The result of a poodle mix with a Shih Tzu is commonly referred to as a Shih-poo or Poodle-Shih Tzu mix. The Shih-poo combines the best qualities of its parent breeds to bring forth an intelligent and affectionate canine that could be your next pet.
The Shih-poo was first bred in North America and is a fairly recent breed. Its poodle parent traces its origins to Germany and the Shih Tzu is from Chinese royalty.
If you have the Shih-Poo in mind when thinking about getting a dog, then this article is for you. Here, you will read about the physical traits, temperament, and care of your pet.
We’ve also written about the Poodle-terrier mix.
What does the Shih-Poo look like?
The Shih-Poo is cute and cuddly. It is even referred to as the “teddy bear dog”. The appearance of a Shih-poo is determined by both parents. This means some of them can look more like the Shih Tzu and some of them can look more like a poodle. Some of them will have a short and curly coat like a poodle and others may have a silky and straight coat.
Other Shih-Poos will have a combination of silky and curly fur.
The coat color cannot be predicted. Some of the most common colors are white, brown, gray, black, red, or tawny.
The Shih-poo is a small dog, so it will not grow to be very heavy. Here is a chart showing the weight of the Shih-poo for the first year of life:
|Age:||Minimum weight (Pounds)||Maximum weight (pounds)|
The Shih-poo also grows to a height of between 8 and 15 inches.
Poodle-Shih Tzu Mix temperament
The Shih-poo is a compassionate and intelligent breed. It is playful and full of energy. You will rarely find your Shih-poo cuddled on the couch. They are always playing with a ball, a chew toy, or with someone.
You should note that although they get along well with children of all ages, it is not advisable to leave them unsupervised around toddlers and infants. This is because they might want to pull the dog’s fluffy hair and Shih-poos do not take well to that.
They also relate well to other family pets like cats and dogs. It is best if you introduce them to each other while the Shih-poo is still young.
They are also very gentle and sweet-natured. This affectionate nature is extended to strangers as well- some say a Shih-poo can even cuddle a robber. They also love to cuddle and be around their owners.
More often than not, a Shih-poo will have such a temperament. You should note, however, that their temperament will also depend on that of their mother and the environment that it is being raised in.
Their intelligence makes them very easy to train for some areas, like house training. They are stubborn, though, and may take a bit of time to learn some commands, such as keeping quiet on cue. This might come in handy since they love to bark and can do this on end. You will therefore need some effort (and lots of treats) before your dog gets it.
Training your Shih-poo should start as early as when they are eight weeks old. At this age, their minds are young and ready to learn everything.
Poodle-Shih Tzu Mix Diet
Shih-poos are prone to dental issues. For this reason, they should be fed mostly dry dog food/ kibble. Dog food occurs in different categories so you should ensure you have chosen the one that is appropriate for your pet’s size, age, and how active they are.
Shih-poos also tend to overeat. This means, whatever you put in the food bowl, no matter how much, they’ll try their best to finish.
It is recommended to take the advised daily amount and split it into two portions and give these for breakfast and dinner. The daily amount will be different for each brand of kibble. You should also consult your furry friend’s vet for advice on how much food to give and also whether they will need any vitamin and mineral supplements.
Grooming your Shih-poo
As mentioned, the Shih-poo has a lot of hair that could be either fluffy, straight, or a mix of both. If your dog inherits the Shih Tzu’s silky coat, you will need to constantly brush it. This will prevent matting. If it is like the poodle’s you might need a groomer’s assistance. The groomer will trim their hair and nails, and they might clean their teeth.
Depending on where your Shih-poo plays, you might need to give them a bath in between trips to the groomers. This should be at most once a week. This will prevent their skin and fur from drying out.
Although they have plenty of hair, Shih-poos do not shed a lot of furs. They are also a hypoallergenic breed. This means that the dander produced and shed by them causes fewer allergic reactions and asthma attacks to those with dog allergies.
Common health issues with the Poodle-Shih Tzu Mix
Shih-poos are prone to a couple of health complications:
- Dental problems. They are prone to cavities and other dental issues such as the premature loss of teeth. This can be combated by feeding the dog with dry kibble and the necessary supplements. You should also brush your dog’s teeth since they cannot do it themselves. Do this at least twice or thrice weekly or every day if your Shih-poo will let you.
- Breathing problems. These can occur if your pet inherits the short Shih Tzu snout. With this and the fur on your dog, you have to constantly check that your Shih-poo is not overheating.
- Weight issues. This dog breed is prone to overfeeding. If you are not careful with the rations and exercise, you will develop weight issues that will in turn affect the bones. Ensure you give enough exercise. A brisk walk in the morning and the evening, combined with their playfulness, should do the trick.
Despite all these, with proper care and love, a Poodle-Shih Tzu mix can live for 16 years. I hope this article has given you enough information to learn how to care for your Shih-poo.
If you are interested in knowing more about dogs, you can start here: The German sheprador, Female Italian Dog Names, Spanish Dog Names, Female Dog Names In French, What to do if a Dog Bites You, Mexican Dog Breeds, Foods Toxic to Dogs, Canine Herpes, Smells That Dogs Hate, The most popular breeds of dogs, Most Expensive Dog Breeds, How to Prevent Dog Fights