- Lifespan: 15-18 years
- Group: Not Applicable
- Best Suited For: Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
- Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, friendly, outgoing
In recent years there has been a drastic increase in the popularity of “designer dog breeds”. These breeds are typically a cross of two or more purebreds and part of the appeal is the claim that it provides owners with the best of two different breeds. The Shichon is a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Shih Tzu, resulting in a combination of the best features from both breeds. The Shichon gives you the small size of the Shih Tzu and the friendly disposition of the Bichon Frise. Why choose between two wonderful dog breeds when you can have the best of both in one lovable pup?
The Shichon gives you the small size of the Shih Tzu and the friendly disposition of the Bichon Frise.
The origins of the Shichon breed cannot be traced back to any one breeder because the crossing of purebred dogs is a fairly common practice. It is known, however, that the Shichon breed has grown in popularity in the United States during the last decade. The Shichon is a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Shih Tzu, so its origins are a combination of the origins of these breeds. The Bichon Frise is descended from the Barbet and the Standard Poodle, having been developed as early as the 1300s in France. The first Bichon Frise was brought to the United States in 1955 and the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1972.
The Shih Tzu is widely recognized as one of the oldest breeds of dog with its origins dating back to ancient China. There are many theories related to the origins of the breed – some suggest that it is a cross between the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso. Though Shih Tzu dogs have been in existence since 800BC, the first breed standard wasn’t written by the UKC until 1935 and the breed wasn’t recognized by the AKC until 1969. Currently, the Shichon is not recognized by the AKC as a separate breed and it is unlikely to be since the AKC considers it a hybrid of two existing breeds rather than a separate breed.
The Shichon is a 50/50 hybrid of the Brichon Frise and the Shih Tzu. Depending on breeding, it is possible for Shichons to have more or less of one breed than the other and still be considered a Shichon.
Because the Shichon is a small-breed dog, you should plan to use a dog food formulated for small breeds. These dog foods are designed to meet the high energy needs of small-breed dogs. As is true with many small dogs, Shichons are prone to obesity so avoid overfeeding.
The Shichon dog breed is intelligent and has the capacity to do well with training.
The Shichon dog breed is intelligent and has the capacity to do well with training. Unfortunately, like many small breeds, these dogs are a little tricky to train – especially when it comes to housebreaking. The key to training these dogs is to start early when the puppy is still young and to maintain a firm and consistent hand in training. It is important to maintain your patience when training as these dogs do not respond well to anger. As long as you are consistent and reward your Shichon for good behavior, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with training. Socialization is also important, particularly when the dog is still young, to make sure he remains friendly around strangers and other dogs.
The average weight of the Shichon breed is between 10 and 15 lbs.
The Shichon is a friendly and affectionate little dog that loves to be around family. These dogs are generally good with kids, though you need to be sure that your children know how to handle a small dog properly. Shichon dogs are lively and they love to play which makes them a great choice for active families or families with older children. These dogs form strong bonds with their family members and they tend to get along well with other dogs and household pets.
Common Health Problems
For the most part, the Shichon is a fairly healthy breed but it is prone to certain health problems. The health problems seen in Shichon dogs are a combination of those seen in the parent breeds, Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu. Some common health problems affecting Shichon dogs include cataracts, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, respiratory problems, and portosystemic shunt.
The average life expectancy of the Shichon breed is between 15 and 18 years.
The Shichon is not an overly active breed but it does require a daily walk to work off its energy. These dogs love to play and active games like fetch can fulfill the breed’s daily exercise requirements. Providing your Shichon with mental and physical stimulation will help to prevent the development of unwanted behaviors.
The Shichon is a friendly and affectionate little dog that loves to be around family.
The Shichon dog breed is not currently recognized by the AKC or the UKC because it is considered a hybrid of two purebred dogs rather than a separate breed. The Shichon is, however, recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
The Shichon is often referred to as the “teddy bear dog” due to its cuddly nature and soft, fluffy coat. The coat color and appearance of this breed varies slightly depending on breeding but, for the most part, the Shichon has a long, silky coat that may also be curly. As well, they are hypoallergenic. Coat colors may include gray, silver, cream, tan, apricot, red black, chocolate, or any combination of these colors.
Shichon puppies look like little bundles of fluff – they are small and cuddly, just like a teddy bear. The average litter size for Shichons is usually between four and five. It is important to start socializing puppies at a young age to make sure they do not develop aggression toward other dogs.
Photo credit: Patrick/Flickr