The Fascinating Origins of Shih Poo Breed

Have you ever seen a fluffy, adorable Shih Poo walking down the street and thought, “What kind of breed is that?” or “How did someone come up with such a unique mix?” If so, you’re not alone. The Shih Poo is a relatively new hybrid breed that has been growing in popularity over the past few decades. Combining the best traits of the Shih Tzu and Poodle, this crossbreed is a beloved companion for many families. But where did the Shih Poo come from, and what makes it so special? Let’s delve into the history, characteristics, and care of the Shih Poo to find out.

The Shih Poo: A Unique Hybrid Breed

The Shih Poo: A Unique Hybrid Breed
The Shih Poo is a hybrid breed that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. As the name suggests, it is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle. This unique combination results in a dog that has many desirable qualities from each parent breed.

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that originated in China. They were bred as companion dogs and were believed to have been a favorite amongst Chinese royals. Shih Tzus have a long, flowing coat and are known for their cute and friendly nature. They are also very loyal to their owners and make great family pets.

The Poodle, on the other hand, has a rich history that dates back to the 15th century in Europe. Originally bred as a hunting dog, the poodle has since become a popular breed due to its intelligence, trainability, and hypoallergenic coat. Poodles come in a variety of sizes, including toy, miniature, and standard.

The Shih Poo combines the best of both breeds, resulting in a dog that is friendly, loyal, intelligent, and hypoallergenic. They have a soft and curly coat that ranges from medium to long in length, and they come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, gray, and cream.

While the origins of the Shih Poo are still somewhat of a mystery, it is believed that the breed gained popularity in the 1990s as part of the trend towards designer dogs. Some speculate that they were first bred in the United States, but others believe that they may have originated in China.

Regardless of their origins, the Shih Poo is a beloved hybrid breed that has found a place in the hearts of dog lovers around the world. With their cute and friendly nature, intelligence, and hypoallergenic coat, it’s no wonder that they are quickly becoming one of the most popular hybrid breeds.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, a beloved breed in the toy dog category, is known for its luxurious long hair, charming personality, and small size. Originating from China, the Shih Tzu was bred to be a companion dog for royalty and nobility. This breed has a rich history that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty. Interestingly, the Shih Tzu is also one of the ancestors of the Shih Poo, which is a hybrid breed resulting from the crossbreeding of a Poodle and a Shih Tzu. To learn more about the evolution of the Shih Poo breed and its connection to the Shih Tzu, check out this article.

The Poodle

When discussing the origin of the Shih Poo breed, it’s essential to talk about one of its parents, the Poodle. This breed is famously known for its woolly coat, impressive intelligence, and charming personality. Poodles come in several sizes, including standard, miniature, and toy, making them an attractive option for mixed breeding.

The Poodle breed was initially bred in Germany, where it was commonly used as a hunting dog. They have a long history that dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. French people started keeping Poodles as pets, and they became popular among French nobility. This is how the Poodle became one of the most popular breeds we know today.

Physical Characteristics:
Poodles have a distinctive curled coat that can be hair-like, wool-like, or a combination of both. Their coat does not shed much and can come in a range of colors, including black, white, brown, and grey. They have an elongated snout, pointed ears and can weigh from 6 to 70 pounds depending on the size of the breed.

Temperament and Personality:
Poodles are highly intelligent, trainable, and obedient dogs. They are famous for their ability to learn tricks quickly and are one of the easiest breeds to train. They are highly sociable and affectionate, making them excellent family pets. Poodles love to be the center of attention and enjoy playing and going for walks.

The Poodle’s intelligence and sociable nature are essential traits that were integrated into the Shih Poo breed, making it one of the most sought-after hybrid breeds globally. Whether you’re looking for a companion, a therapy dog, or a family pet, the Shih Poo is an excellent choice.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Shih Poo’s origin, feel free to click here to read about their Chinese and European cultural backgrounds. Alternatively, you can also read about the Shih Poo’s links to Chinese royalty here or why they are referred to as a designer breed here.

History of the Shih Poo

History Of The Shih Poo
The origin of the Shih Poo breed is not fully known, but it is believed that these hybrid dogs were first bred in the United States sometime in the 1980s. The Shih Poo is a crossbreed between the Shih Tzu and the Poodle, two breeds that are known for their unique characteristics and popularity.

The First Shih Poo Mixes

The first Shih Poo mixes were likely created in an effort to combine the desirable traits of both parent breeds. The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that originated in China and is known for its cute appearance and affectionate personality. The Poodle, on the other hand, is a larger breed that is often used as a show dog and is known for its intelligence and hypoallergenic fur.

It is believed that breeders first began crossing these two breeds in order to create a smaller dog that had the hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle and the small size and cute appearance of a Shih Tzu. The resulting Shih Poo dogs were quickly recognized for their unique traits and soon began to gain popularity among dog lovers and breeders.

Increased Popularity in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, the popularity of the Shih Poo breed continued to grow, as more and more people discovered the benefits of these hybrid dogs. With their affectionate personalities and hypoallergenic coats, Shih Poos became a popular choice for families and individuals who wanted a loving companion that was also easy to care for.

Today, the Shih Poo is recognized as a hybrid breed of dog by the American Canine Hybrid Club and is a beloved companion for many families around the world. While their exact origins may be unknown, their popularity and unique characteristics continue to make the Shih Poo a favorite among dog lovers everywhere.

The First Shih Poo Mixes

As the demand for designer dogs began to rise in the late 20th century, breeders started to experiment with crossing different breeds to create new and unique hybrids. The Shih Poo is one such result of this breeding trend, and it first emerged in the United States in the 1990s. However, the origins of the Shih Poo can be traced back even further to the crossing of its parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. Let’s delve deeper and explore how these first Shih Poo mixes came to be, and how this adorable breed gained popularity over time.

Increased Popularity in the 21st Century

As we entered the 21st century, the Shih Poo breed started gaining immense popularity among dog lovers around the world. The breed’s adorable looks and friendly temperament were quickly noticed, making them a sought-after hybrid breed.

The reasons behind the breed’s increased popularity are as follows:

  • Minimal shedding: One of the biggest reasons for the Shih Poo’s popularity is their hypoallergenic fur coat. This makes them the perfect choice for dog lovers who suffer from allergies or prefer minimal shedding.
  • Cute appearance: With their big round eyes, floppy ears, and curly fur, Shih Poos are undoubtedly one of the cutest dog breeds around. They come in various colors, including black, white, and brown, making them a popular choice for people who are attracted to different color palettes.
  • Friendly nature: The Shih Poo has inherited its friendly and affectionate nature from both of its parent breeds. They are incredibly loyal, loving, and easy to train, making them a perfect choice for families with children or elderly couples.
  • Low maintenance: Unlike many other dog breeds, the Shih Poo doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. They have minimal grooming needs, and their exercise requirements can be met with a simple walk around the park. This makes them a popular choice for busy individuals who don’t have a lot of free time on their hands.
  • Long lifespan: The Shih Poo has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, which is longer than most small dog breeds. This makes them a perfect long-term companion for dog lovers.

The Shih Poo breed’s unique and desirable qualities make them a highly sought-after hybrid breed in the 21st century. Their increasing popularity is a testament to their charm, making them the perfect addition to any family or individual looking for a lovable and loyal companion.

Characteristics of the Shih Poo

Characteristics Of The Shih Poo
The Shih Poo is a unique breed that has gained popularity for its adorable appearance and friendly personality. This hybrid breed inherits its characteristics from both its parents, the Shih Tzu and the Poodle.

Physical Characteristics: As a hybrid breed, the Shih Poo’s appearance can vary greatly depending on the traits inherited from its parents. Generally, however, they have a small, compact body with a soft and fluffy coat that can come in a variety of colors. Their eyes are large and expressive, and their ears hang low with a slight curl. Shih Poos are also known for their cute and snub noses, which can make them prone to breathing problems.

Temperament and Personality: The Shih Poo is a friendly and affectionate breed that loves to be around people. They are known for their playful nature and are great with children, making them an ideal family pet. They are also intelligent and easy to train, so they make great companion animals for those who are looking for a well-behaved pet. However, like any breed, they can have a stubborn streak that requires patience and consistency in training.

Caring for Your Shih Poo: As with any pet, proper care is a must to keep your Shih Poo healthy and happy. Regular exercise is important to keep them in good physical shape, and their coat requires daily grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They may also need professional grooming every few months to maintain their appearance.

Basic Health Care: Though generally healthy, Shih Poos can be prone to health problems like hip dysplasia, allergies, and dental issues. Regular vet check-ups, a healthy diet, and proper dental care are necessary to keep them in good health.

The Shih Poo is a wonderful and unique breed that makes a great companion for anyone looking for an affectionate and playful pet. By providing proper care and attention, you can enjoy the love and companionship of your Shih Poo for many years to come.

Physical Characteristics

When it comes to physical appearance, the Shih Poo is known for its stunning array of features. From its adorable muzzle and big eyes to its curly fur, this hybrid breed is truly unique. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Shih Poo so distinctive.

Temperament and Personality

The Shih Poo is known for its friendly and loving temperament. Being a cross between the Shih Tzu and Poodle, you can expect a companion who is both social and charming. Here are some of the personality traits that the Shih Poo is known for:

  • Affectionate: Shih Poo loves to cuddle and be close to their owners. They are affectionate companions who crave attention and love.
  • Intelligent: These dogs are quick to learn and respond well to training. They are smart and can pick up on commands easily, making them great pets for families.
  • Playful: Shih Poo enjoy playing and spending time with their family. They are great with children and can be a perfect addition to a household with kids.
  • Alert: As a good watchdog, the Shih Poo is vigilant and alert. They are quick to bark if they notice anything out of the ordinary, making them excellent for families who prioritize safety.
  • Mischievous: As intelligent as they are, Shih Poo can be mischievous at times. However, it’s nothing that can’t be corrected with proper training.

The Shih Poo is a fun-loving, playful, and loyal companion. They thrive in homes where they receive lots of love and attention. They’re perfect for families, especially with children, as they can make great playmates. However, like any dog breed, their temperament still depends on early socialization and proper training, which is necessary for them to grow up to be well-behaved and loving pets.

Caring for Your Shih Poo

Caring For Your Shih Poo
As a Shih Poo owner, you need to be aware of the specific care requirements of this hybrid breed. Shih Poos have a unique coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its soft and fluffy texture.

Exercise and Grooming Needs

Shih Poos are a relatively active breed, with moderate exercise needs. Daily walks or play sessions in a fenced yard are recommended to keep your Shih Poo healthy and happy. It is important to monitor them in hot weather, as they are prone to overheating.

As mentioned above, their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brushing their coat twice a week is necessary, and professional grooming every 4-6 weeks is recommended. Keeping their hair short can make the grooming process easier.

Basic Health Care

Shih Poos can be prone to dental problems, so regular teeth brushing and yearly dental check-ups are important. They also need regular visits to the vet for vaccinations and overall health check-ups.

As with any dog, it is important to keep them up to date with flea and tick prevention, and to watch out for any signs of illness or discomfort.

Should You Get a Shih Poo?

Before getting a Shih Poo, it is important to consider their care requirements. While they make great companions, they require regular grooming, exercise, and health care.

– Shih Poos are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities.
– They are a great option for people with allergies, as they have low-shedding coats.
– They do well in apartment living, as they are a smaller breed.

– Their grooming needs can be time-consuming and expensive.
– They may not do well with young children or other pets, as they can be sensitive to handling and rough play.
– They may have a stubborn streak and require consistent training.

Where to Get Your Shih Poo

If you have decided that a Shih Poo is the right breed for you, it is important to find a reputable breeder or adoption center. Adopting a Shih Poo from a rescue center is a great option, as it gives a dog in need a loving home. Reputable breeders can provide health clearances and ensure that their puppies are well-socialized and healthy.

Shih Poos can make great companions for the right owner. With the proper care and attention, they can be loyal and loving pets for years to come.

Exercise and Grooming Needs

When it comes to caring for your Shih Poo, there are several important factors to keep in mind. One of the most crucial is ensuring that your furry friend gets enough exercise and is properly groomed. Just like humans, dogs need regular physical activity to stay happy and healthy. However, as a hybrid breed, the specific exercise needs of your Shih Poo may vary depending on their individual characteristics. Along with exercise, grooming is another key aspect of your dog’s well-being. Proper grooming not only helps your Shih Poo look their best, but it can also prevent health issues down the line. Let’s dive into the exercise and grooming needs of the Shih Poo breed.

Basic Health Care

Taking care of your Shih Poo’s health is crucial for ensuring they live a happy and long life. Here are some basic health care tips to keep in mind:

What to doWhy it’s importantHow often to do it
Take your Shih Poo to the vet for regular check-upsTo catch any potential health issues early and prevent serious illnessesAt least once a year
Keep up with their vaccinationsTo protect your Shih Poo from common and serious canine diseasesAs recommended by your vet
Feed them a healthy and balanced dietTo maintain their overall health and prevent obesity-related issuesFollow feeding guidelines on dog food packaging or recommended by your vet
Provide them with plenty of fresh waterTo prevent dehydration and promote healthy organ functionEnsure water bowl is always filled, and replace water at least once a day
Groom them regularlyTo prevent matting, skin irritation, and potential health issues caused by poor hygieneEvery few days or as needed
Keep up with dental careTo prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and other oral health issuesBrush their teeth at least once a day, and take them to the vet for regular dental cleanings
Stay alert for any changes in their behavior or healthTo catch any potential health issues or injuries as soon as possibleAlways be observant and bring any concerns to your vet’s attention immediately

Keep in mind that each Shih Poo may have unique health needs, so it’s important to work closely with your vet to create an individualized healthcare plan for your furry friend. And always remember to give them plenty of love, attention, and care to keep them happy and healthy.

Should You Get a Shih Poo?

Should You Get A Shih Poo?
When considering adding any pet to your household, there are many factors to consider. A Shih Poo can make a wonderful addition to your family, but it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before making a decision.

One of the biggest advantages of owning a Shih Poo is their temperament. They are known for being friendly, affectionate, and playful. They get along well with children, other pets, and even strangers. They love to be around people and thrive on attention, making them a great companion for families.

Another advantage of having a Shih Poo is their size. They are small dogs, typically weighing between 8 and 18 pounds. This makes them ideal for apartment living or for people who don’t have a lot of space in their home or yard. Along with their size, they also don’t require a lot of exercise, just short walks and playtime in the house.

Shih Poos are also known for being easy to train. They are intelligent dogs and pick up new commands quickly. They are also eager to please their owners, making them obedient and well-behaved.

While there are many advantages to owning a Shih Poo, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest concerns with this breed is their health. Because they are a hybrid breed, they can be prone to some genetic health issues inherited from both the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. These can include eye problems, allergies, and respiratory issues.

Another potential drawback of owning a Shih Poo is their grooming needs. Their coat is soft and fluffy, but it also requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. This includes brushing and trimming every few weeks, as well as regular baths.

Finally, Shih Poos can sometimes be prone to separation anxiety. They are known for being very social and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. This can lead to destructive behavior, including barking, chewing, and digging.

If you are willing to provide for their needs, a Shih Poo can be a wonderful addition to your family. Their loyal and playful nature makes them a great choice for families with children, and they are small enough to adapt to most living situations. However, be sure to do your research and consider both the pros and cons before deciding if a Shih Poo is right for you.


When considering getting a new pet, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of the breed to ensure it is a good fit for your lifestyle. When it comes to the Shih Poo, there are many pros that make this hybrid breed a popular choice among dog owners. From their sweet and affectionate personalities to their low-shedding coats, the Shih Poo has a lot of offer as a companion animal. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages of owning a Shih Poo.


Cons of Owning a Shih Poo

While Shih Poos are an adorable and loveable breed, there are some cons to consider before bringing one into your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. High MaintenanceShih Poos require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and prevent matting. This can be time-consuming, and professional grooming can also be expensive.
2. Health IssuesAs with any breed, Shih Poos are prone to certain health issues such as dental problems, allergies, and urinary infections. These health issues can be costly to treat and require regular veterinary checkups to catch and treat early.
3. Separation AnxietyShih Poos can be prone to separation anxiety and may become destructive if left alone for extended periods. They thrive on human companionship and require a lot of attention to keep them happy and well-adjusted.
4. BarkingShih Poos can be vocal and may bark excessively if not properly trained. This can be a problem if you live in an apartment or have close neighbors who may be disturbed by the noise.
5. StubbornnessShih Poos can be stubborn and difficult to train, especially if they inherit more of the Shih Tzu’s stubbornness. Consistent training and positive reinforcement are key to ensuring your Shih Poo is well-behaved.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making the decision to get a Shih Poo. While they are a wonderful breed, they may not be the right fit for everyone’s lifestyle and living situation.

Where to Get Your Shih Poo

If you’ve decided that a Shih Poo is the perfect furry friend for you, the next question you may ask is, “Where can I get one?” There are several options available for obtaining a Shih Poo, and it’s important to consider all of them before making your choice.

Adopting a Shih Poo from a shelter or rescue organization is a great way to give a dog in need a loving home. It’s also a more affordable option than buying from a breeder. While not every shelter or rescue will have Shih Poos available, it’s important to keep checking back or consider expanding your search radius. You may also want to inquire with Shih Tzu or Poodle rescue groups as they may have Shih Poo mixes available.

Reputable Breeders
If you decide to buy from a breeder, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable one. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and who are transparent about their breeding practices. You’ll want to meet the breeder in person and see the conditions in which the dogs are raised. Be prepared to ask questions and have a list of requirements for your future furry friend.

Shih Poo Rescue Centers
Similar to adoption organizations, there are also rescue centers that specialize in Shih Poos. These centers may have rescued Shih Poos available for adoption. It’s important to research these centers and confirm that they are legitimate and reputable.

No matter where you choose to get your Shih Poo from, make sure you are prepared for the responsibilities that come with being a pet owner. It’s important to be patient and kind with your new furry friend as they adjust to their new home. With the right love and care, your Shih Poo can be a cherished family member for years to come.


If you’re considering getting a Shih Poo, adopting one may be a great option for you. Adoption not only gives a loving home to a dog in need, but it can also be a more affordable option than purchasing from a breeder. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve given a second chance to a furry friend. However, it’s important to educate yourself on the adoption process and what to expect when bringing a Shih Poo into your home. Let’s dive into the world of Shih Poo adoption.

Reputable Breeders

When looking for a Shih Poo, it’s important to find a reputable breeder who has a history of producing healthy, well-tempered pups. Here are some things to look for in a good Shih Poo breeder:

Health TestingMake sure the breeder tests their dogs for common health issues, such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. Ask to see the results of these tests.
SocializationGood breeders socialize their puppies from an early age, introducing them to different people, animals, and situations. This is important for developing a well-adjusted personality.
ReferencesAsk the breeder for references from past puppy buyers. Reach out to these people to get an idea of what it’s like to get a Shih Poo from this breeder.
Contracts and GuaranteesA good breeder will provide you with a contract outlining the terms of the sale and any health guarantees. Read this carefully before signing.
AccreditationLook for breeders who are members of a recognized kennel club, such as the AKC or the UKC. This indicates that they adhere to certain standards of breeding.

Buying a Shih Poo from a reputable breeder may be more expensive upfront, but it can save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run. A good breeder will be there to answer your questions and support you throughout your dog’s life.

Shih Poo Rescue Centers

If you are considering getting a Shih Poo, adopting one from a rescue center may be a great option. Shih Poo rescue centers are organizations dedicated to finding homes for Shih Poos that have been abandoned or surrendered by their owners. These centers provide a safe and caring environment for Shih Poos as they wait for their forever homes.

Here are a few Shih Poo rescue centers you may want to consider:

Rescue Center NameLocationServices Provided
Shih Tzu and Furbaby
Florida, USARescue and rehabilitation of Shih Poos
as well as other small breed dogs
Poo-Mix RescueCalifornia, USARescue and rehoming of Poodle mixes,
including Shih Poos
Big East Akita RescueNew Jersey, USARescue and adoption of a variety of breeds,
including Shih Poos
Shih Tzu and Furbaby Rescue,
New York, USARescue and rehabilitation of Shih Poos
as well as other small breed dogs

It’s important to note that rescue centers may have specific requirements for adoption, including home visits and background checks. Additionally, rescued dogs may have additional emotional or physical needs as a result of their past experiences, so be prepared for potential challenges. Nonetheless, choosing to adopt a Shih Poo from a rescue center can be a rewarding experience that not only provides a loving home for a dog in need, but also enriches your own life in countless ways.


As we conclude our exploration into the origin, characteristics, and care of the Shih Poo breed, it is clear that this hybrid dog has captured the hearts of many around the world. With its unique blend of the playful and loving Shih Tzu and the intelligent and elegant Poodle, the Shih Poo combines the best of both breeds to create a loyal companion that is perfect for families, individuals, and seniors alike.

However, before bringing a Shih Poo home, it is important to consider some factors. Like any pet, owning a dog requires a significant commitment in terms of time, money, and energy. Shih Poos have a lifespan of approximately 10-15 years, so you will need to be prepared to provide for your furry friend for the long haul.

Additionally, while Shih Poos are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues such as skin allergies, eye problems, and dental problems. To ensure your Shih Poo has the best quality of life, providing proper exercise and grooming, regular vet check-ups, and a healthy diet are essential.

Ultimately, if you are able to provide the necessary care and love for a Shih Poo, you will be rewarded with a loyal and affectionate companion. Whether you choose to adopt from a rescue center or purchase from a responsible breeder, be sure to do your research to ensure you are getting a healthy and well-socialized dog.

In conclusion, the Shih Poo is an excellent choice for those seeking a companion that is playful, loving, and intelligent. With the proper care and dedication, a Shih Poo can be a wonderful addition to any household.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a hybrid breed that is a result of mixing a Poodle and a Shih Tzu.

2. What is the average lifespan of a Shih Poo?

The average lifespan of a Shih Poo is between 10 and 15 years.

3. Are Shih Poos hypoallergenic?

Yes, Shih Poos are considered to be hypoallergenic due to their Poodle genes, which have a low-shedding coat.

4. What is the size of a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos can range in size from small to medium, with an average weight of 8 to 18 pounds and a height of 8 to 15 inches.

5. Do Shih Poos have a good temperament?

Yes, Shih Poos have a friendly and outgoing temperament. They are affectionate dogs that love to be around people.

6. What are the exercise requirements for a Shih Poo?

Shih Poos have moderate exercise requirements and need a daily walk and playtime.

7. Do Shih Poos have any health issues?

Like all dogs, Shih Poos can be prone to certain health issues such as patellar luxation, eye problems, and dental issues.

8. Do Shih Poos make good family pets?

Yes, Shih Poos make great family pets due to their friendly and outgoing nature.

9. How often do Shih Poos need to be groomed?

Shih Poos need to be groomed regularly to prevent matting, usually every 4 to 6 weeks.

10. Can Shih Poos be trained easily?

Yes, Shih Poos are intelligent dogs that can be trained easily with positive reinforcement methods.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

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

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