The Shihpoo is one of a number of small dog types that are becoming increasingly better known and more widely seen here in the UK as the popularity of hybrid dog types grows, and people begin to appreciate the benefits of deliberate mixed breed crossings.
Hybrid dog types are designed to produce a mixed breed dog containing all of the desirable traits of both parent breeds and in some cases, to breed out less desirable traits and even reduce the occurrence rates of hereditary health issues common to one or the other of the two parent breeds, to improve the health of the dog population as a whole.
However, the nature of hybrid crossing dogs is that they can be very variable in terms of traits, and there are no breed standards in place to dictate the desirable norms, which can make finding out what you need to know about them before to making a purchase quite challenging.
With this in mind, this article will tell you ten things you need to know and learn about the Shihpoo dog type, before you buy one, to get you started on your research. Read on to find out more.
This invariably means that the resultant dog is a small one, although they can be variable in size as the toy poodle is smaller than the miniature, and individual Shih tzus can of course vary in size from dog to dog too!
Because the Shihpoo is a hybrid or crossbreed dog, they’re not eligible for Kennel Club registration as they’re not pedigrees. There’s no breed registry in place for Shihpoos and no breed standard to dictate their desirable looks and temperament, which means there’s no consensus about what they should be like, and everyone has their own opinion on this.
The poodle and Shih tzu crossing is a relatively interesting one because these are two dog breeds that fall at polar opposite ends of the canine intelligence spectrum – the poodle is the second most intelligent dog breed in the world overall, whilst the Shih Tzu is right down in 128th place out of 138 dog breeds.
In theory this should place the Shih Tzu’s intelligence around about in the middle of the pack overall, but this can of course be variable as dogs rarely inherit a dead even split of the traits of their two parents or the two sides of their ancestry! This means that it can be hard to know whether or not any Shihpoo puppy you buy will be above or below average in intelligence, or somewhere around the middle.
The Shihpoo’s coat is generally bred to be more like the poodle coat than that of the Shih tzu, but again this can be a variable trait. Poodle coats are tightly curled and low shedding, which means they need a significant amount of brushing and grooming each day in order to keep the coat in good condition and to prevent knotting and matting.
The fact that the Shihpoo coat doesn’t shed a lot of fur means that they don’t shed a lot of dander either, which means that they might be easier to live with for allergy sufferers who are commonly otherwise allergic to most types of dogs.
However, this is never guaranteed, and any prospective Shihpoo owner should assess all dogs they are thinking of buying individually to determine whether or not they are apt to cause a negative reaction in them.
One potential downside of the Shihpoo is that they don’t generally tend to be hugely tolerant of children and won’t put up with a lot of noise and rowdiness or children teasing them, particularly if the children don’t respect the dog’s personal space.
This means that they are generally not considered to be a great choice of dog for families with younger children.
Shihpoos are also a dog type that is often found to suffer from separation anxiety, and they are not a good breed to choose if you would need to leave your dog alone at home for long periods of time.
If you would be able to ensure that someone can stay home with the Shihpoo for the larger part of the day, this might be a good choice of dog for you.
The Shihpoo is generally quite a vocal dog that often has a fairly yappy bark, which some people are naturally apt to find rather grating. They are generally quite noisy dogs that may bark a lot without any particular reason, and whilst you may be able to train them to moderate this to some extent, it is worth bearing in mind before you buy one!
The Shihpoo’s small size means that they’re versatile enough to fit into most types of homes, and they don’t need a particularly big home or garden to keep them happy and provide them with enough space.
The Shihpoo’s small size does mean that they are versatile enough to suit many different types of homes and owners, but their tendency to be quite vocal, their propensity to separation anxiety, and their general intolerance of children (although this is of course not always the case for every Shihpoo) does mean that they need to be considered carefully.
Ensure that you do plenty of research to know what you’re getting into before you commit to buying a Shihpoo, and choose your breeder carefully.