The Schnoodle Shih Tzu may be a bit of a mouthful to say, but it also has the potential to be a unique and spirited Doodle hybrid.
A mix that will be 25% Schnauzer, 25% Poodle, and 50% of little Shih Tzu, it can be hard to picture such a varied mix. However, if this has piqued your interest read on to find out just what you could expect.
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The Schnoodle is a peppy cross between the Schnauzer and the Poodle. This combo makes for a spirited member of the Doodle clan with a playful and loyal nature.
While it is likely that there was accidental hybrid breeding of this pair historically, they began being purposely bred in the late 80s and really took off in the early 2000s. You can see why people thought they would go well together as both the Poodle and Schnauzer come in three sizes and each breed is extremely popular in its own right.
While early breeding focussed on crossing the Miniature Schnauzer with a Toy or smaller Miniature Poodle to create a fluffy petite pet, in more recent years there has been a rise in using Medium and Giant Schnauzers with their Standard Poodle counterparts to create a much larger dog.
If you want to find out more about the Schnoodle be sure to check out some of our other articles at Know Your Doodles including, amongst others, “Are Schnoodles Easy to Train? How Obedient Are They?” and “Schnoodle Size Guide – Giant, Standard, Mini & Teacup: How Big Do They Get?”
Shih Tzu History
This pint-sized breed has historically regal connections. The Shih Tzu was prominent in Chinese history and even revered as sacred. There are accounts of Emperors favoring these dogs as far back as the 1880s.
For a period of time, they were solely allowed to be owned by royalty and anyone found owning one outside the palace walls could be sentenced to death. Thankfully this is no longer the case and this cute, energetic and excitable little dog is a popular domestic pet the world over.
The Shih Tzu has distinctive facial characteristics and fluffy mane-like fur which has seen them referred to as little lion dogs, in fact, their full title “Shih-Tzu Kou” in traditional Chinese translates to the same.
While the breed made the jump to the West in the early 1930s it was from around the 1970s that breeders became more prolific with the popularity of small dogs at that time as companions for wealthy women who wanted dogs that were easily transportable and retained a small puppy-like appearance for life. The Shih Tzu fit the bill perfectly.
What Names are There for a Schnoodle Shih Tzu Mix?
A Shih Tzu has already cross-bred with a Poodle to make the popular Shippo. The miniature Schnauzer has also encountered the Shih Tzu to create the excellently named Schnau-Tzu. There does not appear to be a recognized name for the Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix however we would suggest the Schnoodle Tzu as a suitable (and fun to say) title.
Why is the Schnoodle Shih Tzu Cross Being Bred?
During a thorough search of the web and our resources, it appears that at present the Schnoodle Shih Tzu is not being bred intentionally. We could find no active professional breeders offering up this cross. This is not to say the cross doesn’t exist as domestic pets who are not neutered can often cross paths resulting in all manner of hybrids.
Is the Schnoodle Shih Tzu Mix an Ethical Cross?
The main ethical concern with a Schnoodle Shih Tzu cross would be if the largest Schnoodles were selected to cross with the relatively tiny Shih Tzu. Even if a Miniature Schnoodle is larger than Shih Tzu therefore if a Shih Tzu was chosen as the mother there would be a significant risk of birth complications should the puppies grow too large.
The Benefits of a Schnoodle Shih Tzu Mix
A Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix has the potential to reduce the health complications associated with the flat-faced Shih Tzu. The Schnoodle has a lengthier snout which has the added bonus of possibly elongating the muzzle in the Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix.
There is also the potential for a very low shedding dog which may appeal to those with pet allergies or those who just want to save their vacuum cleaners a shift. You would also have a Doodle hybrid that is much rarer and sure to be a talking point.
The Cons of a Schnoodle Shih Tzu Mix
The main con of a Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix is that it has the potential to be a very stubborn little pup, as both the Schnauzer and Shih Tzu are known to be bossy and a little hard-headed. That is not to say this could not be tackled with training of course.
There is also the challenge of finding one if you have your heart set on the Schnoodle Shih Tzu, as mentioned above this cross is extremely rare at present
What to Expect from a Schnoodle Shih Tzu Cross
Size and Weight
First off, the Shih Tzu only comes in one size, although males are generally on the higher averages compared to the female. An adult Shih Tzu can be expected to come in at a petite 8″ to 11″ in height and 9lbs to 16lbs in weight.
The Schnoodle by comparison comes in three size variations dependent on the size of the Poodle used in the hybrid.
- Toy Schnoodle: Less than 15″ inches and 10lbs to 25lbs
- Miniature Schnoodle: 15″ to 20″ inches and 25lbs to 50lbs
- Standard Schnoodle: 20″ to 26″ inches and 50lbs to 90lbs
That means the Toy Schnoodle is the obvious choice for a Schnoodle Shih Tzu hybrid. It can be expected that a fully grown adult of this hybrid will weigh somewhere between 10lbs and 20lbs and be up to 15″ in height.
Color and Coat Types
We don’t have pictures of the Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix so we need to make an educated guess based on the parent breeds. First up, the Shih Tzu comes in a variety of colors and they are often bi or even tri-colored. Commonly they are light colors of white, fawn, tan, and gold. Their coat type is fine, straight,cream and silken and will be a moderate shedder.
The Schnoodle by comparison comes in colors of gray, black, white, cream-fawn, and a mix of grey/silver. They have a markedly different coat type to the Shih Tzu as it is thicker, curly, and low shedding.
When predicting what a Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix may look like they will be somewhere on a spectrum of a mix of the two. It would be hoped that they take on a Doodle-like, more relaxed curled coat that will be light shedding. Colorwise it could be just about any mix of the two. It will be reasonable to suggest that they will need a regular brushing and grooming regime to keep them in tip-top shape.
The good news is that the Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix is likely to be a healthy hybrid. This is due to the Shih Tzu being fairly healthy to start with and the Schnoodle benefits from hybrid vigor in crossing the Schnauzer with the Poodle.
No dog line will ever be 100% healthy though and there are some conditions that overlap in the Schnoodle and Shih Tzu which may be seen in a hybrid of the pair. The good news is the risk of these is fairly low. They could present as:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (an eye condition)
- Patellar Luxation/Hip Dysplasia (seen in the smallest of Miniature Schnoodles and Shih Tzu)
As mentioned previously this cross has the potential to be a little stubborn and may not be the obvious choice for novice dog owners. Stubbornness can be tackled with training and generally reduces with age. The upside of this mix is that you can expect an extremely affectionate, alert, friendly, and lively pup.
Their alert nature means they may bark to alert. However, would not be expected to be excessively vocal and would not be pre-disposed to aggression.
While a Shih Tzu has fairly minimal exercise needs and will manage fine on a 20 to 30 minute walk a day, the Schnoodle is much more of a firecracker and will need in the region of 60 to 90 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. There is no way to know for certain which parent a Schnoodle Shih Tzu may take after therefore it may be best to prepare for the higher level of exercise needs.
This means the Schnoodle Shih Tzu mix, although relatively small, may do best in a home with yard access rather than in apartments.
The Schnoodle Shih Tzu, while being bigger than a Shih Tzu will still be considered a fairly small dog. Exact feeding requirements will be dependent on adult size, weight, and activity levels but you can estimate that they will require up to 0.75 cups of good quality dry kibble split over two meals per day.