A Look into the Creation of the Shih Poo Breed and the Role of Designer Dog Breeding

Have you ever heard of the Shih Poo breed? This cute and affectionate dog is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, and its popularity has been on the rise in recent years. But have you ever wondered how this breed came to be? The answer lies in the world of designer dog breeding, a controversial practice that has sparked both adoration and criticism. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the origins of the Shih Poo, the role of designer dog breeding in its creation, and the benefits and controversies surrounding this practice. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of the Shih Poo breed.

The Origins of the Shih Poo Breed

The Origins Of The Shih Poo Breed
The story of the Shih Poo breed is a fascinating one, full of twists and turns that have resulted in the adorable, affectionate pups we know and love today. Understanding the origins of this breed requires a look back at its parent breeds – the Shih Tzu and the Poodle – and the circumstances that led to their initial breeding. By examining the history of the Shih Tzu and Poodle, we can gain insight into how the Shih Poo came to be, and the unique characteristics that make them so beloved by their owners. Let’s take a journey through time and explore the fascinating story of the Shih Poo’s origins.

The Shih Tzu

The shih tzu is a small dog breed originating from China. This breed is characterized by its long, silky coat, which requires frequent grooming. Shih tzus are also known for their large, dark eyes and cute, wrinkled faces. They were originally bred as companion dogs for Chinese royalty, and were highly valued for their affectionate personalities.

Physical Characteristics: Shih tzus are small dogs, typically weighing between 9 and 16 pounds. They have a short muzzle and a domed head, which gives them a distinctive appearance. Their fur can come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, and gold.

Temperament and Personality: Shih tzus are known for being affectionate and playful. They often bond closely with their owners and love to be around people. They can be somewhat stubborn at times, but are generally easy to train with positive reinforcement techniques.

Training and Care: Shih tzus require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and shiny. They also benefit from frequent socialization and positive training. Like all dogs, they require regular exercise and mental stimulation to thrive.

No internal links are relevant for this part of the article. However, readers may find more information on the evolution of the Shih Poo breed by clicking on this link.

The Poodle

When it comes to the Poodle, one of the parent breeds of the Shih Poo, there is no denying that they are a unique and recognizable breed. The Poodle originated in Germany, and was originally bred as a water retriever. Today, they are known for their curly coats and high level of intelligence.

Physical Characteristics:
The Poodle comes in three sizes – standard, miniature, and toy – and they all share certain physical characteristics. Their coats are curly and dense, and can come in a variety of colors including black, white, and apricot. They have long, floppy ears and a distinctive “top knot” on their head.

Temperament and Personality:
Poodles are known for their high intelligence and trainability. They are often used as service dogs, therapy dogs, and in various canine sports like agility and obedience. They are also known for being loyal and affectionate with their families. However, they can sometimes be reserved around strangers and other dogs.

Care and Grooming:
Poodles require regular grooming to maintain their curly coats. This includes regular brushing, haircuts, and sometimes professional grooming. They are also prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and eye problems, so it’s important for Poodle owners to be aware of these potential issues.

The Poodle is a breed that is both unique and versatile, and its characteristics have certainly contributed to the development of the Shih Poo breed. If you want to learn more about the timeline and genetic makeup of the Shih Poo, check out the Shih Poo timeline and genetic makeup. You can also compare their characteristics with those of the Shih Tzu and other breeds at Shih Poo characteristics comparison.

The First Shih Poo Breeding

In the early 2000s, the first Shih Poo breeding took place in the United States. This was a deliberate attempt to create a new breed by crossing a Shih Tzu and a Poodle. The idea was to create a dog with the desirable traits of both parent breeds. The first breeding was likely a result of the rising demand for hypoallergenic dogs.

Breeding began by selecting Shih Tzu and Poodle breeds that had similar sizes, temperament, and health qualities. This was done to ensure that the offspring would have a better chance of inheriting the qualities that the breeders desired. The puppies that were produced from this initial breeding were the first Shih Poo dogs.

However, there was no guarantee that the puppies would inherit the desired traits, and the breeders had to go through a process of trial and error to achieve their goal. They carefully examined each puppy’s appearance and temperament to determine which ones would be suitable for breeding. The selected puppies were then bred with other Shih Tzu and Poodle dogs to create subsequent generations of Shih Poos.

The breeding process continued until the breeders were satisfied with the new breed’s physical and personality characteristics. The first Shih Poos were found to have a hypoallergenic coat, friendly personality, and small size – all highly valued traits in a pet dog. These qualities made them popular amongst individuals who wanted a companion dog that was easy to care for and suitable for apartment living.

Today, the Shih Poo is a recognized breed, and they are highly sought after by pet lovers across the world. The success of this breed is largely due to the innovative thinking of the first breeders, who used their knowledge of genetics and breeding to create a new and unique breed that met the demands of the pet market.

Designer Dog Breeding and the Shih Poo

Designer Dog Breeding And The Shih Poo
When it comes to dog breeding, there are many different methods and techniques that breeders can use to achieve their desired result. One such method is designer dog breeding, which involves crossing two different purebred dog breeds to create a new hybrid breed that possesses desirable traits from both parent breeds. The Shih Poo is one such breed that was created through designer dog breeding, and has become increasingly popular in recent years. But what exactly is designer dog breeding, and how did it give rise to the Shih Poo? Let’s explore the origins and controversies of designer dog breeding and its role in creating the beloved Shih Poo breed.

The Definition of Designer Dog Breeding

The term “designer dog breeding” refers to the deliberate crossbreeding of two purebred dogs to create a new hybrid breed with desired traits. This process involves selecting specific physical and behavioral characteristics from both parent breeds to produce a unique and desirable offspring. While designer dog breeding has become popular in recent years, it has also sparked a lot of controversy.

Benefits of Designer Dog Breeding

One of the main benefits of designer dog breeding is the ability to create new breeds with specific traits that are desirable to pet owners. For example, the Shih Poo was intentionally created by crossing the Shih Tzu and Poodle to create a hypoallergenic, low-shedding dog with a friendly disposition. Designer dog breeding can also help to improve the overall health of the offspring by introducing new genes and reducing the risk of inherited health conditions common in purebred dogs.

Controversies of Designer Dog Breeding

Despite the benefits of designer dog breeding, it has also faced criticism and controversy. One of the primary concerns is the health risks associated with breeding two different purebred dogs. The offspring may inherit health issues from both parents, resulting in a dog with multiple health problems. Additionally, there is the issue of overbreeding, which can lead to an increase in abandoned or surrendered dogs. Another issue is the misuse of the term “designer dog breeding” by unscrupulous breeders who may sell poorly bred dogs at exorbitant prices.

While designer dog breeding can create new and unique breeds like the Shih Poo, it is important to carefully weigh the benefits and controversies before pursuing this type of breeding.

How Designer Dog Breeding Created the Shih Poo

Designer dog breeding combines the desirable traits of two purebred dogs to create a new breed. In the case of the Shih Poo, the goal was to create a dog that had the hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle and the affectionate personality of a Shih Tzu. The process of creating the Shih Poo involved several steps.

Step 1: Selecting the Parent Breeds
In order to create a Shih Poo, breeders needed to select a purebred Poodle and a purebred Shih Tzu to serve as the parent breeds. This involved researching the temperament, size, coat type, and health of multiple dogs to find the best possible matches.

Step 2: Crossbreeding the Parent Breeds
Once the parent breeds were selected, the breeding process began. This involved mating the Poodle and the Shih Tzu to create a litter of puppies that were a mix of both breeds. The resulting puppies would be considered the first generation of Shih Poo.

Step 3: Selecting and Breeding Second Generation Shih Poos
The first generation of Shih Poo puppies would then be evaluated in terms of their temperament, size, coat type, and health, and the best of the litter would be selected to breed with another purebred Poodle or Shih Tzu. This would result in a second generation of Shih Poos that were a mix of two different Shih Poos instead of a purebred parent breed.

Step 4: Repeating the Breeding Process
The selective breeding process would continue over several generations until the desired traits, including hypoallergenic coats and friendly personalities, were consistently present in the Shih Poo breeding line. This process could take several years and require significant resources in terms of time and expenses.

While designer dog breeding has created many popular breeds like the Shih Poo, it remains a controversial practice due to concerns around health problems associated with inbreeding and the potential for the creation of appearance-focused breeds at the expense of the dog’s well-being.

Benefits and Controversies of Designer Dog Breeding

Designer dog breeding, which involves crossbreeding two purebred dogs to create a new hybrid breed, has gained popularity over the years. However, there are both benefits and controversies associated with this type of breeding.

The Benefits of Designer Dog Breeding:

Designer dog breeding showcases the creativity and innovation that humans possess when it comes to animal breeding. By introducing new dog breeds into the market, breeding enthusiasts are allowing pet owners to have a wider variety of options when selecting a new furry friend. Designer dog breeding also helps to reduce the risk of genetic illnesses and diseases. Since purebred dogs are often plagued with genetic diseases due to inbreeding, crossbreeding can result in “hybrid vigor”, which is the increased resistance to genetic disorders.

Designer dog breeding provides a new challenge for breeders who are looking to improve upon existing dog breeds. By crossbreeding two different dogs, breeders can create a dog that possesses the best traits of both breeds, such as a hypoallergenic coat or a friendly temperament.

The Controversies of Designer Dog Breeding:

While there are several benefits to designer dog breeding, there are also many controversies surrounding this practice. One of the main concerns is that breeders may focus more on producing a visually appealing dog rather than ensuring the dog’s long-term health and well-being. This can sometimes lead to breeding practices that can result in health issues for the offspring.

Another controversy is the issue of overbreeding. While crossbreeds are often seen as a healthier alternative to purebred dogs, they can still become overbred, resulting in a lack of genetic diversity and potential health problems. Additionally, the popularity of designer breeds has led to an influx of poorly bred puppies from puppy mills and backyard breeders, who are in it purely for the profit and not for the ethics and welfare of the dogs.

Designer dog breeding has both benefits and controversies associated with it. While it offers a new opportunity for breeding enthusiasts to create unique and innovative dog breeds, it is important to keep in mind the potential health issues and welfare of the dogs involved in the breeding process.

The Shih Poo Breed Today

As the years have passed, the Shih Poo breed has grown in popularity due to its adorable appearance and affectionate demeanor. This mixed breed has quickly become a beloved addition to many households. In this section, we will explore the physical characteristics, temperament, and necessary care for the Shih Poo breed. Let’s dive into what makes this little pup so lovable!

Physical Characteristics

The Shih Poo is a small designer dog breed that generally weighs between 7 and 20 pounds and stands between 8 and 18 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a sturdy, compact build with a curly or wavy coat that can vary in length and color.

Coat: The Shih Poo’s coat can be curly or wavy and may be silky, soft, or dense. Colors can include black, brown, white, cream, apricot, red, or a combination of these.

Head: The head of the Shih Poo is round and compact with a short muzzle and black eyes that are round and expressive.

Ears: The Shih Poo has long, floppy ears that hang down and are covered in soft hair.

Body: The body of the Shih Poo is sturdy and compact, with a well-proportioned shape and a broad chest.

Legs: The legs of the Shih Poo are short and sturdy, supporting the compact body.

Feet: The feet of the Shih Poo are small and round, covered in hair and with black toenails.

Tail: The tail of the Shih Poo is typically long and feathered, but some are docked.

The Shih Poo’s appearance can vary depending on the traits inherited from its parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. However, they tend to have a cute and cuddly look that makes them a popular choice as a companion pet.

Temperament and Personality

The temperament and personality of the Shih Poo breed is a delightful mix of its parent breeds. While every dog is unique and individual in its own way, there are general traits one can expect from a Shih Poo.

1. Affectionate: Shih Poos are known to be incredibly loving and affectionate towards their owners. They enjoy cuddling and spending time with their human pack.

2. Playful: With their Poodle heritage, Shih Poos are known to be playful and enjoy games with their owners. They are also great at amusing themselves with toys.

3. Intelligent: Both Poodles and Shih Tzus are known for their intelligence, and the Shih Poo is no exception. They are quick learners and enjoy being mentally stimulated with tricks and training.

4. Protective: Shih Poos can be quite protective of their owners and territory. They are good watchdogs and will bark to alert their owners of potential danger.

5. Sociable: Shih Poos are generally friendly and social dogs. They do well with children and other pets, and love to be around people.

6. Independent: While Shih Poos crave attention, they also have an independent streak. They are not overly clingy and can be left alone for short periods of time without becoming anxious.

The Shih Poo is a wonderful family dog with a big personality. With their affectionate, playful and intelligent natures, they make a great addition to any household.

Training and Care

Training and Care:

Proper training and care is essential for the well-being of the Shih Poo breed. Here are some tips to help ensure your Shih Poo is healthy and happy:

  • Socialization: Shih Poos are sociable and friendly dogs that require socialization from an early age. This means introducing them to different people, animals, and environments to help them develop good behavior and avoid anxiety.
  • Exercise: Although the Shih Poo is a small dog, they still need regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Daily walks and playtime can help keep them fit and happy.
  • Grooming: Shih Poos have a long, textured coat that requires regular grooming to avoid matting, tangling, and cleanliness issues. Brushing their coat several times a week and regular bathing will help keep their fur in good condition.
  • Dental Care: Dental hygiene is important for all dog breeds, including Shih Poos. Regular brushing of their teeth and dental check-ups can help prevent periodontal disease and tartar buildup.
  • Training: Shih Poos are intelligent dogs that are eager to learn and please their owners. Positive reinforcement training methods using treats, praise, and fun games can help them develop good behavior and respond well to commands.
  • Health Check-ups: Regular visits to the vet can help monitor the Shih Poo’s health and detect any potential health issues early on.

By providing proper training and care, you can help ensure your Shih Poo has a healthy and happy life.


In conclusion, the Shih Poo is a fascinating breed that has experienced a unique journey. The combination of the Shih Tzu and Poodle breeds is a perfect example of the role of designer dog breeding in creating new breeds. The process of combining specific traits from different breeds has led to the creation of an entirely new dog with its own distinct characteristics.

While the Shih Poo has become a popular breed today, there are still controversies surrounding designer dog breeding in general. Concerns have been raised about the potential health issues that may arise from breeding dogs for specific physical traits without considering their genetic compatibility.

Nevertheless, the Shih Poo is an excellent choice of companion for those who want a small, affectionate dog that requires low maintenance. They are friendly, loyal, and adaptable, making them suitable for many different lifestyles. However, it is crucial to remember that every dog is unique, and proper training and care are necessary to ensure they have a happy, healthy life.

In summary, the Shih Poo breed is a testament to the diversity of the canine world and the innovation of designer dog breeding. While there are some concerns surrounding the practice, it has undoubtedly contributed to the development of new breeds and the enrichment of the lives of countless individuals who have welcomed these dogs into their homes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a designer dog breed created by crossbreeding a Shih Tzu and a Poodle.

2. What is designer dog breeding?

Designer dog breeding involves intentionally mixing two purebred dogs to produce a new hybrid breed with specific traits.

3. What are the benefits of designer dog breeding?

Designer dog breeding can result in new breeds with desired traits, such as hypoallergenic coats or better temperament, and can expand the gene pool of a breed to reduce genetic health problems.

4. What are the controversies surrounding designer dog breeding?

Some people argue that designer dog breeding promotes unhealthy breeding practices and selling puppies for exorbitant prices, while others see it as a way to create new breeds and reduce health problems.

5. What are the physical characteristics of a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos typically have a fluffy, curly coat and can come in a variety of colors. They are small dogs, weighing between 8-18 pounds and standing around 8-13 inches tall.

6. What is the temperament of a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos are known for being friendly, outgoing, and affectionate. They make great family pets and get along well with children and other animals.

7. Are Shih Poos easy to train?

Shih Poos are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and consistent training methods.

8. Do Shih Poos require a lot of maintenance?

Although Shih Poos have low-shedding coats, they need regular brushing and grooming to prevent matting and keep their coats healthy. They also require regular exercise and veterinary check-ups.

9. Are Shih Poos prone to any health problems?

Like any breed of dog, Shih Poos can be prone to certain health problems, such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and eye issues. Responsible breeders will screen their breeding stock for these conditions.

10. Where can I find a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos are still a relatively new breed, but you can find them through reputable breeders or adoption agencies. It’s important to do your research and ask about the breeding practices and health history of any dog you’re considering bringing into your family.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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