A Shih-Poo is mix of a Shih-Tzu and Poodle. The mix is not recognized as a breed of dog, but they are bred intentionally for the purpose of obtaining cute dogs that have hypoallergenic qualities and a desirable level of intelligence and vigor.
As with any mixed-breed dog, the appearance of the Shih-Poo can vary since they can inherit any combination of characteristics from their parents. They typically have a long coat, but their hair may be straight, wavy, or poodle-like curly. The dog's body is structured much like it parents, and usually, its build is somewhat of a happy medium between the two. They normally weigh about 10 pounds (4.5 kg).
These dogs can be any color or any combination of colors. They don't shed much and should be trimmed on a monthly basis, which helps to keep their long coat from matting. Regular brushing is also a good idea, as it helps to keep the dog’s hair clean and free from unsightly tangles. They don't need to be bathed often, as they are naturally clean.
Like other hybrids, Shih-Poos are generally healthier than pure breed dogs, and they are also more vigorous and less likely to have genetic diseases. With pure breeds and inbred dogs, the opposite is true, and these dogs are more frequently stricken with genetic ailments. When in good health, they can live to be about 14 years old.
Most of these mixed breed dogs are typically happy, playful, and gentle. They crave and enjoy attention and affection from humans and usually coexist well with other household pets, including cats and other dogs. In most cases, Shih-Poos get along well with children, but they are known to become snappy if they are teased. They tend to do well with obedience training and are also able to learn tricks with ease. Thanks to their intelligence, housebreaking is fairly simple.
Shih-Poos, like other hybrids, are not currently recognized by well-known kennel clubs, but some believe they may be recognized one day because of their popularity. This lack of recognition hasn’t stopped people from buying them, however, and they are a favorite among many dog lovers.