Two specific traits of the Shih Tzu temperament that are often the subject of discourse are its arrogance and its stubborn streak. For a dog with an aristocratic upbringing in the palaces of ancient china, the arrogant trait in the Shih Tzu temperament is pardonable. This arrogant trait may however be seen in the bossy attitude of the Shih Tzu.
The stubborn trait in the Shih Tzu temperament makes the Shih Tzu a bit difficult to train particularly house training. But the stubborn trait of the Shih Tzu temperament can be easily surmounted with patience and reward based training. Treats should play a vital role in the training of the Shih Tzu.
While toy dogs have earned a reputation for being jealous, yappy, snappy and suspicious of stranger, these traits are not part of the Shih Tzu temperament excerpt if the handler (owner) has inspired these traits due to poor handling.
One of the reasons the Shih Tzu or any other toy/small dog may become yappy is if its lacks a pack leader and is therefore forced to take over the reins of leadership in the home as the pack leader. The dog will naturally become yappy in order to get members of the pack to follow its command and that include humans. So with proper training and strong leadership the temperament of the Shih Tzu will be enhanced.
Even though the Shih Tzu temperament does not fall purely into the first group of dogs of pure sound temperament (the Alpha dog or front line dogs), its mixed temperament consist largely of the sound traits of the Alpha group/front line dogs.
Because the temperament of dogs are largely due to inheritance, a Shih Tzu that manifest traits that deviate from the above listed traits in spite of socialization and other environmental aids is most likely the product of poor breeding.
After all said one of the finest traits of the Shih Tzu temperament is its companionship; the Shih Tzu will gladly keep its human companion all day long. This makes the Shih Tzu an excellent pet and a wonderful family dog.
Pictures of Shih Tzus
Temperament of Shih Tzu with kids
Lots of Shih Tzu breeders are pretty reluctant to sell Shih Tzu to families with young children. This is not because the Shih Tzu is intolerant of children neither is it because Shih Tzu breeders are unreasonable. The small size of the Shih Tzu greatly increase the risk of accident in homes with young children such as tripping over the Shih Tzu or out rightly walking over the dog which may result in serious bodily harm.
It is essential that children be taught and supervised on how to relate with the Shih Tzu. Certain things must be given attention in order to make the home a sweet experience for the Shih Tzu and young children. Young children particularly the very little ones should not be left alone with the Shih Tzu unsupervised and should be corrected when they do things that could harm the dog or could instigate the Shih Tzu to attack the child. With this sort of guidance the Shih Tzu and young children over time will learn how relate safely with each other.
In order to get the Shih Tzu to be well behaved around kids, the Shih Tzu must be trained to see kids as part of the Alpha group: the human beings in the house to whom he will respond to their command and behave well in order to receive their praises and reward.
Once the Shih Tzu is made to understand that the kids are part of the Alpha group then he will behave respectfully toward them. In order to achieve this sort of relationship between kids and the Shih Tzu, the young children should be involve in the daily upbringing and care of the dog such as feeding and training.
Pictures of Shih Tzu and Kids
Temperament of Shih Tzu with cats
The temperament of Shih Tzus with cats is not cut in stone. Individual Shih Tzus will react different to cats despite the more general belief that cats and dogs do not get along together. Most aspiring owners of Shih Tzu that already own a cat are always eager to know about the temperament of the Shih Tzu with cats.
In order to ensure that the Shih Tzu and a cat will live happily in the house, the aspiring owner of the Shih Tzu should test to see how the cat will behave in the presence of a Shih Tzu. You could get in touch with a Shih Tzu breeder and ask if you could bring your cat over in order to observe how it will respond to the dog. You should try this a few times and at least one of these visits should involve bringing the Shih Tzu to your home to meet the cat (the cat’s territory).
There are 3 possible outcomes of such encounters. First possibility is that both the Shih Tzu and the cat will ignore each other as though the other does not exist. This mean that neither sees the other as a threat therefore they are likely to be able to live together under the same roof without quarrelling. The second possibility is what everybody hoping for: the Shih Tzu and the cat get along. Within the short period of coming together there appear to be some obvious friendly interaction. The final possibility is that both the Shih Tzu and the cat evidently do not get along and this can be easily seen if they are staring at each other. In this case you should immediately withdraw the Shih Tzu.
The bottom line is that the temperament of Shih Tzus with cat must be individually tested to be on the safe side.
Videos of Shih Tzu and Cat