Today, we’ll learn whether Shih Poos are hypoallergenic, as well as other helpful information you need to decide if this is the right dog for you.
What Is a Shih Poo?
As a designer breed, the Shi Poo combines a Shih Tzu with a Toy Poodle. One of the features that make the Shih Poo popular is the fact that it’s a good choice for people with allergies.
As both its parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Toy Poodle are considered low-shedding, hypoallergenic breeds, your Shih Poo should be a great choice if you have allergies.
Shih Poo Parent Breeds: The Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle
Breeders create a Shih Poo by crossing two tiny dogs: a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle. The Shih Tzu isn’t hypoallergenic, but the Toy Poodle is.
Like the Standard Poodle, the Toy Poodle has a hypoallergenic coat. The Poodle coat is considered to be hair instead of fur.
The difference between hair and fur is that hair has a much longer growth cycle. A longer growth cycle means that the hair grows much longer before it falls out, which results in very little shedding.
While a Shih Poo isn’t as hypoallergenic as a Toy Poodle, it is usually much better for people with allergies than a Shih Tzu.
Are Shih Poos 100% Hypoallergenic?
No dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic. However, some are much more hypoallergenic than others, making them more suitable for people with allergies to dog dander and fur.
The Poodle coat is known for being hypoallergenic. As the Shih Poo is half Toy Poodle, you get a lot of the same benefits. Like the Poodle, the Shih Tzu grows hair instead of fur, and hair doesn’t shed the same way fur does.
This trait is why the combination of the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle breeds is great for allergy sufferers. As long as you keep your pooch well-groomed, you should have a good experience.
What Triggers Dog Allergies?
It’s not just a dog’s fur that triggers symptoms in people with dog allergies. Other allergy-stimulating elements are dander (dead skin cells), urine, and saliva.
If you’re not sure if you have an allergy to dogs, watch out for these symptoms when there is a dog around or in your household:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Sinus pain and pressure
- Eye irritation and watering
- Itchiness (eyes and/or nose)
If you have asthma on top of dog allergies, you may have breathing problems and wheezing, too. Make sure you have an appropriate inhaler at hand all the time. Get medical attention if you have chest pain or other alarming symptoms.
It’s less common than symptoms in the upper respiratory system, but you can also get skin irritation as a result of dog allergies. For example, you could have eczema, hives, or just generally itchy skin.
Can You Prevent Dog Allergies?
If you’re allergic to dogs, the only way to completely cut out the chance of getting symptoms is to avoid being around dogs.
But if you want a dog, you should get one that is as hypoallergenic as possible. A good example is the Shih Poo. As we’ll talk about later, you must give your Shih Poo regular grooming.
If you have severe allergies, you should visit a doctor specializing in this problem. They’re usually called allergists. They can tell you about possible treatments for your allergies.
If you have asthma, you must be especially careful about allergic reactions. And if you have severe dog allergies and asthma, you probably shouldn’t get a dog. But if you do want a canine companion, you should go to an allergist and ask for advice.
Do Shih Poos Shed a Lot?
No, this dog doesn’t shed a lot. In fact, it sheds very little.
The Shih Poo’s low shedding is one of the reasons it’s much more hypoallergenic than many other dogs.
It’s the Toy Poodle genes in the Shih Poo that make it a low shedder. Poodles, no matter their size, have minimal shedding.
However, a Shih Poo will shed more than a pure-bred Toy Poodle. That is because of its Shih Tzu genes. Yet even though Shih Tzus shed more than Poodles, they shed less than many other breeds.
Overall, Shih Tzus are low shedders. So, when you mix the relatively low-shedding Shih Tzu with the truly minimal-shedding Toy Poodle, you get a Shih Poo that isn’t likely to trouble your allergies like other dogs.
How Long Does Shih Poo Hair Grow?
As a designer breed, each Shih Poo inherits its own mix of characteristics from its parents, the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle. One Shih Poo may take more after its Toy Poodle parent, while the other takes more after the Shih Tzu part of its ancestry.
As we mentioned earlier, Poodles grow hair instead of fur. Hair has a much longer growth cycle, which means it grows longer and doesn’t fall out as much. This means very low shedding.
If your Shih Poo takes more after its Poodle parent, you’ll probably find its hair growing quite long. In those circumstances, you’ll probably want to bring it to a professional groomer to get one of the many haircuts used for Poodles.
In most Shih Poos, you’ll see about half an inch of hair growth each month. The longer you let the coat grow, the more maintenance it’s going to need.
A long coat needs more brushing to avoid matting and to cut down on long hairs ending up on your furniture. It will also need frequent shampooing, as dirt and dander get trapped easily.
If you’ve ever seen a Shih Tzu, you know how long their hair can grow. It can even end up touching the floor in show dogs. Long hair is a high-maintenance style, though, and it can get tangled up quickly.
Do Shih Poos Have Curly or Straight Coats?
While some Shih Poos will take more after the Shih Tzu and have straighter coats, others will be more like their Poodle parents and have curlier coats.
No matter which kind of coat your Shih Poo has, each hair should have a long growth cycle. You shouldn’t see much shedding. You certainly won’t see the level of shedding you get from a dog with a fur coat that sheds its undercoat before the summer.
Give Your Shih Poos the Right Grooming
Of course, you’ve got to groom your dog to minimize its effect on your allergies. Grooming is key to cutting down on dander and fur or hair lying around in your environment.
The right kind of grooming for your Shih Poo will depend on whether it took more after its Toy Poodle or Shih Tzu parent.
Shih Tzus and Poodles are breeds that get specific kinds of haircuts from professional groomers. So, if you get a Shih Poo, be ready to invest in getting these services regularly.
A Shih Poo with hair more like a Poodle will need grooming more like a Poodle. As we touched on earlier, you’ll probably need to bring it to a groomer to get a haircut a bit as a pure-bred Poodle would.
Like Poodles Shih Tzus also grow long hair. That means that your Shih Poo is likely to have long hair.
While Shih Tzus grow long straight hair, Toy Poodles grow curly hair. They both need regular grooming. Look at your Shih Poo’s coat to figure out which genetic side it takes after most.
Find a Professional Groomer
While the Shih Poo is hypoallergenic, it’s not low-maintenance by any means. As we’ve learned here, the Shih Poo’s hair has a long growth cycle, so it grows long.
As such, you’ll want to get your Shih Poo professional haircuts with a groomer on a regular basis. It’s best to find a groomer who has experience with Shih Poos or with the Shih Poo’s parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle.
Should You Shave Your Shih Poo?
As the Shih Poo’s hair can grow long, some owners wonder whether it would save them time and money to get their Shih Poo shaved when they go to the groomers.
But you need to be careful with this. Remember that a dog without a coat is extremely vulnerable to sunburn and overheating from the sun. And in the winter, your dog is more likely to get cold. In the cold weather, he’ll have to wear protection.
As long as you keep this in mind and give your Shih Poo the appropriate protection, you can give them a clip that involves most of their body being shaved. One of these is called the lamb clip. Ask your groomer for more information.
You shouldn’t try to shave your dog at home. This task is one you should leave to a groomer. If you try to do it yourself, you could end up accidentally injuring or cutting your dog’s skin. Shaving a canine is much trickier than you think, and doing it right takes training and experience.
How Often Should You Brush Your Shih Poo?
It’s best to brush a Shih Poo several times a week. Ideally, you’d do this every day. Brushing your dog is essential for his health. You’re helping remove dander and dirt that could irritate his skin.
You’re also preventing matting that can lead to pain and dangerous skin infections. Regular brushing is especially important for Shih Poos, as they grow long hair that is prone to matting. The longer your Shih Poo’s hair, the more often you should be brushing it to get rid of tangles and potential tangles.
How Often Should Shih Poos Be Shampooed?
As Shih Poos need haircuts sometimes, you’ll probably get some of your pet’s shampoos done by a professional groomer. After all, you can get him shampooed before his haircut.
Shampooing is crucial for your Shih Poo’s health, as well as cutting down on allergens from his coat. Remember, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, and that is especially true if you’re not doing the proper grooming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even if a Shih Poo has more of a Poodle coat, it’s possible to be allergic.
Shih Poos are not known as vocal barkers.
A healthy Shih Poo should live for 10 to 18 years.
Conclusion for “Are Shih Poos Hypoallergenic?”
So, now you know! Yes, the Shih Poo is a hypoallergenic dog, but no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic. Overall, the Shih Poo breed makes for a great pet as long as you give your pup regular grooming.
For more guides related to this topic, check out:
- 11 Best Shih Poo Haircut Styles – With Pictures! (2023)
- Top 5 Shih Poo Rescues & Small Breed Rescues! (2023)
- The 7 Best Dog Brushes for a Shih Poo! (2023)
Learn more about this breed by watching “Shih Poo – The Ultimate Owner’s Guide” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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