Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix (ShiChi): History, Temperament, Appearance, and Care!

Shih-Tzu and Chihuahua Mix
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As you probably guessed, Chihuahua and Shih-Tzu mix (SchiChi) dogs are a cross between bold Chihuahua and calm Shih Tzu. Like its parent breeds, ShiChi is a small dog breed, making it a perfect choice for apartment-dwellers. They are also considered as a toy dog breed because of their cute and small appearance.

They are considered companion dogs rather than athletes and are suitable for singles or senior citizens, as they are easygoing and budget-friendly. They can be stubborn during training, but they require less exercise, mainly walking to be exact is what they would easily do, and they also require a simple diet that makes them a perfect pet for first-timers.

Keep reading this guide to know more about Shichis and if it is the perfect dog for you.

Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix

Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix Breed Overview

Other names:Chitzus, ShiChi, Chi-Shis

Height: 7 to 10 inches

Weight: 3 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Group: Hybrid

Color: Cream, white, brown, black

Temperament: Playful, energetic, vocal, and faithful

Suitable for: Apartment-dwellers, first-time dog owners, single and senior adults

ShiChi Scoreboard

Energy:

Health:

Trainability:

Good With Other pets:

Good With Strangers:

Good With Children:

History

Pros

  • Loyal and protective
  • Low exercise and easy diet
  • Adaptable to living in an apartment
  • Does not shed a lot

Cons

  • Barks a lot
  • Stubborn during training
  • Uneasy around other dogs or strangers
  • Can develop separation anxiety

Shichi is relatively a new breed and has little to no documented history. However, both of their parent breeds, Shih Tzu and Chihuahua, have a long history.

First, let’s talk about the bold Chihuahua. This breed descended from an ancient breed known as Techichi. They were used to hunting rodents and were known for their unwavering loyalty towards their owners. During the Spanish conquest, this breed vanished. However, during the 1800s, they were rediscovered in Chihuahua, Mexico. Later, they were brought to the U.S. and given a new name, Chihuahua, to respect the place of their rebirth. Chihuahuas are quite famous and are often mixed with other popular dog breeds to develop hybrid dog breeds with unique qualities and desirable traits, such as Chipit, Malchi, Chi-Dane-Dane, etc.

Shih Tzu is an over 1000 years old dog breed. While it is believed to have originated from China, it actually hails from China’s western region, Tibet. Tibetans probably gifted these beauties to the Chinese royalty, who loved and cherished them.

As far as ShiChi history is concerned, they were only developed around a decade ago by mixing these two small dog breeds.

Temperament and Personality:

ShiChi dogs are moderately energetic, but they are known for experiencing spurts of energy. They are highly affectionate and develop strong bonds with their loving owners. That said, ShiChi dogs’ personalities may vary from individual to individual depending on whether Shih Tzu or Chihuahua parent’s genes are dominating their genetic makeup.

For example, a dog with dominating genes from its Shih Tzu parent will be calm, caring, easygoing (socializing is easy for this mix), and faithful that will not create a scene or bark a lot. Conversely, ShiChis with more Chihuahua genes will be bold and a bit stubborn at times as well. Socializing such Shi Tzu and Chihuahua mix dogs would require a bit more patience and consistency on your part.

Like most small dog breeds, ShiChis are also known for being somewhat yappy. Being vocal is an important element of their personality as they tend to bark when they encounter a stranger or feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Both of ShiChi’s parent breeds—Shih Tzu and Chihuahuas—are considered as one of the best dogs for first-time dog owners. Like parents, like offspring, ShiChis are also considered a great choice for first-time pet owners. They easily get along with children as well as other pets in the house, provided they are properly socialized and receive their obedience training at a young age.

While they get along with children, it is advised that you don’t leave your small children unsupervised with them. Small children may hurt your little pup or irritate him by their rough play, triggering them to bark and snap at them. You should make sure that you teach your children how to interact and play with the puppy without being a nuisance.

Appearance:

This breed’s appearance varies greatly depending on whichever parent dominates the genetic makeup. Chihuahua has tight and short fur with a small body, while Shih Tzu has soft glorious locks with long and thick bodies. You may end up with a pup that is an equal mix and has medium-length hair or either of one. Their looks are two worlds apart, meaning that each Shichi dog will have a unique but adorable appearance.

Another distinct feature of ShiChi pups is their ears; depending upon the dominant parent, your adorable pup may have floppy ears like that of Shih Tzu or may have erected pointed ears like that of Chihuahua. Whatever the case be, your ShiChi will be highly adorable.

The color of this breed mix is commonly tan and white. However, black, brown, cream, or any combination of these colors are also found.

ShiChi Care

This breed requires a moderate amount of care and exercise, making them a good choice for novice pet owners.

Feeding

Small dogs like ShiChis require more calories per pound than large dogs due to their higher metabolism rate. So, when choosing their food, make sure to choose high-quality food formulated for small breeds. You can give one cup of food per day, divided into multiple meals throughout the day.

Exercise

Shichi is an energetic dog breed, but they do not require a lot of exercise due to their small size. 20 – 30 minutes of walk or mild exercise is more than enough for this small bundle of joy. If you want a good exercise partner with whom you would go on runs or jogs, then this dog is not for you.

The advantage of having a small dog is that they will be more than happy in a small space and do not require a big yard to play in. This makes this breed a good friend of not-so-active seniors who have physical limitations and need a small companion to play with and spend time with.

Training

Training this breed has been a challenge for most great trainers and dog owners. Not only are they adorable, but they know this fact and show a lot of stubborn attitudes when it comes to training. Both the parent breeds are known to have stubbornness and short attention span qualities, and thus, these traits are transmitted to the baby ShiChi, too. While Shih Tzu may be docile and extremely intelligent, this doesn’t mean they will be compliant, making them tough dogs to train. On the other hand, Chihuahua is the same but with an independent streak to themselves.

Due to all these natural reasons, your dog’s training sessions can range from short to super-short sessions, and maybe the owner would need to be a patient person to train this breed.

Furthermore, when they are pups, you should establish some ground rules to get started, such as feeding habits and other everyday habits. Forming these habits, in turn, gets your dog into a habit of listening to you. You may even take your dog to dog classes because this would both instill in them socializing qualities and help you not lose your cool during the training sessions.

Using treats is another way to train them and may even work as a secret weapon. However, be careful when giving them treats because this breed tends to gain weight easily and may develop obesity.

List of Training Needs

This toy breed needs intense potty training because they tend to be most stubborn in that and would most likely test your patience.

Second in line would be the quiet command as they, like their Chihuahua parents, love to bark and tend to be noisy.

Socializing may prove to be a challenge. This is why dog training classes are recommended, as it provides them with a chance to socialize.

Lastly, keep these dogs mentally stimulated because they resort to chewing things and may wreck your furniture when they are bored.

Health Conditions

This breed is particularly a healthy one and lives a long and happy life. This may be due to the fact that mixed breeds live longer than their pedigrees. Their lifespan can range between 12 to 15 years. However, there are chances of congenital diseases showing up in your dog. Some super common health issues can be obesity because of their small size and frame. This can shorten their lifespan as well as affect the quality of their life. This one condition can lead to other health concerns such as heart problems, diabetes, and joint issues.

Some of the minor conditions they can develop are:

Eye conditions, such as cataracts, corneal ulcers, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. Patellar luxation is also a prevalent disease in them. This is basically knee dislocation that can occur due to the dog being overweight and obese, which, as mentioned earlier, is likely to happen if their diet isn’t closely watched.

Respiratory issues are also common due to hereditary flat noses from the Shih Tzu parent. Other more serious conditions include hip dysplasia, dental problems, and hydrocephalus.

If you observe any signs of sickness in your dog, it’s best to contact your vet and get your pooch on the road to recovery.

Grooming

Shi Tzu Chihuahua mix is considered a low-maintenance dog breed with no special grooming requirements. ShiChi puppies are overall considered low-shedders but how much care will be required is dependent on whose coat the mix is inheriting—if your ShiChi puppy’s coat resembles the Chihuahua parent, he will be considered a moderate shedder; conversely, if the coat is more like that of a Shih Tzu parent, he will be considered a hypoallergenic dog mix.

If your ShiChi has a fairly short coat, weekly brushing would be enough to maintain the health of his coat. However, in the case of a long-haired coat, you will have to brush their coat around 2 to 3 times a day. As far as bathing is concerned, you don’t have to bathe your ShiChi puppy unless necessary—bathing more frequently strips them of their natural oils, which are crucial for a healthy coat.

Given that ShiChis are susceptible to dental issues, you should brush their teeth every day, and if that seems unmanageable, you should try to make it at least three times a day. And it goes without saying that you should only use dog toothpaste and never human toothpaste.

Cost

Given that ShiChi’s parents are one of the most expensive dog breeds, you should expect more of the same from their mix—ShiChi.

The usual cost can range from $300 to $1000. However, the breeder’s reputation and certification can impact the price as well. It works like this: the better the breeder, the better the breed, and the higher the price.

ShiChi: Is It a Family Dog? Is It Social?

  • They are great family dogs
  • They don’t get along with young kids, and in case you have kids, you would need to train them about the dos and don’ts of interacting with this dog
  • Socializing skills of the dog may vary according to which parent it takes after
  • Consider dog daycare and other options from a young pup age to encourage socialization.

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