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Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix: Facts, Details, Pictures

Hybrid dogs are steadily increasing in popularity, with one of the most sought-after designer dogs being a shih tzu pit bull mix. Known as the pitshih, these amazing dogs are the perfect family companion.

Shih tzu pit bull mixes are bred by using two purebred parents. This designer dog is a mix of the shih tzu and American pit bull terrier, which pass specific characteristics on to their pups. Shih tzu pit bull mix puppies are known as pitshihs and are loving dogs that are good with children. 

If you have your heart set on finding your own pitshih pup, it’s important to do your research. Knowing the breed will help you care for your dog and give you a better idea of its temperament, appearance, exercise requirements, and more. Luckily, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on the shih tzu pit bull mix to answer your burning questions. 

History Of The Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix

Designer breeds, also known as hybrid breeds, usually have two purebred parents to improve the breeding outcome. Similarly, hybrid pups are bred to combine the traits of two separate dog breeds. And the pitshih is no different! 

The pitshih is an adorable designer breed that mixes the traits and characteristics of the American pit bull terrier and the shih tzu. By combining these two breeds, dog lovers can get the best of both worlds. But there’s a lot more to the pitshih than meets the eye.

The American Pit Bull Terrier

Pit bull terriers belonged to the terrier family and were first bred in the United Kingdom in the 1800s. The breed is known for being a medium-sized dog with a short, sleek coat. Pit bulls are also typically muscular and athletic and fall into the category of ‘power breeds.’ 

A power breed is a breed of dog that is more active and athletic than others and usually require more exercise and dedication from its owners. Although power breeds – particularly pit bulls – have a reputation for being aggressive and unpredictable, most dog owners are beginning to realize that the prejudice against this breed couldn’t be further from the truth. 

With proper training and upbringing, pit bulls can make fantastic family companions and are gentle, loving dogs. In fact, pit bulls used to be known as ‘nannies’ because of their incredible instinct around and compatibility with young children.  

The Shih Tzu

On the other hand, shih tzus aren’t renowned for its power. Instead, this breed is better known for being a lovable companion, and they are typically kept as ‘lap’ dogs. These dogs are highly intelligent but will do anything for love. That means that these furry friends are extremely loyal but also quite needy! 

Historically, shih tzus were owned by royalty in China during the 1800s. While the breed may be small, they may still feel deep connections to their royal roots. And they act like it, too! Shih tzus love to be adored but can also be wonderful pets for families thanks to their gentle temperaments. 

Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix
Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix

Characteristics Of The Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix

Mixed breed dogs are usually a fun mix of characteristics, depending on the breed of their parents. However, designer breeds are more inclined toward specific features because their parents are generally purebred dogs. 

Pitshihs come in all different shapes and sizes and can vary slightly because of how the genetics mix during breeding. But most pitshih owners and breeders know that this adorable breed usually sticks closely to a specific set of traits. These traits include appearance, temperament, lifespan, and exercise. 

Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix Temperament

To understand the temperament of a pitshih, you first need to familiarize yourself with the typical disposition of the shih tzu and pit bull terrier, respectively. 

Pit bulls are generally loving companions and can be extremely gentle if bred and raised correctly. Their soft nature makes them good family dogs, and they are incredibly patient with children. They are also energetic and independent and can keep themselves busy if their owners give them regular exercise. 

Similarly, pit bulls are highly intelligent dogs and are easy to train. They can make exceptional guard dogs but need to be trained early to ensure that they are de-sensitized to triggers that may cause aggressive reactions. 

On the other hand, shih tzus are more laid-back and require less exercise. These dogs often snuggle up with their owners and seek attention and affection. Like pit bulls, shih tzus are loving and can make good family pets if they are trained. They may take longer to train and become skittish or fearful if they are not exposed to different experiences and people at an early age. 

An ideal shih tzu pit bull mix will inherit its parents’ loving and gentle nature. Similarly, they will be relatively independent but may need more attention than the independent pit bull. Pitshihs make excellent family pets and are good with children. Still, they may need to be trained early to eliminate fear or aggressive reactions. 

While shih tzu pit bull mixes are gentle and need less exercise, it’s essential to train them if you have other pets. Pitshihs are prone to chase and hunt smaller animals and pets like cats and mice, so they may be better suited to a dog-only household. 

Shih Tzu Pit Bull Mix Physical Features

The shih tzu pit bull mix is a unique blend of its purebred parents’ adorable and robust characteristics. Like the shih tzu, the pitshih typically has a rounded face with softer features. This is in stark contrast to the sharper features of the pit bull terrier. 

But, while most pitshihs resemble shih tzus in terms of facial features, the rest of the shih tzu pit bull mix’s physical characteristics may be varied. The type of physical characteristics the shih tzu pit bull mix has will depend on the dominant genetics that it gets from its parents. Pitshih litters may even produce different looking pups despite the fact that they’re siblings! 

Shih tzu pitbull puppies have sleek coats, like the pit bull. However, their fur is usually longer and softer than a pit bull’s coarse coat. The coat color can vary between deep browns, golden yellows, and black hues, but they may also have white, grey, or blue accents. They will typically require regular grooming, although it won’t be as frequent as a shih tzu’s grooming regiment. 

Pitshihs may have a weight range of between fifteen and thirty pounds. But their weight may fluctuate depending on which parent they share most of their characteristics with. The same idea can be applied to a shih tzu pit bull mix’s height, but most are around ten to twenty-five inches tall. 

Generally, a shih tzu pit bull mix will have a shorter torso like a pit bull, with a somewhat muscular stature. They may be small to medium in size, although most pups will be slightly larger than a standard shih tzu. 

Shih Tzu Pit Bull Exercise Requirements

Pit bulls are high-energy dogs that need a lot of training and exercise. Pit bulls may be prone to behavioral problems without a daily exercise regime. These problems are because pit bulls are bred as working dogs, so they are naturally more energetic. 

Unlike pit bulls, shih tzus are low-energy dogs. Like other breeds, shih tzus still need regular exercise but require significantly less than bigger breeds. These adorable companions are typically couch potatoes and prefer to spend their time lazing around with their owners. 

When you combine the energetic nature of pit bulls with the relaxed approach of shih tzus, you get a fantastic family pet that can cuddle up for an afternoon nap or keep up on a long hike with you and your family! 

Shih tzu pit bull mixes need average amounts of exercise. Generally, thirty to forty minutes of daily exercise will be enough to keep your pitshih pup happy and fulfilled. But your fluffy friend won’t say no to a lazy Sunday lie-in either. 

For owners that want the loyalty and personality of a pit bull without dedicating themselves to hours of training and exercise for their pet, the shih tzu pit bull mix is the perfect pick. 

Shih Tzu Pit Bull Health Conditions

Every dog breed has its fair share of health conditions that its more prone to. And while purebred dogs are generally more susceptible to certain conditions, hybrid or designer breeds aren’t exempt from them either. 

Pit bulls are a powerful breed with well-defined muscles and stocky frames. However, because pit bulls are more energetic, they are predisposed to joint and muscular conditions. Like other power or working breeds, pit bulls can often develop hip dysplasia, pain, and inflammation in their joints. This pain is typically due to over-exertion. Similarly, shih tzus may be more prone to back problems and pain due to their elongated spines. 

Because both breeds have an inclination toward joint, muscular, or skeletal health conditions, shih tzu pit bull mixes often suffer from them as well. 

Shih tzus are gorgeous dogs, but they also come with their fair share of medical conditions. These toy-breed dogs are prone to dental issues and breathing difficulties because of their short, flat snouts. Their flattened faces are usually inherited by shih tzu pit bull mixes, meaning it’s highly likely that your pitshih pup may suffer from the same ailments. 

Some other conditions that may be inherited by shih tzu pit bull mixes include heart disease, allergies, overheating, and epilepsy. 

It’s crucial to ensure that your pitshih pup is bred with parents that are in good health to minimize the risk of them suffering from these health conditions. You can do this by reviewing your shih tzu pit bull mix’s parents’ genetic and breeding histories. You’ll also want to ensure that you only adopt your pup from registered, ethical breeders with a good track record. 

Shih Tzu Pit Bull Lifespan 

Owning a dog is a big commitment. And not just because of its care needs or exercise and health requirements! Most dogs have an average lifespan of around ten years, which means your loving companion will be with you for a long time. But how old can you expect your pitshih to get?

The American pit bull terrier has a standard life expectancy of eight to fourteen years. Their age will depend on the level of care they get and the effect of any health conditions they may inherit. However, with proper care and medical attention, pit bulls can spend up to fifteen years with their owners. 

Shih tzus have a longer life expectancy, with most pups averaging ten to sixteen years of age. Their longer lifespan may be attributed to their size, as it’s widely believed that smaller dogs have longer life expectancies than their larger counterparts. 

Taking these facts into account, your shih tzu pit bull mix puppy may have a lifespan of around twelve to sixteen years. That means your fluffy friend will typically live longer than their pit bull parents. 

It’s also well known that smaller, mixed-breed dogs have longer life expectancies. Mixed-breed dogs have longer life expectancies because they usually inherit the dominant genes of their parents. The combination of these dominant genes makes for healthier dogs with ideal characteristics. 

While your pitshih may live a long and happy life, it’s important to remember that its life expectancy will depend on how its genetics manifest. Unfortunately, no two pitshihs will ever be the same. For example, if your shih tzu pit bull mix inherits more pit bull genetics, it may only have a life expectancy of around eight years old. 


Hybrid or designer dogs are gaining more traction among dog owners because of their ability to combine the ideal characteristics of their parents. The shih tzu and the pit bull are known for their loving natures and are both incredibly loyal family pets. So, there’s no wonder the pitshih is bred to be a life-long companion with the perfect mix of adorable and powerful genetics. 


NOTE: There were only a few references with a good DA (over 50). I’ve included the lower DA sources that I used below: