Shih Poo: The Cutest Breed You’ll Ever Meet!

As pet lovers, we are always looking for the perfect companion to add to our lives. But with so many breeds and hybrid dogs available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. If you are searching for a furry friend that is as unique as they are playful, you might want to consider the delightful Shih Poo! This adorable breed is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, creating a playful, affectionate, and adorable pup that is sure to steal your heart. In this article, we’ll unravel the characteristics, temperament, health issues, and care tips for a Shih Poo so that you can decide if this charming canine is right for you and your household. So grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and let’s dive into the world of the Shih Poo!

What is a Shih Poo?

What Is A Shih Poo?
As a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, the Shih Poo is a charming and adorable companion that exhibits unique physical and personality traits inherited from its parent breeds. This breed has become increasingly popular due to its hypoallergenic coat and affectionate personality. In this article, we will discuss in detail the characteristics, temperament, health concerns, and care tips for this delightful breed that is quickly becoming a favorite among dog owners. If you want to learn more about training tips and tricks for your Shih Poo, check our article “Train Shih Poo: Tips and Tricks”.

Origin of the Shih Poo Breed

The Shih Poo, a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle, is a relatively new type of dog, which is gaining popularity amongst dog lovers. It’s not clear when and where the first Shih Poo was bred. However, it is believed that the breed first appeared in the United States in the 1990s. This dog breed was created with the intention of being a hypoallergenic, low-shedding companion pet for people with allergies, but it has quickly become a beloved pet for families all over the world.

The Shih Poo has gained its unique characteristics from its parent breeds. The Shih Tzu is a small, affectionate pup that originated in China, while the Toy Poodle has its roots in Germany. Both breeds are known for their intelligence, loyalty and friendly nature. The result of these two breeds was a small, adorable dog, with a low-shedding coat that makes it an ideal pet for people with allergies.

As with many other designer or mixed breeds, the origins of the Shih Poo are a topic of debate. Some experts believe that the breeding of the Shih Poo was a response to the growing demand for hypoallergenic dogs, while others think that it was a desire to create a dog breed with the best of both parent breeds. Either way, the result is a dog that has quickly become one of the most popular crossbreeds from its appearance in the US.

This breed is rapidly gaining popularity, as it is known for being an excellent family pet. Shih Poos are friendly, outgoing, and sociable, and they love to be around people. They are also great with young children and other pets, making them an ideal choice for families. Despite their small size, Shih Poos have been used as therapy dogs and have become increasingly popular as service dogs.

The Shih Poo is a well-loved and unique breed that has gained popularity due to its hypoallergenic coat and adorable appearance. Although the breed is relatively new, it has quickly become one of the most beloved dog breeds among families. The origins may be a matter of debate, but one thing is certain – the Shih Poo is a delightful, intelligent, and loyal companion that will bring joy and love to any family. If you found this section interesting and want to learn more about the Shih Poo, check out our article on Shih Poo vs Poodle crossbreeds.

Physical Characteristics

The Shih Poo is a small and adorable dog breed that is a result of crossbreeding between the Poodle and the Shih Tzu. Due to the mixture of their parents’ traits, Shih Poos have distinctive characteristics that make them stand out from other dog breeds.

Size: Shih Poos usually grow up to 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) in height and weigh around 10-20 pounds (4.5-9 kg). They are considered a toy breed due to their small size.

Coat: The Shih Poo’s coat is usually curly or wavy, and can be either long or short. The coat can come in different colors, such as black, white, brown, cream, or a combination of these.

Face: The Shih Poo has a round and cute face that resembles both Poodles and Shih Tzus. They have a pair of large, expressive eyes that can be either brown or black in color.

Body: Shih Poos have a compact and sturdy body with short legs. They have a straight and level back, and their tail is usually curled over their back.

Ears: The Shih Poo’s ears can either be long and floppy like the Shih Tzu or short and pointy like the Poodle.

Overall Appearance: Shih Poos have a cute and adorable appearance that can melt anyone’s heart. Their small size, curly coat, and round face make them look like teddy bears.

The physical characteristics of a Shih Poo make them an ideal companion for those who are looking for a small and adorable dog breed. Their size, coat, face, body, and ears all contribute to their overall cute appearance that sets them apart from other breeds. If you want to learn more about the Shih Poo breed, check out our article on Shih Poo lifespan and health tips.

Temperament and Behavior

Temperament And Behavior
The personality of a Shih Poo is what steals the heart of many dog lovers. This breed has a temperament that makes them an excellent companion for families and seniors alike. Shih Poos are affectionate, loyal, and intelligent dogs. They are known to be great lap dogs, but also have high energy for playtime. Understanding the temperament and behavior of a Shih Poo will help you build and maintain a healthy relationship with your furry friend. To start, let’s talk about socialization and training – two vital factors that influence a dog’s personality. If you want to learn more about socializing your Shih Poo, check out our comprehensive guide to socialization.

Socialization and Training

Proper socialization and training are crucial for the healthy development of Shih Poo puppies. Early socialization with people, other dogs, and new environments is essential to ensure that the dog is well-rounded and well-behaved. Shih Poos are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, making training a relatively easy task, but this breed can be stubborn at times.

Table: Tips for Socializing and Training Your Shih Poo

Start earlyBegin socializing your Shih Poo as soon as possible. Introduce your puppy to new people, places, and experiences during the early months of their life.
Positive ReinforcementUse positive reinforcement when training your Shih Poo to ensure they stay engaged and motivated. Reward them with treats or praise for good behavior and never use physical punishment.
PatienceShih Poos can be stubborn at times, so patience is key when training. Stay calm and consistent in your training methods to achieve the best results.
Enroll in classesEnroll your Shih Poo in puppy obedience classes to socialize them with other dogs and learn valuable training techniques from a professional.
Regular Training SessionsRegular training sessions are necessary to help your Shih Poo stay sharp and well-behaved. Keep the sessions short, fun, and engaging to maintain their attention.

It’s important to note that Shih Poos require consistent training and socialization throughout their lives to remain well-behaved and balanced. In addition to socialization and training, providing your Shih Poo with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and grooming can also contribute to their overall well-being. For more information on the best diet for your Shih Poo, click here. To learn more about Shih Poo temperaments, click here. And for information on their exercise needs, click here.

Living Conditions and Exercise Needs

When it comes to living conditions, it’s important to note that a Shih Poo can adapt to various living arrangements. These dogs have low to moderate exercise needs, which means they can thrive in apartment living as long as they are provided with regular exercise opportunities. However, like any other dogs, Shih Poos also need to be given enough space and opportunities to move around, play and explore.

The ideal exercise regimen for a Shih Poo includes 20-30 minutes of brisk walking or playtime in a fenced backyard, twice a day. Their playful nature makes them enjoy games like fetch and tug-of-war, which also helps in keeping them mentally stimulated. It’s important to note that Shih Poos can be prone to weight gain if they don’t exercise enough, which can lead to various health issues like joint problems and diabetes.


Living ConditionsExercise Needs
Can adapt to various living arrangements including apartments20-30 minutes of brisk walking or playtime in a fenced backyard, twice a day
Need enough space and opportunities to move around, play and exploreEnjoy games like fetch and tug-of-war
Can be prone to weight gain if not exercised enoughHelps in keeping them mentally stimulated

Keeping them active not only benefits their physical health but also their mental well-being. They are smart and curious dogs, which means they love to explore and discover new things. In addition to regular exercise opportunities, it’s also important to provide them with toys that challenge their minds and help in keeping them mentally stimulated.

Shih Poos have moderate exercise needs and can adapt to various living conditions as long as they are provided with enough exercise opportunities and mental stimulation. Owners should aim to strike a balance between exercise, playtime, and rest to keep their Shih Poo happy and healthy.

Grooming Requirements

When it comes to grooming requirements, the Shih Poo has a coat that requires regular maintenance. They have long, wavy hair that can become tangled and matted if not properly brushed and clipped. Here is a breakdown of their specific grooming needs:

Grooming RequirementDescription
BrushingThe Shih Poo should be brushed at least once a week to remove any tangles or mats. A slicker brush is usually the best tool for this task.
BathingThe Shih Poo should be bathed every 3-4 weeks, or as needed. A mild dog shampoo should be used, and care should be taken to avoid getting water in their ears.
ClippingThe Shih Poo’s hair should be clipped regularly to maintain a neat appearance and prevent mats from forming. Many owners prefer to have a professional groomer clip their dog’s hair.
Eye CareThe Shih Poo is prone to eye infections, so their eyes should be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth. Additionally, hair around the eyes should be trimmed to prevent it from irritating their eyes.
Nail TrimmingThe Shih Poo’s nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent them from becoming too long and causing discomfort or injury. A guillotine-style nail clipper is usually the best tool for this task.

It’s important to note that regular grooming isn’t just about keeping your Shih Poo looking good; it’s also essential for their overall health and well-being. Neglecting their grooming needs can lead to serious health issues, such as skin infections and eye problems. By staying on top of their grooming requirements, you can help ensure that your Shih Poo stays happy and healthy for years to come.

Health Issues and Care Tips

When it comes to owning a Shih Poo, it is crucial to be aware of their health issues and the necessary care tips to ensure their well-being. These gentle and affectionate dogs are known for their unique traits, but just like any other breed, they have their own set of health concerns. In this section, we will delve into the various health issues that Shih Poos may face and provide you with essential care tips to help you better understand and care for your furry friend. So, let’s dive in and learn more about how to keep your Shih Poo healthy and happy for years to come!

Common Health Concerns

Shih Poos, like any other dog breeds, are prone to certain health issues. Here are some of the most common health concerns affecting Shih Poos:

  • Dental problems: These dogs are susceptible to dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning are essential to maintain their oral hygiene.
  • Allergies: Shih Poos are prone to allergies, which can manifest as skin irritations, itching, and ear infections. Some common allergens include pollen, dust mites, and certain foods.
  • Eye problems: These dogs may develop eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent severe vision loss.
  • Joint problems: Shih Poos may develop joint problems such as patellar luxation and hip dysplasia. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent joint problems.
  • Respiratory problems: Shih Poos have a short snout, which makes them prone to respiratory problems such as snoring, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Keep your dog in a cool environment to avoid overheating.

It is important to take your Shih Poo for regular check-ups to prevent or treat health problems. Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior, appetite, or symptoms of discomfort. By staying proactive, you can help ensure that your beloved pet lives a happy and healthy life.

Dental Health Care

Proper dental care is essential for the overall health of your Shih Poo. Neglecting their dental health could lead to serious health issues, such as gum disease or tooth loss. Here are some dental care tips to keep your furry friend’s teeth in great shape:

  • Regular Brushing – just like us humans, our furry friends need to have their teeth brushed regularly. Brush their teeth at least three times a week with a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste. This will help remove the plaque and prevent tartar buildup.
  • Dental Chews – make sure to provide your Shih Poo with dental chews or toys that promote good dental health. These chews can help remove plaque and tartar, and can also help freshen your pet’s breath.
  • Professional Cleanings – even with regular brushing and dental chews, it’s still important to have your Shih Poo’s teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian on a regular basis. This will help remove any stubborn plaque or tartar buildup.
  • Monitor Their Diet – a healthy diet can also play a role in maintaining good dental health. Avoid sugary treats and feed your Shih Poo high-quality dog food that is designed to promote strong teeth and healthy gums.

By following these dental care tips, you can help ensure that your Shih Poo maintains good dental health throughout their life. A healthy mouth will not only keep them comfortable and happy but also help them avoid more serious health issues down the road.

Food and Nutrition

A Shih Poo is a small breed that requires a healthy and balanced diet to remain active and happy. Proper nutrition is key to ensuring your dog stays healthy and vibrant throughout its life. When choosing food for your Shih Poo, make sure to choose high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs.

Nutritional Requirements:

A Shih Poo requires a well-balanced diet that includes protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. You should avoid feeding your Shih Poo human food as it can lead to obesity and other health problems. Also, make sure that your dog gets sufficient amounts of fresh water every day.

Portion Control:

Shih Poos are prone to overeating and can quickly become overweight, so portion control is critical. You should feed your dog small, frequent meals throughout the day, rather than one large meal.

Choosing the Right Food:

When choosing the right food for your Shih Poo, you should consider its age, weight, activity level, and any health concerns it may have. Avoid foods that contain artificial preservatives, fillers, and by-products. Instead, look for food that contains high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, beef, or fish.

Here is an example of a sample diet for your Shih Poo:

BreakfastDry kibble1/2 cup
Morning SnackBlueberries or apple slicesA few pieces
LunchWet food1/4 can
Afternoon SnackCarrots or sweet potato cubesA few pieces
DinnerDry kibble and chopped chicken or beef1/2 cup kibble and 1/4 cup meat
Before Bed SnackPlain yogurt or cottage cheeseA tablespoon or two

Remember to consult your veterinarian regarding your Shih Poo’s specific dietary requirements, including the ideal portion size and feeding schedule. By providing your Shih Poo with the right nutrition, you can ensure that they remain healthy and happy for years to come.

Life Expectancy and Average Cost

When considering getting a Shih Poo as a pet, it is important to know about their life expectancy and average cost.

Life Expectancy: On average, a Shih Poo can live for 10 to 15 years. However, with proper care and attention, they can live up to 20 years. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups can help prolong your furry friend’s life.

Average Cost: The cost of a Shih Poo can vary depending on several factors, including breeders’ fees and adoption fees. On average, a Shih Poo puppy can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500. However, it is important to note that the cost of a pet does not end after buying them. You will also need to consider the cost of food, grooming, and veterinary check-ups. Additionally, if there are any health issues that arise, you will need to consider the cost of treatment.

Here is a table highlighting the average cost of a Shih Poo:

ExpenseAverage Cost
Breeder Fees$500-$1,500
Adoption Fees$50-$500
Food (per month)$20-$50
Grooming (per session)$30-$100
Veterinary Check-ups$50-$100
Health Issue TreatmentVaries

It is important to remember that while the cost of getting a Shih Poo can seem overwhelming, the love and affection your furry friend will bring into your life is priceless. As long as you can provide a loving home, they will bring joy into your life for years to come.


After learning about the unique characteristics of the lovable Shih Poo breed, it’s no wonder they have become such a popular choice for pet lovers. With their adorable appearance, affectionate personality, and manageable size, they make the perfect addition to any family.

As with any breed, it’s important to properly socialize and train your Shih Poo from a young age to ensure their behavior and temperament is well-balanced. Their exercise needs may be moderate, but regular grooming will be necessary to maintain their luxurious coat.

It’s also important to be aware of potential health issues for the breed, such as dental concerns and patellar luxation. By providing quality dental care and nutritious food, you can help ensure your furry friend lives a long and healthy life.

Overall, the Shih Poo is an excellent choice for those seeking a loyal and playful companion. While they may require a bit of extra care, the love and laughter they bring to your life will make it all worth it. So if you’re ready for a new furry friend, the Shih Poo may just be the perfect match for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size do Shih Poos typically grow to?

Shih Poos generally grow to a height of 8-15 inches and weigh between 7-20 pounds.

Are Shih Poos good with children?

Yes, Shih Poos are great with children and make excellent family pets.

Do Shih Poos require a lot of exercise?

While Shih Poos are active and enjoy playtime, they do not require a lot of exercise and do well in apartments or smaller living spaces.

What kind of temperament do Shih Poos have?

Shih Poos are known for their friendly, loving, and social demeanor. They make great companion dogs and are typically easygoing and adaptable.

What is the lifespan of a Shih Poo?

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

Are Shih Poos hypoallergenic?

Yes, Shih Poos tend to be hypoallergenic and produce less dander than other breeds, making them great pets for those with allergies.

What are some common health issues that Shih Poos may face?

Shih Poos may be prone to dental issues, skin allergies, and eye problems. Regular veterinary checkups are recommended to monitor for any potential health concerns.

How often should a Shih Poo be groomed?

Shih Poos should be groomed every 6-8 weeks to maintain their coat and prevent matting. Daily brushing is also recommended.

Can Shih Poos be left alone for long periods?

No, Shih Poos are social dogs and do not do well when left alone for long periods. They thrive on human interaction and companionship.

What is the average cost of a Shih Poo?

The average cost of a Shih Poo can vary depending on the breeder and location, but can range from $500-$2000.


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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