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Older Children


Ease Of Training

Novice Owners

Breed Popularity

Breed Health




Other Dogs

Shedding Amount

 Younger Children


Active Lifestyle


Apartment Living

Cats Or Small Pets

How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.

How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your  home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily  a sign of how aggressive the breed is.

Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.

Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.

 Breed Stats At A Glance:  1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst

Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds  however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!

A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner  than others.

Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.

Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.

A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot  so think of your neighbours!

Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.

Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.

Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.

How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and  bathing etc.

All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.

How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most  intolerance. Intact  males generally are more problematic with other intact  males

Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.

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Novice Owners

Shih Tzu Temperament, Personality And Dog Breed Information

shih tzu


Shih Tzu Temperament

As these Shih Tzu pictures show, they strongly resemble either their larger cousin the Lhasa Apsu or, lets face it  an Ewok. The Shih Tzu was bred specifically to be a wonderful companion, and it's a job they do to perfection!

Tshih tzu temperamenthey love to join in any activity or event their family is doing, they have a  very sociable personality  and also get on really well with other animals.

Its not all perfect however, as  Shih Tzu’s do have a stubborn streak in them if they are asked to do something which is not their idea of a good time and though non aggressive, are rarely submissive.

Positive reward training featuring cuddles tickles and lots of fun is usually the best way to get around this aspect of the Shih Tzu’s Temperament .

It can be quite a sight to watch them play and romp around with their coat flowing in all directions, being a people oriented dog, they will cherish being petted and will sit and cuddle on your lap for hours at a time given the opportunity.

shih tzu temperamentShih Tzus are the poster child for lap dogs everywhere whose pampered image belies a hardy confident personality. These dogs love life and almost everything and everyone in it, they can play the clown endearing themselves to all and for this reason they make great therapy dogs. Shih Tzus are ideal for novice dog owners.

Children: The affectionate side of the Shih Tzu’s temperament means they are great family dogs and despite their smaller size are good with children of all ages as they are surprisingly tough. Of course, smaller children should  always be properly supervised though as they are still a small animal. There are of course many other great dog breeds that are good with children

Protection level: They are a lively watchdog will bark to alert you of anything new happening on their watch.

shih tzu puppyCoat: Their coat is long and lavish that can be almost any colour, it is straight flowing and elegant. The top is usually done up in a topknot with a bow, keeping hair out of its face.

It is considered prized to have the white blaze on the forehead and white tip to the tail. The coat is long on top and dense underneath, when the dog is full-grown the undercoat helps give a graceful overall appearance

Grooming: Much of the elegance of the breed is owed to its beautiful flowing coat. In order to maintain this elegance, grooming needs to be done each day. Although 15 minutes a day can sound like a lot of work, if your Shih Tzu learns at a young age it can be easily done and just part of their daily routine.

The Shih Tzu, meaning “Lion Dog” is most commonly associated with China, but in fact most probably originated in Tibet during the 1600’s where it was held in great esteem as a holy temple dog in Buddhist Monasteries. The Breed was then developed extensively in China, most notably during the reign of the Dowager Empress  Tz’u Chi 1861-1908 and suffered a significant setback when the British Army looted the Imperial Palace in 1908 causing most of the dogs to be lost.

After this, the Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu tended to be lumped together as one breed ( the Apso) but in 1934 were confirmed as two breeds, the Breed gained great popularity in America during the 1960’s leading to AKC recognition in 1969.

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The Shih Tzu Temperament Is Affectionate, Playful, Friendly, Alert And  Active.  

Shih Tzu Information and Breed Notes

Comparable Breeds

Shedding: This is considered one of the many hypoallergenic dog breeds. They shed little to no hair or skin dander which makes them well suited to allergy sufferers.

shih tzu puppy playingExercise: The Shih Tzu dog breed is up beat, with a playful character. Short walks around the block being a great way to keep them fit.  But they love to play and can be kept inside for games. One great way to keep them stimulated is to give them a sock or other convenient "enemy",your dog will stalk his prey and quickly run with the prize to another area, often to lie on his back with a sock between his front legs, snatching playfully at the prey with his small jaws. They are great dogs to play fetch with and other dog games.

Health Problems:Shih Tzus can have respiratory problems from Snoring, wheezing, or infection. They can also be prone to ear infections if not cleaned regularly . Spinal disc disease is something to watch out as they have such short legs and long back, the breed is prone to obesity if their diet is not monitored. Regular teeth cleaning to help prevent periodontal disease.

Finding  a reputable breeder , sourcing puppies with a good lineage, never going to a backyard breeder and ensuring that you understand why pet insurance is so important will of course always bring extra peace of mind regards the well being of your furry friend.

shih tzuIdeal Shih Tzu Owners's Are Active and affectionate who enjoy grooming, playing and socializing with their dog.

Not Recommended For  obediance fanatics or outdoor living.

As always if you like this breed, please do the research  and ensure that you are choosing the right dog for your own lifestyle. For more information, why not visit this breeds national club or learn more about different  types of small dog breeds.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso



Do You Have A Shih Tzu ? We would love love to hear your story, why not upload a picture and share your experiences, tell us why they are your favourite breed. Do You Have A Related Question? - Just ask and we will be happy to help .



 The American Kennel Club and Others

This is a common term for those breeds that are considered particularly good for allergy sufferers, whether because of limited shedding, less hair, less dander or a combination of factors