The Shih Tzu was primarily bred to be a palace dweller. For many years, the Shih Tzu has lived in upscale addresses and imperial palaces, and political figures’ and dignitaries homes. Therefore, your nice warm home is a palace to your little companion. Your dog is the happiest dog on earth when it has a loving family, a warm comfortable place to sleep, great care, and good healthy food.
Just as it was centuries ago, the Shih Tzu is primarily a house pet. Therefore, the Shih Tzu cannot tolerate extreme weather, especially heat. Because of its flat pushed in face, and its long flowing coat, extreme and hot weather can be dangerous. They need fresh air, good ventilation, and a protected environment.
All dogs need some form of exercise including your Shih Tzu. It requires exercise like every other dog even though it should always be a house pet. Daily walks in a park or a romp in the yard will help your little companion to stay fit and in shape; however, you must supervise these activities. Your dog will not want to work if you’re not there. She will possibly try to escape the yard if you’re not present. Never leave your Shih Tzu alone outside, and never leave them tied to a tree or post in the backyard.
Because of the Shih Tzu’s coat type, life outdoors is not suitable for her. It would be almost impossible to keep her coat properly groomed and kept in good condition. It would take you a lifetime trying to get past all the tangles, parasites, burrs, dirt, grass awns, and mats. Therefore, if you are unable to keep your dog inside, please do not consider getting a Shih Tzu. A lifestyle outdoors is out of the question for these dogs! It does not matter where you live, whether in a house or an apartment – your Shih Tzu should be there (indoors), too!