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While the Shih Tzu boasts numerous positive traits and is known for being an affectionate, loyal, sociable, and friendly dog, it also has several negative characteristics worth considering. It’s essential to love and accept our pets, both in their good and challenging moments. To help you fully understand the Shih Tzu, we’ll now explain what these negative characteristics are:

  • Requires constant grooming.
  • Tendency to put on weight.
  • Tendency to eat feces.
  • Dental issues.
  • Brachycephaly: snoring and choking in the heat.
  • Prognathism of the jaw ((protruding lower jaw))
  • Common breed-related illnesses (such as hypothyroidism and renal dysplasia).
  • Can be stubborn and disobedient.
  • Ocular problems.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these drawbacks associated with the Shih Tzu breed.

Shih tzu coat care

The Shih Tzu’s coat is renowned for its beauty. It’s smooth, long, abundant, dense, and hypoallergenic, often likened to a fluffy ball. This has earned them nicknames like the “lion dog” or “chrysanthemum dog” due to the hair’s tendency to grow in all directions, especially around their muzzle. You can find Shih Tzu puppies in a wide range of tones and colors, and there are even various grooming styles for the breed, such as the puppy cut, lion cut, Japanese cut, and more.

To reduce the work of brushing, you can choose to periodically perform the puppy type haircut (short hair as in puppyhood) the truth is that they feel great, plus other great haircuts for the shih tzu that reduce knots and tangles. But you must keep in mind that if you want to take your pure shih tzu to compete in shows it must have a long and natural coat, like the original shih tzu, otherwise it will be disqualified.

Fortunately, Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, meaning they don’t shed much, so you won’t have to worry about excessive shedding around your home. However, regular brushing is still essential to prevent tangling and matting.

Even if you opt for the more comfortable option of keeping your shih tzu with short hair, you will need a good shih tzu coat care kit to keep your dog’s coat looking enviable and, above all, to avoid frequent knots and tangles.


The shih tzu is a breed with a tendency to put on weight. To prevent your shih tzu from becoming overweight, you should maintain a balanced diet and make sure he gets physical exercise. Always take your shih tzu for two or three walks and add some play time or activity such as throwing a ball. These are the basic pillars to keep your shih tzu in good shape, quality food and exercise.


The breed standard specifies a height of 8.6-10.6 inches and a weight for the pure shih tzu of between 8.8 and 17.6 Lbs. This is the most desirable weight and height range for the shih tzu. However, any variation in weight should be discussed with your veterinarian.

The shih tzu stops growing at around 10 months of age, and it is then when it will have the weight and height of an adult dog.


This is an issue of concern to many shih tzu owners, as with other breeds with this tendency. The shih tzu is prone to coprophagia. This is a tendency to eat other animals’ feces and/or their own. This behavior is common in several breeds of dogs. It is a very annoying tendency as it contributes, among other things, to a strong bad odor in the dog’s breath.

causes and remedies for coprophagia

There are several reasons that can trigger this behavior, and it is your veterinarian who can help you the most by examining your shih tzu. The most common causes of coprophagia are the following:

  • They don’t eat enough. Sometimes, the shih tzu is not satisfied with its food. How do we know if our dog has become hungry, which brings me to the next question, how many times a day do you feed a shih tzu? They generally eat three times a day, morning, noon and night. But, don’t forget that the shih tzu tends to put on weight, so it is best that you agree with your veterinarian on a specific diet both in type of food and amounts in grams.
  • They have a lack of nutrients. Maybe it is due to a bad feeding. It is time to review their diet and perform a health check.
  • Stress and/or anxiety.
  • Behavioral problems.

A consultation with your veterinarian can clarify the reasons for this behavior and help you find a solution.

how to stop the shih tzu from EATING YOUR stool?

  • Immediately remove their stools so as not to give the shih tzu time to eat the feces. It seems very obvious but this habit can be the most effective, especially if your shih tzu has specific times or moments in which it usually does its needs because this way we can go ahead and remove them immediately.
  • When you take him out for a walk, control him with the leash so that he does not get close to the feces he can find. These are very simple slogans and even common sense, but really, they are very effective. If there is no feces available to him, he will not be able to eat them.

what dental problems does the shih tzu have?


Dogs typically have 42 teeth, but the Shih Tzu often faces dental issues due to its small jaw, which doesn’t provide enough space for proper tooth alignment. As a result, Shih Tzus often have crowded teeth, leading to plaque buildup and bad breath. Maintaining their dental hygiene is vital.

Brush their teeth with a small toothbrush and specific dog toothpaste to avoid oral problems and unpleasant breath. You can also enhance dental care with special dental cleaning treats. Here are some helpful products for optimal dental health in Shih Tzus:

snoring and choking IN SHIH TZU

It is very common for the shih tzu to snore. They usually snore when sleeping and may also snore after or during physical exercise.

The shih tzu also has problems tolerating high temperatures. When it is very hot, the shih tzu can suffer from heat stroke.

This is due to its flattened face and extremely short muzzle. One of its main aesthetic characteristics that make it so unique and adorable is a drawback to its well-being. The technical name is brachycephaly.


The Shih Tzu’s characteristic short muzzle and flat face result in brachycephaly, a condition that causes them to snore frequently and makes them sensitive to high temperatures. This is because the short airway doesn’t allow inhaled air to cool effectively.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about brachycephaly since it’s a consequence of their physical structure. Snoring and breathing difficulties are among the notable negative characteristics of the Shih Tzu, and they require extra care and precautions, especially during hot weather.


To prevent your shih tzu from suffering from heat stroke, the following precautions should be taken during hot weather.

  • Protect them from extreme heat.
  • Avoid walks during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Always provide access to water.

How does a shih tzu behave?

The shih tzu is a loyal, friendly and affectionate dog with its owners, who loves to be massaged and caressed and to feel part of the family. It is a dog that does not like to be alone, he prefers to be always accompanied. What shih tzu dogs like the most is to feel that they are part of the family life, to feel accompanied and to receive a lot of pampering.

Stubborn, Disobedient, and Headstrong

Why is it said that the shih tzu can be disobedient? Because the shih tzu has a somewhat independent personality.

This means that he makes his own decisions and when he does not want to play or do something, he will not hesitate to disobey. This blatant disobedience makes him appear haughty and arrogant. Luckily, this attitude seems funny and flamboyant to shih tzu lovers who find in his stubbornness a dog with a unique and special character. But for other owners who want an obedient pet, it can be one of those particularly negative characteristics of the breed.


How to make a shih tzu dog happy?

Don’t think that being a dog with clear ideas will make him a grumpy or unhappy dog, on the contrary, the shih tzu is a very enjoyable dog.

If you want to make your shih tzu happy, spend time with him, give him lots of cuddles and respect the moments when he prefers to rest. The shih tzu is happy to play, accompany its owners, go for walks, interact with other dogs, and above all, to be petted and treated with love.

Jaw Prognathism

Jaw prognathism occurs when the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw. It is a genetic trait common in various dog breeds. While it doesn’t typically cause health issues or pain, it can worsen with age and result in misalignment, creating a less aesthetically pleasing appearance. Some owners may find this feature unattractive, though it isn’t a health concern.


Like many other breeds such as the Yorkshire or the Chihuahua, the Shih Tzu has unprotected and very exposed eyes. For this reason, we must be extremely careful. Among the most frequent eye problems are infections, ulcers, cataracts, dryness or excessive tearing, among others.

How to care for the eyes of a shih tzu?

  • Remove hair from the eye area. Either wear the hair short in the eye area or pull it back with a ponytail or small hairpin.
  • Keep the area clear of eye lint. Remove excess eye lint daily and clean the area. To wash your shih tzu’s eyes, you can use a gauze with saline solution or a specific solution for eye hygiene sold in specialized stores.
  • Inspect your shih tzu’s eyes frequently. This is the best way to detect any abnormality. Most ailments are treatable and have a solution. So good prevention is best.


Rather than a negative characteristic of the shih tzu, it is a statistic about the most common ailments and frequent diseases that shih tzu breed dogs suffer from. These are a number of diseases that occur most frequently in the shih tzu, they are as follows:

  • Renal dysplasia.
  • Eye problems.
  • Nasal stenosis.
  • Allergies.
  • Hypothyroidism.

Although this series of diseases occur with certain frequency in some shih tzu dogs, it does not mean that they will necessarily suffer from them. It is a small size dog breed, but the shih tzu is not a delicate or weak dog, but its complexion is robust and generally enjoys good health. The average life span of the shih tzu is between 10 and 16 years. However, it is important to be aware of these ailments in order to detect them as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to keep up with regular deworming and vaccinations.

Were you aware of the Shih Tzu’s negative characteristics? This breed is unique, filled with both positive traits and interesting facts. If you’re interested, you can explore all small dog breeds on our website.