Shih Tzus are playful dogs who love to be out and about, exercising as often as possible. Yet, statistics have shown that 1 in 5 Shih Tzu owners don’t regularly walk their dog, behaviour that, if sustained, can result in health problems in the long term.
Exercising your Shih Tzu doesn’t have to be a chore, however, and there are a variety of ways that you can get (yours and) your Shih Tzu exercise in, without overly exerting yourself.
Here’s our guide to the best, most varied ways of keeping your Shih Tzu fit and healthy:
Walking, Running And Jogging
Ok, it’s the obvious one, but the most basic way to exercise your Shih Tzu is to slip on their harness and take them for a good old dog walk. There’s no doubt that your Shih Tzu will jump with excitement as soon as they spot their lead, which is an obvious sign that this tried and tested method works.
We’re not suggesting that you take your Shih Tzu for a sprint, but a short run or jog can do them the world of good. Why not wear the appropriate clothing and, if opportunity arises, get in a bit of extra exercise for yourself as well as your Shih Tzu. A couple of laps around a local pond, for example, will not only break up the walk, but also allow your Shih Tzu to burn off a good deal of energy.
If you’re getting bored of the same old walks, why not change them up a bit? Take a different route, or walk a different area of the park… Or, even better, take your Shih Tzu with you when possible! If you’re meeting a friend for lunch, for example, find a dog friendly cafe, or sit outside in a pub garden if the weather’s good?
Some dogs may not always require great activity so a jog or a run may be too much for the dog, but we’re sure you would be the best judge for this.. As long as they’re by your side, your Shih Tzu will be happy to accompany you!
Another way to release some energy fast is a good old game of fetch. Chasing their favourite ball or toy will keep your Shih Tzu occupied for hours and, with any luck, they’ll kick it around themselves for a while and give you a break. Or, take the toy with you on a walk and give your Shih Tzu an even longer run!
However, it’s important that you play in a safe and secure area. Make sure that your Shih Tzu is well trained enough to come back to you if you’re playing outside. Also, be considerate of others around you – you don’t want to be chasing your Shih Tzu through a family picnic!
Tug Of War
We love a good game of tug of war almost as much as our dogs, and Shih Tzus especially could play for hours!
Shih Tzus will play with anything – a favourite toy, a shoe, an old sock – and now you can get special rope toys, designed specifically for the game. These are great because they make it easier for your Shih Tzu to grip the toy between their teeth without hurting them. They’re also made specially to not fall apart in their mouth.
Whilst playing the game, it’s important to ensure that your Shih Tzu doesn’t become too aggressive. If they do, it’s a good idea to change the game to something more calm.
Find The Treat
Perhaps a more relaxed game for you, hiding your treats around the house is a great way to keep them occupied and steal away an hour for yourself.
The key is to not go overboard – remember, the more treats you give them, the more energy they’ll have. So, why not hide your favourite toys instead? Some Shih Tzus will take to the game very quickly, but for others it’ll take a little longer.
Stick with it – you’ll be thanking us when your dog is busy in the other room and you’re free to watch half a Netflix series in peace!
If you’re looking to train yourShih Tzu, then why not exercise them at the same time with an agility course?
There are loads of specialist agility kits on the market that you can buy, and they’re not that expensive. Otherwise, just use household objects – cans of soup instead of cones, old cardboard boxes to walk through, etc.
Repeating the circuit will do wonders in terms of training your Shih Tzu, whilst giving them the exercise that they need!
How Tailster’s Dog Walking Service Can Help
We know that our lives are busy, and it’s often difficult to find the time to give your Shih Tzu ample exercise. That’s where we at Tailster can help. Tailster’s dog walking service will ensure that your Shih Tzu gets as much exercise as you specify, keeping them fit and healthy when you simply don’t have the time.