What To Know About The Shih Tzu Personality and Temperament

Shih Tzu dog looking into camera

When I think about the Shih Tzu personality and temperament several words come to mind.

Beautiful, sweet, loyal, friendly, sassy, regal, happy, needy, stubborn, intuitive, proud, picky, strong, lovable, joyful, cuddly, funny.

The typical personality and temperament of a Shih Tzu is that of a sweet natured, loyal, friendly and playful breed. They are very affectionate dogs that make a wonderful companion pet.

However you describe them, one thing is certain...they will always warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.

Shih Tzu Personality with Kids and Pets

When you meet a Shih Tzu for the first time, one of the things you will notice about them is how happy and friendly they are.

This is what makes them so irresistible to us dog lovers. 

Shih Tzu typically get along very well with people of all ages, as well as with other dogs

And if you're wondering if your happy little Shih Tzu will get along with your resident cat, you'll find that this spunky little dog will likely want to be its friend as well.  

They don't care for being left alone; this is part of the reason why many people find themselves having more than one.

Another Shih Tzu personality trait that you may encounter with these sturdy little dogs may be stubbornness and pride.

Don’t worry, although they may come across as being kind of a snob, they really do love people, and other dogs.

They’re not very keen on being outdoors all day, but they do like being outside, but usually only if you are there with them.

A little romping in the front yard and a simple walk around the block will do the trick of meeting their exercise requirements.

The Importance of Socializing

The NON-aggressive Shih Tzu temperament makes the choice of this dog a perfect fit for families as they do play well with children.

It is very important however, to teach children how to play nice with any dog.

The Shih Tzu who isn't socialized well, or who have, sadly, been mistreated, can come across as being rather aggressive like our 8 year old adopted Shih Tzu, Rocky, was.

I say "was" because with the help of training and patience, he had grown into an incredibly cuddly and loving little lap dog, who learned to get along well with others.

Our other Shih Tzu, Max and Rufus, are the sweetest little guys you’ll ever meet.

Although Rufus does have a aversion to the mailman and joggers.  Don't really know why, but we are working on it.

Want Companionship?  No Problem

The Shih Tzu dog breed likes quite a bit of attention and they were actually bred to be “lap dogs” so the more you hold them, the more they want to be held.

I am usually no more than 5 – 10 minutes out of a room before mine come searching for me.

They can take on the owner’s personalities too, and are a very smart dog that needs to be engaged in activity to keep them active and healthy.

But if you are a bit of a couch potato yourself, then your Shih Tzu will be perfectly content to join you!

A Shih Tzu Family Watch Dog?

Okay when you think of a watch dog, this sweet, little hairball probably doesn’t exactly fit your idea of a typical family watch dog.

What I mean by watch dog is that the Shih Tzu have a sharp sense of hearing.  So when they hear someone approaching your door, they’ll bark and alert you.

But they are not the yappy type like some other toy breeds. They’ll settle down to their typical quiet self once they know things are ok.

And once someone is inside your home, he would just as surely take them on a tour of the house.

So if you're looking for an attack dog, forget about the Shih Tzu.

Visit some of our other pages on Shih Tzu dogs

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