The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix, also known as the Shichi, is one of the many popular mixed breeds among dog enthusiasts who are looking for a small dog with a loaded personality.
This adorable mix inherits the best traits of its parent breeds, resulting in an outgoing and playful dog breed that loves being around its family. They have stolen countless hearts and will most likely steal yours as well.
If you’ve never heard of the Shichi dog, this guide will tell you all you need to know about it, from its appearance and traits to its health and where you can get one of this mixed breed.
|Height:||7 – 10 inches|
|Weight:||3 – 12 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 15 years|
|Coat Colors:||Black, black and white, white, brown, or a combination of the listed colors|
|Temperament:||Friendly, affectionate, intelligent|
|Suitable for:||First-time owners; families with kids|
What Is a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix?
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix, also known as Shichi or Chi Tzu, is a mixture of two equally popular and adorable toy breeds — the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu. This hybrid is an easy-going, highly trainable, and warm pet companion that is best suited for small families and apartment dwellers.
Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club has not yet recognized Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes. Since they are mixed-breed dogs, they cannot compete in shows hosted by the AKC and other major kennel clubs.
They are, however, recognized by the designer dogs kennel club, like the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Dog Registry of America, and the International Designer Canine Registry.
Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Origin and History
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a relatively new breed, as it was believed to have been developed only during the mid-2000s. With that, nothing much can be said about this toy breed’s history.
But one way of understanding this mixed breed is by knowing the history of its parent breeds, the Chihuahua and Shih Tzu.
The roots of its Chihuahua parents can be traced back to the mid-19th century. They were believed to be named after their place of origin, the Mexican State of Chihuahua.
These small breed dogs were direct descendants of the Techichi, a small dessert canine. The Chihuahua was initially bred as a companion and has remained used as such until today.
During the late 1800s, the Chihuahua breed began to pop up all around Central and South America. In 1904, the breed was registered with the American Kennel Club.
Meanwhile, the first Shih Tzus originated in Tibet in the 17th century. These small dogs were believed to have been raised for Empress Tzu Hsi, as they were highly adored and safeguarded by the Chinese imperial family.
The Shih Tzu breed was used to guard the palaces and bark when people or animals approached to alert the presence of visitors. Today, Shih Tzus are now considered lapdogs and have grown to be great companion dogs.
While the exact reason for breeding a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix remains unclear, given the history of both the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua, it is safe to assume that it is to produce an even more wonderful companion dog.
Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Appearance
Like other hybrid dog breeds, determining the appearance of a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be quite difficult because it is heavily dependent on which fur parent they take after.
This designer dog’s head is often flat and wide, with huge almond-shaped eyes and rather large, upright, or floppy ears.
As with these dogs’ coats, they often flaunt a short coat, but you may also find Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes with a long coat. These coats can either be straight or wavy and may come in a variety of colors.
This dog’s coat color may resemble their Shih Tzu parents’ black and black & white coat. Likewise, they may also come in brown, cream, white, brown, or a combination of these colors.
To visualize what a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix looks like, you can watch this video:
Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Size and Weight
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix is a very small dog with a compact and muscular body. When fully grown, this designer dog only grows about 7 to 10 inches in height and between 3 and 12 pounds in weight.
Unlike larger breeds that typically need 18 months to reach their full size, the Shichi achieves its final adult size at around ten months old.
It is also worth noting that males grow larger and taller than females. That said, if you have a female, expect it to be slightly smaller.
Genetics also play a huge role in determining your dog’s final size, which is why it is important that you check on its Chihuahua and Shih Tzu’s parents’ growth charts.
Likewise, the nutrition and general health of these very small dogs also influence these dogs’ final sizes.
Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Temperament and Personality
Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes generally have big personalities. However, since these are hybrid dogs, their personality can be a mix of both their Chihuahua and Shih Tzu parents.
Like its parents, this small dog is a very affectionate, calm, and playful companion. They make great family dogs in homes with very children and adults, as they are very sweet and cuddly. Likewise, they can manage to live with other dogs too.
That said, Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes are a great option for first-time dog owners. However, these dogs can be prone to separation anxiety, so they cannot be left alone.
Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Lifespan and Health Issues
A Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix is a generally healthy dog. This little dog can live between 12 and 15 years, similar to its Chihuahua parent’s lifespan. They can even live longer if they are given proper care and a healthy lifestyle.
However, like any other dog, they are at risk of several health problems that will negatively impact their quality of life.
Here are some of the most common health problems in a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix:
- Luxating Patella: Luxating patella is a condition in which the knee cap (patella) moves out of place, causing pain and lameness. It can be hereditary or caused by injury and can occur in varying degrees of severity. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may require surgery.
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome: Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is a respiratory condition commonly seen in short-nosed dog breeds, such as the Shichi’s Chihuahua parent. This is characterized by airway narrowing, which can result in difficulty breathing, snoring, and exercise intolerance.
- Cataract: Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in a dog’s eye that impairs vision. If left untreated, they can result in vision loss and blindness. This eye problem is inherited, caused by an injury, disease, or aging.
As with other pets, you should have your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix examined by a qualified veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure that they are in good health.
Additionally, you may consider getting pet insurance. Medical emergencies are unavoidable, and having insurance will ensure that your dog receives the best medical care without breaking the bank.
How to Take Care of Your Shichi
One of your most important responsibilities as a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix parent is to ensure that your dog’s needs are met. Remember that when dogs are well cared for, they become even better family members.
Follow along to learn more about caring for your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dog.
Food and Diet
Small dogs like the Shichi do not eat much, but they still require the right nutrients for them to stay active and healthy. That said, make sure to feed them the right amount of high-quality dog food.
However, depending on your preference and your budget, you may also opt to feed your Shichi wet food or home-cooked meals.
Giving this hybrid dog a reasonable amount of dog treats every day is also acceptable. Just remember not to overindulge them, as this may result in obesity.
Since Chi Tzus are almost the same size as their parents, their nutritional needs should be the same. Hence, you can also refer to the feeding guide for Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas in planning the diet of this mix.
As always, it is best to contact your veterinarian so they can accurately assess your dog’s dietary requirements.
Cleaning and Grooming
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix does not require extensive grooming. However, it needs regular bathing, either once a week or every six weeks.
Likewise, daily brushing your Shih Tzu and Chihuahua mix’s coat is also very important. This will not only help avoid tangling or matting but also help manage the shedding.
Furthermore, you need to do ear cleaning to avoid earwax buildup in your Shih Tzu Chihuahua. Regular nail trimming and toothbrushing should also be part of your dog’s grooming routine.
Training and Exercise
Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breeds are intelligent dogs, making them generally easy to train. Note, however, that these mixes may have a stubborn streak, just like their Chihuahua parents.
That said, training sessions with these toy dogs can be quite challenging, which is why it is recommended to start basic obedience and potty training at an early age using positive reinforcement techniques.
As with exercise needs, a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix does not require intensive exercise, so 20 to 30 minutes of daily playtime will be enough to release pent-up energy.
How Much Does a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
On average, a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixed puppy costs between $600 and $1,200. Note, however, that the price may vary depending on factors like the breeder’s reputation, location, and the bloodline of purebred parents.
Unfortunately, your expenses do not end the moment you buy your dog from the breeder, as you also need to cover other expenses, such as your dog’s supplies and vaccines.
The costs of owning a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix are summarized in the table below:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
In addition to the initial costs mentioned above, you should also set aside a budget for your dog’s monthly and annual expenses.
To give you a more in-depth overview of the cost of having this mixed breed as a pet, you can read about the cost of owning a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua.
Places to Find Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Given that both its purebred dog parents are popular and common, finding this designer dog breed can be quite easy. Still, it is important that you look for a reputable breeder to make sure you’re getting a healthy dog.
Here are some places you can check to begin your search for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix for sale:
- AKC Marketplace – The AKC Marketplace only lists American Kennel Club-registered litters. That said, you are assured of purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder. Although the site primarily features purebred dog breeds, you can contact Chihuahua and Shih Tzu breeders to see if they have available Chi Tzu toy breeds.
- Greenfield Puppies – Greenfield Puppies has been connecting happy and healthy puppies with families who can provide them home. They have a vast selection of Shih Tzus and its mixes, including Shichis. To find out if they have this toy breed available, it’s recommended to periodically visit their website.
- Lancaster Puppies – Lancaster Puppies is a pet advertising website that connects people with puppies for sale. They offer a variety of breeds, including purebred and designer breeds, such as Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes. You may want to check the website often to see if they have the breed you’re looking for.
Aside from buying straight from a breeder, you may also opt to adopt. Adopting a dog is not only cost-effective but also a socially responsible choice.
Here are some places where you can find a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix for adoption:
- Shih Tzu and Furbabies Rescue (STFBR) – STFBR is a Georgia-based organization that is focused on rescuing, caring for, and finding homes for small dogs like Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, and their mixes. Prior to being transferred to their forever homes, these dogs are examined, treated, and vaccinated by their veterinarians.
- Chihuahua Rescue and Transport – Since 1996, this foster-based rescue organization has been successfully finding permanent homes for abandoned Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. They provide their services in 10 states across the United States.
- Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County – This rescue group is committed to saving Chihuahuas, Chihuahua mixes, and other dogs that have been abandoned or left homeless. They have an intensive screening process to ensure they put their rescues in the right family.
Most rescue organizations have strict guidelines and screening processes. If you want your adoption application approved, you should keenly research their requirements and prepare them before applying.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix
After learning the essential facts about Shichis, it is important for you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of owning this toy breed to determine if it is the right dog for you.
Here are the pros of owning a Shichi:
- Great companions: Regardless if you are a first-time dog owner or a seasoned one, Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes are surely a great option for you if you are looking for a sweet companion. These dogs are extremely loyal and affectionate, which makes them great pets!
- Great with kids and other animals: Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes get along with kids and other animals very well, especially when they are trained and socialized from an early age. Just remember to always keep an eye on them since these dogs cannot tolerate rough play.
- Low maintenance: Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes are generally low maintenance. These dogs do not require frequent grooming due to their short coats. Likewise, because of their small stature, they do not require a lot of food, and their diet is quite simple.
Meanwhile, here are some cons of having a Shich:
- Prone to separation anxiety: Just like other dogs that were bred to be companion dogs, Shichis do not do well when left alone for extended periods. These dogs may suffer from separation anxiety, so you may need to hire someone to look after them when you’re away.
- Can be stubborn: If you do not have a lot of patience training stubborn dogs, this Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix might not be the best dog for you. These dogs tend to do things independently, which is why it is important to use positive reinforcement when training them.
- Not very active: Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes are not very active, which may be a disadvantage to people with an active lifestyle. Shichis are couch potatoes, which is also why these dogs can be prone to obesity.
The information provided above should assist you in determining whether this small breed is the right one for you and avoid getting a dog that does not fit your lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Shichis Shed a Lot?
The Shichi’s parent breeds are known for being minimal shedders, which makes Shichis minimal shedders too. These dogs may shed, but their shedding can often be unnoticeable, especially if you commit to daily brushing.
Are Shichis Hypoallergenic?
Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes are not hypoallergenic. Although these dogs shed minimally, there can still be a risk for allergic reactions in people with allergies to dog dander and saliva.
Although the risk is low, it is very important for allergy sufferers to talk with their doctors before getting this pet.
Do Shichi Dogs Bark a Lot?
This mixed breed’s parent breeds are known to bark a lot. That said, Shichis may also have that quality too.
These tiny dogs have a shrill bark and will let the whole house know if there are strangers in the house. This makes them exceptional watchdogs.
Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes Good Dogs?
Shih Tzu Chihuahua hybrids are generally good dogs. They are exceptionally affectionate and cuddly and will bring your family additional joy with their witty antics.
They get along with everyone, including kids, adults, and other pets. That is why it is only understandable why this hybrid is very popular among people looking for a pet companion.
Needless to say, the Shichi is a great option for both first and seasoned dog owners. With their small size yet big personalities, this hybrid will surely add joy to the family!
However, it is very important that potential Shichi owners consider other factors like financial capability and lifestyle compatibility to avoid unprecedented problems.
Shichis may be low maintenance in food and grooming, but they require a lot of love, time, and attention. This is why you must think about whether you are willing to commit to taking care of them for a lifetime.
Are you ready to take home a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix? Let us know in the comments!