Shih Poo Dog Breed Info | Features, Traits, and Health

Shih Poo is a loyal, cute, playful, fun-loving dog. You should consider getting this smart and energetic dog if you don’t want to feel alone as it won’t leave your lap empty.

Before getting any new breed, it is very important to learn about that specific breed and read about their health-related issues, maintenance and grooming needs, temperament, pros and cons, and maintenance costs. Once you read a comprehensive guide about the breed you’ll have a clear idea of whether you can keep that breed or not. So, if you are looking for a comprehensive guide about Shih Poo, this post contains everything you are looking for.

Note: Before heading towards any breeder, try to find your desired dog in a shelter, most probably you’ll find one. If not, then you may get it from a breeder. One more thing, never get a puppy from a puppy mill, instead, search for a reputable breeder.

Introduction to Shih Poo

A Shih Poo is a cross between the Miniature version of the popular German breed Poodle and the Chinese breed Shih Tzu. It is one of the most recently crossbred dogs which is popular around the globe. It is also known as Pooshih. Don’t confuse it with Poo-shi, poo-shi is another dog breed that is a cross between Poodle and Shiba Inu. It shares most of the traits with other Poodle crosses.


Quick facts about the breed

Name: Shih Poo
Other Name:
The average lifespan of Shih Poo is 10 – 16 years. Some may also live up to 17 years.
Weight: Their weight is 7 – 20 pounds.
Height: Their height is 8 to 15 inches.

Important read: Double Vaccination of Dogs

Specialties of Shih Poo Dog

They are loyal, friendly, playful, and one of the best indoor dogs. Moreover, they are highly intelligent, and social, and love the company of kids. They never disappoint their owners in terms of the company. Their low-shedding coat makes them unique and among some most popular dog breeds.

Common Features

Like other Poodle crossbreeds, the Shih Poos are also very adorable and cute. Their parent breeds Shih Tzu and Poodle are good-looking and cute dog breeds. So, the Shih Poos have inherited beauty, charm, and cuteness from both parents. Some of their best body features are given below:

  • Curly or straight coat. (Inherits curly coat from Poodle and straight coat from Shih Tzu)
  • Small in size
  • Compact and lean body

Common colors

These adorable dogs come in different colors. The most common colors are black, white, tan, sable, and cream. While a mixture or combination of multiple colors is also possible.—

What’s good and what’s bad about them?

Pros of having a Shih Poo

Social with other animals

They are very friendly with other animals, so if you have other pets at home, there’s no need to be concerned.

Low-shedding Coat

Shih Poo has inherited this remarkable feature from parent breeds because the Poodle and Shih Tzu- both have low-shedding coats. So, their low-shedding coat makes them an ideal dog for those with allergies.

One of the best indoor dogs

Their small size makes them one of the best indoor dogs as they don’t need much space. BTW, your lap is enough for them.

Ideal for Lazy owners

Because of their short legs, they are not much into exercise stuff. So, Shih Poos are an ideal match for lazy owners. But for their health, up to 30 minutes of daily activity/exercise is a must.

Adjustability in different types of houses

Shih Poo can easily adapt to any type of house and will become your soulmate instantly.


Cons of Shih Poos

Risk of injury

If you already have large-sized dogs in your home, try not getting a Shih Poo because there is a chance of severe injury during playtime due to their small size.

Depressed when left alone

They are very much prone to separation anxiety and they don’t want to be left alone for a long time or they may become very depressed and destructive. Early-age training can be helpful in avoiding this behavior.

Check Shih Poo Pros and Cons in detail.

Temperament and Behavior

Being a Shih Tzu-Poodle cross, the Shih Poos are very playful and they like to play with their squeaky toys and chase after balls. They love children and elderly people and become an ideal playmate or companion for them. They are very cuddly whether you are sitting on a couch or on the bed.

One of the drawbacks of having a Shih Poo is that it loves barking and you may hear him barking most of the time. Training this dog may be a bit more difficult than other Poodle crosses but if you train and socialize it well, it’s a champion dog.

Shih Poo Grooming Needs

A Shih Poo may have a curly, wavy, or straight coat, and combing it twice or thrice a week is better to avoid mats and tangles. A visit to the professional groomer is also recommended every 6-8 weeks. Also, try to trim their hair or fur around the genital area, under-belly, and anus to prevent feces from getting caught and staining.

Along with that, trim your Shih Poo’s nails every 3-4 and brush their teeth at least thrice a week. Keep an eye on their ears too and keep them clean and dry. Also, make sure there is no foreign object stuck in the pup’s ears.

Common Health Issues

Knowing about a dog’s health is important before you get it. Like all the other breeds, Shih Poos also have several health issues and diseases that they may develop from time to time. So, it is better to consider and address these issues before adopting a Shih Poo.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Shihpoos usually inherit this disease from Poodles. This is a nerve disorder that can result in eye loss in middle-aged dogs.

Hip Dysplasia

The dog’s hip socket’s abnormal formation is called Hip Dysplasia. In this painful disease, the dogs walk abnormally or even refuse to walk.

Sebaceous Adenitis

It is a skin disorder inherited by Poodles. This inflammatory skin disease can cause severe itching, baldness, and other skin infections in a dog.

Dental Diseases

Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth, dental plaque accumulation, and other bacterial infections in the dog’s mouth.

Ticks and Fleas

Like other dog breeds with thick hair, Shih Poos may also have ticks and fleas.

Shih Poo vs Other Doodles

It is a small-sized dog while you can also witness larger Poodle mixes such as a Labradoodle, Standard Bernedoodle, Saint Berdoodle, and many others. If you are looking for a comparison between Shih Poo and other Poodle crosses, you can find them in the below articles.

Puppy Price and Maintenance Cost

Although it depends on the breeder, bloodline, quality, and location, on average, a puppy from a well-reputed breeder may cost you between $1500 and $4000. Also, expect to spend up to $1000 on your Shih Poo puppy in the first year and around $750 in the following years.

Where to get a Shih Poo puppy?

Like any other breed, a Shih Poo puppy should also be purchased from a well-reputed breeder. A well-reputed breeder always keeps its puppies up to date on shots and vaccinations and performs several lab tests on parents and puppies to avoid any genetic and health-related issues in dogs. Along with that an expert breeder will socialize and train the puppy before handing it over to its forever owners.

After deep research on the internet and forums, our experts have found some well-reputed breeders. Some of them are listed below. For a detailed post about breeders, check Shih Poo breeders.

Shih Poo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Shih Poo Good with Children?

Yes, it has an excellent temperament and it does well with children but it is not recommended to have a Shih Poo if you have smaller children because there is a chance of injury in dogs. Usually, children think of small-sized dogs as a toy so it may lead to injuries.

What is the difference between Shih Poo and other Doodles?

Shih Poo is a product of Shih Tzu and Miniature Poodle while other Doodles are the products of other breeds with a Poodle, so every puppy inherits traits from both parents; therefore, the Shih Poo and other Doodles may have significant differences.

Are they completely hypoallergenic?

No, but they are among the most low-shedding dog breeds because both of their parent breeds have low-shedding coats. We can say that the Shih Poos may have the best low-shedding coat among all the Doodles (Poodle crosses).

Can Shih Poo get Parasites?

Yes, like any other dog in the world, they can also get parasites.

Can we register Shih Poo with AKC?

No, AKC doesn’t register cross breeds so unfortunately, Shih Poo can be registered with AKC.

Shih Poo Rescue

We always insist and recommend our readers adopt a puppy or dog from a pet shelter or a rescue group, instead of getting one from a puppy mill or backyard breeder. So, if you are trying to find a Shih poo puppy, you can check on the following website. All you need to pay is a small amount that is spent on vaccinations and other necessary products.

Shih Poo Recognition

Shih Poo is not recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) because none of them recognizes mixed breeds.

Final Words

A Shihpoo can become the best partner for you in your daily routine and you should consider adopting one. Remember, always adopt a dog from a certified and expert breeder. Furthermore, make sure that your dog has received all the necessary vaccinations.

Recommended read – Mini Bernedoodle Breeders East Coast for 2023

Image credit:  Derek K. Miller (1969-2011)Svenska Mässanmauriciogouvea,

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