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Bo-Shih Guide: Meet the Shih Tzu Boston Terrier Mix Breed - PawSafe

Bo-Shih Guide: Meet the Shih Tzu Boston Terrier Mix Breed

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Bo Shih dog breed

If you’re looking for a unique and adorable little companion, you might want to consider the BoShih. This pup is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Boston Terrier – two breeds that couldn’t be more different in appearance, but when combined, create a dog with a personality that’s as charming as its looks. With the cuddly nature of a Shih Tzu and the spunky spirit of a Boston Terrier, the BoShih could be the perfect pet for your family.

You’ll find that BoShih dogs often have the best of both worlds. Their size makes them ideal for both apartment living and homes with backyards, so no matter where you live, a BoShih will fit right in. These dogs typically have a friendly attitude and love being around people, which makes them great companions. They are also known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, which can make training a fun experience for both of you.

When you take a BoShih into your life, you’re getting a pup that’s bound to keep things interesting. With their unique blend of traits, they’ve got a way of brightening up your days with their playful antics and loving demeanor. Thinking about the joy of coming home to a BoShih’s wagging tail and bright eyes might just convince you that this delightful mix is the one for you.

A Bo-Shih isn’t just any crossbreed. It’s considered a designer dog, carefully bred to bring out certain characteristics. It’s similar to how you might choose a trendy outfit – distinct, stylish, and often a conversation starter. The American Canine Hybrid Club and the Designer Breed Registry recognize these hybrids, highlighting their unique status in the canine world. Along with them, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the Dog Registry of America have standards to maintain the Bo-Shih’s quality.

The International Designer Canine Registry also recognizes the Bo-Shih, emphasizing its hybrid pedigree. You’re not just getting a pet; you’re welcoming a member with a celebrated lineage. 

You may want to also read about another Shih Tzu designer dog, the Shiranian.

Here’s a Quick Peek at the Bo-Shih Mix:

Parent BreedsDesigner Status
Shih TzuRecognized by American Canine Hybrid Club
Boston TerrierListed in Designer Breed Registry

This designer dog not only brings a blend of looks but also a mix of personality traits. You can expect a companion that is loyal and affectionate with a zesty twist of energy. Now that you know a little more about what a Bo-Shih is, you’re better equipped to decide if this charming and vivacious hybrid is the right fit for your home and lifestyle.

Bo-Shih Personality Traits

Bo Shih dog Shih Tzu Boston Terrier mix red jacket light brown color

When you bring a Bo-Shih into your life, you’re getting a bundle of joy that’s a delightful mix of energetic and affectionate. Picture a pooch that greets you with a wagging tail, ready to play fetch or snuggle on the couch. These pups inherit the playful spirit of their Boston Terrier parents alongside the gentle soul of a Shih Tzu.


Your Bo-Shih is likely to be a well-balanced companion. They have a calm demeanor but don’t be surprised by their sudden bursts of energy.

Friendly and Affectionate

Expect your pup to be sociable. They love being around people and excel in a family setting.


These dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty. A Bo-Shih will often be your shadow, sticking close to your side.

Be ready for a smart and alert dog that’s both inquisitive and quick to learn. Training your Bo-Shih can be relatively smooth, but you might encounter some stubbornness. Patience and consistency are key.


With their bright minds, Bo-Shihs can master commands and tricks with proper guidance.

Active and Energetic 

You should make sure you have time for daily walks and play sessions – it’s crucial for their well-being. These pups can be both spunky and sassy!

Calm and Confident

While they are active, Bo-Shihs can also show an admirable level of confidence and composure.

In essence, your Bo-Shih is a small dog with a big personality. Gentle enough to be a comforting companion, yet lively enough to keep you on your toes. What’s not to love?

Exercise Needs for Bo-Shihs?

Bo-Shih Dog close up black background

Taking care of your Bo-Shih means knowing how much exercise they need. Your little buddy comes from an energetic Shih Tzu and an active Boston Terrier, so they’ve got a good mix of energy. Like any dog, they need to move to stay happy and healthy.

Daily Walks

Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking every day. You can split this into two shorter walks if that works better for you and your pup.


Aside from walks, your Bo-Shih will love play sessions. Games like fetch or tug-of-war are great. These activities give them a chance to burn off that extra energy and keep their mind sharp.

Energy Levels

You might notice your Bo-Shih has bursts of energy. It’s important for them to have a way to use that energy. When they get enough exercise, they’re more likely to be calm at home.

Exercise Tips

  • Shorter, more frequent walks are better than one long walk.
  • Playtime helps with bonding and keeps their mind active.
  • Consistency is key. Try to stick to a routine so your dog knows when it’s time to go out.

Remember, every Bo-Shih is different. Your pup might need more or less exercise than others. Watch their behavior and adjust as needed. If they’re still hyper after a walk, they might need a bit more playtime. But if they’re panting and tired, it’s time for a break.

Keeping your Bo-Shih exercised isn’t just about their physical health; it’s also for their happiness. So grab that leash and those toys, and have fun staying active together!

Physical Characteristics Of the Boston Terrier Shih Tzu Mix

White Bo-Shih dog face close up standing on grass

When you look at a BoShih, you’re seeing a delightful blend of its parent breeds – the Shih Tzu and the Boston Terrier. These pups often carry the soft coat of the Shih Tzu, which can sometimes lean towards the wire coat texture seen in some terriers. Their coats may flaunt a variety of colors, including white, black, and brown. It’s like a surprise mix of hues with each BoShih!

Your BoShih friend might be more on the big side or lean towards the small range, but generally, they end up somewhere in between, giving them a size that’s not too big but not too small – just right for a comfy lap snuggle. Their ears can vary too, sometimes they flop over like the Boston Terrier’s, or they could perk up like the Shih Tzu’s.

One important feature inherited from the Boston Terrier side is their brachycephalic face. That means they have a cute, squished snout that can make breathing a little harder for them, especially during exercise or hot weather.

Here’s a quick list to sum up their looks:

  • Coat –  Soft to wire-like
  • Size – Medium-sized, a good fit for most homes
  • Colors – A fun mix—commonly white, black, or brown
  • Ears – Either perk up or flop over
  • Fac –  Short-nosed, which is super cute but means they need extra care in the heat

When you’re admiring a BoShih, you’re really getting the best of both worlds in terms of appearance. They’re such a unique and adorable mix that you won’t find two BoShihs looking exactly the same.

Typical Bo-Shih Size?

Adult Bo-Shihs usually grow to be about 12 to 16 inches tall — that’s around 30 to 40 centimeters. They’re not too tall, so they fit nicely in your lap. The weight is another thing to consider. Your Bo-Shih buddy will likely weigh between 10 to 20 pounds, or 4.5 to 9 kilograms. That’s light enough for most people to pick up!

  • Height: 12-16 in (30-40 cm)
  • Weight: 10-20 lbs (4.5-9 kg)

Remember, these are average sizes. Just like us, every Bo-Shih is unique. Some might be a little smaller or a bit bigger. It’s all part of their charm! To keep your pup healthy and happy, make sure they get enough exercise and eat the right amount of good food. That way, they’ll grow to be the perfect size for lots of cuddles and fun.

Common Health Issues in Bo-Shihs

Shih Tzu Boston Terrier mix puppy

When you get a BoShih, which is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Boston Terrier, you’re getting a friend for life! Typically, their life span ranges from 10 to 15 years, however, like any breed, BoShihs can face some health challenges from their parent breeds.


Just like people, your BoShih might have allergies. These could be to certain foods or stuff in the air, like pollen. It’s good to watch out for itching or weird skin stuff, which can be signs of an allergy.

Patellar Luxation

Small dogs often have this knee problem. It’s where the kneecap gets dislocated. If your BoShih is limping or skipping when they walk, check this out.

Eye Problems

These pups can also get eye issues. Keep an eye on their eyes! If they’re getting red or they’re scratching them a lot, time to see the vet.

Hip Dysplasia

Although more common in big dogs, even BoShihs can have it. If their hips didn’t grow right, they could be in pain or have trouble walking when they get older.


Because BoShihs love to eat, they can get overweight. You’ll want to manage how much they munch and make sure they get enough playtime.

Reverse Sneezing 

It sounds scarier than it is, but reverse sneezing happens when they get too excited or breathe in something irritating. If you hear weird snorting sounds, that might be it, but it often goes away on its own.

To keep your BoShih healthy, remember they need regular exercise needs but take care not to overdo it, as their flat faces can make breathing hard if they’re super active. Having a set routine helps prevent separation anxiety, which these dogs can get since they love being around you so much.

Trainability of Bo-Shihs?

When considering a BoShih, know that your mix of Shih Tzu and Boston Terrier is likely to be intelligent and responsive, making the training process both enjoyable and rewarding.

Training Techniques

Your BoShih is a designer breed that often inherits the intelligence and eagerness to please of both parent breeds. Positive reinforcement is key; rewarding your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, or play will encourage them to learn more quickly. Consistency is just as important. Set clear rules and stick to them, and you’ll find your BoShih can pick up basic obedience commands quite readily.

Behavioral Traits

BoShihs, being hybrids, typically blend the playfulness of the Boston Terrier with the affectionate nature of the Shih Tzu. As a result, they are friendly and loving, making them excellent companions. Their temperament generally inclines towards being loyal and affectionate, which aids in training as they often seek to please their owners.


Whether you live in a house or an apartment, a BoShih can adapt. They’re suitable for apartment living due to their size, but they do have energy to burn. Daily exercise is important, as it affects their ability to concentrate during training sessions. Regular playtime and walks are great for keeping your dog well-behaved and ready to learn.


From a young age, it’s important to socialize your BoShih. They are naturally social and playful, which makes them a great family pet. Introduce them to various settings, children, other pets, and new people to ensure they become a well-behaved companion animal. Socialized BoShihs are typically very good with families and thrive in an atmosphere where they are part of the daily hustle and bustle.

Best Diet for Bo-Shihs?

When it comes to feeding your Bo-Shih, you’ll want to focus on giving them the best start in life. Your little friend has higher energy needs than larger dogs, so their diet should be rich in nutrients and calories. Aim for a mix that has about 30% protein, 20% fat (you can decrease fat for adult dogs), and 40% carbohydrates, with a fiber content of around 4-5%.

Here’s a quick guide to help you remember what to look for:

  • Proteins – Go for high-quality animal proteins like poultry and fish.
  • Fats – Include a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, at a 5:1 ratio.
  • Carbohydrates –  Choose complex carbs, like brown rice and oats, which will support your pup’s energy levels throughout the day.
  • Fiber –  Mix both soluble and insoluble fibers, but remember that Bo-Shihs require less insoluble fiber.

Remember, overfeeding can lead to obesity, so keep an eye on your Bo-Shih’s weight and adjust their diet as needed to maintain a healthy size. Feeding several small meals throughout the day can help manage their energy levels and prevent hypoglycemia.

Good Supplements

Probiotics and joint care supplements are great for your dog.

As your dog ages, you can also make sure they get enough antioxidants in their diet. Good supplements include:

  • Lutein 20 mg; 
  • Zeaxanthin 5 mg;
  • β-carotene 20 mg; 
  • Astaxanthin 5 mg; 
  • Vitamin C 180 mg; and 
  • Vitamin E 336 mg per day.

Avoid foods with artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors, and make sure the diet is complete and balanced, meeting AAFCO standards. A word of caution: steer clear of excess calcium and phosphorus, as this can harm your puppy’s bone development.

As your Bo-Shih grows, their diet may need adjustment. Always consult your vet for advice, especially when making significant changes or addressing weight issues. Remember that healthy eating habits start young, setting up your Bo-Shih for a lifetime of wellness.

Ideal Living Environment for BoShihs?

BoShihs are energetic and affectionate pups that thrive in a loving environment where they can get plenty of exercise and attention. Here’s how you can create the perfect home for your pup.

Space to Play

BoShihs need room to romp around. If you have a yard, that’s great! Just make sure it’s fenced so your BoShih can play safely. No yard? No problem. Daily walks and trips to the park work too.

Comfy Indoors

When they’re not playing, BoShihs love relaxing with you. Set up a cozy corner with a soft bed and some chew toys. They’re okay with apartments as long as they get to stretch their legs regularly.

Social Setting

BoShihs are sociable. They’ll be happiest in a home where there’s often someone around. If you’re gone a lot, consider doggy daycare or a sitter so they’re not lonely.

Routine is Key

Stick to a routine. BoShihs are like kids; they’re happy when they know what to expect. Regular meal times, walks, and bedtime help them feel secure.

Remember, BoShihs love being part of your pack, so keep them involved. With love, playtime, and a bit of structure, your BoShih will be one happy pup!

How Much Do Boston Terrier Shih Tzu Mixes Cost?

When you’re considering getting a BoShih puppy, one of the first things you’ll wonder is how much they cost. The price can vary a lot, but usually, you’re looking at anywhere from $300 to $800 for one of these adorable pups.

Ongoing Costs

Besides the initial cost of buying your BoShih, you’ve also got to think about the ongoing costs of owning one. Stuff like food, vet check-ups, toys, and grooming adds up. Here’s a quick list to keep in mind:

  • Food – Good quality dog food is vital for a healthy pup.
  • Veterinary care – Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and any unexpected visits.
  • Grooming –  BoShihs can have beautiful coats that need regular grooming.
  • Toys and supplies – Every dog needs toys for play and items like a leash and bed.

So, before you make the leap, make sure you’ve thought about both the one-time cost of buying your BoShih and the ongoing costs that’ll keep your new buddy happy and healthy. Your future pup is counting on you to take care of all their needs!

Finding a BoShih

When you decide to add a BoShih to your family, you have two main routes: adopting one or finding responsible breeders. It’s essential to understand the differences to make an informed decision.

Adopting a BoShih

If you’re looking to adopt a BoShih, your first step should be to check local shelters and rescue organizations. BoShihs, being a mixed breed dog, may not be as common as purebreds in shelters, but with patience, you might find one. Adoption not only gives a dog a second chance but often costs less than buying from a breeder.

  • Check Local Shelters: Visit or call to inquire about any BoShih mixes available.
  • Online Resources: Websites like Petfinder can help you locate a BoShih in need of a home.
  • Breed Specific Rescues: Some rescue groups specialize in Shih Tzus or Boston Terriers and may occasionally have mixed breeds like the BoShih.

Remember, adopting a dog means you’re giving them a forever home, so consider the long-term commitment.

Responsible Breeders

Finding a BoShih through a breeder requires careful consideration. You’ll want to ensure the breeder is ethical and that the dogs are healthy. A responsible breeder should provide health clearances and be transparent about the puppy’s lineage. Look for breeders registered with organizations like the American Canine Hybrid Club or the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, which recognize hybrid breeds.

  • Health Checks: Demand to see health clearances for both of the puppy’s parents.
  • Visit the Breeder: Evaluate the conditions in which the puppies are raised.
  • Ask Questions: Inquire about the puppy’s socialization and any breed-specific traits.
  • Certification: Check for breeders accredited by the International Designer Canine Registry or similar.

When buying a designer breed like the BoShih, it’s your responsibility to support breeders who prioritize the dogs’ welfare over profit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When considering a BoShih, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some straight answers to help you understand this unique crossbreed better.

What is the expected lifespan of a BoShih?

The BoShih typically lives between 12 to 15 years. Proper care and regular veterinary check-ups contribute to their longevity.

What are the common personality traits of a BoShih?

Your BoShih may exhibit a playful and affectionate disposition. They are known to be loyal companions, often developing a strong bond with their families.

How can one find BoShih puppies available for sale?

You can search for reputable breeders who specialize in BoShih puppies. Always look for breeders who provide a healthy environment for their dogs and offer transparent health records.

What are the care requirements for a BoShih dog?

Your BoShih will need regular grooming, daily exercise, and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. This mix thrives on interaction and structure.

Are there any known health issues specific to BoShih dogs?

Like all dogs, BoShihs can be prone to certain health issues, such as brachycephalic syndrome due to the Shih Tzu ancestry. Keep an eye out for respiratory difficulties or overheating and consult your vet for regular screenings.

Final Thoughts

When you’re considering a furry addition to your family, the BoShih might just tick all your boxes. Remember, you’re looking at a companion that brings together the playful charm of the Boston Terrier with the gentle lapdog qualities of the Shih Tzu.

  • Size: Usually small to medium, fitting perfectly into various living situations.
  • Temperament: Known for a warm and friendly disposition; great with kids and other pets.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate; they’ll love daily walks with you but won’t mind couch time.
  • Maintenance: Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent tangles and maintain health.

Remember, each BoShih is unique. Yours may have more Boston Terrier traits or favor its Shih Tzu heritage. You’ll want to be prepared for either possibility.

Always make time for training. Patience and consistency in your training efforts will lead to a well-behaved pup. This mixed breed can sometimes inherit a stubborn streak, but with your positive reinforcement, they usually learn quickly.

Finally, health checks are a must. Stay proactive about your BoShih’s health with regular veterinary visits. This is a breed that thrives on your love and care, and in return, you’ll have a loyal companion for years to come.

Your BoShih will look to you for love, guidance, and the occasional treat. In return, expect a bundle of joy that’ll enrich your life in surprising ways.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.