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.

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

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