- Lifespan: 10-15 years
- Group: Not Applicable
- Best Suited For: Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
- Temperament: Fun-loving, energetic, spunky, playful
Are you ready for some action, Shih-Poo style? The Shih-Poo (also known as a Shoodle) is a fun-loving and energetic little designer dog. His zest for life is intoxicating. A mix of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, he’ll have everyone in the family running around, chasing a ball alongside of him. Although he doesn’t need loads of exercise, he is spunky when he wants to play. Shih-Poos will race around the house or run around the yard; it doesn’t matter much to him. This crossbreed is a great companion for families who live in small apartments or have large backyards in the suburbs. He’s quite adaptable to a variety of living situations.
Always a clown, the Shih-Poo seems to have a way of cheering people up and making even the saddest person smile. He has a magnetic personality and people of all ages are drawn to him. To learn more about this delightful dog, please read on.
The Shih-Poo is a mix of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle breeds.
Originating in the United States, the Shih-Poo has been bred in hope of creating a new hypoallergenic dog. This cross was also meant to be small enough to sit on its owner’s lap and be easy to carry around on errands.
Poodle crosses have become increasingly popular in this age of designer dogs. Although the Shih-Poo is relatively new on the scene, breeders believe that it will become popular in the near future.
The Shih-Poo was developed by breeding a Toy Poodle with a Shih-Tzu. Most Shih-Poos right now are the result of a first generation crossbreed between two purebred parents of each breed. In the future, breeders plan to carry out a strict breeding program to include multigenerational dogs. These breedings will hopefully result in developing a new purebred dog.
Shih-Poos need to be fed a high quality diet of dry dog food. Dry kibble is essential as this crossbreed tends to have dental problems, including premature tooth loss. Dry food can help to prevent this as well as caries, gum disease and bad breath. This crossbreed has the tendency to overeat so careful monitoring of the Shih-Poo’s caloric intake is important to his overall health and well-being.
Although generally bright, the Shih-Poo is quite stubborn, especially when it comes to training.
Although generally bright, the Shih-Poo is quite stubborn, especially when it comes to training. He doesn’t feel the need to learn how to behave, do tricks or even go outdoors to use the bathroom. In order for the Shih-poo to become reliable in the house, it may take as long as one year of stringently bringing him outside until he does his business. Crate training may help cut down on this time however; many Shih-Poos don’t mind urinating and defecating in their crates.
All training should be done using positive methods. Yummy rewards and excited praise will help make training sessions go more smoothly. Shih-Poos have short attention spans so sessions should be quite short but done repetitively throughout the day.
Shih-Poos can weigh anywhere from 8 and 18 pounds and stand from 8 to 13 inches tall at the withers.
Shih-Poos are playful and energetic dogs. They love to chase after balls, play with squeaky toys or drag stuffed animals around the house with them. Generally, the Shih-Poo makes a great playmate for older, respectful children but won’t tolerate harsh handling or hair pulling. Because the Shih-Poo is a crossbreed, some are accepting and affectionate toward strangers while others are reserved or shy around them. They love to cuddle with their owners and expect to sleep in bed with them at night.
The Shih-Poo loves to hear himself bark. He could listen to his own voice all day and all night long. Training the dog to quiet on command can be difficult however; it is essential if you’d like to keep your sanity and avoid problems with your neighbors.
Common Health Problems
Dental problems are prevalent in the Shih-Poo. They also have issues with their eyes and skin. Shih-Poos are predisposed to hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, renal dysplasia, lung disorders, Von Willebrand’s Disease and Invertebral Disk Disease. Cleft palate has also been diagnosed in this crossbreed.
Because this is a relatively new crossbreed, the data is limited regarding life expectancy. Breeders believe that the average lifespan for the Shih-Poo is between 10 and 15 years.
Although energetic, the Shih-Poo doesn’t require a lot of vigorous exercise. Short but brisk walks in the morning and evening is all that is necessary to keep this spunky little guy fit. He will happily run around the home playing with a ball or other toys. Romping and playing in a grassy backyard with children or racing around a dog park with his canine pals is also appreciated by the Shih-Poo. This is not a hybrid breed that will enjoy jogging or hiking with his owners. Playing is great but too much exertion is counterproductive to the Shih-Poo’s health.
Shih-Poos are playful and energetic dogs.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Shih-Poo as a true breed of purebred dog. The registry organizations that do recognize the Shih-Poo as a crossbreed are the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, Inc., International Designer Canine Registry and the Designer Breed Registry.
Shih-Poos’ coats can be long and silky or short and curly or even somewhere in between. Colors are as various as those in the rainbow. Major differences in coat style and color can occur within the same litter of Shih-Poo puppies.
Brushing is essential and should be done at least twice weekly. The Shih-Poo’s coat might need seasonal trimming; it all depends upon the type of coat the particular dog has. Bathing is necessary each month as he may develop skin issues.
Shih-Poo pups are cute and cuddly but they can also be a handful. Housetraining is time consuming and the owner must watch for signals that the puppy needs to do his business. Potty training can be difficult with this dog.
Photo credit: Strolwiki/Wikimedia; ribeiroantonio/Bigstock
More info on how to care for your Shih-Poo:
Shih-Poo Grooming: Understanding Your Dog’s Special Grooming Needs
Shih-Poo Feeding: How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Dog?
Shih-Poo Training: 6 Tips On Teaching Your Dog To Come When Called