I have a toddler at home and I love Shih Tzu to be his first buddy. So I need to figure out whether Shih Tzus are good with toddlers. To find the right breed which is good with kids, the number one factor is Breed’s temperament. Below are some of the things to consider before choosing the right small breed dog. The last thing I want to do is panic my wife. My Observations on Shih Tzu as follows :
- Shih Tzu has a lot of energy. Children can get a lot of exercises and pretty much active all the time.
- Children are prone to more stress, but keeping Shih Tzu at home bring down stress. Shih Tzus are even great dogs for children that have Autism.
- A well -trained Shih Tzu can protect your child, when he is outside of the home. Though they look small, they do not fear. Very much protective of their families.
- Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic dogs. So parents need not worry about their children getting allergic to the hairs. If a child has respiratory issues, still he can have a Shih Tzu as a pet.
- No more medications on depression/anxiety. Shih Tzus are a natural anti-depressant, happily wags her tail and looks for a pat.
- Shih Tzus are the friendlier breed. They make friends soon. So no need to worry about your children’s friends at home.
- Shih Tzus will easily settle when children are quiet or seem shy. Snuggles up to them when they sit down if they are talking to them. If they are ignored they will go off to her favorite spot for a snooze & leaves them alone.
- If the children are excited and playing. Even Shih Tzus do the same, they love company.
Well, Socialized Shih Tzu can live in harmony with any pet or person. So its always good to have Shih Tzu around toddlers.
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What makes Shih Tzus good with toddlers?
Shih Tzus fall into small dog category. A basic assumption is small dogs are good with toddlers. Which is not true always. In fact, there are a lot of larger dog breeds which are kid-friendly than the small breeds. Small dogs tend to look at children as small pets. They do play with children as their siblings so nipping and scratching is common. This behavior is not suitable and not advised, they should look at children as mini-alphas, so training is mandatory. We assume the small dogs go well with kids as they are not heavy and nothing happening if the dogs play rough. The assumption is totally wrong, there are few traits which needs to be considered while choosing the dog breed good with children.
- Trainability: Involve kids during the training session. The dogs should understand that kids are mini-alphas. Start with obedience training. Always get puppies at the age of 12 weeks. The basic training should be given by the pups mom and their siblings. Never be in a hurry to get puppy home, initial training is very important. Finally what we should achieve is your dog should obey the commands given by your child.
- Tolerance: If a dog is not tolerant towards your kid, there is a high risk of a bite. Kids are hyperactive and sometimes they don’t handle the small dog well. First, we should teach our children how to treat a dog. If its a puppy, kids should handle them with care, better to sit down and lift the puppy. Tolerance is main criteria, this comes well with training.
- Nature: Shih Tzu is gentle, friendly, calm and affectionate. Even though they are high on energy, they will calm down easily with gentle tapping. They are not wary of strangers. Easily controllable by kids in all situations.
- Bonding/ Loyalty: Shih Tzu tends to attach to every family member at the house. They show the same amount of energy towards all in the family. Should not a one person dog. One person dog is not suitable for the home which has kids. As it will be loyal to one alfa, and never listen to anyone.
Is Shih Tzu child-friendly?
Yes, Shih Tzu is kid friendly and also family friendly. Children should practice the idea of “Playing and Ignoring” the dog. Children are hyperactive and they want the hold/play Shih Tzu( or any dog) for longer times where most of the dogs are not comfortable. So practicing the healthy behavior like play for some time and ignore the dog for a while. This gives enough room for the dog to settle down and have his own space.
Few of the Best small dog breeds for kids
- Miniature Schnauzer: According to the American Kennel Club, the Miniature Schnauzer is a bright, friendly, trainable companion, small enough to adapt to apartment life but tireless enough to patrol acres of farmland. They get along well with other animals and kids. Minis are sturdy little guys and enjoy the vigorous play. Home and family oriented, they make great watchdogs.
- Pug: According to the American Kennel Club, the Pug owners say their breed is the ideal house dog. Pugs are happy in the city or country, with kids or old folks, as an only pet or in a pack. They enjoy their food, and care must be taken to keep them trim. They do best in moderate climates—not too hot, not too cold—but, with proper care, Pugs can be their adorable selves anywhere.
- Beagle: According to the American Kennel Club, the Beagles are not only is the Beagle an excellent hunting dog and loyal companion, it is also happy-go-lucky, funny, and—thanks to its pleading expression—cute. They were bred to hunt in packs, so they enjoy the company and are generally easygoing.
While choosing a dog for your family always consider your lifestyle and the ages of your children. The factors which you have to look in dog breed are Patience/Tolerance, nature, bonding and train ability. While most dogs thrive on training, you may have to do a bit of training with your children as well to teach them how to interact with their new family companion
If you get your small dog as a puppy and socialize him with your children early on, it matters less what breed he is. Usually, when a dog grows up with children, it is at least tolerable with children. But keep in mind that means your children – your dog may not be as suitable around other children. A lot of that depends on how the children behave. Calm, slow behavior is essential as are no poking, no sticking fingers in ears, no tail pulling – you get the idea.