For a small dog breed, Shih Tzu has a surprisingly muscular and solid build. They’re naturally alert which makes them potentially good watchdogs. But, obviously, these little charmers were not bred to be working dogs. Shih Tzu live a pampered life for as long as they’ve existed. So, they have not been known for their dog agility or athleticism. Much less for their running skills or speed. But you might have seen some Shih Tzu zoom past other dogs in parks and other open spaces. It makes you wonder how fast can a Shih Tzu run?
What’s the maximum running speed of a Shih Tzu?
The fastest Shih Tzu in the AKC FAST Coursing Ability Test has a running speed of 21.27 mph (34.23 kph). It’s safe to say that the Shih Tzu named Sweetiepie is way faster than the running speed of the average Shih Tzu, which can be anywhere from 8 to 18 mph (12-19 kph).
Clearly, Shih Tzu running is not the fastest among the popular dog breeds but they are not the slowest either (We’re looking at you, Pug!). But knowing how fast (or slow) your Shih Tzu is running, you would be able to choose the right activities for your dog without tiring him out too much or putting him at risk of health issues.
Shih Tzu is Not a Good Running Companion
The running speed of the Shih Tzu will depend on their age and health condition. Older Shih Tzu dogs may have less spring on their steps and may run around less. Even in younger Shih Tzu running is not an activity that they should engage in.
While Shih Tzu may be eager to please their humans and join them in their morning jog, this is not something that they should be doing. With their short legs, it’s noticeable that they struggle to keep up with the pace of their humans.
As a brachycephalic dog breed, Shih Tzu running is prone to breathing issues. If they try to keep up with a faster speed than what they are normally used to, they may experience breathing problems.
Shih Tzu should not be a running or jogging companion. The daily walk at a leisurely pace is enough for the Shih Tzu.
Other Activities that Shih Tzu Can Do
While running and jogging are not recommended for Shih Tzu, there are still a lot of activities that Shih Tzu dogs can do and they don’t involve a lot of running. Try these fun dog activities which are not only physically stimulating but also mentally challenging. They are great bonding moments with your Shih Tzu.
- Dog Puzzle Toys
- Dog Food Puzzle Feeder
- Interactive Feed Game Using Pet Snuffle Mat
- Rope toys for small dogs
- Teach a new command or trick
- Play with bubbles
- Play Chase and Fetch