Are Shih Tzus Good with Kids? Our Guide for Parents can help. If you have kids in your family, it’s better to know if the dog you’re planning to adopt is good with children. Some breeds are good with kids, while some don’t tolerate them as much. Which one is the Shih Tzu? Would adopting a Shih Tzu a good idea if you have small children in your home?
Are Shih Tzus Good with Kids?
You’ll be happy to know that Shih Tzus are a wonderful choice for a family pet. Shih Tzus are affectionate and will enjoy all the attention from kids. They’re also not too demanding in terms of activity. They’ll be happy whether to play alongside active kids or to simply lie down and cuddle on the couch.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that kids can push the Shih Tzu to its limit without getting any consequences. Although Shih Tzus will tolerate children, it’s also important to teach your kids how to behave around your puppy.
Why is it Important to Teach Your Kids?
The younger your children are, the more eager and uncoordinated they are with their surroundings and their bodies. This can lead to accidents, which your new Shih Tzu pup might not tolerate well.
You might have seen it yourself, the way your toddlers grip toys too tightly or the way they forcefully throw stuff around the house. If you don’t teach your kids how to behave around your dog, your Shih Tzu might feel scared or threatened. This isn’t a great way to start building a loving bond between them.
It’s also easier to teach your kids how to behave around dogs rather than to teach your new pup how to behave around your kids. After all, your kids will understand you better even if you just use simple words and gestures. Puppies, however, rely on so much more during training.
Why Not Just Get an Adult Shih Tzu Dog Instead of a Puppy?
There are several reasons why getting a puppy is better than getting an adult Shih Tzu if you have kids. For one thing, training a puppy is easier than training an adult dog. It’s not because you can’t teach an older Shih Tzu new tricks. It’s more like an older Shih Tzu might have picked up habits that will be harder to break and retrain.
You’ll also know more about your Shih Tzu’s history if you choose to get a puppy from a responsible breeder. You can meet your puppy’s mom and dad, siblings, and know about any family health issues, if there are any.
If you choose getting an adult Shih Tzu, you’ll probably end up adopting one from a shelter. While you’ll get to meet and socialize with the dog at the shelter before you adopt it, the history you’ll get will be limited.
You might find out about quirks or habits that aren’t to your liking after adopting them. And if your new Shih Tzu dog happens to dislike kids because of a past trauma, it might be too late before you take notice.
What are the Things You Should Teach Your Kids?
- Your Kids Should Understand that Your Pup is Not a Toy. It’s not the fault of your kids if they think your new Shih Tzu pup is a stuffed toy. Your Shih Tzu puppy is small, fluffy, and cute. But they should understand that your puppy is a dog that can be hurt or scared, and that they should approach and handle it gently.
- Your Kids Should Know How to Approach Your Pup. First impressions last, so if your Shih Tzu felt scared or threatened by your kids’ approach, things might get unpleasant. Teach your kids that they should approach your puppy slowly. They should approach the pup from its side, and to crouch lower instead of standing.
You should tell your kids to be calm and quiet. After approaching your pup, they can hold out their hand and let the Shih Tzu pup sniff it. If the puppy comes to the, great! If it doesn’t, tell your kids it’s best not to force it to play.
- Your Kids Should Know How to Pet Properly. Kids can sometimes get so excited with the puppy that they tug at its fur, grab its ears, or even slap it. Even if your pup tolerates this kind of child behavior, it would be for the best to correct your kids as soon as possible.
Teach your kids to use only two of their fingers to pet your Shih Tzu puppy. This is so you can be sure that your kids will use a gentle touch. Show your kids where they can pet, which is on the dog’s back. Tell them not to touch the puppy’s head.
- Your Kids Should Know When to Leave Your Pup Alone. Kids can be very enthusiastic, especially when there’s a new puppy in the house. You must teach them how to recognize if your new Shih Tzu wants to be left alone.
If your puppy starts walking away, tucking its tail between its legs, or hides under furniture, you should tell your kids not to follow and to leave the puppy alone. Of course, if your puppy starts baring its fangs, growling, or snapping at your kids, they should know to slowly back off, too.
There’s nothing like seeing your kids grow up with a puppy. However, establishing a loving bond between your children and your new Shih Tzu pup won’t happen in an instant. It needs constant, diligent training, and not only with your puppy, but with your kids, too.
Want to learn more about the Shih Tzu? Read our Shih Tzu articles:
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If you want to learn more about How Shih Tzus get along with kids, have a look at 10 Reasons Every Kid Needs a Shih Tzu.
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