Shih Tzu
back

What is the Difference Between a Shih Tzu and a Shih Poo?

68 views
|
7 minute read
Post Thumbnail
What is the Difference Between a Shih Tzu and a Shih Poo
By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | December 20, 2023
Share on

If you’re a dog lover or looking to add a furry friend to your family, you may have come across two popular breeds: the Shih Tzu and the Shih Poo. These two breeds share some similarities in their names and appearance, but they are distinct in many ways.

Shih Tzus have a longer history, while Shih Poos are a newer hybrid breed. Shih Tzus have a double coat, Shih Poos often have hypoallergenic, wavy coats. Shih Tzus are smaller. Both are affectionate and need exercise.

 

Understanding the Shih Tzu Breed

The Shih Tzu, often referred to as the “Lion Dog,” is a small toy breed known for its long, flowing coat and friendly disposition. Here are some essential characteristics and information about the¬†

The Origin and History of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu has a rich history dating back to ancient China. This breed was bred to be a companion animal for Chinese royalty, particularly during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Shih Tzus are believed to be descendants of Pekingese and Lhasa Apso dogs, and they were highly prized for their beauty and sweet temperament.

Appearance of the Shih Tzu

One of the most distinctive features of a Shih Tzu is its luxurious double coat, which can come in various colors, including gold, black, white, and various combinations. Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to keep them looking their best. Shih Tzus have a distinctive pushed-in face with a short snout, giving them a cute, almost flat-faced appearance. They have large, round eyes and a plume-like tail that arches over their back.

Size and Weight of the Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are a small breed, typically weighing between 9 to 16 pounds (4 to 7.3 kilograms) and standing about 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. This petite size makes them an ideal choice for apartment living and families with limited space.

Temperament and Behavior of the Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are often described as outgoing, social, and eager to please. These dogs thrive on human companionship and make excellent family pets. They are typically good with children and other pets, though early socialization is essential to ensure they develop well-rounded behavior.

Exercise and Training Requirements of the Shih Tzu

While Shih Tzus are energetic, they do not require excessive exercise. Regular walks and playtime in a fenced yard are usually sufficient to keep them happy and healthy. Shih Tzus are intelligent but can be a bit stubborn, so consistent training with positive reinforcement methods is key to their development.

Health Considerations

Like all breeds, Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues, including brachycephalic syndrome due to their flat faces, hip dysplasia, and various eye problems. Responsible breeding and regular veterinary check-ups can help mitigate some of these risks. Now that we’ve explored the Shih Tzu, let’s turn our attention to the Shih Poo.

 

Getting to Know the Shih Poo

The Shih Poo is a designer dog breed that results from crossing a Shih Tzu with a Poodle. This breed has gained popularity in recent years due to its charming looks and friendly personality. Here are the key characteristics and information about Shih Poos:

Origin and History of the Shih Poo

Shih Poos are a relatively recent addition to the world of designer dogs, originating in the United States in the 1990s. The goal of breeding Shih Poos was to create a small, hypoallergenic, and affectionate companion dog by crossing the Shih Tzu and the Poodle, known for its hypoallergenic coat and intelligence.

Appearance of the Shih Poo

Shih Poos can inherit a range of physical traits from their Shih Tzu and Poodle parentage. They typically have a wavy or curly coat, which is often low-shedding and hypoallergenic, making them suitable for people with allergies. Their coat can come in various colors, including cream, brown, black, or a combination of these. Shih Poos have a round face with expressive eyes and a fluffy tail.

Size and Weight of the Shih Poo

Shih Poos come in various sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle parent (standard, miniature, or toy). On average, they weigh between 7 to 20 pounds (3 to 9 kilograms) and stand about 8 to 13 inches (20 to 33 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. Their size can vary widely, even among siblings from the same litter.

Temperament and Behavior of the Shih Poo

Shih Poos are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They tend to be affectionate, playful, and social, making them excellent family pets. Like Shih Tzus, they enjoy being around people and thrive on companionship. Shih Poos are typically good with children and other pets, making them adaptable to various family dynamics.

Exercise and Training Requirements of the Shih Poo

These dogs have moderate energy levels and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and interactive playtime are essential to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Shih Poos are intelligent and can be easy to train, especially when using positive reinforcement methods.

Health Considerations

Shih Poos are generally considered a healthy breed, but they can inherit some health issues from their parent breeds. Common concerns include hip dysplasia, ear infections (due to floppy ears), and dental problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper grooming can help maintain their well-being.

 

What are the Key Differences Between Shih Tzus and Shih Poos?

Now that we’ve explored the characteristics of both the Shih Tzu and the Shih Poo, let’s dive into the key differences that set these two breeds apart:

Origin and History

  • Shih Tzus have a long and storied history dating back to ancient China, where they were bred as companions for Chinese royalty.
  • Shih Poos are a relatively new breed, created in the United States in the 1990s through the crossbreeding of Shih Tzus and Poodles.

Coat Type

  • Shih Tzus have a luxurious double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting.
  • Shih Poos typically have a wavy or curly coat that is often hypoallergenic and low-shedding.

Size

  • Shih Tzus are a small breed, weighing between 9 to 16 pounds on average.
  • Shih Poos come in various sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle parent, with weights ranging from 7 to 20 pounds.

Temperament

  • Both Shih Tzus and Shih Poos are known for their friendly and affectionate nature.
  • Shih Tzus are outgoing and eager to please, while Shih Poos are also social and playful.

Exercise Needs

  • Shih Tzus have moderate energy levels and require regular but not excessive exercise.
  • Shih Poos also have moderate energy levels and need daily exercise and playtime.

Health Considerations

  • Both breeds can be prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and dental problems.
  • Shih Tzus may be at a higher risk of brachycephalic syndrome due to their flat faces, while Shih Poos may be prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears.

Choosing the Right Breed for You

When deciding between a Shih Tzu and a Shih Poo, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Allergies: If you or a family member has allergies, a Shih Poo may be a better choice due to their hypoallergenic coat.
  • Grooming: Shih Tzus require more grooming maintenance due to their double coat, while Shih Poos have lower grooming needs.
  • Size: Consider the size that fits your living space and lifestyle. Shih Poos come in different sizes, allowing for more flexibility.
  • Energy Level: Both breeds have moderate energy levels, but be prepared for daily exercise and playtime to keep them happy.
  • Health Considerations: Regular veterinary check-ups and responsible breeding practices are crucial for both breeds to minimize health risks.
  • Personal Preference: Ultimately, your personal preference for appearance and temperament should play a significant role in your decision.

 

In summary, Shih Tzus and Shih Poos are two delightful dog breeds with their own unique characteristics and charm. While Shih Tzus have a rich history as royal companions, Shih Poos are a more recent designer breed known for their hypoallergenic coats. When choosing between these breeds, consider factors such as size, grooming requirements, energy level, and your own personal preferences.

 

Both Shih Tzus and Shih Poos can make wonderful additions to your family, offering companionship, affection, and a loyal presence in your life. Whichever breed you choose, be sure to provide them with love, care, and attention to ensure they thrive as happy and healthy members of your household.