What is a Shih Poo?
A Shih Poo is a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle. It is also commonly referred to as a Teddy Bear, which is a result of any of the following breed pairings: A Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, a Bichon Frise and Toy Poodle, or a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise.
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Appearances: How Big a Shih Poo Get?
Since the Shih Poo is a mix between two other breeds, there is no exact guarantee as to what a Shih Poo will look like, beyond the fact that it’s a small, fluffy dog.
The features of each Shih Poo greatly vary based on the genetics of its parents. Their coats can vary from any combination of colors, such as brown, white, and black. If you know the coat colors of the parents, then you will have a better guess as to which colors the puppies will be. They can also have either a curlier coat like a poodle or a smoother coat like a Shih Tzu.
History of Shih Poos
Shih Poos are a small lap dog that typically weighs between 8 and 16 pounds. It is a relatively new breed which originated in America, but it is uncertain exactly when the breed first came to be. They have grown in popularity over the years not only because of their adorable looks, but because they are known to be a sweet companion dog that is supposed to be hypoallergenic.
Shih Poo Behavior
Shih Poos are generally playful and energetic dogs that are also very loving and affectionate to their owners. Of course, every Shih Poo is different and has their own personality, but they are typically very easy going and have basic needs.
Ideal Living Situation for a Shih Poo
Shih Poos are generally best living with a family that has older kids. While they can get along with just about anyone, they prefer to be around people who can give them space when needed. Young children can often be smothering to a small dog, so while Shih Poos love to play, if they are in a family environment, it would be best with kids that are older and more mature because Shih Poos can get annoyed easily.
Since they are a small breed, Shih Poos do not take up a ton of space. This means that they can live in all different sized houses, including smaller apartments.
Common Bad Habits of Shih Poos
Shih Poos love to bark. If not trained properly, they will bark at anything and everything possible. Especially when they’re young, Shih Poos will have an excessive amount of energy, so if they’re not trained to stop barking, then it could become a real issue as they grow up.
Also, Shih Poos are known to be stubborn, so if they start to develop a bad habit, make sure you do what you can to fix it or else they might learn to train you instead of the other way around. Shih Poos like things a certain way and if you give into their stubbornness, then they will start to boss you around. It can be hard to say no to them since they’re so adorable, but you need to learn to set some boundaries with them.
Shih Poo Care Requirements
While all dogs need the same basic requirements, such as food and water, different breeds of dogs need different things. When it comes to a Shih Poo, they sometimes need specific supplies or routines to help meet their needs.
Best Foods for a Shih Poo
There is a wide selection of dog food options available, so choosing one for your Shih Poo can be overwhelming. Most owners choose to go with a dry food option because it is the most easily accessible and has the most varieties.
Since Shih Poos are a small breed, you want to make sure you pick a high-quality food with small pieces, so that it is easier for your dog to consume and digest their food. Many brands of dog food have specific recipes directed toward small dogs, so this can be a great option for a Shih Poo.
This breed is commonly known to overeat if given the option, so make sure you feed them specific portions each day. Dog foods generally have a chart of the back of the bag to tell you how much your dog should be eating in a day. Simply measure out the amount of food for your Shih Poo before giving it to them to ensure that they don’t get overfed.
Shih Poo Exercise Requirements
Even though Shih Poos are a small breed that don’t need an excessive amount of exercise, they do still need some way to stay fit and healthy. You don’t need to take your little dog on lengthy hiking trips or through an agility course, but a daily walk and some playtime can always help your Shih Poo to stay in shape.
If you do not exercise your Shih Poo enough, they could easily become lazy and overweight. Therefore, make sure to keep your dog active every so often to ensure that they live a long, healthy life.
Training Your Shih Poo
All dogs, whether they are puppies or adults, need some type of training when you first bring them home. A new home can be scary or confusing to a new dog, so remember to be patient with them as you go through new training processes.
Housetraining a Shih Poo
If you adopt your Shih Poo as a puppy, then you will likely need to go through a lot of time trying to train your dog to go to the bathroom outside. During this time, try to remain calm because accidents will happen. As cute as your Shih Poo is, it is easy to get angry if they are constantly having accidents in the house.
When housetraining your Shih Poo, you need to be consistent. Every time you take them out to do their business, use the same exact command, then reward them when they finally get it done. That way, they will get used to hearing that command, so they will learn to associate it with going to the bathroom outside.
Crate Training a Shih Poo
For some owners, crate training is an easy way to keep their dog contained when they’re home alone. Since Shih Poos are small, they won’t be able to reach a lot of things and make a huge mess, but they may still chew on furniture and have accidents, so this could be avoided with a crate or a small, closed off area of the house.
You will want to choose a crate that’s small, but still big enough for your Shih Poo to comfortably move around in as needed. They can be curious, so get one that allows them to see out of all sides because it will help them to feel more comfortable.
The crate should never be used as a punishment because then your dog will learn to fear it, making them not want to go inside it on command. Leave the crate open even when you’re home because it can actually serve as a safe space for your dog. If your Shih Poo is ever feeling overwhelmed or just wants some time to themselves, then they can easily retreat to their crate for some space.
Teaching Your Shih Poo Tricks
Shih Poos are not known to be one of the brightest breeds of dogs, but they can still easily learn basic tricks if taught properly. Your Shih Poo should at least learn “sit,” “stay,” and “come” because it will help to better control your dog when they do get crazy. Plus, training often bonds Shih Poos to their owners more because it is a fun activity with rewards.
Rewards that come with training are usually small treats that are low in calories or the occasional pet and “good dog.” Similar to housetraining, repetition and consistency is key when it comes to teaching commands. Keep repeating the same commands over and over again and stick to it. Eventually your Shih Poo will catch on with the help of positive reinforcement.
Shih Poo Health
Of course, all dogs need an occasional checkup with the vet, and oftentimes, a visit to the groomer. However, each breed has different types of coats and different common health problems, so what health aspects should Shih Poo owners look out for?
Shih Poo Grooming Requirements
Whether your Shih Poo has straight hair or curly hair, they still need to visit the groomer regularly for a trim. This is because they have a coat of hair instead of fur, meaning that their coat continuously grows instead of sheds. Therefore, even if you want your Shih Poo’s hair to grow out, you should still take them to the groomer every so often to help maintain their coat. Most owners typically take their Shih Poo to the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks.
In between grooming appointments, it is important to brush your Shih Poo on a regular basis. This will prevent their hair from getting tangled or matted. If your Shih Poo is too matted when taken to the groomer, it is possible that they may need to shave down their hair to help get rid of all the matts and keep their coat healthy. If this ends up happening, just remember that a Shih Poo’s coat will easily grow back in a month or so. In the meantime, just remember to keep up on brushing them.
Shih Poo Health Concerns
Shih Poos are likely to develop health concerns that are common for both Shih Tzus and Poodles. Some of these common issues are joint problems, breathing problems, and eye issues. Just because these issues are common doesn’t mean that your Shih Poo is guaranteed to get them, but these are common health concerns to be aware of. If you get your Shih Poo from a breeder, they should be able to tell you if either of the parents had health concerns that may be passed on to your puppy.
How does a Shih Tzu Poodle Live?
This breed typically lives to be about 15 years old, but depending on their conditions and how well they are cared for, they can live shorter or longer. Especially as your Shih Poo gets old, make sure to check on them regularly to make sure they still seem healthy. If you ever have any concerns, take them to the vet to find out what’s wrong.
Life with a Shih Poo
Ultimately, once your Shih Poo gets comfortable around you and you get in the habit of caring for them, then life with your Shih Poo will be great. They are an amazing companion dog that will always be there for you. Each Shih Poo is unique and has their own personality, but no matter what, they are sure to find a way into your heart.