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What To Know Before Adopting A Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

What To Know Before Adopting A Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes are small, compact, and absolutely adorable family dogs that would fit in great with many different people and families. These adorable puppies may have small and tiny bodies, but their personalities are huge! They won’t shy away from showing off their attitude, and you will be surprised at how brave these small canines can be. They won’t be scared to fight dogs ten times their size, which makes it so important to train and socialize these dogs appropriately. So, what to know before adopting a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix? Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dogs even good family pets in the first place? 

To be upfront, there isn’t a universal answer to this question. This depends on so many factors that concern both the dog and your family. Even though these are small canines, don’t fool yourself into thinking that they are low-maintenance. They need a lot of maintenance, especially when it comes to grooming and training. However, a lot of these things will also depend on what genes your dog ends up with. While Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus are similar appearance-wise, they are pretty different when it comes to their personality.

Personality of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix 

The Shih Tzu is known as the “Lion dog”, and they are renowned for their beauty, temper, and elegance. They are one of the most photographed dog breeds on earth, and when well-trained, these dogs are complete sweethearts. On the other hand, Chihuahuas are fierce little creatures that have been huge stars in Hollywood movies such as “Legally Blonde”. In the early 2000s, every “it girl” had a Chihuahua. Thankfully, people stopped seeing dogs as accessories, however, these dogs are still as popular as ever.

Their mixed breed is a fairly new one, and there isn’t too much information about it available. However, just like with any other crossbreed, you can never be completely certain about what you are going to get. In some ways, these two breeds are definitely similar. Both of them are loyal, and affectionate, and form strong bonds with their owners. But on the other hand, there are also some major differences. For example, Chihuahuas have a tendency to be a bit more stubborn, and develop “small dog syndrome”. 

Most likely, you will end up with a social, outgoing dog, that loves stirring things up. Boredom is not in their vocabulary, and you will always be busy laughing at the things that they do. While they don’t need a lot of exercise, they love to be active in different ways. They love to play, watch TV, or simply spend some time with you.

A ShiChi dog relaxing on the carpet

Source: Instagram (@thatgrrlshireen)

Are ShiChis loyal to one person?

These dogs are loyal to their whole family, however, they do pick one special person that will get most of their affection. There is no way to know who that person will be. Most commonly, it is their primary dog owner. Therefore, the person who most commonly feeds them, walks them, and trains them. But that doesn’t have to always be the case. Sometimes, these dogs will also pick one random person to the surprise of most people. If that One special person isn’t you, don’t feel too bad. They still have enough love left for all of the other members of their family too.

Do Shih Tzus get jealous?

Yes, they absolutely do. Especially if they take after their Chihuahua parent. That’s because these dogs form such strong bonds with their family members, and they are also very territorial. That means that they will try to protect their people, whenever they feel like someone is coming too close. That someone could be a person, or a different animal. 

That could be especially tricky if you are trying to introduce a new partner to your dog, or you are expecting a new baby. However, there are also ways to control that. The most important thing is that you socialize your dog on time, so that he knows that new people or animals aren’t a threat. Instead, they should become curious too about meeting strangers. If you are introducing your dog to someone new, make sure that your dog doesn’t feel left out. Allow them to sniff out that new animal or human, while making sure that everyone is safe. Do it step by step, until your dog is feeling comfortable around that stranger.

Are they good with kids?

One thing is sure, kids absolutely adore these small dogs. They are tiny, fit on everyone’s lap, and their coat is smooth and soft. What’s there not to love about them? However, due to their petite physical traits, these small puppies easily get hurt. So if you have small children at home, this probably isn’t the best breed for you. However, if your kids are older, and know how to handle dogs, then everything should be absolutely fine. Make sure every family member handles these dogs with care, as they don’t enjoy any type of rough play at all.

But don’t underestimate the importance of socialization. We already explained how important that is, but it is especially crucial for your dog to be able to interact with kids. Even though this is a small breed, due to their Chihuahua genes, they sometimes aren’t aware of their size. They might start attacking others around them, and even though their jaws are small, these canines are still able to bite. So make sure your dog is well socialized, and never leave your dog with kids unsupervised. Accidents can happen on both ends. 

Do Shih Tzus like to be hugged? 

This will depend from dog to dog, some dogs will absolutely adore being hugged and cuddled, while others won’t. These dogs tend to form very strong bonds with their owners, and they also love to show affection. Therefore, it’s no surprise that most of them absolutely love to be petted. However, cuddling and hugging are a bit different. You have to remember that these dogs have very small bodies, which means that they are particularly fragile. In other words, they could easily get hurt while being hugged. You have to handle them with care, and make sure that you don’t hurt their small bones. A gentle hug from time to time will be tolerated by most Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix puppies. 

Caring for a ShiChi

Caring for a ShiChi isn’t as easy as it may seem at first. Sure, these dogs aren’t as active as other dog breeds and they don’t need a lot of exercise. However, they absolutely still need daily activity. Two walks a day through the dog park are absolutely mandatory. However, they will do good even with short 15-minute walks. When it comes to training, you have to be consistent. These dogs have a stubborn streak that can make them difficult to train. Keep the training sessions short and interesting, and you won’t loose your dog’s interest.

These tiny dogs only need about 300 calories a day, which is approximately one cup of premium kibble. They don’t eat much at all, so make sure that the small amount of food that they eat is nutritious and healthy. That doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy the most expensive dog food available. However, try to read the label and buy something that is protein based. Another great idea would be talking to your vet, and asking for tips about your dog’s nutrition.

A new dog owner wonders about what to know before adopting a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dog into his family

Source: Instagram (@kirbyandyoshi_)

How big will a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix get?

Both of the parent breeds are small toy dogs, so it’s no surprise that these mix dogs will be small as well. Most commonly, the ShiChi dog breed weighs somewhere between 5 to 16 lbs, and doesn’t grow larger than 10 inches. As this is a cross breed and a fairly new one, there isn’t a lot of information available. There also isn’t a breed standard that could give us some insight into how these dogs are supposed to look. So the size of these dogs will depend on their genetics, gender, and other factors such as nutrition and health. But there is no doubt that they are a tiny breed. Because of their small size, these adorable dogs fit even into the smallest places. 

Do Chihuahua Shih Tzus shed? 

No matter what parent breed your dogs takes more after, shedding shouldn’t ever be a major concern of yours. Chihuahuas shed little, while Shih Tzus are considered to be a hypoallergenic dog breed because their shedding is pretty much non-existent. So your ShiChi mix dog shouldn’t shed much either way. You should still brush them a couple of times a week, to keep their coat in good shape. Bathing them once every month, or once every six weeks is very important as well. 

But the shedding isn’t the only type of grooming that you have to think about. These dogs have very sensitive teeth, which means that you should wash them ideally once a day. Use a dog toothbrush and a dog toothpaste every night, and gently brush their small teeth. This will prevent periodontal disease and other types of dog dental problems. If doing that once a day seems like too much work for you, you can do it three times a week, while giving your dog dental chews in between. This isn’t the ideal method but it can still work.

Do ShiChi dogs bark a lot? 

While Shih Tzus aren’t known as being barkers, every one of us has at least once witnessed a Chihuahua creating a scene with his barking. So, the cross of Shih Tzu and Chihuahua dogs could be either way. You could end up with a dog that barks at anything that moves, or with one that is only rarely vocal. But on a much more realistic note, dogs aren’t so black and white. Most of these mix dogs will be somewhere in the middle. They will bark, but not excessively and for no reason at all.

If you live in an apartment building, and you don’t want to interrupt your neighbors with your dog’s barking, start barking training as soon as you take your puppy home. Teach him the “quiet” command, and you will have a way to shut him down when he gets too vocal. Sometimes dogs also bark when they want to tell us something, like when they are experiencing pain or their water or food bowl is empty. Sometimes, our dogs also see something that we don’t and barking is their way of warning us. 

Are ShiChis smart?

Both parent breeds are smart dogs, so it’s no wonder that Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes are intelligent as well. They do well with different types of training but thrive on positive reinforcement. These mix dogs are quick to learn new tricks, however, because of their high intelligence, they can also become stubborn. So make sure you start training them as soon as you bring your ShiChi puppy home. Because they can suffer from “small dog syndrome”, these mix dogs also need early socialization. Make sure they meet many different people, and animals, and go to a lot of different places while they are still puppies. Early socialization will give you the best results, and you will end up with a dog with a calm temper and sweet personality.

A shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dog layiny on the floor

Source: Instagram (@thatgrrlshireen)

How do you potty train a ShiChi?

While this mixed breed is highly intelligent, potty training could be a bit challenging. That’s because their Chihuahua parent breed is notorious for being hard to potty train. Therefore, it could take a bit more effort than it would with other dog breeds, however, it definitely isn’t impossible. Start as soon as you bring your ShiChi puppy home, and remember that these small dogs also have small bladders. That means that they have to go potty pretty frequently, at least every one to two hours at the age of two months. Create a solid daily routine around their potty train schedule, and any type of accident should be avoided. 

How long do Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes live?

If you want a dog that will by your side for a long time, then a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a great option for you. Because this is a smaller dog breed, its lifespan is fairly long. On average, the life expectancy for this breed is between 12 and 15 years. The most common health issues that these dogs face are patellar luxation, obesity, and eye problems. However, other health conditions such as hypoglycemia and respiratory problems are common too. While most of these dogs are healthy, you should remember that they could get any of the health conditions that their parent dog breeds can get too. 

How much is a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix worth? 

Chi Tzus aren’t exactly cheap dogs. Because of their small size, these toy dogs make a great option for apartment dwellers. The price of ShiChi puppies varies from $500 to $1,500. If you want to buy an adult Chi Tzu, the price will go down. However, we would highly encourage you to never buy the cheapest puppy that you can find on the market. Instead, make sure you always seek out a reputable breeder that makes sure that their puppies are tested for the most common health issues. While puppy mills and backyard breeders offer lower prices, all these organizations are after is your money. They don’t have the dog’s best interest at heart, which is the reason why so many ShiChi puppies are born with different health issues. 

Should you get a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dog?

This is a question that only you can answer. While these little dogs would fit in with many different families and people, they won’t be the right choice for everyone. These small dogs have big personalities, and most of them will need puppy classes. Their grooming needs are pretty demanding as well, so don’t fool yourself into thinking that these dogs are just low-maintenance just because of their size. If you are ready to give them the care, time, love, and affection that these companion dogs need, they could be a wonderful new family member. 

With the right training sessions, these mix dogs can be a great choice for dog owners of different lifestyles. Similarly to their parent breeds, they get very attached to one person in the household and form a strong bond with them. If you have small children at home, you should be careful, because these tiny dogs are fragile. They could easily get hurt during rough play, just like other toy dog breeds. In addition to that, these canines are very social. They love to be in your company. So if you don’t spend a lot of time at home, this isn’t the breed for you. 


My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.