Shihpoo are a cross between a Poodle and a Shih Tzu.
These small dogs can make popular pets given their petite size and loving personalities.
Shihpoo can make excellent family pets given they’re relatively low maintenance, with low exercise needs perfect for city or apartment living.
These designer dogs have proven particularly popular in recent decades given the Shihpoo can have a hypoallergenic coat.
In this article, we’re going to take a close at the Shihpoo cross breed, including Shihpoo appearance, Shihpoo temperament, Shihpoo exercise and Shihpoo shedding.
We’ll hear from a number of different Shihpoo accounts on Instagram, including Simba (@simbatheshihpoo), Colbie (@colbiethepoo), Ginger (@shihpooginger) and George (@shihpoogeorge).
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What is a Shihpoo?
Shihpoo are a cross between a Poodle and a Shih Tzu. They’re a relatively small hybrid dog that can make excellent family pets.
The so-called designer dog are usually hypoallergenic given neither the Poodle nor the Shih Tzu shed a lot.
Not to be confused for the Shoodle or Poo-Shi, the Shihpoo is a member of the Doodle family that is growing in popularity.
The Shihpoo can go by a number of other names, including Shipoo, Shi-Poo, Shi Poo, Shihpooh, Shipooh and Shitzpoo.
While the American Kennel Club does recongise the Poodle and the Shih Tzu as dog breeds, the AKC haven’t granted the Shihpoo status.
The Shihpoo are recognised by the following organizations: American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America and International Designer Canine Registry.
What size is a Shihpoo?
Shihpoo are usually created by breeding a Shih Tzu and a Miniaute Poodle, although a Standard Poodle and a Toy Poodle could be used in theory. Shihpoo can range between 8 and 13 inches in height and 13 and 20 pounds in weight.
Simba’s dad provided us with an idea of the size of his Shihpoo.
Our Shihpoo has white wavy fur with random tan patches on his back, ears, and legs. He is sturdy for his short height and always has great facial expression.
Shihpoo can vary in appearance depending on whether they take after their Poodle parent or Shih Tzu parent. Therefore a Shihpoo could have a curly, silky, short-haired or long-haired coat. Shihpoo coat colors could range from gray, black, brown and white. This hybrid dog will usually have a brown eye and a black or brown nose.
Ginger’s mom Brianna gave us an idea of the appearance of this cross breed.
Furry! Some people have definitely compared her to a teddy bear/other stuffed animals. She has wavy hair that’s a reddish-brown color.
George’s mom Ellary gave us an idea about her Shihpoo’s appearance.
George is 13 pounds and apricot in color. He’s got big brown eyes, so he is always incredibly expressive!
Just like their appearance, Shihpoo temperament can differ depending on whether they inherit personality traits from their Poodle or Shih Tzu parent. Generally speaking, they’re relatively quiet dogs that are low maintenance. They’re easy going, loyal and obedient to their pet owners. Shihpoo do have a reputation for potentially having a stubborn streak, which is associated with their Shih Tzu parent.
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.
Do Shihpoos make great family pets?
Shihpoo are friendly dogs with relatively high energy levels. So they tend to do well in a family setting. Having said that, Shihpoo will need to be handled with care given these so-called designer dogs are relatively small. We don’t recommend leaving a dog alone with children unsupervised.
Darren believes Shihpoo can make great family pets.
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.
Ellary gave us her perspective based upon her experience with George.
George hasn’t gotten much of a chance to interact with small kids yet, but he’s been sweet every time a small child wants to say hello! Shihpoos are amazing companion dogs, so I’m sure they would be a great family pet
How long can a Shihpoo be left alone?
Shihpoo can suffer with separation anxiety just like any other dog. Separation anxiety is a chronic canine disorder. It occurs when parents are about to leave or have left the home. The symptoms of separation anxiety include incessant barking, howling or whining, destructive chewing or digging, or in some extreme cases, defecating or urinating.
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.
Brianna, on the other hand, has experienced some separation anxiety with her Shihpoo 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.
Are Shihpoos easy to train?
Shihpoo can be pretty smart dogs thanks to the influence of the Poodle genes. Poodles are considered the second smartest dogs in the world. They’re usually quick to learn new commands and tricks. Having said that, Shih Tzu feature quite lowly in the Intelligence Of Dogs. In fact, author Stanley Coren featured the Shih Tzu at 128 on the list in the category described as lowest degree of working/obedience intelligence. It’s a smart idea to start training your Shihpoo from a young age to lay down the ground rules.
Simba is a pretty smart dog, according to his dad Darren.
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.
Ellary says George was really easy to charge.
George is super easy to train. He is very treat motivated and so he can pick up a new trick in no time! His current trick repertoire includes sit, stay, come, shake left, shake right, rollover, go to your bed, spin, hands in the air, walk on hind legs, and a few others.
How much exercise do Shihpoos need?
Although Shihpoo are quite small, they are quite energetic dogs. They’ll enjoy a regular daily walk as well as a romp around the home. Shihpoo will enjoy a tug of war. You can also tired out your dog mentally and physically with some training.
Darren gave us an insight into how much exercise his Shihpoo Simba gets.
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.
George needs a lot of exercise.
George needs a lot of exercise! He has a ton of energy. Luckily he loves long walks and wants to play fetch constantly.
Are Shihpoos easy to potty train?
Shih Tzu have a reputation for being quite to housebreak. So we asked Chloe about her experience potty training Colbie. Here’s her experience:
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.
Do Shihpoo sleep a lot?
As a relatively small mix breed, you may think Shihpoo would sleep a lot. We asked Brianna about Ginger and her Shihpoo doesn’t sleep a lot.
Surprisingly no – she’ll sleep through the night when I sleep and will take a few short naps throughout the day (usually half an hour or less). If we take a nap during the day, she’ll sleep too.
Do Shihpoo dogs bark a lot?
Shihpoo won’t make good guard dogs given their small size, but the Shih Tzu Poodle cross can make effective watch dogs given they can be quite alert to people or noises outside the home.
Colbie gave us an insight into her experience.
Shihpoos often bark in common circumstances for example, a knock at the door, when they hear other dogs barking or sometimes at the tv. Although this is a common trait in this breed there are also a lot of Shihpoos out there which do not bark at all!
Brianna contributed to this question.
Not really – she occasionally perks up and will yap but only if something is going on. It’s never randomly and for no reason. Occasionally, she’ll bark if she sees someone in the front of the house or if she is alone but that’s the extent of it.
Are Shihpoo hypoallergenic?
Shihpoo can be hypoallergenic given the influence of their Poodles genes. The American Kennel Club write that there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog. However, the AKC suggest 19 breeds that they put forward as having more hypoallergenic qualities. While the Poodle is considered hypoallergenic, Shih Tzu do shed. So there’s no guarantee your Shihpoo won’t shed at all.
Darren says Simba doesn’t shed and doesn’t trigger his wife’s allergies.
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.
Do Shihpoos shed?
Like we mentioned above, Shihpoo are low shedders thanks to their Poodle parent. However, Shih Tzus do shed so you should be prepared for some shedding if you get a member of this cross breed.
Ellary says her Shihpoo does shed.
No shedding! But he does need to be groomed every 4 to 6 weeks.
While you’re likely to have a low-shedding cross breed on your hands, you’ll have to be prepared to brush your Shihpoo on a regular basis. It’s important to groom your Shihpoo to maintain the appearance, health and quality of their coat. Your Shihpoo may need a haircut every couple of months so their hair doesn’t drag along the ground.
Are Shihpoo fussy eaters
Some Shihpoo can be fussy eaters just like any other dog breed or mix. I’ve experienced this issue with my dogs and it can be a stressful experience for dog owners. Their pickiness could be a learned behaviour, indicate a health problem or a potential food intolerance. You may find it useful to get a dog allergy test to learn about any food sensitivities.
Brianna revealed that Ginger loves his dog food.
We buy Blue Buffalo Life Protection. This is a balanced food without fillers. Ginger loves it! Some other good brands are Hill’s Science and Royal Canin for Shih Tzus.
Do Shihpoos smell?
Some dogs don’t have a doggie odor, especially if they’re hypoallergenic. When we researched the cross breed, this was a question searched by a lot of prospective Shihpoo owners.
Chloe says the Shihpoo don’t have a doggie odor.
Shihpoos often are not a ‘smelly’ breed. They do however require regular grooming at home (brushing them thoroughly and checking for matts 3-5 times a week) and it’s a good idea to take your Shihpoo to the groomers every 6-8 weeks depending on how quickly your Shihpoos fur is growing.
How often should I bathe my Shihpoo?
If you allow your Shihpoo hair to grow to floor length, they may need a regular bath to wash our debris and dirt.
Brianna gives her Shihpoo a bath every couple of weeks.
I aim for every week/two weeks. She gets groomed every 4 weeks (teeth cleaning, nail and hair cutting, etc.) but has home baths in between.
Do Shihpoo have health problems?
Although mix breeds are often seen as healthier dogs, they can still be susceptible to some heath issues. Here are some health conditions to be aware of:
• Eye Problems
• Addison’s Disease
• Mitral Valve Disease
• Brachycephalic Syndrome
• Invertebral Disc Disease
• Sebaceous Adentitis
Shihpoo can vary in price if you’re looking to buy them from a breeder. First of all, you may prefer to check your local rescue shelter to see if they’ve got a Poodle Shih Tzu cross that needs a forever home.
Alternatively, you can search out a responsible breeder. You should ask to meet the parents of your puppy, double check proof of health and vet checks, as well as speak to Shihpoo owners who have previously got a puppy from the breeder. Based upon our research, we found that the average price of a Shihpoo is between $300 and $2,000.
Darren kindly revealed how much he paid for Simba.
We bought our Shihpoo from a breeder for 500 dollars which I found reasonable compared to some dogs that cost a few thousand. However I live in a big city (Toronto) and there are very few Shihpoos sold. I had to travel three hours north to visit the breeder.
Are Shihpoos expensive?
While you may have saved for the initial cost of purchasing your Shihpoo puppy, there are other costs to consider once you’ve brought your new arrival home. There are monthly costs such as dog food, pet insurance, vet and grooming costs to consider. You’ll need to create a budget to make sure you can afford all the expenses associated with owning a dog.
Chloe gave an insight into the price of Shihpoo based upon her experience.
Shihpoos have gone up in price in the past few years. They currently average at around £850 but can cost anywhere between £300-£1500.
Ellary admitted grooming George has proven 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.
What are the pros and cons of Shihpoos?
Colbie/Chloe: They are hypoallergenic and don’t shed hair. They can live just as happily in a flat as they do a house. They are very sociable and love the company of both people and dogs. They are very loving pets which do not need tons of exercise. They are usually good at adapting to any lifestyle.
Brianna/Ginger: Shihpoos are super loving! Every time I come through the door I’m greeted with excitement. They’re also super smart – she learns commands/the names of things very easily but can be stubborn.
Darren/Simba: Amazing with children, no shedding, loves to snuggle, loves to play, doesn’t need excessive attention, smart, doesn’t bark a lot unless he wants attention.
Ellary/George: Wants to snuggle constantly.
Extremely well behaved with proper training. Will be your best friend.
Colbie/Chloe: They may bark at several things.
They can have food sensitivities. They need regular grooming. They can be difficult to toilet train.
Brianna/Ginger: They do things on their terms/time. Sometime’s she won’t listen but there’s nothing a treat can’t fix.
Darren/Simba: Emotional, doesn’t like to be left alone, harder to train (however to be fair, I didn’t try as hard as I should so I don’t know if thats a breed thing or my fault)
Ellary/George: Had some separation anxiety when he was a puppy, so training is very important! Can be a picky eater (only wants to eat treats) Shihpoos, Poodle mixes especially, are a lot of work!
Shihpoo to follow on Instagram
If you’re looking to learn more about a particular breed or cross breed, it’s a good idea to speak to current owners of the breed to learn more directly from people with experience of the designer dogs.
Here are some Shihpoo to check out on Instagram:
• Simba (@simbatheshihpoo)
• Colbie (@colbiethepoo)
• Ginger (@shihpooginger)
• George (@shihpoogeorge)
We’ve reached the end of our feature on Shihpoo.
They’re a cross breed that are popular given their small size, easy-going personalities and potential hypoallergenic qualities.
Shihpoo tend to be petite given a Miniature Poodle is bred with the companion-sized Shih Tzu.
While they won’t need rigorous exercise, Shihpoo will still benefit from regular walks and playtime.
Shihpoo are usually easy to train thanks the IQ of the Poodle parent but they can inherit the stubborn streak of the Shih Tzu.