Learn what to look for in a dog toothbrush and see our top picks!
brown shih poo laying in a blue dog bed

A Comprehensive Guide to Shih Poo: Everything You Should Know

Calming Dog Ad

Shih Poo Breed Overview

Shih Poo’s are lively, friendly, loving at their finest, and are always willing to sit in a lap and give a little love. As per the size of their parent breeds, they often weigh 7 to 20 pounds. They are brave and make good watchdogs for their size, but they may be a bit yappy.

History of the Shih Poo

Shih Poos are a hybrid of a Shih Tzu and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. They may have a Poodle’s curly coat or a Shih Tzu’s long, straight coat, but it always has a sweet, attentive look and a muscular physique.

Although the two breeds that make up the Shih Poo have well-documented and intriguing histories, the Shih Poo is a comparatively new hybrid, and the history books on it have yet to be written. On the other hand, the Shih Tzu, which is said to have originated in Tibet and was bred by Tibetan lamas, is one of the oldest living breeds.

Size of the Shih Poo

Shih Poos are little dogs that are between eight and eighteen inches at the withers and weigh between eight and eighteen pounds. Shih Poo’s might have extended coats, straight and silky like a Shih Tzu’s, or shorter and curly like a Poodle’s, or it can be a hybrid of the two.

The Temperament of Shih Poo

Mixed-breed dogs frequently acquire a temperament that combines the traits of both parent breeds. For example, Shih Tzus are friendly and fascinating dogs, but they have a stubborn streak that can make them difficult to train. On the other hand, Poodles are incredibly clever dogs who are more eager to please and easier to train. They are equally appealing with lively and comic personalities. Shih Poos are frequently lively, friendly, and quick-witted little charmers as a consequence, yet they may acquire the stubbornness of their Shih Tzu parents. As a result, they frequently require a stern yet patient teaching guide.

The Shih Poo will be energetic and play with plush toys and balls. This hybrid gets along well with children and other animals. However, they don’t like having their hair pulled or roughed up, which might be a problem if children are in the house. Their pleasant demeanor and desire to be close to people make them an excellent choice. The Shih Poo may be obstinate at times, especially when training. Bring your Shih Poo to obedience courses every alternate day, this will allow them to shine and teach them that training can be enjoyable.

close up of a blonde shih poo

The Intelligence of the Shih Poo

Hundreds of words have been learned, and dogs have been known to guess what people and other dogs are thinking.

Shih Poos have a moderate to high energy level, and their intelligence is above average. They’re not precisely lazy. Shih Poos are intelligent, yet they may be stubborn. You’ll need to figure out how to encourage them to train them effectively. Food rewards are frequently used to convince the dog that what you want him to do is its idea. Shih Poos have a moderate activity level that you can adjust to fit your needs.

You can always train a misbehaving Shih Poo or get them on basic obedience training. However, if you’re gone for 12 hours a day, and your dog’s walk is just a fast sprint into the backyard, you’re not giving him enough opportunities to expend all of his energy. Instead, the surplus will be used to chew your shoes, steal your food, or scratch your walls.

There are advantages to both home and group training. For example, some personal trainers will come to your home and provide one-on-one instruction. In addition, some dog owners choose to train their canines themselves.

Do Shih Poo Puppies Shed?

Shih Poos have thick, silky coats. While they don’t shed a lot, they need to be groomed and trimmed regularly. Bonus: most Shih Poo puppies are hypoallergenic to some extent.

Given the influence of their Poodle genes, Shih Poo can be hypoallergenic. According to the American Kennel Club, there is no such thing as a perfectly hypoallergenic dog. On the other hand, the American Kennel Club recommends 19 breeds as being more hypoallergenic. While the Poodle is a hypoallergenic breed, Shih Tzus shed. As a result, there’s no guarantee that your Shih Poo won’t shed.

Shih Poos, as previously stated, are modest shedders because of their Poodle parentage. However, Shih Tzus shed, so be prepared for some shedding if you get a member of this mix breed.

It does, however, require grooming every 4 to 6 weeks. In addition, your Shih Poo may need a haircut every few months to keep their hair from dragging on the ground.

shih poo standing in front of a blue wooden wall

The Health of your Shih Poo

While many crossbreeds have improved their overall health, they can get some health problems inherited from their parent breed. On the other hand, Shih Poos can live for an average of 16 years in relatively good health.

Get your Shih Poo puppy on a nutritional diet of dry or moistened food with balanced ingredients made exclusively for small breed puppies rather than adult dog food.

Shih Poos can have health problems that affect Shih Tzus and Poodles. Luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and eye issues including entropion, cataracts, or progressive retinal atrophy are among them.

Common Psychological Health Conditions in Shih Poo

Stress

A variety of factors can cause stress in Shih Poos. Tucked ears and tails, increased hackles, excessive yawning and panting, as well as whale eyes, are all symptoms. Growling is a stress symptom, and if your Shih Poo is agitated, they may growl. Giving incorrect commands, staring straight at a dog, and unnecessarily punishing your Shih Poo can all cause discomfort in your Shih Poo.

You can help your Shih Poo cope with stress by employing various approaches. For example, refrain from over-counseling them, move them away from the source of their stress to a peaceful area where they may rest, and make them work by assigning them a task. Typical commands also keep the dog’s attention and create a sense of predictability.

So, if you’re concerned that your dog doesn’t have enough room or that the kids are stressing them out, remember that in the long run, it all comes down to one simple factor: the quality of your relationship with your dog and how much time you spend playing together to burn off steam.

Shih Poo's are lively, friendly, loving at their finest, and are always willing to sit in a lap and give a little love. As per the size of their parent breeds, they often weigh 7 to 20 pounds. They are brave and make good watchdogs for their size, but they may be a bit yappy.

Anxiety

Although all dogs experience anxiety occasionally, if the anxiety becomes overwhelming, the dog may develop an anxiety disorder.

Because companion dogs not only want but also need to be with people, some Shih Poos become uncomfortable when their owners leave, resulting in separation anxiety.

Shih Poos despise being left alone and are frequently upset when their owners leave. Even the sight of you getting ready to go could make your dog nervous. Your Shih Poos may exhibit anxiety behaviors such as pacing, whimpering, trembling, and excessive barking.

When stressed, Shih Poos engage in destructive actions such as chewing or digging, especially around doors or windows. Household accidents in dogs, such as peeing or defecating with salivation, drooling, or excessive panting, are also anxiety signs.

cute shih poo laying on a wood floor

Calming Dog Products

Everything from fireworks to thunderstorms has the potential to affect a Shih Poo’s mental and emotional well-being. Calming dog products, combined with correct environmental management, constructive reinforcement training, and counterconditioning, may help your Shih Poo calm down.

An oil-based supplement can assist if your dog refuses to eat calming treats or has an adverse reaction to them. Calming dog collars can also help your Shih Poo feel less stressed. These drug-free collars mimic the pheromones generated by a nursing mother dog. Finally, a slow feeder helps anxious dogs relax and appreciate a reward. However, you should consult your vet before you try a new product on your dog.

Common Physical Health Conditions in Shih Poo

Hip Dysplasia in the Shih Poo

Hip dysplasia in Shih Poo is a frequent skeletal ailment that most commonly affects gigantic breed dogs, but it can also affect smaller breeds.

This painful health condition can dramatically diminish a dog’s quality of life and is tough to watch for owners. The good news is that practicing proper dog ownership and learning about potential health issues such as hip dysplasia can go an extended way toward ensuring your Shih Poo’s comfort.

Hip dysplasia is a disorder in which the thigh bone (femur) ball can migrate partially out of the hip socket because the socket is poorly formed or the ligaments are weak. It causes discomfort and dysfunction by causing the hip joint to loosen. Furthermore, as Shih Poo grows, the cartilage and bone in the hip begin to wear away.

Hip dysplasia in Shih Poos can be caused by excess weight, strenuous or continuous exercise before maturity, a rapid development rate, and high-calorie or supplemented diets.

Although canine hip dysplasia is an inherited disorder, environmental circumstances can influence it. The joint degenerates over time, resulting in arthritis, pain, and possibly lameness.

Products

A Shih Poo with hip dysplasia can get veterinary-approved glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements.

Calming Dog Ad
white fluffy shih poo laying on a rock

 

 Hip and Joint Health Options We Love

  1. VetIQ Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs, Chicken Flavored Soft Chews, 180 Count
  2. VetIQ Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs, Chicken Flavored Soft Chews, 180 Count
    $22.99
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:15 am GMT
  3. PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs, 90 Count
  4. PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs, 90 Count
    $9.99
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:08 am GMT

Hypothyroidism in the Shih Poo

Hypothyroidism happens when your dog’s thyroid hormones are not secreted in sufficient amounts, causing his metabolism to stall.

Hypothyroidism is caused by the direct destruction of the thyroid gland in 95% of cases. The collapse of the thyroid gland is mainly caused by lymphocytic thyroiditis or idiopathic thyroid atrophy. Cancer and congenital abnormalities are two less common causes of hypothyroidism.

All of your Shih Poo’s organ systems are affected by low thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism symptoms are all primarily due to your dog’s slowed metabolism.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, hypothyroidism is one of the most over-diagnosed disorders in dogs. Such is since various disorders can cause hypothyroidism. Thyroid medicine can even help with some diseases or clinical symptoms. Other conditions that impact thyroid levels but aren’t hypothyroidism affect thyroid levels. Thereby it can make a thyroid disease challenging to diagnose, so be patient as you work with your veterinarian to figure out what’s causing your dog’s symptoms.

Products

Fish, poultry, and beef are the ideal foods for your Shih Poo’s hypothyroidism because they all encourage lean muscle mass. For example, Salmon oil and chicken fat are animal-based lipids that will provide your dog with a boost of energy.

Patellar Luxation in the Shih Poo

luxating patella in Shih Poo is a frequent ailment in which the patella (kneecap) moves laterally, or luxates, away from its natural position in front of the knee. A dislocated kneecap is another name for it. A luxating patella in a dog usually occurs inward or toward the other hind limb, about 75% of the time.

The rapid elevation of one hind limb is the prominent sign of a luxating patella in dogs that are not typically observed with other disorders. When this happens, some dogs will howl, while others will show no symptoms of distress. A luxating patella in dogs is usually inherited and is caused by the affected dogs’ unique knee structure. In addition, trauma can produce luxation in some circumstances.

brown shih poo puppy laying on a couch

Products

Weight loss and brief activity limitation are two treatments for patellar luxation. The amount of exercise your Shih Poo is allowed depends on the severity of their ailment. Joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin are essential for maintaining your dog’s bone and joint health since they both act together to support healthy collagen formation in the cartilage, giving your dog’s joints additional protection.

Oral Health of the Shih Poo

Dental health is an essential component of your dog’s overall health and should not be disregarded. The case is especially true if you have a Shih Poo, as they are more prone to dental issues than other breeds. Following are some types of products that can help you keep your puppy’s teeth healthy and shiny.

Dental Diets

Dental diets are larger kibbles that require more chewing and do not break easily. In addition, the kibble texture provides a brushing motion against the tooth of your Shih Poo puppy as they bite down on it, which helps clean their teeth.

Rawhide Chews

The inner cow or horse hides layer is used to make rawhide chews. The hides are cleaned and chopped or ground throughout the production process. Then they’re pressed into various shapes and sizes of chewable dog treats. The dangers are minimal given the amount of rawhide consumed by dogs each year.

Edible Chews

There are various edible chews available on the market today that are digestible and not too rough on the teeth, making them safer for dogs. In addition, tiny bristle-like projections are raised during regular chewing, which assists in cleaning teeth. However, it’s vital to remember that even significant bits from digestible chews can induce gastrointestinal distress or blockage.

shih poo wearing a pink bow while standing on a deck

 

 Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews Based On Size

  1. Merial Oravet Dental Hygiene Chew For Dogs (10-24 Lbs), Dental Treats For Dogs, 30 Count
  2. Merial Oravet Dental Hygiene Chew For Dogs (10-24 Lbs), Dental Treats For Dogs, 30 Count
    $28.99
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:13 am GMT
  3. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Medium Dogs 25-50 lbs
  4. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Medium Dogs 25-50 lbs
    $37.99
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 03:53 am GMT
  5. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs
  6. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs
    $45.99 ($1.53 / Count)
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:13 am GMT

VOHC-approved Products and Recommendations

Prescription Diet® Canine t/d®: Original Bites, Prescription Diet® Canine t/d®: Small Bites, Science Diet® Oral Care for Dogs as the dental diets

Member’ Mark Dental Treats, Purina Busy HeartyHide Chew Treats as the rawhide chews.

C.E.T.® VEGGIEDENT® Flex Chews for Dogs, C.E.T.® VEGGIEDENT® FR3SH Chews for Dogs, all sizes, and Improved Milk-Bone Brushing Chews for Dogs, VetIQ Minties Medium Dog Dental Treat as the edible chews options.

 VOHC-approved Products We Love

Needs of the Shih Poo Puppy

Exercise

The Shih-activity Poo’s needs will vary depending on the dog’s breed and the features they inherited from their parents. The Shih Poo, while lively, does not require a lot of strenuous exercises. Only short, quick walks in the morning and evening are required to keep this energetic little dog in shape. They will cheerfully run about the house with a ball or other toys the rest of the time. The Shih Poo will enjoy romping and playing in a grassy garden with children or racing around a dog park with their canine companions.

The Shih Poo is not a hybrid breed that will like going for a jog or a hike with its owners. That’s excessive. If you love being a particularly active dog owner, keep in mind that while playing is enjoyable, excessive activity is harmful to the Shih Poo’s health.

Exercise Options We Love

  1. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds When Rolled or Shaken, Pets Know Best, As Seen On TV
  2. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds When Rolled or Shaken, Pets Know Best, As Seen On TV
    $14.99
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:16 am GMT
  3. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy Blue/Orange, 16 Inch Compact Blaster with 1 Ball
  4. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy Blue/Orange, 16 Inch Compact Blaster with 1 Ball
    $12.99
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:06 am GMT

Nutrition

A Shih Poo diet should be designed for a bit of breed with medium energy levels. They should eat high-quality food because they tend to suffer dental problems. They shouldn’t be allowed to eat whenever they want since they might gain weight. With a minimum of rewards, a feeding plan is excellent.

The Shih Poo’s dietary requirements will change from puppyhood through adulthood and continue to evolve into their senior years, as they do with all dogs. Because there is just too much variance among individual dogs—including weight, energy, and health—to provide a specific prescription, you should seek your veterinarian for advice on your Shih-food.

Shih Poo puppies tend to overeat no matter what food they put in their bowl. As a result, it’s critical to keep track of the caloric intake of your Shih Poo for their overall health and well-being. Allowing them to free-feed is not a good idea. They will undoubtedly overeat. Take their daily kibble and divide it into two separate meals instead. The actual amount varies depending on the manufacturer, but it’s usually less than a cup of kibble per day. Again, ask your veterinarian regarding the right amount of food for your dog, as they will have a better understanding of your dog than any kibble producer.

white fluffy shih poo yawning while laying on a rock

Grooming

The Shih Tzu, one of the parent breeds of the Shih Poo, is recognized for its gorgeous coat and winning streaks in beauty contests. When Shih Tzu is crossed with Poodle, the delicate and thin hairs of the Poodle are passed to the Shih Poo. Thereby means that shedding will be minimal, and just regular grooming and brushing, as well as occasional trims, will be required. In general, these one-of-a-kind canines are an excellent alternative for anyone who wants to avoid pet shedding.

Shih Poo isn’t a very high-maintenance dog, but they’re also not particularly low-maintenance. To keep their delicate hair from tangling and matting, these dogs will need to be brushed every day. Similarly, most Shih Poo will require frequent grooming. Thus, many pet parents prefer to take their dogs to grooming salons to save the inconvenience. However, when all factors are considered, it becomes evident that these dogs are relatively easy to care for. A Shih poo should be bathed every three weeks under normal circumstances. If your dog doesn’t get bathed as often as it should, its body’s stored oil will begin to stink.

Top Product Picks for this Breed

The following are a few of the more popular product categories for your Shih Poo puppies that ensure their well-being and comfort.

Puppy Food

Shih Poo should be fed a high-quality dry dog food diet. Dry kibble is required because this crossbreed is prone to dental issues, including premature tooth loss. In addition, cavities, gum disease, and foul breath can all be avoided with dry meals. Make sure the kibble you choose is appropriate for your Shih-age Poo’s (puppy, adult, and senior), size, and activity level. Premium small breed dog formula is usually a good fit for these tiny canines, but that will alter as they grow older and have various demands. This is why it’s essential to keep your veterinarian informed about your dog’s nutrition.

light brown shih poo puppy sitting in a basket

 Dog Food Based On Age We Love

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
  2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
    $54.00
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 02:48 am GMT
  3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
  4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
    $50.00
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 12:15 am GMT
  5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
  6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
    $60.98 ($2.03 / lb)
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/25/2022 04:23 am GMT

Crate

For the well-being and better development of your Shih Poo puppy, along with good food and exercise, you need to give them some space where they can enjoy their alone time. Crates are ideal for this practice.

Crate training corresponds to a Shih Poo’s natural tendency to use a den as sleeping quarters, a hiding spot, and a haven. Therefore, never use a crate as a punishment; instead, give your Shih Poo an area that is just big enough for him to stand and turn around in.

Crates We Love

Bed

You don’t have to pamper your dog to the point of royalty to keep them happy, but you can still offer them a comfortable pet bed. There are numerous size alternatives, but the 28 x 20″ size is usually suitable for most adult Shih Poo puppies.

Beds We Love

Harness

The safety of a harness is one of the most excellent gifts you can give to your puppy or dog. Fitting your Shih poo with a high-quality harness can help prevent painful and long-term injuries. Shih poo’s neck, throat, and chest are fragile. As a result, a harness is an excellent choice for this toy breed. In addition, harnesses for Shih poo are better able to effectively disperse the force of a leash compared to collars, which can cause strain and injury.

Harnesses We Love

Resources

a. Shih Poo Puppies Club

b. Shih Tzu Club

c. Poodle Club of America