The Shih-Poo is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. He may have the curly coat of a Poodle or the long, straight coat of a Shih Tzu, but he always has a cute, alert expression and a sturdy body. Like his parent breeds, the Shih-Poo can come in a multitude of solid colors or in a particolor pattern (a color plus white).
Shih-Poos are playful, friendly and affectionate, always happy to sit in a lap and give a little love. They generally weigh 7 to 20 pounds, depending on the size of their parent breeds. For their size, they are courageous and make excellent watchdogs, but they can be on the yappy side. Shih-Poos are companion dogs. They love their people and need to live in the house, never outdoors. Shih-Poos have a moderate activity level that is adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They will enjoy a walk or active indoor playtime each day. Some Shih-Poos love being in the limelight, and (health permitting) they do well in such dog sports as agility, obedience and rally.
Shih-Poos can have different types of fur, ranging from curly to straight, depending on which genes they inherit, but most have a curly or wavy coat. A Shih-Poo coat looks its best with professional grooming every four to six weeks, and it requires brushing or combing every couple of days to prevent mats or tangles as well as regular bathing in between appointments with the groomer.
Shih-Poos are among the breeds that commonly develop reddish-brown tear stains beneath their eyes. Your best bet is to wash the face daily, carefully wiping beneath the eyes, to prevent stains from setting.
Your Shih-Poo doesn’t need a bikini wax, but you do need to trim the genital area for cleanliness or have the groomer shave the lower belly area. This helps prevent urine from staining and stinking up the coat and feces from getting caught in the hair around the anus.
In addition, trim his nails every week or two, keep his ears clean and dry, and brush his teeth regularly — daily if you can, with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease. Start grooming your Shih-Poo while he is a puppy, so he learns to accept it willingly.