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Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix: Breed Info

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix: Breed Info
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

The mix of the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu makes a lively, courageous, happy, and loyal companion. What else do you need in your lovely home? These two toy dog breeds make an exceptional cuddle buddy that will want to sit on your lap in between play sessions. Already thinking about getting one? I bet so!
 
You should know that the Shi Chi is one of the few mixed breeds to be recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Dog Registry of America, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and the International Designer Canine Registry. This makes the breed recognizable and easier to find than most other designer dogs on planet earth. 
 
Similar to most toy breeds, a Shi Chi is suitable for first-time dog owners. Easy to maintain, their small size makes them perfect for a small family or a small apartment roommate.

However, Shi Chi’s thrive in most environments as they don’t require a lot of space. They’ll want to be near you, and the family but they’re likely to pick favorites! But you don’t have to worry, the amount of love given to everyone would be the same! 
 
Is the Chi Tzu right for you? This guide will walk you through whether or not you’re ready for this small ball of energy! But I hope you are. Keep on reading! 

A dog running on fields
The Shih Chi dog is an energetic, loving, affectionate and friendly mix breed.

Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix (Shi Chi or Chi Tzu) 

Obviously, the Shi Tzu is a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua parent. First of all, there are no records currently available to who created this mixed breed. But it’s possible that they were created during the late 21st century, or maybe in the early 2000s. Many breeds were established from the 90s.

Establishing uniformity with the breed’s characteristics, health problems, behavior, and temperament are difficult with any mixed breed. But it’s more difficult if they’re a recent mix without valid paperwork. 
 
However, the Shi Chi will likely take after one of their parent breed. So if you can ask the breeder to see papers, you’ll have a better understanding for creating a framework of this breed. For example, if your Shichi’s Shih Tzu parents have a long coat, it will likely have a longer coat too – obviously. That’s the case for most Shih Tzu mix breed dogs. They will also inherit their coloring and behavior from their parents as well. 
 
In the end, you’ll likely get a fearless, loyal, and outgoing dog that loves people and to cuddle a lot. Since both parents need low energy and grooming requirements, that will pass on as well. Their trainability could fall into question as the Shih Tzu is more natural to train than the Chihuahua. But positive reinforcement will help either way. And don’t forget to potty train your dog in time.

Overview of the Shih Tzu

The Chinese nicknamed this breed the “Lion Dog,” and it is one of the most photographed canines on the globe. Although this famous species is famed for its elegance and beauty, their personalities reveal a completely different side.

They’re not princesses; in fact, they’re pretty self-sufficient. Shih Tzus were bred for the aim of becoming outstanding watchdogs because of their loud bark.

Shih Tzus are also vivacious, gregarious, alert, lively, bold, feisty, and love to have a good time. They like making friends with people of all ages, including youngsters and other canines. Even if you’re a stranger, the Shih Tzu will run up to you when you open the door! Just keep an eye out for their fur parents’ protective attitude!

Overall, Shih Tzus are small little sweethearts who, when properly taught, are well-mannered. They are easy to teach, require little care, and require little activity to keep healthy. Shih Tzus will live for around 13 years and weigh no more than 16 pounds. Due to its laid-back attitude, the Shih Tzu is an excellent parent breed for many mixtures.

Overview of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a feisty, loyal breed that likes to make their presence felt, despite its little size. They are notorious for squaring up even the largest dogs, so timid isn’t in their vocabulary. Chihuahuas are intelligent dogs who know what they want and how to get it.

These handbag pups will be completely devoted to only one person. This isn’t to say they aren’t nice; in fact, they will adore everyone in their extended family. The Chihuahua, on the other hand, will seek attention from their favorite person and will avoid others.

Because their owners frequently ignore this, Chihuahuas must be trained to foster good behavior. It’s critical to socialize this breed, otherwise you’ll have a horror on your hands. A pampered brat is disliked by everybody. Chihuahuas’ heads can be either apple-shaped or deer-shaped.

Their grumpiness makes them ideal watchdogs. They require little care, are moderately easy to teach, and require very little activity. Chihuahuas have a lifespan of about 16 years and weigh little more than 6 pounds. They are frequently combined with many different breeds due to their size and zeal for life.

Appearance

Your Shichi’s look is determined by which parent’s genes they inherit. However the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua hybrid is known for its cuteness!

In general, the ears of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix are either upright like a Chihuahua or droop down like a Shih Tzu.

They might have a short coat or a silky long coat. Some Shichis have a slightly wavy coat, which makes them even cuter.  Brown, black, cream, white, and brown and white are some of the hues available for the Shi Tzu’s coat.

Because the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu are both small dogs, it’s not surprising if their puppies are as well.  The weight of your Shichi might range from 5 to 16 lbs (2 to 7 kg). They will not grow higher over 10 inches in height (25 cm).

Are they hypoallergenic?

The Shih Tzu, unlike the Chihuahua, does not shed. Depending on the crossbreed generation (whether the parents are purebred Chihuahua and Shih Tzu or both Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix pups), you may end up with a dog that sheds or one that is hypoallergenic.

However, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. To some extent, all dogs shed. Hypoallergenic dogs, on the other hand, shed less than their canine counterparts, resulting in less allergy-inducing dander in their fur.

As a result, these canines are perfect for allergy sufferers. If you’re looking for a Chihuahua Shih Tzu hybrid but want to be sure it’s hypoallergenic, look for a breeder who specializes in second or third generation crossbreeds.

You may also make your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix hypoallergenic by adopting an older dog with a well-established coat.

Grooming 

If your fur baby has a short coat, grooming won’t be an issue and would be easy to maintain. But keep in mind that It’s still necessary to brush them once weekly to keep their coat clean, as being closer to the ground means they’ll get dirtier faster. However, the closer your ShiChi’s coat is to the Shih Tzus, the more likely you’ll have to brush them daily to remove any clumps, mats or tangles. 
 
ShiChi’s could also be bred with a long coat – it depends on the gene. If your pet has this coat, you should bathe them at least once a month while also grooming them regularly. Longer coats always mean more grooming, so make sure you have this in mind. You can’t control which coat your dog inherits, so be prepared for both options.

But grooming does not stop with their coat. Clip their nails as a part of their grooming routine, and also clean their ears to keep your pup in good shape. Look for inflammation, discharge, or foul odor. Make sure you brush their teeth once or twice a week to keep them from visiting the doggy dentist and avoid unnecessary health issues.

Cleaning your dog’s ears weekly to remove debris and prevent ear infections, cleaning the corner of their eyes with a damp cloth, cleaning and trimming their nails, and brushing their teeth daily, if possible, are all important grooming tips.

The Shih Tzu and Chihuahua don’t shed much, which is a bonus, and the ShiChi’s coat will be hypoallergenic if it takes after its Shih Tzu parents.

A shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix squinting his eyes
As small as they are, even a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix needs a lot of training and care.

Living Conditions 

Are you ready to learn more about the living conditions of your Shi Chi? Apartments are great homes for the tiny Shi Chi as they require little space and almost no exercise. You won’t have to go on super long walks with this canine which makes them a perfect pup for an owner that does not have a lot of time. They are good in urban areas and will suit most lifestyles perfectly.

However, even if they don’t require a lot of exercise it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t exercise with them at all! Playing with ShiChi’s by tossing a ball or running around the apartment for 30 minutes will be enough to satisfy their exercise needs. Sounds easy right? 
 
Shi Chi’s are indoor dogs and shouldn’t be left alone outside for long periods of time. But they don’t do too good alone inside too. They have bad separation anxiety and would prefer to go with you on your shopping trips or running errands. Since they are small pups, you can easily carry them with you. They’re also more likely to sleep with you, so letting them on your furniture is a must. This fact shouldn’t surprise you! 

Nutrition

The Shichi, being a toy dog, is prone to obesity. That’s why you should keep track of your dog’s daily calorie consumption.

A Chi Tzu may eat half a cup to a cup of high-quality dry dog chow every day. To lessen the danger of your dog getting stomach disorders, divide this quantity into two meals — morning and evening.

Both Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas require a lot of protein from high-quality sources like chicken or eggs, meat, or fish to maintain their muscles strong enough to support their backs and joints.

Because these dogs are prone to weight gain, they don’t require a lot of carbs. Carbohydrates are still an important source of energy, and organic options like sweet potatoes are recommended.

Both the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua require fat to boost their energy levels, thus dog food with a reasonable quantity of fat is excellent for them. Fat also contributes to the lustrous and healthy appearance of these dogs’ coats.

Many of the Shichi’s dietary requirements are similar to those of his parents. This crossbreed’s ideal dog food is strong in protein and low in carbs, with at least 15% to 20% fat from high-quality sources.

Grain-based kibbles, like corn, should be avoided since they may cause allergic reactions in your dog. Always choose a dog meal made with natural components like meat, fruits, and vegetables.

To combat the impacts of free radical damage, including as joint illnesses, aging, cancer, and heart disease, and to improve their immune system, choose high-quality kibble that is strong in antioxidants.

Training the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Do not make the mistake of neglecting to train a little dog. They still require the same level of attention as a large dog and must be socialized at a young age so that they do not bark at every stranger they encounter. Even if your puppy is well-behaved, active, and energetic, you must treat him or her as any other dog.

Because little dogs have smaller bladders, they must be housebroken. At initially, it may be tough to train this. When they’re pups, they’ll have many accidents in one night. When educating your ShiChi, remember that they have two proud and exuberant pet parents.

This isn’t to say they’re hard to train. ShiChi’s just require a little ego-stroking in the form of praise and goodies when they perform something you enjoy. If you praise them for their positive conduct, they will rapidly try to mimic it in order to gain your attention.

Exercise

The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix isn’t the sort of dog that requires a lot of activity due to its size. That does not, however, imply that you may leave the Shichi to his own devices.

This crossbreed has a vibrant and energetic personality, yet he likes to spend most of his time indoors. Chew toys can help your pet expend pent-up energy while also keeping his mind occupied.

Puzzle toys will also provide cerebral activity for your Chi Tzu, ensuring that he does not drive you insane with his devious actions.

It won’t hurt for the Chihuahua and Shih Tzu mix to get some fresh air, either! Giving your dog at least 20 minutes of daily activity, such as a brisk walk or off-leash play, can help maintain its body and mind in good shape.

You may take your Shichi for two walks every day, but don’t overwork her. If you see her panting while you’re outside, take her up and bring her inside to relax and cool down.

Health of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Usually, you don’t have to worry a lot for their health. Toy breeds are often healthy, but they do have a higher risk of hypoglycemia than the average-sized dog. This happens when you don’t feed your dog enough. You’ll likely want to feed them less due to their small stature, but because they’re so hyperactive, they use up their energy quickly. So, don’t leave your dog hungry, feed them properly since that is the path for a healthy life. 
 
But even this can be remedied if you feed them in small portions multiple times a day. Make sure to go to the vet once your puppy reaches adulthood so they can determine your pups calorie needs. By doing this, you’ll manage your pup’s meals better. It’s always the best decision to seek for the opinion of a professional. Nutrition is the key to health, for both dogs and humans.
 
Shi Chi’s are also at risk for breathing issues. But also for skeletal issues such as luxating patellas, hip dysplasia. Another weak point are their eyes and conditions such as cataracts. Overall your ShiChi will likely be healthy over the long-term. Their life expectancy is around 12-15 years, but some live even longer. As said in this article, this  breed is perfect for small places and for the owners with no experience at all.

Most common health problems

Patella Luxation

Many toy dog breeds, such as Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Pugs, and Pomeranians, suffer from this health issue. Genetics and the form of the bones are the main causes of patella luxation, commonly known as slipping kneecaps.

The patella, or kneecaps, are located within the tendon of the thigh muscles. The tendon is a stiff, inelastic band of tissue that connects the muscle to the bony connection. The patella will be loose and move back and forth underneath the tendons if your Pap has patella luxation.

The patella, or kneecap, is a tiny bone in the knee area that lies beneath the tendon of the thigh muscles. The kneecaps become displaced and begin to slip in and out of this tendon. In an attempt to reassign the kneecap to its proper position, he may limp on the affected leg and stretch it occasionally.

Hypothyroidism

In this condition, the thyroid gland produces an exceptionally little amount of hormones. A common sign of this illness is infertility. Some of the more noticeable symptoms include obesity, mental dullness, drooping eyes, low energy levels, and irregular heat cycles. The skin gets thick and black, and the dog’s fur becomes harsh and brittle, falling off. Hypothyroidism is treated by giving the dog daily medication for the remainder of his life. Thankfully, a dog who receives daily thyroid medication can have a long and happy life.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s Disease is a condition that affects dogs who are stressed or anxious. High quantities of a hormone called cortisol are produced by this condition, which is generally accompanied by a tumor.

Heart Problems

All dogs are susceptible to heart disease, which should be treated properly even if it is moderate. Dogs, like humans, are susceptible to heart disease if they have a bad genetic history as well as unhealthy habits such as obesity, lack of exercise, and insufficient socialization.

Dogs can avoid heart disease by eating well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, and getting regular exams.

Epilepsy

That’s right, you read that correctly. Canines, too, can develop epilepsy and seizures. The frequency of a seizure and epilepsy differs significantly. Epilepsy is diagnosed if the seizures persist.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally low, and it is more frequent than you might believe. Glucose is a sugar produced by the digestion of food that can be present in our bodies.

Hypoglycemia is most commonly caused by a puppy’s poor diet and lack of food. While a puppy needs to move around more, such as when exercising or walking, he or she requires more glucose to function.

Because glucose fuels the body for energy, a young puppy with hypoglycemia will be tired. The puppy will become weak and lethargic without the energy-giving glucose. In severe situations, the puppy may have a seizure and, in the worst-case scenario, become comatose and die.

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal Collapse is another significant health danger for little dogs. The trachea (also known as the windpipe) is a circular cartilage group that helps mammals to breathe. If these get weakened, they may collapse, narrowing the space available. Due to the development of dry, harsh coughing and gagging, your dog’s breathing becomes more difficult.

Tight collar and genetic disposition from over-breeding are two major causes of tracheal collapse. Tracheal collapse can occur if the trachea is frequently compressed by a tight collar.

Pharyngeal Gag Reflex

When they experience a rapid and powerful inhale of air through their nostrils, they have a pharyngeal gag reaction, often known as reverse sneezing. Dogs that have experienced reverse sneezing have been described as sounding as if they are attempting to sneeze.

Reverse sneezing can be caused by a variety of things, including tooth infections, nasal irritation, and environmental irritants like smoke and pollen. An inflamed larynx or palate, which can produce spasms in those areas, is another cause of this health concern.

Coat Loss

These dogs are susceptible to a coat loss condition known as Severe Hair Loss Syndrome (SHLS). The hair will begin to grow normally, but it will thin out with time, becoming more apparent around the back and bottom.

Alopecia X, also known as Black Skin Disease, is a condition that affects puppies with thick coats and no guard hairs that do not shed. When these coats are shed, guard hairs are left behind, which might irritate them.

Another variant of a similar issue occurs at a later age, when the hair begins to grow normally, but as time goes, it begins to thin out, beginning at the rear and progressing to the bottom. To avoid exacerbating the problem, it’s critical to have the coat evaluated and the underlying problem identified.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a prevalent cause of blindness in older dogs. His eyes’ lenses grow more opaque—in other words, fuzzy instead of clear. Many dogs adjust well to losing their vision and go on to have happy lives. Surgical excision of cataracts and vision restoration may also be an option.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Puppies

Because it is a mixed breed of two dogs, they can be expensive, however, this varies by location. Costs vary depending on where you live and where you want to get the dog. Most people choose to adopt a puppy rather than a fully grown dog, and Shi-Chi pups often cost between $500 and $1,000.

As previously said, Shih Tzu Chihuahuas may be an expensive dog to own in terms of both upkeep and purchase. However, at the end of the day, they are really amiable dogs that would be suitable for any type of household. Families with small children are an exception, since they can be irritable at times, which isn’t very reassuring when there’s already a baby in the house.

In terms of dog upkeep, this is likewise a large responsibility, with training being an essential element of the process. Training a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix demands a lot of patience because their Chihuahua parent might make them difficult at times. During the course of a steady training regimen, you might observe a variety of behavioral issues in them. Make the training sessions pleasurable for them by providing positive reinforcement, and you’ll notice that they become more motivated and concentrated. 

Remember that an untrained and unsocialized Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix might become a yappy, untrusting, and selfish ShiChi, which is a Chihuahua characteristic, thus positive reinforcement training is crucial. However, because ShiChi are intelligent dogs, they will react well to training.

Separation anxiety

The Chihuahua Shih Tzu hybrid is frequently referred to as a “velcro dog.” This basically implies that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a dog who continuously wants to be with you and is prone to separation anxiety when you’re not there.

While this makes the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix a wonderful companion for elders, retirees, and those who work from home, it might be troublesome for people who have a hectic schedule.

The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix might get depressed and worried if left alone for too long. Chewing, barking, toilet problems, and other behavioral difficulties might result as a result of this. Depression and stress in your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can potentially cause health issues.

As a result, this dog is best suited to owners who have a flexible schedule and can commit a significant amount of time and care to the mix.

Perfect apartment dog

The Chihuahua Shih Tzu hybrid is an excellent apartment dog due to his small stature. He doesn’t require a lot of room to run around and play, and because he was raised to be a companion, he’ll appreciate cuddling on your lap or snuggling by your side everywhere you go.

However, some Chihuahua Shih Tzu hybrid dogs can be rather talkative, especially if they have the temperament of their Chihuahua parent breed. If bored or left alone for an extended period of time, Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix pets have the potential to be destructive.

It’s also worth noting that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is notoriously tough to housetrain. This is due to the fact that he is a little dog, and minor accidents might be difficult to notice.

Final Thoughts

Look no farther than the ShiChi if you’re looking for a cheerful little gentleman that constantly demands your love, attention, and affection. These adorable, affectionate toy-sized companions are ideal for people who have never owned a dog before since they require very little training and very little activity.

Remember that the ShiChi’s parents are superb security dogs, therefore your dog will most likely be one as well. Your dog won’t bark at strangers if you socialize and teach him properly. Your dog, on the other hand, is more inclined to leap into the arms of everyone who enters your home.

If you despise yappy, noisy dogs, are a busy professional or have small children, I would advise you to pass. Their attention needs are quite high (which is why I said it twice), and any owner who leaves them alone for extended periods of time will struggle. This breed will develop a dislike towards you if you aren’t skilled at using positive reinforcement throughout training.

Small dog syndrome, which is frequent in untrained small dogs, can be caused by insufficient training. Make sure you don’t overlook this; you don’t want to end up with a diva on your hands!

However, if you have children above the age of 8, have allergies, or are hypersensitive to dander, live in a limited area, can walk them regularly, and have the patience to teach them, they will be ideal for you!