Shih-Poos are Toy Poodle and Shih-Tzu crossbreeds that are fluffy, precious, and look like huggable Teddy bears. You might be considering adopting one of these small dogs for yourself, but perhaps you have no idea what the shedding situation would be.
Fear not, Shih-Poos are a low-shedding dog, mostly due to the Toy Poodle lineage. That said, grooming a Shih-Poo is time-consuming due to the coat texture and possible double layers.
If you’re interested in learning even more about Shih-Poo shedding, you’ve come to the right place. This article will also explore Shih-Poo grooming requirements and whether this dog is hypoallergenic.
Let’s get started!
How much a hybrid dog breed sheds depends so much on its parents. Fortunately, in the case of the Shih-Poo, both its parents are low-shedding breeds.
This means you can generally expect little shedding from your Shih-Poo.
But to explore this further, let’s take a closer look by exploring the dog’s lineage on both sides, starting with the “Shih” part of the Shih-Poo name, which comes from the Shih-Tzu.
This small, regal dog from China can grow very long fur, which is one of the contributing factors to its low rate of shedding.
Why? This is because all dogs grow hair across four stages. Those stages encompass active growth, a period of resting, and shedding. From there, new follicles will grow back.
So, long story short, a dog breed with shorter hair will shed faster than one with longer fur since it goes through the hair growth cycle faster.
The Shih-Tzu is also tiny, weighing between nine and 16 pounds and reaching heights of 11 inches max. The dog simply doesn’t have a lot of surface area for shedding.
However, there is one caveat. The Shih-Tzu is a seasonal shedder.
This means that twice per year–in the winter and the summer–a Shih-Tzu sheds at a greater rate, which is also known as blowing its coat.
In the winter, the Shih-Tzu is growing a bulkier coat so its little body will stay warm in the frigid months ahead.
Then, in the summer, the Shih-Tzu releases its thick fur for a lighter, breezier summer coat.
Even when blowing its coat, though, the other factors above prevent a Shih-Tzu from shedding too ferociously.
If your Shih-Poo has more dominant Shih-Tzu genes, then the dog could be double-coated. I’d rate its shedding at about a 2/5 at that point.
What about the other Shih-Poo parent, the Toy Poodle?
Poodles are such a popular dog because they shed so infrequently. They’re even lower-shedding than Shih-Tzus, as I’d rank a Poodle’s shedding as a 1/5.
Any Poodle size is low-shedding, from the Toy Poodle to the full-sized Poodle.
The reason is that Poodles have wiry, curly coats. Wiry-coated dogs tend to shed less. The curls of a Toy Poodle’s coat also catch loose fur and keep it close.
On top of all that, Poodles are single-coated.
A Shih-Poos that’s more Poodle than Shih-Tzu will hardly shed at all, and certainly not seasonally, which is nice!
Grooming Your Shih-Poo
Whether your Shih-Poo is more Toy Poodle or Shih-Tzu, either way, you’re likely going to be in for one heck of a time when it comes to grooming this adorable hybrid dog.
Both Shih-Tzus and Poodles are known for being notoriously difficult to groom, albeit for different reasons.
As I did in the last section, let’s begin by talking about what it’s like to groom a Shih-Tzu so you’ll be ready if your Shih-Poo has a longer than a curlier coat.
Now, unlike the Shih-Tzu, it’s not really the Shih-Poo standard to grow its fur too long. That said, you still could if you really wanted to.
If your Shih-Poo has a longer, more luxurious coat, then you’ll have to brush the dog close to every day (if not every day) with a slicker or pin brush.
The brush will be able to detangle any knots before they become too embedded and painful for your poor pet.
Even if your Shih-Poo has a shorter Shih-Tzu coat, you should still commit to daily brushing.
You’ll be able to pull out the loose fur from both the undercoat and overcoat before it can shed. This will reduce your pup’s shedding, especially during seasonal spikes.
Brushing also improves the shine of your Shih-Poo’s coat and spreads moisturizing skin oils across the body.
What if your Shih-Poo has tight Poodle curls?
I’d still suggest using a slicker brush.
Even though Poodles don’t shed seasonally, it can still be good to get into a habit of brushing a Shih-Poo with a Poodle coat daily.
You’ll have to follow up the brushing routine with a trimming routine. Poodles can get rather poofy without regular maintenance.
You won’t have to worry about learning all the complicated Poodle cuts when it comes to keeping your Shih-Poo’s coat maintained. Just trimming the dog is enough!
This video will show you how to keep a Shih-Poo tidy and clean:
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Are Shih-Poos Hypoallergenic?
If you’ve ever seen the American Kennel Club’s list of the most hypoallergenic dogs, you’ll notice that the Poodle is on there, which is one of the Shih-Poo’s parents.
So you may be wondering if a Shih-Poo is hypoallergenic.
Before I answer that, allow me to make it clear what it means for a dog to be hypoallergenic. It simply means that the dog causes fewer dander allergy symptoms.
However, being hypoallergenic does not mean the absence of allergy symptoms altogether. Dander is an allergy (in part) to shed dog skin, and every dog has skin.
So, if you or someone else in your home has a pet dander allergy, living with a Shih-Poo could potentially reduce your allergy symptoms. But since all dogs produce dander, all dogs can be allergenic. So regardless of the breed, it could still trigger allergies in some people.
In any case, given the Shih-Poo sheds very little hair overall, there’s less chance its dander will end up floating around your home and sticking to the floors, furniture, and car interior.
So in that sense, it may be considered somewhat hypoallergenic, especially if it has more Poodle in its lineage. But again, no dog is completely hypoallergenic.
The Shih-Poos is a Toy Poodle and Shih-Tzu crossbreed created exclusively as designer dogs with looks and personality. They’ve always been companion animals and are adored in that role to this day.
The average Shih-Poo is friendly, affectionate, relatively adaptable, smart, and has a weak prey drive and a weak sense of wanderlust.
Apartment dwellers will rejoice, as a Shih-Poo won’t feel cooped up in your studio apartment. Since both parent breeds are tiny enough on their own, you should expect a Shih-Poo to be a relatively small dog as well.
Although they’re not excessively energetic, Shih-Poos aren’t lumps on a log, either. Be sure to take your dog out to the park from time to time or play with them inside to burn off some energy!
Can your Shih-Poo befriend other dogs in the house? Honestly, that depends on the pup’s age.
If yours is a Shih-Poo puppy and you waste no time acclimating the crossbreed to your other dogs, then with some socialization, everyone should get along fine. However, an older Shih-Poo who’s been solo all this time may be better off as the only dog in the household.
Since they have no prey drive to speak of, a Shih-Poo should be able to get along well enough with your feline friends.
Socialization is a must, though, and the dog/cat relationship will excel best if the two animals are introduced to each other at a young age.
Do you have kids in the house? Shih-Poos are small dogs, so rambunctious young’uns might not be the best pairing. However, if your children are older and know how to handle a dog, then that shouldn’t be a problem.
Shih-Poos are Shih-Tzu and Toy Poodle crossbreeds that are beloved for their adorable looks and undeniable charm. As if it can’t get any better, the Shih-Poo is also low-shedding, although you’ll deal with the least shedding if yours is more Toy Poodle than Shih-Tzu.
Although grooming a Shih-Poo can be challenging, living with this sweet, cute dog is worth it to many! So this may be just the designer dog you’ve been looking for.