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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Poo-Shi is a mix of the Shiba Inu and the Poodle. He is also called Shiba-poo, Shibadoodle, Shibapoo or just a Shiba Inu/Poodle Mix. He is a small to large mix or cross breed depending on what size Poodle is used. He has a life span of 12 to 15 years and has talents in several areas including tricks, watchdog and agility. The Poo-Shi is a clever dog who will bond very closely and prefers to always have companionship.
Here is the Poo-Shi at a Glance
Average height 13 to 20 inches
Average weight 15 to 60 pounds
Coat type Double, wavy to curly, soft
Hypoallergenic? Can be – Poodle is
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily if kept longer, otherwise two to three times a week
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Somewhere between low to very good depending on the parent it takes after
Barking Occasional to frequent
Tolerance to Heat Good to very good
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Average to above average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Moderate to fairly high
Major Health Concerns Addison’s, Bloat, Cushings, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Eye problems,
Other Health Concerns Hip Dysplasia, Skin Problems, Allergies, Tail Chasing
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 to $375
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $585
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $975 to $1075

Where does the Poo-Shi come from?

The Poo-Shi may also be called a hybrid dog or designer dog being made up of two purebreds. These deliberately bred mixes are very popular now which is why more and more are being designed. A lot use the Poodle as one of the parents because it is hypo-allergenic, friendly all round, smart and has a great temperament. Care needs to be taken though when purchasing a designer dog as there are a lot of unscrupulous breeders in the market who take no care of the animals and breed without any thought. Most have little information concerning their origins so taking note of the parents can give us a better understanding.

The Poodle

Another very old breed is the Poodle. You can find pictures of Poodle like dogs on old Roman and Egyptian artifacts and in tombs from as far back as the 1st century. Despite most regular people thinking the Poodle is a French dog, in fact he comes from Germany and was used for hunting ducks and other waterfowl. But he became a more distinct breed when he made it to France. There have been three sizes of Poodles for centuries, the Standard, the Miniature and the Toy. French aristocracy adopted the toy Poodles as companions to carry around with them. When the Poodle was adopted into traveling circuses to perform they clipped them into interesting shapes and the aristocracy copied. He was registered in the Kennel Club in England in 1874, and the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Today he is known for being super intelligent, eager to please and easy to train. He is very devoted and loving and while energetic, can be calmed with training, socialization and enough exercise. He may seem to be aloof but in fact when you talk to Poodle owners you discover he has a great sense of humor and loves to clown around and play.

The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu comes from Japan and was bred to be a hunting dog for those hunting smaller game and birds. World War II was a tough time for him as many died in the bombing and those that survived suffered from distemper. Breeding programs had to be established to save the breed. He was first brought to America in 1954.

He is an alert dog, confident and sometimes stubborn. He is a good family dog being affectionate and loyal but is suspicious of strangers, making him a good watchdog. He is not a good sharer so do not expect him to share toys, food and so on and make sure children know this about him. He does not get on well with other animals or dogs, the former he sees as prey to chase. He is smart and can be trained but often even when trained he will decide whether to follow a command or not!


The Poo-Shi is a very friendly dog who does not like to be left alone for long periods if he takes more after the Poodle. However if he is more like the Shiba Inu he will be happier about it so that will just be about luck and genetics. He is a smart dog and he can have a more independent nature at times. He is unfortunately very vocal so training will be needed to control it. It does mean he is alert though and he is also quite sensitive. He makes a great companion or family dog.

What does the Poo-Shi look like

As the Poodle can come in three sizes, Standard, Miniature and Toy, the Poo-Shi can also range in size from 15 to 60 pounds and from 13 to 20 inches tall. In general though you will find most Poo-Shi are bred to small to medium size as that is the more popular dog size for owners right now. His coat is soft and wavy to curly. It may look wiry but when you touch it it is soft. Common colors are cream, white, black, brown and golden. They have slim bodies and long legs with ears that hang down.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Poo-Shi need to be?

Poo-Shi are just slightly active when they are at their smaller size at least, so at that point they are also suitable for apartment living. They do need daily exercise still though a couple of 10 to 15 minute walks each day along with his indoor play should be sufficient. He would also love to take trips to a dog park regularly where he can play off leash, run and even socialize.

Does he train quickly?

He is moderately easy to train so while it will not take extra work to train him, he will also not train super quickly, it will need some time and patience. It is important to remain firm so that you are clearly the pack leader but still be positive. Praise rather than scold, be patient and calm, reward and encourage rather than punish. He will respond well for example to the use of treats. Housebreaking should go well. Early socialization and training are important to develop him into the best dog he can be and to head off behavioral issues.

Living with a Poo-Shi

How much grooming is needed?

The amount of grooming and maintenance the Poo-Shi needs is going to depend on the type of coat he has. A Poodle like coat is low shedding, will need daily brushing as it collects debris easily and will need regular trips to a professional groomer for clipping and stripping. It will also more likely be hypo-allergenic. A less Poodle like coat may need less frequent brushing and grooming but may shed a little more. It will need a bath when it gets really dirty but try to avoid bathing too frequently as it can cause skin problems from drying out.

He will need his eyes and face wiped daily to prevent tear staining especially if he has a lighter or white coat. His ears should be checked once a week for infection and wiped clean using a cotton ball and cleanser. Do not insert anything into the ears. He will need his teeth brushed at least two to three times a week and his nails cut by someone familiar with dog nails when they get too long.

What is he like with children and other animals?

Poo-Shi can be very good with children and other dogs with socialization. He will be friendly and affectionate and makes a great play mate. He also tends to get on well with other pets. Make sure the children are taught how to touch and play nicely without being too rough.

General information

As an alert dog he makes a good watchdog and will let you know if an intruder is breaking in. He does mark occasional to frequently though so is noise is an issue where you live this could be a problem. He will need to be fed 1 1/2 to 3 cups (depends on size) of dry dog food each day split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are issues the Poo-Shi may have to deal with, they include ones his parents can be prone to and he might inherit. They are Addison’s, Bloat, Cushings, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Eye problems, Von Willebrand’s, Chylothorax, Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Skin Problems, Allergies and Tail Chasing.

Costs involved in owning a Poo-Shi

A Poo-Shi puppy is going to cost $200 to $375 currently though this may increase depending on location and whether its popularity increases. Initial costs for medical needs like an exam, blood tests, deworming, chipping, neutering, vaccinations and the like come to around $290. Initial costs for items needed like a collar and leash, crate and carrier come to about $220. Annual medical costs for just basics like pet insurance, check ups, flea prevention and shots come to between $485 to $585. Annual non-medical basics like food, basic training, license, treats, toys and grooming come to between $975 to $1075.


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The Poo-Shi is a great dog to take on. He will bring a lot of happiness to your home and his friendly nature means with socialization he gets on great with anyone and can be adaptable. Make sure he is well cared for and given the exercise and attention he needs and you will be rewarded with his loyalty and affection.

Featured Image Credit: Left: Shiba Inu (Source: madoom, Pixabay), Right: Poodle (Source: PetraSolajova, Pixabay)

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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