Shihpoo Pros And Cons

By helloBARK!
Updated on 17 August 2021

Shihpoo are a cross between a Poodle and a Shih Tzu.

These dogs are a mixed breed so they can inherit different traits from each parent, which is important to remember when you read up about Shihpoo.

There’s no guarantee that a Shihpoo will inherit certain desired traits from a particular parent, whether it’s the Poodle’s love of water or the Shih Tzu’s quiet personality.

Even though we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of Shihpoo and hear from owners of these designer dogs, the positives and negatives of the cross breed can vary between each pooch.

The Shihpoo aren’t recognised by the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club as a breed, but they have been granted recognition by American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America and International Designer Canine Registry.

It’s worth nothing Shihpoo can go by a number of other names, including Shihpoo, Shi Poo and Shitzpoo.

We’ll hear from a number of different Shihpoo accounts on Instagram, including Simba (@simbatheshihpoo), Colbie (@colbiethepoo), Ginger (@shihpooginger) and George (@shihpoogeorge).

Shihpoo Pros

Colbie the Shihpoo (Photo: @colbiethepoo / Instagram)

Colbie the Shihpoo (Photo: @colbiethepoo / Instagram)


Shihpoo will usually be hypoallergenic to some degree given Poodles are one of the most famous examples of low-shedding dogs in the canine world. They don’t shed much if at all, while the dander that they secrete is usually caught in their curls. Shih Tzu are listed as one of the dog breeds put forward by the Kennel Club in the UK as a breed suited to dog lovers looking for a low-shedding dog. So there’s a fairly good chance that Shihpoo will be hypoallergenice to some degree.

Darren says Simba doesn’t shed at all.

We bought our Shihpoo because my wife is allergic to some dogs and we read that Shihpoos were hypoallergenic. My wife has never had an issue with our dog. He never sheds. I could rub him up and down my black shirt and there would be maybe one white hair stuck to it.


While the Border Collie is widely considered the smartest dog breed in the world, the Poodle comes in at number two. They’re intelligent dogs that are quick to learn new commands and follow order without requiring much repetition. However, Shih Tzu can be found much further down the list in Intelligence of Dogs. While Shihpoo are considered pretty intelligent dogs, there’s no guarantee that your Poodle Shih Tzu pup will have a high IQ.

Darren explains that Simba is a clever Shihpoo.

Our Shihpoo is definitely very intelligent but was never formally trained with it comes to listening to most commands like sit or stay. However he was housebroken within a few weeks and never made a mess since. He can also do the occasional trick like shake a paw for a treat.

Family Pets

If you’re looking for a beloved family pet, you may want to consider a Shihpoo. They’re a mixed breed that do well in a family setting. Shihpoo can inherit the docile, friendly and laidback nature of the Shih Tzu. The Poodle’s genes can add some robustness to these dogs that is required living in a home with children. Having said that, it’s still a good idea to educate your kids on how to handle a Shihpoo.

Darren says Shihpoo can make great family pets based upon Simba’s experience with kids.

Shihpoos are amazing family pets and wonderful with children. We had out Shihpoo first and then two children and our dog has been very patient with both children as they grow up. He has never bit anyone and I would completely trust him with any child. He is very caring as well and if he hears a baby cries he will approach the child and lick it or find a parent. He treats both children as if though they were his own, always wanting to know where they are in the house and if they are ok, He gets emotional when either child leaves the house without him.


Shih Tzu are known as relatively quiet dogs. There’s a good chance that Shihpoo can inherit this trait from their Shih Tzu parent. The Asian breed are known for been quiet dogs that are laidback. These dogs are usually quiet calm, which could be perfect for dog owners living in apartment blocks or in city dwellings.

Colbie’s mom Chloe gave an insight into her Shihpoo’s personality.

Shihpoos are very loving pets who easily become attached to people. They have a lot of energy which stems from the Poodle side of their breed however easily calm down when needed to and can make perfect lap dogs. They aren’t difficult to keep as in my experience they are very easily pleased.

Low Exercise Needs

Shihpoo are relatively low energy dogs so they don’t need lots and lots of exercise like other members of the Doodle family. Usually a short walk or two will suffice on a daily basis. For this season, they could be a good fit for a senior dog owner or someone who lives in an urban setting with limited space to roam or with no garden space.

Darren provided us with an insight into Simba’s exercise routine.

I’ve read that Shihpoos are somewhat couch pets but our dog is able to go for 6km walks without getting tired. However there are times he prefers to share the stroller with the children. I usually take our Shihpoo out five times a day for his bathroom breaks and one long walk after dinner.

Shihpoo Cons

Simba the Shihpoo (Photo: @simbatheshihpoo / Instagram)

Simba the Shihpoo (Photo: @simbatheshihpoo / Instagram)

Separation Anxiety

Shihpoo can suffer with separation anxiety given they like to be around their pet parents at all times. Shih Tzu are a quintessential example of a companion dog breed. They like to be on the laps of their owners, really proving to be velcro dogs. Separation anxiety is a chronic canine condition that can affect dogs when their dog owners leave the home. The symptoms include barking, howling or whining, or chewing and digging, or defecating and urinating.

Brianna has experienced separation anxiety with Ginger.

This is a tough one – I try not to leave her alone for more than 2/3 hours at a time.They do love company and can cry for long periods of time if left alone. Not sure if this is a Shihpoo thing or because she is a puppy. Also, since she’s a small pup, she can’t hold her bladder for more than that.

However, proving our point that every Shihpoo is slightly different, Chloe hasn’t experienced any separation anxiety with her Shihpoo.

Shihpoos are usually fine to be left alone as they can keep themselves entertained for hours as long as there is water and toys available and a comfy place to lie down. However they should be kept in a room that is not located near any doors because, as mentioned previously, they do tend to bark when the door is knocked on.

Food Sensitivities

During our research into Shihpoo, we learned that some members of the cross breed could be prone to food sensitivities. We’ve experienced this firsthand with my dogs. I purchased a dog allergy test and learned that my dogs were allergic to beef and fish. I cut these foods out of their diet and the result was my dogs stopped getting tear stains.

Regular Grooming

While you won’t have to worry about lots of hair getting everywhere if you own a Shihpoo, these designer dogs do require a lot of grooming. They need regular bushing multiple times a week to maintain their coat’s appearance and health. If your Shihpoo’s coat is allowed to grow out, you’ll need to take them to a groomer every three months or so. This grooming schedule may be too demanding for some pet parents.

Ellary revealed that grooming costs can be quite expensive.

George doesn’t eat very much since he’s such a little guy, so that isn’t very expensive! Grooming can be expensive though.

Difficult To Potty Train

When we spoke to some of our Shihpoo owners, we learned that they found potty training difficult with their dogs. Shih Tzu, like some other small breeds, have a reputation for being difficult to house break. This is where Shihpoo get this tendency. The result is that you may require a lot of effort and patience to get your Shihpoo potty trained.

Chloe gave us an insight into how hard Colbie was to train.

Shihpoos are very quick learners. However when it comes to potty training they usually seem to be fully trained and then will go back a step and possibly start pottying in the house to test it as they can be stubborn when it comes to toilet training. However once you have passed this stage they usually get the hang of it within a few weeks.


Shihpoo can have a stubborn streak, which is another trait that could be inherited from their Shih Tzu parent. Shih Tzu are often stereotyped as a stubborn dog breed, which is one of their hardest behaviors to live with. When you throw into the mix that Poodles are extremely smart and independent thinkers, you may find your Shihpoo can be challenging to train at times. You could counter this by taking your Shihpoo to training from a young age.

Anything Else To Consider?

Ginger the Shihpoo (Photo: @shihpooginger / Instagram)

Ginger the Shihpoo (Photo: @shihpooginger / Instagram)

If you want to learn more about Shihpoo, you can always check out some members of the breed on Instagram. In our experience, dog owners are more than happy to provide insight into their dogs to prospective pet parents.

Here are some Shihpoo to check out on Instagram.

• Simba (@simbatheshihpoo)

• Colbie (@colbiethepoo)

• Ginger (@shihpooginger)

Wrapping Up

Simba the Shihpoo (Photo: @simbatheshihpoo / Instagram)

Simba the Shihpoo (Photo: @simbatheshihpoo / Instagram)

We’ve reached the end of our Shihpoo pros and cons article. Just like any type of dog, Shihpoo come with their pros and cons.

Shihpoo are usually hypoallergenic so you won’t have to worry about lots of hair around the home.

They’re smart dogs so they can be quite easy to train, although they can be tricky to potty train.

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