Why do Shih Tzus make such great companions? 

Why do Shih Tzus make such great companions?      by Ria Moore        |Published 06-26-2023

Getting a dog is a big decision, and one that requires plenty of thought and planning. Usually when we think about the qualities that we’re looking for in a dog, our top criteria is a breed that we can really bond and connect with. This is something that the Shih Tzu is best known or, and in this guide, we’ll take a look at just some of the reasons why they make such great companions.

An adult Shih Tzu is resting on a sofa in front of a piano.

Friendly Temperament

Just one of the reasons that Shih Tzus are considered the perfect companion for many are their friendly and adaptable personalities that make them a great choice for people of all ages, whether that’s a playful child with plenty of energy, or a senior looking for a calmer dog. Shih Tzus enjoy being around their humans, and are known to be lap dogs, often
choosing to cuddle up with their owners over spending time alone.

Similarly, this breed is very unlikely to show aggression, and instead, will greet strangers and other dogs with curiosity and often affection. Therefore, they are a great choice if you’re looking for a breed that won’t require too much training to be able to interact peacefully and calmly when they meet new people.

When out and about, the Shih Tzu won’t get lost chasing squirrels, or create a commotion by stealing food from picnics – instead, they will be very happy to trot along and take in the sights and sounds of nature by your side.

Good with Kids

Black and white Shih Tzu puppy, age 2 weeks

If you’re a parent looking for a family pet, you’ll want to find a dog breed that is both engaging and safe for children. A dog that is particularly large in size or aggressive may be a no-go, but a Shih Tzu is quite the opposite – with its small size and agreeable personality, this breed is one that is very adaptable to family life.

While a Shih Tzu will be receptive and tolerant with your kids, it’s always important to educate your children on how best to handle and interact with them,, in order to foster a safe and rewarding relationship between dog and child.

Easy to Care for

A Shih Tzu dog learning the basic commands

Shih Tzus are moderately active, so they tend to make good companions for outdoor exploration. However, you also don’t need to commit to taking them out for strenuous exercise every day. Most people find that this makes for the perfect balance, as the Shih Tzu can be both happily entertained in your back garden or local park, as well as on an
adventurous day out. While the encouragement to get more physical exercise is one of the joys of dog ownership, , having a less energetic breed can be perfect for people who struggle with mobility or lead particularly busy lifestyles.

Similarly, Shih Tzus can be considered an easy breed to care for as they don’t require much grooming. While they’re not entirely hypoallergenic, they do shed less than many other dog breeds, making them a perfect choice of pet for people who suffer with allergies.

Good for multiple pet households

Shih Tzus are known to get on well with other animals and can usually coexist peacefully in a household with other pets. This is particularly true of larger animals such as cats and rabbits, as well as other dogs, where Shih Tzus tend to respond to interaction with friendliness and affection.

Some caution is always warranted when keeping a dog in the same household as smaller animals, such as guinea pigs or hamsters. But, as far as dog breeds go, the Shih Tzu is not one that requires too much concern, as with training and support from the family, they can learn to interact safely with animals of all sizes.

If your Shih Tzu is going to be living in a household with multiple pets, it's a good idea to start socialising them while they are a puppy, as this tends to make for a smoother experience for both the Shih Tzu and the other animals.

They can be trained

Shih Tzus are highly intelligent and receptive and often respond extremely well to training as a result. Being such a curious breed, they tend to be eager to learn new things, and do well with reward-based training that makes use of positive reinforcement. This makes for a wonderful companionship, as you can develop a deep and trusting bond with your Shih Tzu through the shared goal of learning new behaviours.

To sum up

The Shih Tzu is a wonderful breed of dog that serves as a companion to many. Favoured for its friendliness and laid back attitude, this dog makes an excellent choice for anyone, families and singles alike, who may want to share their life with a furry friend.

Shih Tzu Make Good Companions
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Author Bio: Ria Moore

After graduating from university, I took on several volunteering opportunities working with dogs to broaden my understanding and skill set, before setting up my own dog walking business five years ago. I enjoy sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from working with canines of all shapes and sizes over the years, and always aim to provide my readers with useful information they can apply in their own lives.

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About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.