Get to Know the Shih Poo: Physical Characteristics of the Breed

As pet lovers, we’re always on the lookout for charming canine breeds that complete our families. One breed that’s fast gaining popularity amongst pet owners is the Shih Poo. This adorable dog is a mix of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle breeds that boasts of unique physical attributes and personality.

If you’re considering getting a Shih Poo, it’s crucial to understand its physical characteristics, temperament, and personality traits. In this article, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of exploring the Shih Poo breed in detail. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this exciting breed!

Size and Weight

Size And Weight
As a potential pet owner, understanding the size and weight of your furry friend is important. When it comes to Shih Poos, there are a few distinctive features to keep in mind. Shih Poos are a small breed with a cute and compact build, but their size may vary depending on different factors. Knowing what to expect in terms of growth and development can help you adjust and prepare for their care and needs. From typical size and height to weight range and factors affecting these aspects, we’ll explore everything about Shih Poos’ size and weight range in this article. If you want to know more about Shih Poos’ coat types and colors, click here.

Typical Size and Height of a Shih Poo

Shih Poos are a small hybrid breed, and their size and height can vary depending on several factors such as genetics and diet. Typically, they stand at around 8 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder, and they can weigh anywhere from 7 to 20 pounds.

Their size and weight also depend on the type of Poodle breed they come from. For instance, Shih Poos bred from a Miniature Poodle tend to be smaller in size and lighter in weight. On the other hand, Shih Poos bred from a Standard Poodle may grow to be slightly larger and more muscular.

It is essential to note that each Shih Poo is unique in their size and height range. Some Shih Poos may be larger or smaller compared to the typical range, and that’s okay. It is vital to provide them with the care they need, regardless of their size.

It is essential to keep in mind that Shih Poos’ size and weight range can vary depending on several factors. For more information on caring for Shih Poos, check out our article on “Shih Poo Diet, Exercise, Health, Appearance” and “Shih Poo Grooming Tips.” Additionally, “Genetics and Shih Poo Appearance” can provide you with more insights into why Shih Poos vary in size and weight.

Weight Range and Distribution

The weight range and distribution of a Shih Poo can vary greatly depending on various factors like genetics, diet, and exercise level. However, on average, a fully grown Shih Poo can weigh anywhere from 8 to 18 pounds.

To get a better understanding of how weight is distributed in Shih Poos, we can take a look at the typical weight of male and female Shih Poos. The table below breaks down the average weight range for male and female Shih Poos by age:

AgeAverage Male WeightAverage Female Weight
Puppy2 – 5 pounds2 – 5 pounds
Adult9 – 16 pounds8 – 14 pounds

It is important to note that a Shih Poo’s weight can also be affected by health issues such as obesity or malnutrition. Thus, it is crucial for Shih Poo owners to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine for their pet.

If you want to learn more about how to maintain a Shih Poo’s health, appearance, and well-being, check out our comprehensive article on Shih Poo diet, exercise, health, and appearance.

Factors Affecting a Shih Poo’s Size and Weight Range

There are several factors that can affect the size and weight range of a Shih Poo. These factors can include genetics, nutrition, exercise level, and even age. To better understand these factors and their effects, let’s take a closer look at each one.

GeneticsThe genes passed down from a Shih Tzu and Poodle parent can play a significant role in determining a Shih Poo’s size and weight.If both parent breeds are small, the Shih Poo’s size and weight are likely to be smaller, while a larger parent breed can result in a bigger Shih Poo.
NutritionA healthy, balanced diet is essential for a Shih Poo’s growth and development.Feeding a high-quality dog food with the right balance of nutrients can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity.
Exercise LevelThe amount of exercise a Shih Poo gets can impact their weight and overall health.Adequate exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, promote muscle growth, and improve cardiovascular health. Lack of exercise can lead to weight gain and potential health issues.
AgeA Shih Poo’s size and weight can change as they age and reach maturity.Younger Shih Poos are likely to weigh less and be smaller in size, while fully grown adults can reach their full size and weight potential.

It is important to keep in mind that while these factors can play a role in a Shih Poo’s size and weight, genetics may be the most significant factor. It is also essential to work with a veterinarian to ensure that a Shih Poo is maintaining a healthy weight and receiving proper nutrition and exercise.

Appearance and Coat

Appearance And Coat
When it comes to the Shih Poo breed, their physical appearance and coat can be a defining factor in their overall cuteness and charm. These furry companions have unique features that set them apart from other breeds, from their distinctive facial expressions to their fluffy, hypoallergenic coats. In this section, we’ll explore the physical characteristics of the Shih Poo in more detail, highlighting their distinct attributes and the best ways to care for their precious coats. So, let’s dive in and discover what makes Shih Poos such a beloved breed among dog owners everywhere.

Distinctive Facial Features

The Shih Poo breed is known for its distinctive facial features, a blend of its Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle parents. Here are some of the most notable facial characteristics of a Shih Poo:

  • Bulbous eyes: Shih Poos have large, round eyes that are set wide apart on their face. These expressive eyes come in colors such as brown, black, and blue and give the Shih Poo an adorable, almost cartoonish appearance.
  • Flat nose: Like the Shih Tzu, Shih Poos have a flat, short nose. This can lead to snoring and snuffling sounds, but it’s also part of what makes them so cute!
  • Floppy ears: The Shih Poo’s ears can be a bit of a wildcard – they can be floppy like their Shih Tzu parent, or they can be straight and pointy like a Poodle’s. Either way, their ears are low-hanging and soft to the touch.
  • Muzzle: With a Shih Tzu’s flat face and the Poodle’s longer snout, the Shih Poo’s muzzle is a unique blend of these two breeds. It’s shorter than most dogs but longer than the Shih Tzu’s, giving the Shih Poo a unique look.

These facial features are just part of what makes the Shih Poo such a beloved breed. Their adorable expressions and playful personalities are sure to win over any dog lover.

Color and Coat Variations

Shih Poos are known for their soft and luxurious coats, which come in a range of colors and patterns. Some of the most common coat colors for Shih Poos include black, white, cream, apricot, brown, and gray. In addition to these solid colors, Shih Poos can also have a combination of colors on their coat such as black and white or brown and white.

One distinctive feature of a Shih Poo’s coat is its curly or wavy texture. This adds to the breed’s overall cuteness and attractiveness. It’s important to note, however, that this type of coat requires regular grooming and maintenance. Owners need to brush their Shih Poo’s coat frequently to prevent matting and tangling, especially if the dog spends a lot of time outdoors. Regular grooming also helps keep the coat shiny and healthy.

Some Shih Poos may also have a hypoallergenic coat, which means that they produce fewer allergens than other dogs. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from allergies but still want to own a dog. However, it’s important to note that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, and some people may still experience allergic reactions even with a Shih Poo.

The wide range of color and coat variations makes the Shih Poo breed an attractive choice for dog lovers. With proper grooming and care, a Shih Poo can have a beautiful and healthy coat that adds to their overall charm and appeal.

Caring for a Shih Poo’s Coat

The Shih Poo breed has a soft, hypoallergenic coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its quality. To keep your Shih Poo’s coat healthy and shiny, here are some tips for caring for their coat:

  • Regular Brushing: Brush your Shih Poo’s coat at least once a day to prevent matting and tangling. Use a slicker brush to gently remove any tangles and mats. You can also use a comb to detangle stubborn mats.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Shih Poo once a month or as needed. Use a shampoo that is safe for dogs and specifically designed for their coat type. Rinse thoroughly to make sure all soap is removed from their coat.
  • Trimming: Visit a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks for a trim. This will keep your Shih Poo’s coat looking neat and tidy.
  • Ear Care: Clean your Shih Poo’s ears regularly with an ear cleaning solution to prevent infections. Be gentle with their ears and do not insert anything inside their ear canal.
  • Nail Care: Trim your Shih Poo’s nails regularly to prevent overgrowth. If you hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. Use a dog nail clipper and be careful not to cut too close to the quick, which can cause bleeding.
  • Diet: Your Shih Poo’s coat is a reflection of their overall health. Feed them a well-balanced diet with high-quality protein to promote a healthy coat.

Following these tips will help ensure that your Shih Poo’s coat remains healthy and shiny. It’s important to establish a regular grooming routine for your furry friend to prevent any potential health issues from arising.

Temperament and Personality

As a potential owner of a Shih Poo, you may be wondering what kind of temperament and personality to expect from this breed. Understanding a dog’s disposition is crucial in determining if a particular breed is the right fit for your lifestyle and living situation. With Shih Poos, you’ll find a mix of traits from both parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. In this section, we’ll delve into the unique characteristics of a Shih Poo’s temperament and personality, including their energy level, social needs, and common health issues to keep in mind. Let’s explore what makes these little pups so lovable and unique.

Energy Level and Exercise Needs

Shih Poo is known to be a high-energy dog breed that requires daily exercise and playtime. Regular exercise is important in maintaining their physical and mental well-being. As a hybrid of Shih Tzu and Poodle, this breed inherits the energy and playfulness of both breeds. Let’s take a closer look at their energy levels and exercise needs.

Activity LevelExercise Needs
HighShih Poo needs daily exercise and playtime to burn off their energy. They are suitable for families who enjoy an active lifestyle and can provide plenty of physical activity for their furry friend. A daily walk and some active playtime is essential to keep your Shih Poo happy and healthy.
Athletic AbilitiesDespite their small size, Shih Poo is surprisingly athletic and agile. They enjoy running, jumping, and playing games like fetch. Regular exercise can help them to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related health issues.
Training RequirementsShih Poo is a smart breed that enjoys learning new things. Incorporating training exercises into their exercise routine can help to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom. Training also helps to build a strong bond between the owner and their dog.

It’s important to note that overexercise can be harmful to Shih Poo’s health, especially when they are still growing. So, it’s essential to start slow and gradually increase the duration and intensity of their exercise over time. Always remember to keep them hydrated during exercise and avoid exercising them during hot weather conditions.

Shih Poo is a high-energy dog breed that requires daily exercise and playtime to stay healthy and happy. Incorporating training routines into their exercise regime can help them to maintain their energy levels and mental well-being. Owners must be cautious not to over-exercise their furry friend and always cater to their individual exercise needs while keeping them hydrated during physical activity.

Social and Training Needs

When it comes to socializing and training a Shih Poo, it is important to understand that each dog has its own personality and learning style. However, there are some general guidelines that can be helpful for the majority of Shih Poos.

Shih Poos are friendly and social dogs, but they still require proper socialization to prevent potential behavioral issues. Introduce your Shih Poo to different people, animals, and environments from a young age to help them become well-rounded and adaptable. This can include taking them on walks in the park, bringing them to a dog-friendly café, or arranging playdates with other dogs.

Shih Poos are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them fairly easy to train. However, they can be stubborn at times and require positive reinforcement techniques to avoid becoming bored or disinterested. Start obedience training early with your Shih Poo to establish basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. You can also enroll them in agility or obedience classes to provide additional training and socialization opportunities.

Shih Poos require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Daily walks, playtime in the yard, or trips to the dog park are all great options for keeping your Shih Poo active. However, if you live in an apartment or have limited space, be sure to provide plenty of toys and interactive games to keep them stimulated.

Patience and Consistency
Remember, training and socializing a Shih Poo takes time, patience, and consistency. Be sure to reward good behavior and avoid punishment-based techniques that can damage your dog’s trust and confidence. With proper training and socialization, your Shih Poo will become a loving and loyal companion for years to come.

Common Health Issues and Concerns

Taking care of a Shih Poo means being aware of the common health issues and concerns that this breed may face. These include:

  • Respiratory Problems: Due to their short snouts, Shih Poos are prone to respiratory issues, especially in hot or humid weather. It is important to monitor their breathing and keep them cool during exercise or outdoor activities.
  • Dental Issues: Shih Poos have small mouths, which can lead to overcrowding, gum disease, and tooth decay. It is important to brush their teeth regularly and schedule dental exams with a veterinarian.
  • Eye Problems: This breed is prone to eye issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye. Regular eye exams are necessary to catch and treat these issues early.
  • Ear Infections: Shih Poos have floppy ears that can trap moisture and bacteria, leading to ear infections. Regular cleaning and ear exams with a veterinarian can help prevent and treat these infections.
  • Allergies: Shih Poos may develop allergies to certain foods, environmental factors, or grooming products. Symptoms may include itching, redness, and ear infections. It is important to identify and eliminate the allergen to prevent further issues.

It is important to note that not all Shih Poos will develop these issues, and proper care and attention can help prevent them. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can all contribute to a happy and healthy Shih Poo.


After exploring the physical characteristics of the Shih Poo breed, it is clear that these dogs are unique and versatile in many ways. Their size and weight can vary greatly, and their coats are unlike those of any other breed. The Shih Poo’s temperament and personality are also notable, as they are known for being loyal and loving companions.

When it comes to size and weight, there are a lot of factors that can affect a Shih Poo’s measurements. Genetics play a large role, as do environmental factors like diet and exercise. However, on average, a Shih Poo will be a small to medium-sized dog, weighing between 8 to 18 pounds.

The appearance and coat of a Shih Poo are also distinctive, with many variations in color and texture. Regular grooming is crucial to keep their coat healthy and mat-free. Additionally, their facial features are often a distinguishing characteristic, with their large, expressive eyes and cute button nose.

In terms of temperament and personality, the Shih Poo is a playful and affectionate breed that loves to spend time with their family. They have an energetic side that requires regular exercise and playtime, but they also enjoy relaxing and snuggling with their humans. Proper socialization and training are essential to ensure a well-behaved and happy Shih Poo.

While the Shih Poo is generally a healthy breed, they can be prone to certain health issues such as allergies, dental problems, and respiratory issues. Regular visits to the vet and proper care can help prevent and address these concerns.

In conclusion, the Shih Poo is a wonderful breed that brings joy and love to many families. Whether you are looking for a loyal companion or a fun-loving playmate, the Shih Poo is sure to steal your heart. With proper care and attention, they can live happy and healthy lives full of adventure and affection.

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 is the typical size of a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo can grow up to 10-13 inches in height.

What is the weight range for a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo can weigh anywhere between 8-18 pounds.

What are the factors that affect a Shih Poo’s size and weight range?

The size and weight range of a Shih Poo are affected by genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health.

What are the distinctive facial features of a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo has a round face with a short snout and floppy ears.

What are the color and coat variations of a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo’s coat can come in a variety of colors including black, white, cream, gold, and apricot. The coat can be either curly or straight.

What is the exercise need of a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo requires daily exercise and playtime to keep them healthy and happy.

What are the social and training needs of a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a social dog that requires a lot of love and attention from its owner. They are also very intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement training.

What are the common health issues and concerns for a Shih Poo?

Shih Poo’s may be prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and allergies.

What is the lifespan of a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo can live for 10-16 years with proper care and attention.


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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