Shih Tzu is becoming more and more popular. If you are thinking about getting one but are unsure how much exercise and activity a Shih Tzu needs, you have come to the right place. Unfortunately, many people do not deal sufficiently with their dream breed in advance but derive from supposedly generally good myths such as small dogs need a little exercise. However, this could not be more wrong.
How much exercise a Shih Tzu needs, we discuss in this post!
Even though the Shih Tzu looks like a classic lap dog, on average, it needs a lot of exercise and activity. 2-3 times 10 minutes laps around the block to pee is too little. Walks in nature where the Shih Tzu has enough time to sniff and some head work like classic training but also learning tricks are ideal for keeping him reasonably busy.
How much exercise does a Shih Tzu need?
A Shih Tzu is not a lap dog that only leaves the house to pee and sits quietly next to you – even if he may look like it.
How much exercise a Shih Tzu needs can not be said in general. It always depends on the quality of the activity.
A 30-minute walk on the sidewalk with your Shih Tzu only on the leash and must run next to you is much less fulfilling than a 30-minute walk in the woods or in the fields where he may sniff, maybe run free or integrate their little games.
The critical thing to understand is that if your dog (no matter what breed) is sufficiently and fulfilling occupied in the long run, he won’t mind if there are days now and then when little or nothing happens.
It all depends on the big picture. Yesterday we were with our dogs for 2 hours in the forest, and they were fully flat afterward. They are not angry if there is only a tiny pee round today or tomorrow.
How long do you have to walk a Shih Tzu?
Even if the Shih Tzu is a small dog with a lot of fur needs enough exercise. AsAtinimum, you should allow 30 minutes per walk and do it 2 to 3 times a day.
The bottom line is that you need to keep your Shih Tzu busy enough for a more extended period of time, for example, 1 week. If you take him for a walk every day for 2 x 30 minutes and do some headwork, you have a reasonable basis.
An extended excursion to a nearby forest or similar brings additional variety.
You mustn’t walk the same route 2-3 times a day and your Shih Tzu only has to walk next to you on the leash. This is boring for any dog and doesn’t help with exercise.
Regular exercise is also essential in the winter. For long walks in the snow, a coat can be helpful for your Shih Tzu.
You will notice if your dog doesn’t get enough exercise and activity.
Dog sports with your Shih Tzu?
If you enjoy doing more than the average with your Shih Tzu, you can try dog sports like agility or obedience training with him.
He will not be an agility champion, of course. But they can complete the course and have fun doing it. After all, we like to play soccer, and we are not professionals, are we?
Also smaller running units are possible with the Shih Tzu. Because of the size, it is, of course not a marathon runner. But in various forums, I have read that people also go jogging with their Shih Tzus distances of 3-5 kilometers.
Keeping a Shih Tzu busy
Besides the classic walks where your Shih Tzu should have time to sniff around and explore the environment, here are some suggestions on how to keep him busy:
Search games on the walk: Just throw a “handful” of treats in the leaves or on a meadow and let your Shih Tzu sniff and search for them. If you bring him before still in “sit” and he may search only after your “OK” you have at the same time still impulse control. Without much effort, you will be able to get more out of your dog.
Headwork for rainy days: Shih Tzus are intelligent and love to learn tricks. If it is absolutely not possible to spend more time outside than just peeing, mentally stress your dog. train the basic commands or teach him little tricks.
Part of the mental work is to train your Shih Tzu. Daily training is a good way to exercise your Shih Tzu.
Dog toys: You can also keep your Shih Tzu perfectly occupied with dog intelligence toys*.
Sniffing- Search Games: Just hide treats around the house or in a crumpled-up towel and let him search for them. Sniffing is very tiring for dogs and a great way to keep them busy. If you want to make it even easier get a sniffing rug*. It’s a one-time purchase and perfects when the weather is bad and you don’t have much time.
Consequences of too little exercise!
As with any dog for too little exercise and activity, the Shih Tzu will also exhibit undesirable misbehavior. This can include but is not limited to the following:
- Excessive barking or yapping is a symptom of too little exercise and activity.
- Even if a Shih Tzu is not aggressive, too little activity can promote aggressive behavior in the long run.
- Your Shih Tzu will become restless and constantly pace up and down the apartment.
- If you feel that your Shih Tzu has “changed,” honestly question how much you have done or are doing with him and try to increase it. Often it just helps to exercise your dog more.
The bottom line is that the Shih Tzu is a small breed of dog suitable for beginners.
Conclusion: Exercise and occupation of a Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu, like any dog, needs a certain amount of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy, content, and healthy. With about 60 minutes a day, you have a good foundation to keep your Shih Tzu reasonably busy.
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