• Three Adorable Shih-Poos
  • Origin: United States

    Sizes: Toy, Miniature, Standard

    Lifespan: 10-16 years

    Litter Size: 3-4 puppies

    Coat Types: Curly, Wavy, Flat

    Coat Colors: Black, Copper, White, Cream, Apricot, Gray, Golden, Apricot, Red and Multi

The Origins and Development of the Shih-Poo.

The Shih-Poo, a delightful and endearing designer dog breed, is the result of crossing two distinct and beloved breeds: the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. In this article, we will explore the fascinating origins and development of the Shih-Poo, shedding light on how this hybrid breed has gained popularity and captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world.

Origins of the Shih-Poo

The Shih-Poo's story begins with the unique histories of its parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. Understanding these breeds' backgrounds is essential to appreciating the Shih-Poo's lineage fully.

  1. The Shih Tzu:

The Shih Tzu, a breed with ancient origins in Tibet, was originally bred as a companion dog for Tibetan monks and Chinese royalty. These dogs were highly regarded for their regal appearance, friendly disposition, and luxurious, flowing coat. The Shih Tzu's name translates to "Lion Dog," reflecting the breed's resemblance to traditional Chinese guardian lion statues.

  1. The Poodle:

The Poodle, often associated with France but with historical roots in Germany, was initially bred as a waterfowl hunting dog. Renowned for its curly coat and high intelligence, the Poodle quickly became a favorite in European courts and society. Over time, the Poodle's adaptability led to its use in various roles, from circus performance to truffle hunting.

The Marriage of Two Breeds

The idea of crossing the Shih Tzu with the Poodle aimed to combine the best qualities of both breeds. This hybridization sought to create a dog with the Shih Tzu's affectionate nature and the Poodle's hypoallergenic coat and intelligence.

Early Experiments and Development

The early experiments in breeding Shih-Poos date back to the late 20th century when designer dog breeds began to gain popularity. These initial efforts laid the foundation for what would become a beloved hybrid breed. However, in the early stages, there was little standardization, resulting in a wide range of sizes, coat types, and temperaments among Shih-Poos.

The F1 Generation

The first-generation Shih-Poos, referred to as F1 Shih-Poos, were the immediate offspring of Shih Tzus and Poodles. These dogs exhibited a mix of traits inherited from their parent breeds. The F1 Shih-Poos played a crucial role in establishing the foundation for further breeding efforts.

The Quest for Consistency

Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, breeders dedicated themselves to refining the Shih-Poo breed. Their goal was to produce dogs with consistent coat types, sizes, and temperaments. They used Poodles of various sizes, including toy, miniature, and standard, to influence the breed's characteristics.

Coat Variations

Shih-Poos are known for their diverse coat types, influenced by their Poodle parent's genes. These coat variations include curly, wavy, and straight textures, with colors ranging from white and cream to various shades of brown, black, or gray. Breeders selectively bred Shih-Poos to produce puppies with desired coat textures, catering to individuals with allergies or those who preferred low-shedding dogs.

Recognition and Popularity

While the Shih-Poo is not officially recognized as a breed by major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC), it has gained widespread recognition and popularity among dog enthusiasts. Its charming appearance, friendly disposition, and hypoallergenic qualities have made it a cherished choice for families and individuals alike.

The Modern Shih-Poo

Today, the Shih-Poo is a well-established and beloved breed. It has carved out its niche in the world of designer dogs and hybrid breeds. Modern Shih-Poos come in various sizes, from toy to standard, and boast a variety of coat colors and textures, appealing to a wide range of preferences.

Characteristics of the Shih-Poo

  1. Temperament:

Shih-Poos are known for their friendly, affectionate, and sociable nature. They are often described as playful, outgoing, and adaptable dogs that enjoy human companionship. Their intelligence and trainability make them suitable candidates for training and obedience.

  1. Size:

Shih-Poos exhibit size variation due to the diverse range of Poodle sizes used in their breeding. Toy Shih-Poos typically weigh between 5 to 15 pounds, while miniature and standard Shih-Poos can range from 15 to 20 pounds or more.

  1. Coat:

The Shih-Poo's coat is one of its standout features, with variations in texture, including curly, wavy, and straight. This diversity allows potential owners to select a coat type that suits their preferences and lifestyle.

  1. Hypoallergenic Qualities:

Shih-Poos are often sought after by individuals with allergies due to their Poodle ancestry, which contributes to their hypoallergenic qualities. While no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, Shih-Poos typically shed less dander and hair, making them a suitable choice for allergy sufferers.


The Shih-Poo, a charming crossbreed of Shih Tzu and Poodle genes, has a fascinating history of development and popularity. Despite lacking official recognition by major kennel clubs, its affectionate temperament, diverse coat types, and hypoallergenic qualities have made it a beloved choice for countless families and individuals seeking a loving and adaptable canine companion. Whether you're looking for a loyal family pet or a delightful addition to your home, the Shih-Poo's rich history and endearing personality make it a breed worth considering.

If there are any other subjects relating to your Poos or Doodles that we can help you learn more about, please let us know by emailing milesthedoodle@poosanddoodles.com. Don’t forget to check out our adorable Poo and Doodle gifts, T-shirts, Mugs, Hoodies and Prints at: www.poosanddoodles.com