7 Things You Need To Know About The Shih Tzu Personality

The Shih Tzu has a bit of a reputation for being a small, yappy furball but if you do the research and ask Shih Tzu owners about their experience, you will find that the Shih Tzu Personality is truly unique.

Sometimes, though, it can be challenging to find this information out and leaves many of us unsure about Shih Tzu’s. We search and search, and ask around, but don’t seem to get the answers that we want.

Well, no more! today, we are here with the answers that you need.

Just keep reading to find out seven things you need to know about the Shih Tzu personality!

Get ready to fall in love with these small and adorable dogs.

1. They Are Friendly

Some say that Shih Tzu’s can be a bit too friendly and will trust almost anyone to the point where they will happily jump up on their laps for attention – even if they are a stranger.

They love to be with adults, the elderly, children, and other dogs which makes them great little family dogs as they get along with absolutely anyone as long as they have been properly socialized from an early age as with all dogs.

7 Things You Need To Know About The Shih Tzu Personality

These little dogs are so friendly because they are generally happy but are also very confident, they will not shy away from those they are introduced to and will warm up to them almost instantly.

Because of how friendly and open they are, Shih Tzu’s make fantastic therapy dogs and their desire to love everyone and bring happiness wherever they go leaves them with a very pleasant, warm temperament.

Even though they see everyone as their friend, do not think that you are at the bottom of the pile as you will be their ultimate best friend and will show you their loyalty and companionship.

2. Have Good Energy Levels

Shih Tzu’s are a great combination of being laid back enough to have a nap whilst you’re busy doing other things but are also energetic enough to have a fun game of fetch or a nice walk together.

They do tend to follow you around the house though but that is because they love to be in your company instead of due to them feeling bored.

This energy level fits well with a lot of people because having a breed that is high strung and always looking for more stimulation whether it be physical or mental can be exhausting, especially when you do not have the appropriate lifestyle to accommodate it.

Having said this, like all dogs, Shih Tzu’s still require exercise every day with the recommended minimum amount being 30 minutes to keep them happy and healthy.

You will find that the daily exercise will greatly benefit you as well, especially mentally as it is a great way to clear your mind and spend some time with your loyal companion.

3. They Are Very Charming

Looking down at their mischievous little face, you can’t help but smile! Do not let their charming personality get them away with things though as they still need to be trained to behave properly.

Training them to come back when you tell them to and to leave things alone will ensure that they stay safe in day-to-day life.

Training your dog will also make them more pleasant to be around, will give them more confidence, build your bond together, and keep their brain sharp.

One of the things that owners find that their Shih Tzu struggles with is house training.

Having accidents inside is very normal for a puppy because they do not yet understand that going to the toilet inside is wrong.

To properly train them, take them outside very regularly and give them lots of praise when they toilet outside.

Never punish them by rubbing their nose in it or yelling at them as this is very cruel and detrimental for their confidence and training.

4. They Love Attention

This aspect of their personality pretty much goes hand in hand with their friendliness.

A Shih Tzu loves attention and will look to almost anyone to get their fix.

As soon as you sit down and there is a Shih Tzu around, be prepared to have a very hairy little pillow jump up and make itself at home on your lap.

With this in mind, you should know that they do not do very well with being left alone for long periods of time and can therefore suffer from separation anxiety, after all, they were bred to be companion animals.

To help tackle separation anxiety, you can try getting them used to being left alone from a young age and gradually build up the time spent apart until they are comfortable.

You will know if your Shih Tzu is suffering from separation anxiety as they may show symptoms such as barking, howling, urinating, and being destructive.

It is not good to leave your dog alone for upwards of eight hours a day without anyone coming in to check on them, take them out to the toilet, and take them for a walk.

Even if your dog has no accidents, being left alone for so long is very boring for them and might start to take their frustration out on your couch, curtains, and more.

5. They Aren’t Big Chewers

The jaws of a Shih Tzu are small and not able to do a lot of damage. Some other dog breeds, particularly those that are larger than a Shih Tzu can destroy their ‘destructible’ toys in no time because they just love to chew.

7 Things You Need To Know About The Shih Tzu Personality

However, with Shih Tzus, they are much less likely to tear apart their toys and instead will gently play with them with their favorite people.

With this natural aversion to chewing, they are also less inclined to chew your shoes or socks but when they are still experiencing the rebellious stage of puppy and teen years, they might still get the urge now and then but should grow out of it when they become an adult.

6. They Are Intelligent

Do not take their cuteness as a sign that they have nothing going on upstairs because these little dogs are very intelligent and with the proper training, can learn lots and lots of tricks.

Shih Tzus can also be entered into obedience competitions as well as agility as they are smart but also very fast considering their small size.

Having high intelligence doesn’t just give them more opportunities for learning tricks but it also gives them a better understanding of what you want from them.

It can be subtle little queues that they have picked up from you when both of you are out and about but with their sharp mind, they will always be in tune with what is going on around them.

7. They Have A Low Prey Drive

Since the Shih Tzu was bred to be a companion, they don’t have that ingrained instinct to chase things like hunting or herding dogs.

This lack of prey drive can give you peace of mind when having your Shih Tzu around the pet rabbits or chickens but you should still supervise at all times just in case.

Having confidence that your dog won’t run after anything whilst out on walks can give you more freedom with where you can go off-leash.

You should still check the rules before you go on a new walk though as some farmers will still ask you to have them on a leash in regard to their livestock.


With these seven Shih Tzu personality traits, it’s no wonder that these little heartthrobs are such a popular breed.

However, great as they are, they are not perfect and will still carry some not-so-great traits such as being stubborn, hard to groom and taking a long time for them to be housebroken.

But with the right owner, enough care, time, and patience will be put into them to ensure that all of their amazing personality traits shine through.

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