Benefits of Having a Shih Poo Dog
- Allergy suffering tend
to low or non-existent because of their hypoallergenic qualities (comes from the Poodle). There is very little dander
or hair loss when compared to other dogs. It is important to note that no dog, not even the Poodle, is completely hypoallergenic.
Extremely sensitive people may experience slight discomfort, but that isn't very likely.
- The Shih Poo tends to
have hybrid vigor, meaning less genetic problems due to cross-breeding. This is why it is better to get a puppy that
had a Shih Tzu mother and a Poodle father, or vice versa, as opposed to getting a puppy that had to Shih Poo parents.
Much controversy exists over this issue and whether or not there is such a thing as hybrid vigor in the first place.
- There is a little bit
of 'weeping eyes' (apparently the Shih Tzu doesn't have any tear ducts), which requires constant attention, or snorting, due
to their short snouts, which is common in the Shih Tzu.
- The result of the cross
between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle is, hands down, the cutest puppy ever born. Perhaps I am biased.
The Description of a Shih Poo Dog
- The life expectancy of
a Shih Poo is somewhere between 14 and 17 years. I read a story about a Shih Poo who lived to the age of 21.
- Shih Poos come in a wide
variety of colours, from black to white to brown to grey or even with apricot markings. Basically, they can come in
any colour. Black and white (with other coloured markings) seems to be the most popular.
- The average weight of
a Shih Poo is approximately 10-15 lbs.
- The average height is
between 8-11 inches at the shoulders (withers).
- Shih Poos can have either
a scissor bite or an undershot jaw. The scissor bite comes from the Poodle and the undershot jaw comes from the Shih
Tzu. Either jaw formation is normal. The teeth are small and very sharp, especially as a puppy. Teeth need
special care from puppyhood, so be sure to read the 'Problems & General Care' section.
- The fur tends to be more
like hair. It doesn't shed and it can be straight or slightly wavy. The Shih Poo's hair can grow very long and
somewhat difficult to manage. This may result in the need for regular groomings, once every 3-4 months, for example.
Hair can be left long on top of the head tied in a top knot as with long Shih Tzu coats. (I have yet to see this done!
I think it would look adorable though.) I prefer to keep my Shih Poos hair relatively short. I try to get him
to the groomers every 3 months or so. His hair tends to stand up on his head and hang over his eyes making him nearly
blind, I'm sure. To keep his hair out of his eyes, it is necessary to cut it really short when he gets groomed, especially
if you only plan on getting him groomed 3 or 4 times per year.
- The Shih Poo tail curls
over the back end. The hair on the tail grows long and straight. (May have some wave to the hair.)
- Ears are long and floppy.
This can lead to problems because the temperature in the ear tends to be a little bit higher than that of other dogs whose
ears don't flop over the ear canal. Be sure to read the 'Problems & General Care' section.
- Shih Poos are quick and
agile. They are not as delicate as some of the other small breed dogs, such as the Papillon or Yorkshire Terrier.
Shih Poos stand solid and strong, yet are sweet and gentle. They have a fruitless amount of energy therefore requiring
daily exercise, even if it's only a vigorous game of fetch. Shih Poos thrive on a little bit of daily activity.
- They are great little
urban dwellers. They do just fine in an apartment setting. It is not necessary to have a backyard if you have
a Shih Poo. Of course it is always preferred (as with any dog), they love the outdoors. Never chain your Shih-Poo
outside (who would though?), he hates to be away from his family for extended periods of time.
. The Personality of a Shih Poo Dog
- Shih Poos share the great
temperment qualities of both the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. Both are very loving and loyal dogs, resulting in the same
of the Shih Poo.
- Shih Poos are great little
watch dogs. They are very alert to what is going on around them. They alert their owners whenever something is
wrong (in their opinion, of course) by barking. However they are not yappy. Teaching the 'quiet' command is always
helpful with any dog, especially small dogs because they tend to bark a little bit more than larger dogs. Although this
isn't always true.
- Shih Poos are extremely
intelligent. Afterall, they share the same genes as 'circus performers', namely Poodles. They are eager to learn
and tend to pick up tricks and commands very quickly. They can be trained in many areas, such as; fly-ball, obedience
trials and even retrieving small objects. Shih Poos especially love to play fetch and it's great exercise.
- Shih-Poos are also very
affectionate. They love to give their human family lots of kisses. They enjoy sleeping in bed with their family
also. They get along great both with other dogs and cats, if socialized properly. Socialization is very important,
as with any dog. Don't worry, it's never too late to socialize your dog and remember, it's a lifelong process.
- Shih Poos are naturally
outgoing and should never be shy. If you have a shy Shih Poo, you need to socialize it more. They should be socialized
from a very young age for the best results.
- They are also very curious.
They love exploring new environments, sniffing anything they can get their noses on.
Problems & General Care of a Shih-Poo Dog
- The Shih Tzu can have
obesity problems due to their tendency to overeat. So, with your Shih Poo, be careful not to 'free feed' (leaving food
in their dish at all times instead of feeding them only at mealtimes).
- Shih Poos have a low
tolerance to heat and cold. Never leave them alone in the car in the summer! Even with the car window open, they
may suffer from heat exhaustion and die. Limit the time they spend outside on cold winter days. If it's snowing
or raining, just put on a little doggie jacket. This will help protect them from the elements as well as making them
look trendy. Dog booties are a good idea for any time of year. In the summer, they protect the delicate pads of
their feet from hot pavement, sand and rocks. In the winter, the booties protect the paws from salt, sand, ice, snow
and dirt. Ice can literally cut the pads on your dogs feet and salt can leave them dry and chapped, resulting in discomfort.
Booties are a great investment and are useful anytime of the year no matter what climate you live in!
- Ears need to be checked,
by you, on a regular basis (at least once every few of weeks). Check for strange odours and parasites. This is
necessary because, as I said, Shih Poos have long, floppy ears and that results in the temperature of the inner ear being
a little higher than that of dogs with upright ears. This can result is a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites
(ear mites and even maggots, yuck!).
- The hair needs to be
brushed (with a slicker) or combed (with a stainless steel comb) at least every other day. Not only does this keep the
coat beautiful, but also keeps it free from matts. Pay special attention to the ears, making sure that there is no hair
caught in there. Their hair tends to matt there and under the arms and legs. Hair should be brushed especially
before a bath because matts tend to set once your doggie has been washed and shampooed, making them nearly impossible to get
out. The result being that you have to cut them out. This can be very uncomfortable for your Shih Poo, especially
if the matt is close to the skin. Be extremely careful not to nick the doggies skin. If you are afraid that you
may cut the skin, take him to the groomer ASAP. Don't risk it, it's not worth it. Cuts may get infected and it
will obviously hurt your poor dog.
- Hair around the anus
should be kept trim and short at all times. Do this at least once every 2-3 weeks. This reduces the risk of any
difficulties while going to the bathroom. Feces can get caught and trapped in the fur, possibly resulting in a blocked
anus causing even death in serious cases. Being proactive when it comes to coat care will save you and especially your
doggie a lot of grief.
- The teeth need to be
taken care of, by brushing them regularly (at least once a week), from puppyhood or else you may require veterinary dental
services by the time your dog is 2 or 3 years old. It's not just the expense, it's your doggies health and comfort that's
important. Lack of dental care can result in serious physical ailments, not to mention tooth loss. It is possible
to train your Shih Poo to tolerate teeth brushing, although he probably will never 'like' it. Just think of brushing
your dogs teeth like it's another trick he has learned.
Be sure to keep your Shih Poos claws trimmed. You should do this once a month.
If the claws get too long, this can result in deformed bones in the toe(s) because the long claws will cause your dogs toes
not to sit right and when he walks, his feet will not bear his weight properly. This can cause major problems not to
mention being extremely painful. You should not hear the nails clicking when he walks across the floor.
Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert toy dog with long flowing double coat. Befitting his noble Chinese ancestry as a highly
valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu is proud of bearing, has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head
well up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation, the Shih Tzu must be compact,
solid, carrying good weight and substance.
Even though a toy dog, the Shih Tzu must be subject to the same requirements of soundness
and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to
the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Shih Tzu as in any other breed,
regardless of whether or not such faults are specifically mentioned in the standard.
Size - Ideally, height at withers is 9 to 10½ inches; but, not less
than 8 inches nor more than 11 inches. Ideally, weight of mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds. Proportion - Length between withers
and root of tail is slightly longer than height at withers. The Shih Tzu must never be so high stationed as to appear leggy,
nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty.
Substance - Regardless of size, the Shih Tzu is always compact, solid and carries good weight and substance.
Head - Round, broad, wide between eyes, its size in balance with the
overall size of dog being neither too large nor too small. Fault: Narrow head, close-set eyes. Expression - Warm, sweet,
wide-eyed, friendly and truusting. An overall well-balanced and pleasant expression supersedes the importance of individual
parts. Care should be taken to look and examine well beyond the hair to determine if what is seen is the actual head and expression
rather than an image created by grooming technique.
Eyes - Large, round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very dark.
Lighter on liver pigmented dogs and blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Small, close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white.
Ears - Large, set slightly
below crown of skull; heavily coated.
Skull - Domed.
Stop - There is a definite stop.
Muzzle - Square, short, unwrinkled, with good cushioning, set no lower
than bottom eye rim; never downturned. Ideally, no longer than 1 inch from tip of nose to stop, although length may vary slightly
in relation to overall size of dog. Front of muzzle should be flat; lower lip and chin not protruding and definitely never
receding. Fault: Snipiness, lack of definite stop.
Nose - Nostrils are broad, wide, and open.
Pigmentation - Nose, lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except liver on
liver pigmented dogs and blue on blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims.
Bite - Undershot. Jaw is broad and wide.
A missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth should not be too severely penalized. Teeth and tongue should not show when mouth
is closed. Fault: Overshot bite.
Neck, Topline, Body
utmost importance is an overall well-balanced dog with no exaggerated features.
Neck - Well set-on flowing smoothly into shoulders; of sufficient length
to permit natural high head carriage and in balance with height and length of dog.
Topline - Level.
and sturdy with no waist or tuck-up. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall. Fault: Legginess. Chest -Broad and
deep with good spring-of-rib, however, not barrel-chested. Depth of ribcage should extend to just below elbow. Distance from
elbow to withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground.
Croup - Flat.
Tail - Set on high, heavily plumed, carried in curve well over back.
Too loose, too tight, too flat, or too low set a tail is undesirable and should be penalized to extent of deviation.
Shoulders - Well-angulated, well laid-back, well laid-in, fitting smoothly into body.
Legs - Straight, well-boned,
muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set close to body.
Pasterns - Strong, perpendicular.
Dewclaws - May be removed.
Feet - Firm, well-padded,
point straight ahead.
of hindquarters should be in balance with forequarters.
Legs - Well-boned, muscular, and straight when viewed from rear with
well-bent stifles, not close set but in line with forequarters.
Hocks - Well let down, perpendicular. Fault: Hyperextension of hocks.
Dewclaws - May be removed.
Feet - Firm, well-padded,
point straight ahead.
Coat - Luxurious, double-coated, dense, long, and flowing. Slight wave permissible. Hair on top of head is tied up. Fault:
Sparse coat, single coat, curly coat.
Trimming - Feet, bottom of coat, and anus may be done for neatness and to facilitate movement. Fault:
Color and Markings
All are permissible and to be considered equally.
Tzu moves straight and must be shown at its own natural speed, neither raced nor strung-up, to evaluate its smooth, flowing,
effortless movement with good front reach and equally strong rear drive, level topline, naturally high head carriage, and
tail carried in gentle curve over back.
the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a companion and house pet, it is essential that its temperament be outgoing, happy,
affectionate, friendly and trusting towards all.
of a very active, intelligent and elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself
proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction
and dignity peculiar to himself.
Toy Poodle is 10 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is more than 10 inches at the highest
point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Toy Poodle.
As long as the Toy Poodle is definitely a Toy Poodle, and the Miniature Poodle a Miniature
Poodle, both in balance and proportion for the Variety, diminutiveness shall be the deciding factor when all other points
Proportion - To insure the desirable squarely built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone
to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground.
Substance - Bone and muscle of both forelegs and hindlegs are in proportion to size of dog.
Head and Expression
Eyes-- very dark, oval in shape and set far enough apart and positioned to create an alert intelligent expression.
Major fault: eyes round, protruding, large or very light.
(b) Ears-- hanging close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level. The
ear leather is long, wide and thickly feathered; however, the ear fringe should not be of excessive length.
(c) Skull-- moderately rounded, with a slight but definite stop. Cheekbones
and muscles flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same as length of muzzle.
(d) Muzzle-- long, straight and fine, with slight chiseling under the eyes.
Strong without lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude snipiness. Major fault: lack of chin. Teeth-- white,
strong and with a scissors bite. Major fault: undershot, overshot, wry mouth.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck well proportioned, strong and long enough to permit the head to be carried high and with dignity.
Skin snug at throat. The neck rises from strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. Major fault: ewe neck.
The topline is level, neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of
the shoulder blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoulder.
deep and moderately wide with well sprung ribs. (b) The loin is short, broad and muscular.
(c) Tail straight, set on high and carried up, docked of sufficient length to insure a balanced
outline. Major fault: set low, curled, or carried over the back.
Strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder blade
is well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg. Major fault: steep shoulder.
(a) Forelegs - Straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When viewed
from the side the elbow is directly below the highest point of the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Dewclaws may be removed.
Feet - The feet are rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads. Nails short but
not excessively shortened. The feet turn neither in nor out. Major fault: paper or splay foot.
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of
(a) Hind legs straight and parallel when viewed from the rear. Muscular with
width in the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur and tibia are about equal in length; hock to heel short and
perpendicular to the ground. When standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Major fault: cow-hocks.
(a) Quality--(1) Curly: of naturally harsh texture, dense
throughout. (2) Corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length; longer on mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter
on puffs, bracelets, and pompons.
(b) Clip-- A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "Puppy" clip. In all
regular classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the Stud Dog and
Brood Bitch classes and in a non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown
in any other type of clip shall be disqualified.
(1) "Puppy"--A Poodle under a year old may be shown in the "Puppy"
clip with the coat long. The face, throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. There
is a pompon on the end of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of the coat is
(2) "English Saddle"--In the "English Saddle" clip the face, throat,
feet, forelegs and base of the tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon on the end of the tail. The hindquarters
are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank and two shaved bands on each hindleg.
The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven leg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat
but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance.
the "Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet, and base of the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved with pompons
(optional) on the hips. The legs are shaved, leaving bracelets on the hindlegs and puffs on the forelegs. There is a pompon
on the end of the tail. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven foreleg above the puff are visible. The rest of
the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance.
(4) "Sporting"--In the "Sporting" clip, a Poodle shall be shown with face, feet, throat, and base of tail shaved,
leaving a scissored cap on the top of the head and a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the body, and legs are clipped
or scissored to follow the outline of the dog leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The hair
on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body.
In all clips the hair of the topknot may be left free or held in place by elastic
bands. The hair is only of sufficient length to present a smooth outline. "Topknot" refers only to hair on the skull, from
stop to occiput. This is the only area where elastic bands may be used.
The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays,
silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, apricots and creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently
present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred,
such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored
noses, eye-rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white Poodles have black
noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots while the foregoing coloring
is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable. Major fault: color
of nose, lips and eye-rims incomplete, or of wrong color for color of dog.
Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an
even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors.
trot with light springy action and strong hindquarters drive. Head and tail carried up. Sound effortless movement is essential.
himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.
Major fault: shyness or sharpness.