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The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix – All You Need To Know About This Cute Breed

​The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix has long been a popular designer breed. Known for its adorable roundish face, this hybrid originated in the United States and is known to be quietly affectionate, yet somewhat aggressive and fierce at the same time. In this article, we’ll take you through an overview of the Shichi and show you how this charming fluffy breed has a personality five times its size.

Appearance

If you’re thinking that age might change this dog’s appearance, you might be in for a surprise. The adult Shichi typically only weighs between 5 and 18 pounds, while their average length ranges between 10 and 12 inches. That makes this dog still tiny and adorable even in adulthood.

Needless to say, despite it being described as really active, you won’t be needing to worry about it pulling on your favorite jumper too hard, as these dogs won’t ever manage to be too forceful due to their size. But hide those shoes, just in case!

Some of you might have a preference for certain colors when it comes to dogs and you’d be glad to know that the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix does come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, cream or white, or a combination of those. Many dog lovers have a weakness for its adorable pop-up ears that resemble that of a fox’s (that is if it resembles it Chihuahua parent). Alternatively, you might come across a Shichi with cute, floppy ears if it takes after its Shih Tzu parent more.

Shih Tzu and Chihuahua picture collage

These dogs are pretty fluffy and their topcoat can either be curly and soft. You might even come across one that has hair that is a tiny bit longer and silky, all contingent on the coat of its more dominant parent. In terms of brushing, you won’t really need to worry too much, as you’ll only have to do it probably once a week, or as much as three times per week.

By following this advice you won’t need to stress over buying a new hoover or having a mini lint roller in your bag for getting that hair off you before work. However, if dog hair is a serious concern for you, you may wish to cut your dog’s coat so as to make it easier to maintain, and to control the shedding.

All in all, it is the Shichi’s innocent, almost childlike expressions and vibe that draw dog lovers. Their almond eyes paired with their trademark endearing round face certainly tugs at their future owner’s heartstrings too.

Temperament

When you hear about “small dog complex”, your mind might automatically think of the Chihuahua. Their over-the-top attitude is usually an expression of either believing or maybe wishing, that they were bigger than they actually are. If this bothers you or you’re failing to see the benefits of having such a dog, consider this: they can be amazing watchdogs and protectors of your home. In addition, when the Chihuahua gets used to you and becomes loyal, they are sweet loving dogs that love nothing more than cuddling up to its loved ones.

If you were to trace the origins of the Shih Tzu, they are actually one of the oldest breeds in the world. Originating from China or Tibet, these fluffy dogs were kept as faithful companions. If you’ve ever owned a Shih Tzu, you’ll know they’re happy, friendly and will cuddle up to you whenever possible. Their affectionate nature is well known and they are a popular breed for elderly people as well as families.

Combining the temperaments of both breeds, you’ll get the energetic Shichi, which will be both loving and protective. In addition, because of their adaptability and size, they also make good apartment dogs. Just remember though, some owners describe the Shichi as a shy character if not properly given the chance to socialize and mingle with other humans or dogs. So take a walk in the park, and this way you’ll both get the exercise and interaction you need.

Another important aspect to take into consideration is that you do need to give adequate supervision around children. Due to their gentle and fragile nature, the Shichi may be easily hurt by children. As with any animal that feels threatened, the Shichi might lash out and try to defend itself. So do bear this in mind and always supervise young children around dogs and teach your children to be gentle with your Shichi.

Training

When it comes to training, the hybrid tends to be as stubborn as a Chihuahua would be. In other words, training won’t be as easy as pie, but it’s surely achievable. The important bit is to remain consistent and firm, always being ready to praise good behavior with either treats or a nice cuddle.

If you’re able to rise above the frustration, you’ll show your dog you’re in control. This is important because a smart breed like the Shichi is smart and intuitive enough to take advantage of the situation if you show it otherwise. In addition, early socialization is thought to have a huge impact on training the hybrid. Introducing them to other pets and even children can help create healthy patterns they will be able to follow in the future, provided that all family members use the same words and techniques as you are using.

If by any chance you’re still struggling (e.g. you may be a first-time dog-owner), we would also recommend taking your pup to some puppy classes. Besides the socialization element of it, you will have a team of trained professionals who can help teach you some great techniques.

Exercise

Although this dog is quite small, it’s important to remember that it can be fairly active, meaning that it needs at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. The good part about that is outdoor activities such as fetch or running can help create a closer bond between you and the Shichi. Alternatively, if you prefer to have your pet close by when outdoors, you may want to run around the house or play with him indoors.

Feeding

As with any other pet, it is certainly possible to overfeed this breed. More or less, the Shichi will only need between ½ to 1 cup of dry food in order for it to make a great and balanced nutritional plan. Ideally, you will be able to divide the food into two servings. Also make sure that the diet you’ve picked will improve its teeth, eyes, and coat.

Health Issues

Because the Shi Chi is perceived to be a relatively new hybrid, there hasn’t been much research or evidence that point to potential health issues. While this tends to indicate that they are a generally healthy breed, you should always take into consideration any problems the Chihuahua (e.g. collapsed trachea) or Shih Tzu (e.g. kidney or bladder infections) are prone to.

Conclusion

To sum it up, although the Shichi’s common small dog syndrome may turn some dog owners away, one undeniable aspect is its adorable appearance and fierce loyalty. In addition, the combination of its affection and charm make this breed a worthy and cuddly companion.

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​Front page picture Shichi. Reposted from marlabuttons / instagram

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