Although Shih Tzus are smaller dogs, they make great watch dogs and can also play well with children. They have a spunky attitude and enjoy attention and some sort of activity every day. However, they do have some health issues and require more maintenance than a lab. Regular grooming, exercising and healthy eating habits can keep your Shih Tzu living with you for 15 or more years.
Walk your Shih Tzu on a daily basis to keep him active and toned. Although they are small dogs, they have husky bodies. Walk your dog in the morning before work or when you get home from work to help you relieve stress.2
Groom your dog a few times a week by running a bristle brush through her fur. Take your dog to a professional groomer once a month or once every two months to get the fur trimmed. Longer fur is pretty, but shorter fur is easier to manage. These dogs can develop respiratory problems and ear problems, so trim and clean the fur around the face and clean out the wax from her ears with cotton balls.3
Visit your veterinarian at least once a year to check the dog's teeth, because this breed tends to lose its teeth early and develop problem teeth later in life.4
Avoid feeding your dog table scraps; he can get overweight fast since he is small. Use an organic dog food that contains a balance of meat and vegetables.