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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Skip-Shzu is a small dog who is the offspring of the Schipperke and the Shih Tzu both of whom are purebred dogs. He has a life span of 15 to 18 years and is a cross breed with a lot of energy so he can be hyper but is also very loyal and dedicated to his owners. Currently this is a rare dog so may be hard to find.

The Skip-Shzu gets in well everyone though he will need help with other dogs. He trains easily and is only slightly active making him suitable for anyone less active. He can be hyper sometimes but he is also very loyal and loving.

Here is the Skip-Shzu at a Glance
Average height Small
Average weight 10 to 15 pounds
Coat type Double, medium to long, silky, thick
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate to heavy during seasonal times
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Low to moderate
Tolerance to Cold Good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Very good to excellent
Good with other Dogs? Moderate to good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Moderate to good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate to high
A Good Apartment Dweller? Very good to excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat High
Major Health Concerns Legg-Calve-Perthes, Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Epilepsy, Patellar Luxation, MPSIIIB, bladder and kidney problems, eye problems, Umbilical hernia, liver problems,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, Hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, reverse sneezing, snuffles,
Life Span 15 to 18 years
Average new Puppy Price Unknown
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $630

Where does the Skip-Shzu come from?

The Skip-Shzu is part of a group of dogs called Designer dogs by some, deliberately bred mixed dogs often first generations. For over thirty years these have been bred but it is more recently that it has become such a popular trend to own one. There are a lot of fans of these dogs in the public and amongst celebrities but there are also some criticisms. The main one being the amount of puppy mills and bad breeders that have sprung up to take advantage of animals and people. Therefore take care where you buy from. First generation dogs can have any traits from other parents so be prepared for any possibility not just the best as the breeders sometimes advertise. With no origins known about this one we can look at the parents for some ideas on what could go into the mix.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is an old breed and comes from either Tibet or China. They were treasured as companion dogs and were referred to as little lion dogs. They were described as being 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 a great 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 Schipperke

The Schipperke was bred in Belgium despite being called the Dutch Dog when in fact Holland had nothing to do with him! It is thought he comes from a sheepdog but rather than a herding dog the Schipperke was bred to be a watchdog and were used often by canal boat owners. They were then called Spits or Spitske but the name became its current one when the club was formed. It’s meaning is little captain or little shepherd. He came to America in 1888.

Today he is a very active, curious and somewhat overly confident small dog. He enjoys a good challenge and can be puppy like for several years before growing up a little. He is clever and funny and while he is devoted and loving he is also sneaky and expects to get his own way. He is wary around strangers and limits his friendship to a select few. They can learn quickly with the right approach but can be stubborn.


The Skip-Shzu is a loyal and affectionate dog who is an interesting mix of playful and lively but also calm and loving. He loves to be around people and loves to get lots of attention. While he can be hyper sometimes he is eager to please and is a great companion and family dog.

What does the Skip-Shzu look like

He is a small dog weighing 10 to 15 pounds and has flappy ears, and a double coat. His coat can be brittle and coarse like the Schipperke or soft, long and silky like the Shih Tzu. It is straight and medium to long and common colors are black, brown, cream, tan, reddish brown and brown. He can also have white markings on his chest.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Skip-Shzu need to be?

As he is playful and lively he does enjoy playing indoors and out but his size means he is only slightly active. He should have outside time each day, a couple of short walks should be sufficient on top of his play time. His size means he is good for apartment living. He does not need a yard to be happy but it would be a bonus.

Does he train quickly?

He has average intelligence but he is inclined to listen to and obey commands and is eager to please so should train quite easily and quickly. He will need you to be firm and consistent but positive too using rewards, treats and praise to encourage him. Most times he needs less repetition than some dogs. Early socialization and training are important to ensure he becomes the best dog he can be.

Living with a Skip-Shzu

How much grooming is needed?

The Skip-Shzu is a moderate shedding dog with moderate grooming needs. He should be brushed daily to keep his coat free of tangles and debris. Bathing should just be done as he needs it, doing it too often can dry out his skin. Use a dog shampoo only. He will need regular grooming and trimming and you could opt to have his coat kept shorter for easier care if you want to. His nails will need clipping when they get too long and his ears should checked and cleaned once a week. His teeth should be brushed two to three times a week also.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He gets along well with children and other animals though early socialization is important in helping with other dogs. Make sure he is supervised if in a place with other strange dogs like a dog park. Children should be taught how to approach and play with him safely.

General information

He is not a great watchdog, he will not always bark to alert you of an intruder. His barking otherwise is rare. He should be fed ½ to 1 cup of good quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. He does not do well in a climate that is too warm so keep him cool and hydrated.

Health Concerns

The Skip-Shzu can inherit health issues from his parents. They would include Legg-Calve-Perthes, Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Epilepsy, Patellar Luxation, MPSIIIB, bladder and kidney problems, eye problems, Umbilical hernia, liver problems, Allergies, Hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, reverse sneezing and snuffles. Ask the breeder to show you health clearances for both parents to lessen the risks. Visiting the puppy can also help you get a health dog as you can see the conditions he is being kept in.

Costs involved in owning a Skip-Shzu

At the moment since this is not a common designer dog there is not a price range that can be gathered for the sake of this article. Other costs though will include a carrier, crate, collar and leash, deworming, blood tests, shots, neutering and micro chipping. These come to between $360 to $400. Other basic costs for non medical needs each year like food, treats, toys, license, grooming and training come to between $530 to $630. Medical essentials each year for check ups, flea prevention, shots and pet insurance come to between $435 to $535.


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Featured Image Credit: Left – Welshea, Shutterstock; Right – DoKreativMedia, 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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