The Shih-Poo is an adaptable dog that loves to cuddle and hug. They are the perfect puppy companions for any dog lover. If you’re looking to adopt a Shih-Poo, or if you already have one at home, here’s our comprehensive breed guide to help you learn more about your special pooch.
Shih-Poos: The basics
The Shih-Poo is a recent dog breed from two purebreds: the intelligent and sophisticated Poodle that hails from Germany and the adorable Shih-Tzu, which comes from Chinese Royalty.
It is hard to tell which genes are more visible or influential. Sometimes, the puppies could be strikingly similar to one parent. In other cases, they could be a perfect blend of the two.
As for the coat, it may vary between the Poodle’s curly fur and straight Shih-Tzu fur. Sometimes they can be a perfect blend of the two coats — and this is the most common look.
Most Shih-Poos are the first-generation of their kind (immediate descendants of a purebred Shih-Tzu and a Poodle). Therefore, like other hybrids, many well-established kennel clubs are yet to recognize it.
Here are other quick facts about Shih-Poos:
- Weight: 8-18 pounds.
- Height: 8-13 inches.
- Life expectancy: 10-15 years
- Temperament: Spunky, playful, energetic.
- Purpose: Lapdog
Looks: Shih-Poos can get the curly fur from their Poodle parent, or the gorgeous mane-like coat from their Shih-Tzu parent, or a combination of the two — which is more common. They also come in various colors and color combinations.
Apart from their adorable coats, Shih-Poos also have the cutest, alert expression. With his looks and energy, he is perfect for the home and the dog park.
Personality: Predicting how a pup’s personality will turn out is hard. But you can learn a great deal from his Shih-Tzu and Poodle parents.
Shih-Tzus are known for their stubbornness and disinterest in learning. But their friendliness and adorable looks would make you instantly forget this shortcoming in trainability. On the other hand, Poodles are intelligent, trainable, and active.
Shih-Poos give you the best of both worlds: cute, friendly, adorable, active, intelligent, and playful four-legged buddy. Being intelligent and loyal, Shih-Poos can be prone to periods of fear and anxiety in certain situations.
Is your Shih-Poo hypoallergenic?
Most marketers portray the Shih-Poo as a breed with a hypoallergenic coat. But this could be misleading. No dog (or pet for that matter) is 100% hypoallergenic. The term “hypoallergenic breed” is often used to mean that the breed has a reputation of triggering fewer allergic reactions. Nevertheless, the concept is relative. Your Shih-Poo could be hypoallergenic to you, but that might not be the case for a friend who visits and comes into contact with him.
Like the personality, you could consider the parents’ temperaments as a way to predict the pups’. Both the Poodle and Shih-Tzu are energetic. They like to play around and are extremely friendly.
Dog lovers say that Shih-Poos have more of the Poodles’ temperament. They love to yap like their Poodle parents and are stubborn like their Shih-Tzu parents.
What a Shih-Poo loves most
Company: Shih-Poos prefer to be around adults or older kids who can cuddle and gently play with them. That said, the Shih-Poo is an excellent companion to children who know how to handle small dogs and treat them with respect.
Concerning adults, Shih-Poos can be the perfect companions. The cuddly little fellows want to be by your side all the time.
Shih-Poos also have no problem getting along with other pets. But introduce them gradually. Better still, start building his socialization skills early — while he is still a pup — and let them get used to being around other pets.
Play and exercise: Shih-Poos will keep you running and playing throughout the day. They are full of energy. But, unlike other dogs, they do not require lots of vigorous exercises to stay fit. Brief, but brisk walks, twice a day, are all that this enthusiastic dog needs to stay fit.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, unfortunately, Shih-Poos don’t appreciate a 10-mile jog or an all-day hike. It would just exhaust the little guy, and it could harm his health.
Caring For Your Shih-Poo
Diet and feeding: All meals should be high-quality and served in small portions. Shih-Poos tend to have dental issues, such as premature tooth loss, gum disease, and cavities. Therefore, dry foods are better since they minimize or prevent a host of dental issues.
Make sure that the servings are just the right quantity, and follow a consistent schedule. These little guys are ravenous feeders. If you allow them to free-feed, they could gain lots of weight.
Health: Chances are, your Shih-Pooh could have a similar health profile as the parents. But it would be hard to predict if, when, and how these health issues manifest. So, take it one day at a time.
Shih-Tzus are prone to eye infections, hip and kidney problems, and respiratory issues, including brachycephalic syndrome due to their short noses.
Poodles often have to deal with bladder stones and skin issues such as tumors and Cushing’s disease.
As for the Shih-Poo, dental, eye, and skin issues could be frequent.
Plan to regularly visit the vet so that you could nip off any issues before they hurt your little buddy. You could also do quick temperature checks to avoid surprises.
It is crucial to brush your Shih-Poo’s coat every day and groom him at least monthly.
Shih-Poos, enjoy a lovely bath. But keep it to once a week. Too many baths could dry and irritate their skins and coats.
Shih-Poos are generally smart. They get it from their Poodle parents. But they also inherit a fair portion of stubbornness from their Shih-Tzu parents.
Training is essential. Your Shih-Poo should learn how to behave when outdoors or when close to other pets. He will also need to know when to use the bathrooms.
It may take longer than other breeds. So be patient, consistent, and firm. Crate training has proven results and works well for little guys who stay at home. Consider using this approach.
Remember to use positive reinforcement all the time. Praise and tasty rewards will work better than harsh tones.
Shih-Poos also have a short attention span. At best, you will have a few minutes to teach him good behavior. So keep the sessions short, frequent, and sweet. Most importantly, be patient and consistent. He will get there eventually.
Shih-Poos can thrive as family pets. They live comfortably in most homes, whether an apartment or if you have a yard. But these adorable little guys will need regular grooming, TLC, and exercise.
While at home, they are playful and energetic. They can make even the grumpiest person smile. Keep this guide around. It will come in handy if you want to give the best possible care to your Shih-Poo buddy.