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Do Shih-Poo Shed? [Is This A Hypoallergenic Breed?]

Many people want a playful and fluffy dog as a companion, but with all that fluff comes one frequent concern – shedding. If you are finding yourself looking at adorable Shih-Poos as an option for your next pet, you may be wondering how they fare in this respect.

So, do Shih-Poos shed? Typically, Shih-Poos are what is known as an ‘extremely low-shedding’ breed of dog. You may notice a Shih-Poo shedding a few hairs now and then, but in comparison to many other dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers or Labrador Retrievers, Shih-Poo shedding is nearly non-existent. 

For families with allergies to pet hair and dander, or those who don’t enjoy vacuuming, it’s a fantastic question to ask before making a pet purchase.

So, let’s delve into shedding in the Shih-Poo in much greater detail.

Besides, this information could be pivotal to your decision. 

The Shih-Poo Coat

The Shih-Poo is a cross between a Poodle and a Shih Tzu, which results in a varied coat that will fall between the coat qualities of both parents. This also means that each Shih-Poo will have a unique coat of its own. 

To fully understand a Shih-Poo’s coat, it is best to take a quick glance at the Poodle and Shih-Tzu.

Both Poodles and Shih Tzus have a coat that is made of fine hair, unlike the dense fur of many other dog breeds.

This is a large part of what makes any shedding these dogs go through less noticeable and sneeze-inducing. 

The hair of these breeds sheds slowly and minimally over time instead of all at once in large clumps like many furry breeds.

  • Poodles are known for their almost zero level of shedding, with single coats of closely packed curly hair. 
  • Shih Tzus also have beautiful hair, but it grows in as a double coat which is typically thicker and naturally longer than a Poodle’s tight curls. A Shih Tzu can have curls and waves or a straighter, longer coat.

The traits of their parent breeds mean that Shih-Poos can have either a curly single-layered coat or a wavy fuller appearance. 

One of the things that makes Shih-Poos so unique is the wide variety of color patterns their coat can contain as a result of their mixed genetics. 

Shih-Poos are commonly black, white, brown, grey, or tan. 

However, it is common to find Shih-Poos with mixed color coat combinations with patches of brown, white, or black mixed together. 

A Shih-Poo’s coat color is truly an artist’s palette come to life.

A Shih-Poo’s coat will change both in texture and sometimes specific color as the Shih-Poo ages. 

Shih-Poos, like many toy breeds of dogs, are often born with what is fondly called a ‘puppy coat’ that adds or loses some level of curl as the dog reaches 1 – 1.5 years old and may even make some shifts in color from darker to lighter and vice versa.

The best way to get an idea of what your individual Shih-Poo may look like is to ask your breeder to connect you with people who own puppies from the same parents your future puppy may come from. 

These puppies will have a similar genetic makeup to puppies in future litters and can give you an idea of the coat curl patterns, thickness, and colors likely to be handed down. 

A reputable breeder will always have references available and be happy to let you know the lineage of any potential puppy purchase.

How Much Does A Shih-Poo Shed?

Shih-Poos are considered to fall between the categories of “extremely low-shed” and “no-shed” dog breeds. There is some variation due to the fact that some Shih Tzus do shed a small but noticeable amount while most Poodles are not known to shed. 

With a Shih-Poo being a cross of these breeds, each individual will have different shedding potential. 

It is safe to say that Shih-Poo shedding compared to other normally shedding dog breeds, is almost non-existent.

The time period where a Shih-Poo is likely to shed the most is when their coat makes a transition from what most call the “puppy” coat to their mature coat. 

This typically happens between 8 months and 1 year of age. 

Even during this stage, a Shih-Poo will have very little shedding compared to other dogs. They may need extra grooming as their coat matures and fills out during this stage.

When a Shih-Poo does shed, it is usually in the form of a few small hairs here and there that often go unnoticed by people around them. 

Many Shih-Poos will never noticeably shed unless being bathed or brushed vigorously. 

Most people can pet and cuddle a Shih-Poo without fear of pet hair transferring to their hands and clothes.

Are Shih-Poos Hypoallergenic?

Shih-Poos are considered to be hypoallergenic in regards to pet hair and dander allergies. There is never a guarantee that any one dog will be completely hypoallergenic, but Shih-Poos have been recorded as being a great option for people who want a dog and have a history of dog-related allergies.

It is important to note that while Shih-Poos, in general, are very low shed and their hair is fine and not as dander filled as some furrier dogs (think Huskies and Pomeranians), no dog breed is guaranteed to not bring on allergies in people. 

If you have a history of dog hair-related allergies, it may be wise to visit a home with a Shih-Poo or foster a Shih-Poo from a local shelter to see how your body and senses react before making a Shih-Poo purchase. 

Some individual Shih-Poos may shed a little more than others.

If you find that your Shih-Poo is shedding hair, regular grooming can help to lessen the likelihood that shedding would activate your allergies.

How Often Should Shih-Poos Be Groomed?

A Shih-Poo needs brushing at home several times per week, and it is recommended they visit a professional groomer every 4-6 weeks. 

Many people believe being hypoallergenic and low-shed means that Shih-Poos do not require much coat maintenance, but Shih Poos, like many smaller and Poodle-related dogs, do require regular hair care.

Without proper grooming, the Shih-Poo’s curled and wavy hair can become matted and tangled down against its skin. 

Hair matting is usually easy to detect behind a Shih-Poo’s ears, around their rear, and behind their legs, but it is easy to miss matting along a Shih-Poo’s back and chest by feeling with a bare hand. 

The matted hair clumps together and lies down flat beneath the curled outer strands, making the dog look well-groomed to an untrained eye.

A groomer is able to use tools that clean and comb your Shih-Poo well enough to prevent mats from forming or growing.

Along with preventing matting, a groomer will help to keep your Shih-Poo’s nails trimmed, which protects the flooring in your home and your Shih-Poo from accidentally scratching people or objects. 

A groomer may brush your Shih-Poo’s teeth, keep their eyes clean, trim away excess hair that drags the ground or easily tangles, and also is a great second set of eyes on your dog’s health. 

My own dog’s groomer was the first to notice a sore my dog had on his tail, likely from getting his tail pinched in something when playing outside. 

She was able to clear the hair away from around it and help us monitor it as it healed. 

Some people choose to wait until puppies are near a year old before visiting the groomer for the first time. 

Ideally, as soon as your puppy has received all of their puppy shots, they should begin short trips to the groomer – even if it is for something as simple as a gentle bath or a nail trim. 

This helps your dog to grow up being comfortable with the grooming process and lowers the stress your dog feels on grooming day and the chances that your dog becomes aggressive with an unknown groomer later on. 

If you are worried about how your dog may look after grooming, make sure to ask for pictures of previous grooming the dog groomer has performed. 

Also, take pictures with you of what you would prefer your dog to look like and understand that your groomer isn’t a magician; they are someone who loves dogs and is trained in grooming them both for appearances and their health.

Finally

If you are looking for a dog that is low-shed, hypoallergenic, comes in a wide range of colors and coat patterns, and has a wonderful, non-aggressive temperament, then you will love a Shih-Poo. 

With bonding over brushing and a good relationship with your local groomer, you will have a fun dog that doesn’t leave fur flying around your home.