Shih Tzu Poodle Mix, Temperament, Care, Health Issues and More
The Shih Tzu Poodle Mix
The Shih Tzu Poodle mix affectionally referred to as the Shih-Poo is a mixed breed dog. It is a cross between the Toy Poodle and the Shih Tzu, bringing together the best of both worlds into a small, cuddly, and lovable bundle of joy.
The Shih-Poos are also called Shoodle or Pooshi, although there is a different breed called Poo-Shi which is the combination of the Poodle and the Shiba Inu. The Shih-Poos are regarded as a designer breed, although you will find many of them in shelters and rescues. As always, consider adopting instead of buying. You’ll save money and life, literally.
Size and Weight
The Shih-Poo is a rather new breed, so there is no precise measurement for their size just yet. We do have an idea of how small it would be when we look at their parents, the Shih-Tzu and Toy Poodle. So your Shih-Poo would be quite small. Expect to see one standing up to 8 to 18 inches, with varying sizes such as teacup, miniature, and standard. Most Shih-Poos are about 18 pounds in weight.
As mentioned before, the Shih-Poo inherits the characteristics of its parents. If you want a better understanding of your Shih-Poo, consider learning more about the Shih Tzu and Poodle first. For your convenience, we will discuss the highlights here.
Let’s talk about the Shih Tzus first. They may be stubborn at first, making training and housebreaking them a difficult task. That hasn’t stopped people from training them for dog competition, however. Shih Tzus make for a great housedog as they can adapt to life in an apartment or a grand mansion, and everything in-between. They are incredibly friendly, cut, attentive, and want nothing more than to sit on your lap, showing you with love, and receiving all your attention. Poodles are similar to the Shih Tzus as they are intelligent and active. One upside the Poodles have is that they are easily trainable.
As Shih-Poos are a mix of the two, their personality is hard to predict. Still, you can expect them to be the middle of their parents. Most Shih-Poos owners say that their pets are friendly and playful. They’re not hyperactive and are about the size of a lapdog, so they appreciate a nap on your lap for hours if you allow it. That said, Shih-Poos are not couch potatoes as they also enjoy walks and playtime. Similar to the Shih Tzus, Shih-Poos might be tricky to train but they still love the attention. If you are considering training them, you should do it as early as possible.
Shih-Poos are rather reserved when voicing their concerns. They do not bark as often as their parents, but they would let you know every other minute if something is bothering them. That can be a missed meal or playtime. They will continue to bark until their needs are met.
As with many designer crossbreeds, Shih-Poos’ health conditions are complicated. It is a genetic dice roll whether a Shih-Poo inherits some health issues from their parents. However, the overall health of crossbreeds tends to be better. You can expect a Shih-Poo to live up to 16 years on average.
The Shih-Tzus are a breed that has some concerning conditions. Most of them are gone in the Shih-Poo, except for the snout length that varies between one Shih-Poo to another. If it is short, the dog is prone to breathing issues and heat stroke. A longer snout alleviates these problems.
Shih-Poos are also small, so they are prone to dental problems. You may need to get your dog’s teeth regularly checked and clean by a professional.
All dogs should receive proper care, and Shih-Poos is no exception. Make sure to keep up with their regular vet checkup to detect and address any health issues early. Due to the unpredictable nature of a cross-breed, your vet may give you additional insight on how you can develop a care routine to keep your pup in tip-top shape.
Make sure to have a dietary schedule for your Shih-Poo. Never free-feed them as they will overeat and gain weight quickly. Potty breaks are regular and just 15 minutes of walk a day should be enough, assuming that you feed them properly.
Just like the Shih Tzus, Shih-Poos are prone to dental problems. Make sure to clean their teeth regularly. Your vet will tell you everything you need to know and help you create a routine.
As for the ears, keep them well clean and dry. After a bath, make sure to dry their eats properly. A pungent odor is a sign of an ear infection. Other than keeping the ears dry, consider using ear cleaning solutions to save yourself from a trip to the vet.
Ideally, you want to have a diet catered toward a small dog with medium energy. Because Shih-Poos are prone to dental problems, always get high-quality food for them. Weight will always a problem, so do not free-feed them. You can, however, give them a treat or two now and again.
As your Shih-Poo ages, their diet needs to be changed accordingly. Consult your vet for your pet’s diet recommendations. Putting a pin on a specific diet is difficult for cross-breed dogs because there are unpredictable variations from one dog to the next. Their diet varies based on their energy, health, and weight.
Coat Color And Grooming
As always, your Shih-Poo’s coat varies depending on which side of the breed takes precedence. Some Shih-Poos have straight, silky fur from the Shih-Tzu while others come with curly coats from the Poodle. Most of the time, it is a combination of the two to varying degrees.
The same level of uncertainty also applies to the color of their coat. It could be white, black, brown, brindle, and any of the combination of these colors.
Make sure to brush your Shih-Poo every day and groom it every month. This will keep your pet looking and feeling fresh. As for bathing, their skin and coat can get dry and irritated, so keep it to at most once a week.
Children And Other Pets
As Shih-Poos are a small dog breed, overzealous children may accidentally hurt them. For this reason, Shih-Poos prefer hanging out with older children or adults who are familiar with gentle touches. In this aspect, the training goes to the children who need to know how to play with a small dog. If they could, then a Shih-Poo is a great addition for any family.
Shih-Poos aren’t as sociable as Shih Tzus. You will need to slowly and calmly introduce your Shih-Poo to other pets as early as possible. Early socialization is always good since it helps all the pets in the house to get used to each other, especially if they are young. As for their socialization needs, you can leave them alone for a while. As they grow older, consider getting another dog to keep them company.
The problem is that there aren’t many breed-specific rescue shelters for Shih-Poos since they are a mixed breed. You can still look for them in shelters for Shih Tzus or Poodle as they tend to care for mix-breeds as well.