50 Reasons to Love Shihpoos


Families who have a dog they love can go on and on about why it is the best dog breed ever. The following list of reasons to love a Shihpoo will offer no surprises to Shihpoo families. In fact, I certainly hope to see many comments from Shihpoo Mamas and Papas about other reasons they adore these dogs.

What are Some like and why do families love Shihpoos so much?

Shihpoo families, Mamas, and Papas have many reasons to love their Shih Tzu-Poodle mix, most of them revolving around the Shihpoo’s size, temperament, looks, and low-maintenance personality.

The following list spells out a number of reasons why you might love a Shihpoo too. Shihpoos are not a recognized dog breed according to the American Kennel Club but are a mixed breed of Shih Tzu and Poodle parents:

  1. Hypoallergenic. There is some debate as to whether Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic but none about the Poodle side of these dogs. Many families adopt their Shihpoo for this very reason. Whether the puppy inherits more of their Shih Tzu parent’s long, flowing coat or their Poodle parent’s tight curly hair, they will produce about as little pet dander as any dog around.
  2. Non-shedding. Hand in hand with the hypoallergenic nature of the Shihpoo, they inherit from both parents a non-shedding coat. Granted, you can expect all mammals to lose hair, but you can also expect to hold and cuddle with your Shihpoo puppy and not notice his or her hair all over your white or black clothing afterward.
  3. Soft. Not only is the Shihpoo coat non-shedding and hypoallergenic, but it is generally much softer than the tightly wound curls of a Poodle, even if he or she inherits more Poodle than Shih Tzu. For Shihpoos who inherit more of their Shih Tzu parent’s coat, they will be extraordinarily soft.
  4. Cuddly. Shihpoos inherit their love for cuddling mostly from their Shih Tzu side, although Poodles are a loving and loyal breed as well. As a cuddle buddy, whether on the couch or in bed, nothing beats a Shihpoo. Sit or lie down and your Shihpoo will find a spot on your legs, a place at your side, or sometimes even your shoulder to use as a headrest for his or her next nap. This dog is not bashful and will cuddle up to just about anyone offering a few soft spots to serve as his or her next pillow.
  5. Exercise with Playtime. All dogs need exercise. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something. Your options for exercising a Shihpoo tend to include far more variety, though. Yes, you can walk or even jog your Shihpoo. Shihpoos love playing in the park and can play fetch far longer than their humans can. However, Shihpoos can often get their daily required exercise with just two or three good rounds of indoor fetch. Toss or roll a ball across the room 10 or 15 times, and your Shihpoo’s indoor demeanor will settle dramatically versus those puppies who get no exercise at all.
  6. Photogenic. Everyone has their own preferences, but there is no denying a Shihpoo is suited for camera work. Whether trimmed short (puppy cut) or left long and well-groomed, Shihpoos have no trouble sitting for a photoshoot and absolutely no trouble looking cute. Shihpoos are also well mannered when it comes to holding them on your lap or in a pose for the camera. These patient little guys and gals love the attention and will gladly stick out a few minutes of schmoozing with the photographer if it brings a bit more attention.
  7. Funniest Name Ever. There no denying the Shihpoo name turns heads. Although the name Shih Tzu sounds closer to a swear word, Shihpoo certainly sounds doubly funny. For those Shihpoo families who want to draw less attention to themselves, they have the right to call their dog a Poo Tzu, a Pooshih (don’t forget the “h”), a Shoodle, or even a Shihdoodle. However, the standard name is by far Shihpoo (whether with this spelling or the alternatives of Shih-poo and Shipoo).
  8. Teddy Bear. One of the most appropriate nicknames of the Shihpoo is the Teddy Bear puppy. If you leave the hair on their paws long enough, their legs look just like those of teddy bears, coming straight to the end and having no visible paws to speak up. Additionally, certain grooming haircuts around the Shihpoo’s head can leave the face, eyes, and nose looking like those of your favorite stuffed animal from your childhood.
  9. Couch Buddy. As half-descendants of the official lapdogs of the royal courts of imperial China, Shihpoos have inherited a love for and a tendency to seek out a warm and soft lap to sit on. As soon as you sit down on your couch or in your recliner, you can expect your Shihpoo to come running and, in some cases, jumping to snuggle into your lap. Grab a blanket and a pillow for each of you, because you are going to be a while. You might as well get comfortable, because your Shihpoo will.
  10. Tug o’ Wars. If you have fond memories of tug of war games from your youth, your Shihpoo can easily take you back in time to the fun. Whether you get them a piece of rope or rubber rings or even the remnants of a toy, your Shihpoo loves playing tug of war. He or she will never tire of the game, so get a rope, some rings, or a toy that can withstand the pressure.
  11. Small Crate. Whether you are headed to the veterinarian’s office, going for a visit to your folks’ place, or heading out on the open road with your puppy, you can minimize your worries about space in your car. While your Shihpoo might sleep in a medium-sized kennel, he or she will probably feel just fine traveling for an hour or two in a small crate. Plus, small crates cost less.
  12. Easy to Carry. At just 5 to 15 lbs, adult Shihpoos weigh less than many bowling balls. You should have little trouble picking him or her up, whether for a kiss or just to keep you company. You can choose to hold your Shihpoo horizontally across the top of your arms, whether face up or face down. Shihpoos can also nestle into the crook of your elbow, behind down and head up, facing forward, giving your puppy a human-eye view of whatever it is you are doing, whether you are out in public or just tidying up in the kitchen.
  13. Low Maintenance Coat. Many Shihpoo families choose to keep their puppy’s coat trimmed relatively short (1-2 inches in length). At such lengths, coats are easy to keep groomed. With these “puppy cuts,” your Shihpoo may not even need brushing more than once every couple of weeks. If you prefer to let your Shihpoo’s hair grow, grooming once a day, often at bedtime, is usually sufficient to keep matting to a minimum. If you struggle with any matting, check out the DeMatter tool on our recommendation page.
  14. Easily Trained to Sit: With a few training treats and 20 minutes of patience and persistence, you can have your Shihpoo sitting on command. Do some follow up training each day for a few days and then each week, and you can have a well- mannered puppy on your hands for years to come.
  15. Intelligent. Poodles are among the most intelligent breeds on earth, and their half offspring, the Shihpoos, inherit much of their smarts. Whether during their command training, potty training, or just learning the general house rules, your Shihpoo catches on quickly and remembers his lessons. Be ready for them to attempt to outsmart you, though. If they know you don’t have a treat, they may not be interested in the training. Be consistent and persistent.
  16. Loving. True, most dog breeds are loving and sweet with the humans they trust. Shihpoos seem to have an extra reserve of sweetness for their families. Beware, though. If you choose to lay down flat on the floor on your stomach with your head down, or, worse, on your back, be prepared from some serious loving from your Shihpoo. If you don’t cover your face, you may not make it out alive from all the Shihpoo kisses.
  17. Gentle. Although Shihpoos love to play tug of war, they also know how to play gently. If you try to grab a toy out of his or her mouth, you may at some point get a nip on your fingers, but your Shihpoo’s teeth would rarely break the skin. That said, remember that a Shihpoo puppy’s teeth are smaller and sharper than an adult Shihpoo’s teeth, so be extra careful reaching for a toy near his or her mouth. If you do get bitten accidentally, though, it will be rare that you get bitten hard or anytime soon.
  18. Underbites. Most Shihpoos inherit an underbite from their Shih Tzu parent, although often less pronounced. Some Shihpoos may even have an underbite on just one side. Can you imagine a smile more endearing? Just make sure to brush your puppy’s teeth regularly.
  19. Health. As a rule of nature, concentrating bloodlines as is done within pure breeds tends toward congenital and inherited health problems. While no dog breeds, pure or mixed, will be free of possible medical issues, Shihpoos will generally experience fewer problems than their parents.
  20. Long Lives. As a general rule, smaller dog breeds live longer than larger dog breeds. Shihpoos are no exception. You can generally expect your Shihpoo to live from 14 to 16 years, with reports of some Shihpoo living as long as 19 or even 20 years.
  21. Jogging Buddy. Shihpoos may be small, but they can enjoy a nice jog with you around the neighborhood.
  22. Sociable. Shihpoos enjoy meeting other dogs went out for walks or jogs. If your puppy whines or barks at other dogs, he or she is asking to be introduced. Proper and persistent training can help your Shihpoo develop proper manners, but rest assured your Shihpoo is not interested in picking a fight with other dogs, no matter their size.
  23. No Mauling. Dogs and humans are about as safe as can be around Shihpoo dogs. Unless threatened, Shihpoos are more likely to drown you in licks than chew on your limbs. Neighborhood dogs are also generally safe from these kind and sympathetic dogs.
  24. Your Own Personal Greeter. No need to head to Walmart for your special greeting when you walk in the door. Unless your Shihpoo is in a crate when you get home, you can expect lots of tail wagging and a ready kiss or two (or twenty) as soon as you open the door. With ancient Tibetan monastic guard dogs in their blood through their Shih Tzu line, Shihpoos will hear you coming, whether through the garage, the front door, or the back yard. After giving them some love, throw their favorite toy a time or two. You will make coming home their favorite time of the day.
  25. Enjoys the Security of a Crate: It doesn’t take much training for Shihpoos to take to their crates. They find security in these artificial dens they instinctually crave. As long as you never use crating as punishment, you will find your Shihpoo can enjoy time alone in his or her personal space.
  26. Dark Amber Eyes: Oh, those beautiful, dark amber eyes! With the whites showing when he or she looks around, you will see the expressiveness of an old soul in your Shihpoo.
  27. The Sole Patch. This comes with the common black-coated Shihpoo with the white chest shield. You will usually find a white soul patch under his or her chin. It’s always cute, but once you call it a soul patch, it’s adorable!
  28. Easy baths: With much thanks to the Poodle side of the family, Shihpoos generally don’t mind their weekly bath (unless it interrupts games of fetch or tug of war). Start with their hindquarters and tail, move to their shoulders and front legs, and finish up with their head, face, and neck. By mid-bath, your Shihpoo may even be moving closer to the faucet to enjoy the warm water.
  29. Easy Shampooing: Sometimes, you just need to rinse your Shihpoo off after letting them play outside. At other times, he or she will need the full treatment. Shihpoos are patient with shampooing, even around their face and eyes. They will lick at anything around their noses, so get their faces shampooed and rinsed in a hurry.
  30. Relatively Simple Haircuts: Unlike the iconic poodle cut, Shihpoo haircuts are pretty straightforward and even. These dogs are adorable at any coat length. Giving your Shihpoo a haircut at home can prove challenging, as with any dog, but see our blog post and video for tips.
  31. Cutest Doorbell Ever: Shihpoos do not bark constantly, and they don’t howl. Thanks to their Shih Tzu side that was bred to notify their Tibetan monastery homes of people approaching, your Shihpoo will only bark if he or she thinks there is someone at the door or close by outside.
  32. Easy to Read: Your Shihpoo is not an enigma. When he or she is tired, you will find your Shihpoo on the couch or in their bed resting. If he or she needs to go potty, you will find them at the door. When your puppy wants to play, you will either find him or her dropping toys at your feet or, more hilariously, gently nudging your leg with his or her nose to get your attention.
  33. Head Out the Car Window. If you are ever in need of a pick-me-up, take your Shihpoo for a ride in the car with the window down (hopefully not in the middle of a winter snowstorm). It’s nigh-well impossible not to feel joy as you watch your puppy enjoy the wind on his or her face.
  34. Not a Biter. During teething (around 4-6 months), your Shihpoo will be a moderate chewer, but he or she will not bite in anger. Even while playing tug of war, if you get your fingers to close to his or her teeth, your Shihpoo might accidentally bite you. Just let him or her know with a quick yelp (like another puppy might make), watch five to ten seconds, and start playing again. Your Shihpoo learns quickly to be careful around your fingers.
  35. Not Even a Nipper. Some other small dog breeds tend to produce nippers. These annoying little dogs want to nip at heels, at hems, at fingers and anything else they can get their little mouths around. Not Shihpoos. They don’t nip at people.
  36. Not a Yipper. As mentioned already, they are not constant barkers. What about when visitors and strangers enter the home? You can easily train them to mind their manners, but even without the training, Shihpoos are not the constant yippers and yappers that some other little dogs are around people they don’t know.
  37. More a Lover than a Fighter. If you have two Shihpoos in the home or one Shihpoo and another dog, there may be some rivalry and some alpha dog behavior, but Shihpoos are not fighters. They play fight (growling while playing tug of war, mostly) and they may wrestle, but it is unlikely your Shihpoo will get into a knockdown drag-out fight with another dog in the house.
  38. High Jumpers. Despite their tiny legs, your Shihpoo will surprise you with their hops. These dogs – thanks to the inherited athleticism of their Poodle parent – got game. They generally have no trouble jumping onto couches or beds (unless they are raised quite a bit), and they can generally zip up and down stairs after six or eight months of age.
  39. No Trouble at Bedtime. With a special treat such as a chew reserved only for bedtime and only for the crate, your Shihpoo will get excited to go to bed. He or she may even spin in ecstasy all the way to the crate once they have done their business outside and you mention “bed.”
  40. Sleeping on Your Bed. Cuddling up with your Shihpoo is a sweet reward at the end of a long day. After their initial settling in, Shihpoos make very few movements, are not slobberers, are not likely to snore, and provide just the right amount of warmth in the cool of the night.
  41. They Stay or Come on Cue. Training your Shihpoo to stay and then to come takes just a few minutes a day. These are smart puppies and can learn obedience if you are consistent.
  42. Cute and Quirky Names. Given its size, the Shihpoo offers a fantastic laboratory for coming up with fun and memorable names. Whether you go with an irony-based big and bad sounding name (e g. Killer, Bruiser), a goofy name (e.g. Mr. Snugglepuffs), a run-of-the-mill name (e.g. Todd, Bethany), or the traditional name (e.g. Fido, Fifi), the name for perfectly.
  43. Dog Tags. On large dogs, dog tags can get lost in the bill of the animal. Fun and colorful tags can look out of place for a big breed that may not always appear approachable. Shihpoos, on the other hand, wear their tags with grace and charm.
  44. Great Lap Companion and Listener. Whatever you are doing on the couch, your Shihpoo will sell out your lap. Lights on our dimmed, summer or winter, you have a lap companion who makes a great listener. Adding no judgment and returning only love, your Shihpoo will listen as long as you feel the need to talk.
  45. Introductions. When you have a Shihpoo and take him or her on a walk or elsewhere in public, one of the most enjoyable experience you will have includes introducing others to the world of Shihpoos. Just hearing the same, Shihpoo, turns people’s heads and give you a chance to laugh and giggle together. Their cuteness, size and name make Shihpoos the ideal topic of conversation.
  46. Fashion Bug. Whether or not you can afford designer clothing, Shihpoos are known as designer dogs. They wear most costumes more patiently than other dogs, and most will not mind sporting a shirt or a sweater, especially in the cold months.
  47. Your Shihpoo Is a Waterbug. Poodles have been bred for centuries to retirement girl from the water for their hunting companions. While you’re Shihpoo is no hunting buddy, he it she will happy sell out water for play time. Keep in mind that Shihpoos also inherit some of their Shih Tzu parent’s characteristics, which might include short legs and even being a terrible swimmer. Watch your Shihpoo carefully when allowing him or her into the water
  48. Movie Buddy. Watching a movie with your Shihpoo in your lap is the best! If you watch a show that portrays other dogs or horses or squirrels on the screen, expect your Shihpoo to be fully engaged in the movie. This might include some groaning, Some mild barking, or, more likely, jumping off your lap and getting its nose as close to the screen as possible.
  49. Solid and Sturdy. While small or even tiny, you Shihpoo will generally be quite sturdy. Whether he or she inherits an athletic frame from the Poodle side of the family or the shorter and stouter frame from the Shih Tzu side, these little furballs can take more roughhousing than their size suggests. While Shihpoos are not recommended for children under 4 or 5 years of age who have not developed their sense of restraint, these dogs can still enjoy wrestling and playtime. They will undoubtedly end up under foot sometimes quite literally, but when they do, they will offer a yelp or perhaps a little whimper. Then, your Shihpoo will usually come right back for more attention.
  50. Big Joy in a Small Package. Great things come in small packages, and this is certainly true of Shihpoos. Whether you want companionship, a listening ear, a friend to cuddle, an intelligent but fast-learning and big-hearted furry ball of patience, or any other trait listed above, you will find it in abundance in your Shihpoo.

Do you have your own reasons for loving an adorable and irrepressible Shihpoo in your life? Please share your perspective and insight in our comments below.

Todd Christensen

Founder and lead blogger at ShihpooCentral.com, Todd loves his family's two Shih-poo puppies, Titus Rex and Stark Antonio (aka Sir Titus Whitus and Baron von Wigglebutt). He and his wife have four wonderful human children as well, and he doubles by day as a financial educator facilitating budgeting, credit building and debt elimination workshops.

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