Shih-Poo Overview

Parent Breeds:
Poodle & Shih Tzu
Breed Nickname:
8 to 18 inches
8 to 18 pounds
Life Span:
13 to 17 years
Coat Colors:
Black, brown, white, brindle.

Shih-Poo Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Shih-Poo

What Is A Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Called?

Shih-Poo puppies are the offspring of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodles. They are also often called Shoodles.

They are adorably fluffy, intelligent, and adaptable little dogs. They are excellent pets for anyone with enough time to put into their training.

Today we’re looking into everything you need to know about Shih-Poos before you welcome one into your family.

Shih-Poo Breed History

  • First bred in the 90s.

  • Very popular due to their size.

  • Intelligent and regal.

Shih-Poos are designer dogs and have only been around for a few decades. They were originally bred in North America for companionship.

They are very popular among influencers who enjoy flaunting tiny designer dogs.

Poodles originated in Germany where they were originally bred as water retriever dogs. They were quickly seen as regal, however, and turned into prized possessions and a sign of wealth throughout Europe.

Shih Tzus originated in China, where they were also considered royalty.

Shih-Poos are almost always intelligent and regal thanks to their parent breeds. They love cuddles and attention and are excellent lap dogs.

They’re loyal and cute thanks to their Shih Tzu parent, and get their intelligence from their Poodle heritage.

Shih-Poo Personality & Temperament

  • Very playful and loving.

  • Protective of their owners.

  • Excellent lap dogs.

Since Shih-Poos are mixed breeds, their personalities can differ depending on the genes they inherit. Despite this, Shih-Poos are almost always very friendly and loyal, making them the ideal lap dog.

They love giving affection as much as receiving it, and they’re able to charm anyone they meet.

They are very intelligent thanks to their Poodle parentage and love to play. They’re quick-witted too, making them the life of the party in any social situation. They’re excellent with other pets, children, and even strangers.

However, owners should bear in mind that this dog also needs a firm hand when it comes to training, due to Shih Tzu’s stubbornness. This means that they aren’t the ideal choice for new owners.

They’re also not the best for being left alone for hours at a time. If you’re a busy professional that spends a considerable amount of time away from home, you should reconsider welcoming a Shih-Poo into your home for now.

They do best when constantly around people.

Shih-Poo Health

  • Could suffer from breathing issues.

  • Watch out for heatstroke.

  • Small dogs suffer more from dental issues.

Designer dogs tend to have fewer health risks than their purebred parents due to the genes being inherited from them. However, this doesn’t make them exempt, and there are a few health issues that Shih-Poos are prone to.

If a Shih-Poo inherits the Shih-Tzu’s short snout, they are likely to suffer from breathing issues as they age. Shih-Poos with longer snouts from their Poodle parent won’t suffer from these.

Shih-Poos with shorter snouts can suffer from heat stroke more often, too. This is especially true if they have long and thick coats.

Watch out for signs of this during the warmer months, including heavy breathing, sticky gums, lethargy, and seizures.

Smaller dogs also tend to have more dental issues. Make sure you look after their teeth with brushing and routine dental check-ups.

Shih-Poo Training

  • Highly intelligent.

  • Loyal and eager to please.

  • Works well with positive reinforcement.

Poodles are a dream to train thanks to their intelligence, so most Shih-Poos follow suit. However, there is a chance that they inherit the stubbornness of a Shih Tzu, which might make them more difficult to train.

They are very loyal to their owners, but they still think that they know what’s best for them. So, they might push back on training simply because they don’t want to listen.

You need to establish a clear power dynamic between you both to prevent this from becoming a bigger issue.

Positive reinforcement is vital when it comes to the stubborn Shih-Poo. Offer lots of treats and verbal praise when they show positive behaviors. Consistency is key with this dog, so don’t give up!

Shih-Poo Exercise Requirements

  • Highly intelligent.

  • Loyal and eager to please.

  • Works well with positive reinforcement.

The amount of exercise your Shih-Poo needs will depend on the genes they’ve inherited from their parents. Poodles are very active and need more exercise than Shih Tzus, who are happy to lounge around for most of the day.

Shih-Poos are small dogs with little legs and therefore only need around 30 minutes of exercise daily. However, you should make this time count to ensure that they return home feeling exhausted and content.

Good exercise options for Shih-Poos are walks, jogs, or playing in a shallow pool. They love heading to the dog park to play fetch and will enjoy a medium-sized yard to run around in.

However, Shih-Poos are also good for apartment living due to their lower exercise requirements. This breed is excellent for seniors who don’t have the energy to take their dogs on long walks every day or people who are too busy for daily hikes.

Remember that Shih-Poos don’t like being home alone all day, so while they might sound ideal for a busy professional, they’ll still need to be with you for the majority of the day. They would be the perfect dog for busy people who work from home.

Shih-Poo Diet & Feeding

  • Choose a small dog-formulated food.

  • Prone to obesity.

  • Use high-quality food to protect their teeth.

Shih-Poos should be given a diet formulated for small dogs with average energy levels. There are plenty of dog kibbles on the market specifically for small dogs or Toy Poodles.

These are best as they offer everything your Shih-Poo needs.

Shih-Poos are susceptible to dental issues, so it’s recommended that you choose a high-quality kibble. Low-quality foods might be too tough and cause irreparable damage.

Small dogs are more likely to gain weight quickly, which could lead to obesity. Only feed your dog the recommended serving size for their weight.

You could also consult your veterinarian about serving sizes, as these will change as they grow from puppyhood to adulthood, then again into senior dogs.

Since this is a mixed breed and they vary in temperament, you might find that your dog has a bigger or smaller appetite depending on their energy levels.

Shih-Poos with lots of energy, like their Poodle parents, will need more food than Shih-Poos who take after their Shih Tzu parents.

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Shih-Poo Cost

  • Costs between $500 and $1,000.

  • Ongoing costs include vet appointments, grooming costs, and food.

As a designer dog bred from two of the most beloved purebreds, Shih-Poos are expensive to purchase. Expect to see their price range from $500 to $1,000.

The higher end of this spectrum will depend on their parent breeds and the reputation of the breeder.

Reputable breeders can charge more as you know your puppy will have been well looked after and the parents have been screened for illnesses.

Shih-Poos are small dogs, so food will cost less. However, grooming costs will be high as they need monthly appointments. You’ll also need to pay for regular vet checkups.

Ongoing costs will amount to around $150 a month.