The Shih Poo is not a purebred dog but rather a cross between a purebred Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle. Although hybrid crosses are generally healthier than purebreds they are susceptible to health conditions from both parents. Shih Poos are energetic, playful, yappy dogs who, if bred with a Toy Poodle, will measure up to 18 inches and weigh up to 16 pounds (although if they are bred with a Standard Poodle, the Shih Poo may measure and weigh substantially more). These dogs have an independent streak which can make them difficult to train. House breaking may be difficult, so crate training is recommended. These dogs tend to have short attention spans so training sessions must be kept short and exciting through the use of toys and treats. Shih Poos come in almost every colour, ranging from white to tan to red to brown to black. They are generally OK with children, but may become nippy when rough housed. These dogs are highly excitable and can live an apartment, but potential owners should consider that these dogs will bark throughout the day and may be bothersome to nearby neighbours. At any rate, these dogs require daily exercise.
Shih Poos tend to have a lot of fur surrounding the face, which will need to be trimmed regularly. This area tends to get dirty quickly and may need to be cleaned daily with a damp cloth. Brush and bathe as needed. Shih Poos are prone to ear infection, so make sure to clean the ears out regularly. Shih Poos are territorial dogs and will do their best to protect their family and their home. If they feel threatened, they will attack.
Shih Poos are the result of a recent surge in interest in hybrid dogs. Hybrids tend to be less maintenance than purebreds, often inheriting the strengths of the parent dogs. Shih Poos are warm and affectionate and have a wonderful sense of humor. These dogs have boundless energy and can play for hours on end.
Shih Poo can live up to 15 years. Some health problems to consider are: susceptibility to eye and ear infection, breathing problems, digestive problems, heart disorders, and skin infections. When purchasing a Shih Poo, it is wise to become versed with health concerns for both the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. Because this is a normally a small dog and puppies tend to be born with large heads, some females experience birthing problems and may require a Cesarean Section.