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Shih Poo Breed Information

Paws Pattern
Shih Poo with owner

The Shih Poo is a delightful hybrid breed, a cross between the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. This lovable, small-sized dog inherits the best of both parent breeds, with their intelligence and adaptability making them a fantastic choice for many families. Known for their affectionate nature, these friendly pups thrive on companionship and enjoy spending time with their loved ones. 

As they are highly adaptable and sociable, Shih Poos are well-suited for various living conditions, including apartments and homes with or without yards. With their keen intelligence, these little furballs are quick learners, which makes training them a breeze. However, they do require consistent and positive reinforcement to prevent stubbornness. Grooming needs vary depending on the coat they inherit, but a mix of both parent breeds' coats is most common, which means regular brushing is essential to keep them looking their best. 

Shih Poos are known for their charming personalities and adorable looks, with an irresistible appeal that is hard to resist. These doodle dogs are perfect for families, singles, and seniors alike, thanks to their adaptable and affectionate nature. With proper care, love, and attention, a Shih Poo is sure to bring joy and happiness to any household, making them the perfect addition to your family. 

BREED TYPE / MIX Doodle Hybrid / Poodle crossed with a Shih Tzu ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimum TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Clever, Affectionate, Gentle, Loyal, Loving ADULT WEIGHT 8-18 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 8-17 in LIFE SPAN 10-15 yrs


  • One of the most endearing characteristics of the Shih Poo breed is their affectionate and loving nature. These dogs form strong bonds with their family members and enjoy cuddling up with them. Their sweet disposition makes them excellent companions for people of all ages. 
  • Shih Poos are highly adaptable and can comfortably adjust to different living conditions. Whether you live in an apartment, a house with a small yard, or a sprawling property, this breed will be happy as long as they have their family close by. 
  • With the combined intelligence of both the Shih Tzu and Poodle breeds, Shih Poos are known for their quick wit and ability to learn new tricks and commands with ease. Training sessions can be fun and rewarding for both the owner and the dog. 
  • Shih Poos are inherently social dogs that enjoy being around people and other animals. Their friendly demeanor makes them excellent playmates for children, as well as great companions for other pets in the household. Socialization from a young age will ensure they maintain their friendly attitude throughout their lives. 
  • While they are not overly energetic, Shih Poos still require regular exercise to maintain their health and well-being. A daily walk and playtime sessions are usually enough to keep these pups happy and content. Their moderate exercise needs make them suitable companions for both active and less active families. 
  • Depending on the type of coat your Shih Poo inherits, grooming needs may vary. However, most Shih Poos have a coat that is a mix of both parent breeds, requiring regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Professional grooming every few months can help maintain their coat in optimal condition, while also keeping them looking adorable and well-groomed. 
Shih Poo with Short Hair


The appearance of the Shih Poo is a delightful fusion of the physical traits of both the Shih Tzu and the Poodle, creating a unique and adorable look that is hard to resist. As a hybrid breed, the appearance of Shih Poos can vary from one individual to another, but there are certain characteristics commonly found in this breed that make them instantly recognizable and charming. 

Shih Poos are small in size, typically weighing between 8 to 18 pounds and standing at a height of 8 to 13 inches at the shoulder. Their compact size makes them an excellent choice for those with limited living spaces or those who prefer a smaller canine companion. Their sturdy build and well-proportioned body give them a balanced and graceful appearance. 

The coat of the Shih Poo is one of its most distinctive features, often being a mix of the Shih Tzu's long, silky hair and the Poodle's tight curls. The result is a soft, wavy coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, cream, gray, and apricot. The low-shedding nature of their coat makes them a popular choice for those seeking a more hypoallergenic pet. 

The face of the Shih Poo is a delightful blend of both parent breeds, often featuring the Shih Tzu's expressive eyes and the Poodle's well-defined muzzle. Their eyes are typically large, round, and dark, giving them an endearing and alert expression. Their ears can be either floppy, like the Poodle, or upright, like the Shih Tzu, adding to their unique and adorable appearance. The combination of these charming features makes the Shih Poo an irresistible and enchanting companion that is sure to steal your heart. 


The temperament of the Shih Poo is a delightful blend of the best attributes of both the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. These adorable dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for people from all walks of life. Their loving disposition ensures that they form strong bonds with their family members, and they are happiest when they are surrounded by the people they adore. 

Shih Poos are inherently social and enjoy spending time with both humans and other animals. Their friendly demeanor makes them great playmates for children, and they usually get along well with other pets in the household, given proper socialization from an early age. This breed's sociable nature means they can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods, so it's essential to provide them with the companionship they crave. 

In addition to being friendly and affectionate, Shih Poos are also known for their intelligence and eagerness to please. They are quick learners and enjoy engaging in training sessions and various activities that stimulate their minds. However, it's important to keep in mind that they can be somewhat stubborn at times. Using positive reinforcement and maintaining consistency during training will help bring out the best in your Shih Poo and ensure a well-behaved and happy companion. 


Havapoo vs Shih Poo Comparison

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,...

More Comparisons to Similar Breeds



Grooming is an essential aspect of caring for a Shih Poo, as it not only helps maintain their adorable appearance but also contributes to their overall health and well-being. While the grooming needs of this hybrid breed can vary depending on the type of coat they inherit, there are certain tasks that all Shih Poo owners should be prepared to undertake regularly. 

Brushing is a crucial part of a Shih Poo's grooming routine. With a coat that is often a mix of the Shih Tzu's long, silky hair and the Poodle's curls, regular brushing is essential to prevent matting, tangling, and the accumulation of dirt. Ideally, owners should brush their Shih Poo's coat every day or at least a few times a week, using a slicker brush or a comb designed for removing tangles. 

Bathing is another important aspect of grooming for a Shih Poo. Depending on your dog's lifestyle and activity level, you may need to bathe your Shih Poo every 4 to 6 weeks using a gentle dog shampoo. Make sure to brush the coat thoroughly before and after bathing to remove any mats and tangles. 

Trimming your Shih Poo's coat is also necessary to maintain their neat and tidy appearance. While some owners may feel comfortable trimming their dog's hair at home, many opt for professional grooming services every few months. This ensures that the coat is trimmed evenly, and the Shih Poo's distinctive facial features are well-maintained. 

In addition to coat care, Shih Poo owners should also pay attention to their dog's nails, ears, and teeth. Regular nail trimming or grinding is essential to prevent overgrowth and potential discomfort. Cleaning the ears and keeping them dry can help prevent ear infections, while daily teeth brushing or providing dental chews can help maintain good dental hygiene. 

Exercise Needs

While Shih Poos are not overly energetic, they still require regular exercise to maintain their physical health and mental well-being. Their exercise needs are moderate, making them suitable companions for both active and less active families. By providing them with the appropriate amount of daily activity, you can help keep your Shih Poo happy and healthy. 

A daily walk is essential for a Shih Poo to stretch their legs and explore their surroundings. This breed enjoys leisurely strolls around the neighborhood or a nearby park, and a walk of 20 to 30 minutes per day is typically sufficient to meet their exercise needs. Keep in mind that Shih Poos may be sensitive to extreme temperatures, so it's important to avoid walking them during the hottest or coldest parts of the day. 

In addition to daily walks, Shih Poos also enjoy playtime sessions with their owners. Engaging in interactive games such as fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek can provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation. These activities can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors, making it easy to meet your Shih Poo's exercise needs even if you have limited outdoor space. 

Socialization and mental stimulation are just as important for the Shih Poo as physical exercise. Taking your Shih Poo to dog parks, enrolling them in doggy daycare, or participating in group training classes can provide valuable social interactions and help keep their minds sharp. Providing puzzle toys and interactive games can also keep them mentally engaged and prevent boredom when they're at home. 


Shih Poos, like any other breed, can be predisposed to certain health issues. However, as a hybrid breed, they often benefit from hybrid vigor, which means they may be less susceptible to certain genetic health problems than their purebred counterparts. Nonetheless, it's essential for Shih Poo owners to be aware of potential health concerns and provide their furry friends with regular veterinary care to ensure a long, happy, and healthy life. 

Some health issues that can affect Shih Poos include: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint does not fit correctly into the hip socket, leading to arthritis and mobility issues. Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage and prevent this condition. 
  • Patellar Luxation: This condition occurs when the kneecap slips out of place, causing discomfort and potential mobility problems. Treatment can range from pain management to surgery, depending on the severity of the issue. 
  • Eye Issues: Shih Poos can be prone to various eye problems, such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and dry eye. Regular veterinary eye exams can help detect these issues early and ensure appropriate treatment. 
  • Allergies: Like many other breeds, Shih Poos can suffer from allergies, which can manifest as skin irritations, ear infections, or digestive issues. Identifying the cause of the allergy and implementing a suitable management plan is crucial for your dog's well-being. 
  • Dental Problems: Small breeds, including Shih Poos, can be prone to dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups, teeth brushing, and providing dental chews can help maintain good oral health. 

To keep your Shih Poo healthy, it's important to provide them with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups. 


Shih Poos are known for their relatively long lifespan, which can be attributed to the combination of their parent breeds' longevity. On average, a healthy and well-cared-for Shih Poo can be expected to live between 12 and 15 years. Of course, individual lifespans may vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care. 

Both the Shih Tzu and the Mini or Toy Poodle, the parent breeds of the Shih Poo, are also known for their impressive lifespans. The oldest Shih Tzu on record lived to be 23 years old, while the oldest Mini or Toy Poodle reached an astonishing age of 20 years. These exceptional cases highlight the potential longevity of these small breeds, including their adorable hybrid offspring, the Shih Poo. 

To help your Shih Poo live a long and healthy life, it's essential to provide them with a balanced diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and routine veterinary care. By taking good care of your Shih Poo and addressing any health concerns promptly, you can help ensure that they enjoy many happy years as a cherished member of your family. 


Training is an important aspect of raising a well-behaved and happy Shih Poo. This breed is known for its intelligence and eagerness to please, which makes the training process both enjoyable and rewarding for both the owner and the dog. By employing positive reinforcement techniques and maintaining consistency throughout the training process, you can help your Shih Poo develop into a well-mannered and obedient companion. 

Start socialization and basic obedience training early in your Shih Poo's life to establish a strong foundation. Early socialization will expose your puppy to different people, animals, and environments, helping them develop confidence and a friendly demeanor. Introduce them to various situations and experiences to ensure they grow up to be a well-adjusted adult. 

When it comes to obedience training, using positive reinforcement methods, such as treats, praise, and play, will encourage your Shih Poo to learn and follow commands eagerly. This breed is generally quick to learn new commands, but they can also be somewhat stubborn at times. To overcome this, be patient and consistent in your approach, always rewarding good behavior and avoiding harsh punishments. 

Shih Poos can be prone to separation anxiety due to their affectionate nature, so crate training can be beneficial in providing them with a safe and secure space when you are not at home. Begin crate training gradually and make the crate a comfortable and positive environment for your dog. 

In addition to obedience training, you can also engage your Shih Poo in various dog sports and activities, such as agility, rally obedience, and scent work. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also offer mental stimulation, helping to keep your dog's mind sharp and engaged. 


The history of the Shih Poo, like many other hybrid breeds, can be traced back to the designer dog movement that gained momentum in the 1990s and early 2000s. The goal was to create new breeds by combining the best traits of two purebred dogs, resulting in offspring with desirable qualities such as reduced shedding, improved health, and unique appearances. The Shih Poo, a delightful mix of the Shih Tzu and the Poodle, is one such successful outcome of this movement. 

The Shih Tzu, hailing from ancient China, boasts a long and fascinating history. Often associated with royalty, these dogs were treasured by Chinese emperors and were even considered sacred. The Poodle, on the other hand, has its origins in Germany, where it was primarily bred as a water retriever. Over time, the Poodle became popular among the French aristocracy, and it is now most commonly associated with France. The combination of these two breeds resulted in the Shih Poo, which inherited the intelligence, elegance, and charm of both its parent breeds. 

While the Shih Poo does not have an extensive history of its own, the breed quickly gained popularity among dog enthusiasts for its adorable appearance, affectionate nature, and adaptability. The breed's low-shedding coat, inherited from the Poodle side, made it particularly appealing to those looking for hypoallergenic dogs. Today, the Shih Poo continues to be a beloved companion for families, singles, and seniors alike, providing love, comfort, and endless amusement with their endearing personalities.