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Cockapoo Shih Tzu Mix: Ultimate Breed Guide

Cockapoo next to a Shih Tzu with text above saying "Cockapoo-Shih Tzu Mix"

The Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix is one of the dog breeds recently coming up and gaining popularity.

The Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and Shih Tzu all give this mix incredible qualities (and adorable features).

Is this mix for you? Read on as I help you understand the breed better and help you decide if it is the best fit for you or your family.

The Cockapoo Shih Tzu Mix 

The Cockapoo is a mix of a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel, and when the resultant breed is mixed with a Shih Tzu, you get a Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix. It is a blend of the most loved breed of Cocker Spaniel, the adventurous nature of the Poodle, and the elegance of the Shih Tzu.

To create the Cockapoo Shih Tzu breed, the first crossbreed is the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. In addition to the traits of the Cockapoo, the Shih Tzu adds even more cuteness and personality.

Brown Cockapoo laying down in the grass
The Cockapoo is a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.

It is important to note that the Cocker Spaniel we are discussing here is the American one and not the English Cocker Spaniel.The American Cocker Spaniel is slightly different from the English Cocker Spaniel. These are similar in shape; however, the American Cocker has a more pronounced hair length.

History of the Parent Breeds 

Adding a little more knowledge is always great for all animal lovers who are curious about breeds. Read on as we will help you better understand the Cockapoo Shih Tzu and help you decide if it is the best fit for you or your family.

As mentioned earlier, the Cockapoo Shih Tzu is a mix between the Cockapoo and a Shih Tzu. It is a blend of the unique breed of Cocker Spaniel, the adventurous Poodle, and the elegant Shih Tzu.


Realistic painting of a Cockapoo dog

The mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle is a Cockapoo. It was first bred in the 1960s. It is sporty with a lifespan of between 10-18 years.

This adorable breed inherits excellent qualities from its parent breeds: the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Since it has a Poodle parent, the Cockapoo is considered a Doodle breed.

Cocker Spaniel 

The Cocker Spaniel is commonly referred to as an all-around companion. This is because it is a sporty dog and a good home companion. The Cocker Spaniel originated from Spain, hence the Spaniel name, and the Cocker originated from a woodcock.

Brown and white Cocker Spaniel sitting on the beach
Cocker Spaniel

They were primarily used as hunting dogs and have slowly grown to fit into a home. This is due to their loving, cuddly, and playful nature. The dog is intelligent and highly trainable. The Cocker Spaniel has long ears, which makes them look even better.

Their size varies from 15 to 18 inches, with a long life of 12 to 15 years.


The second parent breed is the Poodle. A combination of the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel brings about the cockapoo breed. The Poodle is the second most intelligent dog breed, making it easy to train.

White miniature Poodle sitting on a purple couch
Mini Poodle

For those with a pet allergy, it is advisable to try out a Poodle, as they do not shed unless they are being washed.

The Poodle also doubles as a watchdog as it does not bark unnecessarily, only when needed. She is highly affectionate, loving, and friendly to other people.

With weight varying between 40 to 70 pounds depending on the breed, the Poodle has a curly coat and is good with other dogs. The dog lives between 10-18 years or more.

Poodles have different sizes, from the Toy Poodle, which is 10 inches tall, to the Mini Poodle, which is between 11 to 15 inches, and the standard at 15 inches.

Shih Tzu 

The third parent breed is the Shih Tzu. The breed originated in Tibet and was referred to as the little lion. This is because it was associated with the Buddhist God.

White, fluffy Shih Tzu puppy laying on the grass
Shih Tzu

The people of Tibet gifted Chinese royalty to the Shih Tzu breed, making most people think the breed is from China.

It lives between 10 and 18 years and can grow from 9 to 10.5 inches in height. The breed is highly affectionate and good with kids and other animals. It can act as a watchdog and has minimal shedding.


The Cockapoo Shih Tzu is a middle-sized dog with coat colors ranging from brown to black and white. Due to the tiny nature of the Poodle, it will be around 10 to 13 inches tall.

Coat Type

The coat type for the Cocker is wavy with minimal shedding as the parent breeds, including the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, rarely shed. As the Shih Tzu grows hair in all directions, the Cockapoo Shih Tzu fur is not very long, giving the breed a moderate coat type that is easy to groom.

Coat Colors 

Depending on the parent dog, the coat colors can vary from either black and white to a mix of black and white or brown. These are the primary coat colors for the parent breeds.


The parent breeds’ height range is 10-14 inches for the Cockapoo and the Poodle 8-15, depending on whether it is a mini, toy, or standard Poodle. Therefore, the Cockapoo Shih Tzu’s height will range between 10-15 inches.


When getting these homestay dogs for cuddling, most people are curious about what height they grow to. The size varies for female and male dogs. The height will range between 10-15 inches.


The averages of the breeds are between 9 to 15 pounds for females and 12 to 20 pounds for males.

Poodles weigh heavier, but because the Cockapoo Shih Tzu is a mix of three breeds, the weight significantly decreases, making it an easy dog to carry.

Traits & Characteristics

Visual summary of the traits and characteristics of the Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, Shih Tzu mix

Temperament and Personality

We all want a dog that does not scare our kids away. We want a dog that can keep them company and play with them without posing a threat.

You will go right with the Cockapoo Shih Tzu. With a combination of the Shih Tzu’s affection and the Cockapoo’s cuddliness, the breed is the best to have around your home.

The breed is also intelligent and easy to train, making it easier for you to potty train. Remember, the Poodle, one of the parent breeds, is the second most intelligent dog.

Common Health Issues 

The good news is that tiny dogs do not suffer much from health issues. However, sometimes the breed may get inherited health issues from the parent breed, such as eye and breathing problems.

The following conditions are common in the parent breeds of the Cockapoo-Shih Tzu mix:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Addison’s disease

Once you get these dogs, it is advisable to ensure you keep their vaccinations up to date with regular veterinary visits. This ensures that the animal stays healthy and lives longer.


If all dog owners took a poll, most would say they would like their dogs to live as long as they are alive. Unfortunately, this is not the case for dogs.

The Cockapoo-Shih Tzu breed lives for a span of 12 to 20 years.

The good news is that you can work towards lengthening your pet’s life. How is this possible? A pet that is well-taken with the proper diet and enough play time tends to live a few years longer than its life span.

Final Thoughts 

Choosing a dog to own is a choice that most people find challenging. Understanding the breed you prefer, and its parent breed helps you know what traits work for you. An example is a dog that sheds a lot and one that does not.

It is vital to take time to learn and understand before deciding to get a dog. Remember that taking care of the dog will warn you about incoming danger and provide companionship. 

Kevin is a proud Bernedoodle owner and Doodle dog fanatic. Read how a chance encounter with two Bernedoodles spurred a lifelong passion here. If you want to get in contact with Kevin, you can send him a message.