Shih Tzu vs Shih Poo: Which Breed is Right For You

shih poo vs shih tzu
When choosing between a Shih Tzu and a Shih Poo, it's essential to consider factors such as temperament, grooming requirements, and overall health. Shih Tzus are known for their loyal and affectionate nature, while Shih Poos, a Shih Tzu-Poodle mix, often combine the best traits of both breeds. Understanding these differences will help you select the ideal companion for your lifestyle.

Numerous individuals need to pay more attention to the ownership of smaller dogs, considering them only as little as lap dogs. But small dog breeds are a lot of fun. The Shih Tzu puppies are the ideal example of a small dog with a huge personality. These cute little pups are known for their lively and affectionate personalities and long, silky coats. They are often personable dogs that function well in different environments, thereby making them well-suited for several homes.

In the past couple of decades, crossbreeding has established the breeds out of Poodles, and it attained a huge hype. It led to numerous mixed breeding of pups, including Shih Poo. These dogs are the best of both Poodle and Shih Tzu breeds, making them fun-filled and lovable dogs. It is often unpredictable the combination of traits that you will get by cross-breeding this way, although it can become hit or a miss about the type of dog you end up with.

About Shih Tzu Puppies

The roots of Shih Tzu date back to ancient China, which is often connected with the extravagance of Chinese royalty. They are considered to have been bred out of Tibetan Holy dogs, often linking them back to Tibet. The breed is considered to live a life of elegance among the emperors with a noble history that elevates their allure. The purebred pups entered the Western recognition that secured their membership with the Kennel Club of England in 1948 and 1969 by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih Tzus typically make the best pets due to their lively and adorable personalities. They are typically smaller dogs, growing to about 9 to 10½ inches and weighing around 9 to 16 pounds. Although Shih Tzus have a sparkling personality, they are often tough to train without considerable effort.

About Shih Poo Puppies

The Shih Poo puppies are the perfect crossbreed between the intelligent Shih Tzu and the curly-haired Poodle. They are the latest additions to the canine world and do not have a history as long as Shih Tzu. The story of Shih Poo is the new chapter into dog breeding that aims to mix that would bring together the ideal qualities of both their purebred parents, including the affectionate character of Shih Tzu and the clever wit of Poodle.

Shih Poos are extremely loyal, friendly, and intelligent. They are the first-gen mixes of Shih Tzu-Toy Poodle, inheriting physical and behavioral traits from both their parents. The Toy Poodles and Shih Tzu are extremely devoted and loving to their companions. They do not love spending time alone and need frequent grooming. However, the Shih Poos are relatively easier to train due to their tendencies to please humans and are smart.

Key Characteristics

Let's look at the the key characteristics both the breeds possess:- 

Shih Tzus

Average height (adult) :  9–10½ inches
Average weight (adult) :  9–16 pounds 
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Exercise:  1 hour per day
Grooming needs: High
Family-friendly: Yes
Other pet-friendly: Generally

Shih Poos

Average height (adult) : 8–18 inches 
Average weight (adult) : 8–18 pounds
Lifespan: 13–17 years
Exercise:  1 hour per day
Grooming needs: High
Family-friendly: Yes
Other pet-friendly: Generally

Shih Tzu Vs. Shih Poo Puppies

We will now take a closer look at the key differences between both Shih Tzu and Shih Poo that will help you choose the one that is right for you and your family.

Personality / Character

Shih Tzus: These puppies are extremely friendly and playful companions who love to hang out with their favorite humans. They are loving and outgoing, making sense since they were bred to be people-centric and sweet companions. Although they bark upon getting excited, they would learn to restrict excessive vocalization and respond to stimuli in several ways that humans will love. Most of them are extremely good with kids and other pets like cats or dogs.

shih poo puppy

Shih Poos: These little pups are extremely friendly. Most of them love meeting new people, and many of them perform well under novel conditions. Shih Poos are well-tempered, making them the best family dogs. They are human-oriented and do not love being alone, as the breed can undergo separation anxiety. 


Shih Tzus: Shih Tzus are tough to train since they would find ways to morph into the training sessions, making it fun, non-training related playtime activities that at times result in unruly behavior. Shih Tzus needs consistent, purposeful early socialization and consistent, robust training of their better selves. The rough training techniques never work with these sensitive puppies. Any hard word for corrections and raised voices will build stress in your pups, making training a tough one. Puppy training classes are the best way to get your dogs started on the best foot since they offer pets a better chance to get out, play, and become social.

Shih Poos: These pups are easier to train, specifically for those with a good dose of Toy Poodle lineage. Poodles of all sizes are amazingly smart. They are sensitive animals, and they do not respond well to raised voices, criticism, or sharp commands. Most of them learn quickly whenever they are exposed to positive reinforcements. Although these pups are well-behaved, like all dogs, they benefit from good socialization and obedience training.

Health & Care

Shih Tzus: Shih Tzus are typically healthier dogs, although there are a couple of breed-specific conditions to check out if you plan to adopt or buy one. They are often prone to developing eye conditions, gum diseases, and ear infections. At times, they would have a tough time tolerating the strenuous exercises or heat as a brachycephalic breed. The other possible health conditions would include glomerulonephropathy and obesity, which is a kidney disease resulting from diarrhea, lack of appetite, and vomiting.

Shih Poos: These hybrid dogs often develop Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle breed-specific conditions. In addition to conditions similar to those of the Shih Tzu breed, Shih Poos are prone to dental diseases and ear infections. Von Willebrand's Disease, a blood clotting disorder, and Tracheal Collapse are often seen.


Shih Tzus: They typically need thirty to sixty minutes of regular physical activity. Two good walks and dedicating playtime work the trick. Shih Tzus often become overweight quickly, which increases their chance of developing conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and osteoarthritis. Regular breed-based exercise would notably affect the mental and physical well-being of the dog.

Shih Poos: Shih Poos have ample energy and need regular exercise to stay focused. Most of them are fine with two regular walks and a couple of energetic games. Shih Poos love exercising; however, they are not built for longer runs or hikes over rugged terrain. Shih Poos are people-oriented and sensitive, as they suffer from separation anxiety whenever left alone. Getting sufficient exercise will help in proper anxiety management.


Shih Tzus: Shih Tzus have silky, thick, and beautiful double coats that require regular brushing, preventing the tangles and mats from happening. They need regular baths around once every month that keep their coats in the best shape. Numerous owners choose short puppy cuts to reduce their time spent on regular brushing. Shih Tzus needs monthly trips to the grooming salon, with some dogs needing times every 6 weeks or more. Most of them need their teeth brushed around three times every week and their nails trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks.

Shih Poos: These puppies have short or long hair, which is either straight, curly, or somewhere in the middle, as they need regular brushing to prevent things from getting out of hand. Several benefits out of the regular trips to the groomers every 6 to 8 weeks is required. However, it is possible to take care of the grooming needs of the dogs at home as it is easier to take your pup to the groomer since it is easier to maintain the hygiene of your dogs.

Best For

shih tzu puppy

Shih Tzus: Shih Tzu pups are the best pets for those living in smaller homes or apartments. They are the best lap dogs and happiest when snuggled close to their favorite humans, although they need regular playtime and walks to stay mentally and physically fit. Shih Tzus are sensitive and social dogs, and they perform best in homes where they get a lot of attention, spending most of their day with their loved companions.

Shih Poos: These pups are the best companions for those who seek loving, devoted companions who thrive when spending time with their best person. As they are people-oriented, many would do their best in homes with stay-at-home residents. They are the best option for seniors, retirees, and families who generally spend most of their time at home. Most of them are happy to accompany their best person when running errands and going on different outings.

Which Breed Is Right for You?

Shih Tzus and Shih Poos are playful, energetic, and sweet dogs that love to spend time with their best person. They do not need a lot of exercise and do not love staying alone. Shih Tzus and Shih Poos are the best pets for those residing in apartments and small homes as they are never active and energetic enough to get distracted easily.

Trainability is one of the notable differences between these two breeds. Although Shih Tzus is tough to train, Shih Poos will learn eagerly. Most Shih Poos are well-behaved and perform well when meeting new animals and people, although, like the other dogs, they would benefit from the best obedience training and socialization.

Shih Tzus are often complex to train since they get tempted easily by any distraction. If you are new at training, a Shih Poo is the best for your home; however, with determination and patience, you can train your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let us have a look at some of the most common questions regarding Shih Poo and Shih Tzu breeds.

Is Shih-poo a good breed?

Shih Poo, mainly a Shih Tzu and Poodle mix, comes with the key traits of their parent breeds into playful and amiable companions. They are extremely adaptable, making the best house pets for individuals in search of smaller or affectionate dogs bonding with their owners.

Is Shih Tzu a high-maintenance dog?

Typically, Shih Tzus are low-maintenance dogs due to their eagerness to please and loyalty to their loved ones. They are also amazingly affectionate and loving, as they thrive on human attention.

Can Shih-Poos be left alone? 

Shih Poos are a bit clingy and suffer separation anxieties whenever they are left alone for prolonged periods.

Parting Thoughts

Puppies, irrespective of their breed, will tag along the costs involving vet visits, food, and grooming. It is the main factor to consider when you plan on getting Shih Tzu or Shih Poo puppies for sale from HappyTail Puppies. We will also help you with the information you need for grooming and training, developing them into well-behaved and socialized dogs.