If you have a Shih Tzu and believe that your dog has a natural ability to assist you with a health condition, you may want to consider exploring this to find out if he/she would be able to serve in this fashion.
If a Shih Tzu has the capability to sense your health status, it will be a natural instinct and not something that you can force or train for.
It is estimated that between 10 and 20% of canine pets have the ability to sense when an owner is ill, however this is still being studied to find out exactly how they can do this. It is theorized that the dog is able to sense chemical changes that occur in the owner's body, is able to pick up on minute bodily cues that would be imperceptible to other people or a combination of both of these things.
Once it is determined that this ability exists, certified training will take things one step further and allow you to see if your Shih Tzu is able to perform these important tasks with reliability and consistency. Once official, your dog can wear a vest (not mandatory, but helpful in many situations) and you may be able to receive certain tax breaks since of course, every bit helps!
By law, a Shih Tzu that is a service dog would then be allowed to accompany his owner into any privately owned business that serves the public. This includes a wide range of places such as food
and retail stores, pharmacies, restaurants, movie theaters, even concert halls and in taxi cabs. Any 'no pets' ban does not apply.
Also, the owner or manager of any establishment may ask you if your Shih Tzu is a service dog, however is not allowed to insist on seeing documents. He/she may ask you if you have a disability or medical condition but is not allowed to ask the specifics of what it is.
While just about all medical alert dogs are extremely calm and good natured, if one were to bark or cause a commotion, the owner can be asked to exit the premises.
As a final note, there are some people who take advantage of these laws and feign that their dog is a service dog; and of course that is highly unethical and is an insult to the integrity of those that are truly working in this capacity, keeping owners healthy and even saving their lives.