Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mix โ€“ Your Complete Guide To Shichon, The Teddy Bear Dog

Who wouldnโ€™t be drawn to a huggable Teddy Bear Dog like a Shih Tzu Bichon-Mix? Also known by the names of Zuchon and Shichon, this little pooch is known for its sweet and loving demeanor.

The Zuchon is a mix of two purebred lapdogs, an Oriental Shih Tzu and a Mediterranean Bichon Frise. A Zuchon can either inherit the appearance of either of its parents. But one thing you can count on is that a Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mix will have a fluffy, soft coat and an expressive set of eyes, thereby giving this breed its name, a teddy bear dog.

Get to know more about the cuddly character of a Shih Tzu-Bichon Mix. Weโ€™ll teach you the proper care, the potential health problems, shedding issues, the cost of bringing home a teddy bear dog, and many more. But for now, we want to give you tips on how to pick a puppy and how big a Zuchon would grow up to be.

At What Age Is A Shichon Full Grown?

Shichons are fully grown at the age of 24 to 36 months. Canโ€™t wait to bring home one? Hereโ€™s what to look forโ€ฆ

How Do I Pick A Shichon Puppy?

Regardless if you will pick the puppy from a local shelter or a trusted breeder, it is best to spend time with both the parents and the puppies.

While interacting with the puppies, the 3 factors you want to closely observe are activity levels, behaviors, and health. The puppy should be active, alert, and friendly.

Check the length of the muzzles, ideally, the muzzles should not be less than โ…“ of the length of the crown. Those pups with very short noses would most likely suffer from breathing issues. Then, even at a tender age, you can see if the nostrils are open, a verification method which we recommend when picking a Shichon.

How Does A Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mix Look Like When Fully Grown?

Since both parents have soft coats, you can be certain that the puppies would also carry this type of coat. It is a question of whether the coat will be curly like a Bichon Frise or wavy and silky like a Shih Tzu.

Unlike a Bichon Frise, these fur babies come in different shades of a coat. Some of the Shichon pups may show solid colors ranging from white, tan, silver, black, gray, chocolate, to name a few. On the other hand, some may have bi-colored while others have tri-colored coats.

How tall and heavy will the Shichon be? On average, these fur babies can grow from 9 to 11 inches tall and may weigh between 10 and 18 lbs.

Image from Instagram:@mochi.shichon

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Shichon?

The Shichon is said to have a long lifespan of 12 to 18 years.

Do teddy bear dogs have health problems? Yes, a Shichon is a healthy mixed dog breed, but they are not immune from common health issues such as the following:


A neurological and inherited medical condition, the most common signs are seizures that may last 1 to 2 minutes. Unfortunately, epilepsy is incurable but can be managed with antiepileptic drug therapy.

Atopic Dermatitis 

skin disorder that causes itchingskin inflammation, and in severe cases, anaphylactic shock. The causes vary, from an inhaled allergen like pollen and ingesting something to which your fur baby is allergic. The treatments include steroids, antihistamines, and changes in diet.


Blame it on the Shih Tzu gene. This skull deformation causes breathing problems, overheating, exercise difficulties, and overcrowded teeth.

Brachycephaly is the result of breeding dogs to come up with breeds that have shorter skulls, giving the appearance of a flat-faced. The problem is that this anatomical defect leads to a host of health problems.

In severe cases, surgery is done to remove some tissues to open up air pathways.

Patellar Luxation

If your Zuchon suffers from Patellar Luxation, your pooch is very likely to have gotten it from a Bichon Frise gene. To explain simply, your Shichonโ€™s movements are restricted due to dislocated kneecaps. The treatments vary depending on the severity.

Renal Dysplasia

This health issue is common among Shih Tzu mixed dogs, and it causes the kidneys to develop abnormally. The symptoms include increased thirst and stunted growth. Sadly, there is no cure for renal dysplasia.

Image from Instagram:@danny_papa_boy

How Do You Take Care Of A Shichon Puppy?

Nutritional Requirements 

A Zuchon is a semi-active dog breed. This is why it is crucial for your Zuchon well-being to receive a healthy balanced diet that is grain-free and made with human-grade ingredients like the Pet Plate. Hereโ€™s why you should feed your Zuchon with Pet Plate:

  • Made with the freshest ingredients, like broccoli and real beef
  • High in protein, perfect for active dogs
  • Customizable meal plans based on what your Zuchon needs

Some fur parents are wondering why wet food is dangerous for Shichon when actually it is not. This thought stemmed from the fact that Shih Tzu and Mixed Shih Tzu dog breeds are prone to dental problems. Thus, they have the notion that dry food is better.

Can Zuchons eat wet dog food? Absolutely yes, especially if it is from Pet Plate. Itโ€™s because Pet Plate wet food contains 75% water, meaning it is easy to chew and highly digestible.

Multivitamins are also beneficial for additional nutrients like essential fatty acids for shinier coats.

Are Shichons Yappy? Temperaments Of Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mixes

The general temperament traits of Shichons are friendly, playful, and protective. What about the noise level? Does A Shichon Bark? Yes, but only to let you know there is someone nearby. 

Shichons, or Zuchons, are not yappy little creatures and do not bark excessively, unless thereโ€™s a reason to do so.

Here are more of the FAQs about Zuchons:

Are Shichons Aggressive?

Teddy bear dogs tend to be aggressive, including a Shichon. This is due to the loyalty and protective traits Shichons have. They also have a tendency to nip. But this can be curtailed through training.

Are Shichons Hard To Potty Train?

Yes, Shichons are hard to potty train because of stubborn tendencies. Hereโ€™s how you can potty train a Shichon puppy:

  • Upon waking and before bedtime, take your puppy out.
  • Follow a feeding and drinking schedule. If your puppy eats on a fixed schedule, it will also learn to relieve itself on a schedule.
  • Take your puppy out every 2 hours.
  • Bring your puppy to the same spot because the scent will prompt your puppy to eliminate it.
  • Lastly, donโ€™t forget to praise your Shichon.

Can Teddy Bear Dogs Be Left Alone?

Yes, Teddy Bear Dogs, or Shichons, can be left alone, but they are certainly not happy with it. Despite not being characterized as hyper dogs, Shichons are still energetic pooches that can grow restless when being left alone for long hours, about 7 to 9 hours.

Are Zuchons Smart?

Yes, Zuchons may be stubborn, but they are smart and can be trained. Training a Zuchon does take some effort and definitely cannot be completed in one sitting. With consistency and patience, however, youโ€™d be able to get good results.

Image from Instagram:@teddymilolokiag

Are Shichons Hypoallergenic? Grooming Tips For Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mixes

Although not all Shichons have the same coat types, the common denominator is their hypoallergenic coat. The Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mixes are the perfect furry companions for allergy sufferers. Letโ€™s now get deeper into the proper coat care for your Shichon.

How Often Should You Wash Your Shichon?

Once a month is what we recommend. If you bathe your fur baby often, it will cause its skin to dry out.

How do you clean a Shichon? It is best to use a soap-free shampoo to avoid the skin of your Shichon from itchiness and drying. Donโ€™t know which shampoo is best? The Seamus Cherry Blossom Whitening Dog Shampoo is a great choice.

We highly recommend this shampoo for your Shih Tzu Bichon Frise Mix because it effectively removes stains leaving the coat bright and clean. Whatโ€™s more? Even if you bathe your Shichon once a month only, the cherry scent from the shampoo lingers on, perfect for a huggable teddy bear dog.

Does Shichon Shed?

Yes, but only very minimally. What you have to watch out for is matting as mats can be quite comfortable for your beloved pooch. Itโ€™s because most of the hair that sheds does not fall but rather remains in the undercoat, leading to matting. If you fail to brush the coat, more hair will get trapped, and the bigger the mats will be.

To maintain the coat, use the FURminator Undercoat Tool. This brush is effective in removing the loose undercoat hair that causes matting. Plus, its ergonomic design makes it a user-friendly grooming tool.

How Much Does A Shichon Puppy Cost? To let you know how much a teddy bear Shih Tzu is, it depends on where you will get the puppy. If you choose to adopt, the cost of a Shichon can range from $75 to $300, while it is $800 to $1,200 from a trusted breeder. Shichons are expensive because they are sought after for their hypoallergenic coat characteristic.

Which Is Better Bichon Or Shih Tzu? Both breeds are good for novice owners and as family pets. But, in terms of barking level, Bichons are โ€˜chattier.โ€™ Bichons are more playful, too. In terms of grooming, Shih Tzu is more high-maintenanceThat said, if you have less time and patience for grooming, the Bichon Frise is the better dog for you.

Are Shichons Good With Cats? Yes, Shichons are good with cats. Shichons are the products of 2 dogs with low prey drives. If introduced properly, cats and Shichons can cohabit peacefully, especially if you have a playful cat. If what you have is a laid-back cat, be sure to supervise because a Shichon may be too playful for a โ€˜lonerโ€™ cat.

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Pete Decker