Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix: A Comprehensive Guide to Raising a Shichi

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix 5 Must Read Facts Cover

Shih Tzus have a sophisticated and calm personality, while Chihuahuas are bold and spirited.

What happens when you cross these two breeds?

You get a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix, an unpredictable breed that can have just about any personality and appearance.

Generally, this adorable breed, affectionately known as the Shichi, is a small dog with a soft, wavy coat and big, expressive eyes. But don’t let its petite size fool you; this dog is packed with personality! It’s loyal, often attaching itself to one special person in the family. What’s even more surprising is how adaptable it is – whether you’re in a snug apartment or have a big backyard, this little buddy is just content being with its favorite human.

In this article, we will discuss what it takes to care for one of these unpredictable pups and what you can expect if you decide to bring a lovely Shih Tzu Chihuahua into your home.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Quick Summary

Common NamesShih Tzu Chihuahua, ShiChi, Chi-Tzu, Chi-Shi
Country of originChina
CompatibilityFamilies with children, small spaces
SizeSmall
Heightbetween 9 and 12 inches
Weightaround 9 to 16 pounds
ColorsBrown, black, cream, tan, white, red
CoatMedium length, fluffy
Life expectancy12–15 years
Temperamentfriendly, sociable, playful
Barking TendencyModerate

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Parent Breeds

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes

This hybrid’s name translates to Lion Dog and it has lots of nicknames, including the ShiChi, Chi-Tzu, or Chi-Shi. Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes are a relatively new breed. Not much is known about their history but both of their parents have long and rich histories. Hence, to understand the mixes, let’s first discuss the two parent breeds.

About Shih Tzus

Origin

The Shih Tzu has a history that dates back to 10,000 years ago in China.

Historians are still unsure as to whether this breed was initially developed in China or Tibet, but their importance to Asian culture is undeniable. These beautiful mild-mannered dogs were treasured by nobles and royalty due to their regal nature. Eventually, in the mid-1900s, this beautiful breed ended up in the U.S. But, the Shih Tzu breed almost went extinct during the first part of the 20th century.

Physical Characteristics

Shih Tzus are small but sturdy. They have a distinct face with big, dark eyes and a short snout. Their coat is one of their main features – long, flowing, and often requires regular grooming.

Temperament and Behavior

Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They’re the kind of dogs that love being around people, always eager for attention and affection. They’re generally great with kids too, showing patience and playfulness.

Despite their luxurious looks, they’re pretty down-to-earth and love to play. Shih Tzus are also alert and can be quite protective of their home and family, making them good little watchdogs. They adapt well to different living environments, as long as they get enough attention and love from their owners.

About Chihuahuas

Origin

The Chihuahua descends from an earlier breed known as the Techichi (a dog that was used by the Aztecs). Techichis hunted small rodents for their owners but they were better known for the unbreakable bonds they formed with the people they loved.

During the Spanish conquest, this breed nearly disappeared but these resilient pups were rediscovered in Chihuahua, Mexico in the 1800s. These feisty dogs were later brought over to the U.S. (with the new name of Chihuahua to reflect their heritage) and have quickly become a beloved breed.

Physical Characteristics

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, one of the smallest breeds. They have apple-shaped heads and bright, alert eyes. They come in two coat types: smooth and long. Despite their size, they’re pretty robust and energetic.

Temperament and Behavior

Chihuahuas have vibrant and dynamic personalities. Despite their small size, they have a bold and confident nature. These dogs are extremely loyal to their owners, often forming a strong bond with one particular person in the family. They can be quite protective and sometimes territorial, making them surprisingly good watchdogs for their size.

Chihuahuas are also known for their high energy and playful nature. They’re alert, intelligent, and curious, which makes them fun to be around. However, they can be cautious or even a bit feisty around strangers or other dogs.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix at a Glance

  • A Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

This mix breed can inherit the bossy nature of a Chihuahua or the easy-going demeanor of a Shih Tzu. It will all depend on which parent’s genes are stronger. Regardless of how bossy they are, expect a loyal and loving family member.

  • Popularity: #Rising Star
  • Specialty: Companion
  • Weight: 9-16 pounds
  • Price: $300-$1000
  • Personality: Affectionate, protective, and feisty

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Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix History

Origin

The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix has no documented origin like purebred dogs. This mix likely emerged during the designer dog trend, which gained popularity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The exact time and place of their first breeding are not clear, but it’s believed to have been within the last few decades.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Physical Characteristics

A Barking Shih Tzu Mix

The appearance of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can vary greatly. These small yet mighty pups are a hybrid of two breeds with very different appearances.

The soft luscious locks of the glamorous Shih Tzu directly contradict the short and tight fur of the Chihuahua. Shih Tzus have long and thick bodies while Chihuahuas are scrawny and unbelievably small. Because their looks are so strikingly different each Shichi will have a distinctly unique appearance.

Whichever traits your pup inherits they will undoubtedly be adorable. Your furry friend might have the endearing floppy ears of a Shih Tzu or may have erect pointed ears like the alert Chihuahua. It all depends on which genes are more dominant within the breeding pair.

Size

On average, a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix stands between 9 and 12 inches in height and weighs around 9 to 16 pounds, a reflection of the small stature of the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua parent breeds.

Colors

The most common color combination for this mixed breed is tan and white. However, these pups can also be brown, black, cream, tan, white, red, or any combination of these colors. Their coat texture and length are hard to predict.

If the genes from the Shih Tzu parent are more dominant you will likely end up with a pup with long fur that flows to the floor. A pup produced from a dominant Chihuahua parent will have very short fur. You may also end up with a pup that is an equal mix and has medium-length hair.

It is almost impossible to predict what your puppies will look like until they are born. The texture of their fur is also determined by which parent’s genes are more dominant. Some pups will have wavy fur while others will have pin-straight fur. Regardless of the length or texture of their fur, you can rest assured that these mixes are hypoallergenic dogs.

Temperament and Behavior

Shitzu Mixed With Chihuahua

Each Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix will have their unique temperament. This is because their parent’s personalities could not be any more different.

Shih Tzus are very loving dogs that are known for their easy-going and laid-back nature. Whereas Chihuahuas are known for their sassy and territorial nature. If your pup inherits the mild manners of a Shih Tzu then you will have a friendly and outgoing dog. They will have a very kind heart and will make friends with everyone they meet.

However, if your dog takes after their Chihuahua parent then you are in for a bit of a challenge. These pups are intensely protective of their beloved family members and this nature can lead to aggression.

Although these breeds have very different personalities there are some traits they have in common. Both of these breeds are very playful and use their energy in short bursts. Their small bodies limit the amount of exercise they can do each day. however, this does not stop them from happily playing with toys indoors and running around to keep up with you wherever you go.

Unfortunately, this mix is known for loving the sound of their voices. They bark at just about everything so you will want to train them to stop this (more on this later). Both breeds are intensely loyal and affectionate with their families. So you can expect this mix would much rather cuddle up on the couch than spend hours playing outside.

They love to be the center of attention and crave affection at all times. These precious pups will dish out as much love as they get. However, this desire to be constantly loved can cause separation anxiety.

What It’s Like Living with a Shichi

A day with the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can be pretty unpredictable.

Daily Routine

These pups have such a variety of personalities that you do not know how your pup will act each day. Some days they can wake up on the wrong side of the bed whereas other days they are full of positivity with enthusiasm for life! Regardless of their attitude, they will be glued to your side at all times. These Velcro dogs will want to be with you at all times and will cry if you leave them for too long. If you leave to go to work for a couple of hours they will not be happy – these pups are not self-sufficient in any way.

Playtime

This is not a high-energy dog however they will likely bounce around a bit. They may ask you to throw around a toy, play a little tug of war, or they might go off on their own and chew on a toy to entertain themselves. More often than not they will tire themselves out for the day pretty quickly and will want to take a nap in your lap

When they are not napping or following you around, you will hear them yipping at passing people and cars. These pups are fierce protectors and will alert you to anything wrong. If a leaf falls from a tree they will promptly alert you.

How to Care for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Shichi

The biggest problem with keeping a Shih Tzu Chihuahua is training. Here are some puppy training tips for your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix. Once trained these pups are quite easy to care for.

This mix only needs a little exercise, does not eat much food and hardly sheds. Their grooming is very low maintenance so providing you practice responsible pet ownership your pooch will thrive.

Exercise

Because this breed is so small they do not need much exercise. They can overexert themselves if you try to work them too hard while playing. These pups are very content with 1-2 short walks each day and a total of 15-20 minutes of playtime.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes enjoy spending time outside but they would much rather play inside. They love squeaky toys, bouncy balls, and any toy they can chew on. These pups love to chew and will quickly resort to chewing on your belongings if you do not give them enough toys to keep them busy.

Whatever exercise you and your delicate pup decide to participate in make sure that you always keep a leash on them. Their short attention span makes them likely to run off after small animals or other dogs, so keep them on a leash.

  • Total Daily Activity: 15-20 minutes
  • Activity Level: 2/5
  • Favorite Activity: Chew toys

Grooming

The grooming of this mix will vary depending on which coat length they inherit. As such, your puppy will need grooming once a week if it has the short straight fur of a Chihuahua.

This is just enough brushing to prevent any loose hair from falling around your house. If your puppy has the long fur of a Shi Tzu then they will need to be brushed 2-3 times each week to prevent any tangles or matts from forming. They will also likely need to be trimmed by a groomer every couple of months to keep their fur at a manageable length.

Regardless of their coat length, they will not shed much. Shih Tzus are considered hypoallergenic and Chihuahuas have very little fur to shed so you will not have to worry about fur constantly covering your home if you bring one of these delightful hybrids home.

Irrespective of the fur they inherit, there are some basic grooming steps you will want to follow. Bathe your pup monthly, clean their ears weekly, brush their teeth daily, and trim their nails each month. In addition, you will want to wipe the area around their eyes daily to prevent excessive tear stains.

Shih Tzu And Chihuahua

Nutrition

As these dogs are so small they do not need much food each day. You can expect to feed them ½-1 cup of small dog food each day spaced out over two meals. Any more than this could quickly cause them to put on extra pounds as this breed is prone to becoming overweight. They need a diet that only has a moderate amount of fat.

You do not want so much fat that they become obese but you want enough to keep their coat shiny and healthy. They also require food that is low in carbohydrates (to prevent weight gain) and high in protein (to promote strong and healthy joints).

Training

Old Shichi

Training a Shih Tzu chihuahua mix is often tough, so here are some puppy training tips for your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix. Both parent breeds are known for having a stubborn attitude and a short attention span. You should expect training sessions to be short and you will need lots of patience.

Because these pups are so sensitive to harsh words you should use positive reinforcement when training them. They are very motivated by food so treats can be your secret weapon during training. Make sure to feed them very small broken-up treats though because these petite pooches tend to gain weight quickly.

Toy breeds tend to be more stubborn during potty training. They will most likely test your patience but be consistent and figure out a routine that works best for you and your pup. After potty training, the quiet command should be your next priority. These pups bark a lot so you will want to teach them early on how to limit their barking.

Socialization is important for any breed but especially vital if your mixed breed takes after its Chihuahua parent. Shih Tzus are friendly and an easy dog to socialize so hopefully, your pup will inherit this. If your pup is feisty (like a Chihuahua) then you will want to expose them to lots of people from a young age. Introduce them to people of all ages and various dogs to teach them proper manners when interacting with others.

Just because these dogs are small does not mean they will not destroy your house if they are bored. These pups need mental stimulation to stay occupied and will start chewing when they have nothing to keep them entertained. Hence, fill your house with fun and exciting toys to keep them occupied.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Health Issues

Mixed breeds are known for being healthier than pedigrees. However, they can still inherit health complications from their different parent breeds. Here are some of the concerns for this mix.

Dental Issues

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes, like their parent breeds, are prone to dental problems. This is due to their small mouths, which can lead to overcrowding of teeth and a higher risk of dental diseases. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are essential to prevent such issues.

Respiratory Problems

Due to the short nose of the Shih Tzu and sometimes the Chihuahua, the Shichi may inherit respiratory difficulties. This condition can affect their breathing, especially in hot or stressful environments. It’s important to be mindful of this and ensure they have a comfortable and stress-free living space.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition that can occur in small dog breeds, including the Shichi. This can happen if the dog doesn’t eat regularly or exerts too much energy. Monitoring their diet and feeding schedule is crucial to prevent such episodes.

Luxating Patellas

This condition involves the dislocation of the kneecap, which is common in small breeds. Luxating patellas can cause pain and affect the dog’s ability to walk. Regular vet check-ups can help in early diagnosis and treatment.

Eye Problems

Both Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas are prone to various eye problems, which can be inherited by the Shichi. These may include issues like dry eyes, cataracts, or progressive retinal atrophy. Keeping an eye on their ocular health and regular veterinary eye exams are important.

Heart Issues

Heart problems can also be a concern for Shichis, inherited from either of the parent breeds. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor heart health and detect any early signs of heart disease.

Tracheal Collapse

This condition is where the trachea, or windpipe, collapses and can cause coughing and difficulty breathing. It’s more common in small breeds, so it’s something to be aware of in Shichis.

Obesity

Due to their small size, Shichis are prone to obesity, especially if they do not get enough exercise or if they are overfed. Maintaining a proper diet and regular exercise is key to preventing obesity and its associated health risks.

Allergies

Shichis can inherit a tendency for allergies, which could be environmental or food-related. Symptoms can include itching, skin infections, and gastrointestinal problems. Identifying and managing allergies early is crucial for their comfort and health.

Liver Problems

Liver issues are another health concern to be aware of in Shichis, potentially inherited from the parent breeds. Regular health check-ups are important to monitor liver function and provide them with nutritious food for liver disease management.

Ear Infections

Due to their ear structure, Shichis can be prone to ear infections. Regular cleaning and check-ups can help prevent infections and ensure any issues are treated promptly.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian for personalized care and health management for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix, considering these potential health concerns. Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper grooming can help ensure a healthy and happy life for these adorable mixed-breed dogs.

How Much Does a Shichi Cost?

These pups are desirable because of their small size and adorable looks. Because of this breeders will charge more for them than other mixes. Hence, you should expect to pay around $750 for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix puppy.

  • Puppy: $500-$1000
  • Adult: $300-$500
  • Adoption: $50-$300

Buying Tips

Always check the breeder’s certifications before buying your puppy because these pups can sometimes inherit the respiratory issues of the brachycephalic Shih Tzu you should examine the nose structure of your puppy before buying to make sure that they can breathe easily.

If you have very small children then you should consider adopting a larger and more tolerant breed. Buy lots of durable toys to channel their love of chewing positively. This will protect your belongings from becoming a new chew toy for your pup.

Pay close attention to their diet. The ShiChi can quickly become overweight so make sure you do not overfeed them. This breed has an unpredictable appearance and personality due to the drastic differences between the parent breeds.

FAQs on ShiChis

How long does a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix live?

The small and mighty Shih Tzu Chihuahua can live a long fulfilling life of 12-15 years. Like all dogs, their longevity depends on factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and the quality of care they receive throughout their lives.

Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes good with children?

Yes, Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes can be good with children, especially if they are raised with them or socialized from a young age. However, due to their small size, it’s important to supervise interactions with young children to ensure the dog isn’t accidentally injured.

How big do Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes get?

Shichis are generally small dogs. They typically weigh between 9 to 16 pounds and stand about 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder. However, the exact size can vary depending on the dominant genes inherited from their parent breeds.

Does a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix require a lot of grooming?

The grooming requirements of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix depend largely on their coat type, which can vary. If they inherit the long coat of the Shih Tzu, they will need regular brushing to prevent matting. If they have a shorter coat like a Chihuahua, their grooming needs will be less intensive. Regular ear cleaning, nail trimming, and dental care are also important for their overall health.

Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes easy to train?

Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes can be moderately easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise. However, they can inherit a stubborn streak from their Chihuahua lineage, so patience and consistency are key in their training.

Do Shih Tzu Chihuahuas have any common health problems?

Shih Tzu Chihuahuas can inherit health issues common to their parent breeds. These may include dental problems, respiratory difficulties, luxating patellas (knee problems), eye problems, and heart issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help manage these risks.

Can Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes live in apartments?

Yes, Shichis mixes can adapt well to apartment living. They are small in size and don’t require excessive space. However, they do need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

Last Words on the Lovable Shichi

It is impossible to predict the personality and appearance of any Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix. So be prepared for a life full of crazy surprises!

They are a great breed for first-time dog owners who have the patience and skill to train a pooch with a stubborn attitude. These dogs are low maintenance in terms of grooming, exercise, and diet but require extra attention to their training and socialization.

At times these pups can be difficult to housetrain and may prove to be wary with strangers but with patience and consistency, these pups can make loveable companions. Whichever way your pup turns out you can be certain they will be loyal to you for life and spend their years loving you and making you laugh with their larger-than-life personality.

Let us know any questions you have about the Shichi in the comments section below…

Other Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other Shih Tzu mixes or Chihuahua mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

Shih Tzu Mixes

Chihuahua Mixes

About John Woods 300 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

1 Comment

  1. I am interested in getting. Mix of Shih Tzu -Chihuaha pup, Iwill have a trainer to help me train the pup. Iwant to train it to a cat litter box ad I have limited ability to the outside. I am 87 however I still drive, do my own housework and cooking as well as some cooking and baking for other people. Phonenmber : 440-837-4201.

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