A subset of the designer dog variety, the Shichi is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua. Originating in the United States, this Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is crossed using the hybrid vigor method. This method creates hybrids which are genetically stronger than their pure bred parents and are not prone to diseases that their counterparts may fall prey to. The resultant mix dog is much more healthier and has a longer disease free life span.
Typically small dogs, a full grown Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix does not weight more than 3-7 pounds. Very small and delicate, they are double coated, with a short undercoat, and medium to long topcoat. This topcoat can be wavy and soft, or curly and smooth, depending on the coat of the dominant dog in the cross. The color also varies, but most commonly, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is white with tan highlights and markings.
The color and the coat type can vary and most of the times it is hard to tell. It depends hugely on the parent breeds used in the cross, and a study of these parent breeds can add to understanding your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix better. Not only will this provide information about the health and diseases that it could be prone to, it will also provide insight into the kind of dog it will grow into.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Temperament:
Typically childlike and gentle, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix love children. It is advised, if they are house pets in a house with young children or toddlers, the kids are taught how delicate these dogs are and how they can easily be injured due to this. They are also very loyal and can get yappy and bark on sensing a threat. Protective, they do not open up to strangers easily, and it may take efforts to familiarize them with visitors. Attention seekers, the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix are best suited for families that can provide them that throughout the day. They have a tendency to act like a spoilt child, or jealous siblings, if they feel neglected or ignored. Also called toy dogs, they are actually very delicate and young children can pose a serious threat to the health of these delicate dogs. They also are very curious and have short attention span. They can thus get distracted easily and are slightly difficult to train. The “kenneling” method can hence be used to train them.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Maintenance:
While Shih Tzu’s coats are hypo allergic, a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dog’s coat may not necessarily be so. This quality can be understood with a better understanding of the parents involved in the cross. Since they are double coated, their fur is apt for colder climates. Warmer climates can be slightly problematic. While clipped coats do not require brushing often, an unclipped coat must be brushed at least 3 times a week. This will keep the coat tangle free and ensure the coat stays smooth and lustrous. Brushing also keeps the possibility of an tick of mite infections at bay. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be bathed monthly with a subtle puppy shampoo. Regular visits to the vet for shots and health checks are also an important part of the maintenance of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dogs.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Health problems:
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is not known to have any specific health problems. A more advanced and superior breed than either of its parents, there are higher chances of the mix dog being immune to the disease that either of its parents is prone to. Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas are prone to hypoglycemia, obesity, eye and breathing problems. It can help to monitor the mix dog during its growth to notice any signs of the onset of any of these diseases. The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix can catch a cold on staying outdoors too much.
Living conditions and training a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix:
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be slightly difficult to train. Their highly inquisitive nature leads to short attention spans. They can be trained using the kennel method, or by adding games to the training methods. A family dog, it adapts well as a house pet.