The Shih Poo is a mixed breed dog. The Shih poo was a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle, and these dogs were so popular because they were cuddly and hypoallergenic companions. These dogs inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parent breeds.
Shih-poo dogs make great companions for many families, but they are best in single-person homes where they can get tons of love and affection. These dogs are great with elderly owners because they love being doted on and pampered. They're very versatile and can thrive in almost any environment. Shih-poo puppies do well in many family homes, busy apartments, tiny townhouses, or big farmhouses.
Shih Poo Puppy Personality
These dogs are intelligent, sophisticated, and loyal. Of course, these lovely qualities come from the Poodle and the Shih Tzu dog breeds. Interestingly enough, both Poodles and Shih Tzus were loved by royalty. French royalty loved the Poodle, and Chinese royalty loved Shih Tzus, even though neither breed was born in those countries. It's easy to understand why Shih-poo puppies are such sought-after dogs.
Mixed dog breeds rarely have equal amounts of their parent breeds, and they usually favor one breed more. Shih Poo dogs can be independent and stubborn and become easily trainable. These dogs are amiable, attentive, and cute. Most dogs in this breed are playful, but they can be more independent and uncompromising if they are more like their Shih Tzu parent breed relatives. These dogs might not be eager to learn new tricks, but they can be well-trained animals with the right encouragement and plenty of treats.
Shih Poo Health Overview
Shih Poo dogs can weigh anywhere from 8 to 18 pounds. These dogs can stand anywhere from 8 to 18 inches tall at their shoulders. Shih Poo puppies can live anywhere from 13 to 17 years, but they can live longer than that if they're healthy enough. Although, Shih Poo puppies typically live to be 16 years on average when they live with relatively good health.
Just because the Shih Tzu is a mixed breed does not mean they immediately have better health than either of their parent breeds. Many hybrid breeds have improved health compared to their parent breeds, but they can also inherit more conditions because they have two different parent breeds. Their genetic pool is more extensive, inviting more gene mutations than the parent breeds may have. However, Shih Poos are a generally healthy mixed breed, but they will have their fair share of health risks.
The Shih Poo dog breed is at risk of some physical conditions and some mental health conditions. These dogs can develop patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, or eye problems. Many small dogs and toy breeds, like the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, are at risk of developing entropion, cataracts, or progressive retinal atrophy. Shih Poo puppies are also at risk of experiencing these conditions.
Even though Shih Poo puppies are at risk of developing some of these problems, most dogs will live their entire lives without being affected by these issues. And the few dogs that are affected by these health conditions are more likely to have minor problems than severe health concerns.
Although not all Shih Poo pups will experience physical health conditions, many of these dogs can experience mental issues like stress and anxiety.
Small dogs struggle with anxiety more often than larger dogs. Many toy-sized breeds are companion dogs instead of hunters or protectors. The Toy Poodle and Shih Tzu breeds were pampered like royalty. Because of this, Shih Poo puppies often struggle with anxiety and can get especially stressed around loud noises or when they're left alone for too long. Dogs rescued from animal shelters or found on the street are more likely to experience more severe anxiety symptoms.
While it might sound scary, it's perfectly normal for dogs to be stressed and have anxiety, and there are many remedies available for owners who want to ease their dog's symptoms. There are many ways to tell if your dog is experiencing stress or anxiety.
Shih Poo puppies might develop anxiety from certain situations that startle them. Dogs scared of loud noises will feel very anxious if anything incredibly loud happens, like police sirens blaring or when fireworks explode. Some dogs get very tense due to changes in the weather and especially around thunderstorms. Dogs can sense atmospheric pressure changes right before it rains, and the loud cracking noise of thunder can scare them.
Some dogs develop associate anxiety when things remind them of a traumatic event they experienced. Dogs picked up by the pound might get anxious near any large vans. Some dogs favor one gender over another because they had past traumatic events with a specific gender and now associate traumatic memories with that group.
Some dogs get very anxious when they have a lot of pent-up energy. Even though Shih Poo puppies are small, they may become very stressed out dogs if they don't get enough daily activity. Some dogs don't get enough mental stimulation and respond to their boredom with anxiety.
When Shih Poo puppies suffer from anxiety, they can present symptoms in a few different ways. Shih Poo owners should not stress themselves out because there are plenty of ways to provide comfort during a puppy's time of anxiety.
Dogs don't communicate verbally the way humans do because they mainly communicate with body language. When dogs experience potent emotions, their body is the first sign that tells their owners that something isn't quite right.
If a dog is holding its paw up and limping, owners immediately understand that their puppy is hurt. When Shih Poo puppies suffer from anxiety, they might react by destroying their home.
Some dogs have a terrible habit of destroying their owners' houses when left alone at home. Some owners get reasonably irritated when dogs do this, but owners should also know dogs do this out of anxiety!
When dogs have panic attacks or anxiety attacks, they will respond by taking their feelings out on their surroundings. Shih Poo puppies might react this way and could even urinate on the furniture when they're anxious.
There are many symptoms dogs experience when they are suffering from anxiety. Some anxious dogs also whine, whimper, and bark often. Some dogs get so anxious they might try to escape their owner's house. There are tons of different symptoms dogs show when suffering from anxiety. Anxious dogs might have lethargy, depression, excessive panting, or pacing. Shih Poo puppies commonly pace when stressed out and may even get a little yappy. Part of the reason Shih Poo puppies pace around is because they don't feel like they can relax. Constantly staying in motion makes it easier for them to run away from whatever is causing their anxiety if they have a chance. There are many ways owners can help their stressed-out, pacing Shih Poo puppies.
Owners Can Take Action
If owners want to help their dogs stop pacing, they can do a few things. The first thing owners need to do is notice what is causing their dog stress. Dogs stressed from separation anxiety will require additional help than dogs stressed because of loud noises.
Other owners have found it helpful to give their pets a security sweater, stuffed animals, or blanket. By providing your dog with these items when stressed out, you can help distract your dog while comforting them.
Many owners find it helpful to create safe spaces for their anxious pets. Shih Poo puppies who often pace might benefit from a safe space just for them. Dog safe spaces can be a quiet corner with a dog bed, comfy blankets or pillows, and water. It's essential to keep these secure areas away from noisy parts of the house or places where people walk a lot in the house.
Distracting an anxious dog by encouraging exercise or training lessons is also a great way to help a pet calm down. Sometimes, all dogs need to do is burn some energy off, and their anxiety symptoms will pass. Owners can teach their Shih Poo to entertain themselves with some mentally stimulating dog toys. Some dogs love puzzle toys after learning how to solve them. The dog learns to love getting little treats at the end. However, some dogs don't have any interest in them. It all depends on the individual dog.
Some owners find it helpful to give their anxious Shih Poo their favorite snack in times of stress. If owners could offer their Shih Poo great snacks, like cream cheese, a raw diet meal, or their dog's favorite canned food, then their dog will likely get distracted by the food after their owner leaves. This method typically works best with dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. Owners should worry that their dogs won't miss them either. It's more than likely that your dog will still be sad you're away. However, dogs are natural optimists, so they will probably try to enjoy their treat while you're away.
Owners can provide their dogs with calming treats, CBD treats, or CBD oil. Owners can only give their dogs CBD meant specifically for dogs. If Shih Poo puppies can't seem to get distracted from their anxieties, owners can consider providing them calming supplements. There are many supplements owners can pick from to help their dogs with stress.
Occasionally, pet owners find that their Shih Poo suffers from more severe anxiety, and they talk to their vet about medication. After owners speak with their vet, they can decide whether anti-anxiety medication is suitable for their dog.
Dogs with more severe anxiety will have a more challenging time distracting themselves from their stress. Owners will find that even the most delicious snacks can't get their Shih Poo to stop pacing. In these situations, you should use more permanent anti-anxiety methods. Owners should consider having their dogs trained. Some special dog behaviorists can teach a dog counterconditioning to unlearn their anxiety. These behaviorists are professionals and know how to work with anxious dogs and help them release their stress until they are no longer severely anxious by whatever their old trigger was.
An Anxious Shih Poo Dog's Prognosis
A dog with anxiety will not have a shorter life span than one without. Anxiety is a mental condition that does not shorten your dog's life but can cause more stress to occur in your dog's daily life. Some owners provide their animals with tight sweaters that feel like a hug to help calm them down in times of stress. Even though anxiety is a minor condition, it might need more professional treatments if your dog has severe symptoms. If your dog has more severe anxiety and seems to become anxious around a new toy, new person, or new thing, more severe counterconditioning treatment will be required to help these animals overcome their anxiety.
Only professionals can help dogs with more severe anxiety as regular dog owners will not be able to decipher the exact cause of the anxiety and find the appropriate way to teach your dog to unlearn their previous anxious tendencies and replace them with more positive, proper tendencies.
It's vital owners remember not to indulge their anxious dogs. Many owners overcompensate trying to help their dogs feel safer by hovering over their pets, constantly looking at them, hugging them, and touching them. Some anxious dogs will not respond well to this and may get more stress.
Some pet owners may try a few of these methods and find they aren't enough for their dogs. Dog owners should know there are tons of different ways to comfort an anxious dog and they can combine different ways too.
Many of these methods are one way to help a dog deal with their anxiety and not a permanent fix to that health condition. Sometimes, the best way for dogs to overcome their anxiety is to go through professional training to overcome whatever ignites their anxiety. However, many owners find that a few home remedies are more than enough to help their anxious Shih Poo puppy.
Shih Poo puppies are most likely to face anxiety one way or another. All dog owners will struggle with this at some point, and they can best support their dogs by being aware of the signs of anxiety and knowing how they can comfort their animals in their time of need. An anxious Shih Poo puppy's outcome depends on their anxiety and treatment severity. If your dog has less severe anxiety, owners might be able to help their dogs adjust to whatever is making them anxious.
For example, poorly socialized Shih Poo puppies might get extra anxious around other animals or new people. To help these dogs get more used to socializing, owners can invite friends over to meet their dogs and give them treats. Owners should never force an anxious dog into doing anything and should always let dogs approach others when socializing.
Owners forget they can reward their dogs for good behavior just as much as they can chastise them for bad behavior. Often dogs with anxiety respond better to being rewarded for good behavior than they do for being punished for their anxiety outbursts.
If your dog is pacing around the house making a mess knocking things over, or making you nervous, yelling at them will not help them calm down. It will just make them more stressed out, and it might even lead to more destructive tendencies.
The bottom line is that dogs don't trash the house for no reason. Dogs communicate through body language and movement, so if a weird repetitive action happens, owners need to take note because it means something. Shih Poo owners should also feel free to contact their vets as vets will have great recommendations for what to do with severely anxious animals.
People who spend a lot of their time at work away from home should consider getting a less needy dog breed. Shih Poo puppies will rely on a person who can stay with them most days, and they aren't the type of dogs to hesitate when it comes to anxiety. But, Shih Poo dog owners should feel relaxed knowing they can help their pets become more comfortable at home in many different ways. Purchasing a dog bed, blanket, or CBD treats can make all the difference to these little dogs.