Are Shih Tzus Good With Kids? Find Out Here!

are Shih tzus kid friendly?

We often hear the question, “are Shih Tzus good with kids?”

The short answer is YES! If you’re considering bringing a new dog home, you’ll not go wrong with a Shih Tzu.

Due to their normally docile personality and affectionate nature, Shih Tzus make excellent family pets.

Shih Tzus are generally considered to be good dogs for homes with children. They are so smart and sweet-natured and they are fun to be around.

However, it is important to always ensure kids understand how to properly treat their tiny companions.

Although Shih Tzus are generally great with young children, it is still not a sure thing. As with any major decision, there are several things you need to consider first.

If you’re interested in a Shih Tzu, and you have kids, you’ll want to find out the answers to the following important questions before you take the plunge.

Shih Tzu and Children: A Match Made In Heaven?

Well, Shih Tzus are much sturdier than their tiny size suggests, making them wonderful choices for families with small children.

These small dogs are gentle with kids, but sometimes they have outbursts of energy when all they want is to go out and play.

They brighten everyone’s day and the children love them, because they are just so cute and fun to be around. Their comical antics make them ideal for families.

shih tzu dog

They live for around 10 to 15 years, making them a suitable companion for a family because they can grow up with the kids. They love to be petted and cuddled by young children.

Beyond this unique closeness that the Shih Tzu and kids share is a variety of benefits that children stand to gain when they grow up together with this dog.

These small dogs can:

  • Help kids learn empathy.
  • Boost the child’s self-esteem and confidence.
  • Teach a child vital life lessons like responsibility, respect, trust and patience.

Of course, there are many things you need to do to foster a good relationship between your new Shih Tzu puppy and your children.

Training and socialization obviously play a huge role in helping dogs and young children get along well.

In the following sections of this article, we’ll examine how Shih Tzus gets along with children of different ages and what you can do to help foster a positive relationship.

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Is Shih Tzu Kid Friendly? Shih Tzu Puppies Vs Adult Dogs

Before we delve into the details about Shih Tzus and kids of different ages, we’ll first make the all-important distinction between Shih Tzu puppies and adult Shih Tzus.

Shih Tzu puppies are generally physically fragile and emotionally sensitive to teasing and other habits that kids may have, and are constantly learning.

During this time, they gain knowledge that will determine the success or not of housetraining, obedience training and general behaviors.

adorable shih tzu puppy

Consequently, if kids are taught how to speak to, handle and interact with your new Shih Tzu puppy, this adorable breed will get along with children of any age.

It’s important to tell any youngster of the significance of his or her actions when it comes to handling or interacting with Shih Tzus (or other pets for that matter). Your child’s actions will have a huge impact on many other facets of your pup’s life.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu’s temperament, personality and learning process is determined by his natural instincts. Despite the fact that Shih Tzus were developed as companion dogs by breeding down in size, they are still dogs.

? An adult Shih Tzu dog will either consider children to be his littermates (their doggy peers) or see them as his alphas (leaders in the house and hence, he will obey commands and behave properly in order to earn praise).

A dog will rarely consider a child to be below them in the social ranking order (which would make for a very bad home environment in which the pup tries to control the child).

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For a peaceful home environment, it is important to prevent any chance of kids being considered to be littermates or lower ranking house members.

If your Shih Tzu puppy learns in a positive manner that children of any age are leaders in the house, he will then behave accordingly. He will not bark at the children or go straight to a bite. Instead, he will respect, protect and play with the children in a gentle manner.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: Are Yorkies Good With Kids? The Truth Might Shock You [/thrive_text_block]

Are Shih Tzus Good With Babies?

Shih Tzus can be quite jealous of new members of the family and if that new member tends to cry a lot, the jealousy can get the best of them.

It is important to make a few changes before you welcome your new baby.

Some recommended changes include rearranging furniture, decorating your little one’s nursery, putting the baby’s items and toys in a certain area and teaching your dog some skills he will need to interact safely with your new arrival.

Two aspects that might affect your dog’s behavior in regard to these changes are scents and noises. Therefore, it’s a good idea to help your pup adjust to the various new changes and experiences ahead.

For instance, start to use a little of the baby’s shampoos, lotions, creams and powders to ensure your dog gets used to them. You can also place them in a room that your pup usually rests in so that your dog becomes accustomed to that smell, too.

are shih tzus good with toddlers?

Are Shih Tzus Good With Toddlers?

The simple answer to this question is yes! However, care should be taken to avoid problems.

Shih Tzus belong to the toy dog group. One assumption is that small dog breeds are good with toddlers. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are many larger dog breeds that are more kid-friendly than certain small dog breeds.

? Small dogs may see toddlers as small pets. They play with kids as their littermates so scratching and nipping is common. These behaviors are unacceptable and dogs should view kids as mini-alphas, so proper training and socialization is a must.

Many dog owners assume that Shih Tzus get along well with toddlers because they are not heavy and cannot cause any harm even if the little dogs behave in a rough manner.

This assumption is completely wrong! There are many factors that play a role in selecting the right breed of dog for a family with small kids or toddlers. Focus on the following:

1. Trainability:

Make sure to involve your little ones during training. Your Shih Tzu should understand that toddlers are mini-alphas.

Always buy puppies at the right age (12 weeks). Start training early. Obedience training is extremely important. Lastly, make sure your pup obeys any commands given by your children.

2. Tolerance:

in case the dog is aggressive towards the child, chances are he will bite.

Children are hyperactive and might sometimes not handle the little dog well. You should first teach your children how to handle your dog.

3. Temperament:

Shih Tzus are gentle, calm, friendly and affectionate dogs. While they have tons of energy, they tend to calm down rather easily. They are easily controllable by children of all ages in almost all situations.

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4. Loyalty/Bonding:

Shih Tzus tend to form strong bonds with every member of the family. They show the same closeness to all members in the house. Kid-friendly dogs do not attach to one family member. One-person dogs are not ideal for a family with kids.

As you can see, well-socialized Shih Tzus can get along well with any person, including toddlers. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your socialized Shih Tzu around small children and toddlers.

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Are Shih Tzus Good With Older Children?

Yes! Shih Tzus tend to do much better with older children rather than small kids or toddlers since when threatened in one way or another, a Shih Tzu will try to nip.

Small kids can be a little pushy or boisterous around a little dog, so be sure to teach your children how to treat dogs.

Here are some reasons why Shih Tzus are great around older children:

1. Shih Tzus have tons of energy and make perfect playmates for older children.

2. Children are vulnerable to stress, but having a Shih Tzu around can help reduce their stress levels. Shih Tzus even make great dogs for families of children with autism.

3. A properly trained Shih Tzu will protect your child at all times. Despite being small, they are brave and very protective of their family members.

cute shih tzu puppy playing in the backyard

4. Shih Tzus are great with children due to their hypoallergenic coats. Kids tend to be particularly sensitive to pet hair. The Shih Tzu doesn’t normally shed a lot. This makes him great for kids who suffer from allergies.

5. Shih Tzus are extremely friendly. They make friends quickly. So you don’t need to worry about your child’s friends coming over.

6. If your children are active and playing, your Shih Tzu will happily join them. They enjoy company and are typically easygoing.

What about ‘Unknown’ Children?

This dog has a lot of energy and can be protective. This means that a Shih Tzu can be cautious of unfamiliar children, which can result in barking or even jumping on them.

The best thing to do to ensure your Shih Tzu behaves properly around unknown children and strangers in general, is to offer socialization training.

Are Shih Tzus Kid Friendly?

Yes, Shih Tzus are child friendly. However, it’s important to teach your children on the proper way to handle all dogs. This will help foster a peaceful relationship between your dog and the kids.

How to Foster a Good Relationship between Children and Their Shih Tzu Companions?

Here are a few suggestions to help establish a peaceful relationship between young children and a Shih Tzu:

1. Children should take part in training: the best relationships are usually built through both good and bad times.

When children play a role in training, they get an opportunity to learn vital life skills and strengthen their relationship with their Shih Tzu companions.

shih tzu Teacup dog

2. You should supervise any playtime involving your dog and children. Shih Tzus are great companions for children, but they can be easily injured during playtime.

3. Always make sure your child doesn’t hit a Shih Tzu puppy. Otherwise, the puppy may snap or bite.

4. Educate your children: adding a new Shih Tzu puppy to your home often implies a transition for your entire family.

Make this transition smooth by educating your children before bringing your new pet home. Kids should learn about the correct way to interact with a new dog.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: Are Rottweilers Good With Kids? [/thrive_text_block]

Conclusion: Are Shih Tzus Good With Kids?

Yes! We now know that the Shih Tzu is a small dog who is sociable, friendly, playful, fun-loving, smart, easily trainable and non-shedding.
If you are like most parents, those are some of the traits you want to find in your new family pet.

As long as you use your due diligence and teach both child and dog on how to interact with each other, your Shih Tzu will live in harmony with your kids.

In fact, the two can form a strong bond and become great friends for life!


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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