Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More


Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

The Shih-Poo is also called a Pooshih and a Shoodle and is a mixed breed coming from the Shih Tzu and the Miniature or Toy Poodle. She has a life span of 10 to 15 years and is zesty little dog having lots of personality and spunk but still very affectionate and loyal.

She is a great dog is a small lap dog is what you want and is suitable for families with older children, singles, seniors living in houses or apartments. She loves to be on your lap getting lots of attention but is also zesty and playful.

Here is the Shih-Poo at a Glance
Other Names Pooshih and Shoodle
Average height 8 to 13 inches
Average weight 8 to 18 pounds
Coat type Medium to long, wavy to curly, soft to wiry
Hypoallergenic? Yes (both parents are)
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Some are occasional but some are frequent
Tolerance to Heat With coat like Poodle good, with coat like Shih-Tzu, low
Tolerance to Cold Good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good to very good
Good with other Dogs? Very good
Good with other Pets? Good to very good
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Excellent
Trainability Moderate – can be stubborn
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high.
Major Health Concerns Patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, bloat, eye problems, Von Willebrands, Cushings, Addsions, Legg-Perthes, epilepsy, kidney problems, bladder problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems,
Other Health Concerns Hip dysplasia, skin problems, allergies, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles, reverse sneezing
Average new Puppy Price $550 to $1750
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $630

Where does the Shih-Poo come from?

The Shih-Poo is one of the newer mixed breeds also called Designer dogs that you can find today. Over the last thirty years or so the popularity and demand for such dogs has really increased thanks in part to a lot of celebrities choosing designer dogs and the public mimicking them. Some designer dogs have dome though to them but a lot do not and are just a blend of any two purebreds in the hope of making more money. There are a lot of bad breeders and puppy mills using this trend for their own means so be careful who you buy from.

The Shih-Poo is believed to have originated in the US bred to create a new lap dog that was also hypoallergenic and easy to carry. Poodle crosses are a very popular option for breeders creating designer dog breeds because of their intelligence, being low shedding and hypoallergenic and good temperament. Keep in mind that that while a breeder will hope for and perhaps even claim that their Shih-Poos have the best of both parents in them this is not something that can be controlled with these first generation breedings. Even puppies in the same litter can vary in looks, coat and temperament.

The Poodle

This dog is a good two thousand years old at least as his ancestors can be found in ancient drawings and artifacts. Believed to be from what is now called Germany they were used by hunters to go and retrieve waterfowl from the waters. When he made his way to France he was bred and changed into something closer to what we see today. There are three sizes, the standard the French continued to use for duck hunting, the miniature they used to hunt for truffles and the toy that became the companion to every noble lady in France.

Today the Poodle is known for his outrageous coat shapes and colors and for being somewhat disdainful. Away from these stereotypes though he is actually very clever, very loyal, very eager to please and easy to train. He is loving to his family and affectionate but also has a cheeky playful personality. His aloofness tends to be reserved for strangers who he is naturally wary of.

The Shih-Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be in the top 14 oldest breeds around, coming from either Tibet or China. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found in paintings and documents across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were referred to as little lion dogs and were docile, intelligent and happy. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England happened in 1928.In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu today is still very much a companion dog. He wants to please and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.


The Shih-Poo is a very zesty little dog, lively and full of energy and joy. She loves to clown around and have fun and is guaranteed to make you smile. Everyone loves her and sometimes she is welcoming with strangers, and sometimes she is more wary. As energetic with her toys as she can be around the house she also loves to be a lap dog and is a great dog for anyone. She is intelligent and friendly and loyal. She likes to be with you and likes to please you and make you happy. She can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long.

What does the Shih-Poo look like

She is a small dog weighing 8 to 18 pounds and standing 8 to 13 inches tall. She is a well proportioned dog, sturdy but small with a longer muzzle, long tail, button nose and floppy ears. She has a coat that can be medium to long, wavy to curly and silky or wiry depending on whether she leans more towards the Poodle or the Shih-Tzu. Colors include black, white, cream, apricot, brown, red, tan, sable, gray and brown.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Shih-Poo need to be?

She is small so while she is energetic she does not need a lot of actually exercise, much of what she needs she will get with her antics and play inside. This makes her well suited for apartment living. She will still need one or two short walks each day and would love some trips to the dog park. Mental challenges are a good idea for her too. Under-exercised she will likely act out. If you are interested in dog sporting events she does well in things like rally, agility and obedience.

Does she train quickly?

She is intelligent and eager to please so these factors do make training a little easier. However she can have a stubborn streak and can sometimes act like she knows better. House training especially may take a bit longer, as is a common problems with small dogs. Use positive training methods, reward her with praise and treats. Be firm and consistent but not harsh. Learn how to motivate her and use it! Early training and socialization are important to get her to be the best dog that she can be.

Living with a Shih-Poo

How much grooming is needed?

She should be a low shedding dog and could be a good dog for someone with allergies but that should be checked before buying as different people react in different ways. Her coat will need to be brushed daily to remove tangles and debris and so on. She will need a bath as and when she really gets dirty depending on what she gets herself into. Just use a dog shampoo only as it is better for her skin. She will need her nails trimmed when they get too long, her coat will need professional grooming regularly, her teeth will need brushing at least twice a week and her ears checked and wiped once a week. She will also need the hair trimmed between her paw pads when it gets too long. Another thing to keep on top of is the tear stains that can happen if you do not wipe her eyes and beneath her eyes regularly.

What is she like with children and other animals?

The Shih-Poo is better with older children just because of her size and the fact that small children so not take care with how they handle her. If she is with smaller children it is a good idea to supervise. Early socialization and training help her improve all her interactions and in general she is good with other pets and very good with other dogs.

General information

This dog can vary between being quite vocal and being less so. She will act as a good watchdog and will bark to alert you of an intruder. She will need to be fed ¾ to 1 1/2 cups of high quality dry dog food each day. This should be split in at least two meals.

Health Concerns

The Shih-Poo does have a tendency to have dental problems so looking after their teeth is important. She can also suffer from issues her parents are prone to which include Patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, bloat, eye problems, Von Willebrands, Cushings, Addsions, Legg-Perthes, epilepsy, kidney problems, bladder problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Hip dysplasia, skin problems, allergies, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles and reverse sneezing. Visit the puppy to see it at the breeders and how healthy the other animals are and ask to see parental health clearances.

Costs involved in owning a Shih-Poo

A Shih-Poo puppy will cost between $550 to $1750 and other things like shots, blood testing, chipping, spaying, a crate, collar and leash and carrier will cost between $360 to $400. Medical annual costs for basics like vaccinations, flea prevention, pet insurance and check ups come to $435 to $550. Non-medical annual costs for things like a license, food, treats, training, grooming and toys come to between $530 to $630.


Looking for a Shih-Poo Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!


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.

Did you know: an average of 18 dog foods are recalled every year?

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts by email whenever there's a recall.