Is the Shihpoo a Teddy Bear Dog? 🧸  

Have you ever wanted a dog that looks exactly like a teddy bear? That could happen, they do exist! The Shihpoo is commonly referred to as the “teddy bear” 🧸 dog. 

The shihpoo is a doodle or a designer dog that is a mix between a Miniature or a Toy Poodle and a Shih Tzu. They can be referred to as a shihpoo or a shih-doodle. This hybrid dog has become more popular over the last decade due to social media. 😀

The shihpoo is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. This lack of AKC recognition does not make them any less adorable or cuddly. The shihpoo is sweet tempered and friendly and comes from a long line of great companion lineage. Shihpoos are extremely loyal and devoted and crave to be cuddled on your lap. 

They are soft and affectionate and get along well with children 🧒 who understand that they are not to be rough housed with. The shihpoo makes a great dog for an apartment or condo, who is full of personality and mischief.

The shihpoo is an amazing companion animal for anyone suffering from emotional or mental issues such as anxiety or depression. They are very calm and are talented at making their owners smile at the end of a challenging day. They are expert cuddlers and are full of unconditional love and understanding. 💗

The Shih Tzu was originally bred in China 🇨🇳  centuries ago by imperial breeders exclusively for Chinese emperors. The Shih Tzu has been warming laps and providing emotional support to stressed out royals for centuries. Shih Tzus remained the breed of dog bred exclusively for Chinese royals 👑 and hidden from the outside world up until the 1930s. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the AKC in 1969.  The shihpoo comes from a pretty qualified and distinguished background of royal lap warmers. 👍

Sizing it all up

Since the shipoo is a hybrid combination of the Toy or Miniature Poodle and the Shih Tzu their size stays fairly consistent. The shihpoo weighs an average of 7 to 20 pounds and is about 8 to 11 inches tall. 

Color Coding, Fur Real

The shihpoo can have either curly hair or long straight hair like their Shih Tzu parent. Shihpos may look more like one parent breed than the other or they may be a great combination of the two. Most shihpoos being bred right now are first generation (FB1) meaning a Poodle and a Shih Tzu were mated to make the shihpoo. 🐕

Shihpoos come in a variety of colors, usually white with patches and sometimes black patches or some shade of brown. 

The shihpoo will need to be brushed daily to prevent matting. They will also require a bath 🛁  about once per month and a hair trimming ✂️  every 4 to 6 weeks. You can either hire a groomer or you can learn the grooming skills needed and do it yourself. Shihpoos will also need their faces washed daily; their Shih Tzu parent can have a tear staining issue that can be passed onto the shihpoo. The facial fur needs to be washed daily to prevent the fur around the eyes from changing color to a dirty brown. 

Let’s quickly go over the “hypoallergenic” topic. The AKC asserts that “there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog”. Unfortunately, people with dog allergies are usually allergic to the dog dander 🦠 , not the dog’s fur. Granted the dog fur can be a carrier for the dog dander it is not the cause of the allergen. The old school of thought was that less dog hair = less allergen. So breeders would attempt to have as many Poodle genes in a dog breed to lessen dog hair shed. Unfortunately, this does not change the level of dander. Please be cautious regarding the labels of “hypoallergenic” if you have dog allergies. If you would like more info on this please read 22 Hypoallergenic Doodles. ◀️

Working it out

Shihpoos are very middle of the road in regards to their exercise needs. Their Poodle parent is a very high energy dog, whereas the Shih Tzu is not. So the shihpoo lands somewhere in the middle. The nice thing about that is your shihpoo would be happy with a lot of walks and it would also be happy to cuddle up and watch movies all day. 🎬

The goal should be about 30 minutes of exercise per day for your shihpoo. A few things to remember about exercise for your shihpoo, they are not great swimmers. 🏊 So you may not want to take them swimming and if you do, a puppy float coat is highly recommended. Second thing to remember is shihpoos do not handle heat well. They have a thick coat that holds in heat and a short nose which can create breathing issues when overheated. 🥵  Please be careful with your shihpoo in hot weather, especially while exercising.

Also, do not leave your shihpoo outside, they are inside dogs that do not thrive in the outdoors. 

Come, Sit, Stay

Shihpoos can be fairly easy to train. Their Poodle 🐩 parent is highly intelligent and one of the easiest breeds to train. So if your shihpoo takes after that parent than your shihpoo will be easy to train. The Shih Tzu can be a little bit more stubborn with less interest in training. 

Most shihpoos can become interested and enjoy training if the training is carried out in a positive way with plenty of playtime as a reward. The shihpoo can be easier to train when you find the right motivation. 👍

Whether you end up with an easy to train shihpoo or a harder to train one they will still need early puppy socialization and puppy training. This training will help them establish healthy habits and put them on the right track for the rest of their lives. 😀

Quality of Life

Shihpoos are generally pretty healthy. 🩺 They live from 14 to 17 years if well cared for. The shihpoo is usually healthier than either of its parent breeds due it being a mixed breed and the genetic diversity that can bring. Although the shihpoo can still be susceptible to the same diseases that either of the parent breeds are prone to. These diseases include hip dysplasia, eye issues and patella luxation to name a few. Unfortunately, not all of the medical issues that the shihpoo is prone to are detectable with testing. 🧪

One of the most important health issues that owners have complete control over is keeping their doodle at the optional weight. Obesity in dogs is becoming more common, just like in humans. Only owners can fix this issue for the overall health and wellbeing of the dogs they love. 😍

So now you want a Shihpoo….

If you are thinking about getting a shihpoo you must make sure that you are  in love with any combination of traits that a doodle surprise could offer. 🎁 Your doodle may look exactly like a Shih Tzu but act exactly like a Poodle. Would you be ok with that? What about the other way around? If you can love 💗 ALL of the traits of both parent breeds then DO IT! Doodles are the best! 

I would check at Poodle rescues and also at Shih Tzu specific rescues, they may have a mixed breed/hybrid there as well. Also check regular rescues. Just realize that if you want to rescue you may have to wait to find your dog or travel to pick it up. But there are great benefits to rescuing instead of buying. 👍👏

If you decide to buy a puppy please do your research on the breeder and don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. And good luck to you! I hope you find your forever puppy! 🥰

Hello there! My name is Rochelle and I’m one of those doodle moms who doesn’t have kids but probably gives more care to my doodle than some people do to their own children, spoiled would probably be an understatement. ;) After becoming more active online with other doodle owners I realized that thousands of doodle owners are facing all sorts of issues with their dogs. I knew with my education and training history I could make a positive impact.