When you imagine interesting dog crosses, the Shih Tzu Rottweiler mix has to be close to the top of your list.
However, it is probably a mix that never occurred to you in the first place. Not known to result in a particularly healthy dog, the Shih Tzu Rottweiler mix stands out for its charming, good looks, fluffy fur, and loyal and vivacious personality.
The Shi Tzu Rottweiler mix is a little-known cross designed to provide a specific fluffy, sweet-faced look and companionship.
Also called a Shihweiler, the Shih Tzu-Rottie has high energy and a friendly disposition. It is often black with brown markings.
The hybrid’s popularity continues to increase because its size appeals to so many at about 12 inches tall and 45 pounds.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Shih Tzu Rottweiler Mix
As adorable as the mix may seem, a Shihweiler has a few idiosyncrasies that may give you pause. Notably, certain conformation issues such as short legs and muzzles tend to persist in the cross.
- Higher incidence of breathing problems than other Rottweiler mixes
- Vulnerable to heat stroke
- Back problems – Relatively long back and short legs
- Impatient and potentially snappy with small children
- Long thick hair that sheds and needs extra maintenance
- High incidence of orthopedic problems – Hip dysplasia, luxating patellas)
Reasons Why You Should Get a Shih Tzu rottweiler mix
For many, owning a Shihweiler is more than worth a few drawbacks. The Shih Tzu Rottweiler mix will always be a forceful presence in your life and is a dog that displays loyalty and affection.
- Fluffy and cute
- Excellent watchdog
- High trainability
Traits of a Shih Tzu rottweiler mix
No one knows when the first accidental Shi Tzu Rottweiler cross occurred, but purposeful breeding likely began in the 2000s. One of the newest designer dogs with a history that began in the US, the Shihweiler came from two ancient breeds.
The Shih Tzu’s ancestors probably arose with Tibetan monks before 620 AD and were developed in China to be companions and watchdogs for Royalty in the 1600s.
Rottweilers arrived with the Romans in Germany around 73 AD. Further development began after the dogs were abandoned. Shi Tzus joined the AKC in 1969 and the Rottweiler in 1931.
Keep in mind that Shihweilers are unofficial designer dogs that are not recognized by the AKC, American Canine Hybrid Club, or International Designer Dog Club as of 2020.
The Shihweiler has a unique and consistent look. Her head resembles a square but is softer and rounder than a Rottie’s with a shorter snout. The eyes are round and dark brown except in light-colored dogs.
A Shihweiler’s ears are medium-sized and roughly triangular but hang lower than a purebred Rottweiler’s.
The body is large with a long strong back on visibly shortened legs. You will see that the chest is broad and deep for the dog’s size.
Dogs range from 11 to 14 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh from 21 to 47 pounds. The tail loops in a full circle to lay on the croup. Shihweilers have a quick jaunty gait.
This video shows a typical Shihweiler which is a big-bodied, long-backed, short-legged dog with black and brown coloration. Notice the scruffy appearance of the coat, the friendly demeanor, and shortened muzzle.
Coat and Colors
A Shihweiler’s coat is variable but is usually approximately midway between its parents. Shih Tzus has a long flowing coat with a dense undercoat. The coat’s thickness does not detract from its softness.
A Rottweiler’s coat is medium-short with possible gentle waves where it is longer on the neck and across the shoulders. Its texture is rather hard. Rottweilers have an undercoat, but it is finer than the Shih Tzu’s.
Therefore, expect your cross to have a medium-long to long coat with a moderately thick undercoat. Most dogs of this mixture appear fluffy or woolly.
Colors are even more variable than coat textures for Rottie-Shih Tzu mixes. Rottweiler colors, as you know, are very restrictive.
Rotties must be tan-pointed, which is black with varying shades of brown at specific points like above the eyes, on the front of the chest, on the legs, muzzle, and cheeks, and under the tail.
Other tan-pointed breeds may substitute colors such as liver or blue for the black, but these variants are not acceptable for the Rottweiler. A Rottweiler’s brown areas can range from light tan to rust-colored to deep mahogany.
Shih Tzus, contrary to Rotties, are many colors other than black and tan.
- Blue – Dilution gene works on black pigment making it look bluish
- Isabella or lavender – Dilute liver dog, appears to have a lavender cast
- Liver – Completely mutes black areas which will be chocolate, and the nose leather will also be liver instead of black
- Double colors – Solid color (Red, blue, gold, red, silver, or black) with white
- Tricolor – Gold, black, and white
- Brindle – Light base with a dark striped pattern; Gold and brown or tan and black; Brindle dogs can have white markings; Long hair makes brindle markings more obscure
The overwhelming majority of Shihweilers are black and brown. While many are tan-pointed like Rotties, you will see others where the brown is more evenly distributed through the coat.
You can see more unusual colors also, like blue and white, gold and white, brindle and white, or black and tan with white markings.
Shihweilers are distinct from their parent breeds, although they also share a few of the best-combined features.
They are friendly with strangers but will sound the alarm when they detect strangers approaching.
- Very active
- Alarmist – Great watchdog
You can anticipate your Shih Tzu Rottweiler mix will likely live 12 or 13 years. The minimum life expectancy is 10 years while the upper range is 15 years.
Shih Tzu Rottweiler Mix Puppies for Sale
You can acquire Shi Tzu Rottweiler mix puppies for sale from multiple sources. Avoid puppy mills that churn out multitudes of puppies with little regard for health or even breeding.
Unethical traders are not above selling a dog as a Shihweiler that may have other breeds or may not have Shi Tzu or Rottweiler in their bloodlines at all.
Humane societies and shelters – Surrenders for behavioral problems are most common, but you can also find accidental litters; Usually impossible to know the exact background, and Shihweiler may just be a guess about the breed
Rescue – Usually, such a mix will come through a purebred rescue; Again, background and pedigree can be murky
Breeder – Must be reputable, or the background and pedigree cannot be trusted; May or may not do health screening tests on dogs they use to breed; A breeder usually selects for specific characteristics that appeal to consumers
Neighbor or backyard breeder – Often casual breeders have access to both parents, so the breeds are known; Health screenings are improbable, but you can likely get a low-cost or even free puppy
As you would expect, a formal breeder will charge the most for a Shihweiler puppy.
The exact purchase price for Shih Tzu Rottweiler puppies is elusive, but expect to pay $1200 to $1600, the going rate for many non-Doodle designer dogs.
Depending upon color and seller motivation, the range can be from $900 to $2000. Compare that to $200 to $1500 for many purebred dogs, $2500 to $6000 for rare or in-demand dogs (Tibetan Mastiff, Rhodesian Ridgeback, French Bulldog, and others), and $2700 to $5000 for certain Frenchie mixes and a lot of Doodles.
Grooming Your shih tzu rottweiler mix
Brushing and Bathing
You should brush your Shihweiler’s thick coat every one to two days to prevent matting. Brushing also minimizes loose hairs and improves circulation to the hair follicles.
Another task you should undertake daily, or every other day is to wipe your dog’s face. If your Shihweiler has a dish-shaped face, she will need more attention than most wiping away sleep and keeping the tear tracks clean.
Bathe your pet every six to eight weeks. If your dog has allergies, you may need to use a medicated shampoo weekly. Otherwise, make sure you have a mild shampoo for dogs. Conditioners and rinses may help if your dog has dry skin.
The younger you expose your puppy to a toothbrush, the easier the process of brushing her teeth will be on both of you.
Shihweilers can inherit an underbite, and therefore, brushing your dog’s teeth every couple of days is important.
Use a toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs. If you have an adult Shihweiler or you find training is too difficult, you can talk to your veterinarian about alternatives like bones or dental sticks.
Clip your dog’s nails every six to eight weeks.
Dogs with allergies are susceptible to ear infections. Shi Tzus are also especially prone because of their ears’ makeup. Check your Dog’s ears for redness, a foul odor, or abnormal discharge at least a few times a week.
You can clean with a drying agent. Some Shihweilers take after the Shih Tzu parent and may need you to pluck excess hair from the external ear canal. You can always use a professional groomer to do this.
Shih Tzu Rottweiler mix Health Problems
Major problems for Shihweilers often affect the eyes and joints. Unfortunately, Shih Tzus suffer many orthopedic abnormalities despite their small size.
- Hip dysplasia (both) – Growth abnormality causes unevenness in hip joint
- Progressive retinal atrophy (Shih Tzu) – Eventually can lead to blindness
- Keratitis – Inflammation of the outer layer of the eye
- IVDD or slipped disc (Shih Tzu)
- Hypothyroidism (both) – Thyroid hormone exceedingly low; Often requires lifelong supplementation
- Luxating patellas – Kneecap floats out of position periodically causing intermittent lameness
- Brachycephalic airway syndrome – Short muzzle, narrow trachea, small nostrils, elongated soft palate, and everted saccules near larynx all contribute to obstructed breathing
- OCD (Rottie) – Cartilage abnormalities in growing puppies, causes arthritis later in life; In Rotties OCD affects the hock joint, shoulder, and the spine
- Eyelid abnormalities – Extra lashes in Shih Tzu, entropion from Rottie whereby eyelid rolls inward
- Heart disease (Rottie) – Subaortic stenosis or narrowing of the major vessel from the left ventricle or a defect of the ventricle itself
- Elbow dysplasia (Rottie) – The elbow is more complex than the hip and dysplasia can potentially affect it at three locations
shih tzu rottweiler mix Food Requirements
Even when you commit to feeding your pet premium dog food, there is an overwhelming selection available. You can choose from several categories.
- Dry – Kibble
- Moist dry – Morsels
- Wet – Canned shredded, pate, stew, and others
- Fresh – Wholesome ingredients, some of which may be cooked; Either commercial rolls or homemade recipes
- Raw – Commercial or home-prepared; Usually an abundance of meat
You can feed any formulation of dog food you like or even mix them. Animal proteins should be in the first few ingredients because the majority of your dog’s nutritional intake should come from these.
Treats should account for 10% of your dog’s overall diet at the most and toppers about 20% or less. It is common for owners to supplement with rawhides or their alternatives, marrow bones, long-lasting chews, and biscuits.
Your average Shihweiler needs 1100 to 1350 calories per day. Young growing puppies require 1000 to 1800 calories each day while sedentary dogs may only require 940 daily calories.
Become proficient at reading labels because ingredients will be listed from highest to lowest amounts, and the calories per volume (cup) or weight (ounce or gram)of the food will be listed. If in doubt about what to feed your dog, use your veterinarian as a crucial resource.
When you prepare homemade meals, you will need to calculate the calories based on the ingredients you use.
Shih Tzu rottweiler mix Exercise Requirements
The Shihweiler is an energetic mix with the working background of a Rottweiler and the vibrancy of a Shih Tzu.
Plan on exercising your dog for 45 to 60 minutes every day. However, if your dog has even moderate shortening of the muzzle, you will need to avoid hot and humid conditions (above 85 degrees Fahrenheit and more than 15% humidity).
Otherwise, your dog requires a portion of his exercise to be vigorous enough to exert the major muscles and the heart. There are two approaches.
You can set aside 15 to 20% of your daily exercise quota for intense running, wrestling, or training special skills.
The alternative is to have heavy play or running sessions twice a week while still maintaining moderate exercises the other five days.
Young puppies should have more focus on basic training and socialization than physical exercise. Many puppies play hard enough that they do not require additional exertions.
You can concentrate solely on training your pup to walk well on a leash and exposing her to various sounds, sights, and smells. Take your puppy everywhere within reason, remaining mindful that she will not receive full vaccination protection until she is about five months old.
Shih tzu rottweiler mix Training
Shihweilers are highly trainable because they are intelligent and willing to please. Your dog will get working intelligence from the Rottie and more emotional intuition from the Shih Tzu.
The Shih Tzu Rottie mix lacks the size and power of purebred Rottweilers, so many owners find it much more manageable. Potential challenges are the willful and dominant nature of the Rottie and the manipulative tendencies of the Shih Tzu.
Your dog will require firm and consistent handling as well as positive reinforcements as soon as you can start your training. Initiating obedience early is key to having a well-mannered dog.
Shih Tzu Rottweiler Mix and Families
For the most part, the Shihweiler is not the mix for toddlers or small children under the age of five years old. Although socialization will help a lot, the Shih Tzu Rottweiler mix loses some of the patience and conciliation of its purebred parents.
Shihweilers have high energy that combines with enough size to be too rough for tiny kids to handle.
On the other hand, they make great playmates for youths around 10 years old and over. Supervision is vital because Shihweilers will overexert themselves in play.
Shih Tzu Rottweiler Mix and Other Pets
Although Rotties sometimes show same-sex aggression towards other dogs, Shihweilers tend to be very social. They like to play and wrestle and get along with all but the tiniest of dogs. They may treat pets under eight pounds as prey or chew toys.
Your dog can also learn to accept your cat if she grows up with the feline. Otherwise, cats may have trouble accepting your dog because of its size and energy levels.
Some Shihweilers have a high prey drive carried over from the Rottweiler’s herding instincts. Avoid exposing your dog to rodents, reptiles, and birds that are small and move quickly.
This video shows a younger Shihweiler with rather long hair. The fur looks scruffy but is soft instead of wiry like a terrier.
Notice the dog’s friendly and exuberant nature and black and tan coloration. He gets along well with his Schnauzer friend.