Shihpoo Basic Information
Shihpoos are also known as Shih-Poo, Shipoo, Shi-Poo, Shi Poo, Shihpooh, Shipooh and Shitzpoo
Shihpoos make great companions for older citizens and families with older gentle children who are not at risk of hurting these small dogs.
Shihpoo Parent Breeds
The parents of the Shihpoo or Shih-Poo are the Shih Tzu and the Poodle.
The Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is lively and alert. They are a toy breed standing generally between 22 – 26cm (9-10 inches) in height and 4 – 7kg (9-16 pounds) in weight. They have a demeanor which is often described as being proud or even sometimes arrogant. They have bodies which are compact, solid, and small. They have a thick, long, soft double-coat. Shih Tzus are of Chinese origin and the name means “little lion.” Their temperaments are generally quite easy to love. They were bred to be companions and thus they do not have herding or guarding instincts. They are happy, spunky, playful, intelligent, gentle, independent, and courageous. Shih Tzus make great family pets, but, as with any small dog, it is important to watch them around small children. They are well-suited to apartments.
Toy and Miniature Poodles
The other parent to the Shihpoo is the Miniature or Toy Poodle. All Poodles have an athletic, muscular body, although this may sometimes be difficult to see beneath all of their curly hair. Their bodies generally give off a square appearance. A Toy Poodle is under 10 inches whereas the Miniature Poodle stands between 11-15 inches. Other than the size, there are really no other differences. Their coats are dense and sometimes harsh and they come in a range of different colors. Poodles are dedicated to their families and love being with people. One of their most notable characteristics is their high level of intelligence. They are cheerful, eager to please, and often quite trainable and responsive. They are faithful, instinctual, active, and alert. Some may be high-strung and can have a tendency to bark if allowed to.
What does a Shihpoo look like?
Most Shihpoos resemble both parents and have a combination of both of their physical characteristics. As with all designer dogs the Shihpoo may turn out more like one parent than the other, and whether or not this happens is somewhat unpredictable. No matter whether they favor their Poodle parent or their Shih Tzu parent in appearance however, the Shihpoo is a charming small dog that is thought by most people to be quite adorable.
They are often said to resemble the Cavoodle which has Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parents or Moodles with Maltese and Poodle parents. Their size will depend primarily on their Poodle parent, whether the Poodle is Toy or Miniature. Most often they will weigh in the range of 4 – 9kg (8-20 pounds) and 20 – 38cm (8-15 inches) depending on the size of the Poodle parent. In general they are well-balanced and proportionate and they have floppy ears. They often have an expression that is both lively and keen.
One advantage of breeding a Shih Tzu with a Poodle is that the offspring will have longer muzzles than their Shih Tzu parent who has a relatively short muzzle, which can make it messy for them to eat and drink. This can also reduce certain health risks associated with short faces. The Shihpoo may or may not have an underbite like their Shih Tzu parent. One fairly consistent quality of the Shihpoo is their coat. Both the Poodle and the Shih Tzu have long, fast-growing coats, so the Shihpoo will as well. It may be a single coat like the Poodle or a double-coat like the Shih Tzu. The texture of the coat will vary and it may have different degrees of curl. Both parents come in a range of colors so the Shihpoo can be many different colors as well.
What is a Shihpoo’s personality like?
A few different factors will all go into the personality of a Shihpoo. Some characteristics are inherited and some will be learnt. The mother in particular has a lot to do with the temperament of the dog as she is their primary influence when they are just born. The genes that are passed down through generations will also affect the Shihpoo, as will their environment. A dog who comes from two good lines, has parents that are of a good temperament, and who is also trained and socialized early in life will likely be a good pet with an exceptional personality. Because the Shihpoo is a designer dog their personalities could be more like one parent than the other. Most Shihpoos love to play and have a fair amount of energy.
They are always up for a fun activity and enjoy playing games with the family. Generally they do very well as family dogs because they are often sweet-natured. Poodles and even Shih Tzus can be snappy around children that are not respectful, so it is important that Shihpoos are in a safe environment with mature or older children. Their temperaments also make them very good dogs for the elderly and singles. They are often quite affectionate and love to cuddle and spend time with their human companions. A Shihpoo could be friendly and good with strangers or they may be more shy and reserved. Some of this has to do with the Shih Tzu/Poodle qualities but socializing is also a big part of it. They often have a tendency to bark a lot, which makes them quite good watch dogs. Because Poodles are high-strung but generally obedient and Shih Tzu are stubborn but laid back, a Shihpoo could end up with either the good qualities, the bad qualities, or a combination of them.
Are Shihpoos a healthy breed?
Although Shihpoos are often healthier than their purebred parents they may still develop any of the same health problems. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), entropian, and cataracts are all possible eye problems. Shihpoos may also develop hip dysplasia, luxating patella, and lung disorders.
How long do Shihpoos live for?
A Shihpoo may live to be anywhere from 10-16 years old, with some dogs living until they are 18 years of age.
How much exercise does a Shihpoo need?
Shihpoos are energetic and active dogs but they do not require too much area for exercise. Taking them for a walk or even just playing in the house or backyard is generally sufficient for these little dogs. They will do well with active owners as well as non-active owners. Shihpoos are not great as permanent outside dogs and should not be restricted to the backyard, but allowed to come inside during periods of inclement weather. This is very important when they are puppies as many will play in the rain and get very cold.
How much grooming do Shihpoos need?
Shihpoos may have curly, straight, or wavy hair, but not too many have hair that is entirely straight. Most will have a very thick and luxurious coat since both the parents do. Their coats will need regular brushing every single day when left long or every couple of days for clipped dogs. They may also develop tear stains which should be treated and cleaned on a daily basis.