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Shih-Poo: Breed Characteristics, Care &
Exercise Needs (Shihdoodle)

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About Shih-Poo

Country of Origin, History of Shih-Poos

There is no known date or person who started the Shih-Poo breed, but it is believed it may have existed naturally over the years. However, it was only in the 1990s that designer dog breeders in North America mixed Shih Tzus and Toy Poodles to develop Shih-Poos to have an intelligent, affectionate, companion dog. As demand for mixed breed dogs kept increasing, Shih-Poos became more and more popular.

Shih-Poo Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Shih-Poo the right breed for you?

Is the Shih-Poo the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Shih-Poo's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Shih-Poo's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Shih-Poo training methods.

Is your Shih-Poo dominating over you?

Does your Shih-Poo bark unnecessarily? Does your Shih-Poo come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Shih-Poo and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Shih-Poo?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Shih-Poo? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Shih-Poo Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Shih-Poo needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Shih-Poo Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

The Shih-Poo is the result of a cross of the Shih-Tzu and the Toy Poodle or the Miniature Poodle. If it was a Toy, the resulting dog will be smaller than if it was a Miniature. To best understand the traits of your dog, research both the Shih-Tzu and the Poodle and you’ll learn which traits are from which breed.

The Shih-Poo can be an affectionate, sociable, playful little dog. They love to be the center of attention, but can also be sweet cuddlers. They have a lot of energy and want to be where you are. They learn easily if you are consistent and positive.

They travel well. They make a good dog for anyone, but are especially good for a retired senior or couple who have time to pamper them and take them on errands and trips. They are hypoallergenic.


Whether the Shih-Poo coat is curly like the Poodle or silky like the Shih-Tzu or a combination, they are hypoallergenic. They can be white, black, brown, brindle, and various color combinations.


13 – 20 pounds


8 – 13 inches

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Shih-Poo Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog

The Shih-Poo makes a great dog for a family with a fenced yard or a retired couple traveling in an RV. They are sweet, affectionate little dogs who like to be the center of attention, but feel that being with you is the most important thing. They are intelligent and fairly easy to train if you start early and make it fun. They love to play and can get most of their exercise with playing and a few walks for potty breaks.

Early socialization is important so that the Shih-Poo does not show shyness around guests in your home. They can be barkers, so be prepared to teach them good etiquette. They may develop separation anxiety if left alone for periods of time, so a companion dog is helpful to them, especially as they get a little older.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

The Shih-Poo is a great indoor dog who can even live happily in an apartment or RV if he gets walks to meet people, explore his surroundings, and go potty. It is best to keep him on a leash to protect him from larger dogs and animals. He can be happy in a house with a fenced yard – and getting a walk or two a day.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

Shih-poos love to play with kids. Kids should be supervised with the Shih-poo until they learn to play gently and not squeeze too hard when hugging.


Early and consistent training is important with the Shih-Poo. They need someone who is an alpha in a loving and positive way. Socialization should start early and should expose them to a variety of adults and children and various animals.

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Free Course on Shih-Poo Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Shih-Poo Activity Level

How active is the breed?

Shih-Poos are very active and playful. They will play with toys and love it when their people play with them. They enjoy walks and time at a dog park because they are also very social if socialized early.


The wavy or curly fur of the Shih-Poo should be brushed a couple of times a week to prevent mats. Pay special attention to underarms and hind quarters and behind the ears. Check the ears for dirt or inflammation. Be prepared to wipe around his eyes several times a day and even administer Angel Eyes or another similar product if he has tear stains around his eyes (more common in light colored dogs). Brush his teeth at least three times a week and clip toenails every 3 to 4 weeks. Many people have their Shih-poos professionally groomed several times a year to keep them in tip-top shape.

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Free Shih-Poo Training Secrets

Free Course on Shih-Poo Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

While the SWD seems to be a very healthy breed there are some issues that the SWD have, just like all other breeds. There are cases of Hip Dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully.

All breeding dogs should have their hips tested, either by OFA or PennHIP. There have been a few cases of PRA reported in Europe so it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases with a yearly CERF exam. A responsible breeder will be able to produce the results in writing.

Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals and can be prone to ear infections. The ears must be kept dry and clean. . Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs: none known

Other Recognition:

ACHC = American Canine Hybrid Club
DBR = Designer Breed Registry
DDKC = Designer Dogs Kennel Club
DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
IDCR = International Designer Canine Registry®

Group: Mixed Breed Dog.

AKC Popularity Ranking: Not recognized by AKC.

Also Known As: Shihpoo, Shih-Doodle, Shihdoodle, Shi Poo, Shi-Poo, Shipoo, Pooshi, Shoodle

Train Your Shih-Poo To Listen To You

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You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Shih-Poos have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

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Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Shoodle information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Shoodles have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Shih-Poo training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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