Shih tzus have a sophisticated and calm personality while Chihuahuas are bold and spirited.
What happens when you cross these two breeds?
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix At A Glance
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix is an unpredictable breed that can have just about any personality and appearance.
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 you can expect a loyal and loving family member.
- Popularity: #Rising Star.
- Speciality: Companion.
- Weight: 9-16 pounds.
- Price: $300-$1000.
- Personality: Affectionate, protective and feisty.
|Lifespan: 12-14 years|
|Family Friendly: Yes|
|Size: 12-18 pounds|
|Lifespan: 12-15 years|
|Family Friendly: Yes|
|Size: 7-14 pounds|
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Overview
The Shichi is an unlikely combination of the the bold Chihuahua and the calm Shih Tzu.
Both parent breeds are so different in personality and appearance that you cannot be certain as to what your new furry friend will be like until they have grown up.
This uncertainty may be stressful for some dog owners but others enjoy the excitement of learning all about their unpredictable puppy as they grow.
Shichis are a unique breed that can be feisty, mild-mannered or a mix of both.
These pups are not athletes and are much better suited as companions rather than working dogs.
They excel at cuddling and are professional nap takers.
Although the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix may have a regal appearance these pups are extremely low maintenance and easy to take care of.
They can be stubborn during training but their low exercise requirements and simple diet makes them an ideal breed for first time dog owners.
- Protective and loyal with family members.
- Well adapted to apartment living.
- Very low exercise requirements.
- Does not shed a lot.
- Loves attention from family.
- Can develop separation anxiety.
- Stubborn during training.
- Known for being overweight.
- Can bark a lot.
A Day In The Life Of This Breed
A day with the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can be pretty unpredictable.
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.
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!
History And Origin
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes are a relatively new breed.
In fact not much is know about their history but both of their parents have long and rich histories.
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.
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.
At some point around the turn of this century the Shih Tzu was bred with the Chihuahua for the first time commercially.
Breeders wanted to produce a pooch with the calm demeanor of a Shih Tzu and the compact size of a Chihuahua.
They succeeded and since then the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix’s popularity has only soared!
5 Fun Facts
- This hybrid has lots of nicknames including the ShiChi, Chi-Tzu, or Chi-Shi.
- If you see a teacup or miniature Shih Tzu Chihuahua being advertised then be very careful. These dogs are already very small so an even more smaller version is likely to have lots of health problems.
- Their name translates to Lion Dog.
- The Shih Tzu breed almost went extinct during the first part of the 20th century.
- These fragile dogs have a very low tolerance to cold weather and will need to wear a warm sweater during the winter when they go outside.
Temperament And Behavior
Each Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix will have their own 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 own voices.
They bark at just about everything so you will want to train them to stop this (more on this later).
Both breeds are also known for being intensely loyal and affectionate with their family members.
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.
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.
You should expect to pay around $750 for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix puppy.
- 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 are able to 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 in a positive manner. 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.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Appearance
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 a long and thick body 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 the erect pointed ears like the alert Chihuahua. It all depends which genes are more dominant within the breeding pair.
These pups always have an irresistibly cute round face that can melt anyone’s heart.
Both parent breeds are short so this mix typically stands only 9-12 inches in tall. In addition they only weigh 9-16 pounds.
Despite their short stature they have big personalities.
These dogs are not very heavy but have they the potential to quickly become overweight due to their lifestyle.
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 very 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 parents’ 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.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Care Guide
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, do not eat much food and hardly sheds.
Their grooming is very low maintenance so providing you practice responsible pet ownership your pooch will thrive.
Because this breed is so small they do not need much exercise.
They can actually 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 play time.
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.
The grooming of this mix will vary depending on which coat length they inherit.
If your puppy has the short straight fur of a Chihuahua then they will only need grooming once a week.
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.
Regardless 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.
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).
Mixed breeds are known for being healthier than pedigrees.
However they can still inherit health complications from their different parent breeds.
One of the most common health conditions that these dogs develop is obesity. Their small frame makes them prone to becoming overweight. Obesity can lead to a number of other complications including diabetes, heart disease and joint issues.
All of these conditions will lower the quality of your dog’s life and may shorten their lifespan.
Patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap) is also much more likely if your pooch is overweight, so is intervertebral disc disease.
These pups also have a tendency to develop eye issues. Some examples of this include corneal ulcers, progressive retinal atrophy and retinal detachment.
Respiratory complications may also occur if your pup inherits the flat nose of the Shih Tzu. They may struggle to breathe due to the odd shape of their nose.
It is important to recognize the symptoms and warning signs for all of these conditions so you can quickly alert your veterinarian with any concerns. Early detection and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to provide your Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix with the healthiest life possible.
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.
How To Train A 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 have a tendency to gain weight quickly.
House breaking will likely prove to be a challenge.
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 have a tendency to 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 their 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.
Fill your house full of fun and exciting toys to keep them occupied.
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 their 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.