Top Pro and Cons of Owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix

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Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes (or Pitshihs) are gaining a lot of popularity globally because of their amazing genetic make-ups. The athletic Pitbull and the silky Shih Tzu are both well-loved companion breeds. However, they are still crossed to blend the adorable features of the Shih Tzu and the masculinity of the Pitbull.

There is no doubt that the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is a unique crossbreed, but what does it take to be a parent of this cross? To keep you on the loop, here are the top pros and cons of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix.

Pros

1.Gorgeous Physical Characteristics

Pitshihs are cute dogs with a royal appearance of a small lion with stunning long hairs. For starters, this mix results from crossing a purebred Shih Tzu with a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier. Although there are different theories about the origin of Shih Tzu, what we know is that it used to a companion in China and the name itself means ‘little lion’. On the other hand, the Pitbull originated from England, Ireland, and Scotland and they used to be workers for the past civilizations in those regions.

History aside, here are the physical characteristics that the owners of this mix find charming:

  • Height: 10-25 inches
  • Weight: 15-30 pounds
  • Colors: Varies between brown, yellow, to chocolate brown, and black. It depends on the color of the parents.
  • Face: Often favors the Shih Tzu
  • Fur: Silky and fluffy (because of the Shih Tzu genes but not long and flowing since Pitbull is short-coated)

2. Pleasant Temperaments

Pitbulls are famed for their loyalty and love for children. They are also enthusiastic and always willing to work. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are outgoing and naturally loving. However, they are not as independent as Pitbulls and tend to enjoy being fussed over.

Given the loving nature of the parents, Shih Tzu Pitbull cross is, without any doubt, a family-friendly dog with a wonderful temperament. They can fit into any family setting, especially when socialized well.

3. Don’t Need Intense Exercise

If you don’t have time for long walks with your dog, Shih Tzu Pitbull cross might be the perfect dog for you since they don’t require a lot of movements. A medium-length daily walk is just enough to keep this mix happy.

4. Longer Lifespan

The lifespan of a Pitbull ranges between 8 and 14 years while that of a Shih Tzu is between 10 and 16 years. I know you may be thinking that a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix’s span should also be in the mentioned ranges. Well, that’s not the case because small, mixed breeds tend to have a slightly longer lifespan than their parents.  

Nonetheless, you need to understand that the lifespan of a dog is dictated by the quality of life that he is exposed to. A dog with Intervertebral Disc Disease, for instance, can live longer but with a lot of pain.

5. Pitshihs are intelligent and can pick up new commands fast. So, training your mix on how to potty, to sit or stay, or not to steal food off your counter won’t be hard.

6. Since Pitbulls are known to be independent breeds, Pitbull Shih Tzu mixes tend to be fairly independent.

Cons

1.Health Issues

  • Mixes with flatter faces of the Shi Tzu may be at a high risk of being brachycephalic, so they may not swim because they are likely to drown. They may also have breathing issues.
  • Most Shih Tzu crosses are also prone to a lot of dental issues due to their small skulls, which cause overcrowding.
  • Shih Tzu’s shortened legs may also cause a lot of structural health issues, including hip and elbow dysplasia as well as severe back and joint issues.
NOTE: Although a Shih Tzu mix may suffer from the above issues, crossbreeding reduces the problems significantly.

2. More Grooming

Shih Tzu’s coats are a bit harder to maintain compared to that of a Pitbull because of their silkiness and length. So, if your mix takes after a Shih Tzu parent the most, he may need a lot of grooming.

3. Harder to Housebreak

Generally, smaller dog breeds, including Shih Tzu crosses tend to be stubborn and quite daunting to housebreak. So, if your mix is not potty-trained well, you may need to restrict his access to certain rooms in the house or cover your seats and carpeted areas.

Related: 16 Best Dog-Proof Couch Covers (Including Clear Options)

4. Training may be required to make them less aggressive

Remember that Pitbulls can be dangerous breeds because of their powerful jaws. They also have a ‘gameness’ trait and may be inclined to guard or chase things around your home.  So, you may need to invest in training your mix to reduce the risk of injuries, especially if socialization hasn’t taken place correctly.

5. Because they may have breathing issues, Pitshihs don’t tolerate a lot of heat and high humidity.

Important Tips to Help You Take Good Care Of a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix

  • When looking for a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix puppy, avoid puppy mills and pet stores where puppies are mass-produced. Puppies from these places may have behavioral and health issues because they are bred irresponsibly and are often kept in cruel conditions.
  • Shih Tzu mixes may have breathing problems, so avoid using neck leashes on them. Instead, use harnesses that go around the body to relieve additional pressure.
  • Since Pitbull Shih Tzu crosses have affectionate temperaments, they may need a lot of love and attention. So, always create time for your mix if you decide to be a parent. Remember to also buy a few gifts for your Shih Tzu cross as a token of appreciation for the role he plays in your life. We have great suggestions here: 15 Best Gifts to Buy for a Shih Tzu (Or Shih Tzu Owner)
  • You need to brush your Pitshih 2-3 times a week to keep loose hair in control.
  • Your mix will also need an occasional bath with good dog shampoo to keep his coat looking at its best.
  • Some Pitshihs have a high potential for mouthiness or chewing things in their surroundings. You can address this by playing catch games with treats or giving him chew toys.
Good treat-dispensing feeder options: 42 Best Automatic Dog Feeders (Arranged By Categories)

Best chew toys that you can buy for your mix: 17 Best Dog Chew Toys—Inexpensive, Durable and Stimulating
  • Swimming is NO-NO for your Pitbull Shih Tzu mix as his face shape may prevent him from swimming effectively.
  • One of the places that your mixed pup may hang out when you are not around or when you have visitors is his crate. So, ensure that you invest in good dog crates for your Pitshih.
  • Because Shih Tzu mixes are prone to dental issues, you should carry some dental care steps for your Pitbull Shih Tzu cross to reduce the risk of decay. You can brush his teeth using dog toothpaste and brush or buy him a few dental treats.
  • Pitshihs have spines that are often too long to provide adequate support to their legs. Accordingly, avoid intensive exercise routines to reduce the risk of back pain issues or more severe problems like paralysis.

Bottom-line

There you have it; a few pros and cons of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix. Hopefully, you can now figure out whether you can care for this amazing cross or try your hand in another breed.

Image sources: 1, 2,

1 COMMENT

  1. The first pic you have is of my dog, Jester. If you would like another pic that shows how floofy he gets when his coat comes in, I would be happy to oblige. The comment about not going in water doesn’t apply to our Pitshih. He doesn’t have the smooshed shih nose. He doesn’t like the water or getting wet (hates baths, but tolerates them). I think the way his skin feels when his fur is drying bugs him.
    Also-the one health issue he has, which is common to pits is allergies that make his skin itchy and crusty. We dose him with an omega 3 chew and Apoquel and that solves it.

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