Second Puppy: Which is Best, Male or Female?

by Melissa
(Florida)

i have a three year old male shih tzu. He's very loving and friendly but my boyfriend and i think he needs a friend so we found out the next litter from his father is due on the fourteenth. We wanted to get a female but we dont know if it would be better to get a male puppy. Which one would he get along with better??


Karen Says:

I have two males and they adore each other. Sometimes a female can be much more aggressive with a male. This is the second time I have had 2 males and no problems. hope this helps

Jessica Says:

I had a female first and when she was 3 months we got a male who was just a little older. They wrestle and play and love eachother. My female is more the alfa dog, but I think one is always more dominate. I’m sure your pup will be happy no matter who his new sibling is. ; )

Our Answer:

Hello Melissa. Even though you asked this question a while back and have no doubt found your newest furry family member by now, I wanted to answer your question because the discussion of which gender of Shih Tzu is best does come up frequently, and it’s worth discussing.

There are some commonly repeated myths and stereotypes about each gender that are just that – myths and stereotypes. According to the American Kennel Club and the American Shih Tzu Club the temperament and personality traits for the breed are the same regardless of gender. There’s really no basis for saying girls are this way and boys are such and such. But lots of people do! Just for fun I scoured some sites and found some of the most common statements made regarding the differences in male and female Shih Tzus.

Females Are:

  • More difficult to housetrain
  • Strong willed and stubborn
  • Demanding and want to run the house
  • Smarter and learn tricks more easily
  • Sweet and charming
  • More loving and want to be in your lap all the time

Males Are:

  • Very sensitive -- don’t raise your voice to them
  • Easier to train and learn tricks quickly
  • Completely devoted to one person
  • Sweet and charming
  • Needy and require more socialization
  • More loving and want to be in your lap all the time


If you own a female dog and she’s the sweetest, smartest or most stubborn canine you ever saw it’s understandable to assume all females of the breed are like that. Likewise if you have a boy and a girl and the male potty trained more easily you might assume that females are more difficult to train. But the reality is that it’s all about the dog’s individual personality, not their gender.

Males can be stubborn, females can be devoted lap dogs and either gender can have an Alpha personality. There’s no key for deciding the best companion for an older dog by gender, finding a dog that has a similar energy level and complementary personality is a better method. If the older dog is dominant, then bringing home another dominant personality could cause problems. If the older dog wants to romp and play with a friend, then you want to be sure to choose a playful puppy, not one who seems shy and quiet.

Because they are bred to be companions for humans not all Shih Tzus need another canine friend to be content, but most will make friends and enjoy having another dog in the family whether it’s a sister or a brother.

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