|Height:||10 – 25 inches|
|Weight:||15 – 30 pounds|
|Lifespan:||8 – 16 years|
|Coat Colors:||Black, white, brown, chocolate brown, fawn, yellow, tricolor, brindle, etc.|
|Temperament:||Loyal, gentle, alert, affectionate, clingy, outgoing|
|Suitable for:||Families with kids, individuals, moderately active people|
A Shih Tzu Pitbull mix, also known as Pitshih, is what comes out when you mix a Shih Tzu with a Pitbull. But can the royal Shih Tzu actually mate with the athletic Pitbull? It sounds bizarre but yes!
It’s true that the Pitshih crossbreed is an unusual mix, but it is an interesting one. Many dog lovers are especially curious as to the behavior of the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix, given that its parents are a lapdog and a working dog.
This is what we’re going to explore in this guide! Stick around if you want to know all about the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix, its temperament, care needs, price, and more!
What Is a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix?
The Shih Tzu Pitbull mix, also known as Pitshih, is a cross between the Shih Tzu and any of the Pitbull-type dog breeds. These hybrids may sport different looks depending on which parent genes are more dominant. Overall, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are gentle, playful, and loyal pets.
Being a hybrid, the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. This means that the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix does not conform to a breed standard and cannot join dog shows and agility competitions.
Individually, both the Shih Tzu and the Pitbull are popular dogs across the United States. However, the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is fairly new and uncommon. Its parent breeds are of very different backgrounds and origins.
Thus, expect that a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix will be a lot more unpredictable than you can imagine.
Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Origin and History: Where Does the Pitshih Come From?
Because the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix breed is a new designer breed, it currently doesn’t have a well-documented origin. In this case, we can try to look at the histories of its parent breeds to better understand the Pitshih.
Shih Tzus and Pitbulls sit on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their pasts. While Shih Tzus have been on the receiving end of public adoration since then, Pitbulls are the opposites.
The Shih Tzu dog originated in Tibet in the 17th century. This breed was highly cherished and protected by the Chinese royalty. It was believed that the first Shih Tzus were bred for Empress Tzu Hsi in the 1860s.
The purebred Shih Tzu was originally used to sit around palaces and alert people of visitors’ presence. Even today, Shih Tzu dogs are considered lapdogs.
Meanwhile, the ancestors of Pitbulls were popular for bull-baiting and dog fighting. Pitbulls have been known as attack dogs for decades. Due to this, they developed aggression, which created a stigma against them.
Based on their backgrounds, your Pitbull Shih Tzu cross may be a homebody pup, an athletic canine, or a balance of both.
Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Appearance: What Does a Pitshih Look Like?
When breeding two different dog breeds, always remember that their appearance will be unpredictable. With Shih Tzu and Pitbull being highly different, it would be hard to envision the appearance of the hybrid.
Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes typically inherit the flat face of the Shih Tzu parent. In this case, you should watch out for breathing problems as this is a common issue for Shih Tzu and other brachycephalic breeds.
In terms of body type, it’s hard to tell what a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix’s body will look like.
It can either have a stocky or compact body like the Shih Tzu dog. In this case, expect that this pup will have Shih Tzu’s elongated spine and Shih Tzu’s shortened legs.
On the other hand, it can also have the muscular and rectangular body of the Pitbull.
You’re lucky if your Pitshih inherits the coat of its Shih Tzu parent as it won’t shed a lot. Otherwise, you will have to deal with all-year-round shedding.
If you want to see a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix in action, watch this video:
Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Size and Weight: How Big Do Pitshihs Get?
A Shih Tzu Pitbull mix can grow from 10 to 25 inches and weigh anywhere between 15 and 30 pounds. Usually, male Pitbull Shih Tzu mixes outgrow their female counterparts.
Mixing a Shih Tzu with a Pitbull will result in a dog that’s either compact or tall. With that said, the size of a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix may range from small to medium. Often, this dog will be smaller than a Pitbull but bigger than a Shih Tzu.
A small Pitshih typically reaches its adult height at 6 to 8 months. Meanwhile, a medium-sized Shih Tzu Pitbull mix may continue growing up until 12 to 18 months.
Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Temperament: Are Pitshihs Good Family Dogs?
One would think that the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix will have a vastly unpredictable temperament, but it’s not entirely true. If Shih Tzus and Pitbull share one thing in common, it’s the fact that they are excellent family dogs.
Thus, you can expect nothing less from Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes. These designer dogs are loyal, outgoing, enthusiastic, and affectionate. Pitbull Shih Tzu mixes tend to be clingy, so if you love your personal space, they may not be for you.
These mixes need a lot of time and attention. Without enough of it, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes can develop separation anxiety or destructive behavior.
Because of the aggressive tendencies of the Pitbull parent, it’s important to expose Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes to early socialization. If done properly, you will have a dog that’s friendly towards people, kids, and other dogs.
Aside from being well-loved companion breeds, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes make great guards and watchdogs. If you can take care of this loyal dog properly, you’ll be delighted about just how useful they are at home.
READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Shih Tzu: Which Is Better?
Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Pitshihs Healthy Dogs?
Considering its parents’ lifespans, the Pitbull Shih Tzu mix lives up to 8 to 16 years. Of course, this depends on how well you take care of it and its genetics.
Moreover, your dog’s lifespan will also depend on the actual breed of its Pitbull parent. In case you didn’t know, different Pitbull breeds have different lifespans. Read our Pitbull lifespan guide to learn more.
That said, here are some of the health issues that can affect your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix’s lifespan:
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia in pups affects the hip joint’s conformation. Biologically, hip dysplasia develops when the socket where the leg connects grows faster than the ball (head of the femur). Another form of dysplasia is elbow dysplasia.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease: Intervertebral disc disease is a common disorder defined by the breakdown or degeneration of one or more discs that divide the bones of the spine, commonly resulting in discomfort in the back, neck, legs, and arms. Dogs of all ages can get intervertebral disc disease, so you should familiarize yourself with the symptoms.
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS): A condition known as BOAS refers to the impact of a shorter head on airflow in the upper airways. Slight snoring or snorting sounds to severe difficulty in breathing are all symptoms of sleep apnea. This applies to Shih Tzu Pit Bull mixes with the facial shape of their Shih Tzu parents.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: Degenerative myelopathy is a spinal cord or bone marrow condition in dogs. This illness may affect any breed or age of the dog, although elderly dogs are most affected. This illness will degenerate your Shih Tzu Pit Bull mix’s spinal cord, causing loss of physiological functioning.
These are only some of the health issues that your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix can develop. They may also be at risk for more illnesses depending on their age, size, physical features, etc.
It’s always best to see a vet regularly to monitor your Shih Tzu Pit Bull mix’s health. It’s also important to pay close attention to your pup’s body to prevent health issues early on.
How to Take Care of Your Pitbull Shih Tzu Mix
Taking care of a designer dog like the Pit Bull Shih Tzu mix requires that you observe and study your dog’s needs. Because Pit Bulls and Shih Tzus are largely different, it would be hard to predict your hybrid’s care needs.
Read along as this section will give you grooming tips and more insights on how to care for your Shih Tzu Pit Bull mix.
Food and Diet
Body type should be considered when feeding a Shih Tzu Pit Bull mix. Small dogs usually require small, frequent meals throughout the day. Meanwhile, medium Pitshihs should have big meals to fuel their energy.
With that, a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix leaning on the smaller side should eat about three to four times daily. But one that’s medium-sized can live off of two meals per day. For a more accurate measurement of dog food intake, consult a vet.
Keep in mind that Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are highly prone to obesity, so make sure you’re not feeding them more than needed. Keep track of how much table scraps and treats you give them, as these can also cause weight gain.
You can read our guide on Pitbull feeding to learn more about how to feed your Pitbull Shih Tzu mix.
Cleaning and Grooming
Grooming a Shih Tzu Pit Bull mix depends on which parent’s coat it takes after. Because the Pitbull and Shih Tzu have varying lengths and textures of coats, you have to adapt to a grooming routine that suits your dog best.
Does your hybrid dog have the coat length and texture of a Shih Tzu? If so, then grooming your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix will be like grooming Shih Tzu’s coats. With that said, start by introducing your puppy to grooming at a young age.
A Shih Tzu Pitbull mix with a long, thick coat should be brushed three to four times per week.
On the other hand, your Shih Tzu Pit Bull mix can have the coat of a Pitbull. In this case, you can brush them at least once a week.
In terms of bathing, a short-hair Shih Tzu Pitbull mix needs a bath every two to three months. You can bathe them when they get visibly dirty or smelly, but as a rule of thumb, they shouldn’t bathe frequently to avoid having dry skin.
Training and Exercise
Luckily for you, both Shih Tzus and Pitbulls are considered intelligent breeds. Thus, you can expect the same for Shih Tzu Pit Bulls. They can easily learn tricks and follow instructions, so training won’t be difficult.
However, watch out for the stubborn streak that they can get from their Pitbull parents. If you notice headstrongness in your Pitbull Shih Tzu mix, establish dominance at a young age. This will help you gain respect from them.
Early socialization training is vital for a Shih Tzu Pitbull cross. This will help you ease their aggressive tendencies and allow them to get along well with other dogs.
It’s also important to put your Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes under home training, potty training, and crate training.
How Much Does a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses
If you’re planning on raising a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix, be prepared to shell out around $750 to $3,000. This range can go higher if you buy from a breeder that offers champion bloodlines and provides a health guarantee.
Yes, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are not the most budget-friendly puppies. Thus, you can also consider adopting, which can cost you about $300 to $500. However, these mixed breeds are not very common in rescues.
Here is a breakdown of the initial costs you are likely to incur when raising a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$50 – $100|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Bed||$30 – $180|
|Crate||$30 – $370|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$20 – $40|
|Grooming Essentials||$30 – $160|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$525 – $2,240|
You can get a more detailed breakdown of the costs of raising a Pitshih by checking our Pitbull pricing guide.
Places to Find Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Since the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix is a relatively new hybrid, it won’t be easy to find places to buy one. The easiest route to take is by visiting online services for a chance to find rescues or breeders that sell these confident dogs.
However, the challenge is to look for online services that offer great service and host reputable breeders. Check out our puppy buying guide to help you avoid common mistakes in buying puppies online.
Here are some places where you can find Shih Tzu Pitbull mix puppies for sale:
- Greenfield Puppies – Greenfield Puppies has over a decade of experience advertising dogs from reputable breeders. They do not host puppy mills and pet stores. Instead, they promote breeders that provide health guarantees to their buyers.
- Keystone Puppies – Keystone Puppies is an online advertising site for puppy breeders. They review and accredit each listing and breeder on their site, so you can expect to find only the best breeders from Keystone Puppies. Try scrolling through their Shih Tzu and Pitbull mix listings to see if you can get a Pitshih.
- Lancaster Puppies – Lancaster Puppies is another online platform that connects breeders with puppy buyers. They mostly cater to buyers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Indiana, but you can surely avail for puppies even if you’re from other states. Browse through their listings to see if they have available Shih Tzu Pitbull mix puppies at the moment.
While Pitshihs are well-loved dogs, it doesn’t exclude them from the horrors of ending up in rescues. Thus, we highly recommend that you consider adoption.
Here are some places where you can find Shih Tzu Pitbull mix puppies for adoption:
- Shih Tzu Rescue, Inc. – Shih Tzu Rescue, Inc. aims to rescue and find homes for Shih Tzus and other companion dogs in South Florida. They also take in mixed dogs, so you have a high chance of finding a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix from this rescue.
- New York Bully Crew – The New York Bully Crew is a non-profit rescue with a mission of saving Bully breeds, like the Pitbull, from kill shelters, streets, and abusive homes. They cater to Pitbull mixes as well, so feel free to inquire from them. A Shih Tzu Pitbull mix might just be waiting for you!
- Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota (STRMN) – STRMN is a non-profit, no-kill organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes Shih Tzus and Shih Tzu mixes. You might want to send them an inquiry to be notified when they have a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix available.
Feel free to browse through our guides on the best Pitbull rescues and breeders and Shih Tzu rescues and breeders. These organizations may help you look for hybrid breeders or connect you with Shih Tzu Pitbull owners.
Furthermore, you can find online communities through Facebook or Reddit, where you can talk with other Shih Tzu Pitbull mix owners.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Pitbull Shih Tzu Mix
While Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are wonderful home companions, they are not for everyone. If you’re having doubts about getting one of these mixed breeds, then pay attention.
In this section, we’ll tell you the pros and cons of owning and raising a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix. Let’s start off with the advantages of owning one.
Here are some of the best things about owning a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix:
- Great temperament: Pitbull Shih Tzu crosses are blessed with great personalities, thanks to their lovable parent breeds. These hybrid dogs make great home companions for all types of families, even the ones with small children.
- Needs low-intensity exercise: Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are ideal for people who can’t keep up with high-energy dogs. Thankfully, the mildness of the Shih Tzu balances well with the activeness of the Pitbull. This makes Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes generally low-maintenance when it comes to exercise.
- Great guard and watchdogs: Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are not just great family dogs, but they are also excellent guard and watchdogs. These dogs are alert and will let you know when strangers come unannounced.
On the other hand, these are some of the disadvantages of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix:
- Overall unpredictability: In general, designer breeds are unpredictable, but this is more prevalent with a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix. This is because of the difference in their sizes, energy levels, and nature. Thus, you will have to deal with a lot of trial and error throughout this pup’s life in terms of feeding, grooming, training, temperament, etc.
- Aggressive tendencies: Due to its Pitbull parent, Pitbull Shih Tzu crosses tend to exhibit aggression. Thankfully, you can minimize this through proper training and socialization.
- Hard to find: Because the Pitbull Shih Tzu mix is a relatively new hybrid, it’s hard to find a source for a puppy. And if you do find a breeder or a rescue with a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix puppy, it could be expensive.
These are some of the most important factors to consider when deciding on owning a Pitbull Shih Tzu mix puppy. Always consider your lifestyle, financial and emotional capacities, family size, etc., when making a decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Aggressive?
Because of their Pitbull heritage, Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes tend to be aggressive. However, they are not dangerous breeds. Their aggressiveness can be corrected with early socialization and behavioral training.
Do Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Shed a Lot?
Its shedding level depends on which parent breed your Shih Tzu Pitbull mix takes after. If it inherits the Shih Tzu genes of its parent, it is less likely to shed frequently. But if it has the Pitbull parent’s coat, it will shed consistently.
Are Shih Tzu Pitbull Mixes Hypoallergenic?
There is currently no study that proves whether or not Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes are hypoallergenic. However, there is a possibility of your Pitshih being hypoallergenic, thanks to its Shih Tzu dog parent.
If you are suffering from allergies, it’s best to test first how your skin will react upon contact with a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix. It’s also advisable to consult with a professional before getting a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix.
Final Thoughts: Is a Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix the Right Dog for You?
Shih Tzu Pitbull mixes may raise some people’s eyebrows. But do not fret! These creatures are nothing but adorable, loving, and docile.
However, it’s safe to say that they are not for everybody. Raising a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix requires close attention as their needs, personalities, and growth can be difficult to anticipate.
If you think you can commit to taking care of this loving dog at home, then what are you waiting for? A lonely Shih Tzu Pitbull mix could be out there just waiting for you!
Are you getting this mix soon? Share your thoughts about the Shih Tzu Pitbull mix in the comments!
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.