Breed Spotlight: Shih Poo

Four Minutes
Oct 06, 2022

Shih Poo Quick Stats


13 – 17+ years


8 - 18 lbs


8 - 18 inches




Friendly, adaptable, playful

Common Health Problems:

Hip dysplasia, luxating patella, progressive retinal atrophy

Shih Poo: How Do I Look?

The shih poo, also known as a shoodle, is a shih tzu and poodle mix. Since shih poos are a mixed breed, there is no official breed standard for their appearance.

In general, you can expect a shoodle to be small and fluffy like their parent breeds. Toy poodles are most often bred with shih tzus — another toy breed. This leads to full grown shih poos topping out around 18 pounds and 18 inches tall.

Coat Type and Colors

The shoodle’s coat can be like the shih tzu’s long and silky coat, the poodle’s short and curly coat, or somewhere in between.

Shih poos’ coat colors usually mimic their parents’ and can be a combination of colors you’d see in a shih tzu or a poodle, including:3

  • Black
  • White
  • Gray
  • Brown

Shedding and Grooming

Because most within this breed are very light shedders, many consider the shih poo hypoallergenic.

Despite their minimal shedding, shih poos tend to have high grooming needs. Shih poo owners should be prepared to give their pup daily brushing and monthly haircuts to avoid tangles and matting.

Drooling Level

Shih poos shouldn’t have an issue with drooling.

Shoodle: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

I’m the ultimate lap dog and the ultimate nap dog who still loves to play! Add my teddy bear looks to my spunky side, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for adorable, entertaining fun.


Like their appearance, the shih poo’s temperament will depend on and be a combination of the shih tzu and poodle personalities. Overall, you can expect shoodles to be very loving companion dogs with a willful streak. They bond closely with their families and require lots of attention.Without adequate attention, shih poos can develop anxiety and behavior problems.

Exercise Needs

Exercise is essential to keeping your shih poo’s weight at a healthy level. They should get 30 minutes of activity a day — either frequent walks or brisk playtime.

Are golden retrievers Good with Other Pets?

As long as they’re introduced properly, shih poos should get along with other pets. Early socialization will help introductions go smoother.


Shoodles are known to be stubborn and may not respond well to training. Early socialization and obedience training is still important though. Focus on positive reinforcement and lots of praise during training sessions.

Are Shih Poos Good With Kids?

Although shih poos are great family dogs, they may not be the best choice for families with young children. Younger kids often play too rough and may accidentally injure their shih poo friend.

If you’re looking for a dog to bond with small children, check out these other family friendly breeds.

Barking Level

Shih poos shouldn’t be excessive barkers, but they may bark for attention.

Shih Poo History

The shih poo is considered to be a North American designer dog breed. Not much else is known about the shoodle’s history.

Because shih poos are a cross breed, they’re not recognized by the American Kennel Club. A few boutique breed clubs — like the American Canine Hybrid Club — do recognize the popular mix breed.

8 Shih Poo Health Problems

Shih poos can experience health problems common to other small breeds. Keep in mind that as a mixed breed, their overall health will depend on their shih tzu and poodle parents.

Some common shih poo health problems include:4

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Shih Poos

Shih poos can live for more than 17 years — plenty of time for snuggles and frequent vet visits. Not only could pet insurance help get the most out of your shih poo’s lifespan, but it could also help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on their veterinary care needs.  


Cataracts are a common eye condition in small dogs that often progress as dogs age. Cataracts can lead to impaired vision and eventually total blindness. The only way to treat cataracts is surgery that can cost $2,700 – $4,000.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most common health issues among dogs. This gum disease is caused by plaque and bacteria buildup in your dog’s mouth. Preventative dental cleanings are the best defense against periodontal disease. But if your dog has severe signs, they may require tooth extractions that can cost over $500.

Frequent vet visits are extremely important for any furry family member, shih poos included. Dog health insurance through MetLife Pet Insurance1 can help ensure your shoodle gets quality care without stretching your budget. Learn more about how pet insurance works and how preexisting conditions may affect coverage. 

Protect your Shih Poo with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Shih-Poo Mixed Dog Breed Pictures, Characteristics, & Facts,” Dog Time

4 “Shih-poo Dog Breed Information and Characteristics,” Daily Paws

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