While dogs are naturally active and agile, at least compared to humans, there’s no denying that all breeds are different. So it’s not uncommon to ponder certain questions like if can Shih Tzus jump. The answer might seem obvious at first, as on the most basic level all dogs can jump. However that does not mean they all are good at it nor that they should be.
Shih Tzus are an interesting mix of traits when it comes to jumping, because it’s not uncommon for their breed to enjoy jumping, particularly from furniture to furniture. But given their size and shape, particularly their heavy front, it’s not recommended for them to take the risk from any sort of height. So overall the answer to our question is that they definitely can jump, but you shouldn’t just let them jump anywhere.
How High Can a Shih Tzu Jump?
Dog jumping heights can be a difficult thing to measure. As we mentioned above all dogs can jump, however both breeds and individuals come with their own set of quirks. It’s important to remember that averages are just that, and your pet can easily go above or below the norm. That said some standards for jump height do exist and we can find those in agility contests.
Contests have the most through information on just how well and high can a dog jump, and by their standards a Shih Tzu shouldn’t be expected to go beyond the 8 inch high range. For most household Shih Tzus a more accurate number would be 4″ or 6″, and that shows that as a breed they naturally aren’t made for high jumps.
There’s no denying that Shih Tzus are small, however it’s also important to note that they are proportionally small. Shih Tzus have rather short limbs for their body, and coupled with their heavier heads nature didn’t give them the tools to be natural jumpers.
While dogs can be trained to jump better and with more coordination, certain body limits just can’t be overcome. As such, if you are planning to give your Shih Tzu free roam at your house you’d do well to get pet steps like these ones on Amazon for them.
Most furniture is well above the 8 inch mark in height, and since Shih Tzus aren’t natural jumpers they definitely will appreciate the help. All in all you should keep in mind that they are a small breed, so try to think of heights from their perspective and you should be fine.
Just don’t wear them out too much trying to jump on a bed like Wookie here:
How to Prevent Injury From Heights?
If you read the first article we linked by now you’ll probably be aware that while Shih Tzus might feel temped to jump, all too often they really shouldn’t.
It’s all too common for people to dismiss the risks associated with heights, and all animals can get injured from a big fall, human, dog or even cat. As such, you should remain mindful.
The first major risk when it comes to a Shih Tzu jumping comes from the way they land. Landing is key to avoid injuries, and is what separates cats from other animals and parkour practitioners from most humans. If you ace your landing you can easily handle bigger jumps, but if you don’t even a single skip can hurt you.
And Shih Tzus are rather unsurprisingly not the best at landing. We’ve mentioned it a few times by now but it bears repeating: short limbs and a heavy front. Regardless of how well your dog starts the jump, gravity will take over eventually and make them all too likely to fall face first instead of paws first.
This can easily result in concussions or even broken bones if the height allows for it. And since they’ll likely impact their jaws first the damage will be more delicate than just a limp.
Similarly even if they do fall properly they just are far too small to handle it well. And in the same way we have a limit on just how far we can fall, so do they.
The key difference is that heights over 5 times their own are way too common for them. So even if a height looks small for you it can be really dangerous for your pal.
In short, don’t take the risk and make sure to encourage safe descending through pet steps and stop any potential risky jumping.
You can prevent this by keeping a firm hold on them when lifting them and avoiding counters and the like when moving them.
However at the end of the day a firm “sit” when they get too eager to jump is the best solution. Make sure to stop them in time and provide steps or ramps for the tall areas you do need them to join you in.
Is Your Shih Tzu Jumping On Your Guests?
Now if you do the math and take into account that Shih Tzus are oddly fond of jumping and often energetic and affectionate… It might not come as a surprise why your own is jumping all over guests.
Thankfully, compared to the previous topics this isn’t necessarily a health concern.
Ultimately this is still an annoyance concern, both for manners and your guests’ moods.
While Shih Tzus aren’t necessarily the most playful of breeds they definitely are affectionate and believe in contact. So your dog can easily feel the drive to go out and try to look for affection from any of your guests. They don’t mean ill and you shouldn’t worry about aggression, but it’s still a bad habit.
Thankfully the tips to avoid this are fairly general across all breeds. First of all, make sure your dog is being properly exercised, more time on walks is less excess energy, which can mean less jumps at home.
Additionally try to go out of your way to predict the moments when the jumping can begin. If your dog jumps at all guests order them to sit ahead of opening the door. Prevention goes a long way, and with enough practice they’ll associate guests with a resting position.
If you’re interested in calming down your Shih Tzu, do be sure to follow this link to my guide on training them to simmer down and when they start to calm down naturally in life.
Additional Tip to Stop Your Shih Tzu Jumping on Guests; With Video
I’ve found a fairly helpful video below on how to prevent your shih tzu from jumping on your visitors when you can tell that your dog is getting too excited to just sit down while people walk in the door: