The Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, and Poodle are unique dog breeds beloved worldwide. Although worlds apart in terms of looks, and origin, these three breeds can be crossed to give rise to the Shih-Tzu-Chihuahua-Poodle mix, shortly known as the Shi-Chi-Poo.
Read on to discover more about this unique Doodle breed!
What is a Shi-Chi-Poo?
A Shi-Chi-Poo, also known as a Shih Tzu-Chihuahua-Poodle mix, is a new, unique crossbreed that has recently gained popularity among dog lovers. As the name implies, this breed is a mix of three distinct breeds—the Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, and Poodle—each known for their unique characteristics and personalities.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s a direct cross between all three. The mix between a Shih-Tzu, and a Chihuahua, creates the Shi-Chi, or Chi-Shi.
A cross between the Shih-Tzu and the Poodle is the Shih-Poo. The mix between a Chihuahua and a Poodle is a Chi-Poo.
Therefore, the Shi-Chi-Poo is created by crossing any of these combinations:
- Shi-Chi x Poodle
- Shih-Poo x Chihuahua
- Chi-Poo x Shih Tzu
Meet the Parents
The Shih Tzu is a small, sturdy dog breed with a long, silky coat and a playful, affectionate personality. The Chihuahua is a small lively dog breed with a distinctive, apple-shaped head and a bold, confident personality.
On the other hand, the Poodle is an intelligent, active dog breed that comes in three sizes; standard, miniature, and toy. The Poodle size used to create the Shi-Chi-Poo is likely a Toy Poodle.
History of the Parent Breeds
Like many designer breeds, the Shi-Chi-Poo doesn’t have much regarding breed history. However, its three parent breeds have histories that reach back hundreds of years.
Let’s take a look!
The Shih Tzu, also known as the Little Lion, is a toy dog with a rich, fascinating history that dates back to ancient Asia.
The breed is believed to have originated in Tibet, where Tibetan monks bred it by crossing toy dog breeds—the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso. It was initially created as a companion dog for Chinese royalty and was highly prized by the Chinese imperial court.
As a result, it was often gifted to foreign dignitaries as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
The little Lion made its way to the Western World in 1930 when Maureen Murdoch, and her nephew, Phillip Price, imported it to England. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club(AKC) in 1959 and has remained a popular breed in the U.S. and worldwide.
The Chihuahua is a small, energetic dog breed believed to have originated from Ancient Mexico, in the state of Chihuahua, from which it gets its name, and is said to have been used as a hot water bottle for its small size.
The mighty Chihuahua made its way to the U.S. in the late 1800s and, as with similar, small dog breeds, quickly became a popular companion for the wealthy and the elite.
Note that the Chihuahua is among the oldest dog breeds in America. The AKC officially recognized it in 1904. Scientists believe the Fennec Fox is the Chihuahua’s long-lost ancestor.
The Poodle, beloved for its distinctive, curly coat and intelligence, has a long and illustrious history. Its origins are traced back to Germany, where it was bred as a water-retrieving pooch.
Poodles were valued for their intelligence and trainability and were often trained to perform tricks and entertain their owners. The breed was later refined in France, where it gained popularity among the elites as a companion dog.
The breed was also seen in portraits alongside their aristocratic owners as a symbol of wealth and status.
Poodles were first recognized by the AKC in 1887 and have since become popular companion dogs in the United States. They are available in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy.
The Shih Tzu is a small, sturdy dog breed with a distinctive, lion-like, or chrysanthemum-like appearance thanks to the long, flowing mane of hair around the face, chest, and legs.
It has a broad, round head, dark expressive eyes, and small triangular ears. It has a broad, deep chest, a sturdy loin, and a leveled back, and the tail is typically carried curled over the back.
The Chihuahua is a small, lively dog breed famed for its distinctive, apple-shaped head and large expressive eyes. The ears are typically large and upright, and the breed has a high-set tail, often carried erect. Chihuahuas have a compact and sturdy body structure.
The Poodle is an active dog breed characterized by a well-proportioned head with a long, straight muzzle and a pronounced stop. The eyes are large, almond-shaped, and typically dark in color.
Poodles have long, elegant necks and well-muscled backs and loins, which gives them an athletic and agile appearance. Their tail is generally docked and carried high.
That said, the Shi-Chi-Poo is likely to have a round head with a short, square-shaped muzzle and, like its parent breeds, large, expressive eyes.
Depending on the parent breeds used in crossbreeding, the Shi-Chi-Poo is also likely to have a compact, sturdy body structure, a deep chest, a sturdy loin, and a leveled back with a tail carried curled over the back.
The Shih Tzu is known for its long, silky coat that comes in varying colors.
Chihuahuas have short, smooth, low-shedding coats, while Poodles sport a curly, dense, hypoallergenic coat.
As a result, the Shi-Chi-Poo is likely to have a coat that mixes long and silky, short and smooth, or curly and dense.
It’s also possible that the Shi-Chi-poo may have a coat similar to one parent breed than the other or a combination of all three, meaning some parts may be long and silky, with others curly and dense.
It all comes down to the dominant coat traits inherited by the crossed parents from the initial Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, or Poodle crossbreeding project.
Shih Tzus come in white, black, brown, gold, and various combinations of these colors.
Chihuahuas have solid coat colors such as black, white, and brown, multiple shades of these, and bi or tri-colored patterns.
Poodles also often spot solid shades like black, white apricot, silver, and gray and multi-colored patterns like black and white or apricot and white.
Consequently, Shi-Chi-Poos are likely to have an array of solid coat colors like white, black, brown, gold, apricot, silver, and gray. They may also have a bi or tri-colored pattern, such as black and white or apricot, gold, and white.
The Shi-Chi-Poo is likely small to a toy-sized dog standing between 7-10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 3-16 pounds.
The size of the Shi-Chi-Poo relies on the size of the parents. The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that stands between 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder.
Similarly, Chihuahuas are a small dog breed standing between 5 and 8 inches, while the Toy Poodle typically stands 10 inches at the shoulder.
A Shi-Chi-Poo male will likely have a height between 8-10 inches, while a female will stand between 7-9 inches tall at the shoulder.
The Toy Poodle is the smallest, standing at 10 inches at or under the shoulder for both males and females. Shih Tzu males typically stand 8-11 inches tall at the shoulder, while females have an average height of 8-9 inches. Male Chihuahuas stand at 6-8 inches, while bitches are between 5-7 inches.
Subsequently, a male Shi-Chi-Poo will likely weigh from 4 to 16 pounds, while a female Shi-Chi-Poo will weigh between 3 and 15 pounds.
The average weight for a male Shih Tzu is between 9 and 16 pounds, while a female often weighs 8-15 pounds.
A male Chihuahua weighs from 3-6 pounds, while a female one is about 2-6 pounds.
Male Toy Poodles have an average weight of between 4 and 6 pounds, while females weigh from 3 to 5 pounds.
Traits & Characteristics
Temperament & Personality
Shih Tzus are a friendly, affectionate dog breed known to be good with children and make excellent family pets. They’re generally unaggressive towards other dogs or people and are friendly and good-natured.
They also tend to have relatively low energy and are couch potatoes. They can be a bit stubborn and may require patience during training.
Chihuahuas are lively, energetic, and have strong personalities. They’re great with kids but are better suited for older kids due to their small size. Despite their small size, Chihuahuas are feisty and aggressive towards other dogs and unfamiliar people who need proper socialization. The good news is that they’re highly trainable.
Poodles are intelligent, trainable, and known for their excellent temperament. They do well with children and are generally not aggressive toward other dogs or people. They’re energetic, lively, and quickly adapt to different lifestyles. They’re trainable but require patience and consistency in training.
A Shi-Chi-Poo will most likely be friendly and affectionate. They may be good with children like all three parent breeds, sociable and good-natured like the Shih Tzu, but they may also have the feistiness and strong personality of the Chihuahua.
As for energy levels, Shi-Chi-Poos may have a mix of the Shih Tzu’s couch potato nature but with the Poodle’s lively and energetic personality.
Shi-Chi-Poos, like Shih Tzus, can be stubborn, but they are also highly trainable, like Poodles and Chihuahuas. However, it is essential to note that they may require proper socialization to avoid potential aggression toward other dogs and unfamiliar people.
Common Health Issues
As a cross between three breeds, Shi-Chi-Poos are likely less susceptible to health issues than their parents. However, that’s not to say they’re immune to everything. They may be vulnerable to the following health issues:
- Breathing difficulties: Shih Tzus are prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can cause breathing difficulties. Chihuahuas also tend to develop breathing issues, especially when stressed or overheated.
- Eye problems: Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas are prone to developing eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.
- Hypoglycemia: Toy Poodles, as well as Chihuahuas, tend to develop hypoglycemia, often caused by a lack of food, stress, and certain medications.
- Ear infections: Toy Poodles and Shih Tzus are prone to developing ear infections due to their floppy ears.
The Shi-Chi-Poo is expected to have an average lifespan of around 10-20 years.
The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is around 10-16 years, while a Chihuahua’s is between 12-20 years. Toy Poodles can live around 12-15 years based on genes, environment, diet, exercise, and overall health care.
Interested in more toy-sized Doodle breeds? Check out these unique mixes: