Addressing Misconceptions: Why Are Shih Tzus the Worst Dogs?

As a professional copywriting journalist, I want to dispel the common misconceptions surrounding Shih Tzus and their reputation as the worst dogs. There are numerous unfounded beliefs that have contributed to this false notion, including behavior problems, temperament issues, training challenges, health concerns, grooming difficulties, aggression problems, barking habits, stubbornness, and separation anxiety.

However, these misconceptions do not tell the whole story about Shih Tzus. In this article, we will explore each of these issues in depth and provide useful insights into the real nature of these beloved companion dogs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shih Tzus are often misunderstood and misjudged as the worst dogs.
  • Common misconceptions about Shih Tzus include behavior problems, temperament issues, training challenges, health concerns, grooming difficulties, aggression problems, barking habits, stubbornness, and separation anxiety.
  • By addressing these misconceptions, we can better understand and appreciate the true nature of Shih Tzus.

Debunking Behavior Problems

First and foremost, let me address the misconception that Shih Tzus are the worst dogs due to their behavior problems. While it is true that some Shih Tzus may exhibit problematic behavior, it is not a universal trait that defines the entire breed.

One of the most common behavior problems among Shih Tzus is excessive barking. This can be attributed to their protective nature and tendency to want to alert their owners to potential threats or changes in their environment. With proper training and socialization, however, this behavior can be managed and diminished.

Another behavior problem that Shih Tzus may exhibit is separation anxiety. This is often seen in dogs that have been separated from their owners for extended periods, causing them to become stressed and anxious. Providing them with appropriate toys, treats, and a comfortable place to rest can help alleviate these symptoms.

Shih Tzus may also develop negative behaviors such as biting, digging, and destructive chewing. These behaviors can be addressed through consistent training, exercise, and positive reinforcement techniques. It is important to address these behaviors early on to prevent them from becoming ingrained habits.

In conclusion, Shih Tzu behavior problems are not a defining characteristic of the breed. With adequate training, socialization, and attention, these issues can be managed effectively.

Understanding Temperament Issues

Shih Tzus have a reputation for being difficult in terms of temperament, but this is not entirely accurate. Like any dog breed, Shih Tzus can have unique personalities and behaviors that arise from their individual experiences. However, it is important to note that their temperament is not inherently problematic.

Shih Tzus are known for being loyal and affectionate towards their owners and are typically great with children. They are social animals that enjoy spending time with their families and can be quite playful. It is essential to nurture their social skills so that they can interact positively with other dogs and humans.

However, Shih Tzus may display negative temperament issues if not trained and socialized properly. For instance, they can develop separation anxiety if not accustomed to being left alone, causing them to become destructive or anxious. Similarly, they can become overly protective of their owners and become snappy or aggressive around strangers, if not socialized properly.

Shih Tzu owners should take the time to train and socialize their dogs effectively to prevent negative temperament issues from arising. Positive reinforcement training techniques like clicker training and obedience training can be especially useful in nurturing their positive behaviors.

Overcoming Training Challenges

As a Shih Tzu owner, I know firsthand that training these dogs can be a challenge. However, with patience and persistence, it is possible to build a strong bond with them and overcome Shih Tzu training challenges.

One of the most significant challenges Shih Tzu owners face is their dogs’ stubbornness. These dogs have strong personalities and can be resistant to instruction. Still, this doesn’t mean that they cannot be trained.

The key to overcoming Shih Tzu training challenges is to focus on positive reinforcement. Shih Tzus respond well to praise and rewards, so it’s essential to use these to your advantage. When training your Shih Tzu, make sure to provide plenty of treats when they do something correctly. This will help reinforce positive behavior and motivate your dog to continue learning.

Another effective strategy for overcoming Shih Tzu training challenges is to keep training sessions short and consistent. Shih Tzus have relatively short attention spans, so it’s crucial to keep sessions brief and to the point. Repeating commands and practicing training exercises regularly will help reinforce the lesson and help your dog retain what they have learned.

Lastly, it’s essential to remain patient and persistent when training a Shih Tzu. These dogs can take longer to learn new commands than other breeds, but with patience and consistent training, they can become well-behaved and obedient companions.

Overcoming Shih Tzu training challenges may seem daunting, but it is essential to approach training with a positive attitude and a willingness to build a strong relationship with your pet.

Addressing Health Concerns

Like any other breed, Shih Tzus may have certain health concerns to be aware of. However, these concerns do not make them the worst dogs. As a responsible owner, you should be aware of the potential issues and work with your veterinarian to maintain your Shih Tzu’s health.

A common health issue in Shih Tzus is their respiratory system. Due to their short snouts, they may be prone to breathing difficulties, especially in hot or humid conditions. As such, it is essential to keep your Shih Tzu well-ventilated, hydrated, and never leave them in hot cars or unventilated areas.

Another issue is their sensitive digestive system. They may be prone to vomiting or diarrhea if fed an inappropriate diet or table scraps. It is best to stick to high-quality, easily digestible dog food and avoid feeding them human food. Also, be sure to keep them well-hydrated, as dehydration can lead to health complications.

Shih Tzus can also suffer from skin allergies, leading to itching, rashes, and hot spots. To lessen the chances of these issues, always keep your Shih Tzu clean and well-groomed. Regular visits to the groomer can help keep their coat healthy and free of mats, which can lead to skin irritations.

Finally, kidney disease is another potential health concern in Shih Tzus. This condition is often hereditary and may require lifelong management. Early detection and treatment can help manage the condition and improve the quality of life for your furry friend.

Overall, it is important to maintain regular vet checkups and provide your Shih Tzu with proper nutrition, grooming, and care to mitigate any potential health concerns.

Managing Grooming Difficulties

Shih Tzus are adored for their luxurious coats, but grooming them can be time-consuming and challenging. However, this does not make them the worst dogs. In fact, with the right approach, grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience between you and your furry friend.

One of the most essential grooming tasks for Shih Tzus is brushing their long, silky fur. Regular brushing helps prevent matting and tangling, which can be uncomfortable for your dog. It also helps distribute natural oils to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Consider investing in a high-quality brush that can effectively detangle their hair without causing pain or discomfort.

Another important aspect of Shih Tzu grooming is bathing. While Shih Tzus do not need frequent bathing, it is important to keep them clean and fresh-smelling. When bathing your Shih Tzu, use a gentle shampoo designed specifically for dogs and avoid getting water or soap in their eyes and ears.

Trimming your Shih Tzu’s nails is also crucial to their health and well-being. Long nails can cause discomfort, and if left untrimmed, can curl under and pierce their paw pads. It is best to use sharp and high-quality nail clippers designed specifically for dogs.

Finally, maintaining oral hygiene is essential for your Shih Tzu’s overall health. Regular teeth cleaning helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Consider using a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically made for dogs and establish a regular dental care routine.

By following these grooming tips and techniques, you can manage grooming difficulties and help your Shih Tzu look and feel their best. Remember, grooming should be a positive experience for both you and your furry friend, so take your time and make it enjoyable!

Addressing Aggression Problems

One common misconception about Shih Tzus is that they are an inherently aggressive breed. However, this is not entirely true. While some Shih Tzus may exhibit aggressive behavior, it is typically due to a lack of proper socialization and training rather than inherent aggression.

It is essential to understand the causes of aggression in your Shih Tzu to address the problem effectively. Some causes of aggression may include fear, territorial behavior, or possessiveness. As a Shih Tzu owner, it is crucial to monitor your dog’s behavior closely and identify any triggers that may cause aggression.

Fortunately, there are many ways to manage and reduce aggression in Shih Tzus. Socialization is key in exposing your dog to different people and situations, allowing them to learn appropriate behavior. Consistent training and positive reinforcement can also go a long way in curbing aggressive behavior. Working with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can also be helpful in managing aggression in Shih Tzus.

It is crucial to remember that any dog can exhibit aggressive behavior, and it is not specific to Shih Tzus. By providing proper care, attention, and training to your Shih Tzu, you can help them overcome any aggression problems they may have and foster a happy and healthy relationship with your furry companion.

Understanding Barking Habits

Shih Tzus have a reputation for barking, which can be a concern for some owners. However, it is essential to understand the reasons behind their barking habits to effectively manage them.

One common reason for barking is to express their emotions or needs, such as hunger, thirst, or the need to go outside. Shih Tzus may also bark to alert their owners of potential threats or strangers.

Training can also play a crucial role in managing barking behavior. Teaching your Shih Tzu to “speak” and “quiet” on command can help establish control and reduce excessive barking.

It is also important to note that some barking is natural behavior for dogs, and it may not be possible to completely eliminate it. However, with patience, consistency, and understanding, you can effectively manage your Shih Tzu’s barking habits.

Nurturing Through Stubbornness

One common misconception about Shih Tzus is that they are stubborn dogs. While it is true that they can be obstinate at times, this trait does not make them bad dogs. In fact, with proper training and communication, Shih Tzus can learn to follow commands and be well-behaved companions.

When it comes to training a stubborn Shih Tzu, patience is key. It may take longer to teach them certain behaviors, but with consistency and positive reinforcement, they can learn to obey commands and be more responsive to their owner’s wishes.

It’s important to understand that stubbornness in Shih Tzus can sometimes stem from fear or anxiety. If they feel uncomfortable or uncertain in a particular situation, they may resist commands or become difficult to manage. In these cases, it’s essential to provide a calm and reassuring environment and offer plenty of positive reinforcement and encouragement.

Another effective strategy for nurturing a stubborn Shih Tzu is to establish a clear hierarchy in the household. By establishing yourself as the pack leader, your dog will be more likely to follow your lead and respect your authority. This can be accomplished through consistent training, setting clear boundaries, and enforcing rules and commands consistently.

In conclusion, Shih Tzus can exhibit stubbornness, but this trait does not make them bad dogs. With patience, positive reinforcement, and communication, they can be trained to be well-behaved companions who are responsive to their owners.

Overcoming Separation Anxiety

Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate nature, which can sometimes lead to separation anxiety. It is a common problem in many breeds, and recognizing the symptoms is the first step towards addressing it.

Separation anxiety in Shih Tzus can manifest as destructive behavior, excessive barking, or even physical symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. However, with patience and consistency, you can help your furry friend overcome separation anxiety.

One strategy is to gradually increase the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends alone. Start with short periods, and gradually lengthen them over time. This can help your Shih Tzu become more comfortable with being alone and reduce their anxiety.

Another approach is to create a safe and comfortable space for your Shih Tzu while you are away. This can be a crate or a designated room, filled with familiar toys and blankets. Providing a calm and reassuring environment can help your Shih Tzu feel more relaxed and secure.

It is also essential to avoid punishing or scolding your Shih Tzu for their separation anxiety. This can increase their anxiety and make the problem worse. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and reward good behavior.

With patience and understanding, you can help your Shih Tzu overcome separation anxiety and become a confident and happy companion.


In conclusion, I hope this article has helped to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding Shih Tzus. Despite their reputation as the worst dogs, they can make wonderful companions with proper care, attention, and training.

It is important to understand that Shih Tzus, like any other breed, have their unique personality traits and may need specific nurturing and training to bring out their best qualities. We must not judge them based on a few negative traits or misconceptions.

By addressing behavior problems, understanding temperament issues, overcoming training challenges, addressing health concerns, managing grooming difficulties, addressing aggression problems, understanding barking habits, nurturing through stubbornness, and overcoming separation anxiety, we can better appreciate the true nature of Shih Tzus and have a fulfilling relationship with them.

Remember, dogs are loyal, loving, and dedicated companions. With the right care and attention, they will give us unconditional love and joy. So let us continue to learn, grow, and love our furry friends, including Shih Tzus!


Q: Why are Shih Tzus often considered the worst dogs?

A: Shih Tzus have unfortunately gained a reputation as being the worst dogs due to various misconceptions and misunderstandings about their behavior and temperament.

Q: What behavior problems are commonly associated with Shih Tzus?

A: Shih Tzus can exhibit behavior problems such as excessive barking, separation anxiety, and stubbornness. However, with proper training and understanding, these issues can be managed effectively.

Q: Are Shih Tzus prone to aggression?

A: Shih Tzus are not inherently aggressive dogs. However, like any other breed, individual Shih Tzus may display aggression if not properly trained and socialized. It’s important to address any potential aggression problems early on.

Q: Do Shih Tzus require a lot of grooming?

A: Shih Tzus have a long, luxurious coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and tangle-free. While grooming can be time-consuming, it is important for maintaining their overall well-being.

Q: Can Shih Tzus be trained successfully?

A: Yes, Shih Tzus can be trained successfully with patience and consistency. While they may have a stubborn streak, positive reinforcement techniques and proper training methods can help shape their behavior.

Q: What are the common health concerns for Shih Tzus?

A: Shih Tzus may be prone to health issues such as brachycephalic syndrome, dental problems, and eye conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help manage these concerns.

Q: How can I address my Shih Tzu’s separation anxiety?

A: Separation anxiety can be managed through gradual desensitization, providing mental and physical stimulation, and creating a safe and comforting environment for your Shih Tzu when left alone.

Q: Are Shih Tzus good with children and other pets?

A: Shih Tzus can generally get along well with children and other pets if properly socialized and introduced from a young age. However, supervision and guidance are always recommended.

Q: Are Shih Tzus suitable for apartment living?

A: Yes, Shih Tzus are well-suited for apartment living due to their small size and moderate exercise needs. However, they still require regular walks and mental stimulation.

Q: Can Shih Tzus be left alone for long periods?

A: Shih Tzus are known to thrive on companionship and may develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. It is recommended to provide them with appropriate mental and physical stimulation and avoid leaving them alone for too long.

Q: Can Shih Tzus be hypoallergenic?

A: Shih Tzus are often considered hypoallergenic because they have hair instead of fur, which reduces the amount of dander they produce. However, individual reactions may vary, and it’s important to spend time with a Shih Tzu before committing to ensure allergies are not triggered.

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