The shih-poo is a cross between a shih-tzu and a poodle. It is considered a hybrid dog, or what used to be called a "mutt," or mixed breed. However, with the new designer breeds coming on the scene, people are willing to shell out a thousand dollars or more for a mixed breed dog with a cute name. The shih-poo has the intelligence of a poodle and the loving temperament of a shih-tzu.
Decide what type of dog you want. If you live in an apartment or small home, the shih-poo is ideal. If you are not looking for a dog to run and take long walks, the shih-poo is perfect. If you want a dog that loves your lap and will follow you around, consider the shih-poo. This is a dog who is more active than the shih-tzu, but loves to be cuddled.
Check out the breeder. Never purchase a dog from from a pet shop or puppy mill. Pet shops often purchase puppies from puppy mills. Look for a well established breeder. Visit the breeders site and observe the living conditions. Check to make sure the pens, dishes and living areas are clean.
Observe your potential puppy. Watch the puppy interact with other puppies in the litter. You want a lively dog but not an aggressive dog. Hold and interact with the puppy to learn what kind of personality it has. Look for a dog who seeks out interactions with you and wants to be around you.
Examine the puppy's fur. The shih-poo usually has shorter fur than the shih-tzu with a little wave, but not a tight curl like the poodle. You will need to groom the shih-poo regularly. The fur is hypoallergenic and non-shedding.
Examine the features. The shih-poo will have a longer snout than the shih-tzu. Avoid a puppy that has a discharge from the nose. Examine the eyes. If they are watery, avoid that puppy. The eyes should be bright and clear. Feel the puppy's belly. A healthy puppy will have a plump little belly. Feel the puppy all over. If it yelps when you touch it, something is obviously wrong.
Take the dog to the vet. Most breeders have a contract with a vet for a free examination. Take advantage of this and have your new puppy checked out.