The popularity of the Cockapoo is undeniable. Sometimes it can feel as if just about everyone in the Western world either has or regularly visits someone with a Cockapoo. Naturally, if these little pocket rockets garner such affection, the next step would be to explore crossing it with other popular breeds in pursuit of improving their appeal even more.
In this article, we will look into the Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix which has been gaining some popularity in recent years. Read on to see just how adding a dose of Shih Tzu to one of the world’s favorite Doodles works out.
Table of Contents
The History of the Parent Breeds
A small adorable fluffy dog with a large clownlike personality, the Cockapoo is a firm favorite among families, couples, and single owners alike. The little Cockapoo is the result of breeding the Cocker Spaniel with a Miniature or Toy Poodle.
The resultant hybrid dog often inherits Poodle coat traits that change the Cocker’s silky straight coat into a softer wavier, shaggier version that is less prone to shedding and more allergy-friendly. The working dog history of the Cocker combined with the Poodle intelligence makes for a bright and loyal pup.
Temperament wise these little dogs have a big outgoing personality and will be keen to meet anyone and everyone. Some people can find the Cockapoo’s joy for life to be a bit on the intense side mind you.
We have lots of information on Cockapoos in our dedicated Cockapoo category.
Shih Tzu History
The ultimate companion dog, the Shih Tzu falls firmly into the Toy category for its diminutive size and is perfectly developed to nestle in as a lap dog. Affectionate and happy little things, they are in their absolute element when they are being lavished with attention by their owners.
The Shih Tzu originated in Asia where they were the favored companions of royalty and the wealthy. Nowadays you don’t need to be a royal to own one. However, they remain popular in elite circles and some breeders can demand extortionate prices for prime pedigree lines.
Shih Tzu’s are adorned with a silky straight coat which often falls to floor-length and requires extensive grooming and regular bathing to ensure they appear at their best. Given their tiny size it is often the smallest of Cockapoos that is selected to pair in a Cockapoo Shih Tzu cross.
What is the Cross Between a Cockapoo and Shih Tzu Called?
As a relatively new crossbreed, the Cockapoo Shih Tzu cross has not yet been given a definitive name.
The Shih-Poo relates to a pure Poodle cross with a Shih Tzu so some listings may refer to “Cocka-Shih-Poo” to denote when a Cockapoo is involved.
A “Cockashoodle” also comes up in some Doodle groups when referring to this mix.
What are the Benefits of a Cockapoo, Shih Tzu Cross?
While the straightforward Shih Tzu Poodle cross has plenty of fans the key thinking behind the introduction of the Cockapoo is to add in that goofy streak as both the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle can pass on an element of aloofness.
Mixing any breed which has Poodle genetics also has the potential to reduce the shedding associated with the Shih Tzu which can be off-putting for some potential owners but who still seek a small and affectionate Toy dog.
What are the Cons of a Cockapoo, Shih Tzu Cross?
As with any three-way hybrid, one of the biggest cons is that it becomes even trickier to determine which traits or characteristics will present.
As a Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix will be 50% Shih Tzu, 25% Poodle, and 25% Cocker Spaniel it is likely that more Shih Tzu traits will be present. However, it is always a bit of a lottery.
Being a newer hybrid there is also less known in general regarding aspects such as health, temperament, and coat presentation.
Why the Cross is Being Bred?
Many breeders are looking for ways to differentiate themselves as Cockapoo breeding, both on a professional and amateur level, continues to grow. In some instances, this has led to some negativity around the Cockapoo breed with some poor breeding matches leading to them presenting with anxiety or hyperactivity.
It is thought that the Shih Tzu’s more gentle nature may help to temper some of the extremes of the Cockapoo’s exuberance and make for a more manageable pet.
Another driver for the development of this cross is to continue to meet consumer demand for smaller and smaller teddy bear like dogs that remain puppy-like in appearance for life.
The Shih Tzu’s larger eyes combined with a Cockapoo wavy coat and coloring can make for an adorable looking little dog.
How Big will a Cross Between a Cockapoo and Shih Tzu Get?
The best indicator of size is to look at both parent breeds. The little Shih Tzu comes in at a tiny height of 8 to 11 inches and can weigh between 9 and 16 pounds.
They are then commonly bred with a Miniature or Toy Cockapoo. These Cockapoos will range between 10 and 14 inches tall and tip the scales at between 10 to 17 pounds in weight.
In most cases smaller Cockapoos will be chosen to try and ensure consistency in Cockapoo Shih Tzu cross-litters.
Generally, the offspring will be somewhere in the region of the two parent breeds and stand at between 9 and 13 inches when fully grown and weigh in the region of 10 to 15 pounds. That means the Cockapoo Shih Tzu cross is still firmly in the small dog category meaning they are easily transportable and workable for even those with smaller living spaces.
What Kind of Coat and Coloring will a Cockapoo, Shih Tzu Cross Have?
When trying to work out the color of hybrid offspring, the starting point is always the parent breed coloring. Although without genetic color testing you will never know what color genes each dog carries other than the one they display.
The Shih Tzu comes in variations of black, white, brown, fawn, cream, silver, red, and white. However, they are most commonly white or brown shades. The Cockapoo meanwhile comes in black, cream, white, apricot, red, and chocolate shades.
The Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix can be anyone or a combination of the colors outlined above but are most commonly solid or bi-colored.
They generally inherit a soft waved coat that is relatively low shedding and in some instances, they can still shed if they receive a straighter, longer Shih Tzu coat.
How Much Maintenance Will their Coat Need?
A Cockapoo Shih Tzu cross will need regular brushing as even if curly they can be prone to matting and tangles.
Small dogs are also a lot closer to the ground and can easily capture debris and dirt which will require to be removed to avoid discomfort.
Many owners will opt to keep them in a shorter cut to aid management which will require 6 to 8 weekly grooming visits.
Is a Cockapoo Shih Tzu Mix Healthy?
The Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix benefits from hybrid vigor, in that mixing different breeds, can allow for the opportunity to breed out some less desirable genetics in each of the parent breeds. This benefits the little Cockapoo Shih Tzu who can reach a life expectancy of up to 16 years.
They are a relatively new hybrid though which means that a lot of health issues remain unknown. There are some health issues that occur in all three parent breeds which can ultimately be passed on.
Like many small dogs the Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix can be prone to dental issues however with regular brushing and vet checks this can be managed.
They can also be troubled by luxating patella, a condition where the kneecaps move excessively and cause mobility issues.
Small dogs, in general, are also more susceptible to injury via accidental trauma such as being roughly handled by children or stood on unintentionally by an owner.
As this mix is 50% Shih Tzu they can inherit the shorter snout which can lead to some breathing issues however less frequently than it occurs in purebred Shih Tzu’s.
What is the Temperament of a Cockapoo, Shih Tzu Cross Like?
The Cockapoo Shih Tzu cross is the epitome of a companion dog.
All three breeds that make up the cross are affectionate and people-centered. The Shih Tzu is generally thought to temper some of the Cockapoo’s high energy levels to make a little crossbreed that is still loveable, cheeky, and playful.
Exercise and Feeding Requirements
The Cockapoo Shih Tzu mix falls into the Toy category of dog which will require lesser levels of physical exercise. This means they may suit people with smaller living spaces, limited yard space, or owners who are older or have mobility difficulties themselves. On average they will be happy with two shorter walks around the block and some indoor games and play.
A little dog also has a little appetite. It may seem a tiny amount but they will only require in the region of 0.5 to 1 cup of good quality dry food a day. Be careful around additional treats or titbits as this little breed can quickly gain weight and obesity can have a devastating impact on their small bone structures.