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Shih Tzu Poodle Mix – Complete Guide 2023

The Shih Tzu Poodle mix is a fairly new but increasingly popular designer dog breed. Developed by crossing a Shih Tzu and a toy Poodle, this adorable hybrid inherited good looks and charm!

But, is a Shih Poo a good pet? The Shih Tzu Poodle mix makes a wonderful pet and companion to singles, couples, seniors, and families with older children. Shih Poos are incredibly loving, affectionate, and playful pooches that like to cuddle and spend time with their owners. They, however, don’t like to be left home alone.

Keep on reading if you are looking for a loving and playful companion dog that will never leave your side! In this article, we’ll give you a full scoop on a Shih Poo and help you decide whether this adorable pooch is a perfect match for your lifestyle! 

What Is a Shih Tzu Poodle Mix? 

As its name suggests, the Shih Tzu Poodle mix is a mixed-breed, developed by crossing a purebred Shih Tzu and a purebred toy Poodle. However, some breeders may use a miniature Poodle for this mix.

Although both parent breeds are purebred, the Shi Poo isn’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. They are, however, recognized by:

  • American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America, Inc
  • International Designer Canine Registry
  • Designer Dog Registry

This cute hybrid goes by several names including, Shih Poo, Shoodle, Pooshi, Shi Poo, Shihoo, and Shih Doodle. 

Brief History

Little is known about the exact history and origin of this mix. The most likely scenario is that breeders started crossing Shih Tzu and Poodle dog breeds to create a loyal and hypoallergenic companion dog. 

Shih Tzu

Originating in Tibet, the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest toy dogs breeds best known for its silky flowing coat and short snout. Primarily bred as companions, Shih Tzus have friendly, loyal, playful, and spunky temperaments. 


Originally from Germany, the Poodle comes in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard. Toy Poodles used to create the Shih Poo are best known for their small size and fun-loving, friendly, playful, and intelligent natures.

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix 

When you mix the two you get a Shih Poo – a moderately active small-sized dog that loves to play and entertain its family with endless silly antics. Their loyal and sweet nature makes them ideal companions to people of all ages. However, they tend to be stubborn as mules and maybe a handful for newbie dog parents. 

Characteristics of Shih Tzu Poodle Mix 

Characteristics of Shih Tzu Poodle Mix 

The Shih Tzu Poodle mix is a newer crossbreed, so it’s hard to predict how these pooches are going to look or behave. Depending on which parent it takes more after, the Shih Poo may look more like a Poodle or vice versa, or even be a perfect mix of both parent breeds. 

Shih Poo Highlights:

SizeSmall-sized dog
Weight8-18 pounds
Height8-13 inches
Coat TypeLong and silky or short and curly coat
SheddingLow shedding
Energy LevelModerate
Overall HealthVery good
Lifespan10-15 years


Shih Poos are small dogs that grow up to eight to 13 inches tall at the withers. If one of the parents is a miniature Poodle, you can expect your mix to be slightly taller than your average Shih Poo. 


These designer hybrids usually weigh between eight and 18 pounds as adults. Still, some Shi Doodles can weigh more depending on the size and weight of their parents.

Coat Color

Shih Poo coats are often a mix of coat colors seen in their parent breeds. Their coats can be solid or sport a mix of colors. 

The most commonly seen colors in this crossbreed are:

  • Black
  • White
  • Brown
  • Brindle
  • Black and white
  • Brown and white


This mix can inherit the Shih Tzu’s long and straight silky coat, or Poodle’s short and curly coat. Most Shih Poos are low shedders, which is great news if you don’t want to spend countless hours cleaning and vacuuming dog hair.

If you suffer from dog allergies, know that the Shih Poo may or may not be a hypoallergenic breed. This will depend on the type of its coat and the Poodle genes in the mix. 


As a mix of Shih Tzu and toy Poodle dog breeds, you can expect your Shih Poo to be a loyal, friendly, playful, and loving companion dog. Although these cute dogs like to play and have fun, they also love to cuddle and are ultimate lap dogs. 

Shih Poos are intelligent but stubborn dogs, which makes training and housebreaking them a real challenge. They also have short attention spans and will get tired of learning tricks and commands after just a few repetitions. 

Bred to be companions, these pooches are the happiest when surrounded by their families. Shih Poos like to be pampered, dotted on, and in the center of attention, so it’s not a huge surprise that they can’t stand being alone. If left at home alone often, this mix can develop separation anxiety (source).

While most Shih Poos aren’t as barky as their Poodle parents, they may still be yappier than your average canine. Training your mix to stop barking on a command from an early age can help curb this nasty habit.

Pet Friendly

The Shih Tzu Poodle mix gets along with other pets when they are introduced slowly and calmly and early socialization can help with this. If you live in a multi-pet home, it’s best to introduce the Shih Poo to other pets from a young age.

Child Friendly

Due to their small size, Shih Poos can easily get injured by young rambunctious children. They are better suited to adult-only homes or families with older children who know how to play and interact with a small dog without hurting it.  

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Care

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Care

Like any other dog, the Shih Poo needs love, attention, and a caring owner who’ll make sure to meet their every need. When it comes to caring, here’s what you need to know:

Health Risks

Mixed breed dogs are hardier than their purebred counterparts but they can still inherit health problems from their parent breeds (source). Having said that, this crossbreed is relatively healthy. 

The most common health issues seen in this mix are:

  • Dental problems 
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Von Willebrand’s disease 

Shih Poo has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Still, when properly cared for and taken to regular veterinary check-ups some may live longer.

Grooming and Maintenance

Depending on which parent it takes more after the Shih Poo can have a long and silky straight coat, or a curly short coat. Since both types of fur are prone to matting and tangling your pooch will greatly benefit from daily brushing.

If you don’t have time to brush your mix every day, aim for three times a week, at a minimum! You’ll also need to clip your dog’s coat every six to eight weeks as it will grow continuously. 

Bathe your dog once every two months, or more often if you need to, using a hypoallergenic dog shampoo. Just be careful not to overdo it, as frequent bathing can strip the skin and coat of their natural oils. 

Shih Poops are prone to gum disease, so you’ll need to brush your dog’s teeth every day and don’t skip professional teeth cleaning appointments. Start brushing your pup’s teeth from a young age to get them used to this routine (source). 

Food or Diet

An ideal diet for Shih Poos is formulated for small-sized dogs with moderate energy levels. When looking for the best food for your dog make sure that it has plenty of proteins and fats which will fuel your dog and keep them energized throughout the day.

This mix has a tendency to overeat, so stick to a regular feeding schedule and avoid leaving dry kibble out all day. Feeding dry food to your dog may improve their dental health as chewing on kibble will scrub your dog’s teeth clean and prevent plaque from forming. 

Training and Exercise

Shih Poos are moderately active dogs that are more interested in playing with toys than doing any type of strenuous exercise. To keep your mix exercised, take them to two walks a day and play with them several times a day.

These silly and fun-loving dogs love all sorts of games and will happily chase a ball or try to crack a puzzle toy.

While very intelligent the Shih Poo is a stubborn dog, especially when it comes to training. These small rebels don’t feel the need to learn how to behave or how to go to the bathroom outside and may end up peeing and pooping inside your house for a full year. 

Shih Poos will do whatever they want whenever they want it, and the only way you are ever going to change your pup’s attitude is with positive reinforcement training. No matter how hopeless you feel, or how long it takes, stick to the training, and don’t let your dog boss you around!


Shih Poos should live indoors, where they’ll get a chance to spend time with their families and stay protected from the elements. Due to their small size and adaptable nature, they make great urban dwellers and can live in a condo or a house. 

Having a fenced yard isn’t a requirement for owning this mix, but it won’t hurt either! As long as you play and interact with your pooch daily the Shih Poo will be a happy camper. 

Where to Get a Shih Tzu Poodle Mix?

Whenever you want to welcome a new dog into your family, there are only two things you can do – adopt or shop! The same applies to the Shih Tzu Poodle mix.

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Breeders

The Shih Poo is a fairly new designer dog so there aren’t many breeders that make puppies available regularly. You’ll likely have to do some digging before you find a local reputable breeder.

Before purchasing a Shih Poo puppy, schedule an appointment with the breeder to inspect the conditions the puppies are kept in and to meet them. If the breeder starts making up excuses, start looking for another breeder and don’t look back.

A reputable breeder will be eager to meet you and also provide health certificates for both puppies and parents. They will also want to ensure that their puppy is going into a loving forever home, so be prepared to answer some questions. 

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Price

Shih Poo puppies on average cost from $700 to $1500 from a reputable breeder. You may end up paying up to $2500 if the puppy’s parents are champions with impeccable lineage. As always, the price will depend on the breeder, lineage, coat color, and supply and demand. 


Although Shih Poos are designer dogs, many end up abandoned by their owners and in the care of shelters and rescue organizations. Consider adoption if the Shih Tzu Poodle mix seems like the perfect fit for your family. 

Contact your local shelter and rescue organizations to see if they have any Shih Poos for adoption. You should also reach out to Poodle and Shih Tzu breed-specific rescue groups as they often take in mixes too. 


The Shih Tzu Poodle mix is an adorable-looking designer dog that is becoming increasingly popular among dog lovers. Not only are Shih Poos cute and cuddly, but they also love to play and will entertain you all day long with silly antics.

These small dogs make wonderful pets to people of all ages and families with older children who are looking for a spunky canine companion. Let’s not forget that these pups can be a challenge for novice owners since they tend to be stubborn and difficult to train. Don’t get one if patience isn’t your strong suit! 

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