Some mistakenly believe that Shih Tzu are a dumb breed!
While some Shih Tzus have issues with obedience intelligence due to their cute and authoritative presence, these people forget to take other critical forms of intelligence into consideration.
Let’s go over why you should carefully reconsider assumptions about Shih Tzu being a dumb breed…
Why Are Shih Tzus So Dumb?
In a study carried out by Stanley Coren in the nineties, he suggested that Shih Tzus are part of a group of dogs with the lowest form of obedience intelligence. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t intelligent at all! Even though Shih Tzus have been found to be not that intelligent obedience wise, they still have a good amount of instinctive and adaptive intelligence, which suggests they are a lot more intelligent than previously thought.
Why Are Shih Tzus Unfairly Labelled As “Dumb”?
Shih Tzus, whilst they are not dumb technically speaking, are labelled as such because when it comes to their obedience and response to training, they do not receive either of those things particularly well. At the end of the day, Shih Tzus aren’t dumb, they are just really stubborn and like things done their own way.
What Is The IQ Of A Shih Tzu?
Shih Tzu experts state that Shih Tzus ranked three out of five in a scale that measured their intelligence.
What Is The Intelligence Ranking Of A Shih Tzu?
In the intelligence rankings against other dogs, the Shih Tzu ranked at 70. It was also found that Shih Tzus are part of a group of dogs who have the lowest degree of obedience and working intelligence and have been ranked as 128th out of 138 dog breeds.
When it comes to their understanding of new commands, it took Shih Tzus eighty to one hundred repetitions (and in some cases more) to be able to learn and carry out the commands. When it came down to their ability to obey a command the first time round, Shih Tzus could only obey this command the first time round 25% or less of the time.
Are Shih Tzus really Dumb? [Why They Rank Low For IQ+Intelligence]
Despite what the research says, Shih Tzus are actually fairly smart. Shih Tzus only rank low for their IQ and intelligence because they struggle more than other breeds to learn and follow commands in the first go, due to being so stubborn. However, what they may lack in listening to commands, they more than make up for with their instinctive intelligence, by understanding human emotions and acting accordingly.
Are Shih Tzus Smart?
In a survey carried out on owners of Shih Tzus, an overwhelming majority said they believe that Shih Tzus are a smart breed of dog.
Even though they aren’t that smart when you take their ability to understand and obey commands the first time round into consideration, they are classed as smart when it comes to their instinctive intelligence and their adaptive intelligence.
Their instinctive intelligence is where they have an innate ability to do the things they were bred to do. Shih Tzus were bred to be companion and lap dogs; so they understand human emotions, always have their owners back and alert their owners of intruders.
Adaptive intelligence is where your dog has the ability to learn for themselves. For example, being able to communicate their needs, such as needing more water in their water bowl, or learning from their mistakes. This is mostly common in companion dogs, which is what a Shih Tzu is.
How To Tell If You’re Shih Tzu Is Smart?
Even though the Shih Tzu is ranked in the lowest intelligence group for obedience, they are the highest rated breed of dog in this group, which means they should be able to follow and carry out new commands relatively quicker compared to the rest of the group.
If your Shih Tzu is able to listen to and follow new commands at around eighty repetitions, this shows they are smarter than any of the other dogs in that category.
If they are able to listen to and follow new commands sooner than eighty repetitions, this shows they are even smarter than the average Shih Tzu.
Your Shih Tzu should also be able to pick up and retain at least five commands; so if they do this, this means they are as intelligent as the average Shih Tzu. However, if they can retain more commands than this, this means they are smarter than the average Shih Tzu.
How Smart Are Shih Tzus Compared To Other Breeds?
Shih Tzus are not that smart compared to other breeds. This is due to them unfairly being in the lowest possible category of dog intelligence compared to other breeds.
For example, Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs and Rottweilers are seen as the more intelligent breed of dogs, needing less than five repetitions of new commands before learning them.
However, as Shih Tzus are at the top of the lowest degree of working/obedience intelligence category, this means they are smarter than other breeds who are lower down in this category, such as Beagles, BullDogs and Bloodhounds.
How To Measure The Intelligence Of My Shih Tzu?
According to Coren, the way to measure the intelligence of your Shih Tzu is to look at the number of repetitions needed for them to learn a new command and the success rate of them carrying out a known command on the first try.
How Is The Intelligence Of A Dog Measured?
In 1994, Stanley Coren published his book on dog intelligence and how to measure it.
Within this, he stated that there are three aspects of dog intelligence, which are: instinctive intelligence; adaptive intelligence; and working and obedience intelligence.
Instinctive intelligence is the dog’s ability to carry out the tasks it was bred for, such as herding, pointing, fetching, guarding, or being a companion to their owner.
Adaptive intelligence is the dog’s ability to solve a problem on its own without the need for any help from their owner.
Working and obedience intelligence is the dog’s ability to follow the instructions and commands said to them by their owner.
The main focus of a dog’s intelligence, according to Coren, is their working and obedience intelligence. 130 breeds were studied and were then split across six categories that ranked their intelligence: brightest dogs; excellent working dogs; above average working dogs; average working/obedience intelligence; fair working/obedience intelligence; and lowest degree of working/obedience intelligence.
What Is The Size Of A Shih Tzu’s Brain?
Interestingly, dog’s brains don’t seem to differ that much in size, even though their body sizes can vary so much. All dog’s brains, Shih Tzus included, are roughly the same size as a tangerine; although, this can vary ever so slightly in each dog.
What Is The Stupidest/Dumbest Dog Breed?
If you were to base the intelligence of a dog on Coren’s study on dog intelligence, his findings suggest that the dumbest dog breed is the Afghan Hound.
However, this is based on their obedience intelligence and not on anything else, so it is unfair to completely rely on these findings. Instead, it should be based on a combination of their obedience intelligence, instinctive intelligence and adaptive intelligence.
Shih Tzus Vs. Humans [Who’s smarter?]
In general, humans are more intelligent than Shih Tzus. However, in a study, it was found that dogs have the same mental abilities as a human child that is aged between two and two and a half years old. So even though Shih Tzus (and all dogs) may not be as intelligent as us, they are still relatively more intelligent than previously thought.
Shih Tzus Vs. The Dumbest Dogs
Coren put Shih Tzus in the same category as the dumbest breeds of dogs; however, in this category, Shih Tzus are the more intelligent type of dog.
The other breeds of dogs within this category include the Basset Hound, Beagle, Bloodhound, Chow Chow, and Bulldog.
However, it is worth mentioning that this ranking was only based on their obedience intelligence and nothing else; so this doesn’t necessarily mean that these dogs are dumb in general, it just means they struggle to listen to and follow commands straight away.
Shih Tzus Vs. The Cleverest Dogs
When it comes to Shih Tzus and the cleverest dogs, Shih Tzus were quite far off the top spot, ranking at number seventy, therefore, not reaching anywhere near the top ten.
In comparison to the cleverest dogs, these dogs include the Border Collie, Poodle, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Rottweiler.
As said above, these rankings were only based on obedience intelligence and nothing else.
Dumbness Vs. Stubbornness [Is My Shih Tzu Stupid Or Just Stubborn?]
Even though Shih Tzus are ranked in the lowest category of obedience intelligence, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are dumb.
Shih Tzus are known for being incredibly stubborn. Even though they scored low in obedience, this isn’t because they are dumb, but is instead because they are determined to have things their own way.
If you think your Shih Tzu is stupid, it’s more than likely that they’re not. Instead, they just want things to go their own way and when they don’t, they refuse to cooperate.
Dumbness Vs. Laziness [Reasons Why Your Lazy Shih Tzu Might Be Really Smart]
There are a number of reasons why your Shih Tzu might not actually be dumb, and is actually quite smart and possibly a little lazy:
1. The intelligence ranking doesn’t actually measure intelligence
As has already been mentioned, the official dog intelligence ranking is not based on intelligence, but is instead based on how long it takes them to respond to new commands.
Some dogs are naturally more likely to respond to commands, which means they are more likely to come across as intelligent for this reason instead of anything else.
2. They know the rewards system too well
We all know that one of the best ways to get a dog to do as you say is to give them a treat. But if you don’t have that treat in your hand, they can sometimes refuse to perform the command until they see a treat.
This shows a Shih Tzu is smart because they know how to control you to get what they want whilst making you think that you are the one in control, when it’s actually the other way round.
Shih Tzus are often able to gain an understanding of who is more likely to give in to their wants than others. For example, they may notice that your partner is more likely to give them food off their plate than you are.
This means they will go to your partner when they want food because they know they are going to get their own way with them than with you. This shows intelligence as they are able to manipulate the situation to suit their own gain.
4. They are more like cats
Shih Tzus are companion and lap dogs, which makes them a bit like cats in many ways because they like to lounge around but they also know who to go to for their different needs.
So in the case of the example given above, if they want food, they are more likely to go to your partner. However, if they want to play with their toys or have a cuddle, they may be more likely to go to you if they know you will meet these needs.
Here Are The Reasons Why Shih Tzus Are Very Smart
Shih Tzus were bred to be lap and companion dogs and this is part of their instinctive intelligence. They are able to understand human emotion and know how to react appropriately to these emotions.
They may bark a lot, but this is because it is within their natural instinct to if they suspect there is an intruder. It means they are very alert and whilst it may be annoying if it turns out to be nothing, they are just trying to protect you.
The adaptive intelligence varies from dog to dog, but as Shih Tzus are companion dogs, this type of dog tends to be very adaptively intelligent as it is within their natural instinct to be a comfort for humans, which is needed for successful adaptive intelligence.
How To Train Your Shih Tzu To Become Even Smarter?
To help your Shih Tzu become more smart, one way this can be done is by continuously training them and keeping up with this training. You should start with the basics first and then move on to stuff more advanced once they have mastered the basics.
When training your Shih Tzu, use positive reinforcement, such as giving them a treat every time they get something right, so they know they got it right and it means they are more likely to repeat what you have taught them.
You should also keep your training sessions short and be patient when they get stuff wrong. This helps them keep their concentration and doesn’t put them off if you shout at them for getting something wrong.
Smartest Dog Breeds [Top 10]
This is a list of the smartest dogs from the breed that has been found to be the smartest: 1. Border Collie 2. Poodle 3. German Shepherd 4. Golden Retriever 5. Doberman Pinscher 6. Shetland Sheepdog 7. Labrador Retriever 8. Papillon 9. Rottweiler 10. Australian Cattle Dog
Dumbest Dog Breeds [Top 10]
This is a list of the dumbest dog breeds from the breed that has been found to be the dumbest: 1. Afghan Hound 2. Basenji 3. Bulldog 4. Chow Chow 5. Borzoi 6. Bloodhound 7. Pekingese 8.Beagle 8.Mastiff 9. Basset Hound 10. Shih Tzu
Should An Intelligent Person Have A Smart Dog Or A Stupid Dog?
You shouldn’t get a smart or intelligent dog based on whether you are an intelligent person or not. The dog breed you decide to get should be based on whether they fit into your lifestyle, such as whether you live a fast or slow-paced life, or how much time you have to offer to the dog. Just because Coren suggests certain breeds of dogs are less intelligent than others, this doesn’t mean that it’s true. He only took obedience intelligence into account and nothing else, so obedient intelligent dogs may be less intelligent in other areas.