Are Shih Poos Hypoallergenic? [Allergy Advice]

First, what is Shih Poos? Shih Poos otherwise called funny names like Poo-Shih or Shoogle are offsprings of the hypoallergenic Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle

They are dog breeds solely bred to be cuddly companions. But they also shouldn’t be confused for an entirely different breed called Poo-Shi. The existence of Shih Poos can be traced back to the mid-twentieth century when breeders decided to explore the possibilities of Poodles in crossbreeding.

are shih poos hypoallergenic
Are Shih Poos hypoallergenic? [Allergy Advice]

This desire to cross Poodle breeds was most especially because they wanted to produce more dogs with low-shedding coats and fun-loving personalities. No better match than the Shih Tzu and Poodle to achieve just that.

In essence, Shih Poos are a type of mixed-breed resulting from the crossing of two designer breeds – Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle. Their life expectancy is said to be around 10-18 years. But on average, they have a life expectancy of 13 years.

Being an offspring of two designer breeds with a low shedding coat, Shih Poos genetically inherits the ‘hypoallergenic’ qualities of both parents. Interestingly, the popularity of the crossbreeds among others was because they are highly tolerable to people with strong allergic reactions.

Put differently, Shih Poos have certain traits that rarely trigger allergic reactions in humans. By that token, the fame these breeds have amassed for themselves is not so farfetched.

Little wonder why it is popularly said that if you’re allergic to dog fur, but you love having dogs, then a Shih Poo is your best option. While this might be indisputable to a large extent, certain theories contend with it.

One of such is the American Kennel Club’s writing on their website that there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic breed. What does this mean? Does this mean that Shih Poos cannot be considered hypoallergenic then?

Before that, let’s take a hike to learn about Shih Poo’s traits.

What You Need to Know About Shih Poos’ Personality?

cute Shih Poo puppy mini scaled
A closeup shot of a cute adorable domestic Shih-poo dog

Shih-Poos Adapt Easily

They are happy, outgoing dogs that warm up to you fast, you become emotionally attached in an instant. Adapting to your mini-apartment lifestyle is a piece of cake for Shih Poos as they are pretty versatile.

Shih Poos Are Spunky and Energetic Little Furry Creatures

If you need a playmate, you can opt for a Shih Poo. They would with all joy and gladness be happy to engage in active play or even take a snooze on your laps.

Shih Poos Crave Attention

Your Shih Poo will frequently crave your attention, so they’ll do anything to make you happy, and the littlest praise can go a long way. If they can latch onto something that seems to please you, they’ll try to win your attention and praise by doing it over and over and over again.

Shih Poos Can be Hilarious

You can always count on your Shih Poo to crack you up. As the popular saying goes, “Laughter is always the best medicine,” and these dogs are well known for putting smiles on their owners’ faces.

Shih Poos Are Extremely Affectionate

Shih Poos are incredibly loving and affectionate. Like its Shih Tzu descent, these dogs were bred to be loved, and they’ve certainly come to learn how to show it back. 

Time and again the companionship attribute these dogs bring with them had proven to provide a safe and effective remedy for emotional and mental disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

It’s like these cute little pups spray you up with happy juices when you have them around and that in turn helps your emotions do better.

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

You might still be wondering “what hypoallergenic means.” Let’s back it up a little bit and break it into pieces you can easily understand. Hypoallergenic is a term used to describe breeds with a little tendency to trigger allergic reactions than other products.

Where dogs are concerned, a hypoallergenic dog is a breed of dog that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction to allergy sufferers. Given the tendency of about 10% of the US population to be allergy sufferers, as postulated by the American College of Allergy, many breeds do well with allergy sufferers. 

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the US population is allergic to dogs.

woman holding Dachshund
Dachshund looks up with a woman holding him.

What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic? 

Dogs generally have what we call pet dander. A pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by dogs, because of their fur coat. These bits of skin can trigger allergic reactions in people who are.

Where dogs are concerned, dander which is attached to pet hair/coat is what causes most pet allergies in humans. Dogs known to have a high shedding coat secrete more dander than dogs with a low shedding coat.

However, the fact that some breeds of dogs secretly are less dander than others doesn’t make them 100% allergy-proof. Here’s something you should know; referring to Shih Poos as having low-shedding coats doesn’t mean they don’t shed hair at all.

All dogs shed hair, but the level at which they shed depends on the presence of dander. And because Shih Poos secreter minimal dander, they barely shed hair compared to their counterparts with furs. 

Border Collie shedding
Border Collie sheds a lot on the couch.

Can Shih Poos Be Considered Hypoallergenic?

To a large extent, we have been able to establish some major facts that suggest why Shih Poos have earned the reputation of being hypoallergenic. But the question remains… How hypoallergenic are Shih Poos?

Now that we have established some facts through the physiological traits of Shih Poos. It might be erroneous to absolutely state that Shih Poos are 100% hypoallergenic. Are Shih Poos hypoallergenic?

Yes, they can be close, but they aren’t completely.

The shocking yet unknown thing is that what makes a breed completely hypoallergenic goes beyond the shedding of fur as a result of dander. Many think Shih Poos are hypoallergenic only because they don’t shed much and people think that allergens come only from fur.

Besides dander, allergens can also be secreted through the dust from your pet’s feces or your pet’s saliva. As a result, the shedding or no shedding of hair is inconsequential to the hypoallergenic nature of the dog. However, Shih-Poos have a history of being an option for dog lovers with a record of dog-related allergies.

lying shih poo
Shih Poo lying on his bed.

Tips to Groom your Shih Poo

Every dog has grooming needs, and some might have greater needs than others. If you were thinking that since Shih Poos shedding is almost not noticeable, then you’ll probably ease up on cleaning. Think again.

Although they don’t go around shedding profusely everywhere in your home like other breeds. That might be a benefit to cleaning your home, but not to cleaning your dog.

Because of the rapid hair growth, Shih Poos have, your dog’s hair tends to trap particles and dead follicles more easily. That being said, there’s a risk that the hair can hold moisture, debris, and parasites closer to the skin, which can cause infections or infestations.

Let’s go-ahead to highlight the important tips for grooming your dog

merle shih-poo puppy
A super cute multi-color Shih-Poo. Touch of Merle! Photo congerdesign/Pixabay

Brushing their Hair

Depending on the dominant gene, your dog’s hair can be straight or curly. Regardless, they should be brushed regularly to dislodge trapped debris.

Regular Bathing

You gotta scrub up your cute Shih Poos to reduce allergens released during brushing. However, bathing too much can remove natural oils and dry the skin.

Spend Time with Them

Given the affectionate nature of Shih Poos, they love to spend time with their owners. They are known to be friendly and sociable, even around strangers.  

Consider the Weather

The Shih-Poo does not have a high tolerance for temperature extremes. Keeping this in mind, clip your Shih-Poos hair short in the summer, and let the hair grow longer in the winter.

Check his Paws

Check his paws and trim if needed. Take your time and make sure you avoid the quick. As an alternative, there are special tools that grind down the nail and seem easier for some people to use.

Clean his Teeth

Shih-Poos like most small dogs are prone to dental illness. You mustn’t forget to brush your teeth and maintain proper dental hygiene. 


Shih-Poos are pretty versatile dogs. This amazing breed can live in just about any kind of home. They’re happy to engage in active play or take a snooze on their humans’ laps.

However, sickness is the greatest problem you may have to deal with in a pet. Make sure to keep your dog healthy by practicing a healthy feeding system, good exercise, and walking sessions plus proper hygiene. Always report to your vet when you find any strange behaviour in your canine companion.