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Zuchon Dogs: 13 Things You Need To Know

Imagine dreaming of having a teddy bear that came to life and that you could play with? Well, it may not be a teddy bear, but the Zuchon is a dog that looks like an actual bear that you can play around with and take on walks.

This little breed is an amazing companion that will be the perfect addition to any family. It is also one of the best dogs for any new dog owners who have never owned a dog before and want to start their canine ownership journey.

But before you do, there are 13 things to know about the Zuchon before you start looking for a pup. Take a look at these interesting things about our furry canine friends.

Psst…if you’d like a larger fluffy dog as a friend for your Zuchon, have a look at 19 white big fluffy dog breeds you’ll love.

zuchon dog brown and white

13 Things to Know about Zuchon Dogs

1. What is a Zuchon?

The Zuchon is a designer dog breed that goes by quite a few names, with Teddy Bear dog and Shichon being other names that are often used. The Teddy Bear Zuchon is a hybrid mixed-breed from its parents, the Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise.

These little dogs embrace their size from their Shih Tzu parent and inherit the friendly attitude of their Bichon Frise parent. These little furballs are full of energy and have equal amounts of personality to go with all that spirit in a small package.

This hybrid may not be for everyone, but it is certainly a one-of-a-kind dog. They are the offspring of purebred parents but are neither purebreds or mutts themselves.

Psst…You could be forgiven for thinking that it is a teddy bear with this little ball of fluff sitting across from you.

zuchon dog black and white

2. History of the Zuchon

Zuchons are a pretty new breed that originated in the United States and is gaining popularity at a rapid pace in houses throughout America. The purpose of the crossing of the two purebred parents was to achieve a dog with the small size of the Shih Tzu and the disposition of the Bichon Frise.

This mixed breed’s parents have a long and illustrious history, with both being associated with royalty. The history of its Bichon Frise is documented back to the 14th century and was a breed used by nobility, even the King of England at one point. The other parent, the Shih Tzu, is understood to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

These dogs were bred by Tibetan Monks, who then gave the breed to Chinese royalty. They become known as ‘lion’ dogs as they were used to calm lions.

Fast forward to modern times, and this is where the Teddy Bear Zuchon is born as a designer breed. It is also possible to be the first cross with one purebred parent each and bred back to the original breeds or even with two Zuchon parents.

3. Their Gentle Nature Makes Them Popular Therapy Dogs

The Zuchon has a gentle nature, and they are very intuitive to their owner’s feelings. This is what makes them popular not only as therapy dogs but also as emotional support animals. Their loving and caring nature, along with their love to be next to their owners, make them amazing companions for anyone suffering from an illness, physical or mental.

They will never leave your side and will be there for you when you need them the most. Believe it or not, they are amazing at understanding their owner’s body language, just adding to why they have become popular therapy dogs that are able to sense problems.

4. They Will Fit Into Any Lifestyle

These doggos are incredibly versatile with the space that they need to live in. They are equally happy in an apartment or a small property. Taking them on walks outdoors is where they will have a ton of fun but will also get rid of their energy following you around your apartment. They can also act as little Houdinis, so make sure your yard is fenced in because they will find a way out if they really want to.

Whether you are a homebody who stays at home a lot or lives an outdoor lifestyle, this little dog will be happy wherever you go. Just don’t leave them alone for too long, they aren’t too fond of being left alone for long periods of time.

5. Zuchons are Highly Trainable

These teddy bear look-alikes are actually very easy to train. They tend to see themselves more as a tiny human instead of a dog, so it will mimic its owner’s behavior. If you introduce simple commands from the start at an early age, such as ‘sit,’ the foundation can be laid for a strong, obedient dog.

They are very intelligent and always want to please their owners. Adopting positive reinforcement training techniques will give you the best results, just be consistent. Using treats is a good idea as a reward system, any negative or physical training methods should be avoided entirely. The hard part is to keep them interested while teaching.

All training and socialization should be started as early as possible. They do get separation anxiety, so crate training is a good idea for these dogs to help them feel like they have a safe area for them to go to when they are alone at home. Training them to accept alone time is another crucial aspect of this dog. If not, it could cause behavior problems later in life.

white zuchon dog

6. Zuchons Have an Easy-Going Temperament

Zuchons have a spunky and lively little personality and are known to be pretty well-mannered. Their attitude means that they are friendly towards other dogs, so they will be just fine at the dog park with all the other dogs and make a ton of canine friends. They love to play and be the center of attention, so make sure that they get both.

Although playful, they also make a good little watchdog. They aren’t yappy like other small dogs but will not hesitate to let you know if there is an intruder. These dogs will bark when someone comes to the door and alert you to any potential dangers.

Yes, they are not defense dogs, but they will at least give you a warning. These doggos also have a lot of self-control, so they will be able to hold back if needed.

7. They Can Live a Long Life

These Teddy Bear Shichons can live anywhere between 15 to 18 years old. Their health in general, though, is linked to their parents and genetics. This mix of two breeds leaves this dog prone to health issues from both of its parent breeds. But, it is also possible to win the genetic lottery and have no health problems.

Some common health issues may occur, such as skin allergies, Cushing’s disease, Patellar luxation, and eye problems. Plaque buildup is another common problem that can lead to obesity and tooth loss. A dental toy is one of the best ways to help mitigate plaque buildup.

It is best to feed them some of the best food for small dog breeds that is available. The food should also suit their current age. Any wet food should be avoided as it could cause tooth decay and gum disease.

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8. Zuchons Have a Teddy Bear Coat

The Zuchon’s coat is soft with their hair either curled or wavy and can grow relatively long if it is not groomed. Their coat comes in a wide range of colors, with some of the most common being black, grey, silver, white and tan. Their fur will depend on which parent the pup takes after.

Despite all their hair, they have a hypoallergenic coat, which gives them their signature teddy bear-like look. This special coat means that they are also great dogs for anyone who suffers from allergies as they won’t have any dander on their fur. Using fish oil for dogs is a good way to ensure that their coat will remain silky soft.

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9. They Were Bred to be Companions

The Shichons parents were both bred to be companion dogs which means that Zuchons make for the ultimate companions. This small dog loves to be around its owner and prefers to be the center of its owner’s world. They will form a deep bond with their owners and are immensely loyal and affectionate.

Zuchons will suit owners of all ages, even in homes with small children. If you are looking for a little dog to follow you around but also protect you and your loved ones, then this teddy bear might be for you.

grey zuchon dog

10. What Do They Look Like?

This little one’s appearance varies depending on which parent they take after most. They grow between 10 and 12 inches tall and weigh up to 13 pounds. They have beautiful eyes that lend to their teddy bear-like appearance.

The length of their muzzle is important to take notice of. Those with short noses can experience some of the breathing disorders of the Shih Tzu parents, which would limit their exercise abilities. You will notice this while they are pups, so take note when you are choosing your next puppy from the litter. And if you add in some floppy hanging ears, this is one of the cutest dogs ever.

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11. They Require Regular Grooming

The long hair of the Zuchon means that a regular grooming schedule is needed to stop their coat from matting. Their coat will need to be trimmed once every three months, and a regular tooth brushing schedule, three times a week, is ideal. This will prevent plaque buildup that can lead to other health issues.

Make sure to trim their nails every two weeks as well, unless they have worn them down on their own. A monthly bath is also a good idea just to keep them clean but don’t bathe them any more than that as it will dry out their skin.

Using a good dog brush daily will also help with the tangles that can form in their gorgeous coat. Trimming the hair around their eyes is also recommended to allow them to see better and help prevent eye infections.

12. They Have a Lot of Energy

These little dogs have a lot of energy but don’t require much activity to keep them healthy. Put aside 30 minutes a day for some playtime or take them out on a short walk for some fresh air, and they will be happy. Zuchons also love to swim, so don’t be surprised to hear a splash in the summertime.

An active owner will appreciate this dog breed that will throw itself into the different games and adventures with enthusiasm. This is what makes this mixed breed suited to apartment living, just a little bit of playing inside with a tug of war toy or a short walk, and they will have their needs met. If you really want to tire them out, take them to the dog park, let them roam about, and make some friends.

Ultimately, the fact that they are an intuitive breed and like to mimic their owners means that they will match your energy level. So they will be by your side whether it’s out in the park or at home on the couch.

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13. They Make Amazing Family Dogs

This is a pretty lively breed that will get along with all other family pets, even larger dogs but just be careful that they don’t injure them. They can entertain themselves if they need to but love to play around with their owners. If you want a dog that lives for cuddles, then this is the dog to get; they are very lovable and in tune with their owner’s needs.

They are very tolerant of younger children and live to please their families. These little dogs will be in their prime if they are a member of the family and will try to snuggle up with you at night as well. Ultimately, these dogs rarely bark and are very calm, so they won’t annoy your neighbors.

When Will You be Getting a Zuchon?

These little dogs are an energetic bundle of fur that will happily sit by your side and follow you for the next 15 years. They will be happy in pretty much any environment. So whether you’re in an apartment or large home, they will find ways to entertain themselves and have fun in the process. Just don’t leave them alone too long, or you might have a little destruction on your hands.

Remember, dynamite comes in small packages. A Zuchon will be an amazing addition to any family and you will enjoy many years of love and affection with your kids growing up with a dog that will leave them memories for life.

So, do you think that a teddy bear dog is for you, and if so, when will you be getting your pup?

brown and white zuchon dog

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I covered all of the costs associated with writing this post on the shih tzu mini. However, it does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.

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