1) Designer dog breed
The Shih Poo is a so called designer dog breed, which means it is an intentionall crossbreed between two purebred dog breeds. In this case, the parent breeds are the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. To be more specific, Toy size variety of a Poodle.
Of course, there could have been ununtentional natural crosses between Shih Tzus and Poodles for a long time, so it is impossible to say when the first Shih Poo was born. But it is believed that the intentional crossing started about 30 years ago in the USA. These dogs were developed to make perfect compact companions with the added benefit of hypoallergenic coats.
Although no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, because all of them produce some dander or salive, the Shih Poo is close to being hypoallergenic and there is a big chance that the Shih Poo will not trigger the allergies. Just like with all crossbreeds, their coat type is quite unpredictable and they can have the curly Poodle coat but also straight Shih Tzu coat. Or combination of both. You can find Shih Poo in brown, gray black and white color.
Not only the coat is unpredictable, because Shih Poo can inherit traits from both of its parents in everything. Which means that one Shih Poo can look quite differently from another one. You can expect a small dog with typical weight up to 8-18 pounds which is 4-8 kg and height is typically between 8-13 inches, which is 20-33 cm.
Most Shih Poos are described as playful and friendly dogs that loves attention and being around their family all the time. This is a good lap dog, but they have a clownish and lively side as well so they will always love a good playtime. Overall, this is an amazing adaptable companion dog.
It is true that the Shih Poo can be lively and playful, but thanks to their small size it is not very hard to deal with their energy level. They will need few walks a day accompanied with some good playtime. The Shih Poo is very adaptable and he will like to go for a hike with you, but also enjoy a good nap on your lap.
7) Around children
Because the Shih-Poo is a small dog, they can be easily injured by overly excited children. That is a reason why you should not leave a Shih Poo unsupervised with a very young kids. But the Shih Poo will love to play with older gentle children.
Although, the Shih Poo is an intelligent dog, they can be little bit too stubborn when it comes to training and they you will have to be a very patient and firm trainer if you want to have obedient shih poo in your home. You should not use any harsh training methods, because this is pretty sensitive dog. Also, be prepared that Shih Poos are quite hard to housebreak.
The Shih Poo needs regular brushing to keep the coat in good conditioned and not tangled and matted. Especially if the coat is wavy and curly, regular daily brushing is needed. Fortunately, the breed does not shed much. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check the dogs eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
Shih Poo lifespan is good, around 13-15 years. It is not uncommon for them to live even much longer. Just like all dogs they can suffer from some health issues, commonly from eye problems, addisons disease, dental problems, brachycaphelic syndrome or mitral valve disease.