What Makes Shih Tzu’s Happy?

Picture this: you come home after a long day, feeling exhausted and a tad bit stressed.

As you open the door, you’re greeted by a little ball of fluffy joy, wagging its tail with sheer enthusiasm. Instantly, your worries melt away, and a smile spreads across your face.

Ah, the magic of a happy Shih Tzu!

These pint-sized bundles of happiness have a way of brightening up our lives like no other. But have you ever wondered, amidst all those tail wags and adorable antics, truly, what makes Shih Tzu’s happy?

Well, today we’re going to delve into the delightful world of Shih Tzu’s and unlock the secrets that will keep those tails wagging non-stop!

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1. Walking and Jogging

The simple pleasure of a walk in the park!

For our furry friends, Shih Tzu’s included, walking and jogging aren’t just mundane tasks; they’re exhilarating adventures that bring them joy.

Walking and jogging not only keep our canine companions physically fit but also provide them with essential mental stimulation.

As your Shih Tzu trots alongside you, their senses come alive, exploring the scents, sights, and sounds of the world around them.

Regular walks and jogs also offer a myriad of health benefits for Shih Tzu’s and dogs in general.

Did you know that walking is a fantastic cardiovascular workout? It gets those little hearts pumping, keeping them healthy and strong. And let’s not forget about their bones.

Every step your Shih Tzu takes helps them build and maintain sturdy bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis (yes, even in dogs!).

2. Puzzle Toys

Who says puzzles are just for humans? Shih Tzu’s have a knack for problem-solving too!

Puzzle toys are like a canine version of brain teasers, providing endless entertainment and mental stimulation for our furry friends.

They’re designed to challenge your Shih Tzu’s mind and keep them engaged.

These toys often require your furry friend to manipulate different parts, uncover hidden treats, or solve puzzles to access a reward. It’s like a treasure hunt, stimulating their cognitive abilities and channeling their inner Sherlock Holmes!

For beginners, interactive treat balls or puzzle feeders with compartments that release treats as they explore can provide hours of fun.

As your Shih Tzu masters the art of puzzle-solving, you can level up to more challenging toys like sliding puzzles, treat-dispensing cubes, or puzzle boards with varying difficulty levels.

3. Nose Work and Scent Games

While Shih Tzu may not be renowned for their exceptional sense of smell—they’re actually among the breeds with the worst sense of smell, that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy nose work and scent games.

These engaging activities tap into their innate curiosity and provide mental stimulation.

One exciting game you can try is the “Scent Trail,” where you create a trail of scented items or treats for your Shih Tzu to follow and discover their prize.

The best part? You can easily create scent games at home! With a few treats and a touch of creativity, you can ignite your Shih Tzu’s inquisitive nature and provide them with hours of entertainment.

4. Playdates With Other Dogs

Shih Tzu’s are known for their amicable nature and their ability to get along well with other dogs. Connecting with fellow canine companions helps fulfill their social needs and boosts their overall well-being.

That’s why arranging playdates with furry friends can bring a wagging extravaganza of happiness to your Shih Tzu’s life.

Just remember to consider their size and safety during these delightful encounters to create a safe play environment for your Shih Tzu.

Grab that leash, reach out to fellow dog owners, and watch the magic unfold as your Shih Tzu frolics and bonds with their four-legged pals!

5. Quality Time with the Owner

All dogs, including Shih Tzu’s, thrive on the love and attention of their owners. Spending quality time together creates a deep bond and brings immeasurable joy to their wagging hearts.

As a devoted Shih Tzu owner, making time for your furry friend is key to their happiness.

Allocate a special part of your day for walks, play sessions, or simply snuggling up together.

This dedicated time not only provides physical exercise but also nurtures the emotional connection between you and your Shih Tzu.

Regular interaction and undivided attention make them feel secure, loved, and truly cherished.

6. Regular Exercise

Shih Tzu’s may be small in size, but don’t let that fool you. These pint-sized pups are bursting with energy and zest for life!

Regular exercise is key to keeping them happy and balanced. To ensure their wagging tails never stop, aim for at least one hour of exercise per day, divided into two or three outings.

Engaging in physical activities not only helps Shih Tzu’s burn off excess energy but also keeps them mentally stimulated.

Whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a game of fetch in the backyard, or a fun outing to the park, these outings provide an outlet for their high energy levels, leaving them content and satisfied.

So, put on those walking shoes, grab their favorite toys, and embark on daily adventures with your lively Shih Tzu!

7. Cuddling

The typical Shih Tzu is an attentive and affectionate companion, always ready to shower their human family members with love.

They’re often referred to as lap dogs and for a good reason! These furry charmers can’t resist cozying up next to their favorite humans, making cuddling their go-to activity.

You’ll often find them following their owners around the house, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to jump into a lap or snuggle up on a pair of feet.

It’s in these moments of closeness that their contented sighs and wagging tails truly shine.

8. Water and Pools!

When it comes to water play, some Shih Tzu’s are all in!

While not all Shih Tzu’s are fans of water, many of them don’t mind splashing around in shallow pools.

If you’re looking for a paw-some way to keep your Shih Tzu cool and entertained, consider setting up a kiddie pool in your backyard.

However, it’s important to remember that not all Shih Tzu’s have a natural affinity for water.

Gauge your furry friend’s reaction to water to see if they enjoy it.

You should also keep in mind that Shih Tzu’s may not have the stamina for long swimming sessions, so a kiddie pool is often sufficient for their water adventures.

It’s the perfect size to let them dip their paws, playfully splash around, and cool off during hot summer days.

So, grab that pool, fill it with just enough water, and watch your Shih Tzu’s water-loving spirit come to life!

9. Sleeping

Ah, the joy of a good nap! Shih Tzu’s know the secret to true happiness lies in ample sleep and relaxation.

These little furballs are experts in the art of snoozing, needing an average of 12-14 hours of sleep each day to recharge their batteries and keep their tails wagging.

If you find your Shih Tzu sulking around or lacking their usual zest, it’s time to evaluate their sleep routine.

Ensuring they have a comfortable and quiet sleeping space, free from distractions, can make all the difference.

Providing them with cozy beds or blankets can also enhance their sleep experience and contribute to their overall happiness.

10. Playing Fetch or Chasing a Ball

Most dogs have an innate love for the classic game of fetch, and Shih Tzu’s are no exception!

This timeless game is not only easy to set up but also promises endless fun and excitement. All you need is a ball or any object for your Shih Tzu to chase and retrieve.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that Shih Tzu’s often have respiratory problems due to the unique shape of their head, face, and airways.

To ensure their safety and well-being, it’s best to keep fetch sessions at shorter distances, avoiding prolonged running or strenuous exercise.

With a little adjustment, you can still enjoy the thrill of fetch while keeping your Shih Tzu happy, engaged, and breathing comfortably.

11. Chew Toys

Shih Tzu’s have an inherent love for chew toys, and luckily, they’re readily available and easy to get.

Providing chew toys is one of the easiest ways to make a Shih Tzu happy, as it taps into their natural instinct to chew and gnaw.

Not only do chew toys bring joy to your Shih Tzu, but they also promote healthy teeth and gums.

The act of chewing helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, keeping their dental health in tip-top shape.

So, stock up on a variety of chew toys, from rubber bones to plush squeakers, and watch your Shih Tzu’s eyes light up with delight.

Give them an outlet for their chewing tendencies and keep those pearly whites sparkling.

12. Treats

Like all dogs, Shih Tzu’s have a special place in their hearts for treats.

These delectable goodies become not only a source of delight but also a valuable tool for training, games, and rewards after a successful exercise session.

To keep the treats healthy, you can opt for natural alternatives.

Consider using small pieces of fruits and vegetables like blueberries, bite-sized broccoli, apple chunks, or strawberry slices.

Not only are these options delicious, but they also provide nutrients for your Shih Tzu.

Whether you’re engaging in scent games, playing fetch, or simply want to spoil your furry friend, reach for those tasty treats.

Witness their eyes light up with anticipation, tail wagging furiously, as they savor the flavorful rewards.

13. Treasure Hunts

Shih Tzu’s are no strangers to the excitement of searching for hidden treasures.

Creating a treasure hunt at home or in the backyard is a fantastic way to engage their curious minds and make them happy.

You can easily set up a treasure hunt by hiding scented items or treats around the designated area.

Use their keen sense of smell to guide them toward the hidden gems. Scent-training your Shih Tzu can enhance their smelling sense and add an extra layer of excitement to the game.

Remember to consider their limited running capacity and keep the treasure hunt within a confined area.

You don’t want your dog breathing heavily after the friendly game.

14. Regular Brushing

Shih Tzu’s adore the ritual of regular grooming, as it brings them a sense of relaxation akin to a soothing massage.

Beyond the indulgence, though, regular brushing is essential for their high-maintenance double coat.

Daily brushing helps prevent matting and tangling, keeping their outer coat in pristine condition.

Grab a soft brush or comb and gently run it through their luxurious coat, detangling and maintaining its lustrous beauty.

Through regular grooming, you’ll not only keep your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy but also strengthen the special connection you share.

15. Tummy Massage

A tummy massage is one of the most delightful ways to make your Shih Tzu happy and strengthen the bond between you. By gently rubbing their tummy, you create a moment of intimate connection that can bring sheer joy to your furry friend.

When massaging their tummy, maintain eye contact with your Shih Tzu. This simple act deepens the trust and affection between you, creating a profound sense of closeness.

As you provide this soothing touch, watch their contentment unfold, their tail wagging with pure bliss!

Make tummy massages a regular part of your quality time together.

Through this act of love and connection, you’ll create a harmonious bond that will make your Shih Tzu truly happy and cherished.


From daily walks and engaging activities to cuddling sessions and treasure hunts, the keys to a Shih Tzu’s joy are within your grasp.

Most of my suggestions are easy to get or carry out.

You can create a simple treasure hunt in your house or install a kiddie pool in your backyard, whatever works best for you.

Remember, a happy Shih Tzu will be ready to shower you with unconditional love and endless cuddles!

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