Why Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs? Common Problems

Shih Tzu dog grey and white color

Shih Tzus, often regarded as adorable and charming companions, has stolen the hearts of many dog enthusiasts. Their fluffy appearance and endearing expressions might make them seem like the perfect addition to any family. 

However, as pet owners and lovers delve deeper into the world of Shih Tzus, they uncover many characteristics and behaviors that can make these dogs quite challenging to handle. 

In this exploration, we will dissect why Shih Tzus are sometimes considered the worst dogs, shedding light on their endearing and perplexing traits.

Shih Tzu Characteristics

BreedShih Tzu
SizeSmall (8-11 inches tall, 9-16 pounds)
CoatLong, dense, and flowing
Coat ColorsVarious colors and patterns
TemperamentAffectionate, friendly, alert, loyal
PersonalityPlayful, charming, sometimes stubborn
Lifespan10-18 years
Grooming NeedsHigh (daily brushing, regular trimming)
ExerciseModerate exercise, short walks and play
TrainabilityModerate, may be stubborn
IntelligenceIntelligent, but may have independent streak
AllergiesMay trigger allergies in sensitive individuals
Health ConsiderationsProne to eye, dental, and respiratory issues

13 Reasons Shih Tzus Are The Worst Dogs

Here are the reasons and common problems of Shih Tzu dogs:

1. They’re Desperate For Love And Cuddles

One of the most prominent features of Shih Tzus is their unyielding desire for human affection. These small dogs have an uncanny ability to form an unbreakable bond with their owners, seeking constant attention and affection. While this might seem endearing at first glance, it can quickly become overwhelming. 

Shih Tzus often display clingy behavior, following their human companions everywhere they go. This need for constant companionship can lead to moments of intrusion, where personal space becomes a luxury. It’s important for potential Shih Tzu owners to understand that their new furry friend may become a permanent and attentive shadow.

2. They Want To Be Buddies With Everyone, Ugh!

Shih Tzus are infamous for their extroverted and friendly nature. While friendliness is generally a desirable trait in a dog, Shih Tzus take it to the extreme. These tiny canines tend to be overly eager to make new friends, whether they be humans, other dogs, or even cats. 

This relentless sociability may seem charming but raises concerns about their protective instincts. 

A dog that warmly greets a potential intruder with wagging tails and friendly barks is hardly a reliable guardian. Shih Tzus’ innate friendliness might undermine their ability to serve as protectors, which could concern those seeking a watchful and loyal companion.

3. They’ve Been Here For Too Long

Shih Tzus have a rich history that dates back to ancient China, where they served as royal bed warmers for emperors. While their historical significance is fascinating, it also suggests that these dogs might be stuck in their old ways. 

Unlike some breeds that have evolved over time to take on new roles and responsibilities, Shih Tzus have remained relatively unchanged. Their primary role as companions and lapdogs have persisted through centuries, potentially limiting their adaptability to modern lifestyles. 

If you’re looking for a versatile and dynamic dog breed, Shih Tzu’s historical roots might not align with your expectations.

4. Their Size Is Ridiculous

Shih Tzus fall into the category of small dog breeds, often touted for their portability and cuteness. However, their diminutive size comes with its own set of challenges. An average Shih Tzu stands at around 11 inches and weighs no more than 15 pounds – roughly the weight of a bag of feathers. 

While their small stature may make them appealing to some, it also makes them fragile. Shih Tzus’ delicate bones require careful handling, and rough play is out of the question. This fragility is a significant concern, especially for families with young children who might unknowingly cause harm to these petite pups.

5. And So Are Their Coat Colors

Shih Tzus boast a wide array of coat color options, each more vibrant and unique than the last. While this variety might be aesthetically pleasing, it begs the question: Why is such an extensive palette needed? This abundance of coat colors could be seen as an attempt to stand out and steal the spotlight. 

A dog with too many coat color options might raise suspicions about their true focus. Shouldn’t a dog’s temperament and behavior take precedence over their appearance? Shih Tzus’ obsession with being visually appealing could potentially overshadow their other qualities, making it difficult to discern their true nature.

6. Not To Forget Their Hilarious Haircuts

Shih Tzus are often associated with their distinctive top knot hairstyle – a look that many find adorable and endearing. However, these elaborate haircuts might raise eyebrows when it comes to practicality. While a neatly groomed Shih Tzu is undeniably charming, the question remains: are these dogs meant to be pampered fashion icons or well-rounded companions? Some might argue that the focus on extravagant grooming detracts from the Shih Tzu’s natural beauty and distracts from their true essence as dogs.

7. Oh, And That Underbite Is Hideous

The underbite, a common trait among Shih Tzus, adds to their unique appearance. While it might seem endearing, it’s important to acknowledge that an underbite isn’t just a cosmetic quirk. This physical feature can lead to serious health issues, including dental problems and difficulties with breathing. 

Shih Tzus with underbites often fall under the category of brachycephalic dogs, characterized by their flat faces and associated respiratory problems. As potential owners consider the visual appeal of the underbite, they should also be mindful of the potential health challenges it brings.

8. They’re Super Clingy

Shih Tzus’ affectionate nature often leads to their reputation as clingy dogs. Their constant need for human interaction and approval can sometimes become overwhelming. This attachment might seem endearing, but it can also lead to the development of separation anxiety. 

Shih Tzus despise being left alone and can quickly succumb to feelings of distress and anxiety when separated from their beloved humans. This intense emotional bond, while heartwarming, requires a commitment to providing constant companionship, which might not align with the lifestyle of every dog owner.

9. And Not Funny At All

Shih Tzus are often labeled as clownish dogs, known for their amusing antics and attempts to entertain. While their efforts to make their owners laugh might be well-intentioned, it’s essential to recognize that these behaviors stem from a place of desperation for attention.

Shih Tzus’ constant need for validation and interaction drives them to engage in various attention-seeking behaviors, which might not always be perceived as humorous. Their attempts at humor are a reflection of their underlying insecurity, highlighting their need for constant reassurance.

shih tzu walking in ground

10. They’re Super Yappy

The infamous yappiness of Shih Tzus is a trait that many potential owners might find challenging to navigate. These small dogs have a lot to say and are unafraid to voice their opinions, often through enthusiastic barking.

While some might appreciate a vocal and expressive pet, Shih Tzus’ constant yapping can quickly become a source of frustration for the owners and their neighbors. This incessant barking is deeply ingrained in their nature and can be difficult to manage, even with professional training.

Potential Shih Tzu owners should be prepared for a symphony of barks that might not always be music to their ears.

11. They’re Fancy Hypoallergenic Dogs

Shih Tzus are often praised for their hypoallergenic hair, making them an appealing choice for individuals with allergies. While this might be a significant advantage for some, it’s important to recognize that Shih Tzus’ hypoallergenic coat comes with its own set of responsibilities.

Regular grooming and maintenance are essential to keep their coats healthy and allergy-friendly. Failure to adhere to a strict grooming routine can lead to matted fur and discomfort for the dog. Shih Tzus’ hypoallergenic status should be considered alongside their other traits, rather than serving as the sole determining factor for bringing one into your home.

12. You Won’t Housebreak Them Easily

Housebreaking a Shih Tzu can be daunting for even the most patient and dedicated dog owner. These small dogs can be notoriously challenging to train when it comes to understanding where their designated potty area is. 

This difficulty stems from a combination of factors, including their intelligence and their tendency to become easily distracted. Shih Tzus’ independent streak might lead them to believe that they know better than their owners, resulting in frustrating and prolonged potty training experiences. 

Potential owners should be prepared for a potentially extended journey to achieving a fully housebroken Shih Tzu.

13. You Will Get Stuck With A Shih Tzu For Many Years

Shih Tzus’ longevity might come as a surprise to some potential owners. While their small size might suggest a shorter lifespan, Shih Tzus often enjoy a relatively long life, with many reaching double-digit ages. This extended companionship is a significant commitment that potential owners need to be prepared for. 

While the idea of a loyal and loving companion for years to come is undoubtedly appealing, it’s essential to recognize that this commitment requires dedication, care, and an understanding of the challenges that may arise over time.


In the world of dog breeds, the Shih Tzu certainly stands out for its unique blend of charming and challenging traits. While their desperate need for love and cuddles might warm your heart, their relentless clinginess could test your boundaries. The adorable underbite that captures your attention may also lead to potential health concerns. 

As you consider the idea of adding a Shih Tzu to your family, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons thoughtfully. Understanding the complexities of their behavior, grooming needs, and potential challenges will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. 

Remember, every dog breed comes with its own set of quirks, and embracing these quirks is part of the journey to becoming a responsible and loving dog owner.