Shihpoo Puppies — Best of Both Worlds

The Shihpoo puppy, a small hybrid dog, may offer you the best traits from both of his purebred parents.

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Not everyone's first thought when considering adopting or purchasing a puppy is a mixed breed, but a Shihpoo puppy can truly bring in the best of both worlds from it's parent breeds. To learn if a Shihpoo puppy is the right fit for your family, you should research each breed that creates this mix; the Poodle and the Shih Tzu. As with any mix, your puppy could easily derive his personality, instinctual drives and physical traits from either parent, or a combination of the two.

Non-shed best friend

One of the top reasons one may consider bringing home a Shihpoo puppy is the allure of a dog that doesn't shed. Shih Tzu's alone have a very low shed capacity, and their fur tends to be soft, long, and needs a good groom every 6 to 8 weeks for a trim and brush to prevent matting. Poodles have hair that grow in tight curls with virtually no shedding year round. Just like the Shih Tzu, the poodle needs a monthly visit to the groomer for clipping, or his fur will weigh him down and become matted. Combin the two fur types and you'll most likely have a soft coated puppy that doesn't shed.

However, with the no shed aspect comes the added responsibility of grooming requirements for this mixed breed dog. While a visit to the groomer monthly or up to every 8 weeks is adequate for a hair trim, nail clipping and ear cleaning as a care giver it is up to you to keep your puppy's fur and skin free of loose dead hair and debris. She may not be a heavy shedder, but the occasional loose hair will be present in her fur and must be brushed out before it causes a matting problem.

Tear staining may also be ever present in this mixed breed, just like it can happen in the purebred parents. Tear staining has a wide variety of causes, but when it is breed specific it usually occurs due to eye irritating. The fine and curly hair that can grow around the eye will touch or shed into the eye causing extra tear production. This extra production will make the eye weepy and moisture will begin to gather under the eye and even down onto the muzzle. Keep this area dry to prevent skin irritation or a fungal infection due to that excessive moisture collection in the fur. Your groomer may clip away or wash the stains, but you may need to blot the area dry with a clean cloth on a daily basis to prevent skin irritation.

Constant Companion

Created to be a constant companion of the Chinese royals, the Shih Tzu stays true to it's origins today. A puppy will closely bond with his family be want nothing more in life than to be where you are and always be by your side. Couple the little dog's loyalty with the intelligence and grace of a toy or miniature Poodle and you will have an outstanding best friend.

As the Shih Tzu is a laid back kind of dog, more content to lounge with you on the couch than participate in flyball competitions the poodle likes to be more active. A Shihpoo can learn from a young age to become an active canine friend and even keep up with you on jogs or turn into a couch potato. The outcome of your dog's personality is really dependent upon his parents' talents and which of their qualities he inherited. More specifically, though, your puppy can be shaped into the kind of best friend you want, either a working therapy dog, jogging partner and Agility competition or lap pet. Even better, a Shihpoo can bring the best of both worlds together; perform well in the competition ring and relax at home with his family after wards.

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His health matters

As a mixed breed, a Shihpoo can be exposed to the same hereditary diseases that his purebred parents are prone to. Make sure the breeder you choose does all necessary genetic health testing prior to breeding their dogs to decrease the chances of any preventable illnesses in your puppy. That said, it is important to keep your Shihpoo on a low to no carb diet to keep him lean and healthy. Even if he is just a lap dog, a long stroll everyday will keep him trim and his body happy.

Keep in mind, when deciding on this breed, that he can live upwards of 15 or more years! This is a fantastic number for a dog, and a blessing for dog lovers. It's not unheard of for these little dogs to make it up to 20 years of age. If you are fully prepared to care for your Shihpoo puppy for the rest of his life, the decision to adopt or purchase him will not be a regrettable one!

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