Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix – Your Complete Breed Guide

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Are you thinking about getting the hybrid Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix? You may love the breed's size, but you are not sure how friendly they are? Check this guide now and discover.

Are you more of a Shih Tzu or a Pitbull fan? Or maybe you have a soft spot for their mix, also known as the Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix?

If you appreciate mixed breeds, you will love having around the original Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix, also known as the Pitshihs.

These dogs of very original appearance are gaining more and more popularity with each passing day. That doesn’t seem like a big surprise considering how amazing their parents are.

After all, mixing Shih Tzu and Pitbull can only result in an amazing breed.

From the Shih Tzu side, Pitshihs got the companion gene and a strong need to please their humans, while the Pitbull size gave them a powerful look and certain masculinity look that is a Pitbull’s trademark.

There is no doubt that the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is a very unique breed, but is it challenging to own this breed?

What can you expect once you welcome this breed into your home? Let’s discover.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Basics

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is a breed of the very original appearance. This breed is a designer hybrid dog that was created by crossbreeding Shih Tzu and American Pit Bull Terrier.

The idea behind crossing these two breeds was to create a breed that will have all the power that comes with Pitbull while offering the cuddly side of the Shih Tzu.

As result, the world got another breed, an amazing companion, a loyal furry friend, and a breed of interesting appearance and unique personality.

How Big Will A Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Get?

Shih Tzu and Pitbull aren’t considered to be larger dogs, they are more small-to-medium dogs who have different body shapes and overall appearances.

Since Pitshih is a mixed breed, exact body measurements are usually tricky to tell, but some guidelines could serve.

Pitshih is commonly somewhere between 10 to 25 inches, while they may weigh between 15 to 30 pounds.

Again, since this is a new breed there are no breed standards, and it is hard to predict how this mixed breed will look exactly.

Still, you can expect a certain appearance considering the appearance of the parents.

In most cases, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes have the Shih Tzu’s flatter face. This physical trait is something that makes them look extra adorable but also puts them at high risk of developing respiratory problems that are common to brachycephalic breeds, such as Pugs.

As for the coat, you can also expect to see these mixes and different appearances.

After all, purebred parents of the breed have different coasts as well. This Tzu comes with a dense double coat with long and silky hair, while the American Pitbull Terrier has a medium coat with very short fur.

In most cases, although this isn’t the general rule Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes will have a short-haired coat with the Shih Tzu’s silky texture.

As for the color, you can also expect a different appearance. The parent breeds come in a wide variety of colors, so this mixed breed’s coat may appear in a variety of colors, including brown, white, liver, yellow, chocolate, brindle, or even a combination of these colors.

How Long Do Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Live?

Getting a dog is easy, but providing the right care is something that may be challenging from time to time. That is why getting a dog shouldn’t be taken lightly, but rather a serious decision.

Once you get a dog you are actually promising a living being that you will provide proper care and do your best to meet the dog’s needs.

In most cases, this means that you are stepping into a years-long commitment.

In the case of this breed, it means that you’re ready to invest your time, energy, and finances in keeping Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix healthy and happy for the next 10 to 15 years.

Unless you are really ready to own a dog for this long period, you might rethink your decision of getting a dog.

If you would love to adopt a senior dog, know that animal shelters are a great way to start.

You won’t believe just how many different purebred and mixed breeds can be found in local shelters.

How long do purebred parents of this hybrid breed live? The American Pitbull Terrier has a lifespan of 8 to 15 years, while the Shih Tzu lives for about 10 to 16 years.

Both parents are considered to be a long-living breed. Are mixed breeds healthier than purebred dogs?

It is a common belief that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds due to a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor.

Even if you give your best and provide the best care possible dogs may still experience some health issues.

Different factors may influence a dog’s overall well-being and you may not protect your Fido from each one of them.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Health

Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for his overall well-being. If you choose to get a dog from a breeder make sure that you deal only with reputable and responsible dog breeders.

Responsible dog breeders are easy to recognize, as they have certain procedures that they follow, including:

  • Screening puppies for most common issue in the breed
  • Presenting you with medical documentation on the puppy
  • Letting you meet the bitch
  • Showing you the facilities
  • Providing the right tips on future care, including training, nutrition, and health
  • Asking you a lot of questions

Responsible dog breeders want to give their dog only to serious people. This is why they will ask you a lot of questions – they just want the best home for their puppy.

If they think that you are not the right fit at the moment, they might advise you to wait a bit, and come the following year.

Experienced dog breeders can tell when someone is ready to own a dog. Although this isn’t a common rule, some breeders may even tell you to return the dog to them if you step into some kind of hardship.

Once you get a dog from a breeder it is your responsibility to take the dog to your veterinarian for a full check-up.

In fact, the best way to keep your dog healthy over the years is to stick to regular veterinarian check-ups.

Also, if you take your dog to the vet while a puppy he will be more comfortable with being handled and won’t have anxiety during every trip to the vet’s office.

Prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy and strong dog. Still, some issues may appear, and we will list them below. This doesn’t mean that your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix will experience any of them, but it just means that you should be well aware of them.

Knowledge is your ultimate power when it comes to begin a responsible dog owner.

Here are the most common health issues that the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix may experience:

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. If your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix inherits a flat face from the Shih Tzu side, some breathing issues may appear. Shortened muzzles are prone to the obstruction of the airways which makes it difficult for dogs to breathe normally.
  • Dental Issues. Did you know that certain foods can actually help dogs have stronger and healthier teeth? Or that healthy teeth are really important when it comes to dogs’ overall health? Or that certain dog breeds such as Shih Tzu Pitbull mix are more prone to teeth-related issues? This specific breed is prone to dental issues. In fact, this hybrid dog usually comes with overcrowded teeth because of their small skulls. Often, this results in a high risk of dental issues.
  • Joint And Back Issues. If you want your dog to reach his senior years without major issues, you should focus on joint health. Issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease are common in this mix. Although they are managed to a certain extent these conditions are very painful for dogs.

Once you get the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix you are directly responsible for his weight. This means that you should do your best to feed your Fido the right way.

In practice this means the following:

  • Providing high-quality food
  • Knowing how much your dog should eat
  • Knowing when to serve food to your dog
  • Knowing what a bloat is
  • Always providing easy access to clean and fresh water
  • Learning how to read pet food labels
  • Knowing which human foods are safe for dogs and which are bad

Small size dogs are prone to weight gain, so you should limit treats. In fact, treats should be… well, just treats, an occasional bite for mastering a command.

Did you know that dogs are more than capable of mastering basic commands at eight weeks of age?

As food-driven beings, dogs are easier to train when there is a nice treat around. To keep Fido’s weight in balance, focus on serving the right food and the appropriate amount.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Training

As mentioned above you should use tastes to train your dog.

Any dog will master basic commands, and more complex ones, when there is a right treat around.

If you are a first-time dog owner, and you feel that you need help training your dog think about the following options:

  • Hire a professional dog trainer. This should speed up the training process and provide you with pro inputs on further training.
  • Enroll your puppy in puppy classes. This option should make the bond between you and your puppy stronger.

What if you get an adult dog? Don’t worry and structure training as you would usually because even the older dog can learn new tricks.

As long as you invest enough time, energy, and delicious treats into training, any dog should be able to learn.

To get the most out of training sessions, you should make training sessions that are:

  • Fun
  • Short
  • Consistent
  • Reward-based
  • Engaging

No dog should ever experience any harsh treatment. If you feel like you could use help, think about hiring professional support.

Are your training sessions enough to keep this dog physically fit?

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Exercise

Training is what keeps your dog well-behaved and outgoing, while exercise keeps their body fit and their mind sharp.

For dogs, outdoor time is much more than just using it for peer time. For them, outdoor time is an opportunity to explore, explore new smells, and learn about the world.

What about rainy days? Pee time is still a must, but indoor games are something that you should incorporate into your daily routine.

To keep Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix mentally stimulated and physically fit you should provide about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day, depending on their size.

You should be careful if you have a puppy, as puppies are developing and they should not be overtrained.

You don’t want to anyhow harm their joints, or risk any sort of back injuries.

Overall, there is no need for this breed to make too intense an exercise regime as they need moderate exercises, such as a faster walk or a nice run at the dog park.

Also, since they usually have flat faces, be extra careful during summertime. They may have issues handling hot weather, and heatstroke may be something that they may experience easily.

What about their personality?

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Personality

American Pitbull Terrier and the Shih Tzu are people-oriented dogs who have calm and great personalities.

This is something that is seen in Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix as well. They will be clingy and sad if anyhow neglected.

Leaving them alone for long periods or too often may only lead to boredom, which will eventually lead to destructive behavior.

Make sure that someone is always around. When you have to travel, or if you have regularly long working hours, think about hiring a dog sitter.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix With Children And Other Pets

As long as your children know how to behave around dogs, Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes will love spending time with children.

They are great companions for kids as long as they don’t treat them as toys.

Children tend to see dogs as moving toys, trying to pick them up, or making sudden moves toward them.

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix will usually be highly protective of children. No matter how great dogs and children might be, their interaction should always be supervised.

Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Aggressive?

Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are confident and gentle dogs who love being around people, especially children.

They are not aggressive as long as they are trained the right way, but they do have a strong prey drive.

In practice, this means that Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes could chase small pets like cats.

If raised with cats from puppyhood they might leave them alone. As for the other dogs, they tend to be territorial, which is why early socialization with other dogs is a must.

Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Hypoallergenic?

Shih Tzus are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed, while the American Pit Bull Terrier is not.

In practice, this means that you expect your American Pit Bull Terrier to shed on a regular occurrence.

If you are not a fan of dog hair, you’re in luck because they are moderate shedders.

As long as you provide regular brushing with the right grooming tools, there should be minimal shedding.

As for the Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes you can expect them to shed, to medium level, with heavier shedding during the shedding season.

When is the shedding season? In spring and autumn. If you are looking for a completely hypoallergenic dog of smaller size, you might search among these 30 small dog breeds that don’t shed. Although weekly brushing is a must, it is just one part of overall grooming.

In general, grooming should include the following steps:

  • Monthly trimming or grinding
  • Weekly brushing
  • Weekly gums check
  • Daily eye check for any sign of eye discharge
  • Ear cleaning when needed

If your veterinarian recommends it brush your dog’s teeth. When it comes to bathing your dog you should always be careful.

Dogs have different skin opposite to humans, and they do not need as frequent bathing as we do. This is why you should bathe your Fido only when needed.

If you have to bathe him or brush his teeth make sure that you use only products that are specially designed for dogs.

Is Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix For You?

If you are a first time dog owner, getting a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix is a good decision.

They are smart and easy to train, plus they love to please, and being around people makes them happy.

If you are an experienced dog owner, you will Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix’s loyalty and willingness to, please.

All in all, if you want as mall size dog who loves to be around people and enjoys performing different tricks, this breed is for you.