Shih Tzus and Poodles are two breeds of dogs that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Both breeds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature. They also both require regular grooming to maintain their signature look. So which breed should you choose? Let’s compare the Shih Tzu vs Poodle, including their personality, care needs, and other factors so that you can decide which is best for you.
At a Glance
Shih Tzu Overview
Personality / Characteristics
Shih Tzus are known for their playful, loyal, and affectionate nature. They require a lot of attention from their owners and make wonderful companion dogs. These adorable little dogs are generally very perky and happy and love to cuddle up next to you. They tend to get along with almost anyone and anything, and that includes other pets both large and small.
Shih Tzus are relatively easy to train, as they are very intelligent and eager to please. They will need patience and consistency when it comes to training, as they can be stubborn at times and will try to train you more than you train them. However, being small dogs, Shih Tzus may be harder to potty train because they can easily sneak off and do their business inside the house. But these dogs are great contenders for dog shows due to their intelligent and loyal nature.
Health & Care
Shih Tzus require regular grooming to maintain their signature look. Due to their long hair, they need daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles, or you can have their hair trimmed regularly for less maintenance for you. They also need daily exercise and playtime, as well as annual vet checkups. They are prone to a few medical problems such as eye and ear infections, eye diseases, and heart problems.
Shih Tzus are also a brachycephalic breed. These breeds tend to have smaller muzzles and squished faces. Due to their smaller muzzles, they can be prone to respiratory issues, including problems breathing after too much activity especially on hot days. It is important to monitor a Shih Tzu’s exercise and allow them to rest if they get too worked up.
Shih Tzu are generally healthy dogs, but some have genetic diseases. The most common is degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disorder. It’s important to choose a reputable breeder when looking for a Shih Tzu puppy. And if you aren’t planning on breeding your Shih Tzu, having it spayed or neutered as soon as it is old enough can prevent unwanted pregnancy and be beneficial for long-term health.
Shih Tzus do not shed much, so their allergen potential is relatively low. While there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, Shih Tzus are a good choice for people with dog allergies.
Shih Tzus are best suited for families that can give them the time and attention that they want. They don’t do well being left alone all day, so those with work from home jobs are best suited for this breed. Shih Tzus make great apartment dogs and get along well with kids and other pets.
Pros and Cons of Shih Tzus
Personality / Characteristics
Poodles are known for their being one of the most intelligent dog breeds, in addition to their loyalty and affectionate nature. They are also very fun-loving dogs. Due to their intelligence, they require a lot of attention from their owners and need a lot of mental stimulation, exercise, and playtime. If they don’t get the attention they need or are left alone for too long, they can be prone to behaviors such as excessive barking. However, overall, Poodles make wonderful, loyal companion dogs that are great for most households.
Poodles are very easy to train due to their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners. They tend to pick up on things quickly, including potty training, and will love any activity that allows them to be active and use their mind. Poodles are great candidates for agility competitions and dog shows since they can be taught a ton of tricks and love to perform.
Health & Care
One of the most recognizable characteristics of Poodles is their coat, and you probably know that they need regular grooming to maintain their coat. They need daily brushing if you choose to keep the coat intact, otherwise, they will surely get mats in their curly fur. Many Poodle owners choose to have their dog’s hair cut regularly which not only helps to maintain the coat but also gives the Poodle its unique appearance that people often associated with this breed.
Poodles also need daily exercise and playtime, as well as annual vet checkups. Common health conditions in this breed are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, bloat, and epilepsy, among others. Taking your Poodle for regular checkups to get ahead of any health conditions and feeding a proper diet can help keep your Poodle as healthy as possible.
Poodles are generally healthy dogs, but some have genetic diseases such as cancer, Addison’s disease, and thyroid issues among other health conditions listed above. It’s important to choose a reputable breeder when looking for a Poodle puppy. Many responsible breeders will breed out these conditions and can provide health guarantees. If you’re planning on breeding your Poodle, have a vet check them out thoroughly beforehand and make sure to have them spayed or neutered if you aren’t planning on breeding them.
Like Shih Tzus, Poodles are considered to have low allergen potential, as they don’t shed much and tend to produce less dander. They are considered one of the most hypoallergenic breeds, even though no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic. Poodles are one of the best choices for people with dog allergies.
Poodles are perfect for active families that love to get outside and play. Owners of Poodles also need to have time to devote to grooming and exercising your Poodle. They need to be mentally stimulated to avoid negative behaviors. But Poodles get along great with kids and other pets.
Pros and Cons of Poodles
Which Breed Is Best for You?
Which breed you choose really comes down to personal preference and your ability to provide for their needs. Both breeds are intelligent, loyal, and affectionate companions that will bring a lot of joy into your life. Before choosing, you’ll need to take into account several factors.
Consider Your Lifestyle
If you’re more active, consider a Poodle. If you’re looking for a more laid-back companion, consider a Shih Tzu.
Consider Your Home Environment
Do you live in an apartment or have limited space? A Shih Tzu may be your best bet if so. If you have a larger home with plenty of outdoor space, a Poodle may be more suitable.
Consider Grooming Needs
Both the Shih Tzu and Poodle have high grooming requirements but in different ways. With either breed, be prepared to invest time into regular brushing and money into professional grooming if you choose one of these breeds.
Consider Health Issues
Both Shih Tzu and Poodles are known to have genetic health issues, so make sure to research the breeder before purchasing a puppy. It’s also important to schedule regular vet visits and keep up with vaccines and other necessary treatments.
Consider Your Budget
Owning a pet can be expensive, so make sure you have the financial means to cover vet bills, grooming costs, and food expenses. If money is an issue, smaller breeds are generally less expensive to care for. In terms of the price of each breed, Shih Tzu and Poodle puppies are generally similar in cost.
Tips for Choosing a Responsible Breeder
The stakes are higher than you might think when it comes to choosing a breeder. Irresponsible breeders create puppies with health problems that cause unnecessary suffering. They also drive up demand for puppies that may have medical conditions or be unsocialized. Do your research and find a responsible breeder who is knowledgeable.
Here are some tips for choosing a responsible breeder:
Tips for Adopting Shih Tzus and Poodles
Adopting a pet can be incredibly rewarding, and it is also a great way to support animal rescue organizations in your area. Many times, you can find these breeds at a nearby shelter or from a rescue.
Here are some tips for adopting a Shih Tzu or Poodle instead of buying from a breeder:
By doing your research, you can be sure that you are making an informed decision when it comes to adopting a Poodle or Shih Tzu. Both breeds offer incredible companionship and love.
Fascinating Facts About the Shih Tzu
Fascinating Facts About the Poodle
Here are a few more things you can do:
When it comes to choosing between the Shih Tzu and Poodle, the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both breeds are affectionate, loyal, and intelligent companions. They both require regular grooming and attention but are suitable for families with children and other pets. Be sure to do your research and choose a reputable breeder when selecting either breed.
Featured Image Credit: Left – Shih Tzu (Murat Yelkenli, Shutterstock) | Right – Poodle (Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay)