Male ShihTzu vs Female ShihTzu

Many people feel that a female ShihTzu will make better pets than male ShihTzus. This conclusion is usually based upon inaccurate information. We will take some of the common misconceptions of male and female ShihTzus behavior and discuss what we have actually experienced. In discussing these differences we will be speaking in terms of generalizations. These generalizations of female and male ShihTzu traits are like that of generalizations of female and male human traits. For every generalization there are always exceptions.

Female ShihTzus are sweeter and more affectionate that male ShihTzus.

Our experience is that male ShihTzus are usually more affectionate, exuberant, and attentive as compared to females. They seek your attention and are very attached to their people. They also tend to be more steadfast, reliable, and less moody. They are more outgoing, more accepting of other pets, and take quicker to children. When we have company we invariably have to put the females in another room until the company leaves. The female ShihTzu may be less likely to wage a dominance battle with you, but she can be cunning and resourceful in getting her own way. She is much more prone to mood swings. One day she may be sweet and affectionate the next day reserved and withdrawn or even grumpy. (Sounds just like human females.) Most females will usually come to you for attention, but as soon as she has had enough, she will move away. Males are always waiting for your attention and close by.

Female ShihTzus are more docile as compared to male ShihTzus.

In the dog pack framework, females usually rule the roost. Therefore they determine pecking order, and compete to maintain and/or alter that order. The females are, as a result, more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts. Most fights will usually break out between two females.

Female ShihTzus are easier to train than male ShihTzus.

Because female ShihTzus are, more independent, stubborn, territorial and male ShihTzus are easily motivated by praise, and are very eager to please, training a male can be easier than training a female. However, a male ShihTzu can be easily distracted during training, as they just want to get to playtime!

Female ShihTzus don’t display alpha behaviors such as “humping” and/or “marking”.

Females are much more intent upon exercising their dominance by participating in alpha behaviors such as humping and in fighting. The only ShihTzu we own that humps is a female. Just as males will urinate on top of where another animal has, so as to mark, the female will follow this same pattern. Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as humping, or marking or lifting their leg. Males that are neutered at an early age usually don't ever raise their leg to urinate.

Some of the behavioral traits that we have discussed above are a result of having multiple ShihTzus. In a household that only has one pet may never experience these behaviors.

In our opinion, female ShihTzus don’t make better pets than male ShihTzus nor do male ShihTzus make better pets than female ShihTzus. One has to understand the differences and decide which sex better suits their lifestyle.

The other factor one should take into account is that male ShihTzu tend to bond to the woman in the household and female ShihTzus bond to the man in the household.