Skip to Content

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix: 9 Pros And 5 Cons (w. Photos 2023)

Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix

With a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix…

You’re getting both a sweet fluffy pooch….

Plus, a loyal, protective Fido. 

And that’s what makes PitShihs so special.

But what else is there to love about this hybrid? 

The pros and cons will surprise you.

Continue reading to find out: 

  • The different looks of a PitShih.
  • 3 fun facts and trivia about this hybrid.
  • 9 incredible pros and 5 cons of Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix.
  • And many more…

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix: Appearance

Just like any other mixed pooch…

Expect this hybrid to look like their parents.

That said…

PitShihs often have the body of a Pitbull. Which means they might have a muscular build.

Meanwhile, they’ll have the flatter face of a Shih Tzu.

But since hybrids can be unpredictable…

Here’s a more in-depth guide on their looks:

Height and weight 

PitShihs could grow between small and medium. All thanks to their parent breeds. 

That said, check out the table below for your ease: 

Average HeightAverage Weight
9 to 21 inches (22 to 53 cm)16 to 30 pounds (7.2 to 13 kg)

Note: There are 4 different types of Pitbulls. That’s why the size gap can be wide. This is based on the AKC standards for Pitties.

Read next: 7 Real Reasons Why Pit Bulls Are So Small

Head and face shape

Most PitShihs have round heads. 

But it could be wide and flat too. Especially if they take after their Pitbull parent.

That said, this mix could have cute almond-shaped eyes. Like their Pittie parent. 

Or they might have big round eyes, like Shih Tzus. 

Moreover, their pupil colors could be: 

  • Blue.
  • Hazel.
  • Green.
  • Brown.

Fun fact: Some Pitbulls might have heterochromia. This means their eyes have 2 different colors. And a PitShih could inherit that unique trait.

That aside…

Both mom and dad of this mix have small, droopy ears.

“Huh? I thought Pitbulls have pointy ears.” 

I get why you’re confused. 

The truth is: Pitties have natural droopy ears. 

And there are 2 reasons why you see them erect.

First, it’s due to the tradition of ear cropping. Secondly, it’s to avoid wounds. 

Why, you asked?

Trivia: Pitbulls are fighting dogs. To prevent injuries in their ear, their handlers decided to crop them. 

And that’s why most people think Pitties have bat-like ears. 

Though, many vets say ear cropping’s cruel. Plus, it’s unnecessary. 

And it’s only useful when the pooch might have ear infections. 

So in the end… 

It’s your choice whether to crop your PitShih’s ears or not.

Coat type and colors

PitShihs have 2 different coats. 

It’s either thick and straight like Shihs. Or smooth and short like Pitties. 

Though, most PitShihs have medium short fur. And they tend to be a bit wavy. 

This seems like a balance between their two parents. 

Now, this mixed pooch comes in many colors, like: 

  • Tan.
  • Red.
  • Blue.
  • Gold.
  • Grey.
  • Liver.
  • Black.
  • Fawn.
  • White.
  • Brown.
  • Brindle.
  • Multicolor.

Also, you might even find rare colors in this breed.

Especially if the parent’s a Blue Fawn Pitbull, for example.

Shih Tzu Pitbull mix: Temperament

PitShihs are amazing family dogs. 

Most of them are always in good spirits. 

That’s why they make great playmates for anyone. 

Including kids or other animals.

Aside from that…

This hybrid loves pleasing their loved ones. So they’re quite easy to train.

Though, some PitShihs could have a stubborn side too.

But as long as you reward them with treats and praises… 

You can correct their unwanted habits. 

And thanks to Fido’s size, they adjust well to any lifestyle. 


Both Shih Tzus and Pitbulls tend to be sensitive. 

So if you’re always away from home, a PitShih might get anxious.

Continue reading: Why Does My Dog All Of A Sudden Have (Separation) Anxiety?

9 pros of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix

#1: Active and playful

Active And Playful Shih Tzu Pitbull Mix

Both parents of this pooch are lively Fidos. That’s why they’ll also inherit that trait. 

So, expect PitShihs to enjoy running around. 

They’d love to play with toys. Or just interact with anyone. 

After all, Shih Tzus are confident dogs. And that’s why they can be bold. 

Now, if you mix that with a Pitbull’s energy levels…

You might get a hyperactive PitShih. 

Especially if their mom or dad’s a Bull Terrier. 

Why, you asked?

Well, a study says that 18% of these Pitties tend to be hyperactive.

So prepare yourself if your hybrid pooch inherits that trait.

Check out also: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog

#2: Long lifespan

The average lifespan of Pitbulls is 8 to 14 years. Meanwhile, Shih Tzus live up to 10 to 16 years. 

With that, a PitShih’s lifespan is around 10 to 15 years. 

But what’s more amazing is that…

PitShihs could live longer than their average life span.

“Really? How’s that possible?” 

A study reveals: 

Mixed dogs tend to be stronger than their fur parents. And this is called hybrid vigor. 

So as long as your PitShih’s well taken care of…

They might live longer than you’d expect 

But you might be wondering: 

“Why are hybrids stronger?” 

That’s because inbreeding has its own issues too. 

You see, scientists say: 

Inbreeding leads to more diseases. And that affects a dog’s lifespan. 

That’s why hybrids like PitShihs are healthier than purebred Fidos.

And to add more…

Small dogs live longer than big ones 

Now, this is backed up by many studies.

Since Shih Tzus are small, they have a longer life span. 

And your hybrid Fido could inherit that, too. 

But why? What causes this difference? 

Professor Elgar explains:

Bigger dogs age faster than small ones. That’s why they tend to die sooner than others. 

Since PitShihs are only tiny or medium in size… 

They’re more likely to live a long life.

#3: Great family members

If you’re looking for an ideal lapdog…

PitShihs could be the answer.

With their small size, they fit nicely on anyone’s lap. 

Plus, these sweet Fidos enjoy your cuddles too. 

“How would you know that?” 

You see, Pitbulls are one of the most affectionate dogs.

So don’t get surprised if they jump in the bed with you.

Also, PitShihs are protective too. That’s despite their tiny stature.

Aside from that…

Pitbulls are very gentle, even around kids 

So, as a hybrid, a PitShih might turn out the same way.

And I know most people would have doubts.

In that case, check out this video of Hulk. One of the biggest Pitbulls out there. 

And they’re very sweet with their hooman sibling: 

Note: Though Pitbulls have a bad image, don’t let that scare you off. These Fidos don’t just snap for no reason. So this is a gentle reminder that Pitties won’t hurt you or your family for fun.

#4: Friendly 

Shih Tzus are already popular for their friendliness. 

But don’t miss out on Pitbulls too. 

As long as these Fidos are well trained… 

They can be among the friendliest dogs you’ll ever meet. 

So if you’re looking to adopt a PitShih…

Be prepared for their sweet charms.

PitShihs can be too friendly, even with strangers. 

But not just that. 

They’ll get along with other animals at home, too. 

Read next: My Dog Is Too Friendly With Strangers: 5 Reasons + 5 Tips

#5: They’re obedient

Did you know that Shih Tzus are great show dogs? 

In fact, they even ranked as the 22nd most popular pooch in the AKC.

But competing in shows isn’t that simple. 

You’d have to be an obedient pooch to qualify at all.

And that’s why I can tell you:

PitShihs are very obedient. Especially if they take after their Shih Tzu parent. 

Now, that doesn’t mean Pitties are stubborn. 

The truth is…

Both parents of this mixed Fido are very good doggos. 

These furry pals love pleasing their fur parents. And that’s why they’re happy to listen to your requests. 

So if you’re planning to train a PitShih… 

Don’t worry. Most of them will make it easy for you.

#6: Grooming them is easier

Though Shihs have thick coats…

It doesn’t mean they shed a lot. 

And as a crossed breed…

A PitShih could inherit that same trait from Shih Tzus. 

Though, some of them might have shorter hair too. Just like a Pitbull’s. 

With this, brushing their fur won’t be such a task. 

And it can save you a lot of money too. 

Now, you don’t always have to go to the groomer. 

But of course…

Hybrids can be unpredictable. 

So if they happen to inherit a Shih’s long, thick coats…

Then you’d have to put extra effort into grooming them. 

You might also like: Ask A Vet: Do Shih Tzus Have Hair Or Fur? 

#7: They can be therapy dogs

Both parents of this Fido are helpful canines.

For one, they could become service dogs.

And no, it’s not true when they say: 

“Pitbulls can’t become service dogs!” 

The law says that any breed can work as one. 


Shih Tzus are also great as therapy dogs. 

Since they’re so small and comforting…

They help people with mental issues a lot. 

In fact, based on this news report

Many studies show that dogs can improve your health. Not just mentally. But also physically.

And a PitShih can prove that to you. Whether they’re service dogs or not.

#8: Adapts well to any lifestyle

Since PitShihs are small…

They can adjust to an apartment lifestyle. 

Or any kind of home would be alright for them. 

As long as these Fidos have the proper care and love…

PitShihs will be happy no matter where you take them. 

And this means they’re great travel buddies too. 

They can join you in many places…

Like when you wanna shop at Home Depot, for example. 

Most places should be fine with a small pooch like PitShihs.

#9: Moderate exercise needs          

Moderate Exercise Needs

As I mentioned above…

These Fidos only need the right care.

And by that, I mean their exercise. 

Now, Shih Tzus are small dogs. With this, they only need 30 to 60 minutes of walking. 

You can also split that into 2 sets to make it easier. 

So your PitShih would most likely need the same.

And if you want a more accurate exercise plan…

You should consult Fido’s vet.        

5 cons of owning a Shih Tzu Pitbull mix

#1: Small dog syndrome 

Between a tiny Shih Tzu and a big Pitbull…

Who’s more likely to be fierce?

You’d be surprised to know that… 

Big dogs are nicer than small ones. 

That means a Shih might be bolder than a Pittie. 

Fun fact: The name Shih Tzu means little lion. Which sounds perfect for their confident nature, as per AKC.

That said…

Vets refer to this fierce manner as: 

Small dog syndrome. 

And the following acts are its symptoms:

So without proper training… 

Your PitShih might have the same 7 issues above. 

But don’t worry. Most Shih Tzus are well-behaved Fidos

Though, if you have concerns with your PitShih…

You can reach out to a professional trainer for help.

Find out more:  7 Reasons Why Big Dogs Are Nicer Than Small Dogs 

#2: Dental problems

Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues, experts say.

That’s due to their tiny mouths. It causes their teeth to be:

  • Missing.
  • Misaligned.
  • Overcrowded.

And this might cause pain for your pooch. 

So if your PitShih takes after their Shih Tzu parent…

They could be prone to dental issues too. 

In that case, take Fido to the vet to know what to do.

#3: They get easily bored

Since this hybrid pooch is active…

They’re also prone to boredom. 

Without any fun activities, PetMD says a PitShih might: 

Tip: To avoid this, ensure that Fido’s entertained. 

For example, you can buy some new toys for them. 

By having something to play with, your pooch could benefit from: 

  • Stress relief.
  • Weight control.
  • Simple exercise.
  • Mental stimulation.
  • Lower anxiety levels.
  • Hours of entertainment. 
  • A satisfied hunting instinct.

And these 7 things can help get rid of Fido’s boredom.

Suggested read: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Suddenly Being Destructive + Tips

#4: Breathing issues 

Both parents of this pooch have flat noses.

This means they’re brachycephalic dogs.

Now, these Fidos are prone to breathing problems.

And as hybrids…

PitShihs are flat-faced too. 

Just like their fellow Pitbull hybrid: Pitchis.

With this, you should limit Fido’s activities.

And like I said in pro #9…

Consult a vet for a better exercise plan for your pooch.

#5: Prone to separation anxiety

While PitShihs are very affectionate…

They can be sensitive too. 

And I’m referring to when they’re left alone at home.

You see, both parents of this mix tend to be clingy. That’s why they get nervous when you’re not around.

So if they’re left alone for hours…

Experts say your PitShih would do things like:

And these are just the common symptoms. 

Some nervous Fido might have more issues, such as:

  • Bloat.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Depression.

Warning: If you notice these concerns in Fido, take them to the clinic. Their mental health is also important.

So if you’re a busy person, a PitShih might not be ideal for you.