Why Shih Tzu Are The Worst Dog? 10 Reasons (2023)

Shih Tzu - Small, Delicate, and High Maintenance Breed

When it comes to selecting a dog breed, numerous factors come into play. While certain breeds may be a perfect match for some families, others may not fit the bill.

In this article, we will explore why Shih Tzu dogs may not be the ideal choice for everyone. Despite possessing certain endearing qualities, there exist ten reasons why shih tzu are the worst dog. Let’s delve into these reasons in detail.

1. High Maintenance Coat

Shih Tzus boasts a gorgeous, long, and luxurious coat that demands meticulous grooming. Their hair grows continuously, and without proper care, it can become tangled and matted.

To maintain their coat in optimal condition, regular brushing, frequent baths, and occasional professional grooming are essential.

However, this high-maintenance routine can be both time-consuming and expensive for pet owners.

2. Prone to Health Issues

Unfortunately, Shih Tzus are prone to a range of health concerns. Their short muzzle often leads to respiratory problems, while they frequently suffer from eye-related conditions such as cataracts and dry eye syndrome.

Additionally, they are susceptible to dental issues, allergies, and joint problems. These health challenges can result in frequent visits to the veterinarian and significant medical expenses.

3. Difficulty in House Training

House training a Shih Tzu can prove to be quite a challenge. Their stubborn and independent nature makes the process frustrating. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement play pivotal roles in successfully house-training a Shih Tzu.

Achieving desirable results necessitates a significant investment of time and effort.

4. Tendency to Bark Excessively

Shih Tzus have a strong tendency to bark excessively. They are known for being alert and vocal, which can be disruptive in certain environments. Untrained and unacquainted with social norms, their barking can become a nuisance to neighbors and family members alike.

Teaching them appropriate barking behavior from an early age is crucial to curbing excessive noise.

5. Fragile and Delicate

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus are delicate creatures. Mishandling or jumping from high surfaces can easily lead to injuries. Their fragility makes them unsuitable for households with young children or larger, more energetic pets.

Extra caution and supervision are necessary to prevent accidents or unintentional harm to these tiny dogs.

6. Not Suitable for Allergies

If you or a family member suffers from allergies, a Shih Tzu may not be the best pet choice. While no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, Shih Tzus have hair rather than fur, which reduces the likelihood of triggering allergies.

Nevertheless, they still produce dander, and some individuals may experience allergic reactions in their presence.

7. Independent Nature

Shih Tzus possess an independent nature, which sets them apart from other dog breeds. Their eagerness to please is comparatively lower, making training more challenging.

Traditional methods of praise and rewards may not always motivate them. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques become paramount when training a Shih Tzu.

8. Potential Aggression

While Shih Tzus are generally friendly and affectionate, they can display aggression if not properly socialized and trained. Possessiveness over food, toys, or territory can lead to aggressive tendencies.

Early socialization and obedience training are crucial in preventing any aggression issues from developing

9. Limited Outdoor Activities

Due to their small size and delicate nature, Shih Tzus are not well-suited for strenuous outdoor activities. Long walks or intense exercise sessions are not their forte.

While regular exercise remains necessary, it should be moderated and tailored to their size and physical limitations

10. High Demand for Attention

Shih Tzus thrive on attention and can become quite demanding of their owner’s time and affection. They prefer constant companionship and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.

This high demand for attention may not be suitable for individuals with a busy lifestyle or those unable to provide continuous companionship.

Read More: Top 10 Worst Dogs to Own

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive?

They were usually viewed as sweet little lapdogs — the cuddly type of pet one might imagine on Queen Victoria’s knee. Hailing from China, they are often lapdogs to royals — historically appreciated for being friendly and pleasant creatures. However, does that mean no hostility from them?

As with any breed, Shih Tzu’s character traits are partly determined by their breeding, environment, training, and general life experiences. They are usually friendly, and gentle-natured and get along well with children, other families, and other household animals. They’re typically very playful, and outgoing, and like to join in with family fun.

Nonetheless, with any breed, you will encounter a dog that can act out of line from time to time. They may also show some level of aggressiveness toward strangers and other animals due to their small size. Also, if not socialized by a puppy, that puppy is likely to get suspicious about strangers and unknown dogs which could eventually go on to result in hostility due to its insecurity.

Another thing to consider is that they are relatively stubborn Shih Tzus. This resistance, particularly if consistent training isn’t in place, can also appear like aggressive behavior when they disobey orders or are stubborn.

Are Shih Tzus High Maintenance?

They were known for being high-maintenance, as are many Shih Tzus with their long fur coats and royal bloodline. Keeping their shimmering coats free of fur balls or mats can sometimes necessitate a professional grooming session or conscientious self-maintenance on the part of an owner. On top of that, due to their brachycephalic nature, they can have trouble breathing in hot and humid weather and therefore need extra care. 

Although they make really amazing pets because of their sociable nature, anyone thinking of owning one ought to fully prepare for this dog’s constant need for love and attention, grooming and caring for its physical appearance and overall health.

Do Shih Tzus Bark a Lot?

Inherently, this breed has the tendency of being quite active as well, with the added reputation of being rather vocal. They are not always hyper and yipping, but they will certainly tell you how they feel if they smell something wrong or need some love and affection. These factors include being under-stimulated, feeling lonely, having a desire to assert dominance, the need for an outlet for pent-up energy, and even hearing unknown noises, that can provoke excessive barking. 

Training and proper socialization from an early age can help manage and minimize excessive barking. They’d like to express themselves but potential adopters must understand why they vocalize and commit adequate time and resources into addressing the root cause.

Are Shih Tzus Stubborn?

Stubborn Streaks In shih tzus, who are renowned for their lively nature, can sometimes be difficult to train. While this quirk is adorable for many, it can cause issues when working on training sessions and creating a routine. Their independent personality paired wit intelligence can lead them to want to do things in their own time. 

But it does not suggest an unwillingness to learn or work together. You can successfully guide them with consistent training, reward-based positivity and some tolerance. To successfully overcome Shih Tzu’s reluctance, owners must go into dealing with some stubborn behavior accepting them and be able to adjust as they bond with this adorable breed.


Despite their adorable looks and charming personalities, Shih Tzus may not be the perfect choice for everyone. Their high-maintenance coat, susceptibility to health issues, house training difficulties, excessive barking, fragility, and other characteristics make them a challenging breed to own.

However, with proper care, training, and attention, Shih Tzus can still bring joy and companionship to the right owner.


Q1: Are Shih Tzus good with children?

Shih Tzus can get along well with children if they receive proper socialization and training from a young age. However, due to their delicate nature, supervision is necessary to prevent accidental injuries.

Q2: Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?

Shih Tzus has hair that continuously grows, similar to human hair. While they don’t shed like breeds with fur, their hair requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Q3: Can Shih Tzus live in apartments?

Yes, Shih Tzus can adapt well to apartment living. However, they still require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and excessive barking.

Q4: Are Shih Tzus easy to train?

Shih Tzus can be stubborn and independent, making training more challenging. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience are essential when training this breed.

Q5: Do Shih Tzus get along with other pets?

Shih Tzus can get along with other pets if properly socialized. However, their small size and fragility require supervision and careful introductions to ensure everyone’s safety.

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