An adorable result of crossbreeding between a Toy Poodle and Shih Tzu, the Shihpoo (also recognized by the names of Pooshi or Shoodle) is a playful pup that you’ll be happy to have around your home. These versatile little dogs love to live a life of luxury, filled with ample pampering and a good amount of tender love and care. Shihpoo’s, while able to thrive in a variety of home environments (be it large country houses or humble one-bedroom apartments), are strictly indoor dogs with a strong preference for time spent around humans.
Compared to other “designer breeds,” the Shihpoo is relatively new, originating in North America from a cross between the German Poodle and the royal Shih Tzu from China. The Shihpoo is yet to be given official breed status. The regal genes of the Shihpoo shine through in its intelligent and charming nature, as well as in its need for constant love and attention. This breed’s royal character makes it a pup fit for only dedicated owners, with the Shihpoo’s affectionate and loyal nature making all extra efforts worthwhile.
The temperament of the Shihpoo varies from one individual pup to the next. However, traits present within their parent dogs, the Poodle and the Shih Tzu, can give a fair understanding of what the Shihpoo might be like personality-wise. The Poodle is an intelligent and energetic dog, one that enjoys learning new tricks to impress humans. On the other hand, the Shih Tzu is more of a stubborn dog, not too eager to learn new tricks. However, this dog has the desirable qualities of being incredibly affectionate and friendly. With these qualities in mind, the Shihpoo is playful and loving, preferring more than anything to nap in their human’s lap, making them the ideal lap dog. On the other hand, due to their energetic nature inherited from their Poodle parent, the Shihpoo loves playtime but may not be too keen on learning new tricks. To make training easier, it is recommended to start them young and incorporate a lot of positive reinforcement to socialize the pup into enjoying time spent learning new tricks. On average, the Shihpoo isn’t all that barky but will be sure to alert you if any of their preferred needs are not being met.
The Shihpoo is yet to achieve consistency in terms of size due to the relatively recent nature of the breed, but due to the small size of their Toy Poodle and Shih Tzu parents, these pups will be of a small, lap-friendly size. On average, the Shihpoo grows to be around 18 inches in height and 18 pounds in weight. However, there are fluctuations in size depending on whether the parent Shih Tzu and Poodle were Teacup, Miniature, or Standard sized.
Due to the Shihpoo being a designer breed, it is expected that the dog will inherit health issues that both the parent breeds are prone to. However, on average, the Shihpoo has relatively good health and can live up to 16 years. If the Shihpoo inherits the Shih Tzu parent’s small snout, some breathing-related issues can be expected. However, if the snout is inherited from the Poodle parent (which is generally larger in size), then this issue may not be of concern. A short snout may also increase the chances of heat stroke, so it is recommended that the dog be monitored for any signs of this issue. The Shihpoo is prone to dental issues, so it is necessary to maintain good oral hygiene and health.
In order to ensure that you Shihpoo is living their best and healthiest life, schedule regular veterinary checkups. Your dog’s health must be checked out by a professional in a timely manner so that any potential issues or illnesses are caught and dealt with early on. When it comes to food, make sure that your Shihpoo has a strict schedule with set feeding times. Do not leave food out for this dog since it is expected that they will overeat and consequently put on several extra unhealthy pounds. Shihpoos do not require too much exercise, with two 15 minute walks being more than enough for this pup. When it comes to potty breaks, the Shihpoo will need them regularly. Due to their predisposition to dental issues, it is necessary that you maintain good oral hygiene with regular teeth brushing. Make sure to dry off your Shihpoo’s ears after bathtime since they are prone to infections. If you notice a foul odor, take your dog to the vet immediately since an ear infection may have developed.
As has already been mentioned, Shihpoos should not be allowed to feed freely, so leaving food out is not an option you should consider. Stick to a schedule to ensure a healthy pup. A Shihpoo’s dietary needs vary depending on size, energy levels, and age. It is important to speak to a professional when formulating a diet plan for your dog. Shihpoos need high-quality food due to their predisposition to dental issues, with treats being kept to a minimum.
A Shihpoo’s coat varies depending on each dog and is highly dependant on the coat type of both the Poodle and Shih Tzu parents. The coat of the Shihpoo can either be curly owing to their poodle genes or maybe straight as a result of their Shih Tzu genes. However, a combination of these two coat types is common. With reference to color, there is a lot of variety available, with the Shihpoo coming in black, brown, white, and brindle (as well as combinations of the four). The Shihpoo is a relatively low shedder and is a perfect pet for people who don’t want to deal with dog hair on every single surface in their homes.
In order to ensure a healthy and well-groomed Shihpoo, daily brushings of their long and luscious coat are necessary. It’s a good idea to take your pup in for monthly grooming sessions to keep your Shihpoo looking and feeling like the royalty they truly are. Bathtime should be limited to no more than once a week since the Shihpoo has the tendency to develop dry skin and coat, which may cause irritation and an unhappy pup later on.
Due to their absolutely adorable little looks, these puppies are highly popular and widely available for those who may be interested in buying one. The average cost of a Shihpoo puppy is around $900, going up to $3000 and more depending on the puppy’s traits. Pricing and availability may vary from state to state in the USA.
While Shihpoos are considered a “designer breed”, many can be found in shelters in need of loving homes. It’s best to look into your local rescue options before opting to get your puppy from a breeder. Here is a list of Shihpoo rescue organizations and shelters: