If you’re in the market for a miniature pup, why not get acquainted with this toy dog – the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix. Also known as a ShiChi or a ChiTzu, this designer breed is a new crossbreed that exemplifies the saying, dynamite comes in small packages, all while tugging on your heartstrings.
The personalities of the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua could not be more opposite. Shih Tzu’s are known to have sophisticated and calm personalities while Chihuahuas are bold and spirited. So, what happens when you cross these two breeds? In this guide, you’ll discover the 13 Things to Know about this designer ShiChi pup.
- 1 Chichuahua Shih Tzu Dogs: 13 Things to Know
- 1.1 1. The Origins of a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.2 Chihuahua
- 1.3 2. The Appearance of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.4 3. Color of the ShiChi Mix
- 1.5 4. Size of the ShiChi Mix
- 1.6 5. Grooming the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.7 6. The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix’s Temperament & Behaviour
- 1.8 7. Training the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.9 8. Exercise for the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.10 9. Potential Health Issues of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.11 10. Diet of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.12 11. Breeding the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.13 12. The Cost of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
- 1.14 13. Longevity of the ShiChi Mix
- 2 Final Thoughts on the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
Chichuahua Shih Tzu Dogs: 13 Things to Know
1. The Origins of a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
A crossbreed will always be unpredictable in terms of its appearance and temperament. With this particular mixed breed, the ShiChi can inherit the bossy nature of its Chihuahua parent or the easy-going demeanor of its Shih Tzu parent. It all depends on which parent’s genes are more prominent.
Here is a little bit about each of the parent breeds of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix.
The Shih Tzu, affectionately named the ‘Lion Dog’ in Chinese culture is a fluffy, friendly purebreed. These dogs have been around since ancient China. The lion dog was once considered royalty and can be seen in 2000-year-old tapestries. Their popularity remains to this day.
The Shih Tzu is an independent dog and can make for an excellent watchdog because of its loud bark. They were initially bred for this purpose. Shih Tzu’s are alert, playful and fun-loving. They love to make friends with anyone, adult or child, and can even enjoy the company of other dogs.
Shih Tzu’s require little grooming, are easy to train, and require little exercise to stay healthy. Shih Tzu’s can live for up to 13 years and make great parent breeds for many mixes.
Chihuahua’s are famous for being the smallest dogs in the world and fitting into the handbags of some very famous individuals. But, even though they are tiny, the Chihuahua is a fierce, loyal breed that likes to make its presence known. Chihuahua’s are brave pups who aren’t afraid to square up to the biggest dogs in the playpen.
The Chihuahua is loyal to their owners and only them. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t friendly. Although they do have their favorites, when they want affection or attention from anyone, they’ll head straight to their owner.
Chihuahua’s need to be trained and practice socializing with other humans and dogs, if not they can be quite a handful to reign in.
Just like the Shih Tzu, Chihuahua’s make for the perfect watchdog, thanks to their high-pitch bark. They need little grooming and require a minimum amount of exercise.
2. The Appearance of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
What the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua have in common, is that they are both small yet feisty toy pups. However, these two pups are a hybrid of two breeds with very different physical traits. Your ShiChi’s appearance will really depend on the parent they take after, but don’t worry, cuteness is one quality of the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua mix that doesn’t vary from do to dog.
The soft lengthy coat of the sophisticated Shih Tzu, directly contradicts the short-haired and tight fur of the Chihuahua. Shih Tzu’s tend to have a long sausage-dog physique while the Chihuahua is not only small but also a little scrawny. More often than not, the ShiChi tends to resemble more traits of the Shih Tzu parent breed but their coat has more in common with the Chihuahua.
Whatever physical traits that your ShiChi adopts, their looks will have a distinctly unique appearance. Generally, a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix, will have ears that are either erect like the Chihuahua or hang down like the Shih Tzu. This mixed breed will generally have a round head, a black muzzle and dark-brown eyes and is altogether an adorable pup.
3. Color of the ShiChi Mix
Some Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes have a slightly wavy coat that can come in various colors, including brown, black, cream, white and mixed.
4. Size of the ShiChi Mix
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will always be small, so there is no need to worry if the dog will outgrow any of its toys, clothes or dog house. Both parent breeds are short so this mix typically stands only 9-12 inches in height. In addition, the mix only weighs 9-16 pounds.
These dogs are not very heavy but with a poor diet, these furry babies have the potential to quickly become overweight.
5. Grooming the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
If your pup has a short coat like their Chihuahua parent, grooming won’t be an issue.
However, Chihuahuas can be prone to having dry skin and other skin problems, so consider a shampoo that is formulated to keep your ShiChi’s coat and skin in top condition and smelling great. Brushing them once weekly to keep their coat clean is still necessary.
The closer your ShiChi’s coat is to their Shih Tzu parent, the more likely you’ll have to brush them daily to prevent matted knots or tangling.
ShiChi’s can also be bred with a long coat. If your furry friend has this coat, you should bathe them at least once a month while also being consistent with grooming. Their nails should be clipped as a part of their grooming routine, and so should cleaning their ears.
Be on the lookout for inflammation or discharge around the eyes and overall foul odor. Always brush their teeth once or twice a week to keep them from visiting the vet.
6. The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix’s Temperament & Behaviour
If we combine the personalities of the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua, you’ll more than likely have an affectionate, energetic, and protective ShiChi. They are also highly intelligent, though some ShiChi’s may have a stubborn streak inherited from their parent the Chihuahua. That could interfere with your efforts to train them.
However, they only want your love and attention, so don’t be surprised if this little pup tends to act like your four-legged shadow.
Shih Tzu’s are very loving dogs that are known for their easy-going nature, while the Chihuahua is known for their feisty and territorial nature. If your pup inherits the mild manners of a Shih Tzu then you will have a friendly and non-confrontational pup. Their kind-hearted nature will allow them to make friends with anyone quite easily.
However, if your dog takes after their Chihuahua parent then you are in for a bit of a challenging time. These pups are intensely protective of their beloved family members and this nature can be aggressive at times. Don’t be discouraged by this, you can prevent negative behaviors like possessiveness and aggression in your ShiChi through early training and socialization.
Unfortunately, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is quite the vocalist, loves the sound of their own voice and they can bark at just about everything. The ShiChi is cute, but like most small canines, it can lash out and try to defend itself if it feels threatened or hurt. If that happens, expect a lot of growling and snapping to follow.
Although these breeds have very different personalities there are some traits they have in common. Both of these breeds are very playful and use their energy in short sprouts. Both breeds are also known for being intensely loyal and affectionate to their family members. So, you can expect this furry friend to prefer a cuddling session up on the couch than playing fetch outside.
Their overwhelming desire to be constantly adored can cause issues of separation anxiety.
The temperament of the ShiChi bears some resemblance to that of the Shih Tzu parent breed. But with the Chihuahua’s fearsome loyalty and cautious attitude in the mix, families with young children should have some degree of concern.
Are ShiChi’s Family Friendly Pets?
ShiChi’s are generally great family dogs that get along and enjoy playing with children. But, if your children are very young, these dogs may not be the best choice.
A toy species like the ShiChi are very small dogs that cannot tolerate rough play and toddlers may not be able to provide gentle play time with this pup. Human family members need to be careful when handling these dogs.
In addition, a ShiChi may take after its Chihuahua parent and snap after children if they get too rough and make your dog feel threatened. If you do have children, it’s important to teach them how to properly handle and interact with your ShiChi to prevent harm.
What About ShiChi’s with Other Dogs?
The extent to which your ShiChi will accept other pets ultimately comes down to which of their parent breeds they take after the most.
Shih Tzu’s are usually friendly with other pets, including other dogs. Chihuahuas – not so much. Chihuahua’s don’t like to share the attention of their owners with other pets. But if you properly train and socialize your ShiChi with your other pets from an early age, they can get along with other pets in the household just fine.
7. Training the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
Just because the ShiChi is a toy pup, don’t make the mistake of not training it. These pups need just as much care as a big dog and need to be socialized early, so that they don’t bark at everything and everyone that they come into contact with. They are still a puppy and not a toy after all. So, training is not only vital but the responsibility of the owner.
Without proper training the following poor behaviours may be exhibited with your pup; separation anxiety, aggressiveness, excessive barking and attempts to dominate the household. Consistent training of your ShiChi puppy is key.
Any well-taught and well-rounded dog can be a pleasure to have around, even in the presence of company. So, the same can be said about training a ShiChi. Fortunately, this mix is not difficult to train. ShiChi’s just need a little bit of praise and treats when they do something you like. Stroke their ego. If you reward them for good behavior, they will quickly learn to keep that up to impress you.
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8. Exercise for the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
The tiny ShiChi doesn’t need a lot of space and very little exercise. You won’t have to walk your companion every day, just playing with them by tossing a ball or running around for a couple of minutes a day is enough to satisfy their cardio needs.
Playtime is the ShiChi’s favorite time to spend with their owner and also the best time to sneak in some exercise for your pup. But this Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can actually overexert themselves if you try to work them too hard while playing. If you notice your pup panting while you’re outdoors, it’s best to pick them up and bring them home to cool off.
These pups are content with 1-2 short walks each day and a total of 15-20 minutes of playtime. Having a dog like the ShiChi that requires minimal exercise is beneficial if you live in an apartment. They don’t require a lot of space and would be okay without a yard.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes enjoy spending time outside but they would much rather play inside. They love squeaky toys, chew toys, and bouncy balls. Chew toys will help your pet burn through its hyperactive energy and satisfy its curiosity.
If you want your ShiChi to get mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation, these pups will also appreciate a couple of puzzle toys.
Whatever exercise you and your ShiChi pup decide to do for the day, be sure that you always keep them on a harness. A harness designed for a Chihuahua will remove pressure off their delicate windpipe and also make it hard for them to slip out of it.
ShiChi’s have a very short attention span and they are prone to running off after something that catches their attention, so keeping them on a harness during play time in the park would be best.
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9. Potential Health Issues of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
Although the ShiChi is a crossbreed and many crossbreeds tend to be the least prone to diseases, there’s still the possibility that your puppy will inherit some health conditions.
These are some of the health conditions that you should watch out for:
- Patellar Luxation (kneecap dislocation)
- Eye problems
- Respiratory problems
One of the most common health conditions that these mixes tend to develop is obesity. Their small frame makes them prone to becoming overweight and obesity in this pup can lead to a number of other complications.
These pups also have a tendency to develop eye issues, such as corneal ulcers, progressive retinal atrophy and retinal detachment. Respiratory complications can also occur if your pup inherits the flat nose of their Shih Tzu parent. They may have difficulty breathing due to adopting this shape of nose.
All of these conditions can exponentially lower the quality of your dog’s life and shorten their lifespan. So, early detection of these symptoms is important in order to correct or prevent them from worsening.
On the bright side, toy breeds are often generally healthy. But make sure to go to the vet once your puppy reaches adulthood for an overall checkup and to determine what nutritional needs your four-legged friend should be getting.
10. Diet of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
The ShiChi doesn’t have high-calorie needs, which means this pup is at a higher risk of becoming obese. So, be extra careful about their feeding schedules. Giving them small portions multiple times a day works best for them.
It is recommended by vets that ShiChi’s should have a diet that consists of 140 to 325 calories of protein-rich, high-quality dog food every day. But pay attention to your dogs’ activity – the more they play, the more they’ll need to eat.
11. Breeding the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
When looking for a reputable breeder, make sure you have access to see the papers of their purebred parents, which will be essential in giving your pup the best care. If you’re not interested in getting your puppy from a breeder, you could have a look for rescues.
Rescuing a dog from a shelter will not only give a dog a second chance, it also gives you the opportunity to see definitively what kind of dog you’re getting.
12. The Cost of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
The Shih Tzu and Chihuahua can be expensive breeds but the ShiChi is a cheaper dog breed on average. These pups are desirable because of their small size and loveable looks. Because of this, breeders will be tempted to charge more for them than other mixes.
You should expect to pay around $750 for this mix. If you’re adopting this four-legged friend from a shelter, you should expect to pay up to $300.
Be sure to factor in the location and the breeders involved, this will also play a part in the cost of the pup. Be careful, too. The huge popularity of mixed and miniature breeds has only increased the incidence of horrendous breeding factories. You may also come across many unethical breeders and puppy mills online, so look out for trustworthy ShiChi breeders.
13. Longevity of the ShiChi Mix
If given the proper care throughout its life, your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix can enjoy a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
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Final Thoughts on the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
So, now that you know a little bit more about the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix, are they the perfect fit for you and your family?
If you hate yappy, noisy dogs, you’re a busy professional, or you have very young children – this hybrid pup might not be the one for you. ShiChi’s have ‘small dog syndrome’ and they can be needy and a little bratty if they don’t get attention.
But if you want a happy little pup who always requires your love, attention and affection – look no further than the ShiChi.
These dogs are low maintenance and with patience and consistency, these pups can make loveable, loyal, toy-sized companions.
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