Shih-Poo: Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix A Complete Guide

Shih Tzus and Poodles are both well-loved dogs. However, they might not be two dogs you think of mixing. One is a loving and goofy dog that is great for apartments, while another comes off as regal and soft but offers a long history of hunting and intelligence. 

When they are bred together, you get a goofy, loving dog with a unique personality. They are often small, but stubborn. However, with proper training, they make excellent companions in apartments and have few health issues. 

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Keep reading to learn more about the Shih Tzu, the Poodle, and their Shih-poo offspring.

The Shih Tzu, Shih-Poo, and Poodle Comparison Table


Shih TzuShih-pooPoodle
Height9-10.5 inches8-15 inches24-27 inches
Weight9-16 pounds7-20 pounds40-70 pounds
Life Expectancy10-18 years10-17 years10-18 years
ColorsBlack Blue Brindle Gold Liver Red Silver White Black and white Blue and white MoreBlack Brown Red White Gold Silver Blue Apricot
Apricot Black Blue Brown Gray Red Silver Silver Beige White
Coat TypeDouble coat with long lengthWavy, straight, or curlyLong and Curly
Affection levelsVery lovingVery lovingVery loving
Shedding LevelLittle to no sheddingLittle to no sheddingNo Shedding
TemperamentAverage playfulness Average protectivenessPretty playful Average protectivenessPlayful, and protective
Health IssuesEye diseases Hip dysplasia Patellar luxation Breathing problemsEye diseases Hip dysplasia Breathing problems
Hip dysplasia Eyes diseases Gastric Dilation
TrainabilityPretty easy to trainAverage trainabilityEasy to train
ExerciseAverage amounts of exerciseAverage amounts of exerciseHigher amounts of exercise
Friendliness to PeopleAlright with strangersOpen to strangersVery open to strangers
Friendliness to DogsVery good with other dogsGood with other dogsAlright with other dogs
Drooling LevelsLittle to no droolLittle to no droolNo drooling
Mental StimulationAverage mental stimulation requiredHigher mental stimulation requiredLots of mental stimulation required
Barking LevelAverage barkingLots of barkingMore barking

About Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are a well-loved dog breed, both now, and throughout history. They were once popular with the Chinese imperials.

This time period is also where they got their flatter faces. Chinese during that time enjoyed seeing dogs with flatter faces and bred various dog breeds to get that appearance. 

This includes:

  • Shih Tzu
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Pugs

These dogs and their unique faces are well-loved around the world even today. However, there are a lot of health problems that occur with Shih Tzus and other dogs with flatter faces.

Due to their face shapes, they often have severe problems with breathing. They are commonly known as Brachycephalic breeds. 

They usually have problems with too much exercise, flying on planes, overheating, breathing, and often struggle in humid weather.

There are some responsible breeders out there that want to lengthen their noses again so they can breathe properly, but due to many of them being some of the most popular dog breeds, many people don’t want to lose the adorable features and looks that make these breeds unique. 

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On top of their features that make them stand out, Shih Tzus are also very happy and loving. They get along well with most other people and dogs. 

About Poodles

Poodles are often associated with show dogs and are thought to be weak and lacking in any real skill. However, that is completely wrong. 

Poodles, while often used in dog shows due to their graceful walk and calm personalities, have a lot more to offer. They are very smart and do well with any task they are given. They are intelligent and do well in sports, shows, and as service dogs

They are also hypoallergenic. This can be appealing to people allergic to dogs, but that still want to own one or use them as a service pet. 

However, they do need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Poodles were originally used as water dogs for hunting birds.

They have been bred to be calm, and actually, make excellent guard dogs without being too aggressive. They are also usually great around people and other pets, so long as they are trained and raised properly. 

About The Shih-poos Dog Mix

When a Poodle and a Shih Tzu are bred together, you get Shih-poos. Depending on the type of Poodle used, you can often get a dog that is small enough to be a companion in an apartment.

They usually stay on the smaller side, no matter the Poodle parent, but they can occasionally take a lot less of the Shih Tzu side and grow larger. 

On average, you can expect not much more than 20 pounds and a maximum height of 15 inches tall. 

Are Shih-poos Brachycephalic?

Usually, Shih-poos will not be Brachycephalic. The short muzzle took a lot of time to create and usually requires pure-bred dogs with short muzzles to continue to get flat faces. 

Their muzzles will be somewhere in-between a Poodle and a Shih-Tzu. It may be long enough to not cause any health issues, or it may still be short enough to cause some, depending on which parent it takes after. However, they will likely have enough of a lengthened muzzle that they can breathe normally. 

They may still face overheating issues, however. 

Are Shih-poos Hypoallergenic?

With designer dogs, there isn’t much of a standard, and you are never sure which parent the mix will take from the most. Some Shih-poos have the potential to be hypoallergenic if they take more after their Poodle parent in terms of fur type. 

However, there is just as much of a chance that they take more after their Shih-Tzu parent, and will have fur that is like most other dogs.

There is not much of a way to tell what kind of fur and appearance your Shih-poo dog is going to have until after they are born, and usually after they grow up a little. 

If you are buying an aged dog from a breeder, it should be easier to tell if they are hypoallergenic and the shelter will likely be able to tell you. 

Are Shih-poos Easy To Train?

These dogs are eager to please and want to have their owners happy. However, that doesn’t always mean they are easy to train. They have stubborn personalities and may not always want to be trained. 

It is best to focus on positive reinforcement with Shih-poos. They need praise and treats rather than harsh commands and anger.

If you find that they aren’t listening and you are getting frustrated, work on doing short bursts of training. You can also work on training after exercising them, so they have less energy and aren’t as quick to be distracted 

If trying to train them is proving too difficult, it may be worth taking them to obedience and training classes. This is especially true if you are a first-time dog owner, so you know what to expect and how to best train your dog. 

Conclusion

Shih Tzus are small, popular dogs that make excellent pets for small apartments and have a majestic appearance. The Poodle is regal as well as athletic and intelligent.

When bred together, you get the Shih-poo, a dog that is friendly with anyone and everyone. They love playtime and know how to be gentle with children and other dogs. 

They may be loud, but they are more bark than bite and enjoy spending a lot of time relaxing and cuddling with their owners. 

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