There are a lot of factors to consider when you are thinking about getting a dog. One of the most important decisions you will make is what type of dog to get.
If you are new to dog ownership, or if you want a small dog that doesn’t require a lot of exercise, then a Shih Tzu may be the perfect choice for you!
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of owning a Shih Tzu and see if a Shih Tzu is a good first dog for you.
Pros of Owning a Shih Tzu
1. Can Be Low Maintenance.
One of the great things about Shih Tzus is that they are relatively low maintenance. They don’t need a lot of exercise, and they can be content living in a small apartment or home.
This makes them ideal for first-time dog owners who may not have a lot of time to devote to their new pet.
2. Make Great Lapdogs.
If you are looking for a dog that will be happy to cuddle up with you on the couch, then a Shih Tzu is definitely the right breed for you.
These dogs love nothing more than being close to their humans, and they make great lapdogs.
3. Ideal for Small and Apartment Living Situations.
Another reason why Shih Tzus are great for first-time dog owners is that they do not require a lot of space. They are content in small homes and apartments, as long as they have plenty of love and attention from their owners.
They are typically more quiet than other breeds of dogs, so they won’t disturb your neighbors if you live in close quarters.
4. Don’t Require a Ton of Exercise.
Shih Tzus are not a high-energy breed, so they don’t require a lot of exercise. A daily walk around the block will suffice, and they can even get their exercise indoors if you don’t have access to a yard.
This makes them ideal for busy people who may not have a lot of time for long walks or trips to the dog park.
Make sure to have plenty of toys on hand at home to keep your Shih Tzu mentally stimulated, as they can become bored easily.
5. They Make Great Companions.
Above all, Shih Tzus make great companions. They are loyal, loving, and affectionate dogs that will bond closely with their owners.
If you are looking for a dog that will be your best friend, then a Shih Tzu is the perfect choice for you.
6. They Don’t Shed Too Much.
A pro to owning a Shih Tzu is that they tend not to shed a lot. Shih Tzus are a hypoallergenic breed. This is good news for people who are allergic to dogs but still want to experience the joys of pet ownership.
They do have a long coat, but with regular brushing and trimming, shedding can be kept to a minimum.
Cons of Owning a Shih Tzu
Even though there are many pros to owning a Shih Tzu, there are also some cons to consider.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you decide if a Shih Tzu is the right dog for you.
1. Grooming Can Be Expensive and Time Consuming.
One of the biggest drawbacks of owning a Shih Tzu is that they require a lot of grooming. Their long fur needs to be brushed daily, and they need to be trimmed every few weeks.
This can be expensive, and it can also take up a lot of your time. If you are not willing to commit to regular grooming, then a Shih Tzu is probably not the right dog for you.
2. Can Be Stubborn.
Shih Tzus can be quite stubborn, and they can be difficult to train. If you are not prepared to put in the time and effort to train your dog, then a Shih Tzu is probably not the right breed for you.
They require patience and consistency from their owners, and they need to know that you are the boss.
3. Can Be Difficult to Housetrain.
Being stubborn, Shih Tzus can be hard to train. It can be a challenge to get them to the stage where they sense the need to go potty and then to actually go outside.
If you live in an apartment or home with limited outdoor space, this can be even more difficult.
Be prepared to put in a lot of time and patience to get your Shih Tzu housetrained.
4. They Are Sensitive to Heat.
Shih Tzus are a toy breed, and they are not built for endurance.
They can overheat easily, so it is important to keep them cool in the summer months. Avoid taking them on long walks during the daytime heat, and make sure to provide plenty of fresh water.
5. Require High Quality Food.
Shih Tzus are a small breed, but they have big appetites. Shih Tzus also have a sensitive stomach and can be prone to digestive issues. This means that they require high quality food that is easy to digest.
Be prepared to spend a little extra on food for your Shih Tzu.
Always check with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
6. Prone to Some Health Challenges.
Like all breeds of dogs, Shih Tzus are prone to certain health problems.
Some of the most common health issues include respiratory problems, eye problems such as cataracts and knee problems.
Be sure to do your research before getting a Shih Tzu to make sure you are prepared to handle any potential health challenges that can arise.
All in all, a Shih Tzu can be a good first dog for you if you are prepared to commit to regular grooming and training. They make great companions and don’t shed too much.
However, they can be difficult to housetrain and are sensitive to heat. Be sure to do your research before getting a Shih Tzu to make sure you are prepared to handle any potential health challenges that can arise.
Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you decide if a Shih Tzu is a good first dog for you.