25 Reasons: Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog

Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog

Shih Tzu dogs are often described as loyal companions and affectionate pets, but let’s address the elephant in the room—this small-breed canine isn’t for everyone. As we delve into the reasons why, we’re catering to a very particular audience: those who appreciate the subtle satire of canine idiosyncrasies and understand that every dog is a hero in their own story.

If you’re considering owning a Shih Tzu or simply enjoy a spirited debate on pet preferences, welcome to a blog post that promises to be just as polarizing as your fur baby’s drool factor.

It’s About Perspective

Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog

Before we tackle the reasons, let’s remember that dog ownership is a deeply personal experience. What might be perceived as a disadvantage by one person could be the very characteristic treasured by another.

Every breed, including the fun and feisty Shih Tzu, comes with a unique set of qualities that need to align with your lifestyle, preferences, and capacity for care. So, what’s our beef with the Shih Tzu? Let’s explore these 25 aspects that some might consider ‘ruff.’

1. Genetic Predispositions

Shih Tzus is known for a laundry list of hereditary health problems, ranging from hip dysplasia to brachycephalic syndrome. These factors, which are directly influenced by the dog’s genetic makeup, often lead to discomfort and a decreased quality of life.

2. A Steep Health Bill

It’s no secret that these pint-sized pooches can lead to wallet-sized woes. Due to their propensity for health issues, Shih Tzu ownership can rack up exorbitant veterinary bills, making them one of the costlier breeds in terms of medical care.

3. Breathing Problems

Thanks to their smushed faces (a.k.a. brachycephalic faces), Shih Tzus can struggle with breathing, particularly in hot or humid conditions. So, your favorite outdoor adventures might be off limits for this little one.

4. Troubles with Teeth

Dental health is often overlooked in dogs, but not with the Shih Tzu. Their tiny mouths often mean overcrowding of teeth, making dental disease a significant risk and adding to your monthly budget for dog maintenance.

5. Eye on Eye Issues

Shih Tzus frequently experiences eye problems such as ingrown eyelashes and excessive tearing, which can lead to infection and require regular, potentially uncomfortable maintenance.

Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog

6. The Fur Conundrum

Shih Tzu’s luxurious coat is their crowning glory and a point of pride, but it also requires near-constant attention to prevent matting and skin issues.

7. High Maintenance Hairdo

Their flowing locks might give a ‘fabulously flaky’ impression, but grooming a Shih Tzu can be a time-consuming and potentially expensive affair if you’re opting for professional services.

8. Grooming to the Skin

These dogs demand regular grooming right down to the skin to keep their coats in top condition. Neglecting this could result in painful skin conditions that may require veterinary intervention.

9. Tailor-Made for Tangles

Tangles and knots in a Shih Tzu’s fur can form quickly and be tough to comb out, turning grooming sessions into battlegrounds, which aren’t pleasant for owner or pet.

10. Potty Prep

Long hair presents a unique potty problem where stool might get trapped, requiring vigilant cleaning and potentially a sanitary trim—not a task for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached.

Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog

11. Let’s Not Rush The Obedience

Shih Tzus are not known for their innate desire to please, which can mean a prolonged and potentially frustrating training period, particularly when it comes to basic commands.

12. The Housebreaking Headache

Their independent nature also translates to housebreaking difficulties, a hurdle that demands patience, consistency, and potentially a lot of carpet cleaner.

13. Barking Can’t Be Broken

Shih Tzus can also be quite vocal, barking at everything from the doorbell to the mailman, what they consider ‘their’ territory can lead to noise complaints and frayed nerves.

14. Aggression and Anxiety

This breed can also exhibit territorial and human aggressiveness if not properly socialized, and can we talk a second about those separation anxiety issues?

15. Not Just One Person’s Pup

Their one-person friendliness can result in a snub to other members of the family, making a Shih Tzu’s loyalty an exclusionary trait.

16. The Kid Conundrum

Shih Tzus might not be the best dog breed for households with small children who can overwhelm the dog’s smaller size and more delicate frame.

17. Canine Confrontation

Their territorial nature could also cause problems if you have multiple pets, as they may not take kindly to sharing their space, toys, or affection.

18. Neediness is Not Necessarily Cute

While Shih Tzu’s love to be with their humans, their constant need for human company can be overwhelming for those with busy lifestyles.

19. The Shih Tzu Dilemma in Apartment Living

Apartment dwellers need to consider their Shih Tzu’s tendency to bark and socialize noise as well as the space limitations that can affect their exercise and play needs.

20. The Lap Dog Label

Shih Tzus are often seen as lap dogs, but this label neglects their strong need for mental stimulation and physical exercise, fueling a myriad of behavioral problems if left unaddressed.

Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dog

21. Not So Sporty Sidekicks

This breed is not a runner’s best friend; their low exercise tolerance means that strenuous activities are out of the question, impacting your fitness routines and outdoor adventures.

22. Weather Woes

Their sensitivity to extreme weather means they’re not ideal for those living in areas with harsh climates. Heatstroke and frostbite are real concerns for Shih Tzus, which could curtail winter walks and summer beach days.

23. The Attention Addiction

Shih Tzus crave attention and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods, leading to destructive behavior and a high-maintenance pet policy that requires much time and effort.

24. The Torch-Bearer Tradition

Their breed’s history as a royal companion might lead them to expectation behaviors, creating an odd paradox between their regal past and their sometimes ‘ruff’ present-day behaviors.

25. The Climate of Companionship

Shih Tzus don’t appreciate solitude, requiring a constant companion to thrive, making them a potentially impractical pet for individuals with less social lifestyles.

While the list may be tongue-in-cheek, the considerations are real. Every dog lover knows that behind the breed generalizations, there’s an individual dog with a unique personality and set of needs. The key to a successful and fulfilling bond with a Shih Tzu or any dog is understanding the pros and cons, and being prepared to meet those ‘ruff’ edges with patience and care.

The best dog for you might not be the ‘best’ dog according to this list, and that’s perfectly okay. Embrace the quirks of your pet just as you love their endearing qualities. In the end, the reward of dog companionship is as unique as the bond between owner and pet, regardless of breed.


Is a Shih Tzu a good pet?

Shih Tzus can be excellent pets for the right owner. While they have their quirks, they are also affectionate, loyal, and adaptable to different living situations. Potential owners should consider their needs and prepare accordingly.

Are Shih Tzus good with kids?

Ideally, Shih Tzus should be socialized with children from an early age. They can be good family dogs, but children should be taught to handle them with care due to their small size.

Does Shih Tzus have a lot of health problems?

Shih Tzus are prone to various health issues, typically due to their breeding. From respiratory issues to eye and dental problems, they require attentive care and regular veterinary check-ups.

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