A Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix is mixture of a purebred Shiba Inu and a purebred Shih Tzu. Also known as "designer" dogs - these hybrid dog mixes can be source of controversy as they are frequently bred by puppy mills or backyard breeders.

Shiba Inus are medium sized purebred dogs that are known for their unique personalities, alertness, loyalty, and independent personalities.

Though originally bred hundreds of years ago in Japan as hunting dogs, they are now very popular pets and can be found in every country in the world.

Shih Tzus are also a breed that hails from Asia. Also known as the “chrysanthemum dog,” thanks to their furry round faces that resemble the flower, they are best known for being loving and devoted family pets.

The actual country of origin of the Shih Tzu is hotly debated; some say they come from imperial China, while others insist that they originated in the temples of Tibet.

No matter where they come from, Shih Tzus are well loved around the world as exceptional pets.

Shih Tzus are Shiba Inus are very different, both physically and in terms of personality. So, what happens when you come across a mix of these two?

purebred shih tzu dog
AKC Shiba Inu dog

Left: Shih Tzu, Right: Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu Mix - Personality and Temperament

Personality wise, Shih Tzus and Shiba Inus are quite dissimilar.

In fact, they could hardly be more different!

Unlike Shiba Inus, who were bred to be superior hunting dogs that bonded closely with their master, Shih Tzus tend to bond with everyone!

They were never bred to do anything other than love people.

While they can be stubborn and actually make relatively good guard dogs because they are so alert, Shih Tzus, at the end of the day, are first class lap dogs. They love children, other animals, and people of every sort!

Shiba Inus are a little more discriminating with their devotion.

In fact, many people describe Shibas as “cat-like”.

While extremely loving and affectionate with their owners and immediate family, Shiba Inus may take a bit of time to warm up to new people, and often give a first impression of being uninterested and aloof.

A Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix, thanks to the personalities of both parent dogs, will be a little more balanced.

While certainly loving and affectionate, they will be a little less outgoing than the Shih Tzu but less reserved than the Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix will make excellent watch dogs. Though they are unlikely to do anything if an intruder actually comes in, they will certainly sound the alarm!

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mixes will generally get along well with all sorts of people, including children, provided they are socialized with them. If they take after the Shih Tzu, they will likely get along very well with other dogs.

However, if the Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mixes tend to be a little more like their Shiba Inu parent, there are no guarantees (Shiba’s don’t always love other dogs, as they generally prefer the companionship of human beings.)

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu Mix - Physical Characteristics

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mixes are small/medium-sized dogs. They will have either plush or long fur, which can come in a variety of colors.

While Shiba Inus come in 4 main coat colors, Shih Tzus come in pretty much every color imaginable, from gold, white, black, and brown to red, liver and brindle.

The possibilities are endless!

So, the possibilities regarding color for a Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix are equally limitless. It’s impossible to predict their coat color without knowing the colors of the parents.

In any case, they are likely to be striking.

Purebred Shih Tzus grow to be roughly 9-11 inches high at the shoulders, while Shiba Inus stand a little taller at 12 to 14 inches tall at the shoulders.

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix will grow to be between 10 and 13 inches, and will weigh between 11-20lbs.

Facially, a Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix will not have the flat face of a Shih Tzu, nor the elongated nose of the Shiba Inu. They will fall somewhere in the middle, with a rounded muzzle and bright, well-set apart eyes.

Shiba Inu Shih Tzu Mix - Health / Health Issues

Shih Tzus and Shiba Inus are prone to several health issues. While Shiba Inus tend to have joint and eye problems, Shih Tzus are a little more delicate and are prone to spinal problems, breathing issues (due to their very short snouts), along with hyperthyroidism and the occasional liver problem.

Mixing the Shiba Inu and Shih Tzu is likely to eliminate at least a few of these issues, particularly any breathing problems associated with having a flat nose.

However, it’s also possible that a Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mix will suffer from a mixed bag of health issues, thanks to their mixed parentage. There are no guarantees with mixed breeds!


Shiba Inu Shih Tzu mixes are small to medium sized dogs with medium length fur. They are generally friendly, but can be reserved with strangers, and are extremely affectionate with their owners.

Fiesty and genial, these little dogs will make excellent companions.

That being said, Shih Tzus and Shiba Inus are two very different breeds that were created for two very different purposes. Shih Tzus were bred to be loving and affectionate with their human owners.

With Shiba Inus, that’s sort of just a bonus!

In fact, dog owners who decide to get a Shiba are very different people than those who choose a Shih Tzu. That’s because the breeds are extremely different and appeal to two totally different demographics.

So, why mix them together?

Well, you shouldn’t!

​Designer dog / hybrid mixes are too often sourced from puppy mill operations and / or backyard breeders. 

T​his is simply because it's easier to get away with low quality puppies that are a mixture of two totally different dog breeds than it is with one. 

​Additionally, because of the popularity of certain designer dog breeds in the media, sellers of these types of dogs can get away with outrageously high prices. 

Both Shiba Inus and Shih Tzus should be valued for their own unique personalities and exquisite physical appearances.

Mixing the two breeds together does little or nothing to guarantee better health or a longer life, and in fact is just creating a hybrid of the two, both physically and in terms of personality. 

Because the Shiba Inu and the Shih Tzu are unique breeds with matchless temperaments and good looks, we can’t think of any reason why they should be bred together.


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