Shihpoo Temperament and Personality Traits
When it comes to the Shihpoo temperament, it is important to remember that many things go into a dog’s temperament, from genetics to the environment. And with a mixed breed, you never know which traits from which parent are going to pop up in the pup.
Unfortunately, not all pups are an equal mix of their parents. Some pups can end up with all the good traits of both parents, while others get all of the bad. This is why you should really get to know the pup you’re interested in before you bring her home.
That being said, there are some traits that tend to remain the same, no matter the dog. Here are 5 such temperament traits.
Even though these pups are diminutive in stature – only 8-13 inches tall and between 8 and 18 pounds as adults – they pack a wallop when it comes to speed and fun!
While she doesn’t have to run a marathon to feel the benefits of exercise, your Shihpoo will get everyone in on the playing.
Have a nice-sized yard? Perfect! She will tear around that yard and beg you to throw the ball just one more time – 99 more times. (I hope you’ve got a strong throwing arm!)
Make sure you have a sturdy fence up around the yard but don’t leave her alone back there. She would much rather have a play session with her humans than experience her humans leaving her up to her own devices. Plus, you can supervise her to make sure she’s not doing anything bad, like digging underneath the fence or tearing up your flower beds.
And speaking of balls, she loves toys. Squeaky toys, stuffed animals, balls – whatever you want to give her, she will gladly take.
She also likes to go for walks. A daily short to medium-length walk is ideal to help her work out that excess energy.
One of the best traits of the Shihpoo temperament is her adaptability. Adaptability might as well be the Shihpoo's middle name. While she loves to have room to run around in, it isn’t critical, as she does just as well in an apartment setting.
And if you happen to come home from a rough day, your Shihpoo will be the first one to greet you and put a smile on your face.
3. Good Watchdogs
Part of the Shihpoo temperament is her love of hearing her own voice. Unfortunately, that means she loves to bark. This quality is a great one to have as a watchdog, but you may need to train her to quiet down.
Note that training her out of it is not exactly the easiest thing in the world, but the sanity of both you and your neighbors may depend on it. Something to note, though, is that this tends to present more in the Poodle. So Shihpoos who end up with more traits from their Shih Tzu parents should be less vocal than those who get more of the Poodle side of things.
She may also act reserved with strangers, but it really depends on which of her parents she takes after more. Some Shihpoos are shy around those they don’t know, while others are accepting of new friends and show them affection right from the get-go.
4. Good with Kids
Because she is loaded with energy, a Shihpoo is a great choice for older kids. They can run around together to their hearts’ content. But if you have younger kids who tend to pull tails and fur, the Shihpoo temperament won’t tolerate that as well. I mean – would you?
5. Inside Dogs
The Shihpoo adores her family, and so she loves a rainy day inside the house with you. In fact, she’ll probably insist on sleeping in your bed with you too because she loves to cuddle. Of course, if you’re not okay with this, you will have to take measures to train her out of it.
One drawback to the Shihpoo temperament is that she has a tendency to be stubborn sometimes.
However, with the appropriate, early and consistent training, it is possible to mold her into a well-behaved Shihpoo.
The Origin and History of the Shihpoo
Shihpoos are relatively new on the Poodle mix scene. The thought behind this hybrid dog was that she should be hypoallergenic while also being small enough to make for a comfortable lap dog.
For the most part, this crossbred dog is the result of first-generation breeding, wherein breeders merge a Shih Tzu with a Poodle – not Shihpoos breeding with other Shihpoos.
The Shihpoo is a smart little bugger, which makes training her easier on average. She loves her human and wants nothing more to obey. Though, as I mentioned earlier, she can be stubborn sometimes.
I highly recommend crate training to help with housetraining, but you also must know that there are some Shihpoos who will soil their crates.
One way to train them effectively is to find a great motivation. Yummy treats tend to fit this bill nicely, so learn what she craves and use that for training.
Just be careful not to overdo it. The last thing you need is a dog with obesity and the problems that come with it.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Shihpoo dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
You can train your Shihpoo as early as 8 weeks old, because she’s so smart that she will soak up your coaching like a sponge. Socialization with other dogs and family members is also necessary to make for a more well-rounded dog.
If all else fails, you can take her to puppy training classes. Not only will she get the training she needs, but this is also a great opportunity for her to interact with other people and dogs. So, you can check off that early and often socialization box, too!
Also, she may not realize it, but she’ll actually enjoy having the structure. Not that you can’t provide her with structure, but if someone else can get through to her when you can’t by using a different method, then why not, right?
Just like most Poodle mixes, Shihpoos can succumb to certain health issues. To avoid as many of these issues as possible, never use a breeder who refuses to provide you with health certificates.
It’s difficult to predict the kind of health issues a mixed breed can develop, which is why it is important that you familiarize with the conditions that most often affect each breed. That way, you can keep an eye out if you notice any of the early warning signs.
That being said, these are some of the more common ailments to affect the Shihpoo:
- Patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation)
- Renal dysplasia (kidney disease)
- Lung disorders
- von Willebrand’s disease (clotting disorder)
- Invertebral Disk Disease (slipped disc in back)
- Cleft palate
A healthy Shihpoo has a lifespan between 10 and 15 years.
Don’t be afraid to visit several breeders and tell them what your lifestyle is like. Watch the pups interact with their parents, as well as the humans who care for them, to find the exact Shihpoo temperament you’re looking for.
One of the most common Shihpoo health issues is being overweight. Keep your pup fit and trim and be sparing with the treats, and that will also help her maintain good health.
She’s also prone to gum disease, so start brushing her teeth early. Get her used to this routine each week so she doesn’t give you problems as an adult.
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Shihpoo pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.
What You Need to Know About Grooming a Shihpoo
For the Shihpoo, a curly or wavy coat is most common, but this really depends on the genes she inherits. Make sure to brush her every couple of days so she doesn’t get matted and give her regular baths as necessary.
Wipe her face each day, as she tends to develop reddish-brown tear stains under her eyes.
Another important note for Shihpoos is that you need to keep her genital area clipped. This is to prevent urine stains, as well as any feces that could get stuck to her coat.
Finding the Perfect Shihpoo
If you are interested in adding a Shihpoo puppy to your family, first off: congratulations! Now you may be wondering where you can get one.
You can either buy a Shihpoo for sale from a Shihpoo breeder or adopt one from a rescue or adoption agency.
Shihpoo Puppies for Sale
The average Shihpoo price is around $640.
It’s good to know the average range to expect so that you can get a better sense of when a breeder is ripping you off.
It’s also important to know whether the breeder is charging too little, as this can signal a problem with the dog’s health or temperament.
Shihpoo Adoption and Rescue
If you are looking to adopt a Shihpoo puppy, you can check with your local animal shelter. While their “stock” changes all the time, you just never know!
If you don’t see one on your first go-round, you can always keep checking back. If you don’t live close enough to pop in regularly, you can put your name on a waiting list and ask them to call you when one comes in.
Something important to note, though, is that you may never be able to know the history of a shelter pup. This is because shelters often don’t even know. A dog arrives on their doorstep, and their main priority is to get that dog a home.
You, therefore, may end up adopting a dog that is not “First Generation.” And a dog with too many mixes could spell trouble. If you’d like, you can always volunteer at the shelter so that you can get to know the dog you’re interested in before you bring her home.
You must be so careful when buying a Shihpoo from a breeder. Above all, you must make sure the dog is a First Generation. If the breeder is breeding Shihpoos with other Shihpoos, run far away from this breeder and find one who is doing things properly.
Demand health clearances for all conditions that affect the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. Also, observe the pup in its habitat to see how she interacts with her family and with the breeder. Are the pup’s living conditions humane?
Pups should be neither shy nor aggressive. If she’s shy, it may be a sign that she has endured abuse. Being aggressive may be a sign of this too, or it may simply be a temperament trait that you may not be able to train her out of.
You should also take the parents’ behavior as a sign of the temperament to expect in their pups. Parents who won’t let you get close, or who growl or run away from you may pass those traits on to their children as well.
So many breeders care more about profit than the health of their pups. For this reason, it is imperative that you remain vigilant about finding a quality breeder. Don’t just settle for the first one you find because you could end up rewarding a bad breeder with your hard-earned dollars.
Conclusion: Why the Shihpoo?
The Shihpoo temperament of playful exuberance and lovability is what makes this dog a true catch. She’s adaptable too, which makes life much easier if you have to move from a house to an apartment, or vice versa.
She’s also great with kids but you need to watch her around the younger ones. And she requires a fair amount of maintenance too, particularly with her tear stains and around her genital area.
She can be stubborn sometimes – this is the downside of having a pup as smart as she is. But with the proper guidance and training, you should be able to knock it out of her, or at least tamp it down.