7 Things You Need To Know About the Shih Tzu Personality

The Shih Tzu is one of the most popular dogs in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, it is the 20th most popular breed out of 196 total. There are quite a few good reasons for this little dog's immense popularity. For starters, it's one of the cutest dogs around. The fur is soft, and they have some of the sweetest expressions around.

Another reason is that lovable Shih Tzu's personality is awesome, making them one of the best small family dogs.

To understand why the Shih Tzu personality is so popular, let's explore seven traits of this dog breed's character!

The Shih Tzu Personality: Friendly

Unfriendly dogs are seldom popular. Fortunately for the Shih Tzu dog breed, it is one of the friendliest there is. They have great dog temperament. Now, of course, there will be some Shih Tzu dogs that will be unfriendly. It would be impossible for every dog to be an extrovert, but these dogs love people for the most part. They're cautious around strangers, but seldom, if ever, mean. Shih Tzus are entirely devoted to their owners.


Shih Tzus tend to be some of the more playful dogs around, as well. They frequently score high on objective playfulness indexes. Additionally, they tend to be active even in their old age.

Since a Shih Tzu's life expectancy is an average of 13 years, you'll have lots of time to play and have fun with your new pup!

The Shih Tzu Personality Is Good Around Other Dogs

If you have other dogs, you'll generally find that Shih Tzus fit right in the household. They seldom have any issues with other dogs and other animals, which is why they make for a great pet if you have cats.

If all the dogs in the house have been spayed or neutered, then you can typically have the dogs coexist peacefully without any problems (regardless of gender). 

Note that sometimes Shih Tzus think that they are bigger than they are. So, if a big dog challenges them to a fight, or if they want to take on the giant dog themselves, they'll do so. If you have big dogs in your home, you may find yourself in situations occasionally where you need to break up a disagreement for the sake of your Shih Tau.

They Like To Be Near Humans

Although these dogs have a playful personality, they love to be near humans. They don't enjoy being left alone at all. If you work long hours or plan on taking any trip, you'll need to hire a dog walker or have someone come over to take the dogs out for a bit. If a dog from the Shih Tzu dog breed doesn't have human interaction for too long, they'll invariably feel neglected. When this happens, your dog will feel stress, and you may see destructive behaviors in your beloved pet.

Caring for your dog

Caring for your dog is sometimes a full-time job. There are so many things to know, and so little time to research! 

Here at Petsmont, we have a team whose only job is to research the best ingredients for dog products. And because Fleas & Ticks are such a big headache for dog owners, we have developed our very own & natural Flea & Tick Collar for dogs. Say goodbye to fleas, your dog will thank you!


If you live in a rural or urban area, you will want to shield your dog's paws from hard surfaces, hot pavement or even salty ice. The same way we hoomans need lipstick, our furry friends need paw balm! And because we only want the best for them, we have developed a USDA Certified Organic Paw Balm for dogs. No more dry, cracked paws. You will see a difference after the very first application. 


Petsmont Organic Paw Balm

Shih Tzus Have a Pleasant Energy Level

Some dogs are high strung and need attention all the time. Other dogs could care less about what you do - they want to sit and relax all day.

The Shih Tzu strikes an excellent middle ground between the two. These dogs are not so hyperactive that you can barely keep up with them. And, they're not so mellow that you can't play fetch with them. Expect them to follow you around the house and want to go on dog walks. At the same time, your pet will likely enjoy some relaxing sunbathing outside on a warm sunny day.

When you have a dog that has an even level of energy, it's remarkably satisfying. Many owners have difficulty with either extreme, so the fact that the Shih Tzu personality is right in the middle is another reason why this breed is so popular!

The Shih Tzu Personality Makes It Good Around Children

Since the Shih Tzu is calm, even-tempered, and enjoys moderate activity, they make excellent pets for children. They also have no prey-drive, so you can rest assured that, as long as your kids are respectful to the dog, they won't ever have any issues with the Shih Tzu. However, with that said, these dogs may perceive very young children as a threat simply because they haven't learned how to interact with the dog appropriately. If this is the case, you may wish to wait until your kids grow up a bit before getting a Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzus Are Charming

Shih Tzus are very charming dogs. This fact has good and bad implications. On the one hand, their charm is adorable. It's one of the cutest things you'll ever see. On the other hand, many Shih Tzus have charmed their owners into doing less-than-optimal training. As such, many owners unwittingly have a less-than-housebroken dog, and then they struggle with fixing that.

Be aware that your Shih Tzu will try and charm you! Make sure you stay firm with training, though.

Shih Tzus Are Amazing Family Pets

The Shih Tzu personality makes it a wonderful family pet. They're playful, but not egregiously playful. They love to be near humans, they're charming, and they are friendly dogs. Most households would be hard-pressed to find a better dog than a Shih Tzu!

How much is a Shih Tzu?

The answer to this question depends heavily on the region. In the US, you can expect to pay somewhere between $500-$1000. However, depending on your luck, you might be able to get one of these in a shelter and adopt it!

How big do Shih Tzus get?

Overall, Shih Tzus are small dogs. They typically weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. In terms of height, they're often between 8 and 11 inches tall. However, they always think themselves more prominent than they are, so don't be surprised if your Shih Tzu takes on dogs bigger than him or herself.

What is the personality of a Shih Tzu?

A Shih Tzu has a warm, friendly personality that tends to open up significantly once you know the dog. Shih Tzus are remarkably fond of their owners, they're excellent around children, and they are quite playful! There aren't many dog breeds that are better suited for most families than a Shih Tzu.

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Written by Leo Roux


I live in Torrance California i have a shih tzu female she is 5 years old and I’m Looking to breed my dog need a male anyone anyone interested please let me know

Rafael uribe on Jan 07, 2021

My dog has anal problems. The groomer won’t do it. I live near Southgate plaza in west seneca. Where can I take him, to just have his anal suppressed.. ONLY HIS GLANDS. I GIVE HIM PUMPKIN, GLANDEX AND MORE. HELP PLEASE REPLY. WHO CAN DO IT IN MY AREA, PLEASE I NEED NAMES AND PHHONE NUMBERS. PLEASE

Judy on Jan 06, 2021

Looking to breed my dog Bentley in nd has papers !

Laurie on Jan 06, 2021

I had a little was my best friend Bowser passed away at 11 years old December 4 2020 about the same time I got him for Christmas I am looking for a new one for me

Danny Leman on Jan 06, 2021

I have a female shih tzu she is 5 years old haven’t operated and I’m looking for a male shih tzu depending on how many puppies she give i plans to keep 1 and give one to the male owner please contact me i live in Torrance ca.

Rafael uribe on Jan 06, 2021

I am a shih tzu parent Oreo is my male black and while 3 yrs Cookie is my female tan 3 yrs and my new addition Choco 3 months is a choco liver I used to be a pitbull owner but he was to aggressive and had to give him up but believe you me once I got oreo and cookie I fell in love with these babies the grow on you instantly and so I got another one I plan to adopt another one nxt yr all black I love them anyone wanting a pet will do good getting a shih tzu hands dwn

Ray Castro on Jan 05, 2021

I had several shih tzu dogs over the years. I had my last one, Chrissy, for over 16 years. I taught first grade. She went to school with me for many years. She loved children and they loved her. She passed on March of 2020. I just made a deposit yesterday for a shihpoo girl. She will be ready about Valenticne’s Day. This breed is the best!

Jacque Noles on Jan 05, 2021

Rescued our shih tzu from ACT (animal compassion team) we are golfers last name Palmer so he had to be named Arnie. He crossed the rainbow bridge this Nov after blessing us with so much love for 9 years. He was the sweetest, local companion we could have ever asked for. A little hard to house break but worth every minute.

Jim Palmer on Jan 05, 2021

We had a Shih Tzu for 14 yrs. This article is right on. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge May 2020.He was such a great companion to these senior people. We missed him so much we added a Shih Tzu puppy to our home. Whew! is that a challenge. We forgot how active puppies can be. That’s great for us as it keeps us moving. The training is a challenge but we are getting there and he sure loves walks.

Carol on Jan 04, 2021

We had our first pure bred female princess type shih tzu at only two months old puppy we named Pretty. I got her as birthday present to my wife 3 years ago. She was exactly as what you described. She passed over the rainbow due to seizures from Lyme disease just 2 years old. We miss her to this day. So heartbroken and sad that we had to cry every night just talking about her for a week. Until we decided to get another 2 month old same breed female puppy we named Pretzel. She has a different dognality as our late Pretty. She is more aggressive and playful. She preoccupied our emptiness and filled us with happiness once again. She is not the same as Pretty but Pretzel is 10 times as playful and joy to have. Wish they both met each other playing.

Ric Hernando on Jan 03, 2021

Sammy was our second Shih Tzu. We had him 17 years. He was my baby and slept with us every night. I have no grandchildren so he was my world. He developed a brain tumor and began having seizures. There was nothing we could do. I still have his bed in front of the fireplace. Best breed ever!!!!

Wanda on Dec 30, 2020

My Maggie passed away this past March. She was 19 and the love of my life. I’ve recently acquired a Shorkie named Charlie. He’s almost 9 months old and is both adorable and a handful. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jk Banks on Dec 27, 2020

Best breed by far. Ranks high with the toy poodle. Now, our Kobe is 2.5 years old and starting to have fun as he gets on top of the dining table and upstairs. Stubbornness is a part of this breed, I think. But aside from that, I say amen to all your observations. Just too bad that here in the Philippines, this breed is being sold by unscrupulous breeders. Thank you for the insight. Am about to adopt a female 4months this Christmas day, left eye blind due to an injury caused playing with the rest of the litter, as per her owner. However, I’m more than willing to adopt her to give her a better life, than just be a part of a breeding factory. God bless shih tzu fur parents out there.

Reggie Medina on Dec 25, 2020

I am blessed to have 2 baby girls in my life My Shih tzu Daphne and My Pug Sophia, I just cant imagine life with out them. They are inseperable and at times tag team me into getting there way. And Daphne being the baby in our small pack, uses that to her advantage and one characteristic of The Shih Tzu she mastered well is how she gets on her hind legs and literally walks to me with the most cutest Im sorry Daddy expression on her adorable smooshy face and I fall to pieces everytime.
Just had to share…

John J Nededog on Dec 25, 2020

I am blessed to have 2 baby girls in my life My Shih tzu Daphne and My Pug Sophia, I just cant imagine life with out them. They are inseperable and at times tag team me into getting there way. And Daphne being the baby in our small pack, uses that to her advantage and one characteristic of The Shih Tzu she mastered well is how she gets on her hind legs and literally walks to me with the most cutest Im sorry Daddy expression on her adorable smooshy face and I fall to pieces everytime.
Just had to share…

John J Nededog on Dec 25, 2020

We have a sitzu, York is mix. Litter trained from day one. Awesome dogs. Daddy’s baby.

Kaye Irish-McLeish on Dec 18, 2020

We have a sitzu, York is mix. Litter trained from day one. Awesome dogs. Daddy’s baby.

Kaye Irish-McLeish on Dec 18, 2020

I had a shih tzu, his name was Scruffy, he was 15 and a half years old, He recently has crossed over the rainbow bridge on Nov 6th 2020. He became blind first then deaf along with other issues that i took care of in every way i possibly could along with my amazing vets help. He was amazing , loveable , feisty,very easy to train, big personality, adorable and brought me so much joy and love everyday and also very spoiled. I am still trying to cope with his loss, and it is a struggle, i miss him so much. I am a very big animal lover, and this shih tzu dog breed is amazing to have.

Lisa Liquori on Dec 18, 2020

We have our 2nd pair of shih-tzus and they are wonderful pets! All the attributes apply to ours plus they do not shed! The have to be groomed every two months or so, but are well worth it. Thdy seem to not have health problems until later on. Our first two lived pretty healthy lives until age 10 or older. We recommed this breed to anyone!

Jan Alexander on Dec 18, 2020

I have owned several different dog breeds over my lifetime , but my Shih Tzu was by far the sweetest and most loving pet I’ve ever owned . My sweet girl Pepper passed away on December 1st 2020 of congestive heart failure. She was 16 years old.. and I loved her so. I am completely heartbroken …. I feel as if I will never get past the tears that continue to stream down my face everyday all day long.😭

Denise M. on Dec 17, 2020

I’ve had two in my life and over time they had to go over the rainbow. Im looking now im ready to pay again if I have to pls someone help me or give me another avenue.
Thks so much.

Sharon Newburn on Dec 17, 2020

My Shih tzu Chance is Houdi he jumps out house..windows if ur driving the windows have to be out or he will.jump out while please some one help.me he gets out and runs across st to trailer park im.afraid hes goingto get hit going across stnhe doesnt alwsys listen ive had him 2 mos.he 1yr.old

Barbara jones on Dec 17, 2020

We have a full blooded breed shit-suh, she is spoild rotten, loving, carefree. She just turn 14 in Nov she has gone blind and had eye infection one after the other. She loves people and has her picks. She does’nt do to well with lil one’s and she hates other animals of any kind. But she is her mommy and daddys baby. We rescued her at 1yr she came with pedigree and all. So yes if you can go rescue a friend. They are great.

Jóyce Grubbs on Dec 17, 2020

I love my Shih tsu Rusty he’s so lovable and adorable he will be 1 this month

Rosemarie Kenyon on Dec 16, 2020

I am looking for a female shih tzu puppy, I lost my girl on Nov 20th 2020
she would have been 17 on Dec 18th 2020 I am so lonely not having my fur baby around anymore, I love in Thatcher, Az. I need to find one close by where I live, my vehicle is not trustworthy enough to drive to far on trying to find one! I can be texted at 928-651-0184
Thressa Woods

Thressa woods on Dec 16, 2020

I have a wonderful male Shih Tzu who is a diabetic medical alert service dog. He is wonderful and is 13 years old and still acts like a youngster. My Cocco is remarkable, very loving and kind hearted to all humans. He still loves to fetch. He has been the easiest dog to train. He been working since he’s 3yrs old. He is a full breed Shih Tzu and his dog momma lived to be 18 yrs of age. I adore my Shih Tzu fur baby.

Trena on Dec 16, 2020

what kind of food did you feed him?

Jennifer Orlowsky on Dec 16, 2020

Good article and it describes the Shih-tzu breed perfectly! I have two and they are wonderful. I must say, the house breaking can be a challenge with this breed.

Kelly Bruscia on Dec 13, 2020

We would like to adopt a Shi Tzu and have no luck in Miami where we live. We have checked out rescue sites for over a year but no luck. When we search for this breed on line thinking we are contacting breeders we get responses from puppy stores of which we fear the get dogs from puppy mills. We want a young or puppy mail. Can you help us?

Rosemarie Roth on Dec 06, 2020

I’ve had my Shih Tzu for almost 13 years. Your article describes him to a tee. I think he’s definitely going to live beyond 13 years but I attribute that to the dog food that he’s fed. Tuffy is his name and there are times he tries to live up to his name

Julie on Dec 06, 2020

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