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Shih Tzu Poodle Mix – Check This Before Rescuing a Shih-Poo!

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The cross between a Poodle and a Shih Tzu goes by the cute name of Shih-Poo. Some also call them Pooshies or Shoodles. Don’t confuse them with the Poodle and Shiba Inu mix – the Poo-Shi.

There is nothing fierce about a Shih Tzu even though the name means a ‘little lion’. Bred by Tibetan monks and gifted to the Chinese Royal court they are now one of the most popular dogs in the world.

Poodles are the mere reflection of a life filled with luxury and leisure. Don’t let their present appearance mask their true past! Poodles were used as working dogs to fetch waterfowl. Even their name comes from the German word ‘pudelin’ – ‘a splash in the water’.

We will go through the following traits of the Shih-Poo:

  1. Trainability
  2. Exercise/Strength
  3. Temperament
  4. Leadership
  5. Health
  6. Grooming/Coat
  7. Size
  8. Cost

Shih-Poo is a very cuddly small dog breed and a great companion for any dog lover. They are considered to be a designer breed, but can easily be found in rescues or shelters.

After we explain the most significant traits of this crossbreed and possibly convince you to get one, choose to adopt instead of shopping.

A breeder selling this dog breed would guarantee you his/her puppies inherited the best traits from both breeds. But the game of traits is a gamble and you never know what you are getting – no one can guarantee you!

Trainability – Are Shih Poos Smart Dogs?

Predicting Shih-Poo’s trainability can be a bit hard, even though this mix can be very smart. The main problem is the marginal response to training by both of the parents.

Shih Tzu Poodle mix with gray curly hair, a black nose and brown around the mouth.

Shih-Tzus are quite stubborn and that can make training them a hustle. Although intelligent, they refuse to obey commands that don’t seem appealing to them.

If you want to achieve something, grant them a lot of attention. On the contrary, Poodles enjoy having their minds and bodies tested so will learn everything there is to know very fast.

Your Shih-Poo might not be the best training candidate, especially with dominant Shin-Tzu traits. However, starting the training early and implementing consistency and positive reinforcement will eventually provide results. 

Exercise/Strengths

Shih-Tzus have a moderate energy level. They are not lazy and would rather go out for a walk, but don’t expect them to flash around the dog park without stopping.

Their ideal exercise time is approximately half an hour walking daily, possibly in two separate sessions. Sometimes additional exercises can be added if you want them to lose weight.

At least an hour of exercise is what can keep your poodle satisfied. This hour can be filled either with intense walking, a game of fetch, or other rousing games.

It’s best when you combine more activities and keep them entertained. Lack of physical and mental stimulation in Poodles can result in destructive behavior.

For a Shih-Poo it’s very important to evaluate whether the dog finds the exercise sessions hard or insufficient. Excessive barking, digging, and chewing are signs of boredom and excess energy.

Another thing to look out for is your dog’s body condition. Obesity can mean that your dog is more of a Poodle in means of exercise and needs to spend time out a lot more. But if the dog decides to rather sleep for hours in your lap there’s not much you can do.

Recommended Reading: Exercise Chart By Age For Your Pup

Are Shih Poos Aggressive?

Shih Poos are not inherently aggressive at all. However, as with many small dog breeds, training is often neglected at the expense of a wildly barking and untrained dog.

There is no doubt that a Shih-Poo can be madly in love with his family and all life regardless.

Whether they are friendly with other animals and people can also reflect their early socialization. Besides a tool to alert his owners, a Shih-Poo can excessively bark for attention or a missed meal and won’t stop until you start training on this specific issue.

Small Shih-Poo with a white and light brown coat looks at something off-screen.

Shih-Tzu dogs are very affectionate and there nothing more they love than following their owners from place to place (even the bathroom). They are made to be companion dogs and are generally happy beings.

If they think there is something out of the ordinary (ex. newcomers) they will start to alert. After the stranger comes in they will be best friends with the dog in a matter of minutes.

Poodles strive toward the protective temperament. They are wary of strangers and will let you know that strangers approach their house.

A Poodle is an affectionate dog too, but it can take a while to get used to new people, or not get used at all. Without any distraction, they are calm when their family is around.

Leadership

If you have your training system in place, Shih Tzu Poodle mixes are good at following their leader but don’t expect them to be very easy just because of their tiny size and cute looks.

Shih-Tzus are a bit contradictory when it comes to the following leadership. Being stubborn they might decide not to do something or go someplace. In the meantime, they are dependent on their owners and cannot spend a minute without them.

When they misbehave if you try to yell at them or punish them will make things even worse because they have very sensitive feelings. Beware of their jealousy especially when you are playing with other pets or children.

The Poodle can compliment the Shih Tzu’s character or add additional stress due to their high intelligence.

Provide enough stimulation early in their lives and take the leadership badge.

You will need to show you Shih-Poo that you are the leader by using positive reinforcement. Make your dog feel safe around you, give a lot of attention, work on socialization, and no matter what traits are dominant, you will have an obedient furry friend.

Health

Because of their sensitive skin, Shih-Poos can be prone to skin and ear infections. A contributing factor can be the frequent cases of allergies within the breed. With frequent kidney problems (stones, insufficiency) it’s important to do annual check-ups.

All-white Poodle Shih Tzu mix with the typical long Shih Tzu hair around the ears.

Some bad anatomical formations can produce musculoskeletal abnormalities such as patellar luxation or hip dysplasia. Retained baby teeth, gum disease, and periodontal disease are also a result of anatomical abnormalities in Shih-Tzus.

While generally healthy, Poodles are prone to some rather difficult conditions involving the adrenal glands – Cushing and Addison’s disease. Another hormonal disease Poodles often develop is Diabetes.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or simply called bloat is common in deep-chested dogs such as the Poodles. The condition is very serious. You can reduce the risk of developing if you limit exercises after meals and give smaller and frequent portions of food and water.

If the Shih-Poo inherits the Shih-Tzu anatomy there is a big chance for the dog to suffer from dysplasia, retained baby teeth, and any other breathing problem brachycephalic dogs have.

Both Poodles and Shih Tzus have a life expectancy of around 13 years and Poodles. A Shih-Tzu cross-breed dog can live 12-15 years. Depending on factors such as genetics, nutrition, and lifestyle dogs of this breed can live even longer.

Do Shih Poos Shed?

Yes, Shih Poos do shed and there are a lot of varieties of Shih-Poo coats. Some dogs get the straight fur from the Tzu parent while others are curly like their Poodle predecessor. In most cases, the crossbreed will be a combination of both.

Shih-Poos have to be brushed daily and groomed on monthly basis. Along with bathing when necessary, you can prevent their coat from getting dry, matted, and irritated.

Both Poodles and Shih-Tzus are considered to be hypoallergenic dog breeds. Their hair is less likely to shed and cause allergic reactions in people.

Don’t be fooled though as there is no such as thing as 100% hypoallergenic.

An interesting thing about Shih Tzus is the way their hair grows in all directions – this granted them the moniker Chrysanthemum Dog.

Regarding color, they can be in all variations and combinations – brindle, black, brown, white.

Size

Shih Tzu Poodle mixes are usually 8-11 inches (20-28cm) and weigh between 9-16 pounds (4-7kg), assuming the dog is crossed with a smaller Poodle.

The size in Shih-Poo dogs isn’t precise, but you can expect the pup to be small-sized. Both of the parents fall under different breed categories and that’s the decisive factor on how big the Ship-Poo will turn out to be.

Standard Shih Tzu dogs have an adult height between 8 and 11 inches (20-28 cm) and weigh 9-16 pounds (4-7 kg). There is also the Imperial Shih Tzu that can weigh less than 5 pounds (2.2 kg). In most countries, they are classified as a toy dog breed.

Adult Toy Poodle is about 10 inches (25 cm) tall with 6-9 pounds (3-4 kg) of body weight – Standard Poodle stands are 15 inches (38 cm) in height and 45-70 pounds (20-32 kg) weight.

There are 4 different types of poodle – toy, miniature, medium, standard.

How Much Does Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Cost?

The shelters across the globe are filled with Shih-Tzu and Poodle crosses. Even though it’s a relatively small dog, it does require a lot of attention and grooming to keep him healthy.

Many people that fell for their cuteness but failed to meet the dog’s needs gave them away. With a lot Shih-Poo dogs in rescues, it’s smart and humane to adopt one instead of buying it.

The price for adopting a Shih Poo puppy can be around $300 to $600. The dog is perfect for both larger and smaller homes and families with children if socialized properly.

So now you have all the facts if you’re thinking about getting a Shih-Tzu Poodle mix. Let me know if you have any questions left regarding this crossbreed!

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About Danielle
I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.