Shih Tzu Poodle Mix: Shih-Poo Dog Breed Guide

A Shih-Poo is a designer dog breed made from breeding the Shih Tzu with the Toy or Miniature Poodle. This incredible companion is also known as a Shoodle or Pooshi and will steal your heart in a second.

Anyone who needs a loving dog by their side will love this cute and cuddly mix. Even with their sometimes cheeky attitude they are perfect pets for older individuals.

The Shih-Poo will be your best pal no matter what. They are incredibly friendly, versatile and playful. For these reasons they are one of the most popular and special Poodle mixes.

Interested in adding this adorable forever puppy to your family? Continue reading to learn all about the shih tzu poodle mix.

Shih-Poo

Breed Characteristics
Size 8 to 15 inches
Weight 8 to 18 pounds
Coat Varies from short to long and straight to curly
Hypoallergenic Yes, low-shedding
Colors Black, white, blue, gray, brown, gold and apricot
Temperament Friendly, affectionate, smart, laid-back, and playful
Family Friendly Very
Barking Sometimes barky
Training Fast learner but stubborn
Walking 20 to 30 minutes
Lifespan 13 to 17 years
Price $600 to $2,500

More About Shih-Poos

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix

The Shih-Poo is a crossbreed between the Shih Tzu and Miniature or Toy Poodle. As a designer breed they have the best qualities of their parents. The result is a dog that is incredibly loving, outgoing, playful, friendly and intelligent.

First generation puppies are created by breeding the two parent breeds. It is also common for breeders to breed two Shih-Poos together to get second generation puppies. This is similar to how F1b Goldendoodles are bred.

This small crossbreed was bred to be your best friend and will want to be by your side all the time. Their sweet and playful nature also makes them great with kids and an excellent choice for a family.

Their moderate energy levels and small size also makes them a great option for seniors. They are very portable, easy to care for and can adapt to many lifestyles.

Some pups are attached to people as if they couldn’t survive without them which can make training a bit of a challenge. New owners should know that because of their lineage they can be a bit stubborn and cheeky.

As a descendant of the Shih Tzu the Shih-Poo may think of itself as high and mighty too. Remember they come from a dog that was made to sit on the laps of royalty.

This mix likes to get what they want and might just bark at you if you ignore them.

Being a lap dog means that they will want to sit with you most of the day. Their small size means they are great for apartments, though they can live just about anywhere as long as they are with you.

Unlike other Poodle mixes the Shih-Poo doesn’t need a lot of exercise each day. The Shih Tzu is not very high energy and balances out the Poodle’s high energy. Most Shih-Poos are content with a quiet life.

All they need is someone to return their affection.

Fun Facts

  • These mixes are clever, but they have a funny and goofy side to them. Sometimes they will be silly little goofballs. You will laugh at the shenanigans they get into, which will really brighten your day.
  • Some Shih-Poos are amazing support dogs and put all of their love and affection into good work. These dogs make incredible support animals because they are so loyal, friendly and gentle. Their adaptability and willingness makes them great candidates for this role.
  • The Shih Tzu is known for changing color as it ages and the same can be true for this mix. If you get a Shih-Poo puppy then you might notice its coat color change. This is completely normal as they have a fading gene that causes a puppy’s coat to fade by about the time they are one year old.
  • Since they are a mixed breed you will not find any kennel club registered puppies. While they are not a recognized dog breed, they are very popular and are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club and the International Designer Canine Registry.
  • It is not known when the first puppy was bred. No breeder has claimed they “created” the Shih-Poo, but this mix has probably existed for a long time by accident. It is likely they originated in the US and then began to rise in popularity over the last 20 years with the designer breed movement.
  • While this mix is super sweet and smart, they do inherit some stubbornness. First-time owners might find it a bit hard to get their puppy to listen while training.

What Does A Shih-Poo Look Like?

Shih Poo Puppy

The Shih-Poo is the perfect blend between their parents.

No shih tzu poodle mix will look exactly alike since they are a crossbreed, but they will be half of each parent. Their exact appearance will depend on the genes they inherit. If a puppy inherits more of the genes of one parent over the other, then it could have the finer face of the Poodle or the rounder head and flat nose of the Shih Tzu.

A full grown Shih-Poo is normally compact, sturdy and short. They often have a round head with big round brown eyes, black button noses, and floppy ears. Most pups look like a plush bear cub.

Their coat can be long, silky and smooth or curly and short. Many fall somewhere in between with wavy, medium length hair.

Full Grown Size

This mix is always a small and compact dog.

In general a full grown Shih-Poo can range between 8 and 18 pounds in weight and 8 to 15 inches in height. Their full grown size really depends on the type of Poodle parent they are bred from. A Miniature will produce larger puppies than a Toy Poodle.

There is also one more Shih-Poo size. A toy poodle shih tzu mix can grow to be 10 inches and weighs around 8 to 11 pounds. They are bred from a Toy Poodle which means they are smaller from the standard Shih-Poo (which is bred from a Miniature).

Their “easy-to-carry” size means they can live in just about any space and makes them the perfect travel partner.

Colors

This mix has many color possibilities thanks to the many coat colors of the Poodle. Some of the most common coat colors include black, apricot, gold, blue, brown, white, red, gray, cream and silver.

These dogs can also come with white markings, black patches or a black face mask because of their Shih Tzu parent.

Each mix will be completely unique because coat color and patterns are expressed differently in each puppy. Even puppies within the same litter will look different because their coats can have different patterns.

Many Shih-Poos come with solid coats, but usually they have white markings. Solid-colored dogs with no markings are much rarer. In fact it is more common to see them with some kind of pattern or multicolor.

The black shih tzu poodle mix is very rare but is sure to capture your attention. This dog has a pure black coat that will remind you of the midnight sky. Nothing stands out, not even its black nose and dark ears.

A solid brown Shih-Poo has hairs that can range from a light coffee color to a dark chocolatey brown like a chocolate Labrador. What is interesting about this dog is that the rich brown color of their coat is matched with an equally brown nose and light hazel eyes. They are very unique compared to their littermates who tend to have dark eyes and black noses.

Shedding

Both Shih Tzu and Poodle dog breeds are low shedding. This means the Shih-Poo is guaranteed to be a hypoallergenic, low shedder. Many pups even shed less than other popular Poodle mixes like the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle.

Poodle mixes like the Labradoodle are often not fully hypoallergenic because they can get more coat genes from their non-Poodle parent. With Shih-Poos this isn’t a problem because the Shih Tzu is also a low shedder.

A Shih-Poo is guaranteed to be hypoallergenic.

Keep in mind that all dogs do shed, even if just a little. Hypoallergenic just means that they do not shed a lot of hair into the environment. This is because their hairs tend to get caught in their curls.

Temperament

Personality Characteristics
Family Friendly ★★★★★(5)
Energy ★★★★★(2)
Training ★★★★★(3)
Prey Drive ★★★★★(2)
Loyalty ★★★★★(5)
Barking ★★★★★(3)

The Shih-Poo is bred to be an outgoing and loving dog breed that you can take with you anywhere. Everyone will appreciate how friendly, caring and playful they are. They are a great dog not just for families, but also for couples and seniors.

As a family dog this mix does great with children. Being part Shih Tzu means that there is a certain amount of hair pulling and being carelessly handled that they can tolerate.

While it is very sweet the Shih-Poo also likes to be respected. Shih Tzus were once considered the dogs of royalty and this pup will also require royal treatment from you. So while they get along well with children of all ages, they might be best for older kids who can respect them.

Most pups are happy to keep the children entertained for some time, but after play they are ready to sleep for the day.

The Shih-Poo is also very adaptive for couples and seniors that live a low key life.

They have a relaxed lap-dog nature and will be glad to take it easy with you. Because of their love for people they would much rather cuddle on your lap than bark at a stranger.

Unfortunately this mix does have a willful side that means they like to get their way. If they are not happy then they will express their feelings with a lot of barking. This cute dog might be small and furry, but they love to bark to the point of being annoying.

Personality

Shih-Poos are one of the sweetest dogs and are very attached to people. Many people instantly fall for their charm, even if they can be a bit cheeky. They really do love their family and are very easy to live with.

Occasionally this mix might get into trouble because of their stubborn streak, but if you train your pup from an early age you can avoid a lot of these behaviors.

With consistent positive reinforcement training you can teach them it is fun and rewarding to listen to you.

Most Shih-Poos want to be treated as if they are a king or queen.

Do treat your pup with a lot of love and attention, but do not over do it. You want to avoid pampering too much or you might end up with a dog that is very demanding and barky. Some will even want to boss you around with their shrill bark!

Like any other dog breed they just need proper training and to not be overly pampered.

Puppy Guide

Shih Poo

Shih-Poos are a very popular designer breed which means that breeders will charge a lot for them. Their price can range from $600 to $2,500. Puppies that are cheaper tend to be those that are bred to be family pets.

More expensive puppies will come from a lineage of high-quality purebred parents that are kennel club approved.

Breeders that are well-known are more likely to charge more for their puppies, especially those breeders who breed Poodles.

Other factors that can affect their price are color and age. Puppies tend to be more expensive than fully grown adults.

You can find adults at a shelter or rescue for between $100 and $600. There are many Shih Tzu specific rescues that also take-in Shih Tzu mixes. You might want to check them out to see if they have a Shih-Poo rescue. Some rescues that you can look into are:

RELATED: Labradoodle Adoption Shelter List

Because this mix is a great companion dog and super portable you are more likely to find them near cities where people need dogs that are easy to transport and can live in small spaces.

Just make sure that whenever you find a breeder you contact one that is reputable.

A reputable breeder is one that raises their puppies with care and tests the parents for any possible genetic issues. They will also get their puppies checked by a vet to make sure they are healthy and up to date with their vaccines. Do your research on the breeder you select and verify whether you can see the puppy before adopting.

Living With A Shih-Poo

Poodle Shih Tzu Mix

The great thing about the Shih-Poo is that it is a great choice for people who live less of an active life. Their Shih Tzu side is much more laid back which means they prefer to lay on your lap all day than run around.

While this hybrid is a Poodle mix it actually doesn’t need as much exercise as its parent. Poodles tend to be a very energetic breed and their bodies are just itching to move.

A Shih-Poo will fall somewhere in between the energy levels of both of its parents.

In general they should get between 20 and 30 minutes of exercise each day. This could be two short walks or a walk and a play session. In general this mix will tire out pretty quickly and will be happy curling up next to you.

Feeding

A Shih-Poo loves to eat, but you cannot let them eat more than what they should as they can quickly become overweight.

Full grown shih tzu and poodle mixes should be compact, sturdy and short ranging between 8 and 18 pounds.

An adult should be fed one cup of dry food each day. Their food should be formulated for small dogs with moderate energy levels. You do not want to give it a kibble made for large dogs as their calorie requirements will be much higher.

Training

Training a Shih-Poo is easy because they have the smart brain of the Poodle. They can very quickly learn new tricks and enjoy putting their brains to work. The caveat is that they do have a Shih Tzu side that is stubborn.

Some people might find it a bit harder to train this mix than they were expecting.

The truth is that Shih-Poos are stubborn and sometimes might put up a challenge.

If you are struggling to get your puppy to listen then keep your training sessions as dynamic as possible and use positive reinforcement. They like to think for themselves, but are eager to please.

It is because of this stubborn attitude that they are generally not recommended for a first time owner.

If you are determined to train a Shih-Poo then you need consistency and patience. If they don’t listen then do not make a big deal of it. Eventually they will learn that listening is much more rewarding and you can start breaking their stubborn streak.

Training should be started from a very early age as it is easier to prevent a behavior from happening than to try to break it.

Early socialization is also important for this breed as they are not very fond of other pets. You don’t have to be worried about it getting into any fights, but they would much rather be on your lap than playing with another dog! By introducing a puppy to other animals it will learn to live happily among other pets.

Grooming

Shih-Poos are high maintenance when it comes to their coat. No matter the type of coat they have it will need to be brushed daily to avoid any tangles and mats. These dogs must also be taken to the groomers every month so that their coat is always looking its best.

Depending on the type of coat your mix inherits you might consider different hairstyles.

If they have hair like a Poodle’s you might consider getting their hair groomed into specific styles like the Puppy Cut, Teddy Bear Cut or Summer Cut.

You will need to limit the amount of times you bathe your puppy to once every month to prevent their skin from drying.

It is also very important that you brush your dog’s teeth regularly. This mix is predisposed to dental disease because of their small mouth.

Health

The Shih-Poo is a very healthy breed that can live for a long time. Their lifespan can range from 13 to 17 years, but some live longer than this!

While this mix does tend to be healthy, they can still inherit genetic health issues common to their parents.

The most common health issues that affect this dog are patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, allergies and eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy or cataracts.

If your puppy inherits the shorter muzzle of a Shih Tzu then it can also have some breathing issues that are characteristic to brachycephalic breeds. These dogs can become short of breath very quickly during exercise or on hot days so you have to be careful to not overwork them.

Summary

The Shih-Poo is a hypoallergenic, small and charming dog breed that is half Shih Tzu and half Poodle. Anyone who needs a loyal, smart and friendly dog will love this cute and cuddly mix.

This mix is bred to be the perfect companion and will want to please you no matter what. If you can show them all the affection they need, then in return they will be there for you through all the highs and lows.

If you are looking for a Poodle mix that is easy to take care of then this breed is perfect.

This breed is more relaxed than a Poodle and makes a great option not only for families but also older people or couples. Weighing at most 18 pounds they are also a good dog for people who travel a lot.

In summary the Shih-Poo is loving, loyal and super attached to their humans with a cheeky attitude and big heart.

More Shih Tzu and Poodle Mixes

Let us know your favorite thing about the Shih-Poo in the comments below.

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