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11 Ways Shih Poos Are Good For First Time Owners

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So you’ve decided you want to add a four-legged friend to your family. Out of all the wonderful breeds to choose from you’re wondering if Shih poos are good for first time owners. 

For first time dog owners, breed choice is a very important decision that can make or break a home. So…

Are Shih Poos Good For First Time Owners?

Shih poos are a great choice for first time dog owners. As a first time dog owner you want a dog that is intelligent, rather simple to train, good with other animals and kids, and doesn’t make a big mess. Shih poos have each of these qualities and more.

In this post we dive deep on the top 11 reasons why Shih poos are a great choice for first time dog owners as well as some important tips to make your life way easier.

Woof, let’s get started!

What is a Shih Poo? 

What do you get when you cross a Shih tzu and a toy poodle? Just about the cutest dog ever with a fun-loving personality. 

Say hello to the Shih poo (also nicknamed Shoodle or Pooshi). 

A Shih poo (or whatever you wish to call this adorable breed) is sure to bring plenty of joy to any home. From its small size and intelligence, to their friendliness, playfulness and the fact that they don’t need lots of exercise: there are multiple reasons why a Shih poo is the ideal first pet fit.

11 Reasons Why Shih Poos Are Great For First-Time Dog Owners

We’ve rounded up the top 11 reasons why Shih poos make a great addition to any family looking to add a pup to their home. Shih poos are especially great for first-time dog owners because, well, they’re not that complicated to take care of. 

Below are the top 11 reasons why a Shih poo would make a great first time dog for new owners.

1) They’re Small

According to Dog Time, Shih poos are relatively small dogs, as most weigh around 18 pounds and  are 18 inches tall. Their small size makes them much easier to manage for a first-time dog owner.

As these dogs are small, you won’t have to worry about hip and elbow dysplasia which is common with big dogs. They will also tire quickly, so you don’t have to spend too much time worrying about their exercise regime, or them being destructive due to excess energy. 

2) Don’t Need Much Exercise

Worried that you’ll have to spend too much time on exercise with your new pooch? Luckily, Shih poos can stay fit and healthy with just 30 minutes of activity per day. This can be 2, 10 minute walks and a 10 minute play session or 2 longer walks, for example. 

You can also break this playtime into shorter chunks and spread them throughout the day.

3) They Aren’t Super Vocal

Worried you won’t know how to keep your new dog from constantly barking? 

Although poodles can be quite vocal dogs, they luckily didn’t pass this on to their Shih poo offspring.

However, don’t expect a silent dog. Shih poos will still let you know if they are frustrated, but this is something that you can tone down with early training (which we’ll get to in a sec). 

When thinking about bringing a new dog home, you may dread having to deal with a barking dog, especially if your neighbors aren’t the friendliest of people. If this is the case, a Shih poo may be the answer. 

4) They Don’t Shed (much)

Don’t think that because a Shih poo is a poodle offspring that they won’t need occasional grooming and they’ll never shed. Anything with hair sheds a little bit.

While Shih poos are hypoallergenic and commonly get their coat from their poodle parent (which is hair, not fur), they will still shed.

But thankfully it won’t be excessive where you’ll have to be cleaning up your home everyday due to dog fur. Low maintenance is a new dog owner’s dream.

Related Reading: 51 Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed (Hypoallergenic Dogs)

5) Intelligence 

Shih poos are oh-so-cute, but did you know that they are also highly intelligent?

So long as you know how to train them properly, they’ll be quite easy to house train and learn basic commands.

If you’re interested in teaching them more complex tricks a Shih poo has all the mental capacity to follow your training.

Don’t be afraid to show off to your friends how cute AND smart your new pup is.

6) Friendliness 

Who doesn’t want their first dog to be friendly? 

Its intelligence doesn’t mean a Shih poo won’t give you the time of day. They are extremely friendly and thrive on interaction. They are also known to be loving, so on rainy/boring days you can expect them to take a nap on your lap. 

If you’re looking for a feisty guard dog, an adorable Shih poo may not be the answer. We imagine they’d want to make friends with a burglar, which isn’t ideal for obvious reasons. 

7) Good With Other Dogs And People

As a first-time dog owner, you might worry that your dog won’t get on well with others. 

Shih poos are known for their good temperament, and do well when interacting with other dogs and people. If you’re looking for a buddy to take to the dog park, be nice to guests, or grow up along with a child or children, you’ve got a friend in a Shih poo. 

8) Accidents Inside Aren’t Big Messes

As a new dog owner, taking care of messes simply comes with the territory. While they’re learning how to live with you, you’re learning how to teach them to live with you!

It’s inevitable that an accident or two (or two dozen) will happen inside during their training process. And given their small size, well, that means their mess won’t be very big either.

This means wherever they have an accident, it won’t completely ruin what’s underneath. A great dane on the other hand… is a whole other story. 

9) Playful

If you want a doggo that’s fun-loving and playful as your first pup a Shih poo fits the bill perfectly.

Shih-Poos are joyful little pups, who are likely to greet you with excitement. They love playtime, and will take any opportunity to be playful with their family. As long as you’re willing to play, so will your Shih poo.

10) Mixed Breeds Are Generally Less Extreme Than Their Purebred Parents

Purebred dogs can have behavioral extremes that make for challenging pets, especially for first-time owners.

Mixed breed dogs, however, typically don’t inherit behavioral extremes. Instead, they take characteristics from both parents that aren’t as dominant, which makes them generally easier to train and live with. Now that sounds like the best of both worlds! 

11) Generally Live Long, Healthy Lives 

Something a new dog mom & dad always think about is this breed generally healthy? Which is an important question to ask. Vet bills aren’t cheap and you never want to see someone you love in frequent pain.

Fortunately, Shih poos generally live long healthy lives. On average, they live to roughly 13 years old, but can even reach 18. Some health issues come with age and some have to do with lifestyle.

So even though they’re a generally healthy breed it’s still important to feed them well and exercise often to keep them in tip top shape.

Top 3 Tips For First-Time Dog Owners Getting a Shih Poo

Here are some tips that will help make this exciting process easier once your new pooch comes home. 

1) Don’t Wing It!

So, you’ve decided to make a Shih poo a part of your family; that’s wonderful! Here’s an often overlooked tip: do your research!

Many first-time dog owners make the mistake of forming an idealistic picture in their head of how owning a dog will be, but are then disappointed when it’s not all roses. 

Before bringing a Shih poo home, do extensive research on their dietary needs, training requirements and expenses related to toys, food and vet visits. 

The more prepared you are the easier & better your life will be with your furry friend.

2) Train Early And Train Often

Ah, training… It’s not as easy as it sounds, but definitely worth it if you want to train your Shih poo well.

Don’t leave this important task for ‘someday’. The bad habits that your dog forms will stick with them for their entire lives if not started on the right path. 

Shih poos thrive on recognition, love and attention. When training them, reinforce good behavior with a hug or snacks (or both), and encourage them as you go through the different training stages.

3) Find a Vet You Trust

Your Shih poo will only be as happy as they are healthy. Find a local vet that you can trust, and that has good recommendations. Forming a relationship with your local veterinary clinic will let you stay on top of necessary vaccinations and medicine.

A vet visit will probably never be fun for your pooch, but you can better their experience by finding a good vet that you trust. 

Final Thoughts

Shih poos are loving and intelligent dogs that can make for a lovely companion for any first-time dog owner. They are generally easy to train, do not need as much exercise as other dogs, and typically won’t make a huge mess in your home.

I’m excited for you to get your first dog! I personally think it’s a happiness hack. My pup has brought me so much joy it’s hard to put into words.

Other posts you might find interesting:

9 Reasons Why Your Shih Poo Is Shedding More + 3 Tips

7 Reasons Why Your Shih Poo Is Overly Aggressive + Tips

8 Reasons Shih Poos Make Great Apartment Dogs + Tips



The 12 Best and Worst Dog Breeds For First Time Owners


The Shih Poo – Shih Tzu Toy Poodle Cross Breed Guide