If you’ve ever wondered what it’ll be like to cross the regal Shih Tzu dog with the highly intelligent Poodle, then you should look no further than the Shih Poo dog mix.
So, what is a Shih Tzu Poodle mix? As inferred by the name, a Shih Tzu Poodle mix is a dog produced by crossbreeding the popular Shih Tzu and Poodle canine breeds. Shih Poo dogs are renowned for their energetic nature and displays of affection, and they’ll make a wonderful addition to any home.
The decision to bring a Shih Tzu Poodle mix into your home is one of the best choices you can make right now. But before you purchase one of these little bundles of affection, it is best that you arm yourself with as much information as you can about health conditions that the Shih Poo is prone to, as well as maintenance and grooming needs. Information on the aforementioned are provided in today’s article, but firstly, let’s take a look at the unique physical characteristics of the Shih Poo.
At What Age Is A Shih Poo Full Grown?
Similar to their Shih Tzu and Poodle parent breeds, most Shih Poo dogs typically attain physical maturity at around 12 months of age. And there’s usually little to no changes in the pooch’s body structure as it ages.
The Shih Poo is a product of mixing two different dog breeds, hence there is no defined standard for this pooch’s appearance. But whichever way your Shih Poo turns out, you can be sure of getting a cute pooch with a look that makes you want to cuddle it most times.
Most Shih Poos typically have a round face with round, wide-set eyes that are usually amber in color. The Shih Poo also boasts a body that is highly proportional for its small size, and its legs are short and sturdy.
The Shih Tzu Poodle mix has a fairly long coat, and this pooch’s fur density is at a medium level.
Shih Poo coats can either be curly like that of the parent Poodle dog or comprise straight hair like those found on the Shih Tzu. And in some cases, it is possible for a Shih Poo’s coat to consist of both straight and curly hair.
Both the Shih Tzu and Poodle are small-sized dogs, hence the Shih Poo is on the small side as well.
The Shih Poo typically weighs between 13 to 20 lbs when fully grown. And at maximum height, this pooch only stands between 8 to 18 inches at shoulder level.
Shih Poos come in a variety of colors, but the most prominent coat colors include black, white, gray, brown and combinations or variations of these colors.
Do Shih-Poos Have Health Problems?
Shih Poo dogs typically live for between 13 to 16 years, and it is also quite possible for a Shih Tzu Poodle mix to live way beyond that.
Common Health Issues
The Shih Poo was bred to eliminate some of the major health concerns found in the parent Shih Tzu and Poodle dogs. And it is safe to say that has been achieved to a reasonable extent.
However, that isn’t to say the Shih Poo is completely immune to health issues, and there’s a tendency for this pooch to inherit one or more medical conditions from the parent breed.
That said, some of the medical issues that a Shih Poo may experience during its lifetime include:
If your Shih Poo inherits the Shih Tzu’s shorter muzzle, then you will most likely end up with a pooch that’s highly prone to suffering from the Brachycephalic syndrome – a set of airway disorders that cause breathing difficulties in dogs.
Shih Poo dogs suffering from the Brachycephalic Syndrome typically experience an increase in the effort required to inhale and this is only made worse when the pooch is over-exerted or excited.
Hypothyroidism in Shih Poos occurs when the thyroid gland located in the pooch’s neck doesn’t produce enough of the thyroxine hormone that is responsible for controlling the dog’s metabolism.
The effects of Hypothyroidism on a Shih Poo includes a loss in appetite but an oddly inappropriate weight gain, ear infections, lethargy, and hair loss, among others.
On a positive note, this condition isn’t life-threatening, and with the appropriate treatment, your Shih Poo will bounce back in no time.
If left untreated, these dental problems can lead to your Shih Tzu losing its teeth and may eventually degenerate to kidney, liver or heart damage.
Other Health Problems
A Shih Tzu Poodle Mix is also at risk of suffering from medical conditions such as:
- Hip dysplasia
- Ear Infections (Otitis Externa)
- Patellar luxation
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Cataracts, and many more
How To Take Care Of Shih Poo?
As Shih Poos are prone to suffering from dental issues or obesity, the recommendation is that you place this pooch on a high-quality dry dog food diet plan.
It is also important to note that the food you pick for your Shih Poo should be specially formulated for small dog breeds.
The amount of food you’ll need to give your Shih Poo typically ranges from half a cup to a full cup of kibble per day. And this will go a long way in protecting your pooch from excessive weight gain or dental issues.
Wet dog food is another excellent source of nutrition for the Shih Poo, but you should ensure the product you’re picking is of the highest nutritional quality possible. And one meal plan we recommend you try out is the Pet Plate.
The Pet Plate contains unprocessed chicken, which is highly beneficial to your Shih Poo. Also, the Shih Poo is a mixed dog, and physical standards vary greatly; Hence, Pet Plate’s option of submitting your pooch’s unique characteristics to get a custom-made meal plan will come in quite handy.
Goat milk can provide an excellent source of protein for your Shih Poo, but the fact remains that not all pooches are lactose tolerant, and your dog may fall in that category. Regardless, you should always make sure to provide plenty of water in your Shih Poo’s bowl.
The Shih Poo has a moderately high energy level, but unlike other high intensity dogs, doesn’t require a significant amount of exercise.
The Shih Tzu Poodle mix is super playful, and will get most of the exercise it needs from chasing a ball round the house. Regardless, short and brisk walks early in the morning and late in the afternoon are required to keep the Shih Poo mentally stimulated.
Is A Shih Poo A Good Pet? Temperaments Of Shih Tzu Poodle Mixes
Shih Poos are mixed designer dogs, hence it may be difficult to determine, with much certainty, how a particular pooch may turn out. To get a better understanding of the Shih Poo’s temperament, it may be helpful to study the personalities of both the Shih Tzu and Poodle dog breeds.
Poodles are renowned for being loyal and intelligent, while Shih Tzus are playful and quite affectionate; Hence, you can expect a Shih Poos personality to be a mix of the qualities listed above.
That said, Shih Tzu Poodle mixes have been described as affectionate and friendly dogs that do extremely well in a family setting. In return for its displays of affection, the Shih Poo demands constant attention from its family, and absolutely doesn’t tolerate being left alone at home.
The Shih Poo is a lap dog, and will gladly spend the majority of the day cuddled up on your lap.
The Shih Poo’s relatively small size makes it perfect for apartment living. However, the Shih Poo is pretty versatile, and can adjust to just about any living condition. You may also want to keep the Shih Tzu satisfied, as this pooch has a tendency to bark until its demands are met.
Interaction With Children And Other Pets
The Shih Poo is quite playful, and enjoys running around and playing with kids that know how to handle and respect it.
Shih Poos tend to be hostile towards other dogs. But with proper and early socialization, you can teach your pooch to be amicable towards cats and dogs.
Shih Poos are fairly intelligent and highly trainable, but if you end up with a pooch that inherits most of its Shih Tzu parent breed’s genes, then you should be prepared for a pooch that is quite stubborn and enjoys doing things at its own pace. And it is this stubborn streak that makes this pooch better suited for experienced dog owners.
Do Shih Poo Shed A Lot? Grooming Tips For Shih Tzu Poodle Mixes
While Shih Poos may be promoted as being hypoallergenic, the fact remains that there’s no dog that’s truly 100% free of allergens. Hence, this pooch may trigger reactions in those that are allergic to dogs.
However, the Shih Poo rarely sheds fur, and can be tolerated by most people with dog allergies.
As stated earlier, Shih Poo fur types vary from straight to curly or a combination of both. And this pooch requires professional grooming, at least, once in a month to maintain a polished appearance.
Regardless of the type of hair present on the pooch, a Shih Tzu Poodle mix requires brushing every couple of days to prevent its hair from becoming matted or tangled.
Additionally, regular brushing with a quality brushing tool such as the Furminator Undercoat Tool helps minimize the amount of hair that your Shih Poo loses when shedding.
The Furminator brush is adept at getting through the Shih Poo’s top coat to get rid of loose undercoat hair, and the brush’s ergonomic handle design is equally easy to hold.
Bathing can help fight against inherited skin conditions in your Shih Poo. But this should be done in moderation to prevent your furry friend from losing natural oils that keep its coat shiny.
And when the time comes for you to bathe your pooch, we recommend you use a high-quality, dog-friendly shampoo product, namely the Mighty Petz 2-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo And Conditioner.
It has been specially formulated with natural products that preserve the oils present on a Shih Poos skin, and keep the pooch’s coat shiny. And the sweet fragrance present in the product leaves your Shih Poo with a pleasant smell, thereby making cuddling sessions even easier.
Extra Grooming Tips
- As earlier stated, Shih Poos are prone to several dental infections; Hence, regular teeth brushing is necessary to prevent plaque build-up and protect your pooch.
- Wipe your Shih Poos face daily to prevent the occurrence of tear stains beneath the pooch’s eyes.
- Regularly trim your Shih Poo’s genital region to prevent urine from staining the coat and to keep your pooch from smelling.
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How Much Do Shih Poos Cost? Compared to other dogs, Shih Tzu Poodle mixes are relatively expensive due to their designer dog status. The average price for a new Shih Poo puppy typically ranges between $550 to $1,750. And if you’re purchasing a Shih Poo that was bred from a high pedigree family, you should be prepared to pay in excess of $2,000.
Can Shih Poos Swim? If your Shih Poo inherits most of its Poodle parent genes, then it is most likely going to be capable of swimming. However, if your Shih Tzu Poodle mix is mostly Shih Tzu, then you will end up having a pooch with physical limitations that make it incapable of swimming for long distances.
How Many Puppies Do Shih Poos Have? Shih Tzus typically 5 puppies per litter, while Poodles produce an average of 3 puppies per litter. Hence from the available evidence, you can expect your Shih Tzu Poodle mix to provide an average of between 3 to 5 puppies per litter. These figures aren’t set in stone though, and your Shih Poo can either produce more or less puppies than the expected range.