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What is a Shih-Poo?

Nicole Madison
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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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.

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Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a All Things Nature writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon351598 — On Oct 15, 2013

My best friend is my Shih Poo "Angel". Angel is 11 years old in human years and I would like to know how old she is in dog years. Could someone please tell me?

By anon345619 — On Aug 20, 2013

We just got a Shi-poo who is turning two in a couple of weeks. The person who had her decided to give her up. I don't know why! She is housebroken, sweet, playful, affectionate, and doesn't bark!

I found her online and I've hit the jackpot! My two boys are 5 (almost 6) and 7 and she seems to love them already. Plus she's been giving me kisses all night. I feel blessed. I've never heard of a breed (mix) to behave like this on the first night of being with a new family.

By anon334755 — On May 15, 2013

My two female Shih Poos are a year old and two months old now and extremely smart, loyal and adorable. They were pee pad trained in one week and outside trained in six weeks. I kept them in the kitchen for awhile until they were consistent. I started with four pads they gradually decreased to one. They were placed by the patio door so they could relate peeing to outside. Buy the scented spray so they will know where to go.

Once they went outside, I would praise and give a tasty treat that they love. Just be patient and keep a mop and bucket on standby.

By anon218536 — On Sep 29, 2011

Just got my little darlin', rescued from a puppy mill. Bella is adorable, smart, trained and already has me wrapped around her little paws. I call her my little mutant because she actually has five toes on her back left paw. As to crating or not, it's an individual decision. As long as your dog is happy, who cares what anyone else thinks?

By anon206212 — On Aug 15, 2011

My now two year old shih poo (Kody) is by far the most lovable dog ever. He potty trained in about one week and has never, ever had an accident in the house since, even when left alone for a few hours. He is a baby by far and those thinking of owning one need to be ready to have a baby forever. They are very sensitive and need you.

Kody cries when we leave him and tends to worry around loud noises. For example, I can't get pots and pans out without him running to my husband for protection. He loves his toys and his blanket. He loves to be under his blanket and cuddles in it. He has a best friend (Bailie - our eight year old pitbull) whom he adores and a sheltie -Abby.) He has regular play dates with Abby although loves to go for walks. He is very obedient and never wants to disappoint us. A picky eater though.

By anon193121 — On Jul 04, 2011

my shih poo is extremely intelligent. he can understand both English and Cantonese without ever being trained to do so!

By anon159216 — On Mar 10, 2011

My dog, Bailey, is 7 years old and has been the best and smartest - not enough words to describe my bundle of joy. We potty trained him in 2 weeks and he knows every name of every toy he owns.

Please do not crate train these precious animals. How would you like to live in a cage?

He goes pretty much everywhere with us and is the perfect car dog. You can leave him in the car and he falls asleep as soon as you walk away.

The only problem we have had with him is his ears and skin issues. He is a little on the chunky side at 23 lbs. After we had him fixed he gained 6 lbs, but then again, he never wants for food. We walk daily and we are inseparable! I can't even describe the temperament of these dogs...all I can say is *perfect*!

By anon147820 — On Jan 30, 2011

i want to get a shih poo, but I'm afraid i can't afford it if it has many allergies and health problems.

By anon145900 — On Jan 25, 2011

Thinking about buying a shih-poo, but can anyone tell how much they are going to weigh and how are they with guests?

By anon143289 — On Jan 15, 2011

I love our shih-poo. So smart,sweet, playful. Great with our little girls. She is 5 months old. Would highly recommend this breed to anyone. What a little doll she is.

By anon140783 — On Jan 08, 2011

we have a male and female shih-poo and both are litter box trained it so much easier in the winter months. Both are the most affectionate little people I know and they are definitely wanting to please and are awesome with kids.

Anyone looking to litter box train check out purina's website in regards to this. I would definitely say they are the second set of kids we got and cannot wait for their first litter, which we hope is soon.

By anon139510 — On Jan 04, 2011

I have a shih poo and he is four years old. I have had many dogs through the years and have loved them all, but I have to say my shih poo by far is the smartest most loyal dog. He was potty trained in two weeks and he never has accidents in the house.

This dog is so darn smart. We have two big toy boxes filled to the rim with assorted dog toys, most of them animals. If we tell him to get a specific animal, he knows which one to get and picks it up in his mouth and brings it to us!

He gets along with all the dogs in the neighborhood -- even the cats! We have a baby pool for him that he absolutely loves! He jumps right in and splashes around for hours. He is the most loving loyal friend I could ever have and I love him dearly.

By anon136235 — On Dec 21, 2010

I purchased a Shih Poo over a year and a half ago for my daughter as her first dog. I have never been an indoor animal person so I knew I was going to have to adjust a bit. What a treat. I am in love. She actually follows the rules. We keep her off the carpet for sanitary reasons and she actually does not cross any of our carpet lines. Who does that? She is always happy to see me and loves to snuggle.

So very sweet and gentle. The look on her little face really gets you in the gut. Her name is Lacey and I am so very glad we got her. And yes, we do crate her when we leave and she seems to like her crate -- kind of like a safe place for her if she needs quiet. Great indoor dog choice. Easy to potty train also.

By anon132677 — On Dec 07, 2010

I got my Shih Poo in Sept. it took about two weeks to train him since me and my husband work all day. we trained him on pee pads. i bought a pee pad holder and he goes all the time on it. He does eat and play with his poo but is getting better. He is the best dog i have ever owned and is my baby. If any one is looking for a dog, a Shih Poo is the best.

By anon125274 — On Nov 08, 2010

to not crate train is inhumane. the pup needs a safe space both for its own peace of mind as well as to safely and comfortably contain it. my shih-poo is a doll, is house training beautifully, barks when she needs something and does a few tricks all on her own.

her crate is a lifesaver for everyone, she can go in and out as she pleases, can travel in it and if i need to contain her for a short time she is already pleasantly accustomed to her crate.

By anon119244 — On Oct 17, 2010

Can someone help!!?? I have the cutest shih poo in the world, my little Angelo. He's just amazing, loving and perfect.

But I work eight hours a day, is it OK leave him home alone in his crate that long? Please help. I feel cruel. I can't even focus at work because I worry for him. I don't have anyone that can come and see him during daytime, and a dog walker or babysit is too expensive.

With all the expenses we have for the puppy, I couldn't afford a babysitter or something. Please help. Is it cruel? Should I find a family that has more time to give. Let's say that when I get home I give him lots of affection and attention we play and cuddle a lot! Thanks to all for your help.

By anon119112 — On Oct 16, 2010

If your dog is barking, that's your fault not theirs. A little time and patience can eliminate barking. He's probably barking because he's bored! Read a little and train your sweet little Shih Poo.

By anon118495 — On Oct 14, 2010

Well my shih poo must be a defect because due to her allergies, she's on an expensive food for the rest of her life that is all natural and smells gross. she barks all the time, and after three years still isn't fully potty trained. Oh well, she's a sweetie and means well.

By anon112773 — On Sep 21, 2010

A couple of questions. I am about to purchase my first Shih Poo and I am looking into litter training her because i live in an apartment. Any experiences/suggestions? Plus I'm wondering what would happen if we're not at home so she could use the litter (would she go in the grass)?

Second, I've always owned pit bulls and would basically feed them whatever I ate (as well as their Diamond dog food). Is there a profound reason why my shih poo cannot snack on people food?

By anon101986 — On Aug 06, 2010

OK, To whomever is crate training, don't you think it's a little mean? Like really, I know I would not want to be locked up in my room all day while I see people enjoying themselves. Don't you think about your pets instead of yourselves? Even if it is hard to train your pups, keep trying, I know every single one of you people can.

I got my baby girl, Lola, July 10. I was there when she was born. She has changed a lot since a tiny wee baby. Her fur was pitch black and now it's lighting up to a snowy gray.

The first night I took her home, she peed on the newspaper. Pups like to go where they smell other urine or feces so I recommend you put a tiny bit of dog urine on the paper.

She loves our other dog which is a Shih-tzu/Schnauzer. She will try to give him kisses, sometimes he'll ignore it and let her continue her affection or he will get fed up and growl at her.

By anon97036 — On Jul 18, 2010

I have had my shih poo for a little over a month now. Her name is Lacy. We absolutely love her! She is by far the sweetest little dog I've ever owned. She is still a puppy and so she does chew on things including our toes and she hasn't completely gotten the hang of the house training, but I would not trade her for anything.

My three year old loves her. She straps her in her doll stroller and pushes her around the house. Lacy just sits there! I think she enjoys it. For anyone out there thinking about getting a shih poo, I say do it! Sweet little balls of fur! Lacy hardly barks and loves everyone! I wanted a friendly dog who wasn't excessively yappy for my daughter. I am so glad I chose this one! I want another one!

By anon92255 — On Jun 27, 2010

I have a Shih Poo and he is the most amazing dog I've ever known! He is very smart, sweet and loving and so wants to please. He learns quickly although it took some patience, and crate training for him to get the idea about going potty outside, but once he got it, he's been perfect, and he's no longer in the crate when we leave.

He sleeps at the foot of the bed so as not to disturb us, and he is fiercely protective and loyal, watching over me almost. He gets along great with other dogs, does tricks and is easy to care for. He is so smart!

My son is allergic to dogs as his no. 1 allergy has no problems with our Shih poo.

This dog is seriously the most amazing, sweet, loving, protective, loyal, playful, delightful, easy and intelligent dog ever. I highly recommend this mixed breed!

By anon90707 — On Jun 17, 2010

I have a shih-poo. His name is Topper and we absolutely have the best dog. He's just like one of the family! He loves to snuggle with all the family members and loves to play under the bed. So cute!

By anon90521 — On Jun 16, 2010

I bought 2 shih poos brothers. They were five months when i got them.

They have been amazingly easy -- probably the easiest pets we have ever had. They pee and poo outside when i take them and run around with each other and then run up to the door when they are done they want to get out of the heat.

They slept in our bed last nite and i didn't know they were there. They are super quiet, very well mannered, gentle, and loving. Super cuddly and super sweet -- they don't come too much yet when called, but we named them amos and andy. And they are just really learning their new names.

They are very patient and don't bark or whine.

I am so glad we got them and i would recommend a puppy like this to anyone.

Their hair is fun to brush. It's real soft and they like the attention.

They don't shed at all. I brush them and no hair in the brush. they are very clean animals and clean themselves all the time. Thanks. Good luck. Lisa

By anon89450 — On Jun 10, 2010

I bought "Blackie" for my wife about eight months ago when he was just over two months old. One of the best things I ever did.

Great "watch dog" who makes sure no one comes near our house. I joke that he even barks when he hears mosquitoes fart. It took about three weeks to get him properly trained to go outside to pee/poo, but after that, no problems.

He gets along great with other dogs and loves to "attack" our beagle and the two of them play together for hours. At night he likes to curl up between me and my wife on the bed and will sleep through the night with no problems. At 8.5 kilo (18.7 pounds) he's much heavier than most, but the vet says he's fine because he gets plenty of exercise in playing and running and not to worry about it.

I would highly recommend this type of dog to anyone.

By anon89118 — On Jun 08, 2010

I got one named Marley. I was surprised at how smart he was and how much he loves to cuddle.

By anon87094 — On May 28, 2010

I have had my shih-poo Muffin for three months and she is five months old. She is like my second child. I have a two year old son and the two of them are so cute together! I taught her to shake hands and high five the first couple days I had her. And is my son's favorite game to play with her.

She sleeps in the bed with me and will always nudge me in the morning when she needs to go outside but never in the middle of the night. She's great about going pee/poo outside when I take her out and will walk to me when she's done. She lays on the couch all day but if I leave the room will bark until I go get her then she follows me around the house. She is the perfect dog and goes anywhere my son and I go.

She can be playful, sweet, and most of all is perfect for lazy cuddle time on the couch with my son and me.

I would recommend a shih-poo to anyone looking for a great house/lap dog. She is the perfect edition to our family. We love her so much!

Also to anyone having trouble potty training: I have never, nor will I, use a crate or cage for my Muffin. She is too much of a joy to tuck away. Be persistent and patient; they will get it.

By anon85036 — On May 18, 2010

i don't understand what are all the problems with potty training a shih-poo. i am being blessed with a little angel in six weeks. i can't wait. Time and patience is always the best policy to use when trying anything, and that is what i will try. i am glad i have that attitude. Otherwise, all your negative postings on the potty training would have turned me off of getting her.

Good luck to you all, and enjoy your little darlings.

By anon83094 — On May 09, 2010

I have a shih-poo who is so wonderful and he is smart! The dog knows the rules and knows he is not to be on the furniture, and he won't do it when he is around people.

I know everyone thinks that their animal is smart, but if only humans have the ability to reason, then why does my shih-poo go check in all the rooms to see where everyone is at before he naps on the couch? I advise everyone to have a shih-poo. They are wonderful.

By anon72855 — On Mar 24, 2010

I got a Shih- poo and he's name is benny and he is very playful. he is seven now but i thought i would share the story he loves to sleep right by you he likes to follow you. He also likes to cuddle I love my shih-poo! Thanks!

By anon66980 — On Feb 22, 2010

I just got a shih-poo for valentines and she's the sweetest puppy ever. she's eight weeks old my puppy is so attached to us already and potty trained too. she lies down when i tell her and goes to sleep.

By anon66681 — On Feb 21, 2010

I have a shih-poo also and I have four kids, whose ages are 7, 6, 5 and 2 and he does wonderful.

My husband is in the army and currently deployed to Iraq. King, my shih-poo was named after his roommate who was killed in action in Iraq (RIP PFC "King" Gifford E Hurt).

I must say he is the perfect puppy. Very playful, always lovey dovey, and has done great with potty training. I am so happy with the experience and my puppy. I do see that he doesn't like being left when we leave so I seriously put him in my purse with a baby blanket and he just lies down and goes to sleep.

We go everywhere, including walmart, lol, and no one knows he is in there because he just lies down and goes to sleep. Love my shih-poo! Great breed.

By anon65426 — On Feb 13, 2010

I've posted on this page before. My now six month old shih poo male (Kody) now weighs seven pounds. He was neutered - (which was rough on him for the first 24-36 hrs.), but my question is: how do i get him to stop crying when I leave my house? He is not alone when i leave (my husband whom he adores just as much is home) but he cries at the door no matter what we've tried. Any suggestions?

By anon64305 — On Feb 06, 2010

My husband and I got our 12 year old daughter a Shih Poo for Christmas last year. This is the first dog that we have ever had in the house.

Our 14 year old son was against the idea, but we had promised her. Tim and I are amazed at how well Rags has fit into our family. Even our son loves him.

We kid and say this is Rags' house and we are very privileged to live here. He has become so very protective of the family and house. I am a stay at home mom and he is so much company for me during the day.

We love him greatly. I would recommend this breed for anyone.

By anon64143 — On Feb 05, 2010

I have had my Shih Poo for four years. He is my heart and soul. Spoiled cannot even describe him. He is much worse. He was very easy to house train, it took two weeks.

He is very protective especially over me. He lets us know when anyone is at our house. And his bark is loud and deep. He doesn't sound like he is 10 lbs. He isn't scared of any other dogs.

He is very loving, but despises young children. He doesn't take well to new people, but after he gets to know you, he is your best friend as long as I am around.

When I leave for work, he goes and gets in my bed and has nothing to do with any of my roommates until I get home. When I am gone for the night, he refuses to sleep with anyone. He lies by their door until they open it, and he goes back to my bed to sleep.

He doesn't really care for toys; he loves socks and coke bottle tops. He throws them in the air and fetches them. He is my life.

By anon62440 — On Jan 26, 2010

We bought a shih-poo for our daughter 11th birthday and the whole family just fell in love with her,even the extended family. when we got her she was already crate trained, so why mess up a good thing? We just buy pads and change her crate daily. she has her own space but prefers sleeping with my daughter. she is just so adorable and smart.

By anon61844 — On Jan 22, 2010

I have now a six-month old shih poo named Cody! I posted a comment earlier in the postings - he's the one that rings the service bell and plays with the pitbull.

I was wondering this:

1. How much are other shih-poos eating? Cody eats about 1/4 cup in a.m. and maybe finishes 1/4 cup at night.

2. How much do these dogs generally weigh? Cody now weighs 6.4lbs at six months old.

By anon60902 — On Jan 17, 2010

I just got a shih-poo about 3 and 1/2 weeks ago. He is almost four months old now, and very smart. Within two weeks he has learned to sit, shake, lay down, roll over, crawl, and now is learning to shake with the other hand. He is paper trained, but still will pee wherever if its more convenient. he's very playful and loves to snuggle. :)

By anon60563 — On Jan 14, 2010

We have had a shih-poo for almost three years now. We got him when he was around 12 weeks old. Yes he was a little hard to housebreak, but he eventually caught on.

The most important thing is getting on a consistent schedule. We let him out in the morning around 7 a.m. before leaving for work, and immediately whenever we get home. We leave him in our laundry room when we are away, which is the perfect size for his bed, food, water, and toys.

I never understood the "feed twice a day for 15 minutes only" theory and agree with an earlier poster that they will either not get enough food, or will over eat or eat too quickly. Our Shih-poo eats pretty slowly, so we free feed him, but we fill his bowl a maximum of twice daily.

The best thing about our Shih-Poo is that he just loves to be around people! If we are watching TV on the couch, he will lie right next to (or on) us. If we are doing chores around the house, he will follow us everywhere and just lay nearby, maybe chewing his bone. And at night, he sleeps right in between our heads. He loves to cuddle!

Our shih-poo also gets along great with other dogs. My in laws have two westies and a 75 pound Boxer, and he plays with them great!

He learned lots of tricks really quickly, but sometimes he will do things that just make us scratch our heads, e.g., chase shadows. But all in all, he is great and i wouldn't trade him for anything!

By anon60446 — On Jan 13, 2010

We have one female Shih Poo, and let me tell you, she's perfect for us. She loves to play and doesn't really need much exercise but will be every happy doing whatever you are.

However, these dogs are fairly stubborn and very difficult to house break unless you have a good method of teaching them, like with potty pads.

Shih Poos are fabulous with families and other pets. If you get another puppy, though, they will be fabulous and will often become like a mother (female).

Males should be always kept an eye on until they are socialized from a distance. In that case, have the most 'powerful' person in the household hold the puppy in front of the male until they are fine because males generally tend to be much more territorial even though they still make fabulous pets.

By anon59743 — On Jan 10, 2010

I used to have one that lived for 18 years and it was the most sweet and loving and intelligent living dog ever. I did not consider her a dog, but a little sister and miss her so much, she past away four and half years ago and I still go to visit her at her resting place in front of the ocean. Minnie, I will always miss you. --Marcos B.

By anon59013 — On Jan 05, 2010

I got my shih poo about a month age. I thought i would never get her housebroken, since the weather is frigid. But just recently she goes by the door when she has to go to the bathroom.

I always tell her good girl and give her a treat when she comes in. I taught to sit and shake within a week. She has a lot of energy and never sits still. she is a great addition to our family.

By anon57822 — On Dec 27, 2009

I bought a 10 week old shih Poo for my 8 year old daughter for christmas, and I am having the hardest time housebreaking her.

She absolutely refuses to go outside, and literally lies flat on the ground when she is outside. She eats and hides the wee pads, and pees and poops everywhere. Not to mention her constant barking through the night, when she is in a crate!

My little girl adores her, but I don't know how long I can stand it! I am exhausted! Any tricks to get her trained quickly, and to keep her from barking all night long?

By anon57690 — On Dec 26, 2009

My little shih poo male is now five months old. we've had him since eight weeks. and what a doll. he is fully house trained. He rings a service bell kept at the door to tell us it's time to go out. He is the love of our lives. He is great with the kids and loves his house mates that includes two cats and a pit bull. If you can picture the 70-pound pit playing with the five pound shih poo it's adorable!

This a.m. he actually carried the morning paper in to my husband. It was way too funny. Hope you all enjoy your little shih-poos like we do.

By anon53086 — On Nov 18, 2009

I got my Shih Poo at 11 months and boy was he hard to housebreak. He used the bathroom in the house and cried often when left alone.

I had to remember that he was in a new environment and is like a child so patience is definitely key.

Housebreaking is very hard if you have no patience like me, but with persistent behavior and actions the outcomes will leave you pleased.

Frist, I needed to recognize which activities, food and times of the days my dog relieved himself. i found that after playing and running and drinking lots of water he peed. Also I started paying close attention to how he behaved right before we went.

After 100 spills and mistakes later, I couldn't take just watching anymore so after every mistake, I said "no," quickly cleaned it up and took him outside immediately.

He still had mistakes, so I put him on his leash and tied his leash around my waist and walked with him around the house all day just to make sure he didn't get into anything or make a mistake. This went on for about four months!

I also took note of the times and time of day I took him out - what he did when we were out and kept him on a consistent diet - no table food at all!

i took my dog out before work at 6 a.m., after work at 5 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m. soon he became aware of the timing and expected me to take him out. He also started to nudge me with his nose and whine a little. Best of all - he would run to the door if it was in between time or past time! I was amazed and happy that i paid close attention to him to catch these signs.

accidents may happen once in a blue moon because well, that's life, and certainly when you have to go, you have to go!

Just remember not to put his needs last. As soon as you wake up and come home take him out! Yes! before you use the bathroom or before you change your clothing - he has been holding it all day!

By anon46541 — On Sep 26, 2009

I must say I am surprised to read how many people only feed their dogs at a certain time and take the food away. I have had dogs all my life and I have two rules: I always leave the food out for them; this keeps them from over eating. think of yourself. If you can only eat three times a day and never any other time or snacks wouldn't you over eat? The second rule is I never put my dogs in a crate. remember when you were a child and your mom and dad would dump you in your room, how upset you were? It seems that a lot of people's answers to any problem is a crate. I know one breeder if you tell her you are crating your dog she won't sell you one. I also like to beg your difference that they are not just dogs, they are little people in a fur coat. Treat them with the respect you would a person and you will find your pet well respect you. Think little kid when you deal with them.

By anon46534 — On Sep 26, 2009

we just got a shi poo at eight weeks old. He is adorable and very smart. Already after only a few days he is very good about going outside to potty. Very few accidents in the house

By anon45786 — On Sep 20, 2009

Potty training with shih-poos takes a lot of time, patience and persistence. My best advice would be to avoid paper or pad training because who really wants a dog peeing in their home. Shih-Poos should be put on an eating schedule. Unlike water which should always be available for your dog, food should be distributed at the same place and time every day and only give them a certain amount of time to eat (about 15 mins) and their food must go after that! This is very important for house breaking them. After every meal take them outside immediately! It may take time for them to understand why they're going outside after food, but they're going to have to go potty either way after a meal, so eventually they'll start going because they're stuck outside. Take them to the same place every time and repeat a key phrase, such as, "go potty" and after they go, praise them a lot or even give them a treat! Puppies should always be in a crate while you're out of the house until they are fully potty trained and you're certain their is nothing hazardous they can access while you're out. When you come home, the first thing you do is take him/her directly outside to go potty. If an accident occurs let the puppy know they did something wrong (take them to the accident and point your finger at them telling them "bad" so they know you're disappointed) then direct them to the door. I scratch at my door and tell her "potty outside" over and over, so now when she has to go potty, she scratches at the door. If you don't want your pup scratching at the door, buy a small bell from the dollar store and hang it up on a string where he/she can reach. After accidents, follow the same steps except ring the bell instead of scratching while telling them they need to go outside and eventually they'll ring the bell when they have to go. One more very important thing about your puppy: they love to softly nibble on your fingers and no one really minds that, it doesn't hurt and its kind of cute. Well in the dog world that's their way of pushing you to the limit, or bullying you in a sense. If you allow them to bite on your fingers like that, they will think that they are your boss. This can have a huge impact on potty training. They are going to do whatever they please until they know who their master is. Once again, be patient and persistence with your puppy and know that it may take some time but if you put forth the effort, you'll have an amazing dog! I hope this helps someone else! Best of luck and congrats on your new puppies!

By anon45256 — On Sep 15, 2009

I got a shih poo when she was 14 weeks old. She is now 18 weeks old and is still not potty trained. My vet told me to take her outside and wait for 15 minutes. if she doesn't go, put her in the crate. If she goes, give her a treat. it has gotten to the point where she is starting to be in the crate because I would take her outside, nothing, then I would put her in crate then outside then nothing. It gets to point where I am like; OK, fine she doesn't have to go (also feel bad if I repeat crate thing too often). I'm thinking at that point, gosh she doesn't have to go. Five minutes later whammo. potty on the floor. I need clues from her saying, hey I changed my mind lemme out of here. She doesn't bark at all ever and she doesn't grab my attention to lead me to door (stare at me then door - nothing!) Even my vet is worried! What do I do?

By anon43451 — On Aug 28, 2009

i'm getting my shih-poo in november so it's three months away. i can't wait. i've wanted a dog ever since i could talk and i am now 15. i know evrything there is to know about dogs. ( i take care of family and friends' pets.)

i can't wait. :D

By anon42300 — On Aug 20, 2009

i have wanted a puppy for three years. that's a long time, but i am nine. how do you find the right puppy? what dog food do you buy for it. I go to school in two weeks! hurry!

i need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By anon42023 — On Aug 18, 2009

I've had my Shih-Poo, Thomas, for nine days and he is amazing. I adore my little guy. He almost "trained" himself to pee and poo on the wee pad from the first day. I even caught him pulling a wee pad out the box and peeing on it. He's so smart and loves to play.

The first three nights he woke me about every three hours, but now only once at about 4 a.m. He is very predictable and since we feed him three times a day at the same time, he poops three times at around the same time. We still need to take him to the vet for the remaining shots, therefore his trips outside have been short, but he pooped outside since the second day we got him.

He loves to play and can already sit on command (i use a treat to reward him). Now we are working on stay. He doesn't act crazy jumpy when we come home from work and he doesn't beg for our food. When we eat we give him a chew toy and we make sure we play with him several times a day.

So far, so good.

My only concern is that his ears are so hairy, I worry that he will get an ear infection.

I recommend you take time to train, exercise, play and discipline your puppy right from the start. He will feel safe and loved. And remember no matter how cute and adorable they are still puppies/dogs, not babies.

By anon40732 — On Aug 10, 2009

Please please help, I have had my Shih Poo for a week and 2 days now, and we go out and nothing. as soon as I put her down she pees and poos. Should I leave her in the crate all the time, let her out and if she pees and poos outside praise her and let her play. But if she does not pee or poo, put her back in the crate and try again in a few minutes? I love this little baby, but not sure I can handle much more of this, I go back to school in 2 weeks. Help!

By anon40488 — On Aug 08, 2009

I have a 6 month old male shih-poo who has been the most amazing doggy! He was easy to train, and picks up new tricks within a day or two! Everyone comments on how calm he is for a puppy, as he gets along great with other dogs, and won't get excited or scared if they bark or jump at him. The biggest advice I have for Shih-poo owners is avoid the temptation of giving yours table scraps! We had ours trained against begging and within one weekend of visiting well-meaning relatives, our puppy has gone on a kibble hunger strike!

By anon38358 — On Jul 25, 2009

Hello Shih-Poo lovers! After the death of our big dog at the age of 12, we decided not to ever go through the pain of losing a beloved pet again. Six months later, our daughter surprised us with a tiny fur ball, a Shih-Poo girl. Sammy-Poo trained herself like in three days with the puppy pads (Hart brand – We buy them at Big Lots for $20.00 per box of 100). We change the pads in the morning and again in the evening before her dinner. While we are at work, she stays confined in the laundry room with her bed, puppy toys (and her pad). She is 6 months old now, and a bundle of energy. We love her dearly and fight for the time to play and hold her. She thinks she is human, and that’s perhaps why she refuses to walk on a leash. Any suggestions other than obedience training? (it didn’t work).

By anon36333 — On Jul 11, 2009

I'm amazed at all the questions on paper training and crate training.

I would highly recommend everyone pick up the book "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete. The book was my dog bible when I was raising a puppy.

All puppies play with the paper on the floor or the pee pee pads...normal! They love to play and paper is so much fun!! Make sure your puppy has some toys to play with.

As for the woman with the puppy that is shedding a lot...are you certain it is part shih tzu/ part poodle??? I've never had a problem with our pups shedding. If you are positive and you've not been duped, you should bring your little one to the vet as there may be health issues or nutrition issues.

By anon33387 — On Jun 05, 2009

I have a shihpoo and he potty trained real quickly. Crate training works amazingly. we made him go potty before bed, then put him in his room, and did not let him out until a few hours later when he whined. Then they say not to let them walk outside, but carry them outside to pee, and then carry them back in and put them back in their room. If they romp around too much, or they will think it is time to play.

Then, when he woke up in the morning, do the same thing. Also start taking them out *right* after they eat, because it helps them connect the eating/potty going. Our shihpoo soon just started going to the door when he was ready to go, and he would only have accidents if no one was there when he was ready to go out. He is a wonderful pup who is now 8 months and he never has any accidents.

They say that dogs do not want to go potty where they sleep, so if you crate train, it speeds this process, because they will never mess in their crate, then when they sleep in the room, they will not mess in the room, then the house, and they are potty trained!!

By amygurley — On Apr 23, 2009

I have a wonderful ShihPoo named Moe who will be 4 years old on the 29th. He has been the best dog I could have ever dreamed of having. He is more than my dog he is my son. He is so wonderful with my 2 children. My children were 2 and 3 when we bought Moe. He has been dragged around by my wild son and has never once snapped at him. Moe is truly a blessing and I love him so much. I recommend highly for anyone to get a ShihPoo.

By anon30403 — On Apr 18, 2009

I've never had a pet before and I just got my shih poo(girl) a week ago and she's 8 weeks old. I'm trying to paper train her but she pees/poos on the floor instead. Is it safe to try to train her to go outside even though she hasn't had all of her shots yet(She's only had one so far)? Also, she bites anything she can get, any tips on how to make her stop?

By anon26460 — On Feb 13, 2009

My shih poo sheds *a lot*. I thought they weren't supposed to. This is causing my many problems. Also for the past week she's been eating the potty pad and then pees on the floor. I thought we were making such great progress with her potty training. I love her so much- I've had her for 8 weeks now.

By anon26026 — On Feb 06, 2009

What are the steps to housebreaking a shih poo puppy? I want to use the crate training method. Also, when I take her home with me, what items should I have on hand?

By anon25484 — On Jan 29, 2009

I have a shih-poo that is 10 months old. It only took about 2 weeks to potty train her. She still made mistakes of course but she learned really fast. we did crate training with her. Whenever we left we put her in the crate and every time we let her out we took her right outside. Also, when she did go inside we took her straight outside so that she would associate going to the bathroom with going outside. I think that worked! She is the cutest and best dog ever!

By anon24304 — On Jan 10, 2009

I read some of the posts about how hard of a time people are having training their shih-poos. I don't know how old the posts are but hopefully this helps.

Have you tried treat/crate training? My shihpoo is 6 months old now, for the most part, he is house broken. He may have an accident if I have a long day at work and he's excited to see me or my 6 year old ignores his signs; but it's not common. I took him to potty after he ate, after a nap, after playing, and after long periods of being in the kennel. Also, I don't leave food in his bowl. He must eat or I take it away after a certain reasonable amount of time. I do leave water out but cut it at a certain time if puppy isn't getting the job done. I give him a treat every time he goes to the door to let me know. And then I treat him if he does something outside upon his return to the house. Also, if he's not playing or eating, he's in the kennel. If I can't watch him closely, he's in the kennel. Every time he comes out, he goes potty first. They learn real well with consistency. It does help if your dog will not soil the kennel. I used the divider also to make sure he does have a hiding spot in the kennel.

I have NOT unfortunately been able to get him to bark or give my 6 year old a louder signal of pottytime. Any tips on that? Over all, he's doing well. He will learn pretty much anything with a treat. I was worried because this is my 1st pet and I'm really not a pet person but my son loves them, he is a smart pup.

By anon20828 — On Nov 07, 2008

Our Shih-Poo came into our family as a stray - literally we found him on the side of a busy road. He had tags, and when we called the owner they told us they no longer wanted him and we could take him to the pound. I finally got his purchase papers and medical history from them, and we decided to keep him. I've always been a 'big dog' person, but this dog has brought so much joy to out family I can't believe someone would just discard him. He is smart, affectionate, and just wants to be around you all the time. Great dog!

By anon20720 — On Nov 05, 2008

It took about 2 years to completely potty train my shih-poo. Be patient, they will eventually get it. They're such sweet and cute dogs that its worth the wait! Once we started crate training him, that was what made it work.

By teoangelia — On Sep 08, 2008

I have a shih-poo near 3 months old, female. Just bring her home for 4 days. She very playful and still pees and poos everywhere. Every night, she very happy and does not want sleep. Is it OK to put her in cage? morning no people at home, i plan to put her in cage but she's barking. Besides that paper training also failing. she eats the news paper.

By awittmer — On Jun 22, 2008

I just picked up my shih-poo yesterday. He is great and I love him already. I am a teacher and am planning on paper training him so that it is easier when I go back to work. Any advice for me? We just got home last night and he he's not eaten much yet. Any advice on helping me get him acclimated to his new home?


By anon14022 — On Jun 09, 2008

My little shih poo is now 1 year old. She is incredible! I got her at 6 weeks and it took one week for her to be housebroken. Now she uses the doggy doors and hangs out in our back yard whenever she feels like it. She knows numerous tricks and is eager to learn more. She is my 5 year old daughter's best friend. What a joy!!! Sherri

By anon13966 — On Jun 07, 2008

Hello, I don't know when the other posts were posted :) but I got my little shih-poo boy (Bobby)about two months ago. He is now 16 weeks. I thought he would never get the hang of doing his business outside. I would take him out every half hour on the dot and walk around the backyard for a long time. The second he walked into the kitchen he would pee or poop, looking right at me like you said :)

I tried crate training, but he would, against everything I've heard, pee under himself. So that didn't work. After about 6 weeks, I've heard him bark in a high voice. I took him out, and low and behold, pee and poop! I don't know what clicked. No accidents now. Perfect potty trained puppy.

By anon13197 — On May 21, 2008

My girl shihpoo is now 24 weeks old and I've had her for 8 weeks. She learned some bad habits with her former owners and only goes outside when she feels like it. We regulate her food/water intake, but she doesn't have a set schedule for going to the bathroom. It ranges from 15 min-1.5 hour. She stares at us as she pees in the middle of the kitchen. She doesn't respond to scolding or sharp tones. Like the previous post, I feel like I've made no progress since I've gotten her. Help!

By anon9711 — On Mar 11, 2008

my 16 week old shihpoo female does not like to go outside to relieve herself. we spend 10 minutes at a time outside with her every 45 minutes to one hour and she will still run inside after that and go on the floor. it is very frustrating. any one have any ideas what we are doing wrong? We've had her 5 weeks and feel as though we have made no progress in this matter.

By anon5440 — On Nov 25, 2007

I just purchased a shih-poo a few days ago (cutest dog ever!!) & we've been having a tough time paper training. I have two other dogs (bigger dogs) who are trained to go outside, but our shih-poo can barely get down the porch steps to follow the other dogs. We're trying to paper train, but he seems to want to go on the carpet (not in bed, thank goodness). How did you two (anonymous writers) so quickly potty train your shih-poos? help :-)

By anon4838 — On Nov 03, 2007

I just recently bought a shih poo. She is very smart. she is 7 weeks old. and has not had but two accidents in the house. She comes to us and whimpers when she needs to go out. If we do not hear her right off, she barks at us. she is a very smart little girl.

By anon411 — On Apr 24, 2007

This article is extremley helpful.

I just got a Shih Poo a few days ago. It's extremley adorable, and is 10 weeks old. I knew Shih Poo's were hypo-allergenic, but I never knew that they had so many other benefits too! Not only are they adorable,they are intelligent too! (My little puppy was paper trained in less than 3 days!)

This was a real help!


Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a All Things Nature writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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