Shih poo has been created by breeding a Poodle and a Shih Tzu. Shih-poo is also commonly known as a Shoodle and is particularly famous for its energetic and amiable personality. This Poodle mix is a hybrid dog that is also known to be more ‘allergy-friendly.’ This means that a Shih poo is a hypoallergenic breed that does not trigger allergic reactions in people with allergies and asthma, unlike other similar dog breeds.
Shih Tzu – Hairy, Not Furry!
Hypoallergenic qualities of a Shih poo can be attributed to the traits it has borrowed from its parents, especially the Shih Tzu. Shih Tzu is a dog breed that does not come covered in fur, which is the primary reason for allergic reactions among people.
Fur and animal dander contain protein that can lead to sneezing, itching and eye irritation in most people with allergies and asthma. If a dog sheds too much dander or fur, it is likely to trigger more allergic reactions. Most people are allergic to animal fur, not animal hair. Shih Tzu is hairy, which makes it allergy-friendly and has successfully transferred this gene to Shih-poo, which makes it an ideal hypoallergenic dog.
Shih Tzu has been classified as a ‘low shedder,’ given that only 10 to 15 percent of its hair coat is ever shed. This dog has fine, thin and relatively short hair that keeps the overall shedding process slow. With a Shih Tzu, you will experience an annual shed during summers and winters.
In winters, it’s mostly just the dry skin that triggers the coat to shed more than the usual amount of hair. In summers, the sun exposure makes the coat experience relatively more friction, causing hair to weaken and eventually shed.
However, this year-round shedding is still minimalistic as compared to what is expected from other similar breeds of dog. This is precisely why a Shih-poo does not shed too much dander on an annual basis.
Poodles – Do They Shed?
The other parent of the friendly and playful Shihpoo is the Poodle. Poodles are among those dog breeds that do not shed. They come in a single coat of dense and curly hair, which is why they do not shed like other canine breeds. Poodles have thicker hair and a longer growth cycle, which makes for minimal shedding.
Shedding in poodles is, hence, less noticeable around the year, and this is precisely why the offspring Shih-poo does not shed too often.
How Much Does a Shih Poo Potentially Shed?
No dog in the world is 100 percent hypoallergenic, so while a this poodle mix does shed,it is not as much as its counterparts. With its minimal shedding qualities, a Shih-poo makes for an allergy-friendly dog that does not trigger a reaction in people with specific allergies and asthma.
It has been the number one choice of pet for people with allergies owing to less dander. Having been bred by a Shih Tzu and Poodle, the shedding range remains between 10-15 percent of the overall hair coat. Thus, if you have allergies but your love for keeping a pet dog is too much, choose a Shih-poo; it is the ideal hypoallergenic breed.
How to Ensure Minimal Shedding
If you are looking for ways to ensure minimal shedding to be fully assured that your allergies are not set off in any way in the presence of a hypoallergenic dog such as a Shih-poo, make a note of the following:
- Brush regularly – This is particularly important if you want to get rid of hair stuck on the dog’s coat. Brushing will remove all loose hair from its coat. Dead hair piled up on the coat can become food for parasites and may even cause skin irritation and smell within the coat.
- Bathe regularly – The shedding phase in dogs span 1-2 weeks. During this phase, you must ensure that you give a daily shower to your Shih-poo. A regular bath will release hair entangled into the coat, making the coat free from dead hair.
By practicing this, you can ensure timely shedding and avoid having to experience significant shedding throughout the year.
Be mindful that while the genetic formation of a Shih poo could be the reason for minimal shedding, shedding is not a natural phenomenon alone. It may be caused by factors other than genes.
A few of these factors comprise the dog’s exposure to sunlight, the temperature it is kept in, seasonal variations and their impact, its health, andits diet. A few dogs experience more than regular shedding when they are exposed to trauma, injury, malnutrition and even stressful conditions. Thus, if your Shihpoo is exposed to similar conditions, it may shed more than its usual rate.