If you’re looking for a sweet toy dog addition to your family, the adorable Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix is one pooch that should feature prominently on your list of options.
Now, what is a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix? Commonly referred to as the ShiChi or Chishi, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix is a dog hybrid that was developed by mating the popular Shih Tzu and Chihuahua dog breeds. The ShiChi dog is popular for its good looks and sweet personality that is sure to capture just about any heart!
Understanding the peculiarities of the ShiChi dog is key to raising this pooch in an appropriate manner. And this article contains essential info on this dog’s common health issues, dietary requirements, temperament and grooming needs. However, before we go further, let’s examine the physical features of the Shi Chi and determine if this pooch will make a great addition to your family.
Are ShiChis Good Dogs?
To determine whether or not the ShiChi is the right dog for you, let’s start off by examining this pooch’s physical appearance and its distinguishing features:
Because the Shi Chi is a hybrid dog, you can expect its physical appearance to be greatly influenced by that of its parent breeds.
Regardless of this uncertainty and variation in appearance, most ShiChis have heads with round faces that are in direct proportion to their small, sturdy bodies. Additionally, most ShiChis have pushed-in faces, and their small noses are typically black in color.
ShiChis typically have almond-shaped, brown eyes. And it is possible for this pooch’s ears to either stand upright like that of a Chihuahua or flop down like what is obtainable with a Shih Tzu.
As stated earlier, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is classified as a toy dog and this pooch will attain weights between 5 to 12 lbs when fully grown.
The ShiChi isn’t the tallest dog out there either, and at maximum height, both male and female doggies only stand between 9 to 11 inches at shoulder level.
ShiChis typically have straight coats that may vary in length from extremely short to long, depending on the predominant parent genes. Most long-haired ShiChis usually have double coats, and in some cases, the top coat may be wavy.
Coat colors for this pooch vary, but the most common ShiChi coat colorations include cream, white, black, fawn and brown
How Long Do Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Live?
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix has an average lifespan that typically falls between 12 to 15 years.
The ShiChi is prone to a number of health issues during its lifetime, and if care isn’t taken, these issues can significantly shorten the pooch’s lifespan.
If you own a ShiChi or are planning to get one of these adorable pooches, some of the medical conditions you have to be on the lookout for include:
Hydrocephalus in ShiChis refers to a medical condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid finds its way into the dog’s skull either due to a birth defect or a brain tumor; This, in turn, causes the pooch’s brain to swell.
And if left unattended to, Hydrocephalus can lead to permanent brain damage or even kill a ShiChi.
Hip dysplasia in ShiChis is a condition characterized by the improper development of the ball and socket joint that is commonly found in the pooch’s hips. ShiChis suffering from hip dysplasia typically experience a situation in which the ball and socket in the hip do not fit properly.
Hip dysplasia in ShiChis occurs mostly due to genetics, but this condition is typically aggravated by a poor diet, obesity, excessive growth rate and inadequate exercising.
When a ShiChi’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine that controls the pooch’s metabolism, the result is a medical condition that is commonly referred to as hypothyroidism.
Common causes of hypothyroidism in ShiChis include thyroid diseases such as lymphocytic thyroiditis. ShiChis suffering from this condition will typically exhibit symptoms such as extreme lethargy, cold intolerance, abnormal weight gain and an increase in the occurrence of skin and ear infections, among others.
Minor Health Concerns
Other occasional medical diagnosis of Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes include:
How Do You Take Care Of A Shi Chi?
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix has moderate energy levels, and is prone to displaying short bursts of energy. However, given that the ShiChi is a toy dog, exercise should be kept at a minimal level to avoid hurting the pooch.
That said, ShiChis will do well with about 25 to 30 minutes of exercise per day, and this pooch is small enough to carry out most of its activities inside the house.
However, to keep the ShiChi mentally stimulated, you should take the pooch on short 10 to 15-minute walks per day. And the occasional visit to the dog park, along with games such as fetch also provide great sources of exercise.
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix requires a meal that is rich in protein to aid in the formation of, and strengthening of bones and muscles to support the pooch’s body.
The ideal meal for a ShiChi is one that contains a significant percentage of high-quality protein from animal sources such as chicken, beef and lamb. Carbohydrates are needed in the ShiChi’s diet to serve as a source of energy, but the amount should be kept at a moderate level. And fat is needed to keep this pooch’s coat polished and shiny.
That said, ShiChis can be fed with both well processed dry kibble and high-quality wet food. Homemade meals are also an option, but you may need to supplement these meals with multivitamins to make up for nutrients that may be left out when preparing the dog’s food.
If you’ll be feeding your ShiChi with kibble, half a cup to one cup of kibble, divided into two meals daily, is sufficient for this pooch.
And if you decide to feed your ShiChi wet food, you should only go for high-quality, reputable products such as the Pet Plate diet.
The Pet Plate diet contains all the nutrients listed earlier and more in a proportional manner. And the option Pet Plate gives its customers to submit their pooch’s physical characteristics to get a customized meal plan comes in handy, given the ShiChi’s mixed status.
The ShiChi dog is particularly prone to developing weight related issues, and as a result, you need to be strict about feeding this pooch.
Do ShiChi Dogs Get Along With Children? Temperaments Of Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mixes
Being a mixed dog breed, the temperament and personality of any ShiChi pooch depends solely on that of its parents, which, in this case, are the Chihuahua and Shih Tzu dogs. Hence, to get a clearer idea of what to expect with this pooch, you should read up on the temperaments of the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua dog breeds.
Regardless, most Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes have a reputation for being sweet and extremely loyal towards family members. These qualities make the ShiChi suitable as a companion dog and this pooch constantly demands the attention of its family.
ShiChis adapt well to different living conditions, and this pooch will do well in either a small apartment or a big house.
ShiChis get along wonderfully well with children, but because of their frail nature, are better suited to homes with older children that know how to handle dogs.
And while the ShiChi can be laidback at times, this pooch has lots of energy and will never miss out on an opportunity to get some quality play.
ShiChis can get along well with other dogs and household pets, but early and proper socialization is needed to mold this pooch’s behavior and ensure peaceful co-existence with other animals.
Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes have a high-pitched bark, and they won’t hesitate to notify their family when there is an intrusion from a stranger.
A ShiChi is fearless and is able to display some level of aggression. Hence this pooch won’t think twice about throwing itself in the line of action to protect its family and home. But given the ShiChi’s small stature and frail frame, it is not the ideal pooch for guard dog duties.
Both the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua dog breeds can be quite wilful and strong-headed at times, and these are traits that are inherited by most ShiChis. Consequently, it can be difficult to teach a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix to obey basic doggie commands or to housebreak this pooch.
However, that isn’t to say a ShiChi isn’t trainable. And with a great deal of patience, coupled with the use of positive reinforcement in the form of praise and treats to reward acts of obedience, you can successfully potty train the ShiChi and teach this pooch to obey commands.
Will A Shih Tzu Mix With Chihuahua Shed? Grooming Tips For Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mixes
While the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will occasionally leave bits of hair around the house, this pooch is not considered to be a heavy shedder.
The ShiChi is also considered to be hypoallergenic, although there is a chance of this pooch triggering reactions in those with dog allergies.
Fortunately, maintaining a ShiChi’s coat appearance is easy, and the task is even made easier if the majority of the pooch’s genes are from the parent Shih Tzu breed.
Weekly brushing of a ShiChi’s coat is needed to get rid of loose undercoat hair and maintain the pooch’s polished appearance. If you have a long-haired ShiChi, you should pay extra attention to its coat to prevent tangling or matting of its hair.
And while you can brush your ShiChi’s coat with a bristle brush, it is recommended that you groom this pooch with a special deshedding tool such as the Furminator Undercoat Tool.
The Furminator Undercoat Tool comes with a stainless steel deshedding edge that is adept at reaching under the ShiChi’s topcoat to get rid of loose hair. And the blade’s curved edge conforms to the ShiChi’s body, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.
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Frequent bathing of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix is not necessary, and bathing should only be done when the ShiChi’s coat gets visibly dirty.
And when the need arises to bathe your ShiChi pooch, you should do so with high-quality, dog-friendly shampoo products such as the Mighty Petz 2-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo And Conditioner.
The ideal shampoo product for a Shih Tzu should be gentle on the pooch’s skin and not strip the dog’s coat of natural oils that keep the skin moisturized – qualities possessed by the products recommended above.
Additional Grooming Tips
- Both the parent Shih Tzu and Chihuahua dog breeds are prone to several dental diseases; Hence, brushing the ShiChi’s teeth, at least, three times in a week, is important to prevent the occurrence of such diseases in this pooch.
- Regularly check the ShiChi’s ears for signs of dirt and infections.
- Clip the pooch’s nails when due to prevent self-injury.
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How Much Are Shi Chi Puppies Worth? The average cost of acquiring a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix puppy typically falls between $150 to $750. This value can be more, but the exact amount you’ll spend to acquire a ShiChi typically depends on the breeder you’re buying from, location and the pooch’s age, among others.
Can A Shih Tzu Mate With A Chihuahua? Yes, a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua dog can mate, due to the similarity in sizes for both females and males. And the outcome of such mating activity is the designer Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixed dog breed that has been aptly described in this article.
How Do You Pronounce Shi Chi? The ShiChi dog’s name is typically pronounced as follows: ‘sh-ih-ch-ee’. The ShiChi name for the dog is formed by combining letters from the parent dog’s names, and its pronunciation is completely different from the Japanese word, ShiChi.