Shih-poo Dog Breed

  • Other names:
  • Shi-Poo
  • Shoodle

The Shih-poo is a hybrid produced from cross-breeding the Shih-tzu with the Poodle, hence the portmanteau of Shih-poo. Due to the lack of formal recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Kennel Club (KC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), a number of names and pronunciations have emerged to describe this hybrid: Shi-Poo, Shipoo, Shihpooh, Shi Poo, Shipooh and Shitzpoo are some of them.

Compare the Poodle vs Shih Tzu

Shih-poo Breed Details

Breed Specs
Hybrid10-15 yrs.8-11 in.7-15 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

The Shih-poo is a non-sporting dog that, due to the three varieties of Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Standard, as defined by the American kennel Club) by which it may have been produced, comes in a wide range of sizes, but they are often bred with Toy Poodles to keep their size small. The Shi-Tzu Poodle mix is one of many popular mixes whereby the hypoallergenic and other health aspects of the Poodle helps to lessen the other breed's many concerns — in this case the Shih-Tzu's well-known respiratory problems. This cute and cuddly hybrid is recommended for apartments and people who have the time to attend the frequent brushing (they don't shed much, if at all) and demand for companionship.

Shih-poo Pros

  • Great for small apartments
  • Excellent companions for active families and mature individuals alike
  • Easy to transport
  • Highly trainable
  • Adaptable to most any living environment

Shih-poo Cons

  • Requires several weekly brushings to keep coat clean and free of matting
  • Shih-poo puppies can be difficult to house-train
  • Can possess a stubborn attitude due to their Shih-tzu background

Shih-poo Breed Description

The Shih-poo may vary greatly in size depending on the variation of Poodle with which the Shih-Tzu was breed, and Poodles come in Toy, Miniature and Standard sizes. Nearly all breeders tend to use Toy and Miniature Poodles as most people want very small dogs, and as Shih-Tzus are small dogs as well, the best results usually involves the two smaller Poodles.

Like any hybrid, a Shih-Tzu's personality and appearance will depend on what it inherits from its Shih-Tzu and Poodle parents. Some Shih-poos may have more Shih-Tzu whereas others may have more Poodle — and then there will be those that get a perfect mix of both breeds. Until they are grown, however, it will not be easy to determine how much of which parent your pup will have inherited, for even those in the same litter will almost never get the same traits as the others.

Nevertheless, most Shih-poos tend to be inquisitive, highly intelligent, a wee bit stubborn but almost always happy to be a companion. They aren't barkers, for the most part, but they do make good watchdogs as they are alert. They do not make good dogs due to their small size — although they don't seem to know they are small dogs; they get their attitude from several centuries of the Shih-Tzu parent being pampered by royalty and a fearlessness from their hunter parent, the Poodle.

Shih-poo Coloring

Your Shih-poo can come a great variety of colors and combinations. They may be black, white, brown, apricot, tan, cream, red, sable or gray as well as a combination of two or three of these colors or even brindle (dark, irregular streaks) or particolor (white with another color). While relatively pure white ones are common, all-black Shih-poos are rather rare, however, as they will almost always have white markings or a brindle pattern across the back.

Shih-poo Size

Shih-poos tend to be small dogs, but their size is dependent on the variety of Poodle with which the Shih-Tzu were bred — although most Shih-poos are bred from Toy Poodles so as to keep them as small as possible. A full-grown Shih-poo, however, often reaches from 8 to 11 inches in height and should weigh between 7 and 15 pounds.

Average Adult Height

8-11 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

7-15 lbs

Shih-poo Temperament

If there were one word to describe the Shih-poo temperament, it would be "affectionate"! They are extremely playful, a bit of a clown and always ready to be at your side, in your lap or carried. They make great companion dogs, get a fair amount of exercise on their own and will be happy to be at your side all day and all night. They live to please and will love you all the more when they get their short daily walk.

Like any dog, the Shih-poo personality is best when the puppy is socialized early — usually starting at about six to eight weeks old. At this age, they will be highly cognizant of their world, and along with positive reinforcement training techniques, this early socialization will help make them into the perfect companion pet.

It should be noted that they may be a little difficult to house train, however, and their stubbornness may carry over into their maturity. This can be mitigated by learning how to give her what she wants, and this is usually treats, praise and play afterward. Remember: they have one parent who for nearly 2,000 years was pampered by royalty and whose breed for most of that time was not allowed to be in possession by anyone not of the royal families that bred them, and it is possible that that precious personality is one of many possible Shih-poo characteristics.

Shih-poo and Children

Although Shih-poos are very playful, friendly and energetic, they are small dogs that are better suit for mature children who know to be careful. Toddlers and smaller children may not understand that they may cause injury, and so they should be watched in the company of your Shih-poo.

Shih-poo Photos

Below are pictures and images of the shih-poo.

Shih Poo Puppy
Black Shih-Poo
Shih Poo Puppy
Shih Poo (Poodle Shih-Tzu)
Black & White Shih-Poo

Living Requirements

Shih-poos are indoor dogs who prefer cooler climates. They don't bark much, are very friendly but aware of anything unusual, and can have separation anxiety.

Although they are perfect for small apartments, your Shih-poo will also be happy in a large home in which they can roam.

The Shih-poo hypoallergenic aspect is not entirely true; they do shed a very little amount.

Shih-poo Health

Shih-poos have far fewer health problems than most purebred dogs — including their parent breeds, the Shih-tzu and the Poodle. Still, there are concerns: ear infections, skin allergies and teeth problems. They must also have closely monitored diets as they are highly active dogs on their own and will eat as much as they can, which can lead to inactivity, obesity and more problems. As this is a relatively new hybrid, there may be other concerns that have not yet been discovered. Kept healthy and happy, your Shih-poo has a life expectancy of about 10-15 years.

  • Ear Infections
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Skin Allergies
  • View all 5...

Shih-Poo Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Shih-Poo as a dog breed:

  • American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Designer Breed Registry
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • International Designer Canine Registry

Shih-Poo Breeders

Interested in the Shih-Poo? Contact a breeder below:

Breeder Name
All breeders with 'Quality Breeder' recognition have met our Quality Breeder Requirements.
* Please note - we are not endorsed or affiliated with any of the breeders listed above. However, we do our best to only list reputable and established breeders.