Why Shih Tzu Are the Worst Dogs

Shih Tzus, often adored for their cute appearance, are not without their challenges. From behavior problems to grooming demands, owning a Shih Tzu can be quite an undertaking. In this article, we will explore why some people consider Shih Tzus to be the worst dogs and delve into the specific issues that can make them a difficult breed to handle.

Shih Tzus have a reputation for being high maintenance, primarily due to their grooming demands. Their long, silky coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. This breed is also prone to various health concerns, including eye disorders, respiratory issues, and dental problems. Additionally, Shih Tzus can be challenging to train, particularly when it comes to housebreaking. Their independent nature and tendency to bark excessively add to the list of difficulties that come with owning a Shih Tzu.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shih Tzus have high grooming demands, requiring regular brushing to prevent matting.
  • The breed is prone to various health concerns, including eye disorders and respiratory issues.
  • Housebreaking a Shih Tzu can be challenging due to their stubborn and independent nature.
  • Shih Tzus have a tendency to bark excessively, which can be a nuisance for owners.
  • Owning a Shih Tzu comes with its fair share of challenges, but they can also be loving and loyal companions for those willing to put in the effort.

High Maintenance Grooming Needs

One of the most significant challenges of owning a Shih Tzu is their high maintenance grooming needs. These adorable dogs have a dense, long coat that requires regular care to keep it looking its best. Shih Tzu fur is prone to matting and tangling, so frequent brushing is necessary to prevent these issues from occurring. A daily brushing routine is recommended to keep their coats healthy and free from mats.

shih tzu grooming demands

In addition to brushing, Shih Tzus also require regular trimming. Their hair grows continuously, similar to human hair, and can become overgrown if not properly maintained. Many Shih Tzu owners opt to have their dogs professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks to ensure their coats stay in top condition. This can be a significant added cost for owners, as professional grooming services can be quite expensive.

Grooming Tips for Shih Tzus:

  • Invest in a good quality brush or comb specifically designed for Shih Tzus.
  • Start grooming your Shih Tzu from an early age to get them used to the process.
  • Be gentle when brushing to avoid causing any discomfort or pain.
  • Consider using detangling sprays or conditioners to make brushing easier.
  • Regularly check and clean your Shih Tzu’s ears to prevent infections.
  • Trim their nails regularly to keep them at a safe and manageable length.

Proper grooming is essential for Shih Tzus to keep them looking and feeling their best. While it requires time and effort, the bond you’ll develop with your furry friend during grooming sessions can be a rewarding experience.

Despite the high maintenance grooming demands of Shih Tzus, many owners find the process to be a labor of love. The satisfaction of seeing their fluffy coat looking pristine and the joy of having a well-groomed companion far outweigh the challenges. However, potential owners should carefully consider the grooming commitments associated with this breed before making the decision to bring a Shih Tzu into their home.

Prone to Health Problems

Shih Tzus are known to be prone to a variety of health concerns that can impact their overall well-being. One common health issue that affects this breed is eye disorders. Shih Tzus are at a higher risk of developing conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, which can lead to vision impairment or even blindness if left untreated.

Respiratory problems are also a concern for Shih Tzus. Their short snouts and compressed airways make them susceptible to breathing difficulties and reverse sneezing. These respiratory issues can be exacerbated by environmental factors such as heat and humidity.

Another prevalent health concern for Shih Tzus is dental problems. Due to their small teeth and compressed airways, they are prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth and providing dental treats, can help prevent these issues from developing.

shih tzu health concerns

Additionally, Shih Tzus are prone to obesity and joint problems. Their small size makes them more susceptible to weight gain, and excess weight can put strain on their joints, leading to arthritis and other mobility issues.

It’s important for Shih Tzu owners to be aware of these potential health concerns and to provide regular veterinary care to monitor and address any issues that may arise. By staying proactive and attentive to their pet’s health, owners can help their Shih Tzus lead happy and healthy lives.

Difficult to Housebreak

Housebreaking a Shih Tzu can be quite challenging, as they are known for their stubborn and independent nature. Their independent streak can make it difficult for them to pick up new habits and follow instructions consistently. As a result, training a Shih Tzu to use the bathroom outside or on a designated spot indoors may require more time, patience, and consistency compared to other breeds.

Consistent reinforcement is key when housebreaking a Shih Tzu. Establishing a regular schedule for potty breaks and rewarding them with praise or treats when they go in the right place can help reinforce the desired behavior. It’s important to be patient and understanding during this process, as accidents may happen. Cleaning up accidents promptly and avoiding punishment will help create a positive training environment.

Setting clear boundaries can also aid in the housebreaking process. For example, not allowing the Shih Tzu on furniture or carpeted areas can help prevent accidents inside the home. Consistency in enforcing these boundaries will help the Shih Tzu understand what is expected of them.


Shih Tzus have earned a reputation for being the “worst dogs” due to their unique challenges and behaviors. From their high maintenance grooming needs to their propensity for health issues, owning a Shih Tzu can be quite demanding. Additionally, their stubborn and independent nature makes housebreaking a difficult task.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that these challenges are not universal and can vary from dog to dog. While some Shih Tzus may exhibit behavior problems or temperament issues, others may be loving and well-behaved companions. It’s crucial to remember that individual personalities and proper care play a significant role in a dog’s behavior.

While owning a Shih Tzu may come with its fair share of challenges, many people find their adorable appearance and affectionate nature to be well worth the effort. For those willing to invest the time and resources needed to meet their specific needs, Shih Tzus can become loyal and beloved members of the family.

In conclusion, the decision to own a Shih Tzu should be made with careful consideration of the breed’s unique characteristics and challenges. Ultimately, the rewards of their companionship can outweigh the difficulties, making them a beloved pet for many dedicated owners.


Are Shih Tzus difficult to groom?

Yes, Shih Tzus have a dense, long coat that requires frequent grooming and trimming to prevent matting and tangling. Regular brushing and maintenance are necessary to keep their fur looking its best.

What health problems are Shih Tzus prone to?

Shih Tzus are susceptible to various health issues, including eye disorders, respiratory problems, dental problems, and obesity. Regular veterinary care is important to monitor and manage these concerns.

Is housebreaking a Shih Tzu challenging?

Yes, housebreaking a Shih Tzu can be challenging due to their stubborn and independent nature. Consistent reinforcement and a regular schedule for potty breaks are necessary to successfully train them.

Do Shih Tzus bark excessively?

Yes, Shih Tzus have a tendency to bark excessively. This behavior can be managed with proper training and socialization, but it is important to be aware of their tendency to bark.

Are Shih Tzus suitable for everyone?

The decision to own a Shih Tzu should be based on an individual’s lifestyle and ability to meet the breed’s specific needs. While they may have their challenges, Shih Tzus can be loving and loyal companions for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly.

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