Bo Shih

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
fast facts

About Bo Shih

12-18 lb
12-16 inches
12-15 years
Best Suited For
active families with older kids and other pets, owners who work from home, those looking for a watchdog
curious, playful, eager-to-please, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier
Bo Shih Basics

The perky little Bo Shih brings together the feisty spirit of the Shih Tzu and the often-stubborn personality of the Boston Terrier for a fun, playful companion dog that is highly entertaining and always loyal to his human pack.

The perky Bo Shih combines the feisty Shih Tzu with the headstrong Boston Terrier for a fun little dog.


The Bo Shih’s parent breeds include the Boston Terrier who originated in America around the mid- to late 1800s and the Shih Tzu which has been traced back to the year 800 in Tibet and China. That said, the Bo Shih’s history is much more recent – likely the 1980s when breeders first began crossing pure-bred dogs to create Designer Dogs. This dog was developed to produce pups free of the genetic health issues that can plague pure-bred parents and to introduce desirable qualities such as gentler personalities, smaller sizes and non-shedding characteristics.


As a Designer Dog, the Bo Shih isn’t eligible to join the elite American Kennel Club (AKC) roster of pure-breds however both parent breeds are members. The Boston Terrier joined the “non-sporting” group back in 1893 while the Shih Tzu became a member of their “toy” group in 1969.


The Bo Shih’s small size and moderate energy level will guide you towards his ideal food. Choose a nutrient-rich kibble that is designed for his age, size and activity regimen and because this dog can be prone to gaining weight, plan to feed him 2 to 3 times a day versus allowing him to free-feed. Avoid foods with fillers that may cause him to overeat to feel full and keep treats to a minimum. This pooch may experience joint issues later in life and keeping him fit and healthy early on is important.

The Bo Shih thrives on human companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety.


The Bo Shih can be a challenge when it comes to house-breaking so patience will be needed along with a firm, consistent approach that includes plenty of rewards when “mission accomplished”. This little dog makes a great family pet but will need socialization at a young age to ensure he knows how to play nice with kids and other animals.


The Bo Shih will weigh between 12 and 18 pounds once he reaches adulthood.


The Bo Shih is an alert little dog that is highly intuitive to his owner’s emotions and extremely loyal to his family which makes him an ideal watchdog. This pooch loves to be the center of attention, thrives on human companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety when left on his own for too long. The Terrier in him means early socialization is important for him to get along with kids and other animals and because both parent breeds are known to be head-strong, expect this dog to have a little attitude and require patience.

Common Health Problems

As a Designer Dog, the Bo Shih will typically be free of the health issues that can often plague his pure-bred parents. However, it’s important to know what your new pup could inherit down the line and with the Bo Shih that can include joint issues including patellar luxation.

Life Expectancy

The Bo Shih’s life expectancy is typical of that for smaller dogs – between 12 and 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

This pooch is an ideal choice for apartment living because he doesn’t require a great deal of exercise or access to a backyard to keep him happy and healthy. A couple of good daily walks and interactive indoor playtime are sufficient. He can become bored, restless and destructive if his activity needs aren’t met so plan to mix up walks with visits to a dog park where he can burn off a little steam.

The Bo Shih is highly intuitive to his owner’s emotions and extremely loyal to his family.

Recognized Clubs

Also known as the Bo-Shih and BoShih, the Bo Shih’s cross breed status means he cannot join the American Kennel Club (AKC) roster of pure-breds however he is recognized by Designer Breed Registry (DBR), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).


Get out the vacuum because the Bo Shih is a heavy-shedding dog. A light daily brushing should be sufficient to keep his long, silky hair in check and ensure this handsome boy looks his best. Professional grooming isn’t required however his ears need to be inspected and cleaned weekly to avoid potential infection. Teeth brushing can be done at home and should include 2 to 3 sessions per week to help prevent periodontal disease.


Bo Shih pups can grow into stubborn little dogs that are loyal to their owner but don’t play well with other animals and kids. To bring out the best in this pooch, early socialization is important with obedience training and pack leader establishment while he is still young. Because he may be prone to joint issues later in life, exercise should be taken in moderation until he is older.

Photo credit: NcikName/Shutterstock

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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