The Shih Poo: A Complete Guide

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The Shih Poo is a loving and energetic little designer dog. His zest for life is intoxicating.

A mix of the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, he’ll have everyone in the family running around, chasing a ball alongside him.

Although the Shih Poo does not need plenty of exercise, he sure gets spirited when he wants to play.

Shih Poos will race around the house or run around the yard; it doesn’t matter much to him.

He makes a great family dog for people residing in small apartments and those who live in the suburbs with large backyards, making him quite flexible to different living situations.

Always a clown, the Shih Poo seems to have a way of cheering people up and making even the saddest person smile.

A cute little Shih Poo on a table
The Shih Poo is great with children.

He has a magnetic personality, and people of all ages are drawn to him. Choose a Shih Poo if you have older children who understand how to handle a dog carefully.

Toddlers can be awkward and may hurt a Shih Poo unless you are always around to supervise their playtime.

Shih Poos are smart, but they can be stubborn. To train them effectively, you’ll need to figure out how to motivate them.

This usually involves food rewards or inspiring him to believe that everything is his idea and not yours.

At their best, Shih Poos are playful, friendly, and affectionate. They are always happy to sit on a lap and give a little love.

For their size, they are courageous and make excellent watchdogs, but they can be on the yappy side.

Shih Poo Puppies – Before You Buy…

What Price are Shih Poo Puppies?

The price of Shih Poo puppies is anywhere between $750 to $2,500.

How to Find Reputable Shih Poo Breeders?

If you choose to purchase a Shih Poo, select a breeder who has done health testing on them to ensure that they will not carry the genetic diseases common to their Shih Tzu and Poodle parent dogs.

If you are going to pay several hundred dollars for a dog, you should get your money’s worth.

Buying from a breeder who is knowledgeable and responsible enough to get health certifications, even for a Shih Poo, is the best way to do that.

While there are no guarantees in life, it’s also a good way to minimize the possibility of big veterinary bills in the future.

Avoid breeders who are only interested in how quickly they can pass on the puppy to you and whether you have the money to buy it.

You should also bear in mind that buying a puppy from websites that offer to ship your dog to you immediately can be a risky venture.

Use the internet. Many websites can help you locate a Shih Poo in your area. Social media is another great way to find the Shih Poo that you desire.

Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for one so that your online friends and their friends can help you locate a good breeder.

Reach out to the local dog experts. Talk to the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Shih Poo.

This includes veterinarians, dog sitters, dog walkers, dog groomers, and dog rescue workers.

When you do locate a breeder, make sure that you ask about the Shih Poo’s energy level, how he is around other dogs and household pets, and how he responds to people.

Ask about the Shih Poo’s personality and their ability to be housetrained. More importantly, ask about any known health issues.

Make sure that you have a good contract with the breeder that spells out responsibilities on both sides.

3 Little-Known Facts About Shih Poo Puppies

  1. The Shih Poo is also known as Shoodle, Shitzpooh, Shihpooh, Shi Poo, Shi-Poo, and Shipoo.
  2. The Shih Poo originated in the United States to create a hypoallergenic dog small enough to be a lapdog and carry around on errands.
  3. The Shih Poo can be expected to have traits and characteristics of both breeds, but it’s impossible to predict in what combination!

Physical Traits of the Shih Poo

A white Shih Poo looking up
The Shih Poo gets his behavioral traits from his parent breeds.

The Shih Poo will typically be a very small dog, with an average weight of 13 to 20 pounds.

His coat will vary based on the traits that he inherits. It can be curly, silky, short, or long. It can be seen in coat colors of white, black, brown, or gray.

His amber eyes will usually be round, sparkling with mischief. He will be a very cute combination of his parents and he will look like a very huggable teddy bear.

The Shih Poo will require brushing every day. Without it, his hair can get tangled and matted.

Particular attention should be paid to his hindquarters, behind his ears, and underneath his shoulders.

Some find it helpful to visit a professional groomer about four times a year for a trim to put his coat back in tiptop shape.

Fortunately, the Shih Poo does not shed much. He may suffer from tearing problems, so have his eyes checked regularly and clean them when necessary.

His ears should also be cleaned and checked every week. As with all dogs, his teeth should also be brushed several times a week and his nails should be clipped as needed.

How Big is a Full-Grown Shih Poo?

The Shih Poo stands at 8 to 13 inches in height and weighs 8 to 18 lbs.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Shih Poo?

The life expectancy of the Shih Poo is 10 to 15 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Shih Poo

A Shih Poo enjoying sitting with a cup of tea
The Shih Poo does not need much exercise.

Shih Poos are playful and energetic dogs. They love chasing balls, playing with squishy toys, or dragging stuffed animals all over the house.

Generally, the Shih Poo makes a great playmate for older and more responsible children, but he will not tolerate harsh handling or hair pulling.

Because the Shih Poo is a mixed breed, he can be warm and affectionate toward strangers, or reserved and shy.

He loves to cuddle with his owners and expects to sleep in bed with them at night. The Shih Poo loves to hear himself bark. He could listen to his voice all day long.

Training him to be quiet on command can be challenging. But it’s important if you want to keep your sanity and avoid irking your neighbors.

The Shih Poo’s Diet

Shih Poos need to be fed a high-quality diet of dry dog food.

Dry kibble is essential because Shih Poos tend to have dental problems, including premature tooth loss. Dry food can help prevent this as well as gum disease and bad breath.

This crossbreed tends to overeat, so careful monitoring of the Shih Poo’s caloric intake is important to his overall health and well-being.

How Much Exercise Does a Shih Poo Need?

Although a very active breed, the Shih Poo does not need a lot of exercise. Short but vigorous walks in the morning and evening are enough to keep him fit.

He will happily run around the home playing with a ball or other toys.

Playing in the backyard with the kids or running around in the dog park with other dogs will also be enjoyed by your 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 his health.

Shih Poo Health and Conditions

Dental problems are prevalent in the Shih Poo. He can also have skin and eye issues.

Shih Poos are predisposed to intervertebral disk disease, hypothyroidism, renal dysplasia, patellar luxation, Von Willebrand’s disease, and lung disorders.

Cleft palate has also been diagnosed in this crossbreed.

Child Safety

Although the Shih Poo is an adorable and affectionate little friend, there remains a question mark over how well they deal with children.

Famous for loving attention, these dogs can get a little jealous and sulky if their masters lavish attention on children instead of their pets, and it can be tough to find a balance.

However, a Shih Poo will seldom, almost never, attack anyone in your family, children included, unless severely provoked.

This is partly why especially young children, clumsy kids, or toddlers who don’t know much about dogs, are advised to steer clear of the breed.

However, many dog owners find that gently introducing the Shih Poo and the toddler or young child to one another under close supervision, early in life, helps them naturally bond without any rivalries or primal resentments forming.

It’s also worth noting that older children, teenagers and so forth are all fine for the Shih Poo, and often prove wonderful friends to the animal.

It makes sense – older kids are more independent, so they aren’t competing with the dog’s master for attention and time to play.

As a general rule, a Shih Poo is a dog well suited to a family – just keep these diva-like attitudes in mind and watch your dog carefully.

Ensure both your children and your dog know that any misbehaving won’t be tolerated and that everyone has to get along.

If especially young and resentful of one another, kids and the Shih Poo can get into pranks and getting one over on one another – nip this in the bud as soon as possible.

My Final Thoughts on the Shih PooThe Shih Poo with its tongue out

Opening your heart and home to a crossbreed is like opening a beautifully wrapped package on your birthday.

You never know what’s going to be inside.

The way genes combine and exhibit themselves is not always within the breeder’s control, especially with two different breeds.

That’s something to consider before you part with your cash for a dog that you have been assured will be healthier than a purebred.

The Shih Poo will get his behavioral traits from the parent breeds, the spirited Shih Tzu and the smart Poodle.

The Shih Poo will be affectionate and intelligent, enjoying time with his humans.

He will do well with children and other animals, but they not appreciate hair pulling or being handled roughly.

He can exhibit stubborn behavior sometimes, especially when it comes to training.

But this can be remedied with regular obedience classes. Give him the chance to shine and learn that discipline and structure can be enjoyable.

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