How Smart Are Shih Tzus? (Actual Intellect Measures)

Individuals regularly associate the Shih Tzu breed with China, yet they came from China’s western neighbor, Tibet, a sovereign country, until the 1950s. Tibet most likely sent canines to Chinese sovereignty as endowments. The Chinese at that point reared them with Pekingese or Pugs to make the modern Shih Tzu. Their numbers dwindled-down to practically nothing during the primary portion of the twentieth century. Each Shih Tzu that is alive today can be followed to one of 14 canines — seven males and seven females — that were utilized to save the breed.

Shih Tzus puppies are perky and friendly with a character you can’t but awe at. But since they’re toy dogs that don’t generally react well to training, so you may end up questioning the intelligence of your dog if you own a Shih Tzus.

Honestly, How smart are Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus are not the most intelligent puppies. As indicated by Stanley Coren, the Shih Tzu has the least level of working intelligence and obedience. Out of 138 canines, they’ve positioned as the 128th breed. Nonetheless, their capacity to adjust and comprehend human feelings is the thing that makes them astute.

Shih Tzus may not be the most agreeable dogs or the fastest learners. There are other things to dog intelligence other than just dutifulness and work. In general, we consider this breed more glamorous and less sporty given the long streaming coats of Shih Tzu. Yet, under that beautiful coat is a sturdy body that can perform well in agility. Numerous Shih Tzus have won dexterity competitions. In 2014, a Shih Tzu turned into the first of his variety to win both an agility title and champion title.

Estimating the Shih Tzu’s Intelligence

The current technique for estimating canine knowledge doesn’t measure the genuine insight of canine intelligence. Therefore, canine varieties, for example, the Shih Tzu, are unreasonably marked as “dumb.” But how could they get this inaccurate dog title in any case?

Canine therapist and Ph.D. created the current rundown of the most brilliant canine breed, Stanley Coren. In 1994, he requested assistance from all North American obedience trial judges and authorities to assist with his examination.

Coren’s Dog Intelligence Criteria

The reaction was stunning, without a doubt. Around 199 compliance trial judges reacted with colossal interest in aiding Coren’s central goal to rank dog intelligence. At that point, this was about a portion of the appointed authorities in North America. Given Coren’s canine insight rules, the judges assessed and positioned as many a dog breed as they could have. This is what his models depended on the number of reiterations required for a canine variety to become familiar with a new order.

Canines that needed less time and reiterations were positioned higher for intelligence ranking. The achievement rate that a canine variety will comply with a known order on the primary attempt. As you may have speculated, more intelligent dog breeds had higher achievement and, in turn, higher ranking.

Not all canine breeds made the finished product. Right off the bat, just dog breeds perceived by the American or Canadian Kennel Club were able to participate. Luckily, the Shih Tzu was recognized by both canine associations.

Likewise, dog breeds that got in any event 100 reactions qualified for the last canine intelligence rankings. As a widespread and famous variety, Shih Tzus had no issue meeting all final rankings requirements.

How the Shih Tzu Performed

You likely definitely realize that the Shih Tzu didn’t do very well in Coren’s preliminaries. Just ten canine varieties performed more terribly, leaving Shih Tzus entirely outside the leading ten among the least intelligent canines. Subsequently, they were set in the gathering with the least level of canine intelligence. For reference, different varieties in this gathering incorporate the Beagle, Mastiff Basset, Hound, Pekingese, Bulldog, and the Bloodhound.

Shih Tzus required somewhere in the range of 80 and 100 redundancies to get familiar with another order. They’re not the speediest or best students, in any event with regards to obedience training.

Furthermore, a Shih Tzu will probably comply with a known order on the first time with a 25% or worse compliance rate. Shih Tzus aren’t the most loyal canines either. However, it’s conceivable this had something to do with the testing.

Shih Tzus versus the Smartest Dogs

On the opposite side of the range, the ten most brilliant canine varieties are in a class of their own. We don’t think learning compliance orders is everything, except their exhibitions were irrefutably excellent.

The most intelligent canines need less than five redundancies to become familiar with another order! This implies that the most brilliant pups are in any event multiple times quicker (around 40 times faster) at learning new fundamental orders when contrasted with the Shih Tzu.

These speedy learning canines are additionally the most loyal. They’ll comply with a known order (on the first attempt) with a stunning 95% or better achievement rate. They’re a whole lot more dutiful than Shih Tzus. So who are these “most brilliant canines?” Dog breeds in this intelligence-class are the Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Border Collie, Poodle, and more. Indeed, even America’s most mainstream Labrador also made it on the list.

Shih Tzus Intelligence and their stubbornness

Most Shih Tzu owners would be amazed to hear how low their puppies performed on these intelligence rankings. Nonetheless, some reasonings can clarify the bad outcomes.

No doubt about it, Shih Tzus are obstinate canines. They don’t always like to obey their owners. Also, it’s not because they don’t cherish or carry high regards for you. Or maybe, Shih Tzus are only reliable willed dogs that are resolved to have it their way.

In any case, since they don’t listen doesn’t mean they don’t comprehend. They do understand intermittently, yet it doesn’t line up with their “objectives” or “needs.” Thus, training a Shih Tzu will require more tolerance and consistency than with different breeds.

If you didn’t realize it yet, Shih Tzus were initially bred to be friends of the Chinese elitists. It’s the reason owners regularly portray them as proud and dignified dogs. This way, it’s conceivable that the determination comes from their old methods of being treated like royalty.

So given the sturdy body, solid will, and hardheadedness of the Shih Tzu, it’s pretty easy to understand why they performed so inadequately on that test. There are motivations to accept these canines are more intelligent than you might suspect!

Reasons Shih Tzus Are Smart

Shih Tzu Mommy and Smart Little Puppy

When it comes to estimating a canine’s actual IQ, compliance and learning new commands aren’t everything. The dogs’ intelligence was assessed that way because that was the most objective way to measure it.

There are three measurements to dog intelligence, and even Stanley Coren will concede this. The other two are versatility and natural intelligence, both similarly significant for estimating genuine dog IQ.

Hindsight is 20/20, which further complicates the method that we use to assess dog intelligence. The old way that was used initially to rank dogs and create intelligence ranking had several flaws, and there hasn’t been any newer iteration of that model, which has led to a lot of misconception.

Intuitive Intelligence

Intuitive knowledge alludes to the intrinsic capacity or aptitude that the canine was created for. Whether it be crowding, chasing, pointing, recovering, or friendship, all puppies were reproduced for an explanation – including the Shih Tzu. For instance, the Basset Hound is a fragrance dog that was initially bred to follow bunny on chasing trips. They’re in a similar knowledge class as Shih Tzus, yet they dominate at following fragrances (search and salvage).

This capacity to follow a fragrance without human preparation and mediation is an exceptional kind of canine knowledge that is hard to quantify. This is the thing that we call intuitive insight.

Likewise, Shih Tzus were reproduced to be partners and lap canines. However, friendship isn’t just sitting on your lap. The best friend canines have a scary method of understanding human feelings and responding fittingly.


Shih Tzus are one of a kind lap dogs that we’ve grown to cherish and love. Shih Tzus colors are versatile, and it changes as they mature. Documentation of the Shih Tzu dates as back as 1,000 years or more. Its ancestry dates considerably farther than that.

Records show that short, square, “under the table” canines existed in China as ahead of schedule as 1,000 BC. These quick and intense pooches were likely the progenitors of the Shih Tzu.

Since the Shih Tzu is one of the most well-known dog breeds, numerous celebrities have claimed them. Some superstar owners of Shih Tzu were Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Colin Farell, Bill Gates, and even Queen Elizabeth II. If you are willing to get a Shih Tzu breed, don’t hesitate. They are an absolute pleasure to own. They light up your day and the day of your friends.

Last Updated on 12/02/2021 by Karen Snow

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