When it comes to companion dogs, shih tzus belong to one of the popular breed choices. They are loyal, loving, affectionate, gentle and playful, not to forget they are cuddly and cute. Originally from Tibet, they are also called Chrysanthemum dogs and little lion dogs.
But like any other breed, Shih Tzus are not for everyone. If you are planning to adopt or buy one for you or your kids, it’s best to learn more about the personality and traits of this lap dog before making a decision. It’s true, when you see pure-bred shih tzus with their long hair neatly comb and shiny, they are simply lovely to look at. But taking care of dogs entails responsibilities. To help you make up your mind, here are the pros and cons of owning a shih tzu.
What’s there to like about shih tzus?
They are gentle and affectionate.
While shih tzus may look arrogant, they are, in truth, gentle and loving to their owners. They can be around kids and are not uncomfortable with strangers. That said, you can bring your dogs to a friend’s house even with children around and not be worried of scaring, let alone, harming the kids. Moreover, they are affectionate to their owners. If you leave your shih tzu in the house, he or she will not be coy to express how much you’ve been missed.
They need minimal exercise.
Since they are belong to the small breed, they do not need too much exercise unlike if you have a large breed like a Doberman or a Golden Retriever. Taking them for a walk does not require much time. So, if you are the type who is not into running, your shih tzu can be a great companion in the park. Also, you need not have a big yard for your dog to run around since he or she can get tired easily.
They are easy to adapt to their new homes.
Another lovable trait of shih tzus is that they do not really have their eyes only on the person who takes care of them. They easily blend in with other people in the house and can easily adjust in their new homes. These traits make them great family pets.
They come in many shapes and colors
Shih tzus come in an amazing array of coat colors for you to choose from. As a matter of fact, it is very unlikely to find two Shih Tzus with the similar coat color and pattern. Shih tzu coat colors can be a combination of one, two or three different colors.
What are the challenges of owning a shih tzu?
They have small heads.
Perhaps, one of the drawbacks of having a shih tzu at home has something to do with their health. Albeit this breed can be relatively healthy, a shih has a short face and bulgy eyes. These features make this dog prone to respiratory problems since the nasal passage is also small. Moreover, their protruding eyes can easily get scratched and infected.
They require grooming.
Shih tzus have long hair and they require regular visits to the pet groomer for shampooing and trimming. There are plenty of Shihtzu haircuts that you can choose from, if neglected, their hair can get entangled and result to matting. Daily brushing is also needed if you want to keep their long hair.
They are stubborn.
This breed is loyal and loving but they can also be stubborn.
Shih tzus make good pets and will remain loyal companions but taking care of them can be challenging. If you think you have what it takes to make a shih tzu happy and healthy, expect a rewarding experience of having this breed in the house.