If you are familiar with this much-loved toy breed, then you know that they are very much house pets that live, play, and even sleep with you; they are practically like your shadow.
Right from history, Shih Tzus have lived indoors and practically on the laps of their owners. So they know no other lifestyle and might not be able to survive to live anywhere else. So when we talk about space, we mean indoor space.
Shih Tzus are great apartment dogs; their size and temperament make it easy for them to live with you without any problems. You also have no worries as to whether they might cause trouble in your neighborhood.
Since we have established that Shih Tzus are great apartment dogs, the next thing you should consider before adopting this pet is how much space Shih Tzus require. And whether you have enough space to house one or more Shih Tzus in your home.
Do Shih Tzus Need a Lot of Space?
No, they don’t. Shih Tzus don’t need much space. They are quite small in size and have an average energy level so they don’t need the amount of play space that other larger or higher energy dogs need.
They also don’t mind spending the whole day watching a movie with you and curling up on your lap while you read so they’re scarcely even going to be spending time alone. Therefore, they can live in small houses and even small apartments comfortably.
There are a few things to look into when adopting a Shih Tzu and creating a place for them in your home. I will give you a rundown of all of these things as they relate to this important topic.
You might wonder why Shih Tzus will actually need space in the first place; after all, they spend nearly every waking hour with their owners. But sometimes your Shih Tzu just needs a break from you and everything else.
Do Shih Tzus Need to Have Their Own Space?
Although Shih Tzus are very attached to their owners, they still need their private area for several reasons. The following are the reasons why I think you should provide them their own space.
For Alone Time
Shih Tzus love to be around people a whole lot, but sometimes they also need their space and alone time to do whatever it is they want to do.
They need a place that is just theirs; somewhere they can retreat to when they just don’t feel like running after you.
A Hideout Location
The happiest and liveliest Shih Tzu can sometimes get overwhelmed by events happening all around them. Whether you are hosting a weekend hangout in your living room or you have activities that make a bit of noise and cause unrest, your Shih Tzu will want to be away from the entire ruckus.
Bad energy is also a major threat to your Shih Tzus ever positive disposition, so a quarrel among spouses or family members will definitely send your Shih Tzus running the other way.
To Avoid Visitors and Their Pets
Shih Tzus are generally friendly and accommodating to strangers; this is one reason why they cannot be depended on for security.
But as accommodating as they are to strangers, they might withdraw from a gathering of unfamiliar faces and seek some time away. So when you have lots of strange faces in your home, your Shih Tzu might want to retreat.
Visiting pets can also put off your Shih Tzu if they are boisterous and difficult to control. Shih Tzus are little royalties so they have less tolerance for unnecessary noise and rough play. If your guest brings in a noisy pet, your Shih Tzu will definitely walk the other way.
Reasons Why Shih Tzus Are Comfortable in Small Spaces
Now that you know Shih Tzus require small areas to live and they also need their own private area, it is important to look into what makes them comfortable living in small places.
They Are Small in Size
Shih Tzus are relatively small in size so they naturally don’t need much space for anything. Shih Tzus are less than a foot tall like many small breeds and they weigh between 10 to 20 pounds.
The standard Shih Tzu is sized around 9-16 pounds for weight and 8-10 inches for height, although some of them are a bit below or above this size range.
They Have Average Energy Level
Most high energy pets need lots of space to play, exercise, and just run around. Owners of high energy dogs always have their dogs running up and down the house so they need more space for play areas.
Shih Tzus, however, have average energy levels and don’t do much running around the house.
Your Shih Tzu is probably more comfortable lounging on your couch all day and sleeping on your bed all night than you can imagine. So they actually won’t be using their space much but they still need it regardless.
They Are Very Affectionate
A Shih Tzu’s temperament makes him more inclined to hang out with you than playing around or spending some alone time. Shih Tzus are very affectionate and they love to be with their owners more than anything else.
This affectionate nature makes them vie for your attention every minute of the day and snuggle up to you. The only time they would actually need this space is when you are not around for them to cuddle with or when they need a bit of personal space.
Planning and Setting Up a Space for Your Shih Tzu
You cannot afford to get a dog without creating a space for them, whether indoors or outdoors. And the space requirement often depends on the breed of dog you are getting.
But since Shih Tzus are not outdoor dogs apart from a walk or run in the park from time to time, you should not think of creating space for them outside your home.
A small apartment can pose a problem to large dogs, but for a Shih Tzu you have nothing to worry about. So if you have a small city apartment you are good to go.
There are a couple of things your Shih Tzu needs in his little palace to help him settle in comfortably. Things like beddings, toys, and basic supplies should be situated in your Shih Tzu’s space or room if you might call it that.
Choosing and Deciding the Space
The first thing to do before you set up space for your Shih Tzu is to consider what part of your house you want to set up for your dog. Some important things you should look into include how easy it will be for your dog to access this space and how private the space will be.
If you have a big house, avoid setting up your Shih Tzu’s space in a confusing area or high up where it might be stressful for him to access.
When opting out for a private space away from the noise and possibly visitors, then you should set up your Shih Tzu’s place in a secluded room somewhere where they can be away from the noise and activities they want to avoid.
After deciding on the location, you can then choose what will be the major fixture on this space; a crate, a bed, a playpen, a tent, or even a full dog house. Whatever you choose should be able to fit into the marked space and should be comfortable for your Shih Tzu.
The next thing to do is convert the space to a dog-safe zone. Remove everything that can cause harm to your Shih Tzu. Also, make sure that people don’t intrude in the Shih Tzus space because they might leave something lying around that could cause harm to them.
Take away electric cables, clothes, books, and sharp objects; the only thing you should leave in the room are things that belong to your Shih Tzu.
Setting up the Space
Put in everything your dog needs to be comfortable with. First, get a bed where your Shih Tzu can lie around; make sure it is compatible with your Shih Tzus size, delicate nature, and any other condition they might have.
Get them some toys that they can play with to keep busy and include treats they can snack on while relaxing in their space. Make sure the toys are not harmful in any way and clean them regularly.
Provide a bowl of clean water in the space if possible so that they can remain hydrated while they relax and play in their own space.
Click this link if you want more information on how to create a private space for your Shih Tzu.
My Final Thoughts
Creating a private space for your Shih Tzu is an important part of keeping your pet happy and safe with you. Allow them to have a safe place where they can go when they are not around you.
This builds confidence and independence and also gives your Shih Tzu an out when they are stressed out or overwhelmed.
Ensure that your dog’s personal area is safe and comfortable and provide everything your Shih Tzu might need to enjoy their own private space.
Whether with you or away from you, Shih Tzus deserve the best comfort so do your best to do that.