Both Shih Tzus and Poodles are known to be great dog breeds, have you ever wondered what happens if you mix these two breeds together?
Shih Tzu Poodle mixes, also known as “Shih Poos,” are a mixture of the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle breeds; they are also one of the greatest companions a dog owner could have!
The Shih Poo is a very popular mixed breed; Poodle mixes are some of the most sought-after dogs because they are hypoallergenic and usually have a great temperament.
In this article, we will talk about all the different characteristics of this mixed breed, its pros and cons, its health, and many others; keep reading to learn more!
What is a Shih Poo?
It is usually easy to tell when a dog is a mixed breed because of their unique names such as Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle), Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd/Poodle), Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle), etc.!
A “Shih Poo” is a mixture between the Shih Tzu and the Toy Poodle breeds. They are a small breed that is adorable in both appearance and behavior.
This breed is among some of the most popular mixed breeds because they are so loving, sociable, well-behaved, and hypoallergenic/low shed!
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Shih Poos have been around for a very long time; however, it is unknown how long exactly. Over the past 20 years, this mixed breed has become very popular and is one of the most sought-after mixed breeds for dog owners/lovers.
NOTE: Poodles are known for their low shedding and being hypoallergenic, this is why Poodle mixes are so popular, especially the Shih Poo.
Shih Poos typically inherit equal parts of both their parent breeds when it comes to looks and behaviors; however, they can sometimes develop more from one or the other.
Thankfully, both the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle are great breeds, so it isn’t likely that a Shih Poo would inherit more bad traits than good.
What Does a Shih Poo Look Like?
Oftentimes a dog owner’s biggest concern when getting a mixed breed puppy is wondering what the dog will look like; for a Shih Poo, will it look more like a Shih Tzu, or a Poodle?
Shih Poos are known for looking similar to both their parent breeds; however, depending on its genetics, and what genes the mixed dog inherits, will determine whether the dog looks more like one breed or the other.
Shih Poos are one of the cutest mixed dog breeds. By combining the Poodle’s curly fur along with the Shih Tzus adorable short face, they are some of the most adorable dogs there are!
NOTE: Several dog owners have compared their Shih Poos to teddy bears or stuffed animals because they are so cute and small.
While the Shih Poo is a small dog, they can vary in size depending on whether they get more genes from the Shih Tzu, or the Toy Poodle.
The Shih Tzu breed usually ranges between 8–15 inches in height and weighs between 8–18 pounds.
Poodles will range between 14–22 inches tall and weigh 45–70 pounds; while Toy Poodles are 8–10 inches tall and weigh less than 10 pounds.
NOTE: It is possible to mix a Shih Tzu with a standard size Poodle; however, more often they are mixed with the Toy Poodle breed to achieve their adorable tiny size and characteristics.
A Shih Poo can range anywhere from 8–15 inches tall and weigh between 8–18 pounds. It is difficult to know how big a Shih Poo will get before it is born and begins to grow.
One interesting characteristic of a Shih Poo’s appearance is its fur. Because Toy Poodles and Shih Tzus come in a variety of different colors, the Shih Poo will oftentimes be very unique.
Not only will a Shih Poo’s fur typically be curly (thanks to the Poodle), but it can also be many different colors; here are the most common:
- Multiple Colors (brown & white/black & white are very common)
NOTE: A Shih Poo’s fur can also be straighter like the Shih Tzus; however, it is more likely for it to be curly since curly fur is a dominant trait/gene.
While their fur isn’t going to be as curly as a purebred Poodle, they will still have enough curls that it is important to maintain their grooming.
How to Groom a Shi Poo?
Grooming is one of the most important steps in taking care of any dog.
Shih Poos require a decent amount of grooming to maintain the overall health of their fur and skin.
It is important to brush a Shih Poo every day, especially if they have curly fur like the Poodle breed, and to bathe them at least every 3–4 weeks.
One of the most recommended tips for Shih Poo owners is to use a sensitive skin shampoo. This breed is known to have sensitive and dry skin, so it is important not to use any products that may irritate or dry out the skin even more.
NOTE: DO NOT use human shampoos/products on your dog, while sometimes this does work for certain breeds, because Shih Poos do have skin more likely to become irritated, you don’t want to risk them having a bad reaction.
Shih Poos are also known for their bad teeth and consistent development of ear infections.
It is important to brush their teeth consistently to upkeep their dental health, you can also try giving them different chew toys and bones that will help their teeth!
It is also important to clean their ears at least once a week and try to avoid getting water in their ears when bathing, this can cause an ear infection very quickly.
Shih Poo Temperament
A lot of times those who are thinking of getting a dog will consider whether or not the dog they are interested in will behave correctly or not.
Shih Poos are known to have great behavior. Both Shih Tzus and Poodles are wonderful family dogs, so it is no surprise that Shih Poos are too!
Because of the breed’s high intelligence, they get along very well with both humans and other dogs/animals.
Most of the time, their behavior is great, and they tend to be very sociable and friendly, they are also usually very easy to train!
How to Train a Shih Poo?
Training a new dog is one of the most important tasks to accomplish for new dog owners or current/previous owners who have a new puppy/untrained dog.
Thankfully, Shih Poos make this job pretty easy for their owners.
Shih Poos will usually pick up on training very fast. Because they are eager to please their owner, they will listen and perform commands faster than some other dogs.
Like all other dog breeds, it is important to start training your Shih Poo as early as possible to avoid any unwanted situations in the future.
While this breed is typically easy to train, they can also be very stubborn. Don’t be surprised if you have to convince them to train by adding in some rewards (treats).
This method of positive reinforcement tends to work best when training stubborn dogs.
NOTE: Remember that not all dogs are the same, even if this mixed breed is known for being easy to train, it doesn’t mean your dog will be. It is also important to remember that training goes both ways, the dog must do their part, and so should the owner.
Do Shih Poos Have Health Issues?
A lot of people think that mixed breeds have more health issues than purebred dogs; however, scientists and dog breeders have both said that mixed breeds actually seem to be healthier than purebreds because of their mixed genes.
Shih Poos are known to be a fairly healthy breed; however, they do have common health problems that are known for their breed specifically, including ear infections, urinary stones, and skin issues.
As mentioned earlier in this article, Shih Poos are likely to have bad teeth since both Shih Tzus and Poodles struggle with this. One of the most common health problems that Shih Poos face, is dental disease.
This breed is also prone to having a buildup of dental plaque, bacterial infections, and simply crooked teeth in the mouth.
There are also several health issues that are specifically common for each individual breed (Shih Tzus and Toy Poodles), let’s break them down:
Common health issues for Shih Tzus:
- Urinary stones
- Ear infections
- Allergies & Skin issues
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye issues (Cataracts & Glaucoma)
Common health issues for Toy Poodles:
- Cushing’s Disease (too much steroid hormone, “cortisol,” affects the kidneys)
- Urinary stones
- Skin Tumors
- Gastrointestinal issues (due to their small size)
A Shih Poo could end up having any of these health issues given to them from either parent breed, but chances are, they will more commonly inherit health issues that are present in both parent breeds (like urinary stones, or skin problems/allergies).
Thankfully, both Shih Tzus and Toy Poodles have reasonably long lifespans for a small breed dog.
Shih Tzus have a lifespan around 10–16 years and Toy Poodles around 12–years. Shih Poos will usually average a lifespan of about 16 years.
NOTE: The most common cause of death for Shih Poos is old age.
Pros and Cons of a Shih Poo
The Shih Poo is an amazing mixed breed and is usually great when it comes to things such as temperament, behavior, and training. But is there anything to dislike about this mixed breed?
Like all other dogs, there are both pros and cons when it comes to the Shih Poo mix. There are always several factors to consider if you are planning on getting this breed.
Let’s break down the pros and cons of the Shih Poo:
- Social with other animals — They tend to get along well with other animals and usually will not show aggression unless they are provoked enough.
- Great for having indoors — They don’t require a lot of exercise so this breed is great for people who can’t get up and move around a lot.
- They are easily adaptable — Oftentimes dogs who have to change location/move houses, etc. will become very disturbed and may even begin acting out; Shih Poos are known to adapt quickly to new environments very easily.
- Great personalities — Not only is this breed sweet, but they can also be clever, and funny!
- Easily Trainable — This is good because oftentimes the owner, themselves, can train the dog and not have to attend classes or hire a trainer.
- Hypoallergenic — This is one of the biggest pros for a lot of dog owners, anyone who has bad allergies is likely to get a Poodle/Poodle Mix because they produce the least number of allergens.
- Excessive barking — Both Poodles and Shih Tzus are known to excessively bark, so don’t be surprised if your Shih Poo does this too!
TIP: The best way to stop this behavior is to get your dog into training as quickly as possible, and to socialize them as much as you can!
- Health Issues — Like the ones mentioned above, health problems are, of course, a big con when it comes to any dog breed.
- Reactions to fleas/ticks — Because of this breed’s sensitive skin, they are more likely to develop allergies and irritations if they get fleas/ticks.
- Separation Anxiety — This breed is known to be very loving and friendly; they love having their owner with them and they may experience anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
How Much Does a Shih Poo Cost?
Of course, one of the most important details when it comes to getting a dog is how much they will cost.
A Shih Poo can range in price depending on several factors including the dog’s health, bloodline, height/weight, age, coat color, etc.
Both Shih Tzus and Toy Poodles can already be expensive in certain situations, here is a breakdown of their usual prices:
- Shih Tzu ($500–$1,000)
- Poodle ($600–$2,500)
- Toy Poodle ($500—$1,500)
- Shih Poo ($500–$2,800)
NOTE: One common reason some dogs are more expensive than others is if they have been neutered/spayed and if they have been given/are up to date on all of their vaccines.
While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.