Dog breeding has been around just about as long as society has. However, designer breeds, like the Shihpoo, are a relatively new phenomenon. If you haven’t heard of Shihpoos before, or if you’re interested in getting one for your family, here is everything you need to know about the breed.[php_everywhere]
Contents of Article
- What is a Shihpoo?
- Shihpoo Pictures
- What Is It Like Owning a Shihpoo?
- Shihpoo Breed Information
- 11 Fun Facts You Should Know About Shihpoos
What is a Shihpoo?
Because these two breeds have very different coats, you may see Shihpoos with curly or straight fur and in any number of colors. Some even may be particolor, which means a color plus bits of white.
Unfortunately, some people are drawn to Shihpoos because sellers often market them as being hypoallergenic due to the nature of their fur being more like hair. However, allergies are usually not caused by fur but by the dead skin cells (dander) dogs shed.
Because buyers see them as hypoallergenic, some may purchase or adopt this breed thinking that they will not impact their allergies. Such thinking becomes a problem when the dog inevitably does affect the health of the allergic person, leading to returns or abandonment.
If you have allergies, the best course of action is to opt for a trial period or borrow a friend’s dog to see how you react.
Shihpoos are frequently playful and loving, dedicated to their families. Often, they’re happier sitting on a lap than going for lengthy walks, so if you’re looking for a dog to take hiking, this may not be your first choice for a pet. However, if you want a dog that will be content with a little exercise while predominantly hanging around the house, it could be the perfect pet for your family.
While most Shihpoos weigh anywhere from roughly 10-20 pounds, they won’t all look alike.
Mixed breeds usually have more variation than purebreds, as you never know which genes will assert themselves. Let’s take a look at a few different Shihpoos, so you can see for yourself how varied they can be!
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What Is It Like Owning a Shihpoo?
No two dogs may be alike, but Shihpoos usually share some similarities. Let’s take a closer look at what it’s like owning a Shihpoo.
- Shihpoos tend to do well with cats and other dogs. If your household has other pets, especially ones that may be standoffish with newcomers, like cats, a Shihpoo can be a good new companion. While they may be playful, they are not energetic and therefore are not likely to bother other animals that may prefer to be left alone.
- Shihpoos are fine in smaller environments. Again, because of their relaxed nature and small size, they don’t need huge amounts of space to be happy in their home.
- They’re a smart breed. Poodles and Shih Tzus are both known for their intelligence, and so their cross, the Shihpoo, will have a fair capacity for thinking and problem-solving. Unfortunately, just because a dog is intelligent does not mean it likes training.
- Shihpoos can be stubborn. They’re quite smart, and they often know their own mind. If you want to train your Shihpoo, you may have to motivate them with some form of a treat.
- Shihpoos require plenty of grooming. Due to the nature of their coats, these pops require ample grooming, including bathing and brushing.
- Shihpoos are sometimes also called Shoodles or Pooshis, but not a Poo-Shi, which is a Poodle-Shiba Inu cross.
- Shihpoos are happiest when they are being showered with love. They’re very much the ideal lap dog, and frequently they are not interested in going out and being too active. Instead, they prefer curling up on a comfy surface (such as a lap or sofa) and being pet and pampered.
- Shihpoos are not outdoor dogs and won’t like being left in the yard alone for hours at a time. They’re very social and need people around frequently to feel comfortable.
- This breed does not do well in a loud or chaotic environment. Shihpoos are sensitive and prefer things around them to be calm. They may become easily stressed during loud noises, such as fireworks or overly playful children.
- Even though they prefer staying inside, Shihpoos are still playful. They’re often considered perpetual puppies and will love having a lighthearted game of fetch or tug-of-war with their family.
- Shihpoos are prone to dental issues, so make sure you take good care of their teeth if you adopt one.
- Like with most smaller dogs, it’s important to socialize Shihpoos early on, so they get used to being around other creatures and don’t become too territorial.
Shihpoo Breed Information
Now that you know a little more about Shihpoos, it’s time to take a closer look and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this unique breed!
Shihpoo Cost – How Much Are Shihpoos?
On average, a male Shihpoo puppy is valued at $926, while a female Shihpoo typically costs $995. This slight difference is due to females having a higher breeding potential. After all, a female can produce puppies that could then go on to be sold.
Costs are likely to vary by state and even seller. Moreover, the age of a Shihpoo puppy is likely to affect its value, too. If the puppy is a rescue or an adult dog over a year old, there is the possibility that a buyer could save themselves hundreds of dollars.
A Shihpoo’s coat may also influence price, as certain colors and patterns (such as gold) can be significantly more expensive.
One overlooked cost may depend on whether or not your state has a Shihpoo breeder, who can be scarce to nonexistent in some areas. If there is no breeder or rescue service offering Shihpoos, then you may have to factor in delivery or transportation costs.
Are Shihpoos Good Apartment Dogs?
Shihpoos are adaptable and well-tempered, allowing them to thrive in all kinds of environments.
While they do require plenty of mental and physical stimulation, they do not need a yard like other breeds to burn off any excess energy. This is ideal if you live somewhere, such as an apartment, that lacks an outdoor space.
As a smaller breed of dog, Shihpoos may be more acceptable to apartment buildings that have size restrictions in place. Moreover, if you have to walk upstairs to reach your apartment, their portability means that you can simply lift them up when they get too tired to walk.
Despite their size, well-trained Shihpoos are not prone to being barkers, which is another advantage if you live in an apartment.
What Are Some Common Shihpoo Health Issues?
It’s a sad fact that dogs of all breeds (including hybrids) are prone to certain health issues. It’s a common misconception that hybrids are going to be healthier than a purebred, but that’s not always the case. All too often, they may suffer from issues inherited from both parents, the Shih Tzu and the Poodle.
- Luxating Patellas: a knee (or multiple) may slip out of place, causing pain. Mild cases may not become an issue, but a severe case may require surgery.
- Eyelid Entropion: one or both eyelids may roll inward, causing hair to rub against the eye itself, including the cornea. At best, this can cause the dog pain, but at worst, it may lead to ulcers, ruptures, and pigment developing across the cornea, impairing vision.
- Hip Dysplasia: a skeletal condition where the hip socket and ball don’t develop well and may not fit together. Instead of sliding smoothly in place, they grind together, wearing the joint down, causing pain, and eventually resulting in loss of joint function.
- Cataracts: the most common cause of vision loss in all breeds, cataracts can lead to blindness. Cataracts are when the lens of the eye becomes opaque or milky, which limits the passing of light through the eye. This means sight becomes limited.
- Dental disease: all dogs suffer from dental disease, but Shih Tzus (and thereby Shihpoos) are more likely to get it. Dogs, like humans, will experience tartar building up on their teeth, which can lead to the gums and roots of teeth becoming infected.
Are Shihpoos Hard to Train?
Even though Shihpoos are great lap dogs with high intelligence, that doesn’t mean they like to be trained.
Frequently, Shihpoos are stubborn and often want to do things their own way. That doesn’t mean that Shihpoos can’t be trained. It simply means that you may need to put in more effort (and have plenty of patience) while training your new canine friend.
Shihpoos respond best to training that comes with positive reinforcement, like treats and praise. It’s also a good idea to start your new dog’s training as early as possible.
Because Shihpoos can be anxious, starting socialization at a young age is smart. This way, your canine friend can get used to new things, louder sounds, and meeting new people (or other pets!) with limited anxiety as an adult.
Otherwise, your dog may become barky when fully grown, and they may not respond well to new stimuli, people, or other animals.
If you’re adopting an adult Shihpoo, be sure you ask their previous owner (or their adoption center) if they have any areas where they may need more training.
What Colors Do Shihpoos Come In?
Shihpoos come in a broad range of colors and reflect the diversity of hues exhibited by their Shih Tzu and Poodle forebears. These include apricot, black, brown, cream, and red sable.
Due to this variety, even puppies from the same litter are not guaranteed to have identical colors, coats, or patterns. However, Shihpoo noses are usually black or brown, and eye color is often limited to either amber or brown.
Typically, Poodles have a mono-color coat, but a Shih Tzu may have various shades and hues. That can lead to it being hard to predict what appearance a Shihpoo will take on.
They may also either have the wooly coat of a Poodle or the straight and long coat of the Shih Tzu. Some Shihpoos may even have a mixture of the two.
How Big Do Shihpoos Get?
Just as their appearances may vary, a Shihpoo can come in all kinds of sizes. However, as they are a small breed, they commonly reflect the modest stature of Shih Tzus and miniature or toy Poodles.
Some Shihpoos may weigh as little as seven pounds, while others could reach upwards of 18 pounds. That means that even larger Shihpoos are still considered good lap dogs, which is where they are typically happiest. Nevertheless, on average, an adult Shihpoo will weigh in at 13 pounds.
Likewise, there’s no certainty when it comes to height, as one Shihpoo may stand an impressive 18 inches tall while others might only reach eight inches.
Altogether, the size of a Shihpoo is likely to depend on the breed type and size of their parents. A Shihpoo is just as likely to vary in size, especially since Shih Tzus and Poodles usually come in teacup, miniature, toy, and standard sizes.
Are Shihpoos Good with Kids?
Unfortunately, Shihpoos are not known for being good with small children. Because they don’t like chaos or loud noises, they may snap at younger children who don’t understand how to behave around dogs.
For example, this breed does not like to be tugged on or pushed. This doesn’t mean you can’t have young children and toddlers around them. It’s simply important to monitor their interactions closely.
However, they tend to do well with older children who understand how not to antagonize the Shihpoo. This is because Shihpoos are very social and can be quite playful, so having an older child around to play with your canine can be great for both of them.
11 Fun Facts You Should Know About Shihpoos
- Shihpoos are considered companion dogs as they are incredibly dependent upon their family. They need to be around their loved ones to be really happy, or otherwise, they may become anxious.
- They can be difficult to train if you don’t give them the right motivation, which may be positive reinforcement, lots of love, or even treats.
- They’re a medium-energy pup, so they’re happy going for short walks, but just as content sitting in someone’s lap while being lavished with attention.
- They can struggle with their weight, so it’s best to give them specific feeding times and measured amounts of food.
- Shihpoos typically live from 12-15 years, so be prepared to have them as a companion for a long time.
- They’re an incredibly loyal breed. They would be by their owner’s side at all times if they could. Because of this, they frequently suffer from separation anxiety.
- They don’t shed often, but they still require plenty of grooming thanks to the length of their fur.
- While they may be known to bark at the slightest thing, they are not considered good watchdogs. This is because of their affectionate and social nature. If they see an intruder, they may bark, but they will often be friendly with them.
- This breed was originally bred because people wanted hypoallergenic pet options. Despite the debatable nature of its hypoallergenic aspects, Shihpoos are still becoming one of the most popular breeds.
- Shihpoos were first bred in the United States, but they have become popular all over the globe thanks to their affectionate nature and puppy-like looks.
- Even if a group of puppies comes from the same litter, they may look nothing alike and have different coats (straight, curly, or mixed), as well as different colors.
These playful canines can be a great addition to a household that is less active, and either doesn’t have young children or has very well-behaved little ones.
Not only are they loving, loyal, and happiest when surrounded by their family, they’re playful and do well with other pets, like cats.