Choosing the perfect small mixed breed can be a very daunting task, but Bichon Shih Tzu puppies are an adorable mixture with a variety of positive traits to be considered.
Teddy Bear (Zuchon or Shichon) Puppy Quick Stats
» A combination of a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise
» Recognized as an official mixed breed by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) and Designer Breed Registry (DBR)
» Average estimated lifespan of between 14 – 16 years
» Average estimated weight of between 9 – 16 pounds
» Average height of approximately 8 – 11 inches
» Training difficulty – Medium
» Grooming requirement – High
» Exercise requirement – Medium
They are wonderful dogs that should stand out amongst a wide selection of small mixed breeds for aspiring dog owners.
These puppies, commonly known as a Zuchon or a Shichon and colloquially referred to as Teddy Bear puppies or Ragdoll puppies, bring the East and the West together with their Chinese and European heritage.
A set of parents that carry the common traits of both breeds can create a generation of smart, playful and affectionate puppies that your family will adore for many years.
Personality Traits of the Shih Tzu Bichon Mix
Zuchon puppies are the result of a union between dogs that have been raised over the generations as lap dogs and companion pets. Naturally, this makes them great with the elderly and with children, thus earning the breed the moniker of a “Teddy Bear dog” through more than just its appearance.
Favoring the Bichon’s moderately high intellect, they respond well to early and consistent training, and they can be taught to use the bathroom in specific areas as needed.
Zuchons are eager to please their owners, with a personality that falls between the relaxed demeanor of a Shih Tzu and the adorably berserk energy of a Bichon Frise. These puppies are almost universally full of charm and social grace, and they crave interaction with their owners.
They make terrific indoor dogs, but they also call for some play time outside if possible.
Appearance and Grooming of Zuchons
This mix is sought after by owners who are interested in dogs that look like Teddy Bears. As adults, they have a height of eight to eleven inches at the shoulder and they usually weigh between nine and sixteen pounds, with some toy mixes being closer to six pounds. They have a sturdy and solid build for small dogs.
Their coats are curly like the Bichon Frise and soft like that of the Shih Tzu. Their hair is long and layered, and proper upkeep calls for daily brushing and regular grooming, preferably given by a professional. They don’t shed thanks to the structure of their hair, which makes them largely hypoallergenic and great for families whose members have allergies and health issues related to breathing.
The color of their fur covers a wide range, including black, silver, white, tan, gray, chocolate brown, and various combinations among these colors.
Health and Lifespan of Shihchon Puppies
Luckily, owners of this mix can expect a puppy that is remarkably free of the serious health issues that can plague its purebred parentage. Serious issues facing Bichon Frises and Shih Tzus such as Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA), Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP) and portosystemic shunts of the liver are nothing to worry about in Zuchons. The only potential issue is a minor problem with their tear ducts, which is generally easy to correct.
Since this breed is relatively new, there isn’t a wealth of information regarding their lifespan, but they appear to possess longer lifespans than their parent breeds, averaging between fourteen and sixteen years.
Maintaining Your Teddy Bear Puppy’s Health and Happiness
For exercise purposes, Zuchons are wonderful partners to take on walks or even to bring along for a short jog.
To maintain a healthy weight, the breed demands a regular investment of exercise. Since this breed thrives on interaction, take your puppy to a park or any other bustling outdoor social setting. If you have a medium-sized or small yard, keep a fence so the dog can remain active.
Zuchons are known to bark loudly when confined and deprived of contact with others. Being very social dogs, they are likely to suffer from stress and loneliness if you take any extended leave from the house, so try to either bring them along on any trips or keep the away time to a minimum.
Keep common sense in mind when trying to protect your puppy from household hazards. Don’t leave chocolate lying anywhere where the puppy can reach it. Dogs are prone to try to consume a wide variety of foreign objects. Preferably, you don’t want your dog having access to any of these, either.
This breed has only very recently been established, but their reputation grows brighter by the day. For healthy, intelligent, and spunky little companions to accompany you and your family for many years to come, Bichon Shih Tzu Puppies are a terrific addition to the pet lover’s household.