Do you enjoy friendly dogs with affectionate personalities? Have you been looking for a medium-sized canine friend with a soft furry coat and adorable face?
If so, check out the Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix. Though this crossbreed is uncommon, if you find one, you might just fall in love!
The Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever hybrid is created by mixing a female Labrador Retriever with a male Shih Tzu. This mixed breed dog can weigh anywhere from 25 to 45 pounds.
A fluffy, medium-coated dog, they are friendly, affectionate, and playful. This mix is a great choice for families!
However, they can be slightly difficult to train and need lots of positive reinforcement. These pups are also prone to obesity. Still, they are wonderful for the right owners!
About the Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
Shih Tzus and Labrador retrievers are both very popular dog breeds. In fact, both breeds rank in the top 20th percentile of the 50 most popular dogs in the United States. This makes sense, as both of these breeds are very easy-going and sociable.
As a medium-sized mix, you can expect this dog to reach no more than 60 pounds. Shih Tzus and Labrador retrievers are known for being affectionate, friendly, and playful.
When these two breeds are combined, any resulting puppies are likely to be equally good-natured! Litters usually range from 1 to 8 puppies in size.
Since Shih Tzus are so much smaller than Labrador Retrievers, this mix is rare. For breeding to take place, a large male Shih Tzu will usually be the sire.
The female, or dam, will usually need to be an unusually small labrador. Any resulting puppies will share a mix of the traits of both parents.
To understand this dog comprehensively, it is good to have an idea of the histories of both parents. Labrador Retrievers are a working breed group. Shih Tzus fall into the toy category.
Today, both of these dogs are often used for companionship. However, some Labradors are still used for hunting and water retrieval. Purebred Shih Tzus can often be found in the dog show ring.
The History of Labrador Retrievers
The Labrador Retriever dog breed has been around for a long time. Back in the 1700s, the Labrador Retriever was known as the St. John’s Water-Dog.
Later, a famous Duke began referring to these water-loving pups as Labrador Retrievers after seeing them swim in the Labrador Sea. In time, the development of the breed was exported to England.
The temperament and personality of the Labrador Retriever can vary dramatically. Some Labrador Retrievers are all about working, hunting, and retrieving.
Other Labrador Retrievers have a relaxed temperament and prefer to take long naps throughout the day. With such diversity in the breed, many traits are possible.
However, most Labrador retrievers have a strong sense of smell, amiable temperament, and hefty appetite.
The History of Shih Tzus
Tibetan Monks once owned and bred Shih-Tzus in temples. The primary purpose of the Shih Tzu was for companionship, though they also served as watchdogs.
The Shih Tzu has a long, silky coat that grows continuously. This coat may reach floor length when a dog is fully mature.
Shih Tzus are popular because they are affectionate, friendly, and enjoy being held and cuddled.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
This mix isn’t for everyone. There are a few reasons that you should avoid getting one. First of all, this dog is prone to obesity. With such a strong appetite, you can expect this dog to constantly be looking for snacks.
Additionally, these hybrids can be difficult to train. Shih Tzus are known for being particularly hard to train and housebreak.
Labrador Retrievers can be stubborn and have a range of personality traits, making it hard to predict how they will act.
Also, this hybrid is likely to have a fluffy, medium to long coat. This coat can be very thick and difficult to care for.
You will likely need to make lots of appointments with a groomer. This is especially true if your dog plays outside a lot.
Finally, Labrador Retrievers are particularly prone to roaming away from home in search of new things to retrieve. They have very strong senses of smell that can lead them into trouble.
As such, your Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix may escape the yard and go looking for adventure. Keep this in mind before purchasing a puppy or adopting a rescue.
Reasons to Avoid the Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
- Prone to obesity
- May sniff out mischief
- Difficult to groom
- Stubborn in training
- Could take time to potty train
- Tendency to roam and escape the yard
Reasons Why You Should Get a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
There are many great reasons to adopt a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu. For one, these dogs are fantastic family companions.
They have a natural love for children! Since they are fairly healthy, they can live for a decent amount of time. Plus, they come in a range of colors and coat patterns.
Additionally, these dogs are very cute. They look like furry teddy bears with large round eyes and distinctive noses. These dogs also enjoy playing and cuddling.
A Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix could make a fantastic addition to any family looking for a good-natured dog with medium energy levels and lots of love to give. In general, this hybrid does great with strangers, children, and other pets.
Reasons to Own the Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
- Affectionate and loving
- Friendly and playful
- Good with strangers, kids, and other pets
- Adorable teddy bear appearance
- Soft fluffy coat in many color options
- Relatively healthy
Traits and Personality of a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
The personality of a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix is friendly, outgoing, welcoming, affectionate, mellow, and eager to please.
These dogs tend to love their families and enjoy the company of other people and animals as well. This dog will usually be friendly towards strangers and can have fun playing with kids.
Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Appearance
The Labrador retriever Shih Tzu mix is one cute canine. This dog is often described as having a teddy bear or Muppet face. They’re quite endearing!
As puppies, they are even more unbelievably adorable with large, round eyes and wet, button noses.
The ears of this dog are floppy and rounded off. They have long, straight tails and well-proportioned bodies. Their muzzles are distinctive and short, though not stunted or stubby.
The Labrador Retriever on average weighs 68 pounds. The Shih Tzu on average weighs 13 pounds.
Therefore, you can expect this dog to weigh anywhere from 17 to 60 pounds. On average, they fall in the 25 to 45-pound weight range.
Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix Coat and Colors
The fur of a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix is usually soft and fluffy. Coat colors for this hybrid include white, light cream, brown, tan, black, gray, and more.
In most cases, this dog will be one, solid color. However, they may have patches of brown, tan, white, or black.
The Shih Tzu generally has a silky, long, single-layer coat. On the other hand, the Labrador Retriever has a thick, waterproof, double-layered coat.
When combined, it can be hard to predict what type of coat you will wind up for any mixed puppies. A puppy’s coat can also change a lot as it grows.
Grooming Your Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix
Grooming this mix might be difficult. Shih Tzus don’t shed often. As such, their coats tend to need frequent brushing. Labs shed a lot, and usually excrete coat oils that have a very doggy smell!
So, you could wind up with a dog that sheds but then the fur gets trapped beneath the topcoat. This could lead to lots of matting and a stinky odor.
Depending on how active your dog is, you can expect to give it a bath once every three weeks.
If your Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix is particularly smelly, there are many great dog-safe colognes and odor-reducing sprays to try.
Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix Lifespan
Labrador Retrievers can live for 15 years on average. The same goes for Shih Tzus. So, you can expect a healthy Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu hybrid to live for around 15 years! A healthy lifestyle and good dental care help your dog live even longer.
Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever Mix Health Problems
These dogs are fairly healthy. Unlike purebred Labrador Retrievers, Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever hybrids do not suffer from hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia commonly.
Still, keep an eye out for these issues just in case. Also, be sure to watch for allergies, as they can be common in this mix.
Consider adding flaxseed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, or fish oils into your dog’s diet.
These oils can help your dog’s brain development and will also work toward improving their coat and skin. These healthy, dog-safe oils may even reduce odors and allergies.
Food Requirements or a Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever Hybrid
Also, do not let this dog become obese. Some Shih Tzus and Labs are both prone to obesity. Since this dog is mixed with 50% Shih Tzu 50% Lab, obesity could become an issue later in life. Make sure to balance your dog’s food intake with their daily energy levels.
Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever Cross Exercise Requirements
Expect to take your Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu hybrid for a walk every day. These dogs should have low to medium energy levels.
This mix is also likely to enjoy activities like camping, swimming, and hiking! Although, they may get tired after lengthy hikes.
Many Labrador mixes love the water and will enjoy swimming in lakes, ponds, pools, and more.
Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever Mixed Breed Dogs Families
This dog is a wonderful choice for families with kids of all ages! However, be sure that you teach your children how to properly interact with dogs and puppies.
Children under the age of eight should not be left alone with dogs unless they understand how to behave around them.
The Shih Tzu Labrador Retriever and Other Pets
The Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu crossbreed can get along well with other animals. If you bring a Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mixed breed puppy home, introduce it carefully to any other animals in the household.
Training Tips for Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix Puppies and Dogs
Be sure that you nip any problem behaviors in the bud. If you see dominant or aggressive behaviors in your Lab Shih Tzu mix puppy, try to address any issues right away.
Otherwise, this dog could become pushy, disobedient, and difficult to deal with. Behaviors like growling, snapping, or ignoring commands are signs that problematic behaviors could be developing.
It is recommended to start training early and keep your training routine consistent throughout puppyhood.
Obedience training may also be helpful. Use as much positive reinforcement as possible while also staying in control.
They are likely to be very motivated by treats. With enough time and dedication, this dog is trainable. Stay the course and don’t give up!
Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu Mix Puppies for Sale
Labrador Retriever Shih Tzu mix puppies can be hard to find. The size difference of the parents makes this pairing uncommon. Many Shih Tzu Labrador mixes are incorrectly identified as Labradoodles (and vice versa).
Often, this hybrid will contain other breeds as well. You can know that you have a genuine half Shih Tzu and half Labrador Retriever mix if you can meet both of the parents of a litter.
Otherwise, there is a good chance that your mix has been misidentified. Doggy DNA tests can help you determine if you have a true Labrador Shih Tzu cross as well!