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Shih Poo: the Perfect Poodle and Shih Tzu Blend (2024)

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shih poo dogsLike a Mona Lisa painted with fur, the Shih Poo is an artistic blending of the Shih Tzu and Poodle.

This furry masterpiece is small in size, low in shedding, and brimming with intelligence.

Its moderate energy and exercise needs make it a suitable companion for first-time pet owners and city dwellers.

With a friendly and sociable nature, the Shih Poo seamlessly integrates into families, becoming a bundle of joy for all ages, including children and older adults.

They’re also amiable with other dogs and cats.

In return for their loyalty, Shih Poos crave companionship, regular grooming, reward-based training, and a cozy indoor home.

Key Takeaways

  • Shih Poos have a variety of coat colors, including white, black, apricot, and mahogany.
  • Shih Poos are friendly, intelligent, and adaptable dogs. They have moderate energy levels and are suitable for families with children and other pets.
  • Shih Poos need daily exercise, but they can thrive in various living spaces, including apartments and houses.
  • Shih Poos require daily brushing, professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks, and regular bathing.

Shih-Poo Overview

Shih-Poo Overview
You’ll often find Shih Poos in families, with seniors, or in couples’ homes.

That’s because they’re known for being friendly, well-tempered, and affectionate dogs.

They’re also intelligent and responsive to training, making them great companions for people of all ages.

Shih Poos are a designer breed, resulting from crossbreeding a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle.

This mix can lead to variations in temperament and appearance, but generally, Shih Poos are small, spunky dogs that are well-suited for apartment living.

They’re also considered hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies.

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced pet parent, a Shih Poo might be the perfect pooch for you.

These charming little dogs are sure to bring joy and laughter into your home.

Appearance and Coat

Appearance and Coat
In terms of appearance and coat, you’ll find no two Shih Poos that look exactly alike.

Dressed in a coat that reflects both the Poodle and Shih Tzu, this pooch exhibits a wide range of coat colors and patterns. From snowy white to jet black, and from soft apricot to rich mahogany, these pups don their coats with panache.

And let’s not forget those captivating eyes, shining in hues of amber, brown, or hazel, adding to their irresistible charm.

They come in two coat types: wavy and curly.

While the wavy-coated Shih Poos inherit their Shih Tzu parent’s locks, the curly-coated ones take after the Poodle.

But no matter the coat type, these pooches are low shedders, making them a popular choice for allergy sufferers.

And with proper grooming, their coats remain healthy and radiant.

Shih-Poo Temperament

Shih-Poo Temperament
The Shih-Poo’s personality combines the friendly and affectionate nature of a Shih Tzu with the intelligence and playfulness of a Poodle.

These charming dogs are known for their loving and loyal disposition, making them excellent companions for families, seniors, and individuals seeking a devoted furry friend.

Shih-Poos are highly adaptable and thrive in various living environments, whether it’s an apartment in the city or a house in the suburbs.

Their moderate energy levels make them suitable for those who enjoy leisurely walks and playtime sessions.

While Shih-Poos are generally friendly and affectionate, early socialization and training are crucial to prevent stubbornness and separation anxiety.

These intelligent dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training, making them relatively easy to train.

Their adaptability, friendly nature, and low-shedding coat make them ideal for individuals with allergies or those living in smaller spaces.

Exercise and Living Needs

Exercise and Living Needs
Amid their affectionate nature, these dogs still require daily exercise to stay in tip-top shape.

Moderate exercise, such as brisk walks or playtime in the park, will suffice in keeping your Shih-Poo happy and healthy.

They’re also highly adaptable to various living spaces, whether it’s a cozy apartment or a spacious home.

These pooches thrive on family activities and socialization, making them excellent companions for families with kids or retirees seeking a furry friend.

Their low-shedding coats and small size make them suitable for those with allergies or limited space.

Whether you’re embarking on pet-friendly travels or just enjoying a quiet day at home, the Shih-Poo is sure to bring joy and companionship to your life.

Shih-Poo Nutrition

Shih-Poo Nutrition
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with your Shih-Poo’s lifestyle needs, let’s delve into the world of nutrition to ensure your furry friend thrives.

Shih-Poos, like all dogs, require a balanced diet that caters to their unique needs. Portion control is crucial to prevent weight gain, a common issue among these petite pooches. Obesity can lead to various health issues, potentially shortening their lifespan.

To avoid dietary pitfalls, feed your Shih-Poo a high-quality dog food specifically formulated for small breeds. Look for brands that prioritize real meat as the primary ingredient and avoid fillers like corn or wheat.

Additionally, keep an eye out for food allergies, which can manifest as skin irritations or digestive problems.

Dental care is another crucial aspect of your Shih-Poo’s well-being. Regular teeth brushing and dental cleanings help prevent periodontal disease, a common issue in small breeds.

By following these nutritional guidelines, you’ll be setting your Shih-Poo up for a long and healthy life by your side.

Shih-Poo Health

Shih-Poo Health
You may be aware of the health concerns common to Poodles and Shih Tzus, such as:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Periodontal disease

It’s crucial to maintain regular vet checkups and provide your Shih Poo with a healthy lifestyle to minimize the risk of these issues.

Hip Dysplasia

You’ll want to take measures to prevent hip dysplasia in your Shih Poo, a condition that affects the hip joint.

Watch out for signs like limping, bunny hopping, and difficulty rising.

Early detection is key:

  • Get hip x-rays and genetic testing.

    Maintain a healthy weight:

  • Excess weight strains the joints.

    Consider joint supplements:

  • They may slow the progression of the disease.

Patellar Luxation

In addition to hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or a kneecap that slips out of place, is another concern you should be aware of when caring for your Shih Poo.

This joint dislocation, commonly seen in small and mixed breed dogs like the Shih Poo, occurs when the kneecap shifts from its normal position in the trochlear groove.

While mild cases may not require surgery, severe displacement often necessitates surgical intervention followed by rehabilitation.

Shih Poo Patellar Luxation

Signs and Symptoms

  • Limping
  • Hopping
  • Skipping
  • reluctance to jump or climb stairs


  • Genetics
  • Trauma
  • Obesity
  • Joint laxity
  • poor muscle development


  • Conservative management
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy

Periodontal Disease

Watch out for signs of periodontal disease, a common issue among Shih Poos.

This painful condition can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

It’s not just about bad breath—periodontal disease can cause your furry friend discomfort, difficulty eating, and even heart problems.

Don’t let gum disease steal your Shih Poo’s smile!

Grooming a Shih-Poo

Grooming a Shih-Poo
As a Shih-Poo owner, you’ll need to commit to a regular grooming routine to keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable.

Their thick, fast-growing coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles.

You should take them to a professional groomer every 6 to 8 weeks for a thorough cleaning and styling.

Don’t forget to pay attention to their skin, eyes, and ears too, as these areas can be prone to irritation and infection if not properly cared for.

Skin Care

When it comes to skin care, Shih Poos’ sensitive skin requires gentle products and regular bathing to prevent dryness and irritation.

Use mild shampoos and conditioners designed for dogs with sensitive skin, and avoid harsh chemicals and fragrances.

Bathe your Shih Poo every 1-2 weeks, or more often if they get dirty.

After bathing, dry them thoroughly with a soft towel and apply a dog-safe moisturizer to help keep their skin hydrated.

Regular brushing also helps distribute natural oils and remove dead skin cells, promoting healthy skin and preventing matting.

Coat Care

Regular attention to your Shih Poo’s coat will ensure its beauty and health.

Whether your Shih Poo has a curly Poodle coat or a straight Shih Tzu coat, daily brushing is essential to prevent matting.

Create a grooming routine that works for you and your dog.

Consider professional grooming every 6-8 weeks for a thorough clean and haircut.

Eye Care

Don’t let dirt invade your Shih Poo’s eyes; wipe away any discharge with a moist cotton ball.

Address tear staining, a common issue in this breed, by keeping the area clean and dry.

Regular checkups with your vet can detect eye infections, glaucoma, or cataracts early on.

Avoid contact with other pets, duck poop, or stagnant water to prevent eye infections.

Ear Care

Next, you’ll want to clean your Shih Poo’s ears weekly to prevent wax buildup and potential infections.

Use a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleaner to wipe away any visible dirt or debris from the outer ear.

Never insert anything into your dog’s ear canal, as this can cause damage.

If you notice any signs of an ear infection, such as redness, swelling, or a foul odor, take your Shih Poo to the vet promptly.

Shih-Poo Training

Shih-Poo Training
Starting Shih-Poo training early is essential for teaching good behavior and preventing unwanted habits.

Begin with indoor training by establishing a designated area for bathroom breaks and consistently taking your Shih-Poo there.

Use a crate for housetraining and to provide a safe space for your furry friend.

Clicker training is an effective method to reward positive behavior and encourage good habits.

Leash training is crucial for safe walks and to prevent your Shih-Poo from running off.

Imagine the joy of your Shih-Poo using the designated bathroom area, keeping your home clean and fresh.

Picture your Shih-Poo calmly resting in its cozy crate, feeling safe and secure.

Visualize the rewarding moments when you use the clicker to reinforce good behavior, strengthening the bond between you and your furry companion.

Envision yourself taking delightful walks with your Shih-Poo, both of you relishing the shared experience and the freedom of exploring the outdoors together.

Shih-Poo Fun Facts

Shih-Poo Fun Facts
Since Shih Poos inherit traits from both their Poodle and Shih Tzu parents, they’re known for being not only intelligent but also comical and playful.

You’ll find them entertaining you with their antics and always up for a good time.

With a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, they’ll bring you years of laughter and companionship.

Their history is a bit murky, with no one breeder claiming credit for introducing the breed.

They likely emerged from unintentional crossbreeding in the United States and were deliberately bred as their popularity grew.

Today, you can find Shih Poo breeders across the country, offering puppies that range in price from $500 to $2,000.

If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic companion, the Shih Poo is an excellent choice.

They shed minimally, making them ideal for those with allergies.

Their small size also makes them perfect for apartment living.

Shih-Poo Pictures

Shih-Poo Pictures

Your curiosity for Shih-Poos can be satisfied by browsing through these adorable pictures of these lively dogs.

Shih Poo Breeders:

Discover reputable Shih Poo breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their puppies. Witness the love and care they pour into raising these exceptional companions.

Shih Poo Adoption:

Explore heartwarming stories of Shih Poo adoption. See how these rescued dogs find loving homes, bringing joy and unconditional love to their new families.

Shih Poo Puppies:

Get a glimpse into the irresistible charm of Shih Poo puppies. Watch them frolic and play, filling your heart with laughter and happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does the Shih Poo breed compare to its parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, in terms of health, lifespan, and overall care requirements?

Compared to their parent breeds, Shih Poos generally inherit:

  • The Toy Poodle’s longer lifespan
  • The Shih Tzu’s moderate health issues

Resulting in a breed with a balanced health profile and a lifespan ranging from 10 to 15 years.

Are Shih Poos prone to separation anxiety or other behavioral issues if left alone for extended periods?

Shih Poos, like many companion breeds, may experience separation anxiety if left alone for prolonged periods.

They thrive on human interaction and may exhibit destructive behaviors or excessive barking when feeling lonely or neglected.

Shih Poos shine among small breeds for their intelligence and eagerness to learn.

Engage their minds with interactive games, puzzle toys, and agility courses.

These activities stimulate their intellect and provide mental enrichment, keeping them happy and fulfilled.

Are Shih Poos suitable for families with young children, and what precautions should be taken to ensure the safety and happiness of both the dog and the kids?

For families with young children, Shih Poos can be wonderful companions when precautions are taken.

Teach kids gentle handling.

Supervise interactions.

Provide the dog with safe spaces to retreat when overwhelmed.

What are the most common health problems that Shih Poos are prone to, and how can responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary care help prevent or manage these issues?

Stay vigilant against health challenges in your Shih Poo’s life.

Responsible breeding and regular checkups are your allies in preventing or managing:

  • Allergies
  • Joint issues
  • Eye problems
  • Endocrine disorders


As you welcome your Shih Poo into your life, know that you’ve gained a loyal, affectionate, and intelligent companion.

They’ll shower you with unconditional love and joy, forever grateful for your companionship, regular grooming, and reward-based training.

In return, you’ll have a devoted furry friend who brings endless happiness to your family for years to come.

Embrace the Shih Poo’s unique blend of Poodle and Shih Tzu, and relish the artistic masterpiece that’s your Shih Poo dog.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.