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Curious About Designer Dogs?

Maltese and Shih Tzu Hybrid or Designer DogMal-Shi, Maltese and Shih Tzu Hybrid

What are Designer Dogs?

It has become very popular nowadays to breed two purebred dogs together and call the offspring Hybrid Dogs, Diva Pets, Purse Pets, Rare, Exotic, Special in some way pets.

These crossbreeds are commanding a big price tag and many if not most different breeds are involved.

The first and probably most popular hybrid to be produced was the Labradoodle, which is a mix between a Labrador and a standard poodle.

Shih Tzu Designer Dogs

You have no doubt heard of Yorkie-Poo's, Cock-a-Poo's, Malti-Poo's, but have you seen a  Cock-a-Shels, Malt-oodles, a Peke-A-Pom, or a Yorki-Huahua?

In fact, you can find these mixes of dogs in about every shape, color, and size.

The Shih Tzu Dog is being used frequently to create designer dogs.

Popular combinations that match a Shih Tzu with another breed are:

Common Shih Tzu Designer Dogs


Shih-poo, which are a Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix

Shorkie is a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier

Mal-Shi, where a Maltese is mated with a Shih Tzu

Shinese is a mix of Shih Tzu and Pekingese

Shih-chons is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise

Cava-tzu is created when you mix a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and a Shih-tzu

When beagles mate with Shih Tzu, the result is a Bea Tzu, which can look like a beagle with a short nose, or a longhaired beagle.

A mix between an American Eskimo and a Shih Tzu creates a Shih Mo. 

Maltese Shih Tzu Designer Dog PuppiesThree Dogs, All from the Same Litter

Designer or Hybrids have characteristics of both breeds, non-shedding coat of the Shih Tzu and the activity level of an American Eskimo, making it nearly hyper allergenic and a great exercise partner. 

Another interesting mix is that of a Shih Tzu and an American Rat Terrier, called a Ratshi Terrier.  They tend to be more energetic than the Shih Tzu, but because they have a longer snout, they are less prone to respiratory problems.

Shih Tzu Mixed with Other Small Breed Dogs

Designer Dog Puppy

The Mal-Shi pictured above is a good example of a pup we breed using a Maltese mom and a black Shih Tzu Dad.  As she grows, she will resemble the Shih Tzu breed but have a longer nose, making it much easier to breed. 

Click here for more information on the Mal-Shi

Less Common Shih Tzu Hybrids

An example of a more uncommon combination is that of a Basset Hound and a Shih Tzu called a Tzu Basset.  There is great variation between puppies in these litters and it is anyone’s guess as to whether the puppy will end up with the long hair of a shih tzu or a short nose in a hound body.

If you mate a Shih Tzu with a purebred Schnauzer, you will get a Schnau-Tzu.  A Bo-Shih or Boshih is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Boston terrier. 

A shiffon is a combination of Brussels Griffon and Shih Tzu and a Care Tzu is a Shih Tzu and a Cairn Terrier.  Just about any combination is possible as long as the mother is larger than the father is to make for an easy birth or whelping process.

Naming Designer Dogs

To make it even more complicated, there is no standard termination to describe the mixes.  For example, if you are looking for a Maltese—Shih Tzu mix, you might want to look for Mal-Shi, Shih-tese, Malti Tzu, and Maltese/Shih-Tzu Hybrid.

A Pomeranian who mates with a Shih Tzu dog will produce puppies called Pomeranian--Shih Tzu hybrid, Shiranian, Shihpom, or Pom-Tzu.  A Bichon Frise and a Shih Tzu mix can be called Zuchon, Shichon, Tzu Frise, or Shih-chons.

Not all combinations have been named.  A quick visit to one of the Designer Dog Registeries reveals that there are plenty of gaps leaving some owners wondering what to call their designer dog. 

Why Cross a Shih Tzu with Another Breed

The shih tzu breed is often used when designing dogs because of several health and temperament factors.

  • More Hypoallergenic 
  • Personality or Temperament
  • Size of Puppy

First, shih tzu dogs do not shed, so mating them with a dog that does can create a more hypoallergenic puppy.

Another reason shih tzu are often paired with another breed concerns the Shih Tzu temperament. 

Shih Tzu dogs are generally easy going, lovable, and good with other pets and children.  Pair these characteristics with a dog that lacks one of these and you may end up with a puppy that has the characteristics of the Shih Tzu as well as those of the other breed.

Finally, if size is a factor, the Shih Tzu dog can add genes to the pool that will increase the size or decrease the size of the offspring if that is the desired result. 

Normally, a shih tzu weighs between nine and 16 pounds, so mating them with a larger dog, could create a puppy that may be larger than a shih tzu, but not as big as the other dog. 

Likewise, a mating with a tiny dog could create a healthier sized puppy.

History of Designer Dogs

Where did all this originate? Years ago, these dogs would be called crossbreeds, mixed breeds, or mutts. Nevertheless, nowadays, they are often more expensive than their purebred cousins?

When there is a deliberate attempt to create a cross between two breeds, registered purebred dogs are used.

Breeders who thoughtfully produce hybrid dogs do so with the hope of taking the best from one breed and matching it with the best of another breed to get an entirely new animal that is the best all-round pet.

In fact designer breeds are often created for a new look, a healthier dog, a dog with a superior temperament or intellect, or a combination of all characteristics.

Some hybrids, no doubt have occurred without human intervention.  That is to say, that some are the result of unaltered dogs being allowed to roam freely and mating at will.

 Whether it is a conscious attempt to breed or an accidental mating, in reality, the only way to determine the health and temperament of the new hybrid dog is to look up the characteristics found in the parent breeds and know that any combination is possible.

There is little certainty when it comes to genetics. So, rather than getting the best of both worlds, the offspring produced could end up with the worst characteristics of both parents. It can happen.

On the other hand, many of today’s breeds originated in history from a cross between two or more breeds.  It is thought that the Shih Tzu is a cross between a Pekinese and a Lhasa Apso.  The breeds of today would all look like wolves if it were not for the selective breeding of ancient people.  Who knows, perhaps one day, the Shih Poo will be a recognized breed. 

Designer Dog Registries

These designer or hybrid dogs are not purebred and are not registered by an organization such as the American Kennel Club.

Owners of these designer dogs do have the option to register with:

Designer Breed Registry (DBR)

International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)

Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)

American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)

A dog can be registered if the parents are purebred and preferably registered with a recognized dog registry such as the AKC. There are now many different hybrid dog varieties and these numbers appear to be growing.

With a world society enamored by the exotic, ever demanding unique and different products, it makes sense that they would want these unusual characteristics in their beloved pets.  Dog breeders respond to their customer’s wishes by producing yet another designer combination.

Side Note from Miracle Shih Tzu

Tiny Miracle Shih Tzu have produced some hybrid dogs in the past including Shorkies, Morkies, and Mal-Shi. 

Our emphasis has been on pure bred dogs but we also realize that the Designer breeds are exceptionally popular so when possible we will plan a litter that includes designer puppies. 

The pictures on this page are all past puppies from Tiny Miracle Shih Tzu.

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