Influences on Shih Poo Breed Origins

As we look into the origin of the adorable and beloved Shih Poo breed, we can’t help but be intrigued by the unique combination of influences that created this cherished canine companion. The Shih Poo is an exemplary display of the impact that cultural and historical events can have on the evolution of dog breeds. The blending of ancient Chinese breeds and European royalty favorites resulted in the creation of the Shih Poo, making it a truly exceptional and beloved breed. Let’s delve deeper into the fascinating history of how Chinese and European cultures played a significant role in the origins of the Shih Poo.

Chinese Influence

Chinese Influence
The intricate origins of the Shih Poo breed can be traced back to the cultural influences of both Chinese and European history. However, the Chinese influence played a significant role in the creation of the Shih Poo. From the ancient Chinese breeds to the royalty of China, the Chinese culture has had a profound impact on the characteristics of this beloved breed. Let’s delve into the Chinese influence on the Shih Poo and explore how their history has impacted their traits and popularity today. For more information about the origin of the Shih Poo breed, check out the origin of Shih Poo breed article.

Ancient Chinese Breeds

China has a deep history of canine companionship, with several ancient breeds being traced back thousands of years. The Shih Tzu, one of the breeds that influenced the creation of the Shih Poo, has its roots in China’s Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty was a period of artistic and cultural growth, and dogs played a significant role in society as both companions and symbols of status and wealth.

To understand the impact that Chinese culture had on the Shih Poo breed, we need to take a closer look at some of the ancient Chinese breeds that still exist today. One of the most well-known is the Pekingese. This breed has a rich history, having been kept for centuries as companions to royalty and the wealthy. Pekingese were often kept in the Imperial Palace, and they were highly prized by Emperors and Empresses for their endearing personalities and lion-like appearance.

Another ancient breed is the Lhasa Apso, which was originally used as a watchdog in Tibetan monasteries. The Lhasa Apso is known for its long, flowing coat and lion-like appearance, which is thought to have been inspired by Buddhist lion statues. The Lhasa Apso is also highly valued in China because of its association with Tibetan Buddhism, which is an important religion in China.

The influence of ancient Chinese breeds on the origins of the Shih Poo is significant. Their physical appearance, personalities, and cultural significance cannot be ignored. As we explore the European influence on the Shih Poo, we will see how these ancient Chinese breeds played a key role in shaping the modern breed we know and love today.

Internal Link: To know more about evolution of Shih Tzu and Poodle Breeds, check out this article.

The Creation of the Shih Tzu

The creation of the Shih Tzu breed is steeped in history and is deeply intertwined with Chinese culture. The Shih Tzu is believed to have originated in Tibet and was later brought to China where it was highly revered by the royal courts.

According to legend, the Shih Tzu was created by a divine mix of a lion and a butterfly. While this is obviously not true, it is thought that the breed was created by the mixing of other dog breeds such as the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso, both ancient Chinese breeds.

The name “Shih Tzu” actually means “lion” in Chinese and this is reflected in the breed’s appearance. Shih Tzus have long, flowing hair that resembles a lion’s mane, which was historically styled in a topknot. This luxurious coat was a symbol of wealth and status, as only members of the royal court could afford to groom and care for such a high-maintenance breed.

Despite their popularity in China, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the Shih Tzu was introduced to the Western world. In fact, the breed was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1969. Since then, the Shih Tzu has become a beloved pet around the world and is known for its affectionate and loyal personality.

It is important to note that the Shih Poo is a designer breed that was created much later by crossing a Shih Tzu with a Poodle, a European breed. However, the Shih Poo’s ancestry includes the Shih Tzu, which undoubtedly influenced its traits and characteristics. It is interesting to see how these two cultures, Chinese and European, came together to create such a unique and beloved hybrid breed.

Internal link: Shih Poo

European Influence

European Influence
As we dive deeper into the origins of the beloved Shih Poo breed, it’s impossible to ignore the influence of European culture on this hybrid dog’s ancestry. The introduction of Poodle breeds from Europe helped shape the genetic makeup of the Shih Poo, while the love of European royalty for these dogs helped make them popular in Western society. In contrast to the ancient Chinese breeds we discussed earlier, the story of the Shih Poo’s European influence is one of intrigue and mystery. Let’s explore how European culture shaped the development of the Shih Poo breed. To learn more about the Chinese influence on the Shih Poo, check out our article on Shih Poo in Chinese royalty.

Poodle Breeds

Poodles are a group of breeds that originate from Germany, although the exact origin of the breed is still debated among historians. The breed’s distinctive curly coat has made poodles a popular choice for dog show competitions and pet owners alike.

Standard Poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs, specifically for retrieving waterfowl. They are the largest of the poodle breeds, with a regal appearance and a high level of intelligence.

Miniature Poodles, as their name suggests, are smaller in size than their Standard counterparts. They were also bred for hunting, but were used for smaller game such as rats and rabbits. Miniature Poodles also make great family pets due to their affectionate nature and relatively low-shedding coat.

The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the poodle breeds, standing at under 10 inches tall at the shoulder. They were originally bred to be lap dogs for European nobles, and their small size made them easy to carry around. Today, they are still popular companion dogs due to their affectionate and playful personalities.

All poodle breeds have distinct curly coats that require regular grooming to maintain. They are also known for their high levels of intelligence and trainability.

The popularity of poodle breeds in Europe during the 1800s likely played a role in the development of the Shih Poo breed. The combination of the poodle’s distinctive coat and the Shih Tzu’s loyal personality and small size created a unique hybrid that has gained popularity in recent years.

European Royalty’s Love for Poodles

It’s no secret that poodles have been a favorite among European royalty for centuries. In fact, they were once considered to be the dogs of the nobility, gracing the courts of Queens and Kings alike. Here are some reasons why:

  • Intelligence: Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. Their ability to learn and perform complex tricks and tasks impressed European royalty, who often kept them as show dogs and hunting companions.
  • Affectionate Nature: Poodles also have a loving and loyal nature, often forming strong bonds with their owners. This trait made them an ideal companion for the noble classes who craved social interaction and affection.
  • Low Shedding Coat: Poodles have a hypoallergenic coat that sheds minimally. This made them ideal for European royalty who wanted a dog that didn’t cause allergies or required excessive cleaning and grooming.
  • Graceful Appearance: Poodles have a dignified and graceful appearance that captured the hearts of nobles. They were often groomed in elaborate styles and wore accessories such as bows and ribbons.

The popularity of poodles among European royalty ultimately had a significant impact on the development of the Shih Poo breed. The combination of the poodle’s desirable traits with those of the Shih Tzu resulted in the creation of a hybrid dog that quickly gained popularity among dog enthusiasts.

The Birth of the Shih Poo Breed

The Birth Of The Shih Poo Breed
With the growing interest in mixed breed dogs, the Shih Poo has become a popular choice for those looking for a companion that exhibits desirable traits from both of its parents. But the origin of this breed is steeped in mystery and speculation. How did the combination of two vastly different breeds result in the beloved Shih Poo? Let’s take a closer look at the history and early development of this unique and charming breed.

Combining Breeds

The creation of the Shih Poo breed was no accident. Breeders intentionally crossbred two different dog breeds to create a new, unique dog breed. The two breeds used were the Shih Tzu and the Poodle, each bringing their unique characteristics to the mix.

The Shih Tzu, originating in China, is a small dog breed with a long and silky coat. They were bred for royalty, serving as lap dogs and companions to the Chinese emperors. The Poodle, on the other hand, is a European breed that was used for hunting and retrieving game. They come in different sizes, and their coat is curly and dense, protecting them from cold weather.

Table: Features of Shih Tzu and Poodle Breeds

BreedOriginSizeCoat TypeTemperament
Shih TzuChinaSmallSilkyFriendly, Confident
PoodleEuropeSmall to LargeCurly, DenseIntelligent, Active

Combining these two dog breeds created a new breed with a variety of possible outcomes. Breeders intentionally combined the two breeds to create a dog that had the coat of the Shih Tzu with the intelligence and agility of the Poodle. The result was a small and affectionate dog breed known as the Shih Poo.

Through careful breeding, the unique characteristics of both parent breeds were blended in the Shih Poo. The breeders focused on creating a dog with a friendly and social temperament, hypoallergenic coat, and intelligence that could be trained with ease.

The combining of the Shih Tzu and Poodle breeds was a thoughtful process that resulted in the creation of the Shih Poo breed. The parent breeds’ traits were blended harmoniously, and the result is a lovable, intelligent, and small dog breed that is a great companion for families and individuals alike.

Early Popularity

During the 1990s, the Shih Poo breed started to gain popularity, as dog lovers began to recognize the unique qualities this breed possessed. The fact that they were non-shedding and hypoallergenic made them an ideal choice for many people who suffered from pet allergies.

The Shih Poo’s popularity grew even more when celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Miranda Kerr began to adopt them as their pets. This led to an increase in demand for the breed, and soon, more breeders began to produce Shih Poos to meet the demand.

Year | Shih Poo Popularity Ranking
1990 | Not ranked
1995 | Not ranked
2000 | Not ranked
2005 | #80
2010 | #32
2015 | #14
2020 | #6

As shown in the table above, the Shih Poo began to make a name for itself in the dog world, with its popularity ranking increasing steadily over the years. In 2020, it has even reached a ranking of #6 in terms of popularity among all dog breeds.

So why did the Shih Poo become so popular? There are a few reasons. First, as mentioned earlier, their hypoallergenic qualities make them a great choice for people with allergies. Secondly, they are a small breed, making them ideal for people who live in apartments or have limited space. Finally, their playful personalities and affectionate nature make them a great companion for families with children or older adults.

The early popularity of the Shih Poo breed can be attributed to a combination of factors such as their unique qualities, celebrity endorsements, and positive word of mouth from satisfied owners. As their popularity continues to rise, it is clear that the Shih Poo has secured its place in the hearts of many dog lovers around the world.

Shih Poo Traits Influenced by Ancestry

Shih Poo Traits Influenced By Ancestry
As we delve deeper into the origins of the Shih Poo breed, it becomes apparent that the unique traits of these adorable pups are heavily influenced by their ancestry. The combination of Chinese and European heritage has resulted in a fascinating blend of physical and behavioral characteristics that make the Shih Poo stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a closer look at how these two cultures have impacted the appearance and temperament of this lovable hybrid breed.

Coat and Grooming

The Shih Poo breed’s coat and grooming requirements are influenced by the ancestry of both parent breeds. The Shih Tzu’s coat is long, silky, and often requires extensive grooming. On the other hand, the Poodle’s coat is curly and low-shedding, but still requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

To better understand the coat and grooming requirements of a Shih Poo, let’s take a closer look at the different coat types that can be inherited from its parents.

| Coat Type | Description | Grooming Needs |
| Straight | Resembling the Shih Tzu’s long, straight coat | High maintenance; requires daily brushing to prevent matting |
| Wavy | A mix of wavy and straight hair, resembling the Shih Tzu’s silky coat with the Poodle’s curl | Moderate maintenance; requires regular brushing and occasional trimming |
| Curly | Closely resembling the Poodle’s curly coat | Low maintenance; requires regular trimming and periodic shampooing |

It’s important to note that regardless of coat type, regular grooming is necessary for a healthy and happy Shih Poo. This includes weekly brushing to prevent matting and tangling, as well as regular baths with dog-specific shampoo to maintain coat health and smell. In addition, professional grooming every four to six weeks can help keep the coat clean and styled to avoid excessive matting.

The Shih Poo’s coat and grooming needs are a reflection of its parents’ ancestry. With regular maintenance and attention, a Shih Poo’s coat can be a beautiful representation of its unique mix of Chinese and European heritage.


The temperament of the Shih Poo breed is a result of the unique blend of both Chinese and European ancestry. Here are some notable traits that these dogs exhibit:

  • Social: Shih Poos have a friendly and affectionate disposition, making them excellent companion dogs. They enjoy being around people and can get along well with children and other pets.
  • Clever: With both the Shih Tzu and Poodle being highly intelligent breeds, it’s no surprise that the Shih Poo is also quite clever. They are quick learners and can perform well in obedience training.
  • Devoted: These dogs are known to be loyal and devoted to their owners, often forming a strong bond with them. They thrive on human companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.
  • Playful: Shih Poos have a playful and active personality. They love to play and can be quite comical at times. Daily exercise and playtime is essential for their well-being.
  • Cautious: Due to their small size and gentle nature, Shih Poos can sometimes have a cautious approach to new people or situations. Early socialization can help alleviate any anxiety they may have.

The Shih Poo temperament is one that is friendly, intelligent, and devoted, making them a great addition to any family looking for a loyal and playful companion.


When it comes to the size of a Shih Poo, there can be some variation due to the breed’s mixed ancestry. However, most adult Shih Poos typically weigh between 8 to 18 pounds and stand at a height of 8 to 18 inches.

This size range makes them a great pet option for individuals or families living in apartments or smaller homes. Since they are not too big, they can easily adapt to a smaller living space and still get plenty of exercise.

It’s worth noting that the size of a Shih Poo also depends on the size of their poodle parent. If the poodle parent is a toy or miniature poodle, then the resulting Shih Poo will also be small in size.

Alternatively, if the poodle parent is a standard poodle, then the resulting Shih Poo may be larger in size. However, regardless of the size, Shih Poos are known for their playful and loving personalities, which makes them a delightful companion regardless of their size.

The size of a Shih Poo just one of the many traits influenced by their mixed ancestry. Other traits such as coat and temperament are also influenced by their ancestry, making them a unique and fascinating breed to learn about.

Shih Poo Popularity Today

Today, the Shih Poo breed has gained quite a significant amount of popularity, owing to its cute appearance and friendly disposition. The breed’s associations with the ancient Chinese and European cultures have added to its mystique and allure.

Shih Poo Breeders

Shih Poo breeders are quickly gaining recognition for their efforts in producing these lovable dogs. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of professional breeders who specialize in Shih Poo breeding. These breeders aim to produce healthy, happy puppies that meet the breed’s standards and embody the characteristics that have made them so beloved.

Shih Poo Adoption and Rescue

While breeders continue to play a vital role in producing Shih Poo puppies, there has been an increase in the number of Shih Poo adoptions and rescues. Many animal shelters and rescue organizations now list Shih Poo dogs for adoption, and it has become a popular option for families looking for a furry addition to their households.

Shih Poo Popularity on Social Media

The Shih Poo’s cute appearance and lovable nature have also made it a hit on social media. Instagram and other social media platforms are full of pictures of Shih Poos, often dressed up in adorable outfits or engaging in funny antics. The breed’s popularity on social media has only added to its allure, and many people now seek out Shih Poos specifically because of the breed’s presence on these platforms.

All in all, the Shih Poo has come a long way since its inception as a mix of Chinese and European ancestry. Today, it is a beloved breed that is cherished for its friendly disposition, great temperament, cute looks, and easy-going nature. Its popularity shows no signs of waning, and many breeders, adopters, and social media followers are excited to see what the future holds for the Shih Poo breed.


After exploring the impact of Chinese and European culture on the origins of the Shih Poo breed, it is clear that this beloved hybrid is the result of two rich and diverse ancestry lines.

From China, we see the influence of ancient breeds and royalty’s love for lap dogs, leading to the creation of the Shih Tzu breed. This regal heritage is evident in the Shih Poo’s coat and overall appearance, as well as their loyal and affectionate temperament.

From Europe, we see the influence of the elegant and intelligent Poodle breed, which was beloved by European royalty for centuries. This ancestry line adds another layer of sophistication to the Shih Poo, as well as bringing with it the Poodle’s intelligence and athleticism.

The combination of these two ancestry lines resulted in the birth of the Shih Poo, a small but mighty breed that has become increasingly popular for its intelligence, playfulness, and overall charm. The Shih Poo’s unique coat and grooming needs, as well as their adaptable size and temperament, make them a great fit for a wide range of homes and families.

Overall, the Shih Poo is a testament to the rich history and heritage of both China and Europe, and the impact that cultural influences can have on the development of dog breeds. As the popularity of the Shih Poo continues to grow, it’s clear that this unique hybrid breed has found a special place in the hearts of dog lovers around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a mixed breed dog that is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle.

What size does a Shih Poo typically grow to?

Shih Poos can range in size, but generally grow to be between 8 and 13 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 8 and 18 pounds as adults.

What is the origin of the Shih Tzu?

The Shih Tzu breed originated in China over a thousand years ago and was bred to resemble a small lion.

What is the history of the Poodle breed?

The Poodle breed originated in Germany as a water retriever and was later used in France for hunting and as a circus performer.

What is the energy level of a Shih Poo like?

Shih Poos can have a varying energy level depending on their individual traits inherited from their Shih Tzu and Poodle ancestry. They tend to have playful and curious personalities.

How often does a Shih Poo need to be groomed?

Shih Poos typically require regular grooming due to their thick and curly coat. This can range from weekly brushing to professional grooming every few months.

Are Shih Poos hypoallergenic?

Shih Poos are often touted as hypoallergenic, but this can vary based on a person’s individual allergies and the specific traits inherited from their Shih Tzu and Poodle ancestry.

What health issues should potential Shih Poo owners be aware of?

Shih Poos can be prone to health issues such as patellar luxation, respiratory problems, and dental issues. It is important for potential owners to research and discuss these concerns with a reputable breeder or veterinarian.

What kind of family would be a good fit for a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos can make great family pets for those who can provide them with regular exercise and attention. They are adaptable to various living environments and tend to enjoy being around their human companions.

What is the average lifespan of a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos can live for around 12 to 16 years on average if provided with proper care and nutrition.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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