The Complete Guide to a Shihpoo’s Daily Schedule


With two Shihpoos in the home, we don’t lack for cuddles, fun and energy. Still, a daily routine is critical for the physical and mental health of Shihpoos and Shihpoo families alike.

What is a typical Shihpoo daily routine?

While Shihpoo puppies can sleep up to 18 hours a day, Shihpoo adults can also be contented resting and sleeping half their day away. In between a couple of two-hour naps, Shihpoos can have an hour or two of exercising plus playtime and an hour or more of training, cuddling, eating and grooming.

Courtesy of HoundsofFluff.com

Our Shihpoos will be up at 7:00 am, then head outside for potty before coming back in for breakfast. After another potty break at 7:30, they are good to spend the next few hours inside. They move onto cuddling, playing or enjoying a break in their crates for a couple hours during morning chores and errands. After lunch around noon, they may follow Mama around out of curiosity for an hour or two (and hope for treats or playtime).

When the boys get home from school, the puppies love playing games, hope for more cuddle time, and can hardly wait from me to walk through the door to play fetch and tug of war with their favorite toy (after lots of hugs and slobbery kisses). After dinner comes a mile or two walk around the neighborhood, followed by more games back at home, and finally more cuddle time on a warm lap before bedtime at 8:30 or 9:00 pm.

Here is a detailed daily schedule to look over. Whether you are considering a Shihpoo in your home or you are looking for a stable routine for your adult Shihpoo, find some ideas below on how to raise a well-adjusted, healthy and happy Shihpoo puppy.

Detailed Daily Schedule

If you or another adult family member are in a position to be at home with your Shihpoo, like our family is, here are some ideas on what a daily routine might look like. Obviously, you can move things around, up or back an hour, or replace activities with those more appropriate or appreciated by your fur baby.

Shihpoo Awake at 7:00 am

Time to wake up! We have one Shihpoo who sleeps on his human boy’s bed and another who sleeps in his own crate for the night. Either way, Shihpoos are ready to rise and rearing to go. If we have to get them up an hour early or let them sleep an hour longer, these puppies are content to rest a bit longer or get up a bit earlier. We have yet to have either of them whining, barking or yelping because they want to get out.

 When they sense it is time to get up (the bedroom light goes on or the crate door opens), they will first practice their downward dog yoga pose (pretty obvious why it is called this). Then, after a hearty yawn or two, they will not mind a back scratch or a tummy rub before wanting to give lots of morning kisses. Finally, they head to the back door to be let out for their morning relief.

Shihpoo Active at 7:15 am

Back in doors and feeling spritely, Shihpoos are ready to lap the water bowl, play fetch or tug of war, follow you in observation mode, or generally entertain you with their adorable and good nature.

Shihpoo Family Activity at 7:20 am

We kneel in family prayer, and our puppies are more than happy to sit between our legs or be held in our arms for a few minutes of togetherness time. Truth be told, they are much like our kids were as three or four year old, preferring to play but also content to join the family unit in a moment of closeness.

Shihpoo Breakfast at 7:30 am

We sit down for breakfast as a family. As descendents of the wolf, the Shihpoo’s alpha and pack mentality come to the fore. The alpha dog eats first. In our home, that means the humans need to eat first so the puppies don’t start to act like alphas.

During training, it is not a bad idea to put your Shihpoo into his or her crate or apartment while you eat. It is the dog’s nature to try to become the Alpha dog in the house. At meal times, this means begging, scratching and doing anything else the dog can think of to get food as soon as possible.

Trained to wait until the people have eaten, Shihpoos will be generally patient until you have filled their food bowl or added a few yummy table scraps to their own kibbles. Keep in mind that only a small percentage of your Shihpoo’s nutrition should come from table scraps… 10% max.

Shihpoo Free Time at 8:00 am

It is school time for the kids and work time for many adults.

Your Shihpoo will generally be happy to join you for a drive to drop off the kids (or a drive just about anywhere, so long as they can stick their heads out the window. One of our puppies can hardly wait to race to the car after breakfast, while the other, at 8 months old, is still learning to appreciate the joy of wind through his fur.

For Shihpoos whose Mamas and Papas have to head off to work, now is a great time for some play time. If the air is not freezing outside, you could take your fluffy ball for a quick walk around the block before putting the puppy in the back yard and down for a morning nap back in the crate for an hour or two max. Other active alternatives include fetch (indoors or out), keep away, hide and seek, or even chase.

In hour home, post-breakfast time is playtime together. Even when the temperatures are hovering around freezing, they often ask to be let outside (doggy door bell) to wrestle, play keep away or just enjoy the fresh air.

Back inside, Shihpoos may be ready to chill on their sleeping pad or the couch, or they may use their curiosity to follow you around to see where their luck takes them, hoping in their heart to secure a snack or food or a belly rub.

Shihpoo Nap Time at 10:00 am

It’s morning nap time for our Shihpoos. Back in their crates with a couple of snackers (snack crackers), they settle down for a two-hour breather. Using a crate or apartment offers your Shihpoo the feeling of protection and security.

Shihpoo Lunch at 12:00 pm

Lunch time! At the end of their morning nap, our Shihpoos are out the back door again for a brief potty break, after which it is inside for continuing fun, frolicking, and food if they are hungry. It is good to know that like most dogs, adult Shihpoos may only need two meals a day. There is no need to panic if they don’t eat a mid-day lunch.

Courtesy of TopDogTips.com

If you worry that the weather is too cold early in the morning or in the evening, now would be a great time for a daily walk or even jog. In many neighborhoods, you will encounter other mid-day walkers, giving your Shihpoo the chance to say hi to many other pets and pooches.

You may also want to use this time to give your puppy some social time. Whether on a walk with opportunities to stop and sniff or at a local dog park, this is a great time to get outside and let your puppy meet other puppies. The fresh air and sunlight can do you both some good to promote physical and emotional health.

Shihpoo Free Time at 1:00 pm

After lunch and some active time, your Shihpoo will enjoy some downtime on a lap, a couch, or a warm spot on the carpet. If he or she does take a break, now would be your chance for some reading, writing, or online work time of your own.

One of the great characteristics of Shihpoos is they can be very content hanging out and doing nothing for long periods of time. For sure, they will want to be near you, as they love being cuddle-bugs. This can make them great work-from-home companions if you are a remote employee or a blogger. I have composed many a post with my Titus curled up on my legs catching some Zs.

Shihpoo Nap Time at 2:00 pm

 Our Shihpoos get their second nap of the day in at this time, giving them an hour or two of rest before the kids get home from school.

Shihpoo Play Time at 4:00 pm

With the boys home from school, it is the Shihpoos time to shine, baby! Both puppies want to play and wrestle either with each other or with their humans. This is also a great time of the day, except in the heat of summer, to let the puppies play together in the back yard for an hour or so.

We generally don’t recommend you leave your puppies outside on their own for much longer. Shihpoos are very social and can get anxious if left alone too long outside.

Additionally, we live near the birds of prey capital of the world, where we have more raptors (hawks, eagles, owls, etc.) per square mile than anywhere on earth. As small as Shihpoos are, especially as young puppies, we tried to stay aware of birds in the area. If we saw a hawk or an owl perched on a fence or nearby tree branch, we kept our puppy inside, or we stayed out in the backyard with the puppy while he took care of his business.

Shihpoo Dinner at 5:00 pm

After some energy-burning activities, our Shihpoos are ready for dinner. Like breakfast time, dinner time starts with dinner being served for the humans first. Our puppies sit (or stand) next to their Mama, knowing who at the table is most likely to slip them the rare scrap of meat.

Shihpoo Walk at 6:00 pm

Courtesy of k9web.com

After dinner comes our Shihpoos’ favorite time of the day. All they have to do is hear the word “walk” or the word “go,” and our Shihpoos head for the door. They know we are headed outside for a 3 to 4 mph walk around the neighborhood.

Although they want to stop at every lawn and bush along the sidewalk to investigate scents left by previous visitors, we try to keep them moving forward so we all get our exercise in. If we cross paths with neighbors who are also walking their own dogs, we often stop to visit and let our puppies meet to learn how to be social.

Shihpoo Wind Down Time at 6:30 pm

Once a week, we will use this time of the day to bathe our Shihpoos. The rest of the week, this becomes one of the sweetest times of the day, with everyone wanting to settle down, watch a little TV, relax and unwind. By 7:30 or 8:00 pm, our Shihpoos are done playing for the day and ready to find a warm lap to curl up on.

Shihpoo Bedtime at 8:30 pm

Shihpoos are not cats. They are not nocturnal and will be happy to head to bed in the early evening hours if you train them to do so every night. Our puppies start to zonk on our laps around 8:30. A quick trip out the back door for one last pit stop before getting their teeth brushed and heading to bed with a chew completes our fur babies’ perfect day.

Shihpoo Lights Out at 9:00 pm

Whether you pull the covers over your puppy and your child or you place your puppy in his or her crate with the curtains drawn (curtains over the room windows or a towel over the crate), you will not likely hear much of anything from your puppy till morning.

Alternatives for Working Shihpoo Families

If you are not able to have an adult human stay home with your Shihpoo baby during the day, your schedule will require some major adjustments.

Earlier Shihpoo Wake Up Call at 6:00 am

You may want to use the early morning hours to get some exercise time in with your puppy! Although it’s early, you can still sneak in a one or two mile walk or jog with your puppy. Back in the house, your puppy can have breakfast and catch his or her breath while you shower and get dressed.

Dog Sitters and Doggy Daycare Centers

The biggest difference between the detailed routine above and the Shihpoo’s schedule with a working family involves what you will do with your puppy in the daytime.

A Shihpoo Dog Sitter

If you use a dog sitter, he or she should plan to spend at two separate one-hour visits with your dog. If you leave for work at 8:00, your sitter should arrive between 9:00 and 10:00 to spend some play time and offer lunch to your puppy.

Ideally, you can come home for lunch at noon to spend 30 minutes or so with your Shihpoo. This will allow your puppy to take a second nap and have your sitter stop by again around 2:00 or 2:30 pm for some more play time and a potty break.

Doggy Day Care

If you can afford a doggy day care near your home or near your place of employment, your puppy may enjoy the additional activities and socialization provided. You may even find your Shihpoo builds best friendships with other puppies at the center.

Some centers even offer life video feeds and even conferencing with your puppy during the day. Obviously, the more services, the more you can expect to pay. Your center may even offer your puppy a daily massage. Yes, your Shihpoo would love a massage.

Other services to look for at a doggy daycare center would be regular grooming, including options for trimming your puppy’s coat and nails, as well as baths. Obedience training offered by many centers can also benefit both your puppy and you in the long run. Having your daycare (aka doggy spa) take care of these tasks for you means more time you get to spend playing and cuddling with your puppy at home.

Whether you go with a sitter or a center, you will likely want to spend extra one-on-one time with your Shihpoo before and after work. Take advantage of the time, but be sure to keep your puppy on a good sleeping schedule. Just as a sleeping routine is critical for a human’s health and mental awareness, getting your puppy to bed and up at the same time each day will contribute to their health and positive mood.

Related Questions

How often should you feed your Shihpoo? Shihpoo puppies will need three meals a day between two and four months of age, after which they will generally be fine with two good meals a day. Consider keeping your puppy in his or her crate while you eat to minimize begging and the likelihood of offering unhealthy table scraps.

Do Shihpoos have separation anxiety? All dogs can experience separation anxiety, though it is uncommon in Shihpoos. If your Shihpoo wets or messes his crate, chews on furniture when he or she has plenty of other chew toys, or barks excessively and constantly while you are away, he or she is likely experiencing separation anxiety. Make sure to exercise your puppy before leaving, and consider leaving the TV or an audiobook on.

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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