If you’re ready to add a new fur baby to your house but can’t decide between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, we have good news for you!
There’s no need to have a long, back-and-forth conversation about which dog would make the better choice.
Today it is possible to have a combination of these two adorable little dogs in one fantastic animal: the Shih Poo!
In this article, you will learn more about the popular, spirited crossbreed known as Shih Poo.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this vibrant little racial mix when you welcome them into your home, including their temperament and grooming needs.
It also covers a number of important topics such as longevity and health.
What is a Shih Poo?
The Shih Poo is a designer mix of the dignified, intelligent poodle and the lively Fabio-Maned Shih Tzu.
The Shih Tzu Poodle mix is expected to have traits and traits of both breeds, but in which combination it is unpredictable!
It would be the best of both worlds if we could expect that a Shih Tzu and Poodle mix would make a Shih Poo dog that had the best traits of each breed.
But not even the most successful breeder can guarantee what temperament and personality will develop when she produces Shih Tzu poodle puppies. This is simply the reality when two different breeds are mixed into a unique hybrid.
What will my Shih Poo look like?
Maybe you would like your Shih Poo puppies to have the gorgeous mane of a Shih Tzu and be hypoallergenic like a poodle’s fur?
This may be ideal, but no one can reliably predict what a fully grown Shih-Poo will look like.
This reality is something you should definitely consider before buying a Shih Tzu Cross poodle mix!
Over the past two decades, Shih Poos has become a very popular hybrid, also because the poodle is known to have hypoallergenic fur.
The Labradoodle was the first poodle crossbreed and since its inception, the poodle has been crossed with almost all other popular breeds.
Whether your Shih-Poo has the curly coat of a poodle or the luxurious locks of a Shih Tzu – he always has a cute, attentive expression on his sturdy body.
And with its adorable round face, wide eyes and soft fur coat, a Shih Poo in a children’s toy box would look like a home, like in the dog park!
Can a Shih Poo be registered with the AKC?
Despite their popularity, like other hybrids, Shih Poos are not currently recognized by well-known kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club.
As a result, documentation or records that come with your pet are not currently recognized by most people.
Before we talk more about the adorable and spirited Shih Poo, let’s take a look at his ancestry to get a better idea of what to expect from this powerful canine mite.
The origins of Shih Poo – on the Shih Tzu side
The origin of the Shih Tzu is as puzzling as the claim that the first Shih Tzu’s were bred to resemble the pretty lions (complete with flowing manes) featured in traditional Chinese art.
The breed, also known as the “lion dog”, probably originated in China. Shi-Tzu bones that date back to ancient times were found there. Current analyzes have shown that the Shih Tzu is one of the 14 oldest dog breeds.
The first Shih Tzu’s were brought to Europe in 1930 and made their way to the American coasts later in the decade. The American Kennel Club was recognized as an official breed in 1969 and became part of the Toy Group. The group calls it the 20th most popular animal.
The origins of Shih Poo – on the poodle side
Like the Shih Tzu, the origin of the poodle is up for debate. Some experts believe the dog came from Germany, while others think France is its country of origin.
Like the Shih Tzu, the poodle was a favorite subject of artists and can be seen in paintings that date back to at least the 15th century. The AKC recognized the poodle as an official breed in 1887 and recognized it as the 7th most popular dog breed.
The poodle comes in three varieties: standard, miniature, and toy. Shih Poos are bred from the latter two varieties. (Don’t miss our complete guide to the stunning standard poodle.)
Poodle crosses are a popular constant among designer dogs. The Shih-Poo is a relative newcomer to this landscape.
The Shih Poo originated in America where it debuted as a small breed with the prospect of being a hypoallergenic dog.
In reality, the Shih Poo may inherit the poodle’s hypoallergenic fur or the Shih Tzu’s non-hypoallergenic fur.
As Forrest Gump might say, the Shih Poo Cross is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re getting!
Shih Poo adult size
“How big will it get?” Is one of the first questions a potential dog owner may ask. Since the Shih Tzu is a crossbreed and relatively new, let’s turn to the parents for the answer!
As mentioned earlier, crossbreeds inherit the traits and traits of both parent breeds, and their traits can range anywhere between them.
Toy and mini poodles usually weigh between 4 and 15 pounds and are 10 to 15 inches tall. They live an average of about 10-18 years.
The average Shih Tzu weighs between 9 and 16 pounds and stands between 8 and 11 inches tall. A Shih Tzu lives an average of about 13 years.
Shih Poo temperament
Will your Shih Poo’s temperament align with its willing Poodle parent or are you similar to that of its less susceptible Shih Tzu parent?
We wish we could tell you for sure!
Since a Shih Poo inherits its DNA from two gene pools, there is no way of telling which combination these genes are expressed in. Your pup’s temperament can lean heavily on one parent or the other, or be a delightful and unpredictable mix of the two.
And it’s always the unfortunate possibility that the pooch will inherit the undesirable traits worn by each parent. Buying a mixed race is like throwing the dice: are you ready to play?
Both the Poodle and the Shih Tzu are lovable, intelligent, and trainable. The Poodle is more voiced than the Shih Tzu, and the Shih Tzu has a reputation for having a stubborn streak.
But both tiny hoops make good family dogs when provided with positive and supportive training. The poodle may have a slight edge in this department, and it will help in raising the Shih Tzu puppy with children.
Shi Poo behavior
Will your Shih Tzu x Toy Poodle Hybrid display the proud, intelligent nature of its Poodle ancestors? Poodles have moderate energy levels and enjoy being busy.
Or will she have a fair share of Shih Tzu’s renegade genes? They can be a handful, especially when it comes to training.
In the case of crossbreeds, it is impossible to predict the future behavior of your little bundle of fur.
Many Shih Poo owners report that their fur babies are energetic, playful, and not too difficult to train.
This is a dog that will benefit from moderate exercise.
Early, consistent, and positive training methods will ensure that your new BFF is the perfect companion you hope for!
Note that punishment training is not recommended as a modern training method and can mask potential problems.
Exercise your Shih Tzu poodle mix
Your Shih Poo can go to the training department after one of his parents.
Poodles are known for their high dog IQs and are therefore very trainable. If you want to teach your tricks and play together at the dog park, your poodle puppy is ready to find space!
The Shih Poo is a smart dog, but for some, a stubborn streak can be problematic when it comes to training. Unlike the philanthropic poodles, the Shih Tzu doesn’t want to impress its people that much!
Because of this, the Shih Tzu isn’t high on the list of dogs for new owners. That doesn’t mean he can’t learn through positive and supportive training methods, but potential pet parents should be aware of this persistent reputation.
Learning tricks isn’t a high priority for Shih Tzu, and sometimes a swim workout takes longer than you’d like.
Family life with a Shih Tzu poodle mix
A Shih Poo works well for older children who have learned to be respectful and to handle a dog. Younger children can scare Shih poos that don’t respond well to rough living conditions.
Shih Poos generally fall in the middle of either parent’s tendency to bark: not as tasty as a poodle, but a bit more than a Shih Tzu.
Shih poos require moderate exercise, with daily exertion being best. As small pets, they make ideal indoor dogs and most like to snuggle up in their owner’s lap.
Shih Poo haircuts
Your little Shih Poo will do a small amount of shedding and will require a moderate amount of grooming. Depending on their fur, you might find yourself pinning them up in horribly cute hairstyles – more on that later!
A Shih Poo’s coat can be long and silky, short and curly, or even somewhere in between. Poodle coats come in solid colors like white, black, apricot, and gray.
Shih Tzu fur comes in a variety of colors and, unlike the poodle’s mono shades, can result in a mix of hues and colors.
Large differences in coat quality and color can occur within a litter of Shih Poo puppies.
Did your pup inherit a poodle-like coat? If you have a curly haircut, consider a puppy clip or a lamb clip.
The previous haircut involved shaving the fur around the face, neck, feet, and base of the tail, leaving the remaining hair to stay longer. This is a good cut for the winter months.
A lamb clip shaves the fur on your pup’s back, stomach, abdomen, and neck to about 1/4 inch. The remaining fur is cut but left longer. This is a good cut for the summer months.
If you have a real “lion dog” then you can put the luxurious hair on top of her head in a fun ponytail!
- Shih Poo grooming
Neither poodles nor Shih Tzus has particularly “light” coats. Shih Poos have different hair types, from curly to straight, depending on how much the parents prefer them. Typically, most Courser people have wavy or curly fur, which is more like the poodle’s coat.
Daily brushing and monthly trimming help to keep the fur mat free. The result of a Shih Tzu Cross Toy Poodle mix is a pure dog, and baths can be done at the owner’s discretion, although regular bathing can help ward off inherited skin problems.
During the trimming session, the nails should be examined and clipped as needed. Since both breeds have hair that grows in their ears, it is a good idea to check your pup’s ears regularly and trim the hair as needed.
Both the Poodle and Shih Tzu are prone to tearing up spots, so it shouldn’t be surprising if your pup exhibits this trait. A warm face washes with a soft cloth once a day will remove the dried eye mucus and reduce staining.
Unfortunately, both breeds are prone to dental disease, which is why they need to be cleaned regularly to preserve the teeth and gums of your mix.
Is the Shih Poo hypoallergenic
No dog is 100% hypoallergenic. The term “hypoallergenic dog” is intended to indicate that a dog of one breed or mixture of dogs is less likely to cause allergic reactions than other breeds.
However, hypoallergenic is a relative term. It’s important to note that a particular pooch may or may not target a single person (especially those with increased sensitivity) with an allergic reaction.
Animal allergens like fur and dandruff can make breathing problems like asthma and allergies worse in sensitive individuals.
Some breeds lose less than other breeds, leading to the claim that they are hypoallergenic due to the lower risk of an allergic reaction caused by a reaction to fur, dander, and saliva.
Because of their minimal shedding, poodles are called hypoallergenic, and therefore Shih Poos are often sold as hypoallergenic.
Shih Poo health
It makes sense that the offspring of a poodle and a Shih Tzu would have the same health problems as their parents.
Shih Tzu dogs are prone to eye problems, brachycephalic syndrome, hip and kidney problems, among other things. Short-nosed animals are at risk for the brachycephalic syndrome, which includes respiratory diseases.
Many of the problems found in the Shih Tzu are the result of its signature and coveted traits: a short nose and big eyes.
What health problems do poodles face? Cushing’s disease, bladder stones, and skin tumors are among the problems poodles encounter.
Cushing’s disease occurs when a dog’s body consumes too much of the hormone cortisol, or when corticosteroid drugs are prescribed in high doses and/or over a long period of time.
Your Shih Poo will inherit his parents’ health profiles, but in your mixed breed pooch, it is impossible to predict how the problems will be expressed.
The good news is that the Shih Poo mixed race get the poodle’s longer snout, which allows them to bypass many of the breathing problems Shih-Tzus inherit.
As an aside, Shih Poo’s have a reputation for never meeting a meal they didn’t like! Since they have a tendency to overeat, it is important to monitor your dog’s daily calorie count to ensure their overall health.
Shih Poo lifespan
Chih Poos are expected to live around 10-15 years. Despite being an energetic pup, the Shih-Poo doesn’t require much practice, but it shouldn’t be allowed to be a couch potato either!
Regular exercise increases your dog’s wellbeing and is critical to a long and healthy lifespan. Short but brisk morning and evening walks are all it takes to keep this spunky little guy fit.
This is not a mixed breed that wants or needs to practice on long descents or exploring nature; Playing with a ball in the backyard or in the dog park will do him good!
Shih Poo breeders
Before adopting your friend forever, ask the breeder about the health and temperament of the puppy’s parents. Ask about both parents’ bloodlines and their health approvals.
All reputable breeders will be content with your requests for information and will tell you as much as possible about the background of your Shih Tzu Toy Poodle hybrid prior to your adoption.
Shih Poo puppy
Puppies are irresistibly adorable and many owners become pet parents through love at first sight syndrome.
Shih Poo puppies are as cute and cuddly as any small dog, but they can be a handful too, especially if they inherit the Shih Tzu’s affinity for treading their own trail. If this is the case with your pup, potty training, in particular, can become a tedious task.
When it comes to home training, a little vigilance goes a long way. Make sure your puppy is watching for signs that they want to go into business.
If you keep your exercise needs updated, the two of you will be much happier in the long run!
Is a Shih Poo Right For Me?
While it is a fact that the small Shih Poo breed exhibits traits from both parents, it is impossible to know in which combination or to what extent these traits are expressed.
Before making the final decision to add a lovable Shih Poo into your life, consider the information above, and most importantly the unpredictable nature of a crossbreed!
Do you have a Shih Poo? Tell us about your little loved one in the comments below!