Shih Tzu Exercises to Keep Them Fit and Healthy

Have you noticed that your lovable Shih Tzu has started to put on some extra pounds? Are you concerned about their health and want to help them manage their weight? Luckily, there are plenty of simple, effective exercises that you can do with your furry friend to keep them healthy and fit. But where do you start? In this article, we’ll take you step-by-step through the most effective exercises to manage the weight of your Shih Tzu. From walking to swimming to indoor play, we’ll cover it all so you can keep your pup healthy and happy. So, gather your energy, grab your furry companion, and let’s get started!

Why Exercise Your Shih Tzu?

Why Exercise Your Shih Tzu?
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for the wellbeing of your Shih Tzu. Exercise plays a vital role in managing their weight and overall health. A lack of exercise can lead to numerous health issues, including obesity and related complications such as diabetes and heart disease. Regular exercise helps improve your furry friend’s mental and emotional health. In this section, we will explore the importance of exercising your Shih Tzu and how it can benefit their health. To learn more about maintaining a healthy weight for your Shih Tzu, check out our previous article on Shih Tzu Healthy Weight.

Importance of Exercise

Regular exercise is essential for Shih Tzus to maintain a healthy weight and overall physical and mental well-being. Shih Tzus that do not get enough exercise are at a higher risk of becoming overweight, which can lead to various health problems. Here are some reasons why exercise is important for Shih Tzus:

  • Weight management: Regular exercise can help your Shih Tzu maintain a healthy weight. Obesity in Shih Tzus can cause numerous health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems, which can negatively affect their quality of life.
  • Physical health: Exercise can improve your Shih Tzu’s physical health by strengthening their muscles, bones, and joints. It can also improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Mental health: Exercise is not only good for the physical health of Shih Tzus but also for their mental health. Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase happiness and confidence, and improve overall behavior.
  • Bonding: Exercise can be a great way to bond with your Shih Tzu. It provides an opportunity for you to spend time with your furry companion and strengthen your relationship with them through play and physical activity.

To ensure that your Shih Tzu stays healthy, it’s important to not only exercise them regularly but also provide them with a balanced diet that meets their calorie requirements. You can learn more about Shih Tzu’s calorie requirements and weight management in our articles about calorie requirements and balanced diet for Shih Tzus.

Dangers of Obesity

Obesity is a major problem for dogs, including Shih Tzus. Here are some of the dangers associated with obesity in Shih Tzus:

  • Joint problems: An overweight Shih Tzu puts excessive strain on their joints, which can lead to arthritis and other joint problems.
  • Breathing difficulties: Excess weight can make it difficult for Shih Tzus to breathe, especially during exercise or hot weather.
  • Diabetes: Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes in dogs, and Shih Tzus are no exception.
  • Lower life expectancy: Studies have shown that overweight dogs have a lower life expectancy than those with a healthy weight.
  • Decreased quality of life: Overweight Shih Tzus may suffer from a decreased quality of life due to a lack of mobility and increased health problems.

It’s important to ensure that your Shih Tzu maintains a healthy weight to avoid these potential health problems. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage the weight of your Shih Tzu, along with a balanced diet and regular vet checkups.

Before You Begin:

Before You Begin:
Before starting any new exercise routine for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to take a few necessary steps to ensure their safety and well-being. First and foremost, schedule a checkup with your vet to make sure your furry friend is healthy enough for physical activity. Additionally, it’s crucial to know your Shih Tzu’s physical limitations and to choose exercises that are appropriate for their age and fitness level. Taking these crucial steps before embarking on a new exercise regimen can help to prevent injury and ensure a happy, healthy pup.

Get a Vet Checkup

Taking your Shih Tzu to the vet for a checkup prior to starting an exercise routine is crucial. It’s important to ensure that your pup is healthy and ready for physical activity. Here are some key reasons why you should take your Shih Tzu for a vet checkup before beginning an exercise regimen:

  • Identify any existing health issues: A vet can identify any existing health issues in your Shih Tzu that may become exacerbated by physical activity. For example, if your pup has joint problems or respiratory issues, exercise may need to be modified or restricted to prevent further damage.
  • Recommend a suitable exercise routine: Depending on your Shih Tzu’s age, weight, and general health, a vet can recommend an exercise routine that is safe and effective.
  • Discuss nutrition: Your vet can also discuss your Shih Tzu’s diet and help you create a nutrition plan that complements your exercise routine.
  • Set a baseline: A vet can measure your Shih Tzu’s vital signs and set a baseline for future comparison. This can help identify any changes that may occur in your pup’s health or fitness level over time.

A vet checkup is an important step to ensure that your Shih Tzu is ready and able to participate in an exercise routine. If any health concerns are identified, your vet can work with you to modify your pup’s exercise plan accordingly. By taking this step, you can help ensure that your Shih Tzu stays healthy and active for years to come.

Know Your Shih Tzu’s Limits

It’s crucial to understand that not all exercises are suitable for every dog, and it’s essential to know your Shih Tzu’s physical capabilities and limitations. Overexerting your furry friend can lead to severe health issues, including joint injuries and heart problems. It’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise.

To help you better understand your Shih Tzu’s limits, take note of the following factors in the table below:

Factors to ConsiderHow to Know Your Shih Tzu’s Limits
AgeOlder Shih Tzus may have reduced mobility and may require gentler exercises. Consider senior-specific exercise routines that focus on maintaining muscle mass and strength while avoiding putting pressure on their joints.
WeightShih Tzus who are overweight or obese may need modified exercises. These include low-impact movements, such as swimming or walking, to avoid putting too much strain on their joints. Consult with your vet to create an exercise plan and a healthy diet to help with weight management.
Health ConditionIf your Shih Tzu has any pre-existing health conditions, such as heart disease or arthritis, consult with your vet to create a custom exercise routine that is safe and manageable for your furry friend.
Activity LevelIf your dog has a less active lifestyle, it’s crucial to start slow and be patient with them as you increase the activity level. Gradually build up exercises’ intensity, duration and frequency in a consistent manner to avoid overwhelming them.

By taking these factors into account and knowing your Shih Tzu’s limitations, you can customize their exercise routine to their specific needs while ensuring their safety and well-being. Exercise should be an enjoyable and rewarding activity that helps to improve their health and strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion.

Types of Exercises

Types Of Exercises
Ready to start exercising your Shih Tzu? Great! Here are some effective ways to help your pup manage their weight and stay healthy. From walking to swimming to indoor play, there are a variety of different exercises you can do with your furry friend. Keep in mind that not every exercise is suitable for every dog, so make sure to consider your Shih Tzu’s individual needs and preferences. Let’s dive in and explore some fun ways to keep your pup active and happy.


One of the most effective exercises for managing the weight of your Shih Tzu is taking them for regular walks. Not only does it provide physical exercise, but it also gives them mental stimulation and socialization. When walking your Shih Tzu, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure their safety and enjoyment.

1. Invest in a good-quality leash: A sturdy and comfortable leash is essential for controlling your Shih Tzu’s movements and preventing accidents. Choose a leash made of durable materials, such as nylon or leather. Make sure the leash is the right length for your Shih Tzu’s size and strength.

2. Choose the right walking route: Pick a route that is safe and comfortable for your Shih Tzu. Avoid busy roads or areas with lots of traffic. Look for areas with soft ground or grass to minimize the impact on your Shih Tzu’s joints.

3. Start slow and build up gradually: If your Shih Tzu is not used to regular walks, start with shorter walks and gradually increase the duration over time. This will give them time to adjust and prevent exhaustion or injury.

4. Watch for signs of fatigue: Keep an eye on your Shih Tzu’s behavior during the walk. If they start lagging behind, panting excessively, or seem disinterested, it’s time to take a break and let them rest.

5. Keep them hydrated: Always bring water for your Shih Tzu during the walk, especially on hot days. Offer them small sips of water periodically to keep them hydrated.

6. Add variety to the route: Avoid walking the same route every day. Mix it up to keep your Shih Tzu engaged and interested. This can also help prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

By following these tips and taking your Shih Tzu for regular walks, you can promote their physical and mental well-being while effectively managing their weight.


Swimming can be a highly effective form of exercise for Shih Tzus. Not only does it provide an opportunity for cardio and strength training, but it is also a low-impact activity that is easy on their joints. Here are some tips for incorporating swimming into your Shih Tzu’s exercise routine:

  • Find a safe spot: Look for a shallow, calm body of water such as a pool or lake that is safe for your Shih Tzu to swim in. Make sure to supervise your pup at all times.
  • Invest in a life jacket: Even if your pup is a strong swimmer, it’s always a good idea to have them wear a life jacket for added safety and peace of mind.
  • Start slow: If your Shih Tzu is new to swimming, start slowly by letting them get used to the water and gradually increasing the amount of time they spend swimming.
  • Stimulate their natural instincts: Shih Tzus were originally bred as hunting dogs, so try tossing a toy or ball into the water for them to chase and retrieve.
  • Monitor for overheating: Be sure to watch for signs of overheating such as excessive panting and take breaks as needed to allow your pup to cool off and stay hydrated.
  • Mix it up: Don’t rely solely on swimming as your Shih Tzu’s form of exercise. Mix in other activities such as walking, indoor play, and fetching games to provide variety and prevent boredom.

Swimming can be a fun and effective way to manage the weight of your Shih Tzu. Just be sure to take the necessary safety precautions and monitor your pup’s comfort level throughout the activity.

Indoor Play

An excellent way to exercise your Shih Tzu indoors is through indoor play. No matter how old, young, lazy or active your Shih Tzu is, there are many indoor games that you can use to help them stay fit and healthy.

Here are some indoor play ideas for your Shih Tzu:

Indoor Play IdeasDescription
Hide-and-SeekThis is a fun and interactive game that involves hiding treats and toys around the house for your Shih Tzu to find. It’s a great way to keep your dog active and mentally stimulated.
Tug-of-WarThis classic game is a great way to provide your Shih Tzu with a full-body workout. Use a rope toy and let your puppy tug away while you gently pull in the opposite direction to give them a bit of resistance.
ChaseIf you have a spacious indoor area, try playing a game of chase with your Shih Tzu. You can run around and let your dog chase after you. This fun game is sure to get your dog’s heart rate up and burn off some energy.
Puzzle ToysPuzzle toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s senses and keep them mentally engaged while they play. A Kong toy filled with peanut butter or other treat is a great puzzle toy that can keep your Shih Tzu entertained for hours.
Sniffing GameShih Tzus love sniffing and exploring new scents. You can hide treats around the house and let them sniff out the treats using their nose. This game will engage their brain and provide them with lots of exercise.

Make sure that any indoor playtime with your Shih Tzu is supervised and that adult dogs are allowed to play with their toys solo. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your indoor playtime sessions.

Fetching Games

Fetching games are a great form of exercise for your Shih Tzu. Not only are they fun, but they also engage your pup’s natural instincts to retrieve and bring back objects. Plus, it can be a great bonding activity for you and your furry friend. Here are some ideas for incorporating fetching games into your pup’s exercise routine.

Tug-of-WarPlaying tug-of-war with your Shih Tzu can be a great way to incorporate fetching into a game. Use a toy like a rope, and engage in a gentle tug-of-war with your pup. To make it even more fun, add a verbal cue such as “get it” when you throw the toy or “bring it back” when they return it to you.
FrisbeeA classic game of fetch, using a Frisbee can be a lot of fun for both you and your dog. Make sure to use a Frisbee made specifically for dogs, as they will be sturdier and safer for your pup to play with than a regular Frisbee for humans. Start by throwing the Frisbee short distances, and gradually work up to longer throws as your Shih Tzu becomes more confident.
BallA ball is another classic fetch toy that your Shih Tzu will love. Start with a small ball and toss it short distances. As your pup becomes more adept at returning the ball to you, gradually increase the distance of your throws. Just make sure to use a ball that is appropriately sized for your Shih Tzu’s mouth to avoid a choking hazard.

Remember to always supervise your pup during fetching games to ensure their safety. Also, be cautious of any surfaces that could cause injury, such as concrete or rough terrain. With these precautions in mind, fetching games can be a great way to provide your Shih Tzu with exercise and entertainment.

Hiking and Outdoors Activities

Taking your Shih Tzu for hikes and outdoor activities is a great way to provide them with exercise while bonding with them. However, it is important to take precautions when participating in these activities with your furry friend. Here are some tips on hiking and outdoor activities with your Shih Tzu:

Choose the Right TrailWhen going on a hike or walk choose a trail that is not too steep for your Shih Tzu. They have short legs and may struggle with steep inclines.
Bring Enough WaterShih Tzus can easily get dehydrated. Make sure to bring enough water and a collapsible water dish for your furry friend to drink from.
Protect Their PawsShih Tzus have sensitive paws. The rough terrain may cause cuts and scrapes. Protect their paws with booties or paw wax.
Check for Ticks and FleasMake sure to check your Shih Tzu for ticks and fleas before and after the walk. Use a flea and tick preventative to keep them protected.
Watch for Signs of OverexhaustionShih Tzus can become overexerted easily, so it is important to watch for signs of exhaustion such as panting heavily and struggling to walk. Take frequent breaks and carry them if needed.
Bring a LeashMake sure to bring a leash for your Shih Tzu when participating in outdoor activities. This will keep them safe and prevent them from running off.

Keep in mind that hiking and outdoor activities may not be suitable for all Shih Tzus. Their age and activity level should be taken into consideration before embarking on any outdoor adventures. As always, consult with your veterinarian to determine if it is safe for your Shih Tzu to participate in these activities.

Exercises to Avoid

Exercises To Avoid
When it comes to managing your Shih Tzu’s weight through exercise, it’s important to know which types of exercises may do more harm than good. While it’s crucial to keep your furry friend active and healthy, there are some exercises to steer clear of. In this section, we’ll discuss important considerations to keep in mind before engaging in any physical activity with your Shih Tzu, as well as exercises that may need to be avoided altogether. By understanding these precautions, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu’s exercise routine is both safe and effective.

Avoid Over-Vigorous Exercise

When it comes to exercising your Shih Tzu, it’s important to be mindful of the intensity of the physical activity. Over-vigorous exercise can lead to injury or exhaustion, which can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Here are some exercises you should avoid or approach with caution:

Exercise to AvoidWhy to Avoid
Long Distance RunningShih Tzus have a short snout, which can make breathing difficult during intense exercise
Jumping from HeightsShih Tzus are small and delicate dogs, and jumping from heights can cause injury or damage to their joints
Excessive RoughhousingShih Tzus have small and fragile bodies, and too much rough play can cause injury or harm
High Impact ActivitiesShih Tzus have relatively fragile bones and joints, and high-impact activities like agility training or obstacle courses can put them at risk for injury

While some Shih Tzus may enjoy more intense exercise, it’s important to be cautious and monitor their physical responses. Signs of overexertion include heavy panting, excessive drooling, or difficulty standing. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take a break and allow your dog to rest before continuing any further physical activity.

Avoid Overheating

As a responsible Shih Tzu owner, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent overheating while exercising. Overheating can lead to heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition in dogs. Here are some ways to avoid overheating during exercise:

Exercise During Cooler Times of DayIt’s best to exercise your Shih Tzu during the cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to prevent overheating. Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, typically between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Provide Adequate WaterMake sure your Shih Tzu has plenty of water during exercise. Bring along a water bottle and bowl or use a reusable water bottle with an attached bowl for convenience.
Take BreaksDuring exercise, take breaks and bring your Shih Tzu to a shaded area. Offer your dog water and allow them to rest and cool down before continuing with the activity.
Recognize Signs of OverheatingIt’s important to recognize the signs of overheating, which include excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your Shih Tzu to a shaded area, provide water, and rest. If the symptoms persist or worsen, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Use Cooling ProductsConsider using cooling products, such as vests or bandanas that can keep your Shih Tzu cool during exercise. These products work by evaporative cooling and can be a great way to prevent overheating during hot weather.

By following these tips, you can help prevent overheating during exercise and keep your Shih Tzu healthy and happy. Remember to always prioritize your dog’s safety and well-being during physical activity.

Avoid Jumping Movements

When exercising your Shih Tzu, it is important to avoid any jumping movements that could potentially harm their bones and joints. While it may seem like a fun way to get your furry friend active, jumping poses a serious risk for Shih Tzus. Here are some jumping movements to avoid:

  • High Jumps: Shih Tzus are small dogs and are not built for high jumps. Avoid any activities that involve jumping from heights, such as jumping hurdles or over obstacles. This could lead to injuries such as sprains, fractures, or even spinal cord injuries.
  • Jumping on and off Furniture: Shih Tzus love to jump on and off furniture, but it can be harmful to their joints. The impact of landing can cause serious injuries, particularly to the hips and knees. Instead, provide a doggy ramp or steps to help your dog get up and down safely.
  • Jumping into Water: While swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise for Shih Tzus, avoid having them jump into the water from a height. This can cause injuries to their bones, particularly to their legs and spine.

Keeping these jumping movements in mind, it is best to focus on exercises that are low-impact and less risky for your furry friend. By avoiding these potentially harmful activities, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu stays healthy and active for years to come.

How Much Exercise Does Your Shih Tzu Need?

How Much Exercise Does Your Shih Tzu Need?
Determining how much exercise your Shih Tzu needs can be a bit perplexing. Factors such as the age and activity level of your furry friend need to be taken into consideration. It’s important to ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight and overall wellbeing. In this section, we’ll dive into the different factors that affect your Shih Tzu’s exercise routine and provide recommendations for an effective exercise regimen.

Age and Activity Level

When it comes to determining how much exercise your Shih Tzu needs, age and activity level are two crucial factors to consider. It’s important to adjust your dog’s exercise routine based on their specific needs to prevent injuries and ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

Puppies have a lot of energy, but it’s important not to over-exercise them. From 8 weeks to 4 months, puppies only need about 15-20 minutes of playtime, two to three times a day. As they grow, you can gradually increase the duration of exercise and frequency to about 30 minutes to an hour, but avoid forcing too much too soon.

Adult Shih Tzus typically need about 30-60 minutes of exercise each day, depending on their activity level. Walking, swimming, or playing indoors are great options to help them maintain a healthy weight and burn off excess energy.

As dogs age, they may become less active and may require less exercise. However, it’s still important to keep them moving to prevent muscle atrophy and manage their weight. Shorter walks or gentle playtime for 15-20 minutes a few times a day can be beneficial.

It’s important to remember that every dog is different, and their exercise needs vary based on their individual factors. Always consult with your veterinarian if you’re uncertain about how much exercise your Shih Tzu needs or if they have any medical conditions that may impact their exercise routine.

Example Exercise Routine

An effective exercise routine for managing the weight of your Shih Tzu should be a balance of activity and rest. Here is an example exercise routine that can help your furry friend maintain physical and mental wellness:


  • Start with a brisk walk for 30 minutes, allowing your Shih Tzu to explore and sniff their surroundings.
  • Followed by a 10-minute indoor play session, including fetch or tug of war.


  • Give your Shih Tzu a 15-minute walk to break up their day.
  • Set up a small agility course in your backyard or living room, with obstacles like cones, jumps, and tunnels. Spend 10-15 minutes going through the course with your Shih Tzu.


  • Cool down with a 5-minute walk to help your Shih Tzu wind down for the day.
  • Finish with a slow-paced swim for 15-20 minutes to help your furry friend relax and get a low-impact workout.

Remember that every Shih Tzu is different, so adjust the routine as necessary based on your dog’s age, activity level, and health status. Consult with your vet if you have any concerns or if you want to create a personalized exercise plan for your Shih Tzu.

Exercising Your Shih Tzu Indoors

When the weather is less than ideal or if you live in a smaller space, exercising your Shih Tzu indoors is a great alternative to outdoor activities. It not only provides a fun and entertaining way for your furry friend to burn some energy, but it can also help maintain their weight and overall health. With a little creativity and some helpful tips, exercising your Shih Tzu indoors can be just as effective as outdoor exercise. So, let’s explore some exciting ways to keep your pooch active in the comfort of your own home!

Make it Fun

Making indoor exercise fun for your Shih Tzu is crucial to keep them engaged and motivated to continue working out. Here are some ways to make it enjoyable for your furry friend:

Vary the exercisesDo not repeat the same exercise every day. Mix it up by switching between activities like walking, playing fetch, and agility training. Your Shih Tzu will enjoy the variety, and it will keep them from getting bored.
Turn up the musicPlaying upbeat music while exercising can help set the mood and energy level. Your Shih Tzu may even start dancing along with the music, making it a fun experience for both of you.
Get creative with obstaclesUse household items to create simple obstacles that your Shih Tzu can jump over, crawl under, or weave through. You can also purchase agility equipment designed for small dogs, like ramps and tunnels, to make it even more interesting.
Make it a gameIncorporate training into play by teaching your Shih Tzu new tricks or commands while playing games. For example, you can teach them to “stay” while you hide a toy, and then have them find it using their sense of smell. This will mentally stimulate your Shih Tzu while also providing exercise.
Positive reinforcementRemember to provide positive reinforcement during and after the exercise. Reward your Shih Tzu with praise or small treats for a job well done. This will encourage them to continue to exercise and make it a positive experience.

By making indoor exercise fun and engaging, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu stays active and healthy even when the weather outside is not ideal. These activities will not only provide them with physical exercise but also mental stimulation, ensuring that they are always happy and healthy.

Make Use of Toys and Treats

During indoor exercises, making use of toys and treats can greatly enhance your Shih Tzu’s interest and engagement. Here are some tips on how you can incorporate toys and treats into your indoor exercise routine:

  • Choose the right toys: Pick toys that are safe, durable and engaging for your Shih Tzu. Many Shih Tzu’s enjoy toys that they can carry easily in their mouth, such as plush toys or balls. Toys that squeak or have hidden treats inside can also be effective in keeping their attention.
  • Use treats as motivation: Treats are a great way to motivate your Shih Tzu during exercise. You can use treats as a reward for completing a task successfully or as a way to lure them towards a toy or activity.
  • Make it interactive: Let your Shih Tzu play with the toys by themselves for a while, but after some time, get involved with them. Play tug-of-war, throw a ball or even engage in a game of hide-and-seek. This interactivity will keep your Shih Tzu engaged and make the exercise less monotonous.
  • Rotate toys and treats: To keep your Shih Tzu interested and prevent boredom, it’s important to rotate their toys and treats regularly. This increases the novelty factor and keeps them engaged in the activity. Remember to always supervise your Shih Tzu while they are playing with their toys and treats to ensure their safety.

By using toys and treats in your indoor exercise routine, you can create a fun and engaging experience for your Shih Tzu while also helping them manage their weight and stay healthy. Just make sure to choose the right toys and treats, use them as motivation, make the activity interactive and rotate them regularly.

Teach Them Tricks

Teaching your Shih Tzu tricks is not only physically stimulating but also mentally stimulating. It helps to keep their weight in check by burning off excess calories while also improving their cognitive function. Here are some tricks you can teach your furry friend:

Roll OverHave your Shih Tzu lie down on their side and then use a treat to lure them into rolling over onto their back. Once they complete the roll, reward them with the treat.
High FiveHold your hand out and say “High Five” while gently tapping your Shih Tzu’s paw. Once they lift their paw, give them a treat as a reward.
SpeakEncourage your Shih Tzu to bark by saying “Speak” or “Bark” repeatedly. Once they bark, reward them with a treat.
SpinHold a treat in front of your Shih Tzu and gently guide them in a circle. Once they complete the spin, reward them with the treat.
Play DeadHave your Shih Tzu lie down on their side and then use a treat to lure them onto their back. Once they are lying on their back, say “play dead” and reward them with the treat.

Remember to keep training sessions short, positive, and frequent to keep your Shih Tzu engaged and eager to learn. With a bit of patience and consistency, your furry friend will be performing these tricks and burning off those calories in no time!

Set Up an Indoor Agility Course

One fun way to exercise your Shih Tzu indoors is by setting up an indoor agility course. This can provide mental stimulation and physical exercise for your furry friend.
Here are some steps you can take to set up an agility course:

  • Clear out a space in your home where you have enough room to set up the course.
  • Gather supplies such as cones or objects your Shih Tzu can jump over, weave poles or objects they can weave around, and a tunnel or objects they can crawl through.
  • Start with simple hurdles, such as cones or low objects, and gradually increase the height as your Shih Tzu becomes more comfortable.
  • Teach your dog how to navigate each obstacle one at a time, using treats and positive reinforcement to encourage and reward them.
  • Once your Shih Tzu has mastered each obstacle separately, combine them into a full agility course.
  • Remember to always supervise your dog during the agility course, and avoid placing any obstacles that could potentially harm them.

Keep your Shih Tzu’s limitations in mind while setting up the agility course, and adjust accordingly. An indoor agility course can be an enjoyable and unique way to keep your Shih Tzu active and healthy, especially when outdoor exercise is not an option.


After reading through this article on effective exercises for managing the weight of your Shih Tzu, you should now have a solid understanding of the importance of keeping your furry friend active and healthy. Regular exercise is essential not only for your Shih Tzu’s physical health but also for their mental wellbeing.

Remember, before beginning any exercise routine with your Shih Tzu, it is crucial to speak with your veterinarian to ensure that they are healthy enough for physical activity. Once you have the green light, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of their exercise routine.

There are many types of exercises that are suitable for your Shih Tzu, from walking and swimming to hiking and playing fetch. However, it is important to avoid over-vigorous exercise, overheating, and jumping movements that could injure your furry friend.

It is also important to know your Shih Tzu’s individual needs and limits, as age and activity level can affect how much exercise they require. As a general rule, aim for at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.

If you need to exercise your Shih Tzu indoors, there are plenty of ways to make it fun and engaging. Use toys and treats to keep them motivated, teach them tricks, and even set up an indoor agility course.

By incorporating these exercises into your Shih Tzu’s routine, they will not only maintain a healthy weight but also enjoy a longer and happier life. Remember to always prioritize your furry friend’s health and happiness, and you will have a loyal and loving companion for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of exercising my Shih Tzu?

Exercising your Shih Tzu helps maintain their weight, keeps them physically fit, and improves their overall health and well-being. It also helps to prevent behavioral problems caused by pent-up energy.

How much exercise does a Shih Tzu need?

The amount of exercise a Shih Tzu needs depends on their age, size, and activity level. Generally, they need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, but more active dogs may require up to an hour or more.

Can I exercise my Shih Tzu indoors?

Absolutely! There are plenty of fun indoor exercises you can do with your Shih Tzu, including playing with toys, teaching them tricks, and setting up an indoor agility course.

What are some signs that my Shih Tzu may be overweight?

Signs of obesity in Shih Tzus can include a lack of energy, difficulty breathing, a lower belly that hangs low to the ground, and an inability to feel their ribs under their skin. Speak with your vet if you’re concerned about your dog’s weight.

What are some exercises to avoid with my Shih Tzu?

Avoid over-vigorous exercise, overheating, and jumping movements. Shih Tzus are prone to joint problems, which can be exacerbated by over-exertion and jumping.

Can Shih Tzus go hiking?

Yes, but take care with their small size and short legs. Start with short, easy hikes and work up to more challenging terrain. Bring plenty of water and take frequent breaks.

Can Shih Tzus swim?

Yes, but some may not enjoy it. Introduce your Shih Tzu to water slowly and supervise them closely. Consider using a life vest designed for small dogs for added safety.

How can I make indoor exercise fun for my Shih Tzu?

Make use of toys and treats, teach them new tricks, and set up an indoor agility course. Shih Tzus are playful dogs who love to interact with their owners.

What should I do before starting an exercise routine with my Shih Tzu?

Speak with your vet to make sure your dog is healthy enough for exercise. Also, be sure to know your dog’s limits and start with short, easy exercises before working up to more strenuous activity.

What are the dangers of obesity in Shih Tzus?

Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems in Shih Tzus, including joint pain, diabetes, and heart disease. It can also shorten their lifespan.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DoggoLab, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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