Shih Poo

Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Lim Tiaw Leong/


Shih Poo Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Shih Poo Locations

Shih Poo Locations

Shih Poo Facts


Shih Poo Physical Characteristics

Shih Poo as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Cold climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
5-20 lbs
Female weight
5-20 lbs

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Shih Poos are sometimes called “teddy bear dogs” because of their resemblance to the stuffed toy.

A Shih Poo dog is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle, and is not recognized as a breed in its own right by the American Kennel Club. Shih Poos tend to be affectionate and playful dogs. Like both their origin breeds, they usually don’t shed much and are often considered hypoallergenic, though this varies from dog to dog, and some longer hair varieties may not be hypoallergenic. Shih Poos usually make good apartment dogs because they don’t usually bark a lot. They make excellent companion pets. Also sometimes known as the Shoodle or the Pooshi, Shih Poos have been popular with owners and breeders for over a decade, but no one is quite sure of when these toy dogs were first bred.

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Shih Poo Dog

Highly intelligent: They are smart little dogs, who pick up routines easily.High Strung: They can be a bit high maintenance. They may get anxious easily and dislike changes in routine.
Small: Because of their diminutive size, they can easily go with you in the car and anywhere dogs are allowed. They don’t eat (or poop!) as much as larger breeds, which makes them more cost-effective.Separation Anxiety: Your dog wants to be with you. They won’t do well when left alone for extended periods of more than a few hours.
Don’t need much exercise: They won’t need a big yard and can easily stay in a small apartment. Their exercise needs are low, so they won’t need to be taken on long walks every day.Stubborn: Even though they are smart dogs, or perhaps because of it, these dogs can be stubborn, so they aren’t as easy to train as other breeds. They can be trained, but it may take extra effort and patience on your part.

Size and Weight

white and brown Shih Poo

Shih Poos generally weigh about 10 lbs, however, full-grown adults can weight as much as 25 lbs

©Bonita R. Cheshier/

Shih Poos are teacup small to medium size dogs. Their hair is often long and wavy, though it can also be short and curly. They have an average height of about 13 inches, though it can be much smaller for teacup varieties. Full-grown adult Shih Poos typically can weigh up to 25 pounds, though most are closer to 10 pounds. Puppies near weaning age weigh about a pound.

Height (Male):12 inches
Height (Female):12 inches
Weight (Male):15 pounds
Weight (Female):15 pounds

Common Health Issues

white Shih Poo

Shih Poos generally enjoy good health, however, they are may overheat and are prone to dental issues

©Lim Tiaw Leong/

Health and Entertainment for your Shih Poo

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Shih Poos are a fairly healthy breed, but there are some problems that can arise in this crossbreed. They have a strong tendency to overeat, so it is important to monitor how much food you give them. These little dogs are also prone to dental issues and bad breath, so size-appropriate kibble, proper dental cleanings, and dental treats are keys to keeping them healthy. If your pet has not inherited the longer nose of the Poodle, then its short snout may cause breathing issues. The shorter their nose, the more likely it may have breathing problems. Less common, more serious conditions to look out for are hip dysplasia, conditions of the eyes, and luxating patella, where the kneecap frequently goes out of place.

To recap, a Shih Poo dog may experience the following conditions:

  • Overeating
  • Dental issues
  • Breathing problems
  • Hip problems
  • Eye problems
  • Knee problems


The behavior and personality traits of Shih Poos make them great companions for people with less active lifestyles. Their size and personality make them best suited to couples with older children or older couples with no children. They enjoy cuddling and being playful with or without toys. These pets are a bit stubborn so they aren’t necessarily recommended for people with no experience training a dog; if you want a dog that will be on its best behavior. One of their best traits is their intelligence, so if you have training experience, they can be taught.

How To Take Care of Shih Poo

These dogs need regular dental cleaning, regular hair and nail grooming and, if they are on the smaller side, steps or ramps to help them reach higher places, if you mean to allow them on beds or other furniture. Monitoring their food so they don’t overeat is an important part of Shih Poo dog ownership.


The shih poo is a fairly new dog breed that is considered to be “designer” developed in North America. While the poodle comes from Germany and the Shih Tzu comes from Chinese Royalty the Shih Tzu personality and characters tend to be the dominate characteristics.

Shih poos are the result of a mixing of breeds between the loyal and smaller Shih Tzu and the intelligent poodle. They are great for anyone who needs a hypoallergenic dog breed. If you want to add a Shih Tzu to your family, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a breeder. The shih poo may be the best choice for you and your family.

The Best Dog Food for Shih Poos

These dogs should be fed according to their size and age, using small dog kibble for adults and puppy kibble for puppies. They are prone to eating as much as you will let them, so their intake, including treats, needs to be monitored, particularly when they are no longer puppies. Buy your Shih Poo high-quality dog food with proper nutrition to satiate their appetite to curb overeating.

Our A-Z Animals pick for the best dog food for Shih Poos is Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult Oral Care for Dental Health Dog Food.

This specialized, crunchy kibble is vet and nutritionist-approved to help manage plaque and tartar for dogs like Shih Poos that tend to have dental problems. The top natural ingredient is a quality meat protein source such as chicken. And since this formula is balanced and nutrient-dense, your Shih Poo dog is more likely to stop eating when it feels full, to help address overeating.

Get Hill’s Science Diet Dental Health Dry Dog Food for your Shih Poo on Chewy and Amazon.

Best for Oral Care
Hill's Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dry Dog Food
  • Reduces plaque and tartar
  • The kibble's texture mimics the results of a toothbrush
  • Interlocking fibers clean teeth
  • Freshens breath
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Maintenance and Grooming

If your dog is the longer-haired variety, it will need nearly-daily brushing, as the hair is prone to dirt, tangles, and matting. People often like to put the top of their Shih Poo’s hair in a ponytail, to help keep it out of their eyes. Their nails will need frequent trimming.


Tehse dogs are smart, but they can be stubborn, so they may train easily in some areas and less easily in others. House training may go well, but other commands may take more time and discipline.


Shih Poos don’t require a lot of exercise, making them ideal for small living spaces and smaller yards. On average, they only need about half an hour of exercise for weight maintenance.


brown Shih Poo puppy

The fur and markings of Shih Poo puppies can undergo marked changes within the course of a year


The main thing to remember is that if you get yours when it is a puppy, its fur and markings will change, sometimes drastically, over the course of the next 12 months.


Shih Poos are not bad with children, but nor are they typically as friendly with children as other breeds, such as Golden Retrievers. A puppy will tend to adapt more easily to children than a full-grown adult.

Dogs similar to Shih Poo

Shih Tzu: One of the Shih Poo parent breeds, similar in size and coloring.
Toy Poodle: The other parent breed of the Shih Poo, similar in temperament and behavior.
Lhasa Apso: This breed is often mistaken for the Shih Tzu.

  • Chewy
  • Lily
  • Daisy
  • Precious
  • Teddy
  • Muffy
  • Teacup

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

Ashley Haugen is a lifelong animal lover and professional writer and editor. When she's not immersed in, she can be found hanging out with her dogs and birds.

Shih Poo FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What's the difference between Shih Poos and Maltipoos?

Maltipoos differ from Shih Poos in their breeding, as Maltipoos are a cross between Maltese dogs and poodles, while Shih Poos are a cross between poodles and Shih Tzus.

What's the difference between a Shih Poo and a Cavapoo?

The main differences between a Cavapoo and a Shih Poo are their breeding and sizes. The Cavapoo is also considered a calmer and more friendly dog compared to the Shih Poo.

What are the differences between Shih Poos and Shih Tzus?

The main difference between Shih Poos and Shih Tzus is their energy level. Other notable differences include size, fur texture, color, temperament, and trainability.

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