With thousands of beautiful breeds, finding the ideal dog for your living space, lifestyle, and personal preferences isn’t always an easy feat. 

A Shih Poo is the ideal furry friend if you have a small space, are of retirement age, or simply want a small, loyal, protective pet. The designer breed is highly energetic yet easily trained. Let’s discover more about Shih Poo’s background, care requirements, and characteristics. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is a Shih Poo?

The Shih Poo is a mix, which boasts both Shih-Tzu and Miniature Poodle characteristics.

At first glance, this is a sweet toy-looking dog with a matching personality. Seeing as it’s tiny, you might assume that the mix won’t be the best protector. But the mix is exceedingly loving and caring, enough to be protective and loyal

What Characteristics Does a Shih Poo Have?

The typical Shih Poo personality is adorable yet energetic. So these small furry friends offer both fun and protection. 

Diverse and Adorable

No two Shih Poos are the same. Their looks and unique personality are down to their parents’ characteristics. Still, the Shih Poo size will always remain tiny and adorable. While some small dogs can be a lot of work due to their high energy, you can easily train and tame this mix. 

They Fall Under the Same Breed Category

All Shih-Tzu and Poodle mixes fall under the same breed category.

Although they’re highly popular, the AKC doesn’t officially recognize the Shih Poo mix. It’s a relatively new breed, meaning that might change soon. Also, Shih Poos can come with a high price tag since they’re highly sought-after.

Their Hair Can Be Curly, Wavy, or Straight

All Shih Poos vary in appearance. Generally, Shih Poos can have curly, wavy, or straight hair. Some might even have a mix. That said, you can learn more about the Shih-Tzu and Poodle traits to see what you can expect.

Meet the Lively Shih Poo

If you want a furry, energetic, diverse, and caring Shih Poo, it’s time to learn more about the breed’s background.

The Parents

A Shih-Tzu poodle mix carries down the key characteristics of its parents. It’s small and has a unique Shih Poo hypoallergenic coat, varying in appearance.

Some Shih Poos look more like one parent, while others are split between both. Yet, all are loving, caring, loyal, and love the spotlight.

The Shih Poo’s Versatile Persona

Like the appearance, the Shih Poo personality reflects the parents.

Loyal Protectors

Like their parents, Shih Tzu poodle mix dogs are all loyal and protective. Liz Randall, CEO of Dogs Abound, mentions that the breed is highly energetic and has a great sense of humor. So, these fluff balls will keep you on your toes. Make sure to give them plenty of care and love back.

An Ideal Companion for Seniors

Shih Poos make perfect companions for seniors since they’re tiny and easy to handle. Plus, they’re loving, caring, and protective — all attributes you might need from a pet. They also don’t require too much attention, ideal for an older adult.

Easily Trained With Praises and Treats

You can easily train Shih Poos with natural calming treats for dogs and plenty of praise. These pups can be stubborn at times, but you can make the Shih Tzu Poodle mix listen with the right approach. They’re brilliant, so with practice and patience, they’ll soon pick up obedient traits.

Ideal for Apartment Dwellers Thanks to Their Size

The Shih Poo’s size makes it ideal to have in an apartment. What’s more, the mix also has a calm temperament, meaning it rarely barks. 

Adorable Shih Poo dog

More Adorable Than Athletic

Shih Poos are undoubtedly more adorable than athletic. But you can still get them up and running with praises and treats. Otherwise, they’re pretty calm and relaxed dogs to be around. That makes them excellent for small spaces and older adults.

An Overview of a Shih Poo’s Health

Generally, the mix is healthy. But how big does a Shih Poo get? They typically weigh between 8 and 18 pounds and are about 13 inches tall. They’re small dogs with a hypoallergenic coat. That means that a full-grown Shih Poo dog will require lots of care and devotion.


The general Shih Poo lifespan is between 10 and 15 years, depending on their health and care. The mix shares common health issues, including:

  • Dental disease
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Corneal dryness

The Toy Poodle mixed with Shih Tzu carries down the health issues of its parents.

Nutrition — Never Free Feed a Shih Poo

We recommend picking high-quality Shih Tzu dog food for your dog. As for quantity, you should follow the guidelines for a Toy Poodle. But note that a Shih Poo likes to overeat, which can lead to health care issues. That’s why you should avoid free-feeding it and give only the specific allowance for each day and meal. 

A half Shih Tzu half Poodle should eat around 0.1 cups of dry food three times a day while it’s still a puppy. The amount should increase every few months. It’s best if the adult dog consumes around 0.5 cups of dry food twice a day

Don’t forget to add a few healthy treats in moderation to encourage your pet to train and maintain a healthy diet.


Aside from giving your Shih Poo the right food for a healthy and balanced diet, it’s essential to take good care of it, too. Prepare for daily brushing and monthly grooming. The crossbreed will also require regular dental cleaning, hair trims, and nail care, for which you can use a nail grinder for a small dog.

Daily brushing is essential as their hair, especially if it’s longer and curlier, is prone to tangling. Brushing it out will keep it clean. You can handle the monthly grooming yourself or find a local dog care specialist.

Buying or Adopting a Shih Tzu Toy Poodle

If you want to buy one of these cuties, you should choose a breeder carefully. For starters, you should ensure they have all the relevant health testing certifications to prove that the dog doesn’t have any health conditions or poor genetics. That’s how you can guarantee that your future pet will live a long, healthy, and fuss-free life. The Shih Poo price can range from $500–$1,000 or more

Adopting a Shih Poodle mix is an option, too. Few think of pet shelters and rescue homes, but many dogs are abandoned daily. You can also check newspaper advertisements or posts online. In any case, it’s crucial to go and meet the Shih Poo before taking it home. You’ll want to ensure that your future pet has received the necessary health care and checks before welcoming it home. 


A Shih Poo dog is the ideal companion if you’re seeking loyalty, love, and ease. These pups are easy to look after and have minimal care needs aside from daily brushing. They’re vulnerable to some health issues, so it’s essential to provide a good diet and train them well. Whether you wish to buy or adopt a Shih Poo, using this guide will help you understand if this is the dog for you.

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