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7 Reasons Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dog Breed (Shocking)

Are shih tzus really that bad?

There are many dog enthusiasts who have strong negative opinions about Shih Tzus. But is it deserved?

In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why Shih Tzus are often considered the worst dog breed, and later touch on why they can still be great pets for the right person.

Here’s what people had to say about Shih Tzus, starting with the bad!

shih tzu worst dog

7 Reasons Why Shih Tzus Can Be Difficult

Let’s run through seven things that aren’t particularly favorable for many potential owners.

Does this make them the worst breed ever? Well, no! Let’s be real. Still, these things are definitely pain points for many.

1. High Maintenance Grooming

Shih Tzus are known for their long, luxurious coats, which require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangles. This breed is prone to skin issues and allergies, so proper grooming is essential to keep them healthy. Regular visits to a professional groomer can also be expensive, making Shih Tzus a high-maintenance choice for some dog owners.

2. Stubborn and Difficult to Train

Shih Tzus have a reputation for being stubborn and resistant to training, which can be frustrating for owners who expect a more obedient pet. This breed can be challenging to housebreak and may require a lot of patience and persistence. They also tend to have a strong prey drive and can be difficult to manage around smaller pets, such as cats or birds.

3. Prone to Health Issues

Like many purebred dogs, Shih Tzus are prone to certain health problems, which can lead to expensive veterinary bills and heartache for their owners. Some common health issues include hip dysplasia, eye problems like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, and dental issues due to their small mouths and crowded teeth. Shih Tzus are also brachycephalic, meaning they have a short snout, which can cause breathing difficulties and overheating in hot weather.

4. Not the Best Choice for Allergy Sufferers

Although Shih Tzus are often promoted as a hypoallergenic breed, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. Their long coats still shed and can collect allergens like pollen and dander. For those with severe allergies, a Shih Tzu might not be the best option.

5. Not Suitable for Active Lifestyles

Shih Tzus are small dogs with short legs, which means they are not built for long walks, hikes, or strenuous physical activities. They tire easily and can be prone to overheating in hot weather, so they might not be the ideal companion for those with active lifestyles. If you enjoy spending time outdoors and engaging in physical activities, a Shih Tzu might not be the best fit for you.

6. Can Develop Behavioral Issues

Shih Tzus, like many toy breeds, are prone to developing behavioral issues if not given proper structure and training. They can become overly dependent on their owners, leading to separation anxiety and other behavioral problems. Additionally, they may develop a “small dog syndrome” and become bossy, nippy, or aggressive if not properly socialized and trained.

7. Not Always the Best Choice for Families with Young Children

Shih Tzus can be great family pets, but they may not be the best choice for families with young children. Due to their small size, Shih Tzus can be easily injured by rough play or accidental falls. They also have a lower tolerance for loud noises and sudden movements, which could lead to fear or aggression towards children who don’t understand their needs.

Shih Tzus: Not the Worst, Just Unique

Despite the list of reasons some people consider Shih Tzus to be the worst dog breed, it’s important to remember that no breed is inherently “bad.”

It all comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and understanding the specific needs of the breed.

Shih Tzus can be wonderful companions for the right person, and here are some reasons why they are still great dogs:

1. Affectionate and Loving Companions

Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate nature and love for their human companions. They enjoy cuddling and spending time with their families, making them excellent lap dogs and providing emotional support to their owners.

2. Adaptable to Different Living Situations

Shih Tzus are small dogs that don’t require a large living space, making them suitable for apartments and urban living. They also adapt well to different climates, as long as they’re not exposed to extreme heat for extended periods.

3. Low Exercise Requirements

While Shih Tzus may not be the best choice for those with active lifestyles, their low exercise requirements can be a plus for those who prefer a more relaxed pace. Shih Tzus are content with short daily walks and some playtime indoors, making them a suitable choice for seniors or those with mobility issues.

Shih Tzu Running & Exercise Info

4. Unique and Attractive Appearance

Shih Tzus are known for their long, flowing coats and expressive eyes, which many people find endearing. With proper grooming, a Shih Tzu can be quite the head-turner at local dog parks and social events.

5. Good Watchdogs

While Shih Tzus may not be large or intimidating, they make good watchdogs due to their alert and curious nature. They are quick to bark at unfamiliar sights and sounds, which can be helpful in alerting their owners to potential dangers or intruders.


Shih Tzus, like all dog breeds, have their unique quirks and challenges. However, they also have many positive qualities that make them great pets for the right person.

When considering a Shih Tzu or any dog breed, it’s essential to research and understand their specific needs and whether they align with your lifestyle and expectations.

With the right care, training, and love, a Shih Tzu can become a cherished member of any family.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.