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How Often Should You Walk a Shih Tzu Dog?

The general rule is that small to medium-sized dogs such as the Shih Tzu need one 30 minute walk per day, although this can be broken up into two walks of 15 minutes each. The Shih Tzu does not have to be continually walking the entire time as it will need to sniff, urinate and defecate. When short-legged dogs like shih tzus begin panting heavily, walking slower or even dropping to the ground and refusing to move, then the walk is too long.

No Daily Walk

A Shih Tzu may not need a walk if it gets plenty of playtime with its owner in the home and yard rather than spending all day alone in a crate. Walks can be dangerous for a Shih Tzu if the weather is hot and humid. Shih tzus have a flat or brachycephalic face, which makes it difficult to breathe and makes them more prone to heat stroke.

Bottom Line

Each Shih Tzu has its individual exercise needs. But it does not need as much exercise as any of the retriever breeds. Shih tzus still need interaction with owners and toys to avoid developing habits such as destructive chewing or becoming obese. To avoid heat stroke and breathing problems during hot weather, keep shih tzus' hair clipped in hot weather and do not walk them.

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About the Author

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.