues such as snorting, snoring, and difficulty breathing, especially in hot or humid conditions.

Heat Sensitivity: Due to their flat-faced structure, Shih Tzus may struggle to regulate body temperature efficiently. Owners must be cautious in extreme weather to prevent overheating, as heat sensitivity is common in brachycephalic breeds.

Increased Risk During Anesthesia: The breed’s respiratory challenges may pose an increased risk during anesthesia, necessitating careful monitoring by veterinarians.

2. Dental Issues:

Crowded Teeth: Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues such as overcrowded or misaligned teeth. Crowded teeth can contribute to the accumulation of plaque and tartar, leading to periodontal disease.

Importance of Dental Care: Regular dental care, including brushing and providing dental chews, is crucial for Shih Tzus to maintain oral health. Dental issues can impact overall well-being and contribute to other health problems if left unaddressed.

3. Eye Problems:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is a hereditary condition affecting the retina, leading to progressive vision loss. Regular veterinary eye examinations are essential to monitor and manage PRA in Shih Tzus.

Cataracts: Shih Tzus may develop cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens, which can impair vision. Surgical intervention may be necessary in severe cases to restore vision.

Corneal Ulcers: Due to their prominent eyes, Shih Tzus are susceptible to corneal ulcers, often caused by trauma or foreign objects. Prompt veterinary attention is crucial to prevent complications and ensure proper healing.

4. Skin and Coat Issues:

Dermatitis: Shih Tzus’ long, flowing coats make them susceptible to dermatitis, inflammation of the skin. Regular grooming helps prevent matting and reduces the risk of skin irritation.

Fungal Infections: The breed may be prone to fungal infections, particularly in warm and humid conditions. Maintaining a clean and dry coat helps minimize the risk of fungal infections.

Hot Spots: Shih Tzus may develop hot spots, localized areas of inflamed and infected skin. Proper grooming, hygiene, and addressing any underlying causes are essential for prevention.

5. Orthopedic Problems:

Hip Dysplasia: Shih Tzus, like many small breeds, may be prone to hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint. Weight management and appropriate exercise contribute to joint health.

Patellar Luxation: This condition involves the dislocation of the kneecap, leading to lameness and discomfort. Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor and address patellar luxation.

6. Allergies:

Food Allergies: Shih Tzus may develop allergies to certain ingredients in their diet. Identifying and eliminating allergens from the diet can help manage food allergies.

Environmental Allergies: Pollen, dust, or certain chemicals can trigger environmental allergies in Shih Tzus. Symptoms may include itching, skin redness, or respiratory issues.

7. Ear Infections:

Floppy Ears and Infections: Shih Tzus’ floppy ears create an environment conducive to ear infections. Regular cleaning, proper drying after bathing, and avoiding excessive moisture help prevent ear infections.

8. Age-Related Conditions:

Arthritis: As Shih Tzus age, they may be susceptible to arthritis, causing joint stiffness and discomfort. Weight management, joint supplements, and appropriate exercise contribute to arthritis management.

Cognitive Dysfunction: Senior Shih Tzus may experience cognitive dysfunction, exhibiting signs of confusion or disorientation. Providing mental stimulation and a consistent routine can help manage age-related cognitive decline.

Shih Tzus Can Show Aggressive Behavior Towards Other Pets:

Shih Tzus may encounter socialization challenges due to a combination of their inherent traits, breed characteristics, and individual variations.

1. Shih Tzu’s Behavior Towards Other Pets:

Territorial Instincts: Shih Tzus may exhibit territorial instincts, potentially leading to possessiveness or protectiveness over their living space. Early socialization is crucial to help them adapt to the presence of other pets in the household.

Tendency for Dominance: Some Shih Tzus may display a tendency for dominance, especially towards other dogs. Positive reinforcement and consistent training help manage dominance behaviors and promote harmonious interactions.

Varied Responses to Other Animals: Shih Tzus’ responses to other pets can vary widely, ranging from friendly and playful to reserved or cautious. Individual temperament, early socialization experiences, and the specific dynamics of the pet environment contribute to these variations.

Need for Supervision: Due to their small size, Shih Tzus may need supervision when interacting with larger pets to ensure their safety. Gradual introductions and positive reinforcement can foster positive relationships between Shih Tzus and other animals.

2. Interaction Difficulties with Children and Strangers:

Patience and Tolerance Levels: Shih Tzus may have varying levels of patience and tolerance, influencing their interactions with children. Early exposure to well-behaved children and positive reinforcement can enhance their tolerance.

Potential for Nervousness: Shih Tzus may exhibit nervousness or anxiety, particularly in unfamiliar situations or around strangers. Consistent exposure to different environments and positive associations with strangers can help alleviate anxiety.

Training Challenges: Some Shih Tzus may pose training challenges when it comes to interacting with children or strangers. Positive reinforcement training techniques, including treats and praise, are effective in shaping desired behaviors.

Protectiveness Towards Owners: Shih Tzus can be protective of their owners, potentially leading to wariness or apprehension around strangers. Gradual introductions and positive reinforcement help them build trust with new individuals.

Early Socialization Importance: Early socialization is critical in shaping a Shih Tzu’s behavior towards children and strangers. Positive experiences during puppyhood contribute to well-adjusted adult behavior.

Shih Tzus Are Notoriously Difficult To Train

Shih Tzus are often considered difficult to train for several reasons, primarily stemming from their unique temperament and characteristics. While each dog is an individual with its own personality, the breed as a whole presents certain challenges in the training process.

1. Dissecting the Breed’s Independent Nature:

Independent Disposition: Shih Tzus are known for their independent nature, which can make training more challenging compared to breeds with a more obedient temperament. This independence is rooted in their historical role as companion dogs to Chinese royalty, where they were not required to follow strict commands.

Selective Obedience: Shih Tzus may display selective obedience, choosing when to comply with commands. This trait can be mistaken for stubbornness, but it often results from their discerning nature rather than outright defiance.

Patience and Consistency Requirements: Training a Shih Tzu requires patience and consistency, as they may take their time to understand and respond to commands. Frequent short training sessions with positive reinforcement are often more effective than extended sessions.

Positive Reinforcement Approach: Shih Tzus respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise. Harsh methods or negative reinforcement may lead to resistance or disinterest in training.

Challenges in Recall Training: Due to their independent streak, Shih Tzus may pose challenges in recall training, especially in distracting environments. A secure leash or enclosed areas are recommended during off-leash training sessions.

why are shih tzu the worst dogs with company

2. Comparative Analysis with More Trainable Breeds:

Highly Trainable Breeds: Breeds known for their high trainability, such as Border Collies or German Shepherds, often exhibit strong working and obedience instincts. These breeds are bred for tasks that require quick learning and responsiveness to commands.

Biddability and Obedience: Breeds with a high degree of biddability, such as Labrador Retrievers, are more eager to please and may readily respond to training commands. Their strong desire for human approval makes them relatively easier to train.

Task-Specific Breeds: Breeds developed for specific tasks, like herding or hunting, often demonstrate a strong innate desire to work with humans. The selective breeding for certain traits contributes to their increased trainability.

Shih Tzu’s Unique Background: Shih Tzus were primarily bred for companionship, and their historical role did not necessitate strict training. Their independent nature may differ from breeds developed for specific working tasks, impacting their responsiveness to training.

Individual Variability: While Shih Tzus, as a breed, may be considered less trainable on average, individual dogs within the breed can vary significantly in their responsiveness to training. Factors such as early socialization, consistent positive reinforcement, and the owner’s training approach play crucial roles in individual outcomes.

Adaptability and Intelligence: Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs, but their adaptability and problem-solving abilities may not align with the immediate responsiveness seen in highly trainable breeds. Training approaches that stimulate their intelligence and cater to their independent nature can yield positive results.

Sign up for our

Hottest articles direct to your inbox!

Follow us on:

Tips, Tricks and Advice to Create your own Homely Retreat

Follow us on:
Sign up for our newsletter:

Homely Retreat © Copyright 2023.