Seven months after I got my first dog Kuya a mixed breed of Aspin (Filipino dog) and German Shepherd, was when I finally decided to get a Shih Tzu. I’m a little hesitant, considering that Kuya is a big dog (he is now 2 years old and weighs over 50 pounds). Also, I asked myself, “Do Shih Tzu and German Shepherds get along?”
From my experience, yes, they do.
You’re probably wondering,
If I already have a dog, why did I get a Shih Tzu?
Kuya is a super active and energetic dog. To be honest, I feel guilty that I’m not giving him the attention he needs. As a content writer, I spend at least 8 to 10 hours every day in front of my computer. So I figured, having a second dog will keep him company while I work.
But, I can’t have another dog as big as Kuya. I think having two large and very energetic dogs is too much for me to handle. Thus, I decided to get Bunso, a Princess-type Shih Tzu.
Do Shih Tzu and German Shepherds get along?
Yes, Shih Tzu and German Shepherds get along really well. However, this can only be possible with a proper introduction.
First, pay attention to your dog’s body language. If your dog is uncomfortable having another dog around, do not leave them unattended.
Thankfully, Kuya was excited to have a little brother/playmate around the house. When he saw Bunso for the first time, he started smelling his butt (gross, I know) and follows him everywhere.
On the other hand, Bunso is loving the attention he’s getting from his “older brother”. His previous owner told me that Bunso is very gentle with kids and other dogs. Therefore, it didn’t take long for him to adjust to his new home.
Do Shih Tzu do well with other dogs?
Shih Tzu are very loving and clingy by nature. From my experience, it didn’t take long before my dogs become comfortable with each other.
Another thing that I’m most grateful for is that my dogs never fight. They love to share everything.
Lastly, they love to alarm me if there are strangers nearby, which is kind of annoying to my neighbors because of their excessive barking. But for me, my dogs are the fluffiest, most adorable security alarm system anyone can have.
Morning walks can be a little challenging. Kuya would drag me to his favorite spot to poop, while Bunso is looking for stray dogs to fight with, think Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
Regardless, I don’t think my Shih Tzu is looking for a “fistfight”. Instead, he wanted attention from other dogs. My Shih Tzu is very playful and gentle. With his size, I’m sure other dog breeds won’t be intimidated.
How do I prepare for a second dog?
if you are considering getting another dog, here are some tips to help you decide.
1. Be ready
And by ready, I meant physically, financially, and emotionally. I allot a certain budget every month for my dog’s needs, mostly for food, vitamins, grooming, and vet services. Sometimes, I find it funny to know that I spend more on my dogs every month rather than myself.
Our dogs require playtime and exercise every day. Our day begins at waking up at 5:30 to 6 AM. Before the pandemic, I try my best to walk them every day. But now, we spend most of our mornings in our backyard, chasing birds and butterflies. This requires a lot of energy on my part. Thankfully, my dogs are always gentle with me and each other.
If you are living in an apartment with roommates, or with family members, consider talking to them first. Aside from the responsibility on your end, you have to be mindful of the people around you.
Is it okay for them to have another dog around the house? If yes, great. If not, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to get a second dog.
2. Do not leave your dogs unattended
Do not force your dogs to have an instant connection on their first day living together. Thankfully, Kuya is super excited but super gentle to have a “little brother” around, On Bunso’s first day at home, all 3 of us slept together in the bedroom. My Shih Tzu was in my arms, while Kuya is curled on my feet. Yeah, super cute.
The next day, I woke up with Kuya drooling on my cheeks, and Bunso giving me the puppy eye look saying, “mum, time to wake up.”
I understand that my experience can be different from yours.
If that’s the case, you need to warm up your dogs so they can get along. Your German Shepherd would act superior, and your Shih Tzu wouldn’t back down. If this happens, do not leave them unattended.
Always be there to supervise playtime and feeding time.
3. Avoid giving your second dog hand-me-downs
Dogs fighting over toys is chaos. Thankfully, Kuya loves to share his toys with Bunso. But again, this is not always the case. On Facebook groups, I see dog owners talking about their dog’s sudden change of attitude. Dogs can be super possessive when it comes to their toys. To avoid this conflict, make sure you have enough toys for each of them.
4. Make sure both dogs are vaccinated
Before you bring your second dog home, make sure that he/she is vaccinated. Luckily, the previous owner of Bunso is very particular in terms of vaccinations. And before he handed me my Shih Tzu, he gave me a copy of his vet records proving that Bunso is vaccinated.
Boosters are given yearly, as advised by your veterinarian. But having vaccinated pets prior to owning them will safeguard them from various illnesses. In fact, I shared a blog post about how to know if your Shih Tzu has rabies, along with tips on prevention.
Moreover, making sure that your second dog is vaccinated will give you peace of mind, knowing that your first dog will not contract any disease from your new bundle of joy.
5. Provide the same attention to both dogs
This can be tricky, especially if your first dog is the jealous type, like mine.
We wake up at around 6 to 6:30 AM, and while my coffee is brewing, I spend a few minutes cuddling them both.
My Shih Tzu is the leave-me-alone type. He hates cuddles. However, he loves to sit beside me while chewing his favorite toy.
Meanwhile, Kuya is the jealous type. He gets angry whenever he sees me paying attention to our little one. Sometimes, he would tap me on my shoulder, or rub his nose on my leg. For this, belly rubs always save the day.
Having a Shih Tzu and a German Shepherd around the house is like having children with completely opposite traits. Love them and hate them, but their different personalities bring life to my home.
If you want to get a second dog, here’s my most important tip; Try not to favor one over the other.
If you have two or more dogs, it’s hard not to have a favorite.
Luckily, my Shih Tzu is not the jealous type. If he sees me cuddling his older brother, he just shrugs and walks away.
Regardless, I can say that life is definitely better with two dogs around the house. But then again, taking care of our dogs doesn’t start and end with providing them food and shelter. Each deserves the same amount of love and attention they can only get with their beloved hoomans.
How many dogs do you have? What are they like? Let me know in the comments.