When it comes to Chinese dog breeds, there are few breeds that stand out. You have the Chinese Pug, the Shar-Pei, but most notably – the Shih Tzu. And according to the AKC, the sassy Shih Tzu is the most popular Chinese dog breed in America.
There are several reasons why the Shih Tzu ranked the 20th most popular dog breed in 2018. For instance, they’re affectionate and loving lap dogs. Plus, these “little lion dogs” have a playful and social demeanor that people can’t help but love.
Wherever the Shih Tzu goes, you can expect a little mischief and a lot of entertainment. Make no mistake, they’re highly sough-after dogs. As such, you can expect there to be a ton of Shih Tzu mixes available too! Here are our favorites.
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Table of Contents
- What’s a Shih Tzu?
- Best Shih Tzu Mixes
- 1. Shih-Poo
- 2. Affen Tzu
- 3. Auss-Tzu
- 4. Shih Mo
- 5. ShiChi
- 6. Silky Tzu
- 7. Bea-Tzu
- 8. Mal-Shi
- 9. Jack Tzu
- 10. Havashu
- 11. French Bull Tzu
- 12. Shorkie Tzu
- 13. Cava-Tzu
- 14. Pin-Tzu
- 15. Weshi
- 16. Schnau-Tzu
- 17. Blue Tzu Heeler
- 18. Shiranian
- 19. Coton-Tzu
- 20. Bolo-Tzu
- 21. Boshih
- 22. Crested-Tzu
- 23. Sheltie Tzu
- 24. Care-Tzu
- 25. Cock-A-Tzu
- 26. Bully Tzu
- 27. Shih Apso
- 28. Fo-Tzu
- 29. Sco-Shi
- 30. Shinese
What’s a Shih Tzu?
The Shih Tzu is a wonderful toy companion with locks of long fur that put even the best show dogs to shame. It’s not hard spotting a Shih Tzu in the wild. In fact, they’re famously known for their adorable underbites and dark beady eyes. But there’s more to these dogs.
The Shih Tzu breed has a long, royal history in ancient China. Do you know why they make some of the best lap dogs today? It’s because they were originally bred to warm the laps of the Chinese elites and emperors through several generations.
Our Shih Tzu has a very sweet personality. He isn’t around other pets, but he’s great with kids. He likes to be near us all the time.– Nmmom95 (Disboards)
Chinese emperors valued Shih Tzus greatly. And according to historians, they were given as a valuable gift to rulers of other nations. In addition, the royals held breeding competitions, where the best-looking Shih Tzus earned their breeder extra money and prizes.
Perhaps it’s because of the Shih Tzu’s past that they have an air of royalty seen even today. In other words, Shih Tzus are proud, dignified and self-aware dogs. At the same time, they have all the traits that make great companions.
You won’t find a Shih Tzu that won’t try their best to brighten your day. They’re affectionate, kind and loyal. Plus, they’re adaptively intelligent enough to understand human emotions. When you feel down, expect the Shih Tzu to be by your sad.
Best Shih Tzu Mixes
Though there is what seems like an infinite combination of Shih Tzu mixes, we’ve identified the most common and most unique mixes.
There are many more, but these are our favorites. Here’s our list of the most interesting (and a little bit silly) Shih Tzu mixes you’ve never heard of.
Parents: Mini Poodle x Shih Tzu mix
The Shih-Poo is the gorgeous hybrid of two elegant dog breeds: the Miniature Poodle and Shih Tzu. Though petite, the Shih-Poo has a big and attractive personality. They’re friendly, loving and most importantly, obedient dogs.
Courtesy of the Poodle parent, Shih-Poos are extremely intelligent designer dogs who would love nothing more than to please their owners. They’re social by nature, but can often take a while to warm up to a stranger.
Not only are they easy to train, but also have temperaments that fit well with households that have kids or other pets. These dogs will shower you with love, but expect affection in return. In no situation would you want to leave them alone!
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2. Affen Tzu
Parents: Affenpinscher x Shih Tzu mix
When you cross two adorable small dog breeds, such as the Affenpinscher and Shih Tzu, you get an equally adorable hybrid dog. This designer dog is the ultimate lap dog companion, as you would expect from both parent breeds.
This Shih Tzu mix is relatively new, so there isn’t a standard on temperament and looks just yet. However, they usually retrain the intelligence, docile demeanor and playfulness of both parent breeds. Physically, they can lean either way.
Most likely, you’ll need to spend a great deal of time grooming these dogs. They can enter a stubborn streak and cause some difficulties while training as well. But with socialization and a little patience, they make wonderful companions.
Parents: Mini Aussie x Shih Tzu mix
A hybrid of the Mini Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu, the Auss-Tzu is a petite loving dog with a good-natured personality. Though small, they can produce an unreal amount of fur. Really, daily grooming is 100% necessary with these dogs.
Thanks to the workaholic parent, that is the Australian Shepherd, the Auss-Tzu is going to be very active. This means they require a high fat and protein diet and plenty of exercise. Don’t let their small size deceive you. They can and will run.
The good news is they don’t bark much. However, they do need sufficient space to get some run in. They’re small dogs, but would much prefer at least a small house with a small yard. So if you can handle the Auss-Tzu, they’re some of the best.
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4. Shih Mo
Parents: American Eskimo x Shih Tzu mix
The Shih Mo is the unusual hybrid of the Shih Tzu and American Eskimo Dog. They’re not the most obvious cross, but it works. Surprisingly, they’ve become one of the most popular Shih Tzu mixes in the past few decades.
Depending on the parents and gender, they can range in size. However, they’re generally under 25 pounds and 18 inches in height. Shih Mos have a long silky coat that looks more like the Shih Tzu than the American Eskimo.
But the best part about these dogs is their calm and affectionate demeanor. They play well with small children, but also make a fantastic companion for a senior. A Shih Mo would like nothing more than to be your lap dog.
Parents: Chihuahua x Shih Tzu mix
When you cross the spunky Chihuahua and the elegant Shih Tzu, you get the amazing ShiChi. They’re extremely popular designer dogs and have a plethora of nicknames: Chi-Tzu, ChiShi, among many others.
In fact, they’re so popular they’ve been recognized by many different dog registries. Some of which, include the International Designer Canine Registry, American Canine Hybrid Club and even the Dog Registry of America.
But what makes the ShiChi so popular? They’re little dogs, but have a huge personality – in a good way. These dogs are bold and courageous, but have an affectionate and loving side to them too. They’ll stand by your side through the thick and thin.
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6. Silky Tzu
Parents: Silky Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
By crossbreeding a Silky Terrier and Shih Tzu, you’ll produce none other than the spectacular Silky Tzu. Though they’re small and adorable designer dogs, they tend to inherit the lively and outgoing personalities from the terrier side.
The Silky Tzu was originally bred to be the ultimate companion family dog. And as a result, they are some of the best in this category. They can play well with children, but also thrive in a big family environment.
Even though they have an upbeat personality, they don’t require an outrageous amount of exercise. Giving them their daily walks will suffice. Still, the Silky Tzu will need regular brushing and grooming. However, they can be hypoallergenic dogs too.
Parents: Beagle x Shih Tzu mix
Though Bea-Tzu mixes may not retain the amazing sense of smell from the Beagle parent, they are still fantastic hybrids with a lovable demeanor. They tend to range in size and appearance, but their wonderful temperaments are near guaranteed.
The Bea-Tzu is one of the best companion dogs available on the market. In fact, it’s what they were bred for. Not for hunting and not for tracking. And given their protectiveness, they can be great watchdogs with some socialization.
When you get a Bea-Tzu, you can expect a loyal and affectionate dog. They’re quite playful and enjoy an afternoon playing with children. Just make sure they get enough exercise as they require a good amount thanks to the Beagle side.
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Parents: Maltese x Shih Tzu mix
The Mal-Shi, or the Maltese Shih Tzu mix, is an ideal hypoallergenic choice for dog owners that suffer from dog allergies. Though no more than 12 pounds, the Mal-Shi is a very playful and active dog guaranteed to get along with your family.
Unlike other active breeds, the Mal-Shi is perfectly fine as a lapdog. They don’t actually need a huge amount of exercise. The typical daily stroll through the neighborhood will suffice, making them one of the most convenient Shih Tzu mixes.
They’re always happy and loving with the incredible ability to befriend anyone and anything that they encounter. In other words, they’re not the greatest watchdogs. But if you’re looking for a cheerful Shih Tzu mix, look no further than the Mal-Shi.
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9. Jack Tzu
Parents: Jack Russell Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
Crossbreeding the Jack Russell Terrier and Shih Tzu gives you the Jack Tzu – a small designer dog that’s quite a handful. Don’t get me wrong – they’re certainly great dogs, but require a lot of patience and experience to bring out the best in them.
They can be as stubborn as any other dog breed. For this reason, they aren’t the easiest to train and could pose a problem for novice dog owners. Plus, the Jack Tzu requires plenty of physical activity on a daily basis.
On the bright side, they’re very independent dogs and don’t mind being left alone for periods of time. Just make sure you’re back to give them their exercise! If you can handle the Jack Tzu, you’ll have a well-balanced and fun companion.
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Parents: Havanese and Shih Tzu mix
The Havashu is a cross between two of my favorite small dog breeds. Both the Havanese and Shih Tzu are very similar in many aspects. For instance, they’re both affectionate and outgoing with a lively and charming personality.
It’s no coincidence that the Havashu is the same. They’re not the best watchdogs, as they’ll greet every person with a huge smile, tail wags and kisses. But that’s what makes them some of the best companions. They may be the friendliest Shih Tzu mixes.
It won’t take long before a Havashu fits right in with your family. And if you have children, they’re wonderful playmates for them (with supervision). They’re also highly adaptable dogs. It does not matter if you live in an apartment or a farm, the Havashu will be comfortable.
11. French Bull Tzu
Parents: French Bulldog x Shih Tzu mix
The French Bull Tzu is a cross between two very popular dog breeds from different sides of the world. Though they’re sharply different by nature, the combination is a truly wonderful thing if you raise them the right way.
Depending on parentage, this hybrid can be a small or medium sized Shih Tzu mix. They tend to come in a variety of colors, but usually inherit the long haired coats of Shih Tzus. Though, it varies by individual dogs and genetics.
You can expect a pleasant and cheerful personality with an eagerness to please and spend time with the owners. They love people and are comfortable playing with small children. Just make sure you give them lots of human interaction!
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12. Shorkie Tzu
Parents: Yorkshire Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
If I had to pick the cutest Shih Tzu mix, it would probably be the Shorkie Tzu. Half Shih Tzu and half Yorkshire Terrier, the Shorkie is a modern hybrid dog that’s been picking up a lot of steam in the world of designer dogs.
People pick these dogs because they require little maintenance and are easy to take care of. Docile and good-natured, the Shorkie is an excellent choice for even new dog owners. They are also relatively easy to train, as they’re eager to please.
But because they’re still new, the appearance of the Shorkie can vary. Sometimes they’ll have the long silky coat of the Shih Tzu, while other times they’ll retain the wiry coat of the Terrier. Either way, they’re adorable and fun dogs.
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Parents: Cavalier King Charles x Shih Tzu mix
Though the Cava-Tzu is a cross of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Shih Tzu, the looks tend to vary quite a bit. Most of the time, they’ll look more like the Shih Tzu. However, they can resemble the spaniel in rarer cases.
Cava-Tzus tend to come in a large range of colors, such as tan, black, brown, white or even a combination. It really depends on the parent for these new designer dogs. And whether they pick up physical traits from either parent will depend too.
What we do know for sure is that the Cava-Tzu is a very playful and energetic dog breed, like the Cavachon. They’re highly intelligent, meaning they can be easily trained. And despite their active personalities, they don’t need a large amount of exercise.
Parents: Mini Pinscher x Shih Tzu mix
The Pin-Tzu crossbreeds two well known toy dogs: the Miniature Pinscher and Shih Tzu. As a result, you’ll end up with a petite designer dog no more than 15 pounds. But don’t let their small stature fool you – they’re brave and courageous little dogs.
Though they’re generally very friendly with people and other dogs, they don’t enjoy rough play from small children. Rather, they tend to snap back when dealing with unpredictable rowdy and loud kids. Early socialization should help, though.
For the most part, the Pin-Tzu is a well balanced toy dog. They’ll enjoy going out for fun and play, but also don’t mind lounging around in the house. If you’re looking for an adaptable dog with a stable lifestyle, the Pin-Tzu is it.
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Parents: Westie x Shih Tzu mix
The Weshi is a loving small dog, bred from a West Highland White Terrier and Shih Tzu. Many owners seem to think they resemble more of the Westie, despite being a hybrid dog. And often times, they’ll be mistaken for purebred Westies.
Not only do they look like terriers, but they retain the prey instincts from them too. The Westie was bred to be an excellent vermin hunter. Likewise, the Weshi is capable showing predatory behaviors towards cats.
You probably don’t have a vermin problem, so it’s important you keep these dogs occupied with physical activity. After all, they are part terriers. When they’re given their exercise, they’ll make some of the best companions for city-dwellers and farmers alike.
Parents: Mini Schnauzer x Shih Tzu mix
The Schnau-Tzu is a hybrid combining the Miniature Schnauzer with the Shih Tzu. For the most part, they look very much like a Schnauzer with their rugged shaggy coats. Even so, they tend to retain the floppy ears of the Shih Tzu.
A Schnau-Tzu will get along with everyone – from dogs, to other pets and humans. They’re very smart and can pick up commands with ease. In fact, they very much enjoy obedience training with their owners, though they love showing off even more.
These hybrids need a fair amount of exercise and very little grooming as well. Chances are, they’ll inherit the hypoallergenic coats from both parents. They’re not too much to deal with. But even so, they’re worth the “trouble.”
17. Blue Tzu Heeler
Parents: Blue Heeler x Shih Tzu mix
The Blue Tzu is a cross between the Australian Cattle Dog and Shih Tzu. They’re called Blue Tzu Heelers because the widely popular nickname for the Australian Cattle Dog is the “Blue Heeler.” As expected, the signature blue coats will be inherited.
Though the Heeler is highly active with strong herding instincts, the Blue Tzu is much more balanced. Yes they’re energetic, but they don’t need as much run as their Aussie parent thanks to the easy-going attitude of the Shih Tzu parent.
Still, moderate exercise and grooming is necessary. They’re friendly, loving, cheerful but also demand a lot of attention. They can be a handful at times, so it’s no surprise why these Shih Tzu mixes are fairly rare to see.
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Parents: Pomeranian x Shih Tzu mix
There’s a lot of love about a Shiranian, which crossbreeds two of the most lovable and popular small dogs. Shiranians are small, but there’s nothing small about their optimistic personalities. I highly recommend them for both kids and seniors.
Originally bred to be companions, the Shiranians do just that. They love their families so much that they tend to develop separation anxiety. So if you’re a busy person that needs to leave the house frequently, these are not the dogs for you.
But if you can provide this Shih Tzu mix with the love and attention it craves, they will serve as wonderful and playful companion dogs. When you get to spend a day with a Shiranian, it’s hard to resist their bubbly charm.
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Parents: Coton de Tulear x Shih Tzu mix
The Coton-Tzu, or Coton De Tulear Shih Tzu mix, isn’t a very popular hybrid. However, I would argue they’re quite underrated designer dogs! At heart, they’re true companion dogs that love nothing more than to keep your lap warm.
Their coats are absolutely beautiful, coming in an array of colors, such as black, cream, brindle, gold, brown or a mix. They have medium or long coats with a silky and or fluffy texture. Even with such a coat, they actually don’t require much grooming!
The Coton-Tzu has a mild temperament and a happy-go-lucky attitude. They’ll get along with other dogs or children with very little effort. The only downside is that they can be stubborn at times, which means you’ll have to be patient with them.
Parents: Bolognese x Shih Tzu mix
Because both the Bolognese and Shih Tzu are adorable little toy dogs, it made a lot of sense to cross these two breeds. The result is the beautiful Bolo-Tzu – a true toy companion dog with a great temperament and positive vibes.
Though they’re great lap dogs, they’re still very new and not well known at all. In fact, it’s rare to come across one of these designer dogs even with their adorable looks. Part of it is because the Bolognese is also a relatively rare purebred dog.
However, I’m confident if more people knew about them, this would change. If you can find one, I’d highly suggest keeping one of these gems. The Bolo-Tzu checks all the boxes if you want to own a little people-loving Shih Tzu mix.
Parents: Boston Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
The Boshih is a deliberate crossbreeding of the Shih Tzu with a Boston Terrier. Both are very different dog breeds, but the hybrid has surprisingly inherited all the best traits from both sides. The best part is they get along with everyone.
For example, these dogs are intelligent, lively and energetic – much like the Boston Terrier. On the other hand, they’re alert, affectionate and dignified like the Shih Tzu. Thanks to the Boston Terrier parent, these dogs can be a little stubborn at times.
Furthermore, they’re not easy to train and require an experienced owner that can train with a firm and consistent hand, thus establishing pack dominance. If you fail to do so, you can bet this small dog will attempt to assume the leadership role.
Parents: Chinese Crested x Shih Tzu mix
The Crested-Tzu is a hybrid of two of China’s finest and most iconic dog breeds: the Chinese Crested and Shih Tzu. When put together, they’re truly a Chinese powerhouse. However, they are both very different dogs, even with their roles in Imperial China.
On one hand, the Shih Tzus were companions to Chinese royalty, whereas the Cresties were sailor dogs that served as vermin control on ships. The Crested-Tzu, on the other hand, is a nice blend of the two personalities.
They’re affectionate, docile, good-natured and don’t really bark as much as other dogs. While a Crested-Tzu appreciates exercise, they’re perfectly fine lounging around with you. This makes them highly adaptable dogs that’ll do well in various families.
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23. Sheltie Tzu
Parents: Sheltie x Shih Tzu mix
The Sheltie Tzu is the ultimate fluff ball. They’re a designer dog that combines the work-friendly Shetland Sheepdog with a lap-friendly Shih Tzu. Both of which, are excellent family dogs but in different ways.
They can range in size depending on parentage, but expect them to be around 20 pounds and 14 inches tall. Among Shih Tzu mixes, they may be the friendliest dog. Whether with cats or dogs, it’s hard not to like the Sheltie Tzu’s company.
When it comes to housetraining, they may require a little more patience. Still, they are eager to please and tend to thrive with obedience training. The downside is that they do need moderate grooming. They don’t shed much, but their long fur can get tangled easily.
Parents: Cairn Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
As a Shih Tzu mix that’s been steadily increasing in popularity, the Care-Tzu (Cairn Terrier Shih Tzu mix), is known for its friendly demeanor and social personality. Not surprisingly, they were bred to be a fantastic companion dog for all families.
The Care-Tzus are affectionate dogs with a lot of affection for its family. They don’t really bark for attention, but they’ll be cuddling next to you instead. The downside is they do require some grooming and care, even with a hypoallergenic coat.
Their straight hair can easily get tangled, especially if they play often. And trust me, they will want to play often. They also require a moderate amount of exercise. Nothing significant, but a nice stroll through the neighborhood will do.
Parents: Cocker Spaniel x Shih Tzu mix
The Cock-A-Tzu is truly a unique blend, combining the Cocker Spaniel and the Shih Tzu. They are highly intelligent, but require plenty of human interaction. In fact, they thrive when they are the center of attention in the home.
For this reason, only the most dedicated owners should keep a Cock-A-Tzu. They demand a lot of attention, but they also give a lot too. Combine this quality with their intelligence and you have yourself a highly trainable Shih Tzu mix.
Another reason they require dedication is the need for daily grooming. The Cock-A-Tzu has soft curly fur, so brushing is necessary to prevent matting. On the bright side, they’re calm dogs and don’t really need a lot of physical activity.
26. Bully Tzu
Parents: Bulldog x Shih Tzu mix
The Bully Tzu may be the most interesting Shih Tzu mixes. While the Bulldog is durable, strong and bred for work, the Shih Tzu is quite the opposite. Physically, they may drastically differ, but the two parent breeds share similar personality qualities.
Both parents are affectionate and gentle dogs. Yes, even the modern-day Bulldog. And while Bulldogs aren’t small by any means, they have the easy-going nature seen in Shih Tzus. As a result, they probably believe they’re big lap dogs.
The Bully Tzu inherits all the best temperamental qualities. However, they’re developed with a much more durable frame and size, thanks to the Bulldog genes. For this reason, the Bully Tzu may be more suitable for children.
27. Shih Apso
Parents: Lhasa Apso x Shih Tzu mix
The Shih Apso is a designer dog that involves crossbreeding the Tibetan Lhasa Apso with the Chinese Shih Tzu. Because both parent dogs were developed to be lap dogs and companions, the mix unsurprisingly excels at this job.
They’re going to be small dogs, weighing no more than 18 pounds and standing between 9 and 12 inches tall. There can be a lot of variance in the coat of the Shih Apso. Some take more from the Tzu side, and some the Lhasa side.
In the home, these dogs will be mellow and calm. It’s why they’re such ideal dogs for seniors and older children. These dogs really need only two things to remain happy – lots of affection and human attention!
Parents: Toy Fox Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
The adorable Fo-Tzu combines the spirited personalities of Toy Fox Terriers with the laid-back Shih Tzus. While petite in size, they have a huge appetite for play and attention. Who knew such a little dog could be so lively?
Fo-Tzus will be toy dogs, just like the parents. They will weigh, on average, 11 pounds but won’t stand taller than 15 inches. The coat tends to be smooth yet soft, kind of like a perpetual puppy coat. It resembles hair more than dog fur.
Thanks to the Fox Terrier side, the Fo-Tzu can be snappy when being roughed up. We don’t recommend them for young children for this reason. In addition, it’s not unusual for them to be headstrong and stubborn, like typical terriers.
Parents: Scottish Terrier x Shih Tzu mix
The Sco-Shi is the small hybrid that results from crossbreeding the Scottish Terrier with a Shih Tzu. They may inherit the appearance of either parent, though the terrier personalities usually shine through to these hybrids.
These dogs will reach 20 pounds in adulthood, so expect a small but robust breed. In addition, it’s likely they’ll have a long hair coat, as both parent breeds do too. The good news is that they will be hypoallergenic, but occasional brushing is still needed.
From the Scottie side, the Sco-Shi may seem independent or aloof. However, they are loyal to their families and will stick by your side during important times. Sco-Shis are also adaptable and tend to do well in an apartment or with a yard.
Parents: Pekingese x Shih Tzu mix
The Shinese, once again, is another Chinese powerhouse. This hybrid combines the Pekingese with the Shih Tzu – both iconic and members of royal families in ancient China. The result is a lap dog that’s perfect for any household.
Growing nearly 13 inches tall and no more than 16 pounds, the Shinese is a petite dog that will perfectly fit in your lap. After all, that’s what they were bred for and they’re great at it. What’s more surprising is that they make decent watchdogs.
If some stranger approaches the Shinese’s family, expect to hear a barrage of barks. However, obedience training can be a little difficult. When you’ve been treated like royalty for hundreds of years, I guess it’s hard to do someone’s bidding.
Did we miss a Shih Tzu mix that deserves to be on this list? If so, let us know in the comments section below. So tell us, which is your favorite Shih Tzu mixed breed?
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