One of the most dynamic, misunderstood, and ancient dogs in life is the Shih Tzus. The word ‘Shih Tzu’ means little lion, but this race of toys is anything but vicious.
Truth be told, these dogs are little fluff balls who only want to love and be loved in return, considering how dignified the Shih Tzu can be, how regal in appearance, or their heightened place in history (having been bred for Chinese royalty).
The exact personality and disposition you can expect from a purebred Shih Tzu will be outlined in this post, which is somewhat different from what people sometimes suspect. First, however, to be able to comprehend their existence, it is important to know a bit about their past.
Shih Tzus’s History
Shih Tzus are among the 15 oldest breeds of dogs in existence. While it is debatable just exactly when they came to be, when they were first registered, experts always point to 8,000BC being.
Despite the precise period, what is known is that Shih Tzus was gradually adopted into the Chinese Royalty lifestyle, sometimes saying that Tibetan monks bred them explicitly as gifts for those of greatest significance. These tiny lion-like toy dogs were prized possessions amongst the aristocracy for centuries and centuries.
While Shih Tzus are a proud, regal, and dignified breed, they are not arrogant or pompous by any way. Their image as one-person dogs is absolutely right (often they pick who they love and stick to that), but when people view Shih Tzus as aloof, snarky, or hostile, they refer to a dog that was either not properly trained, a result of irresponsible breeding, or both.
In fact, the personality and temperament of the Shih Tzu is far from what you would expect of a dog that could be considered ‘posh’ or ‘pampered.’ Their past has a large part to play in making their present reputation, but it should be known that loyal, caring, and attentive is a closer reflection of the characteristics of the breed.
Personality Shih Tzu
A Shih Tzu’s personality is a complex mix of the attentive and affectionate lap-dog, and the dignified companion. These little pets just want to be part of the family within the house. While their confidence may sometimes be very popular, this is not to suggest that they are arrogant.
The one downside is that they can be stubborn dogs for a Shih Tzu. Bred to be the ideal partner, and to carry themselves with confidence and assertiveness, these features will make the task a little more complicated when it comes to training and housebreaking.
There are plenty of accounts out there where novice owners believe it would be a breeze to train a Shih Tzu (due to their smaller size and loving relationship), only to discover that it takes patience, determination, and time.
These little canines are charmers with that being said. As they process the world around them at a faster pace than other toy-dogs, the Shih Tzu personality is greatly affected by their intellect, and they love to learn.
Do expect your Shih Tzu to be an excellent socialite, and do not expect them to be introverted or aloof with others. This is a dog who, with the courage of a lion, walks through life, is vigilant but enthusiastic about strangers and new places, and expresses a Labrador’s unpolluted affection inside the home.
Never should a Shih Tzu be violent. They are not usually barky or nippy dogs, but they make excellent watch dogs. Although they are not large enough to do any defending, nor do they have a drop of ‘hunting’ in their blood, if you have a stranger come to your house, they will definitely warn you.
Although not usually all that playful, the Shih Tzu are still up for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood or some bursts of energy inside the house. Their adaptability is one of the aspects that makes the Shih Tzu such a prized breed.
They can live in almost any climate (although they are susceptible to extremes, their coats are not made for it, like too much heat or cold,) and with most families. They may be a one-person dog, or a lovable friend of the family. Naturally, they’re confident, dignified, and affectionate. The Shih Tzu conveys one of the most well-rounded personalities for a toy-breed.
Shih Tzu Temperament
Overtime dramatically affects the temperament of a Shih Tzu. This breed is, in general, almost always too trusting. They love to trust others, no matter what their age or how many encounters they’ve had.
This implies they’re going to hop in the lap of strangers or they’re going to dive headfirst into a friendly fight with another canine, regardless of whether or not that dog wants the publicity.
This returns to their character, as they are highly proud beings, and they express themselves with no embarrassment.
Another theory is that they’re satisfied. It’s a therapy dog if there’s one utility that a Shih Tzu should serve apart from your faithful little friend. Their general aura is joyful, and they have an air of indestructible happiness that, like a shadow, follows them. A levelheaded, lovely disposition is created by their infectious desire for love and to return it in the same fashion.
As they are enthusiastic, this breed isn’t necessarily excitable. They should never be snobby or hostile (or their owner) towards others and normally show behaviours that mimic larger dogs. They have no natural inclination for rage and are not easily stirred, but when people don’t return that same love for life, they can be a little confused.
It’s the excitement that was stated earlier in terms of what changes over time. The Shih Tzu want to throw themselves head first at just about all during their puppy years. At that age, their extremely energetic temperaments will surely make them a handful.
They would try to meet any stranger, introduce themselves to other dogs on their own accord, and leap tremendous distances (such as from the floor to the sofa, often hurting themselves because they are very fragile).
This overzealous enthusiasm wanes as they age, and the cool, caring, and well-mannered Shih Tzu, held at their side by the old Chinese Royals, rests in its place. You will also have to become the motivator for your dog eventually, as they may find a comfortable spot on the couch and decide that’s their place to hang out for hours on end.
If there’s something bad about the natural nature of the Shih Tzu, it’s that their tendencies towards humans can make them really clingy. Although this is a toy-dog that can fit in even the smallest of apartments, their ability to love and be loved in the absence of their owner can turn to serious separation anxiety.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have the right time to take care of your dog every day, then while it may be appealing to have a tiny-sized lovely Shih Tzu at home, realise that your time away might produce a very nervous, self-destructive, and unhappy dog in turn.
This ‘negative’ characteristic they convey, of course, comes from a position of only wanting to love, but they’re definitely a breed that suffers from anxiety of separation. However, the temperament of a Shih Tzu is very different in general from what toy breeds normally show. In their youth, they’re excitable, levelheaded, cheerful, and unapologetically trusting.
Choosing a Breeder with accountability
When speaking of personality and disposition, reckless breeding is something that often needs to be discussed. This is important because, no matter how well they are raised or trained, a poorly bred pup would have a tendency for poor behavioural habits and irregular features.
Shih Tzu Conduct
There is a greater likelihood of reckless breeding, since Shih Tzus are a very common breed. Do thorough research on the business/person from whom you’re buying your puppy.
Be sure that the parents will provide health clearances, and ensure that the parents show the Shih Tzu breed’s quintessential personality.
Shih Tzu : Tips for Training
Toy breeds also suffer from this pitfall of neglect in training. This occurs because their injuries are not as surprising as larger breeds of dogs and two, their home-like disposition appears to need less care than larger dogs. But this is not valid, of course. It’ll take work if you want your Shih Tzu to act properly.
For this breed, early socialisation is extremely necessary. Be sure to introduce him to numerous people, locations, and other dogs as soon as your puppy is in your life. It is important to develop their natural trust and, in turn, build a better-tempered dog to break the ice and allow them to grow comfortably in different environments.
Puppy lessons are extremely advantageous. Smart dogs are Shih Tzus and they love to read. They do so, creating their own identity as they learn. Shih Tzus has a tendency to be stubborn on top of that.
If you’re trying to teach obedience to your dog on your own, you might be in for a little bit of a ride. Not only will a competent trainer stimulate your Shih Tzu (and they need a reasonable amount of intellectual stimulation), but with a dexterous side, they will also curb that stubbornness.
Being there with your dog is another significant part of training. Shih Tzus are known to suffer a little more from separation anxiety than other breeds, and it is particularly important to spend a lot of time with them in their formative years.
Shih Tzus can get a bad reputation occasionally. People think it’s a pompous and proud little lion-like toy breed, when they’re really just confident and dignified.
All in all, the dog is extremely content, caring, gentle, passionate, and social. Take into account those traits with the fact that they are also a toy breed, and you have one of the best possible personalities and temperaments.
Shih Tzus are extremely adaptable, infectiously optimistic, and they will love you until your days are over.