Mildly stubborn, the Shih Tzu will respond to fair, patient obedience training. However, do not jerk this little proud and amenable breed around, as they are known to snap if irritated or pushed too far. Moreover, this is a dog that thrives in companionship and training with disrespect will likely nurture a fragile and untrusting bond.
Often confused with the Tibetan Lhasa Apso due to similar appearance and shared bloodlines, the Shih Tzu has a more agreeable disposition and is usually more friendly and social with strangers. To promote a well balanced dog that is more assurred to be friendly with strangers, children, other pets and unfamiliar dogs alike, keep this breed well socialised, encouraging play and rewarding with deserved (and much loved) attention.
This breed has an assertive, active and independent side, as well as a devoted and needy side. Shih Tzu's enjoy being pampered, usually without turning into too much of a tyrant. However, it is important to also appreciate their feisty characteristics, for as companions, they are also make great entertainers.