Choosing the right companion dog for our Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience. Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and friendly nature, making them great candidates for having a canine buddy. Adding another dog to the family can enhance our pet’s social skills and provide endless play and companionship.

So which breeds make the best companions for a Shih Tzu? In this article, we will explore and introduce the top 10 dog breeds that harmonize well with Shih Tzus in terms of size, temperament, and energy levels. Understanding these qualities will help us make an informed decision and ensure a happy, balanced environment for both our Shih Tzu and their new friend.

1. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog.
Source: Envato Elements

The Bichon Frise is a wonderful companion for Shih Tzus. They are small, fluffy, and cheerful dogs. Both breeds are similar in size, making it easier for them to coexist.

Bichons have a playful nature, which complements the friendly demeanor of Shih Tzus. They enjoy playing and can keep each other entertained.

Another benefit is that both breeds have hypoallergenic coats. This means they shed less and are generally better for people with allergies. Regular grooming is required to keep their fur in top condition.

Their temperaments match well, as both breeds are known for being affectionate and good with families. They can bond strongly with us and our Shih Tzus, creating a harmonious household.

2. Maltese

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The Maltese are great companions for Shih Tzus. Both breeds are similar in size and energy levels, making them perfect for play and exercise.

Maltese dogs are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They get along well with other dogs, making them ideal for multi-pet households. Their calm temperament complements the Shih Tzu’s affectionate nature.

Another benefit is their grooming needs. Both the Maltese and Shih Tzu require regular grooming. This means we can follow a consistent grooming routine for both pets. This makes it easier to manage their care. In terms of health, Maltese dogs are generally healthy but can have some common small-dog health issues. Keeping an eye on their health is important, as similar issues can occur with Shih Tzus too.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate and gentle, making them wonderful companions for Shih Tzus. These small, friendly dogs share a similar size and energy level with Shih Tzus. This makes playtime smooth and enjoyable.

We often find Cavaliers to be easy to train. They are eager to please and blend well in family settings. Their natural friendliness helps them get along with other pets too.

These dogs love to cuddle and stay close to their humans. Their mild temperament ensures they remain calm and loving. This trait pairs well with the Shih Tzu’s affectionate nature.

4. Poodle

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Poodles are one of the best companions for Shih Tzus. They are known for their intelligence and friendly nature, which make them a compatible match for the playful and affectionate Shih Tzu.

Poodles come in various sizes, allowing us to choose the perfect size for our living space. They are also hypoallergenic, which can be beneficial for households with allergies.

Poodles have a high energy level, similar to Shih Tzus. This ensures that both dogs can enjoy playtime together, keeping each other entertained. Their social and adaptable nature helps them get along well with other pets.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Dog is walking on the grass in summer park.

In our experience, Yorkshire Terriers make great companions for Shih Tzus. Both breeds are small, which means they don’t intimidate each other with size differences. Their play styles match well, ensuring fun and safe interactions.

Yorkshire Terriers have a friendly and energetic personality that balances well with the gentle nature of Shih Tzus. They enjoy playing together and can provide each other with plenty of physical activities.

Yorkies are also known for their loyalty and affection toward their canine companions. This loyalty helps in forming strong bonds with Shih Tzus, making them feel secure and loved.

6. Pekingese

Source: Envato Elements

The Pekingese is a wonderful companion for our Shih Tzus. Both dogs come from ancient China and share similar traits. They are small, loyal, and affectionate.

Pekingese have a calm demeanor that matches well with Shih Tzus. They enjoy cozy indoor living, just like our furry friends.

Their grooming needs are also similar, as both breeds have long, dense hair. This makes caring for them easier since we can follow a similar grooming routine.

Pekingese get along well with Shih Tzus because they are both friendly and social. They can bond and play together without much issue.

7. Havanese

Havanese dog (Canis lupus familiaris) with a purple bow running on the grass on blurred background
Havanese dog (Canis lupus familiaris) with a purple bow running on the grass on blurred background

We find that the Havanese is a fantastic companion for our Shih Tzus. Their gentle and playful nature makes them a great match. Both breeds enjoy socializing and have similar energy levels.

Havanese dogs are small, just like Shih Tzus, so they play well together indoors or in small yards. They also share similar grooming needs, which makes caring for them easier.

Both breeds are known for their loyalty and affection. They love to be around their families and get along well with children and other pets. This makes the Havanese a perfect buddy for our Shih Tzus.

8. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso dog
Lhasa Apso dog

The Lhasa Apso is a great companion for our Shih Tzus. Both breeds are small and have similar grooming needs. Their long, flowing coats require regular care.

Lhasa Apsos are known for their loyalty and alert nature. They are friendly but can be a bit more independent compared to Shih Tzus. This balance works well.

When it comes to energy levels, Lhasa Apsos are a good match. They enjoy playtime and short walks but also appreciate relaxing at home, which makes them suitable friends for our Shih Tzus.

9. Papillon

Two cute papillon dogs
Two cute papillon dogs

Papillons are small, light dogs known for their butterfly-like ears. They make excellent companions for Shih Tzus. Both breeds share a playful nature and enjoy each other’s company.

Papillons are intelligent and easy to train. Due to their similar energy levels, they get along well with Shih Tzus. Both breeds are friendly and enjoy socializing with other dogs.

Papillons are also very affectionate. Their loving nature complements the Shih Tzu’s desire for companionship. Together, they provide each other with comfort and entertainment, forming a strong bond.

10. Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhound
Italian greyhound

The Italian Greyhound makes a great companion for our Shih Tzus. This breed is known for its affectionate and gentle nature. Italian Greyhounds are smaller, which works well with the Shih Tzu’s petite frame.

Italian Greyhounds are very adaptable and loyal. They enjoy both playtime and relaxation, mirroring the Shih Tzu’s temperament. They are also friendly and enjoy socializing, making them suitable for families.

Despite their energy, they appreciate lounging around the house. Their calm and gentle demeanor can be a perfect match for our Shih Tzus, making them one of the best companion dogs for this breed.

Traits of Ideal Companion Dogs

When choosing a companion dog for a Shih Tzu, it’s essential to focus on specific traits. We must consider factors such as compatibility, temperament, and exercise requirements.

Compatibility with Shih Tzus

Compatibility is crucial. Shih Tzus are small dogs, so their companion must also be of similar size. This ensures safety during playtime. It’s important to avoid overly dominant breeds, as they may intimidate or bully the Shih Tzu.

Breeds like the Maltese and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are excellent choices. Both are similar in size. Also, their grooming needs are manageable. Friendly and social dogs make ideal companions since Shih Tzus thrives on interaction. Maintaining a harmonious environment benefits both dogs.

Temperament and Behavior

Temperament plays a significant role in selecting a companion dog. Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and gentle nature. Therefore, their companions should be equally loving and calm. Breeds that are known for being friendly and easy-going tend to complement Shih Tzus well.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for instance, is renowned for being affectionate and gentle. It’s best to avoid dogs that are highly aggressive or overly shy as they may disrupt the harmony. Consistent, calm behavior fosters a positive household atmosphere and strengthens the bond between the dogs.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

Matching energy levels is crucial. Shih Tzus have moderate energy and require regular, but not overly intense, exercise. Their companion should have similar exercise needs to ensure they can enjoy activities together.

Maltese dogs, for example, have energy levels similar to Shih Tzus. Both breeds enjoy short walks and play sessions. Breeds with significantly higher or lower energy levels may not be suitable. This could lead to frustration or health issues.

Finding the right match involves considering daily exercise routines and ensuring both dogs are comfortable with the activity levels. This balance keeps the dogs healthy and happy.