Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix (Pitshih): Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix lying outdoors
Image credit: tobeydavidthedog / Instagram

Are you familiar with the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix or the Pitshih? This mixed-breed dog has gained popularity among dog enthusiasts thanks to the distinctive combination of its parent breeds.

One of the questions often asked in relation to the Pitshih is, “Can a Shih Tzu mate with a Pitbull?” The simple answer to this is yes; however, artificial insemination may be necessary on some occasions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Shih Tzu and Pitbull mix, including its temperament, care requirements, price, and other fascinating details. If you’re curious, read along to find out more!

Breed Overview

Height:10 – 25 inches
Weight:15 – 30 pounds
Lifespan:8 – 16 years
Coat Colors:Black, white, brown, chocolate brown, brindle, fawn, red, yellow, tricolor, and more.
Temperament:Loyal, affectionate, gentle, outgoing, alert 
Suitable for:Families with children, individuals, moderately active people

What Is a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix?

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix basking in the sun
Image credit: tobeydavidthedog / Instagram

A Shih Tzu Pitbull mix, also known as Pitshih, is a mixed-breed dog that results from crossing a Shih Tzu with a Pitbull-type breed, usually the American Pit Bull Terrier. This hybrid dog is steadily gaining popularity for its uniqueness, friendly personality, athleticism, and loyalty.

As a crossbred dog, the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix will inherit a unique combination of traits from its parent breeds. That said, aspiring owners should expect slight differences between individual Pitshih dogs. 

Mixed breeds like the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix are not recognized by major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) because they are not purebred.

However, many organizations catering to hybrid dogs do exist, such as the Designer Breed Registry and the International Designer Canine Registry. Most of these organizations recognize and allow the registration of hybrids.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Origin and History

The history of the Pitshih is difficult to trace since it is a relatively new hybrid. To learn more about the Pitshih crossbreed, we must delve into the history of its parent breeds.

The exact history of the Shih Tzu is still debated, but it can be traced back more than a thousand years ago. There is evidence that it came from a Tibetan temple and gained popularity in China during the Qing Dynasty.

In the 1860s, it is said that the first Shih Tzus were bred for Empress Tzu Hsi. It was later named “Shih Tzu,” which means little lion in Mandarin.

Later, the Shih Tzu was carefully bred with Pekingese and Pug to resemble the Shih Tzu we know today.

On the other hand, American Pit Bull Terriers have a history dating back to the 1800s in the United Kingdom, where they originated from the Old English Bulldogs. These dogs were primarily used in blood sports like bull-baiting.

After the sport was banned in 1835 by the British Parliament, Pitbull dogs slowly made their way into our homes as companion dogs.

Given the diverse origins of its parent breeds, the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is expected to have unpredictable traits. Fortunately, more often than not, these hybrid dogs turn out to be excellent family companions. 

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Appearance

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix sitting on the rug
Image credit: tobeydavidthedog / Instagram

The Pitshih can sport a variety of physical traits depending on the dominant traits inherited from its parents.

Predicting the body type of Pitbull Shih Tzu mixes is quite challenging, but it can take on either one of three ways: a robust, medium-sized build like the Pitbull, a small stature resembling the Shih Tzu, or something in between.

Their heads can take after either parent, with some having rounded heads like the Shih Tzu dog, while others have more squared-off heads like Pitbulls. 

The ears of Pitshih dogs can either be floppy or upright. In terms of size, this hybrid usually sports medium-sized ears.

The coat of a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix inherits the silkiness and cuddliness of the Shih Tzu fur, but it is not as dense as the coat of a purebred Shih Tzu.

Pitshih dogs may come in a variety of coat colors and patterns that are inherited from both the Shih Tzu and Pitbull parents. These colors include black, white, brown, chocolate brown, brindle, fawn, red, yellow, and tricolor, among others.

Watch this video to see an actual Shih Tzu Pitbull mix in action:

Second full session with Lucy; Shih Tzu pitbull mix

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Size and Weight

A fully grown Shih Tzu mix can grow anywhere between 10 and 25 inches tall and weigh between 15 and 30 pounds.

Small Pitshih dogs reach adult size at around 6 to 8 months old, while medium-sized Pitshih dogs may keep growing until 12 to 18 months old

The size and weight of a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix can vary widely, depending on the individual dog’s genetics. Generally, these dogs range from small to medium in size, usually smaller than Pitbulls and bigger than Shih Tzus.

One good way to get an idea about the full-grown size of your Pitshih is to look at the size of its parent dogs. Usually, hybrid dogs are around the same size as their parents or somewhere in between.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Temperament and Personality

Pitshih during afternoon walk
Image credit: mario_the_bullshit / Instagram

When it comes to the temperament and personality of a Shih Tzu Pitbull cross, it’s easy to assume that they might be unpredictable due to their mixed heritage. However, this is not entirely true. 

In fact, there are some telltale characteristics that are common to this mix. For instance, both Shih Tzus and Pitbulls are known for being excellent family dogs, and this also applies to their mix.

The Shih Tzu Pitbull mix typically inherits the strong loyalty and outgoing nature of the Pitbull parent. Meanwhile, this hybrid takes a playful and affectionate disposition from the Shih Tzu parent.

However, in some instances, Pitshih dogs may show an overly clingy attitude and may demand a lot of attention. Without enough attention, this mix may develop separation anxiety or destructive behavior.

Surprisingly, Pitshih dogs can also make excellent guards and watchdogs. These mixes have a knack for keeping strangers at bay or alerting their families of any danger.

Socialization at a young age is important to avoid any unwanted traits from developing in this mixed-breed dog. Early socialization will also ensure that your dog grows up well-mannered.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Lifespan and Health Issues

The lifespan of an American Pit Bull Terrier is between 8 and 15 years, and the Shih Tzu lives about 10 to 16 years. From these numbers, we can expect the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix to live anywhere from 8 to 16 years.

However, despite the relatively long lifespan, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes can be prone to a handful of health conditions.

Here are some health issues to watch out for should you decide to get a Pitshih:

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS): Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes may have a brachycephalic facial structure, depending on the traits they inherit. As a result, these dogs may be prone to BOAS. This condition can affect the dog’s ability to breathe normally due to the shortened head and airway passage.
  • Dental Issues: Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes can also be prone to dental issues, such as overcrowding and misaligned teeth. These issues can lead to a variety of problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: Intervertebral disc disease is a common condition that occurs when the discs that separate the bones of the spine start to degenerate. This leads to pain in the back or neck and often in the legs and arms. Disc degeneration can be caused by age, genetics, or injury.
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Hip and elbow dysplasia are physical conditions commonly developed by Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes. These conditions can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty in movement. Early detection and treatment can help manage these conditions.

These are only a few of the many health conditions common in dogs. Before acquiring a dog, it is important to be knowledgeable about these conditions so that you can spot symptoms early on.

Regularly taking your dog for vet checkups is the best thing to do to help it stay healthy. Aside from this, a nutritious diet, a well-balanced lifestyle, and a clean environment go hand-in-hand in preserving your dog’s health.

How to Take Care of Your Pitshih

Pitbull Shih Tzu mix on a chair
Image credit: mario_the_bullshit / Instagram

Taking care of a designer dog like the Pitshih requires careful observation of your dog’s needs. As most mixed-breed dogs can have varying needs, you must ensure tailor-fit the care you give to the care your dog needs.

That said, there are some common care tips that work for all Pitbull Shih Tzu mixes. Read along the following sections to learn more.

Food and Diet

Feeding your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is an important part of its care routine. Depending on the size and age of your dog, it will require 1 to 3 cups of food each day.

For puppies, it’s best to divide the food into four meals a day, while adults can have two meals. Choosing the right kind of dog food for your Pitshih is also highly crucial. 

Make sure to choose a diet that suits your dog’s age, activity level, and health status. Some of the popular options include dry dog food, homemade food, a raw diet, and canned wet food.

When in doubt about your dog’s diet, it is best to talk to a licensed vet or pet nutritionist. 

Cleaning and Grooming

The grooming needs of your Pitshih puppy will depend on the coat type it inherits. If it inherits more Shih Tzu genes, then more maintenance may be necessary for its longer and silkier coat.

Meanwhile, if it takes on the Pitbull’s shorter coat, a less demanding grooming routine will suffice. In general, brushing your dog’s coat a few times a week and daily will keep it in good condition.

As for bathing, there isn’t a set routine to follow. However, you should bathe your dog when it gets dirtier than usual. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your dog once every one to two months if it rarely plays outside.

It’s also important to wipe your dog’s earlobes regularly to keep them clear of any debris. Additionally, brushing your Pitshih’s teeth once or twice a week is recommended.

Training and Exercise

Training and exercise are crucial for the well-being of your Pitshih. Fortunately, these dogs are responsive to training and can easily be potty-trained and crate-trained with a bit of effort.

For best results, it is recommended to start training your Pitbull Shih Tzu mix as early as possible. Make sure to utilize positive reinforcement methods, as this is the most effective for this pooch. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to exercise needs, the Pitshih requires 30 to 60 minutes of activities per day. This can come in the form of walking, jogging, playing fetch, hiking, and other forms of exercise. 

How Much Does a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

The cost of a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix can vary, typically ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, but it can go up to $4,000 for puppies born from champion bloodlines.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, adoption from a shelter is possible and can cost as low as $300. However, it is important to note that this mixed breed may be challenging to find in shelters and rescues.

On top of the cost of a Pitbull Shih Tzu, here are other initial expenses you may need to consider:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$30 – $110
Bowls$10 – $30
Toys$20 – $60
Beds$30 – $200
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$30 – 370
Grooming Essentials$50 – $160
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $50
Total Initial Cost$495 – $2,710

The cost of owning a Shih Tzu cross is comparable to most small- to medium-sized dog breeds. However, it is important to note that pricing may vary depending on your location. 

If you want to save a bit of cash, you may look for breeders or rescues that offer freebies for every puppy purchase. 

Places to Find Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix resting on a dog bed
Image credit: tobeydavidthedog / Instagram

Finding a breeder for the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix can be difficult as this hybrid is relatively new and not yet widely recognized. As such, there may be a limited number of breeders that specialize in the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix.

Below are some of the breeders and locations where you may find a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix puppy:

  • Greenfield Puppies – Greenfield Puppies is an established platform that has been promoting dogs from reputable breeders for more than 20 years. Unlike other platforms, they refrain from working with puppy mills or pet stores. They thoroughly select and endorse breeders who offer health guarantees to aspiring pet owners.
  • Lancaster Puppies – Lancaster Puppies is another online platform that focuses on connecting reputable breeders with potential puppy buyers. You can browse their listings to see if there are any available Shih Tzu Pitbull puppies at the moment.
  • Keystone Puppies – Keystone Puppies is also an online platform that takes great care in vetting each listing and breeder on its site, ensuring that only the best breeders are featured. Although their services are mostly geared towards buyers from a few selected states, they are still worth checking out if you’re in search of a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix puppy.

Meanwhile, if you are considering adopting a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix, here are some rescue organizations to check out: 

  • Shih Tzu Rescue, Inc. – Shih Tzu Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in South Florida that is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Shih Tzus and other dogs in need. This organization also takes in mixed breed dogs, so there is a possibility of finding a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix from this rescue.
  • Petfinder – Petfinder is an online platform that helps connect potential pet adopters with animal shelters and rescues across the United States. Petfinder allows users to search for adoptable pets by location, breed, age, and other criteria. Check out their list of adoptable puppies from time to time.
  • New York Bully Crew – The New York Bully Crew is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating bully breeds, including Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes. You might just find a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix that is eagerly waiting for a new home from this rescue.

In addition to the resources mentioned above, online communities such as Facebook and Reddit can also be helpful tools for finding Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes. Just be in the know regarding the best practices for buying a dog online.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Pitshih

Owning a Pitshih is a decision that requires careful consideration and preparation. If you’re still uncertain whether this breed is right for you, it may be helpful to weigh the pros and cons.

Here are the pros of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix:

  • Pleasant personalities. Pitbulls and Shih Tzus are pleasant dogs with great temperaments, and as a result, you can anticipate the same temperament in your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix as long enough training and socialization are provided early on.
  • Trainability and protectiveness. The Pitshih inherited the instinct of Pitbulls to protect their owner and home. Its loyalty to its owners is unparalleled, and it’s always ready to defend its loved ones.
  • Moderate exercise needs. These hybrid dogs do not require excessive physical activity or strenuous exercise routines. In contrast to some high-energy dog breeds, Pitshihs are content with moderate exercise.

On the other hand, here are some of the downsides of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix:

  • Unpredictability. Designer breeds, such as the Pitbull Shih Tzu mix, are usually known for their unpredictability. This is because mixed dog breeds have variations in size, energy levels, and personality, making it hard to predict how they will turn out.
  • Health issues. Brachycephalic breeds, including the Shih Tzu dog, have flat snouts, which makes them prone to breathing problems. Depending on how genetics play out in your Pitshih, it may or may not be brachycephalic. 
  • Prone to separation anxiety: Some Pitbull Shih Tzu crosses are naturally prone to separation anxiety. These dogs can be clingy and demand a lot of attention from their owners.

You can refer to the list above to assess the pros and cons of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix. It is recommended to think everything through and weigh the upsides and downsides before acquiring this hybrid dog. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Pitbull Shih Tzu mix on a leash
Image credit: tobeydavidthedog / Instagram

Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Good Family Dogs?

The Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is an affectionate and loving dog, making it an excellent family dog. It loves to be around people and is great with children and other animals.

However, due to its strong protective instinct inherited from the Pitbull parent, socialization and training at a young age are crucial to ensure it doesn’t become overprotective or aggressive.

Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Aggressive?

Fortunately, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are affectionate and confident dogs, and there is no inherent aggression in the breed. However, as with any dog, this mix can exhibit aggressive behavior if not properly trained and socialized. 

Do Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Shed?

Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes do shed. Although the amount of shedding can vary depending on which parent breed it takes after.

If the dog takes after the Shih Tzu side, it will shed less. But, if the dog inherits more of the Pitbull parent’s coat, the shedding will be more noticeable.

Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Hypoallergenic?

There is no scientific evidence to confirm whether Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are hypoallergenic. However, the Shih Tzu parent’s genes may make it possible for some Pitshihs to be hypoallergenic.

If you have allergies, it’s recommended to test how your skin reacts to contact with a Pitshih and consult a professional before adopting one.

Final Thoughts

Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are hybrid dogs that suit many families but not all. While this mix is known for its affectionate and docile nature, its unpredictability — in terms of traits — may be a deal-breaker for others. 

Furthermore, while most Pitshih dogs are generally healthy and have a long lifespan, others may be prone to a handful of health issues. Additionally, finding this hybrid dog can pose a challenge for aspiring owners. 

If you are leaning towards getting a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix despite some of its downsides, then you’re in for a treat. With proper care, early training, and ample socialization, this hybrid dog is sure to be an excellent companion.

So, do you have plans to include this dog in your family? Share your opinions and feedback about the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix in the comment section below! 

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