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Shih Tzu outside all day?

February 11th, 2007, 01:52 PM
We have a 1 yr old ShihTzu. Sammy loves to be outdoors in our fenced yard barking and looking at the deer. When we are both away from the house, we need to restrict him to the laundry room or he leaves "presents" around the house. We have a neighbor who lets him out to play twice a day. I think he would much rather stay outside in the yard, but my wife is worried that Shih Tzus are "indoor dogs" and would not be OK outside. I want to build him a small insulated dog house and allow him to stay outside during the day if it is above freezing. He would have sun/shade options and fresh water. Any thoughts? He will spend an hour outside at 25 degrees and hesitate when we try to call him in. Any comments would be appreciated

February 11th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Personally, I wouldn't leave him outside when you're not home. There are just too many unknowns - he could get out of your yard, someone could steal him, etc.
My dogs are inside when we aren't home. We leave 3 of them in the 'dog' room (6x6 former laundry room) and our old guy has free run of the house because he generally just sleeps anyway.
It doesn't sound like he's 'suffering' from being left inside esp. if you have someone who lets him out twice a day to play.

February 11th, 2007, 03:38 PM
Two things come to mind. The first is your neighbours, because you say the dog likes to bark. Unless you are sure your neighbours can't hear the dog, I'd keep it inside if you can't check the barking. (as a reference, my parents live out in the 'country', gravel road and all, and you can hear barking up to a half kilometer away.)
The second issue is the dog getting cold. Insulated dog house or not, shih tzu aren't built for very cold temperatures and I would be concerned that the dog may catch a chill and not be able to recover on its own body heat.

February 11th, 2007, 10:42 PM
Small dogs just don't have a low enough surface area to volume ratio to stay warm outside. In other words, when it's cold, they just don't have a big enough core to warm up.

On top of that, there are dangers that J&C and Petfriendly already mentioned.

February 12th, 2007, 11:38 AM
IS there an area in your house where you could have a doggy door that he could let himself in and out when need be? You could maybe put gates in that area so he cannot get out of that area.
Also is your yard fenced in or would he be tied out? Many bad things can happen to dogs who are tied for long periods, he could accidentally hang himself or somehow break or chew the tie and get away.

February 12th, 2007, 12:08 PM
I have a shih tzu who prefers cold weather too. But I never leave him outside alone. He doesn't know what's best for him. He was leaping into the snow the other night and it was cute but it got so clumped to his fur that he had a coat of little snowballs. We had to stick him right in the tub.

I've also heard that, since they're so low to the ground you need to worry about their internal organs. That's why he's got a cozy sweater--although on snowball night we thought we were just out for a quick piddle.:rolleyes:

And also, being so little means he doesn't have great self defense you know?

Prin thanks for the info on surface to volume ratio. I always think Tom stays out too long with him. I'm going to show him that.

February 20th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Thanks to all of you who responded. Seems like no one thinks it's a great idea. I guess I'll leave him inside...he really hates it and hides under the bed when he knows it's time for me to go to work...maybe I'll wait until it warms up to 50 or so, and try it while I'm home to see how he does...he would be in a fenced area, not on a leash, and would have both sun and shade options, and of course his house, food and water...I'll let you know how it goes....Thanks again

February 20th, 2007, 10:55 PM
You could get a cat to keep him company. Obviously there is more stimulation outside, but also plenty of risks (including someone scooping him up). I suggest a laid-back, older cat, one that has already had some experience with dogs. Go to any vet's office and you'll see ads for perfectly good cats looking for homes. Or get in touch with a rescue group. Your guy will have a pal to hang with when you're away (even if they're just curled up together on the couch) and no housetraining required!

February 21st, 2007, 06:40 AM
I have two tzus and the older one (Harley, age 4 yrs) just LOVES being outdoors, even when it is -30C!!!! He just sits on the deck and looks out to the yard. When he is in full coat he could stay out for a long time, but I never leave him long. My other dog (tzu/bichon, 10 months) loves to go out too but gets cold within 5 minutes and his little feet freeze up and he ends up trying to walk on two feet. :crazy: Not sure if it is a tzu thing, but they do love the cold.

Having said that, I would never leave my dogs outside for very long, they just don't understand how quickly they can freeze.

They also love it in the summer when it is +30C and I have to move them into the shade or they would bake in the sun!

February 26th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Always been a rule of mine that if we're not home, the dog is in the house. Have owned keeshonds for the past 20 years (spitz type breed), and even with all that fur, if it's really cold, I still make them come in every couple of hours to warm up, although they would protest since the weather was so perfect. I just wouldn't feel the dog was safe left outside with us not home.


March 7th, 2007, 05:12 PM
Leaving your dog out all day is creul - especially because of the breed. Shih Tzu's are NOT DESIGNED to be outdoors, they are bred to be indoor pets! If you were talking about a chihuahua - people would call you crazy, and shih tzus are no more suited for outdoor all day than a chihuahua would be.

TRAIN your dog, teach it NOT to leave you "presents" - obviously something was missed if he is doing this in your house. How about crate training?

March 13th, 2007, 10:09 PM
I don't know about there 'being something missing',
my mother-in-law had a shih tzu for 17 yrs.
If little Benny was mad at you, you'd find little 'presents' around the house.
ie:leaving him home while you went out.
Otherwise he was a perfectly agreeable guy.
I'm more inclined to think its a way to show you he's PO'D :mad:

March 14th, 2007, 12:58 AM
Dogs aren't spiteful like that. If he was leaving presents when he was left alone, it was far more likely to be because of separation anxiety than spite.:o Crate training can help with that if everything else doesn't work.:shrug:

March 14th, 2007, 04:33 AM
Our shih tzu.loves it out side.she's in and out all day in the warm weather.likes to lay in the sun.i would never leave her outside unattended.when we go out she's inside.

March 26th, 2007, 04:53 PM
Hi. I have a ****zu also who loves the outdoors but I would never think to leave her alone out there for any length of time.. But I am interested in the crate training idea when it comes to her leaving messes around the house.
She is only 5 months old but she seems to be regressing instead of progressing and that is getting very frustrating.. Could some one please fill me in a bit more on this.
Thank you