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Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog: Myth Debunked


Your Dog Guide

Shih Tzus often get a bad rap for their perceived negative traits. People claim they are stubborn, aloof, and have behavior issues, making them the worst dogs to own. However, these assumptions are based on misunderstandings and misconceptions about the breed’s temperament. In reality, Shih Tzus are playful, loving, and fiercely loyal companions. They thrive on companionship and can be trained effectively with the right approach. Additionally, grooming needs and barking tendencies are not exclusive to Shih Tzus and can be managed through the proper care and training.

Key Takeaways

  • Shih Tzus are not the worst dogs, despite the negative stereotypes.
  • They are playful, affectionate, and loyal companions.
  • Proper training and socialization can address any behavior issues.
  • Grooming needs and barking tendencies are manageable with the right care.
  • Shih Tzus make excellent companions for individuals and families alike.

Understanding Shih Tzu Temperament

Despite their regal appearance, Shih Tzus have a playful and affectionate nature. They love to engage with their owners and form strong bonds. While some may perceive them as stubborn or aloof, this is often a result of misunderstanding their motivations. Shih Tzus are highly trainable and eager to please, debunking the myth that they are difficult to train or antisocial.

are shih tzu the worst dogs

Debunking Grooming Worries

While it is true that Shih Tzus have long coats that require regular grooming, this does not make them impractical for busy individuals. In fact, grooming can be turned into a bonding experience and enjoyable ritual for both the dog and the owner.

Maintaining the Shih Tzu’s Coat

Grooming rituals are an essential part of shih tzu coat care. Brushing their luscious locks not only keeps their coat free from tangles and mats but also promotes healthy circulation and enhances the bond between pet and owner. Regular brushing removes loose hair and prevents excessive shedding, making it easier to manage their gorgeous locks. When brushing, be sure to use a high-quality brush or comb suitable for their specific coat type to avoid discomfort or damage.

Bathing is another crucial aspect of shih tzu grooming. While frequent baths may strip their coat of essential oils, regular bathing is necessary to keep their skin and coat clean and healthy. It is recommended to use a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo specifically formulated for dogs to prevent irritation or dryness. Remember to dry their coat thoroughly after each bath to prevent skin infections and discomfort.

Unleash Your Creativity

“Grooming is not just a chore; it’s an art form that allows us to bring out the best in our shih tzus.”

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your shih tzu’s grooming routine. From stylish hair accessories to intricate grooming styles, the options are endless. Professional groomers can help you explore different grooming styles that suit your shih tzu’s personality and enhance their natural beauty. This allows you to express your creativity while building a stronger bond with your furry friend.

Making Grooming a Positive Experience

Grooming sessions should always be approached with a calm and patient mindset. Start grooming your shih tzu from a young age to get them accustomed to the process, making it easier as they grow older. Remember to reward them with treats, praise, and affection throughout the grooming session to reinforce positive associations. By creating a relaxing and enjoyable environment, you can turn the grooming routine into precious bonding time with your shih tzu.

  • Use gentle and soothing words to reassure your shih tzu during grooming sessions.
  • Take breaks if your shih tzu becomes anxious or overwhelmed.
  • Offer treats and rewards as positive reinforcement for good behavior.
  • Make sure to keep all grooming tools clean and well-maintained to avoid any discomfort or skin issues.

Grooming rituals contribute not only to the physical well-being of your shih tzu but also to the emotional connection you share. Embrace the grooming process as an opportunity to pamper and spoil your beloved pet, strengthening the bond between you and your shih tzu.

Addressing Barking Behavior

Shih Tzus, like any other dog breed, have the tendency to bark. However, managing Shih Tzu barking can be achieved through proper training and socialization. By teaching them when and how to express themselves vocally, Shih Tzus can become well-behaved and learn to communicate effectively without excessive barking.

One effective approach to managing Shih Tzu barking is through positive reinforcement training. This involves rewarding desired behaviors and redirecting their attention when they start barking unnecessarily. By focusing on reinforcing calm and quiet behavior, you can gradually reduce their inclination to bark excessively.

Training Techniques to Manage Shih Tzu Barking:

  • Identify the triggers: Determine what causes your Shih Tzu to bark excessively. Is it strangers passing by, other animals, or loud noises? Once you identify the triggers, you can work on desensitizing them to reduce their reaction.
  • Teach the “Quiet” command: Train your Shih Tzu to understand a command such as “Quiet” or “Enough” to indicate that it is time to stop barking. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, when they respond correctly to the command.
  • Socialize your Shih Tzu: Expose your Shih Tzu to different people, animals, and environments from an early age. This will help them become more accustomed to new experiences and less likely to bark excessively out of fear or anxiety.
  • Provide mental and physical stimulation: Boredom can often contribute to excessive barking. Ensure your Shih Tzu receives enough exercise and mental stimulation through interactive toys, puzzle games, and regular playtime.
  • Consider professional help: If your Shih Tzu’s barking persists or becomes a significant problem, seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide you with tailored strategies to address the issue.

“Barking is a natural behavior for dogs, including Shih Tzus. However, it is important to teach them appropriate ways to communicate without resorting to excessive or nuisance barking. With consistent training and reinforcement, you can effectively manage your Shih Tzu’s barking behavior and create a harmonious living environment for both you and your furry companion.” – Anna Thompson, Professional Dog Trainer

Remember that managing Shih Tzu barking requires patience, consistency, and understanding. By providing your Shih Tzu with proper training, socialization, and mental stimulation, you can help them develop good behavior habits and minimize excessive barking. Ultimately, a well-trained and well-behaved Shih Tzu will be a joy to have as a loving and loyal companion.

Challenging Stereotypes

The stereotype that Shih Tzus’ small size makes them ill-suited for families or active individuals is unfounded. These dogs are remarkably adaptable and can thrive in various living environments as long as they receive the attention and exercise they need.

Additionally, while Shih Tzus may appear delicate, they are not as fragile as they seem. Proper care and regular vet check-ups ensure their well-being. Furthermore, their loving and empathetic nature makes them excellent companions, especially for individuals in need of emotional support.

Real Stories from Shih Tzu Owners

Real owners of Shih Tzus have graciously shared their experiences, offering valuable insights and a genuine perspective on the breed. These testimonials paint a vivid picture of the joy, laughter, and unwavering love that Shih Tzus bring into their owners’ lives. From heartwarming companionship to entertaining antics, these stories showcase the unique bond shared between Shih Tzus and their human counterparts.

“Our Shih Tzu, Bella, has brought immeasurable happiness to our home. Her playful nature and constant tail wags never fail to put a smile on our faces. Bella is not just a pet; she is a cherished member of our family.”

– Sarah Thompson, Shih Tzu owner

“Training our Shih Tzu, Max, has been an incredibly rewarding experience. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, Max has learned numerous commands and tricks. It’s a testament to their intelligence and eagerness to please. Shih Tzus are indeed capable of excelling in obedience training.”

– Mark Wilson, Shih Tzu owner

These success stories emphasize that Shih Tzus can become well-behaved and obedient when provided with the right training methods and techniques. By approaching training with patience and utilizing positive reinforcement, Shih Tzu owners have witnessed remarkable progress and accomplishments in their dogs’ behavior.

Key Takeaways:

  • Real stories from Shih Tzu owners provide an accurate and heartwarming perspective on the breed.
  • Shih Tzus bring immense joy, laughter, and unconditional love into their owners’ lives.
  • Positive experiences highlight the success of Shih Tzus in obedience training when approached with patience and positive reinforcement.


In conclusion, the shih tzu misconceptions that label them as the “worst” dog breed are unfounded and based on misunderstandings and stereotypes. These unique companions possess extraordinary qualities that can enrich any household.

Shih tzus are renowned for their unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature. They thrive on forming deep bonds with their owners, providing constant companionship and emotional support. Their playful spirit brings joy and laughter to everyday life, making them wonderful additions to families, couples, or individuals seeking a loving and devoted canine companion.

By debunking the myths surrounding shih tzus and recognizing their unique qualities, we can truly appreciate the charming nature of these delightful dogs. Whether it’s their endearing expressive eyes, their soft luxurious coats, or their captivating personalities, shih tzus have a special charm that sets them apart.


Are Shih Tzus really the worst dog breed?

No, the perception that Shih Tzus are the worst dog breed is based on misconceptions and stereotypes. They have many positive traits and can be wonderful companions.

Do Shih Tzus have a stubborn and aloof temperament?

No, Shih Tzus are actually playful, affectionate, and loyal. They thrive on companionship and can be trained effectively with the right approach.

Are Shih Tzus difficult to groom?

While Shih Tzus have long coats that require regular grooming, this can be turned into a bonding experience and enjoyable ritual. With proper care, grooming is not impractical.

Do Shih Tzus bark excessively?

Like any other dog breed, Shih Tzus may bark, but this behavior can be managed through proper training and socialization. They can learn to communicate effectively without excessive barking.

Are Shih Tzus suitable for families and active individuals?

Yes, Shih Tzus are adaptable and can thrive in various living environments. They require attention and exercise, but their size should not deter families or active individuals.

Are Shih Tzus fragile?

While Shih Tzus may appear delicate, they are not as fragile as they seem. Proper care and regular vet check-ups ensure their well-being.

Do Shih Tzus make good companions?

Yes, Shih Tzus have a loving and empathetic nature that makes them excellent companions, especially for individuals in need of emotional support.

Do Shih Tzus respond well to training?

Yes, Shih Tzus can excel in obedience training when approached with patience and positive reinforcement. Numerous success stories highlight their trainability.

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