Do Shih Tzus make good guard dogs?

No. Though quick to announce visitors and devoted to owners, Shih Tzus lack the requisite aggressive protective instincts or intimidating physical traits to serve as guard dogs.

Are Shih Tzus the right size to be guard dogs?

Weighing just 9-16 pounds, Shih Tzus fall decidedly into the category of diminutive lapdog rather than physically intimidating protector. Their beautiful flowing coat and sweet expression conflict with threatening appearance.

Does a Shih Tzu have the right temperament to be a guard dog?

Originally treasured companion pets of Chinese nobility, Shih Tzus thrive on doting admiration. Though opinionated, they remain amiable and outgoing with strangers, lacking guard dog suspicion or territorialism.

Can you train a Shih Tzu to be a guard dog?

Sufficient intelligence allows for trainability, but Shih Tzus have been bred for generations as pampered pets, not protection animals. Their tiny size also renders actual protection impossible.

Have Shih Tzus ever been used as guard dogs?

Continuing to reign as adorably pampered companion dogs, Shih Tzus today retain their amiable and people-pleasing temperament, eliminating suitability for guarding roles which require wariness of strangers.

What are the Pros and Cons of using a Shih Tzu as a guard dog?


  • Devoted, affectionate lapdogs
  • Cute and cuddly


  • Tiny size inability to provide protection
  • Overly friendly with strangers

While quick to announce visitors with an impressive voice given their size, Shih Tzus entirely lack the requisite aggressive protective instincts or physical capacity that would allow them to serve as actual guard dogs.

Final Thoughts

In addition to extensive grooming requirements, Shih Tzu puppies require close supervision around very young children given the risk of accidental injury posed by their petite size.

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