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Will a Shih Tzu Be Good With My Kids? Everything You Want to Know!

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Will a Shih Tzu Be Good With My Kids? Everything You Want to Know!

Shih Tzus are cute dogs that are often thought of as high-maintenance pups that are not suitable for homes with children, or even active homes at all. People who think that don’t know much about the Shih Tzu breed, though!

Shih Tzus are charming dogs that can be quite adaptable and suitable for a variety of home environments, including with children. If you’re considering adding a Shih Tzu to your family, here’s everything you need to know about having a Shih Tzu in a home with kids.

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Do Shih Tzus Like Kids?

Not only are Shih Tzus good with kids, but they’re often considered to be highly kid-friendly dogs. They can be tender dogs that know when it’s time to be soft and gentle, but they also tend to be ready for an adventure or a romp around the backyard with your kids. They are gentle and social enough that it’s not uncommon to spot Shih Tzus working as therapy dogs.

Their small size makes them safer than a large dog might be when playing with children, or even frail and elderly people. Shih Tzus are relatively sturdy dogs for their size, although this isn’t an excuse to let children be rough or cruel to your dog, but they will enjoy a little bit of safe roughhousing with kids.

One of the main keys to ensuring a happy relationship between your Shih Tzu and children is to properly socialize your dog. Whether you’re bringing home a puppy or an adult dog, proper socialization and slow, gentle introductions are important. It can be difficult for a dog to adjust to a new environment, and if they have not been socialized, it can be even more stressful.

Be prepared to be patient and ensure the entire household is on board with the plan for integration into the family.

little girl with her Shih Tzu dog in vintage color tone
Image Credit: A3pfamily, Shutterstock

Is It Safe to Keep a Shih Tzu With Kids?

The main thing to consider when selecting a Shih Tzu as the breed to have with your kids is how gentle your kids will be with the dog. No dog should be subjected to inappropriate handling by children, including hitting, tail and ear pulling, climbing on, and so on.

While they may be sturdier than many of their small breed counterparts, they are still small dogs that can be injured if handled too roughly by children. They also may nip or bite if they feel threatened or are being hurt or mishandled by children.

Your kids should be thoroughly taught proper boundaries, respect, and handling for the dog before you ever bring it home, and it’s extremely important that small children are never left unattended with your Shih Tzu. Leaving rough or small kids alone with your dog sets your dog up for failure and your children or dog up for injury.

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Shih Tzus are highly prized as kid-friendly dogs. They are intelligent, trainable, loyal, gentle, and playful pups that are adaptable and suitable for a home with children. Proper handling from the kids is necessary, though, and ensuring your dog is given a slow, gentle introduction to their new home can help set everyone up for success.

If your new Shih Tzu feels threatened or stressed during their introduction to the home or socialization period, there is a chance that they will struggle to bond properly with your kids.

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Featured Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

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