Shih Poo Lifespan: How Long Do These Dog Breeds Live?

Last Updated on July, 2024

Shih Poos, the delightful result of mixing Shih Tzu and Miniature or Toy Poodles, bring a unique charm to the world of canine companionship.

But just how long can you expect these adorable hybrids to be a part of your life? 

The answer lies in a complex interplay of factors, from their size and generation to the care they receive.

On average, Shih Poos grace our lives for an impressive 12 to 17 years, boasting the longest lifespan among both Poodles and Shih Tzus. 

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of Shih Poo lifespan, common health issues, life stages, and the intriguing concept of hybrid vigor. 

So, if you’re a devoted Shih Poo parent or considering becoming one, join us on a journey to understand and cherish these beloved companions for many happy years to come.

Quick Summary

Shih Poo breeds have a lifespan of 12-17 years, which is longer than both its parent breeds, due to a concept called “hybrid vigor.

These dogs have potential health issues inherited from their parent breeds such as breathing, dental, ear, and eye problems.

Proper care and attention, including choosing an ethical breeder, proper diet, exercise, grooming, and regular vet checkups, can extend the Shih Poo lifespan and improve their quality of life.

How Long Do Shih Poos Live? 

The lifespan of a Shih Poo can largely vary, considering its parent breeds are Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle Or Miniature Poodle. 

Shih Poo’s lifespan depends on various factors such as size and generation.

(More on this later) These variations will determine whether your shih poo will have a shorter or longer lifespan. 

On average, however, Shih poos live from 12 TO 17 years.

A small black and white dog sitting in the grass

Fun fact: Shih Poos have the LONGEST LIFESPAN of all Poodles, and Shih Tzu’s out there! 

These adorable lap dogs live longer than larger dogs. They also inherit their parent’s superior qualities.

So, Shih Poos pups have won the GENTIC LOTTERY already! 

Common Shih Poo Health Issues 

Let’s face it. Mixed-breed dogs are less likely to have many health issues than pure-breed dogs. However, they are more likely to inherit their parent’s health issues.

Small dogs LIVE LONGER than the larger dogs out there. With that in mind, since Shih Poos are miniature, you can expect them to have a longer lifespan.

Now that you know the lifespan of a Shih Poo, it is equally important to know its common health conditions, so you can take prompt action if anything arises:

  • Breathing problems: Most Shih Poos have a short snout from Shih Tzus. Look out for heat strokes if your doggo doesn’t have a longer nose gifted from Poodles. 
  • Dental problems: Tiny dogs are more prone to dental health issues like gum disease. 
  • Ear infections: Shih poos also have fur growing in their ears. This will leave them more prone to ear infections. 
  • Eye diseases: Corneal dryness, progressive retinol atrophy (Not painful, but eventually leads to blindness), and cataracts (A cloudy area that appears in the eye) are some you’ll need to be aware of. 
  • Von Willebrand’s disease: A hereditary condition where your Shih Poo dog’s blood doesn’t clot.
  • Allergies and skin sensitivity: Shih Poos have a thick fur coat. This leads to matting and infections easily.
  • Food intolerances: Small dogs like Shih Poo have specific dog food formulas. Feeding them general dog food will lead to food intolerances. 
  • Joint problems: Shih Poos are prone to arthritis. 
  • Short limbs: Some Shih Poos tend to have shorter stems. Promoting straightness in the limbs will avoid chronic pain and arthritis. 
  • Cognitive dysfunction syndrome: Aging dogs will face anxiety, forgetfulness, fear, and compulsive behaviors. 

Choosing an ethical breeder can prevent (To a certain extent) many of the above health problems and extend the Shih Poo lifespan. 

Shih Poo Life Stages 

This designer dog breed has four stages of life.

Pup phase (0-6 months) 

Shih Poo puppyhood lasts from birth up to six months. During this time, your Shih Poo puppies will learn things that stick for their whole life. 

It’s a reasonable period to socialize your adorable little pup with humans and other pets. (Get them fully vaccinated before you do so.) 

Potty training during this time is also important.

A small white and brown dog is looking at the camera

Teach them good manners. This is a crucial time that you learn how to calm down your overactive puppy.

Your pups will also put on half their adult weight from 3rd month onwards. Feed the right amount of formulated puppy food to avoid obesity. 

Adolescence (6-18 months)

These are your pup’s teen years. Puppies mature sexually, causing them to go through hormonal changes.

Make sure to consult with your vet to spay or neuter the pup.

This crossbreed will finish teething during this time and have a full adult coat. They will also grow full in their height.

Adult life (1-10 years)

Congrats! Your cute pup is a full-grown adult now. Make sure that you switch to adult dog food formula during this time. Your furry friend will benefit from all the nutrients. It will also improve your dog’s health. 

Shih Poos make GREAT COMPANION dogs. Adult Shih Poos will become more calmer and friendlier with age.

Senior (10+ years) 

Shus Poos will be calmer as they enter their senior years. Your once-active pup will be slow and steady. Make sure you adjust the dog’s diet to avoid obesity. 

Check on their health frequently. Paying a visit to your local vet every six months is recommended. 

Shih Poo Generations, and it’s Affects


What is it? Hybrid pups have BETTER health conditions and life expectancy than their purebred shih tzu and Poodle birth givers. 

Hybrid vigor is strongest in the first generation. Shih Poo’s lifespan depends on its generation.

If your Shih Poo puppy is first gen, they have a better chance of surviving longer.

A poodle standing in front of pumpkins in a field

These stronger surviving features will diminish with each generation (e.g., F2, F3, etc.). But don’t worry, Shih Poos live longer and have better health than their parent breed.

To have a better understanding, pay attention to the table below.

Shih Poo generation Life expectancy 
F1 Shih Poo12 to 17 years.
F1 b Shih Poo12 to 17 years.
F2 Shih Poo12 to 16 years.

Can You Extend Shih Poo’s Life Expectancy?

While it’s impossible to make them live longer than their average age, paying attention to the facts below will ensure they live a healthy and fulfilling life. 

Providing proper care, such as choosing an ethical breeder, offering a suitable diet, regular exercise, grooming, and routine vet checkups, will ensure this your hybrid breed will inherit fewer health issues.

A healthy bloodline will improve the Shih Poo life expectancy. Small dog breeds tend to live longer if they don’t develop many serious health conditions. 

Two Brown Shih poo Dogs  sitting in the grass

Aging Signs of a Shih Poo

An aging Shih Poo will show signs of Calmness. When they reach their senior years, your dog will enjoy less time being active. (Shorter walks and less playtime) 

Shih Poos will gain weight and lose muscle mass when they reach seniority.

Shih Poo owners should pay attention to behavioral changes as well. Your dog will change their sleeping habits and bathroom habits. 

If your furry friend is aggressive, he is in pain. Consult a vet immediately when you notice these changes. 

Tips to Keep a Shih Poo Healthy

  • Diet: You are what you eat! This applies to your Shih Poo too. Note to use a dog food formula designed for small-sized breeds. Feed the right amount.Don’t overfeed or underfeed. Create a feeding schedule with a few dog treats. Shih Poo’s dietary needs will vary according to age, so consult your vet. A good diet will keep your Shih Poo happy and healthy. 
  • Exercise: Shih Poos get their active behavior from the Shih Tzu side. Keeping your adorable Shih poos under a proper exercise regime is vital for their well-being. Shih Poo is not outdoor-friendly, so limit its walks to 30 minutes daily. Be interactive and playful! 
  • Grooming: Let’s face it, designer dog breeds are high maintenance. Shih Poos does not shed much. However, they do look better when they are well-groomed. Brush them regularly to avoid mats, irritants, and nasty infections in your furry friend. Keep their ears cleaned since fur grows in them as well. Finally, remember the bath time, but keep it limited to a few times a month. 
  • Vet visits: Make sure to pay a visit to the vet every once a year. If your Shih Poo is a senior, make it twice. A pup parent must visit the vet for necessary vaccinations and deworming. If your pup is a teen, consult the vet about spaying or neutering. 
  • Environment: Shih Poos are delicate little companions. So, keeping them comfortable is vital for their longevity. Focus on providing a stress-free environment for your little blissball. 

Keep them happy and healthy with proper diet, exercise, grooming, and regular vet checkups. 

Other dog breed guides you may like:


The Shih Poo is a small hybrid dog, weighing between 9 and 18 pounds and standing 9 to 11 inches tall.

No, Shih Poos are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

You can, easy to train. They are cuddly lap dogs and enjoy napping on their owner’s lap.

The recommended diet for a Shih Poo is a specially formulated diet for small dogs. It is recommended to provide them with three meals a day, with 4-6 meals per day for puppies.

The Bottomline

Shih Poo Dogs, the captivating fusion of Shih Tzu and Poodle genetics, possesses an impressive lifespan of 12 to 17 years, outlasting both Shih Tzu and Miniature Poodle Parent Breed. 

As we’ve explored their longevity, common health concerns, life stages, and the concept of hybrid vigor, it’s evident that these charming companions bring joy for many years. 

Whether you’re a devoted Shih Poo parent or considering becoming one, remember that responsible care choices, from ethical breeding to proper diet, grooming, exercise, and vet checkups, can further enhance their quality of life.

Here’s to cherishing your Shih Poo for a long and happy journey together.

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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