Updated at: 07-08-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Are you considering bringing a Shih Tzu into your home, but wondering if they’re the right choice? Known for their adorable looks and companionable nature, these small dogs have a reputation that’s not all positive.

This article will delve into why some consider Shih Tzus as the worst dog breed due to various reasons including high-maintenance grooming needs and stubborn behavior.

Stick around to find out if this cute ball of fur is truly more trouble than its worth!

Why Shih Tzu Are The Worst Dog

Reasons Why Shih Tzu Are Considered the Worst Dog

Stubborn nature

Shih Tzus can be very stubborn. This comes from their past as dogs for the royal family in China. They were not working dogs, but companion dogs.

So they don’t always listen to commands like other dog breeds might.

Even if you tell them “no”, they might still do what they want! Training a Shih Tzu takes time, so you need to be patient with them.

Still, these cute little pets are full of love and give a lot back to their owners.

Excessive barking

Shih Tzus are known for their excessive barking, which can be frustrating for both the owners and neighbors. They have a tendency to bark at everything from people passing by to other animals.

This behavior is rooted in their protective nature and desire to alert their owners of potential threats.

However, it’s important for owners to train Shih Tzus early on to control their barking habits.

With proper training and socialization, they can learn when it is appropriate to bark and when it is not.

Although excessive barking may be a challenge with Shih Tzus, it does not mean they cannot be loving and loyal pets with the right guidance and care.

Separation anxiety

Shih Tzus can often experience separation anxiety, which means they get really upset when their owners leave them alone. This can cause them to bark excessively and even become destructive in the home.

Shih Tzus are known for being highly attached to their owners and thrive on companionship, so being left alone for long periods of time can be difficult for them.

It’s important to gradually train your Shih Tzu to feel more comfortable when you’re not around and provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied.

High-maintenance grooming needs

Shih Tzus have high-maintenance grooming needs because of their long, thick coat.

This means you’ll need to spend a lot of time brushing and combing their hair to prevent mats and tangles.

Regular trips to the groomer are also necessary to keep their fur looking neat and clean. On top of that, Shih Tzus shed quite a bit, so be prepared for some extra cleaning around the house.

Despite these grooming requirements, many pet lovers find joy in taking care of their Shih Tzu’s luxurious coat and appreciate the bond formed during grooming sessions.

Health issues

Shih Tzus can have health issues. Here are some common problems they may face:

  • Dental issues: Shih Tzus are prone to dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care is important for their overall health.
  • Allergies: These dogs can develop allergies to certain foods, environmental factors, or even flea bites. It’s essential to identify and manage any allergies they may have.
  • Eye problems: Shih Tzus are known for their large, round eyes that are prone to various eye conditions like dry eye, cataracts, and corneal ulcers. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are crucial for early detection and treatment.
  • Respiratory issues: Due to their short snouts and flat faces, Shih Tzus may experience respiratory problems like snoring, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Extreme temperatures can exacerbate these issues.
  • Joint problems: Their small size puts them at risk for joint-related conditions like patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap) and hip dysplasia. Providing proper nutrition and exercise can help minimize these risks.


Shih Tzus are generally known for their friendly and affectionate nature, but they can sometimes display aggression.

This behavior might be due to fear or insecurity, especially if they have not been properly socialized from a young age.

Some Shih Tzus may also exhibit aggression towards other dogs or strangers because of their protective instincts.

It’s important to provide them with consistent training and positive reinforcement to help manage any aggressive tendencies.

By understanding their temperament and providing them with a loving and structured environment, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu remains a happy and well-behaved companion.

Understanding Shih Tzu Temperament and Behavior

Shih Tzus have a unique temperament and behavior that you need to understand if you’re considering bringing one into your home.

These small dogs are known for being companion animals and are often called “lap dogs.” They enjoy being close to their owners and may become anxious or stressed when left alone for long periods.

Shih Tzus can be stubborn, which can make training difficult. They also tend to bark a lot, so it’s important to provide them with proper socialization and training from an early age.

Despite these challenges, Shih Tzus can be loving and loyal pets if given the right care and attention.

Challenges of Owning a Shih Tzu

Training difficulties

Shih Tzus can be challenging to train due to their stubborn nature. They may not always listen or follow commands easily, which can make the training process frustrating.

Additionally, Shih Tzus have a reputation for being difficult to potty train, requiring consistent effort and patience from owners.

Despite these training difficulties, it is important to remember that every dog is unique and with proper training techniques and consistency, Shih Tzus can still become well-behaved and obedient companions.

Cost of ownership

Shih Tzus may be small in size, but they can come with big costs. The cost of owning a Shih Tzu goes beyond the initial purchase price.

These dogs have high grooming needs, which means regular visits to the groomer or investing in grooming supplies at home.

Grooming can be quite expensive, especially considering their long and thick coat that requires special care.

On top of that, Shih Tzus are prone to health issues like dental problems and allergies, which might lead to additional vet bills.

It’s important for potential owners to consider these ongoing expenses before bringing a Shih Tzu into their home.

In addition to grooming and healthcare costs, owning a Shih Tzu also comes with other financial responsibilities. They require quality dog food and treats which can add up over time.

You will also need to provide them with toys, bedding, leashes, collars, and other necessary supplies for their comfort and well-being.

Time commitment

Taking care of a Shih Tzu requires a significant time commitment. These dogs need daily exercise, mental stimulation, and attention from their owners. They thrive on companionship and can become anxious if left alone for long periods of time.

In addition to spending quality time with your Shih Tzu, you will also need to devote time to grooming their long coat regularly.

This breed’s high-maintenance grooming needs can be time-consuming but are necessary to keep them clean and healthy.

Despite the time commitment involved, many pet lovers find the love and companionship they receive from their Shih Tzus well worth the effort.

What are the common problems Shih Tzu owners face?

Happiness factors

Shih Tzus can bring happiness to your life if you understand their needs and provide them with a loving environment. Despite their stubborn nature, they are known for being affectionate and friendly dogs.

Their small size makes them great companions for people living in apartments or homes without a lot of space. Shih Tzus thrive on attention and love to be around their owners, so they are perfect for someone who wants a dog that will always be by their side.

Additionally, these dogs have a happy temperament that can brighten up anyone’s day. With proper training and care, Shih Tzus can become joyful members of your family.

One key factor in ensuring the happiness of a Shih Tzu is regular exercise. These dogs may not need as much physical activity as larger breeds, but they still require daily walks or playtime to stay mentally and physically stimulated.

Engaging in interactive toys or games can help keep them entertained and prevent boredom or destructive behavior.

Temperament and price

Shih Tzus have a temperament that can be both charming and challenging. They are known for being stubborn, which can make training difficult. Additionally, they can be prone to separation anxiety, meaning they don’t like being left alone for long periods of time.

When it comes to price, Shih Tzus can also be on the expensive side. Their high-maintenance grooming needs and potential health issues contribute to the overall cost of owning one.

However, despite these challenges, if you’re willing to put in the effort and care for them properly, Shih Tzus can still make loving and loyal pets.

Bad traits and suitability as pets

Shih Tzus have some bad traits that make them not suitable pets for everyone. Their stubborn nature can make training difficult, and they are known to bark excessively, which can be annoying.

Additionally, Shih Tzus often suffer from separation anxiety and require a lot of grooming due to their long coat. They also have health issues like dental problems and allergies. Some people find their distinct odor unpleasant as well.

Despite these drawbacks, if you are willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and care for a Shih Tzu, they can still be loving companions.

Attachment and ability to be left alone

Shih Tzus are known for their strong attachment to their owners and can struggle with being left alone. They are companion dogs and crave constant human interaction.

When left alone for long periods, they may experience separation anxiety, leading to destructive behavior like chewing furniture or excessive barking.

Shih Tzus thrive in homes where someone is present most of the time and can give them the attention they need.

Remember that leaving a Shih Tzu alone for extended periods may not be suitable for this breed’s temperament.

Odor issues

Shih Tzus have a distinctive odor that can be a concern for some pet owners. This odor is often caused by the oils in their skin and coat, which can give off a musky smell.

While it’s important to note that not all Shih Tzus have a strong odor, some individuals may require more frequent bathing or grooming to keep them smelling fresh.

Regular brushing can help remove any trapped dirt or debris that could contribute to the smell. Additionally, proper dental care is essential as bad breath can also be a source of unpleasant odors.

Despite this potential issue, with regular grooming and proper care, Shih Tzus can still make loving and loyal pets for those who are willing to put in the effort.


In conclusion, Shih Tzus might be considered the worst dog by some people because of their stubborn natureexcessive barkingseparation anxietyhigh-maintenance grooming needs, health issues, and aggression.

However, it’s important to understand that every dog breed has its challenges. With proper training and care, Shih Tzus can still make loving and loyal pets for those who are willing to put in the effort.

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