In April 2020, during the Coronavirus pandemic, we asked Shihpoo families – here on ShihpooCentral.com and on Facebook groups dedicated to Shihpoos – why they chose a Shihpoo over other dogs.
What were the top three reasons you decided to bring a Shihpoo into your home?
The nine potential reasons for specifically purchasing or rescuing a Shih Tzu-Poodle mix included the cost of the Shihpoo, the dog’s cuddlebug character, the dog being hypoallergenic, looks, the Shihpoo’s non-/low-shedding coat, the dog’s suitability for children, their playful nature, their size, and their sturdiness.
After tallying the responses on both platforms, here are the final results:
The two most important reasons families chose their Shihpoo included the understanding that their Shihpoo would not shed and because they would be small. Other popular reasons were the Shihpoo’s playful nature, its hypoallergenic coat, and it’s plain ol’ adorable looks. Also receiving votes were the Shihpoo’s tendency to cuddle and its reputation for being good with kids. No one chose the Shihpoo for its affordability (see our survey on average price here), even though these are not the most expensive of poodle mixes. Nor was the Shihpoo’s sturdy physical frame a choice of survey takers.
Popular Reasons for Adopting a Shihpoo
There are many reasons you might consider before adopting a Shihpoo. Let’s take a brief look at a few:
While not the cheapest dogs to purchase from breeders, Shihpoos are not the most expensive either, by a long shot. At an average cost of $950 (2019 survey), Shihpoos often cost more than their purebred parents (Shih Tzu and Toy or Miniature Poodle).
Shihpoo rescues will vary in cost from $0 to several hundred dollars for processing fees, medical expenses, and microchipping (ALWAYS microchip your Shihpoo).
Shihpoos can be very low-maintenance dogs, requiring just 15-30 minutes of relatively low-energy activity each day (such as fetch or tug of war indoors, though they love and thrive on daily walks). Otherwise, most Shihpoos never met a lap they didn’t feel a sense of urgency to occupy.
If you sit down on your couch to watch a show, expect a furry movie buddy to join you momentarily. You may want to consider a couch ramp or steps to prevent potential back injuries.
With the ultra-hypoallergenic Poodle as one parent and another very low-allergen producing Shih Tzu as the other parent, Shihpoos tend to be among the most hypoallergenic mixed breed dogs around.
There is no such thing as a “non-allergenic” dog (HYPO- means “low”), so if someone in your household is highly allergic to pet dander, there is still a chance he or she will have allergic reactions to a Shihpoo, though unlikely.
They are small. They have curly or wavy hair. They come in a variety of colors. And they solicit “Awww” from just about everyone they meet.
Shihpoos are adorable. They are referred to as a Teddy Bear puppy for a reason. They may need brushing every few days or once a month (depending upon the length of their coat), but you can always give them a puppy cut at home if you have the few necessary pieces of grooming equipment.
Both the Shih Tzu and the Poodle parent have single coats of hair with no underlying fur. This means your Shihpoo does not shed (seasonally or ever) any more than you do.
Many Shihpoo families report they NEVER find Shihpoo hair on their clothing or furniture.
Patient/Good with Children
From their Poodle parent, Shihpoos usually inherit a very patient nature. They may nip and bite during their teething months (like any dog), but they will rarely bite their human in anger. Exceptions might include times when they are sick or in pain and do not want to be moved or touched. Such times make require a phone call or visit to your veterinarian.
Although they are patient, Shihpoos may not make a great pet for families with young toddlers who can be rough on even sturdy dogs. A 25-lb or 30-lb toddler who falls on or, worse, jumps on a 10- or 15-lb Shihpoo will win every time. And it will be at the expense of the puppy.
Shihpoos can be very playful. They love indoor games of fetch, tug of war, chase, and even hide and seek. In fact, your Shihpoo will likely play so long as he or she can find a willing play buddy.
Having a travel companion can be important for many individuals and families. If that travel buddy can fit in a portable crate that is easy to carry, even better. Shihpoos can grow to adult weights that range anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds for offspring of a Toy Poodle parent to up to 25 lbs for the offspring of a Miniature Poodle parent.
Shihpoos fit easily into the toy dog size and are easily carried and transported by anyone who can carry a bowling ball (and do it in much better style).
Sturdy/Strong for Size
Despite their diminutive size, Shihpoos are relatively strong and sturdy. Although a 30-lb toddler can still hurt them by jumping or falling on them, most Shihpoos will accidentally tumble off the couch or bed and be fine though wider for it.
They are not subject to common dibilitations (such as Dachshunds and back problems) though they a small portion may, like so many breeds, develop hip problems as they age.