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Havapoo vs Shih Poo Comparison

Havapoo vs Shih Poo: A Complete Guide | Lone Star Pups
Published Monday, February 19, 2024 by PremierPups

In the ever-growing world of designer dogs or doodles, making a choice between breeds like the Havapoo and the Shih Poo can be a delightful challenge for potential pet owners. Both designer breeds, known for their cute looks and loving personalities, have become popular choices for families and individuals alike. However, while they share some similarities, there are distinct differences that set them apart. 

This article aims to shed light on these two adorable breeds. We will look into their origins, appearances, and temperaments to provide you with a comprehensive comparison between Havapoos and Shih Poos. Whether you are a first-time dog owner or looking to add a new member to your family, understanding these nuances will help you make an informed decision about which dog breed might be the perfect fit for your home and lifestyle. 

Join us as we explore the unique qualities of the Havapoo and Shih Poo, helping you navigate the decision-making process with insight and information. 

Havapoo vs Shih Poo Overview 

Havapoo Overview 

merle havapoo puppy

The Havapoo's journey begins with its parent breeds: the Havanese, a breed with a rich history dating back to the Spanish Empire, and the Poodle, known for its intelligence and hypoallergenic coat. This hybrid was developed to create a small, affectionate dog that would be suitable for a variety of households, including those with allergy sufferers. Havapoos quickly gained popularity due to their adaptable nature, fitting into both rural and urban settings with ease. Their ability to form strong emotional bonds with their owners makes them excellent therapy dogs. This breed’s health concerns are relatively few, but prospective owners should be aware of common issues like hip dysplasia and cataracts, prevalent in many small breeds. 

RELATED: See our Available Havapoo Puppies For Sale

Shih Poo Overview 

Shih Poo dog

The Shih Poo, a cross between the Shih Tzu and the Toy Poodle, combines the lap-dog qualities of the Shih Tzu with the intelligence and curly coat of the Poodle. Originating as a designer breed, Shih Poos were bred to be companion animals suited for various lifestyles, particularly in smaller living spaces due to their compact size. They inherited the Shih Tzu’s affectionate and friendly disposition, making them great with children and other pets. Health-wise, Shih Poos can be prone to dental issues, a common trait in smaller breeds, as well as respiratory problems due to the Shih Tzu's brachycephalic (flat-faced) features. 

RELATED: See our Available Shih Poo Puppies For Sale

Havapoo vs Shih Poo Overview Comparison 

In comparing the two, it's essential to understand their shared and divergent traits. Both breeds are excellent companions, highly valued for their loving nature and intelligence. The Havapoo tends to be more adaptable to different types of physical activity and environments, whereas the Shih Poo, with its slightly more laid-back nature, can be better suited for more sedentary lifestyles. However, both breeds require regular grooming due to their Poodle heritage, with the Havapoo needing slightly more frequent grooming due to its typically curlier coat. 

Havapoo vs Shih Poo Temperament 

Havapoo Temperament 

brown havapoo dog

The temperament of the Havapoo is a beautiful blend of its parent breeds. These dogs are known for their high intelligence, inherited from the Poodle, which makes them quick learners and easy to train. This intelligence, coupled with their eagerness to please, makes them ideal for various types of training, including obedience and agility. Their social nature means they thrive in environments where they can interact with people and other pets. Havapoos are also known for their adaptability, comfortably fitting into various lifestyles, whether in a bustling family home or a quiet apartment. Despite their many positive traits, they do require attention and mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior or separation anxiety. 

Shih Poo Temperament 

full grown Shih Poo dog

Shih Poos inherit the affectionate nature of the Shih Tzu and the intelligence of the Poodle. They are typically friendly, loving, and enjoy being close to their human companions. While they are playful and enjoy short bursts of activity, they are generally more laid-back compared to Havapoos. This temperament makes them suitable for families with older children or more sedentary owners. Training a Shih Poo can be a bit challenging due to the Shih Tzu's stubborn streak, but with patience and consistent training methods, they respond well.

Socialization is important for Shih Poos to develop a well-rounded temperament, especially if they are to be around other pets or in various social situations. 

Havapoo vs Shih Poo Temperament Comparison 

In comparing the temperaments of Havapoos and Shih Poos, both breeds are affectionate, intelligent, and make excellent companions. However, the Havapoo tends to be more active and may require more mental and physical stimulation. On the other hand, the Shih Poo, while also enjoying play, may be better suited for a calmer lifestyle. Both breeds do best in environments where they can receive plenty of attention and are not left alone for extended periods. Their sociable nature makes them great family pets, but potential owners should consider their lifestyle and ability to meet the emotional and physical needs of these breeds. 

Havapoo vs Shih Poo Appearance 

Havapoo Appearance 

white havapoo dog

The Havapoo's appearance is a delightful blend of its parent breeds. Their coat, inheriting the Poodle's hypoallergenic quality, can range from wavy to curly and is available in a wide spectrum of colors. The grooming needs for Havapoos are significant; they require regular brushing to avoid tangles and professional grooming every few months to maintain a healthy coat. In terms of size, they usually fall into the small to medium category, ranging from8 to 20 pounds in weight and 9 to 12 inches in height. Their eyes are often a notable feature, typically large and expressive, mirroring their affectionate personality. It's important for potential owners to consider the time and effort required for grooming when choosing a Havapoo. 

Shih Poo Appearance 

adorable Shih Poo dog

Shih Poos charm with their unique combination of the Shih Tzu's silkiness and the Poodle's curls. Their coat, which can be either straight, wavy or curly, comes in various colors and patterns. Like Havapoos, Shih Poos require regular grooming to keep their coat in good condition and prevent matting. This breed is generally on the smaller side ranging from 8 to 18 pounds and 8 to 17 inches tall when fully grown, which makes them ideal for apartment living or for owners who prefer a more compact dog. Their facial features are particularly endearing, often inheriting the Shih Tzu's round, warm eyes and the Poodle's intelligent expression. This breed's compact size and lower grooming needs compared to Havapoos make them a practical choice for many. 

Havapoo vs Shih Poo Appearance Comparison 

When comparing Havapoos and Shih Poos, the most notable differences are in their size and coat texture. Havapoos are generally larger and have curlier coats, while Shih Poos are smaller with either curly or straight coats. The grooming needs for both breeds are significant but vary slightly, with Havapoos potentially requiring more frequent grooming sessions. Both breeds, however, share the common trait of being hypoallergenic, making them suitable choices for families with allergies. Their adorable looks and manageable sizes make both breeds highly appealing to a wide range of dog lovers. 


Both breeds share the commonality of being loving, loyal, and great additions to the right home. When choosing between a Havapoo and a Shih Poo, potential owners should consider not only the physical and temperamental differences but also their own lifestyle, the amount of time they can dedicate to their pet, and their capacity to meet the grooming and emotional needs of these delightful dogs. 

As we conclude our in-depth comparison of the Havapoo and Shih Poo breeds, it's The Havapoo, with its higher energy levels, intelligence, and sociability, is an excellent choice for active families or individuals who enjoy engaging their pets in activities and mental stimulation. Their adaptability and ease of training make them suitable for various living environments, including those with children and other pets. However, prospective owners should consider the grooming requirements and the need for regular interaction to prevent separation anxiety. 

The Shih Poo, being smaller and generally more laid-back, can be the perfect companion for less active households, including seniors or those living in smaller spaces. While they enjoy playtime, they are equally content with cuddling and spending quiet time with their owners. Their grooming needs, although significant, might be slightly less demanding than those of the Havapoo. The Shih Poo's independent streak requires patience and consistency in training but can also be a source of endearing personality traits. 

Ultimately, both Havapoos and Shih Poos make wonderful companions. Whichever breed you choose; you can look forward to a rewarding companionship filled with affection and joy.