- Activity Level: low
- Grooming Level: high
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 10-18 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: chill
Shih Tzu Mix Dog Breed Information
A Shih Tzu Mix is a cross between a Shih Tzu and another dog breed. Since a mix can take on any combination of traits from one or both of their parent breeds, it’s important to ask the breeder about the other parent breed in the mix. Should a Shih Tzu Mix take after their Shih Tzu parent, they will be a small, affectionate, and loving companion dog that loves nothing more than being around their favorite humans.
Shih Tzus are affectionate, friendly, and social dogs. They are known to have a cheerful disposition and to get along with children, other pets, and other dogs. They are also known to have a mischievous streak at times.
If the other parent breed has a similar temperament, then you can likely expect the same from a Shih Tzu Mix. You do still want to ask the breeder about them as they will introduce their own quirks and traits.
You can also meet the mother in person to see what temperament she has and what she is modeling for her puppies. Although the breeder should have started some socialization and training, it is up to you to continue to train and socialize a puppy once you get them home.
Shih Tzus are highly adaptable dogs. Although they are sensitive to heat and cold, they do well in most climates. They also adapt well to almost any living situation, but they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
The other parent breed will introduce traits that could affect adaptability, so you do want to ask the breeder about them. If they are also a highly adaptable dog breed, then you can expect a Shih Tzu Mix to be highly adaptable as well.
Although mixed-breed dogs can sometimes be healthier than purebred dogs, it’s not a guarantee. They could inherit none of the conditions common to their parent breeds, but they could also inherit all of them or some combination of them.
From the Shih Tzu side, potential health concerns to be aware of in a Shih Tzu Mix include eye issues, hip dysplasia, and luxating patella. Reputable breeders will screen their dogs to ensure they are not passing issues to puppies.
Don’t be afraid to ask the breeder about the genetic and health history of both of the parents. You can also ask about any health tests, clearances, or evaluations that have been done.
Although the Shih Tzu is an intelligent dog that is eager to please, they can also be stubborn. They tend to be a good fit for dog owners of all experience levels, but puppy training classes are generally recommended for first-time owners.
The other parent breed could make a Shih Tzu Mix easier or more difficult to train, so you do want to ask the breeder about them and be prepared to enroll in training classes.
A mixed-breed can inherit a coat just like one of their parents or a coat that is truly some combination of both of them. Should a Shih Tzu Mix end up with the Shih Tzu coat, they will need to be brushed every day, bathed every 3-4 weeks, and groomed professionally every 6-8 weeks.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to care for your Shih Tzu Mix’s nails, ears, and teeth. Nail trims once or twice a month keep them from growing too long. Ear checks on a weekly basis with careful cleanings as needed helps prevent ear infections.
As a small dog breed, a Shih Tzu Mix is prone to developing dental disease later in life. With gum disease already being one of the most common health issues in dogs, this makes good dental care early and throughout your Shih Tzu Mix’s life even more important. Daily brushing or use of an enzyme toothpaste in addition to cleanings as needed at the vet is ideal.
Although Shih Tzus may be energetic while they are playing, they are a low-energy breed. Daily walks and some playtime are enough for this small dog. If the other parent breed is also at a low activity level, then you can expect the same from a Shih Tzu Mix. But, if the other parent breed is a higher energy level, then you will need to prepare for that potential in a Shih Tzu Mix puppy.
A Shih Tzu is usually 9-11 inches tall and weighs 9-16 pounds. The other parent breed can have a big effect on this, especially if they are the mother, so you do want to ask the breeder about them. It’s not a guarantee, but you can meet the mother in person to get an idea of what size to expect in a fully-grown Shih Tzu Mix.
Shih Tzus generally live for 10-18 years. The other parent may affect this slightly, but you should be able to expect a similar life span in a Shih Tzu Mix.