Black Shih Poo dog: Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix

Black Shih Poo dog: Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix

The Shih Poo is a small breed with a big heart.

This crossbreed is bred as a companion dog to utilize the desirable characteristics possessed by each of the parent breeds:

  • The intelligence and character of the Miniature Poodle
  • The affection and loving-nature of the Shih Tzu

Mixing two purebred dogs can of course never guarantee the perfect mix of desirable traits. This means that the Shih Poo can have a more stubborn and strong-willed streak in them (from the Poodle parent).

poodle shih tzu mix for sale
poodle shih tzu mix for sale

Standing to around 8-15 inches tall, the Shih Poo is classed as a small breed and can come in a variety of colors.

The Shih-Poo is very playful and loves human company so will no doubt benefit from lots of interactive play with older children who are confident around small dogs.

Kennel Club Recognition

The Shih Poo is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, nor the Kennel Club.

This is because they are not a purebred, however some major kennel clubs do recognize the registration of some crossbreeds for agility and obedience events.

Registry organizations which do accept them include:

  • Designer Breed Registry
  • Dog Registry of America, Inc
  • The American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club

There are currently no specific breed clubs or rescue organizations, so this may make finding a Shih Poo rescue more difficult.

However, as they are a recent crossbreed, social media websites often reveal like-minded people who share the same passion for this beautiful hybrid.

Breed Origin

  • Like most designer dogs, it is difficult to ascertain at which point the breeding of the two breeds became intentional.
  • Because of this, it is impossible to pinpoint the very first Shih-Poo litter.
  • However, it is safe to assume that this loveable hybrid stems from the designer dog trend gripping America over the last thirty years which often sees the poodle being bred with a variety of other breeds for a hopeful mix of desirable traits.
  • To understand a Shih Poo’s potential temperament, we have to take a closer look at both of the parent breeds.

Shih Tzu

  • Shih Tzu’s on the other hand are originally from China.
  • Like many lap dogs, they were favored by the rich and famous.
  • They first arrived in the US shortly after World War II and are commonly bred as a loyal pet.
Shih Poo Dog Info
Size 8 to 15″
Weight 8 to 18 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 15 years
Breed Type Mixes and More
Purpose Companion
Suitable For Novice Owners, Retirees and Families With Older Children
Color Variations Apricot, Black, Black And Tan, Brown, Cream, Red Sable, White And Parti-Color.
Temperament Loyal, Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent, Sweet-Natured
Other Names Pooshih, Shoodle or Shihdoodle

Miniature Poodle

The Miniature Poodle, stands at around 13-15 inches to the shoulder, and is an intelligent dog.

Originally bred in Germany, as a hunting companion (specifically duck hunting), they are now more suited to the pet lifestyle and in some cases, agility.

shih tzu poodle mix full grown
shih tzu poodle mix full grown
Shih Poo Puppies — Before You Buy…

What’s the Price of Shih Poo Puppies?

  • Shih Poo puppies’ range in price anywhere between $500 and $1,000. If the puppy is bred from show dog lineage, this price increases, with some owners paying over $2,000.
  • Your level of interest in your puppy’s pedigree will depend on your reason for buying a Shih Poo. Their lineage isn’t important if you are looking for a family pet or a companion animal. That said, it is still important to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder who can provide you with information about their parents, including temperament, personality, and health history. While there is no guarantee that your puppy will inherit all these traits, it gives you a good idea of what to expect.

3 Little-Known Facts About Shih Poos

The Shih-Poo Is One of the Dozens of Poodle Hybrid Breeds

  • The Poodle, in its various forms, remains a very popular breed. There is some debate surrounding its origins but the breed was either first bred as a water dog in Germany or from the French Barbet. On balance, even though the dog was once named the royal breed in France, it seems most likely that they are a German water dog by origin.
  • The name Poodle comes from the German word “pudel”, which means puddle, and represents their prowess in the water where they would flush out game and collect wounded and dead birds. Even their fancy hairstyle stems from their early working lives. The Poodle’s hair was considered too long for fear it would drag them down when swimming, so handlers sheared specific sections and left longer areas where it would protect them from the cold and damp of the water.
  • Their coat is often described as being hypoallergenic and this, coupled with the breed’s incredible intelligence, has made them a very popular breed for creating hybrid and designer dogs. Today, there are dozens of hybrid Poodle breeds available, including the Shih-Poo.

They Have Royal Ancestry

  • The Shih-Tzu dates back 1,000 years, and it is believed that early ancestors of the breed date back as far as 1,000 BC. Although they are best known as a Chinese breed, they actually originate from Tibet and it is believed that the nation sent dogs to Chinese royalty as gifts, and they were then bred with Pekinese or Pugs.
  • Although the breed has long been popular in China, it was at its most popular in the 19th century. It is believed that the Dalai Lama presented Empress Tzu Hsi with a very high-quality pair of breeding Shih-Tzus. The Empress was so taken with the breed that she considered the dogs to be sacred. This popularity stems from the fact that the little lion dogs have a face that looks like a lion and Buddha was said to have ridden to Earth on the back of a lion.

Shih-Poos Are Considered Hypoallergenic

  • Shih-Poos, like their Poodle parent breed, are often described as being hypoallergenic which prospective owners take to mean that they will not affect those with allergies to dogs. However, those with dog allergies are allergic to the dander that the dog produces, and not to a specific coat or hair.
  • All dogs produce dander, which is effectively just dead skin cells. Even Poodles, which have gained popularity in part because of their “hypoallergenic” coats, are not truly hypoallergenic because they still produce and shed dander. However, while there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog breed, the Poodle is one breed that is known to cause fewer allergic reactions in sufferers, lending some credence to the claim.
  • If you are allergic to dogs or have a condition like asthma, try spending some time with these breeds to see how you react and whether they trigger allergic reactions.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Shih Poo

  • With hybrid dog breeds, there can be many differences in personality. Just like there is no guarantee of what type of coat a puppy will have, there is also no guarantee on which breed they will resemble in terms of temperament. That said, both the Poodle and the Shih Tzu are breeds with a long, well-established history, so we can get a fairly good idea of what Shih Poo puppies are like.
  • Both Poodles and Shih Tzus are outgoing, friendly dogs, so it’s a sure bet that their puppies will be too. They don’t tend to get shy or nervous, and they aren’t prone to aggressiveness.
  • Shih Poos gets along well with people of all ages, particularly if they show their attention. They love to be petted and cuddled, and this is enhanced by plenty of handling and socialization at a young age. They often don’t like other dogs outside of the family but get along well as companion dogs for pets within the house.
  • While small dogs, in general, are known for being noisy, Shih Poos don’t follow this reputation. Most of them have a quiet nature, reminiscent of their Poodle parent. While they may bark to alert you that they are hungry or need to be let out outside or to tell you of a visitor, it’s not likely to be ongoing or continuous. This feature makes Shih Poos fantastic apartment dwellers because they are unlikely to annoy your neighbors with excessive barking.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

  • The Shih Poo is a friendly dog breed that gets along well with almost anything or anybody. If you have other pets in the home, your Shih Poo should be introduced to them at a young age, so they associate other pets with being part of the family.
  • Since Shih Poos doesn’t cope well with being alone for long periods of time, it can be helpful to have a companion dog to alleviate boredom and loneliness.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Shih Poos are famous for their friendliness and loyalty toward family members. They are good dogs for families with older children because they love to play. They are not good dogs for babies and toddlers because they can get nippy when young children are rough and pull at them. Since they are small-statured dogs, they can be hurt easily if people are too rough with them, so it’s important for them to have playmates who understand this.

poodle shih tzu mix black
poodle shih tzu mix black

Things to Know When Owning a Shih Poo

While the Shih Poo is an adaptable dog breed that fits into various living situations, it doesn’t mean they are a good fit for everyone. There are certain things that prospective owners should be aware of before bringing one of these adorable creatures into their home.


  • Shih Poos are intelligent dogs that can learn easily, but don’t let this fool you into thinking that they’re always easy to train. Their high intelligence means they can learn the wrong things just as easily as the right things. If left to their own devices, these dogs can train themselves into all sorts of problem behaviors and bad habits.
  • As is the case with most smart dogs, they can also be stubborn during training. They require sufficient motivation to perform, so it’s important to find the right reward when training your Shih Poo. The short attention spans of puppies mean that brief, frequent training sessions are best. Patience and positive reinforcement, combined with consistency, will be required to get the desired result.
  • House training can be especially hard, sometimes taking months, as Shih Poos simply don’t do things that they don’t want to. Since they are small, though, these dogs can be paper trained, which may help with house training in the short term.


  • While this dog breed can be energetic, they require a relatively low amount of exercise. This is, in part, due to their small size. Two short walks each day are ideal, but this can be supplemented with play at varying intervals. Playtime doesn’t have to be reserved for the outdoors. Since the Shih Poo is small, they are more than capable of burning off their energy by playing with toys indoors.
  • This is not a dog breed for owners who want to take their dogs on long hikes or walks unless they want to carry them. They do, however, perform well in dog sports, like agility, which can be a great way to work their mind and body simultaneously.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Shih Poo is considered a medium energy dog, which means their diet needs to reflect this. They should be fed a high-quality dog kibble that meets their nutritional needs. Like many other dog breeds, the Shih Poo shouldn’t be free-feed, as they have a tendency to overeat and gain weight. Excessive weight gain will lead to health problems and joint issues.

shih poo puppies
shih poo puppies

Health and Conditions

Small dogs are prone to having dental problems. Brushing your Shih Poo’s teeth, providing dental chews, and making sure they regularly receive dental checkups will help prevent these issues.

Rashes and skin sensitivities are also common in this breed. This can be prevented by ensuring that they receive thorough and regular grooming.

Minor Conditions
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Lung disorders
  • Teary eyes
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
Serious Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism


Regardless of what type of coat your Shih Poo has, they will need to be brushed at least twice per week to avoid tangling and mats. Their coats should be trimmed once or twice a year, including around their eyes, as hair can block their field of vision and make it difficult for them to see.

Small dog breeds are particularly prone to dental problems, so it’s recommended that you brush their teeth several times a week.

Shih Poos should be bathed every month to prevent skin problems, as is recommended for Shih Tzus and Poodle mix dogs.

Male vs. Female

Both male and female Shih Poos grow to be a similar size. Without proper socialization as puppies, males tend to be more nervous and therefore, more aggressive toward strangers than females. That said, males are more food motivated than females, which makes training them easier.

Final Thoughts

Shih Poos are affectionate, loyal dogs that are crosses between Shih Tzus and Poodles. They are a small, medium-energy breed that is quite adaptable. They can make great family pets or companions for seniors or people living alone. While they are intelligent dogs, they can be hard to train due to their occasionally stubborn nature. House training is especially difficult with this breed.

Although the Shih Poo can be prone to a few health issues, they have a long life expectancy. Time and effort put into training will result in a lovable dog that will be part of your family for many years to come.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.