Shihpoo

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Tibet <> France -> U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Shipoo
Shi-Poo
Shi Poo
Shihpooh
Shipooh
Shitzpoo

A brief presentation of the Shihpoo

Fun-loving and bubbly, the Shihpoo is one of the most recent Poodle hybrids, and is usually bred by Poodle Toy and Shih Tzu parents. Its low-fall coat, inherited from the Poodle, and small size make it an ideal indoor dog, where it will be at the heart of family activities and on the lap of its favorite person. Like all hybrids, many of its physical and behavioral characteristics are highly variable, depending on the characteristics of the parent it inherits, but the Shihpoo is generally an intelligent, if somewhat stubborn, dog. It's a happy crossbreed that loves to play, but due to its delicate build, puppies can find young children too inconsiderate and are therefore better suited to older families. Similarly, although generally sociable with other dogs, they can easily be injured by larger animals, so must be supervised in their play and other interactions. Although it's unlikely to strike fear into the heart of a determined burglar, the Shihpoo inherits the protective instincts of the Shih Tzu and makes a vigilant and vocal watchdog. Indeed, many tend to be excessively vicious, and the time spent training a Shihpoo to keep silent on its command is time well spent. The nature of the coat can vary greatly, from long and straight to short and curly, but all Shihpoos need plenty of grooming to prevent the development of mats and sores. Most don't like strenuous exercise due to their short legs and narrow airways, which means this hybrid could be suitable for less active owners. This is a relatively new cross, so information on health and life expectancy is limited. However, given the health of the parent breeds, it's reasonable to expect most Shihpoos to live between 12 and 14 years.

History of the Shihpoo

Poodle hybrids have been popular since the mid-20th century, when the Cockapoo blazed a trail with its endearing personality, irresistible friendliness and indented coat, so that there are now a myriad of other "oodles" available. The Shihpoo is one of the most recent, having been around for between 10 and 20 years. Because it's a new breed, most Shihpoos are first-generation crosses of pedigree parents, so there's very little consistency in appearance and temperament. Such crosses generate a random reassortment of parental genes, so that a Shihpoo may look very closely like a Poodle or a Shih Tzu, or may have the perfect combination of Poodle intellect and coat and Shih Tzu courage and loyalty.
        

A little of the Shih Tzu

        
The Shih Tzu is thought to have originated in China around 3,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest companion dogs still in use. Although difficult to prove, most historians agree that both the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese contributed to its genetics. These dogs were revered by the local population, who carved sculptures and painted them in their honor. Unlike many breeds, the Shih Tzu was not bred with a specific working or hunting purpose in mind and has always been kept as a pet, a factor that has meant they have always made loyal pets.
Standard of the Shih Tzu

A little of the Poodle

The Poodle is one of the main players in the new world of hybrid dogs, and is renowned for its versatility. An intelligent dog that excels in many disciplines, the Poodle is not only an excellent pet, but can also compete successfully in events such as agility and flyball. The general public tends to associate the Poodle and its hairstyle with France, but the truth is that it's a German breed. Despite their glamorous appearance, they were originally bred to hunt and retrieve waterfowl and have always been fantastic swimmers. The Poodle is available in three sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard, although it is the larger Standard Poodle that contributes to the Airedoodle breed. Poodles are recognized by the Kennel Club within their public service group.
Standard of the Poodle

Appearance of the Shihpoo

Shihpoos are small dogs weighing 4 to 8 kilos and standing 23 to 28 centimeters at the withers. As mentioned above, coat character varies from individual to individual, but if left uncut, it can become moderately long and fluffy. Shih Tzu and Poodle are available in a wide variety of colors, which is also reflected in Shihpoo. The most common color patterns are: black, white, gold, brindle, black and white, brown and white, particolored. The Shih Tzu has a few design flaws that ideally should not be passed on: protruding eyes, which are prone to injury and dryness, and short, narrow airways that restrict physical activity and can cause respiratory distress. Unfortunately, again due to the randomness of cross-breeding between pedigrees, many Shihpoos display these characteristics, although they should become less pronounced over time with increased multiplication of generations. Most have a compact, lean body shape and fairly short limbs, but it's important to research and promote the straightness of these limbs to avoid chronic trauma and the early onset of arthritis, which is seen in many Shih Tzu.

Temperament of the Shihpoo

The Shihpoo is an energetic little dog, always ready to play. It's also renowned for its love of noise, whether it's the sound of its own voice or the squeak of a favorite toy. He loves and demands attention, and will happily chase a ball thrown around the house for hours. When playtime comes to an end, he wants to curl up on his owner's lap or share a bed or sofa, but care must be taken not to spoil this plucky character, who can become too full of his own self-importance if the opportunity arises. Indeed, stubbornness and potential acuteness are two negative temperament traits that sometimes manifest themselves in Shihpoo, and some gentle discipline is important to prevent the creation of a monster. It does not tolerate rough handling and is relatively easily injured. He is therefore not ideal for younger children, but this affectionate hybrid will enjoy the company of older children who know how to handle and respect a dog.

Needs and activities of the Shihpoo

The Shihpoo's activity requirements vary according to the dog and the traits it inherits from its parents. The Shihpoo will need a moderate amount of exercise for its physical and emotional health. A dog of this size and temperament will appreciate a short to medium daily walk. As the breed loves to play, additional exercise can easily be achieved by allowing your Shihpoo to play outside in a fenced yard. Keep him company though, he doesn't like to be left alone and may dig his own way. As these dogs are small, they can also play indoors with their family for an extra activity. The Shihpoo will enjoy both obedience and agility, activities that will keep him active, while allowing him to use his keen mind.

Maintenance of the Shihpoo

The Shihpoo will often have wavy to curly coats and will require daily brushing. Without regular brushing, your Shihpoo's hair can become matted. Particular attention should be paid to his hind legs, behind his ears and under his shoulders. Some people find it helpful to visit a professional groomer three or four times a year to allow him to trim his coat. Fortunately, the breed doesn't shed much. The Shihpoo can have problems with tears. So it's important to check his eyes regularly and clean them as needed. Its ears should also be cleaned and checked weekly. As with all dogs, your Shihpoo's teeth should be brushed several times a week, and its nails trimmed as needed.

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