If you’re a lover of small dogs, then you’re about to fall head over heels for the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix. Also known as the Shichi, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a combination of royalty and sass.
Packed with personality and loaded with charm, this little hybrid dog makes a fabulous and unique companion for the right owner or family.
Are you wondering if the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix would be the right dog for you? Here are 15 things to know before you invest in a Shichi.
1. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Is A Crossbreed Dog, Which Does Have It’s Controversies
Some say that crossbreed dogs may be healthier than purebreds, but this has yet to be proven.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the crossbreed controversy. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix, as you probably already realized, is not a purebred dog. However, this dog is also not a mutt. Known as a crossbreed, hybrid, designer dog, or mixed breed, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is the offspring of two purposefully chosen parents.
Crossbreeding is nothing new, though it has increased in popularity over the last two decades. Originally, crossbreeding dogs like the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix was done in the hopes to eventually create a new purebred.
However, it takes generations of crossbreeding and perfecting for a dog to be considered a purebred, and this is where the controversy comes in.
There are those who disagree with the breeding and selling of first and second generation crossbreeds like the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix. This is because there are aspects of these dogs that are going to be unpredictable, including health, temperament and physical appearance.
Generally, mutts are less expensive than purebreds for this very reason, but lately, hybrid dogs like the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix have been selling to dog enthusiasts for top dollar.
That said, there are those that insist these hybrids are just as good as, if not better than, their purebred counterparts. Why? Well, it all comes down to health.
Due to having a wider gene pool, many believe that crossbreed dogs are less likely to develop many of the same genetic health issues as their purebred parent breeds, who have suffered from generations of overbreeding.
While this does sound promising, the skeptics are still out, saying that genetics are genetics and therefore unpredictable.
And while we can’t say for certain which of these two debating parties is correct, we can tell you that, as of now, crossbreed dogs like the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix are not going anywhere anytime soon.
So, with that in mind, let’s move on to learn more about the Shichi.
2. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Is A Cross Between The Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a relatively new hybrid in the crossbreed kingdom, so there is still a lot we are learning about his origin. That said, we can learn about this unique dog by taking a closer look at his purebred parents.
Let’s begin by looking at the Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas are considered the smallest purebred in the world.
Considered the smallest purebred in the world, the Chihuahua is loaded with personality and sass. This breed is the national dog of Mexico, and is known for being a scrappy, tough little dog.
Beloved for his human-like disposition, affectionate personality, and bossy temperament, the Chihuahua is the ideal dog for older families, singles, and seniors. They can be impatient with young children and will not tolerate being handled too roughly. Due to their small size, Chihuahua dogs are also prone to serious injury if dropped.
Currently, there are two types of Chihuahua dogs in existence, and this includes the Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua.
Only the Apple Head Chihuahua is eligible for show, and is defined by his large forehead, round eyes, and ‘apple-shaped’ head.
The Deer Head Chihuahua, contrarily, has a head that is shaped more like that of a fawn. Again, this type of Chihuahua is not eligible for show, though many Chihuahua enthusiasts are still smitten.
Aside from the two different head shapes, both the Apple Headed and Deer Headed Chihuahuas share identical physical characteristics. Take a look.
Height: 5 – 8 Inches
Weight: Under 6 Pounds
Coat: Smooth or long-hair, shedding
Life Span: 14 – 16 Years
Personality: Bossy, clever, comedic, adoring
Now let’s move on to the Shih Tzu.
The Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu dogs are sweet, friendly and devoted.
The Shih Tzu could not be more different than the scrappy Chihuahua. This regal breed spent much of it’s early years warming the lap of royalty in Imperial China. Bred specifically for companionship, the Shih Tzu is a loving, sweet, and dignified little breed who does best with owners who can devote much of their time and attention to them.
They get on well with most anyone and enjoy children and other pets, though owners should note that the Shih Tzu is a small dog who can be prone to injury if played with too roughly.
Shih Tzu dogs are renowned for their beauty. Their flat faces and long, luscious coats made them a popular accessory and gift at one time, but today these traits make the Shih Tzu a leading dog in show.
Height: 9 – 10.5 Inches
Weight: 9 – 16 Pounds
Coat Type: Long, flowing, hypoallergenic
Lifespan: 10 – 18 years
Temperament: Affectionate, confident, friendly, playful
3. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Is An Intelligent and Playful Hybrid
Small and devoted, the Chih Shih dog is a loving and playful companion.
A combination of sass and royalty, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix makes an adoring, playful little companion for the right owner or family. This is a dog who will enjoy being the center of attention and will be a constant source of laughter and joy.
Because he is clever, he may surprise you with some of the antics he is able to get into. Keep an eye on your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble, and remember that intelligent dogs need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Puzzle toys can help ensure your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix stays busy, but his best source of joy and happiness will come from being with you.
Remember, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a bred companion dog who wants nothing more than to be by your side at all times.
4. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Has The Potential To Be Hypoallergenic
The type of coat your dog inherits will depend on genetics and the generation of hybrid he is.
The Chihuahua is a shedding dog, but the Shih Tzu is not. Depending on the generation of crossbreed (meaning if the parents are either a purebred Chihuahua and Shih Tzu or if they are also both Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs), you could wind up with a dog who sheds or a dog who is hypoallergenic.
That said, we should point out that there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. All dogs shed to an extent. However, hypoallergenic dogs shed less than their canine counterparts and thus produce less allergy inducing dander in their fur.
This makes these dogs ideal for those who suffer from allergies. If you want a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix but want to ensure it is hypoallergenic, we suggest going through a breeder who provides second or third generation crossbreeds.
You can also ensure your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is hypoallergenic by rescuing a slightly older dog whose coat is already established.
5. As With All Crossbreeds, The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Dog’s Appearance Will Vary
This hybrid could look like a combination of his two parent breeds, or he could look more like one over the other.
Just as his hypoallergenic coat is up to genetics, so is your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog’s appearance. The Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu are two very different looking breeds, so the appearance of your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can range quite a bit.
However, second and third generation Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs tend to have similar traits and characteristics, which we’ve listed below:
Height: 9 – 11 Inches
Weight: 5 – 12 Pounds
Coat Color: Black, fawn, white, cream, gold, chocolate, tan and black, white and black, brown and black, brindle, liver, liver and white, and blue
Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Appearance Overview:
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix, depending on its generation of crossbreed, could look more like it’s Chihuahua parent or more like it’s Shih Tzu parent, or it could fall somewhere in between.
This is going to be a smaller dog, however, who will likely reach no more than 12 pounds and stand less than a foot tall.
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog’s coat type and appearance can vary from being short and smooth to long and flowing, and he may or may not shed, as we’ve previously discussed.
6. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Is A Great Apartment Dog
Due to their small size, Chih Shih mix breeds are great apartment dogs.
Due to his very small size, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix makes a wonderful apartment dog. He does not need large space to run and play and, bred as a companion, will enjoy sitting on your lap or snuggling at your side wherever you go.
That said, some Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs can be a bit vocal, especially if they inherit their Chihuahua parent breed’s disposition. Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs also have the potential to become destructive if they get bored or if they are left on their own for too long.
We should also note that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be difficult to housetrain. This is because he is a small dog and small potty accidents may be difficult to spot.
7. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Can Be Prone To Separation Anxiety
These dogs are bred for companionship, so they will not do well left alone.
The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix has often been described as a ‘velcro dog’. Essentially, this means that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a dog who wants to be with you constantly and can be prone to separation anxiety when you are gone.
This is true for many smaller dogs who were bred for companionship, and while this makes the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix an excellent companion for seniors, retirees, and those working from home, it can be problematic for those with a busy schedule.
If left alone for too long, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can become depressed and anxious. This can lead to behavioral issues including chewing, barking, bathroom accidents and more. Depression and stress can also lead to health problems in your little Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix.
For that reason, this dog is best suited for owners with flexible schedules who are able to devote plenty of time to and attention to the mix.
8. A Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Can Be Prone To A Few Genetic Health Issues Potential Owners Should Know About
All dogs can be prone to genetic health issues regardless of if they are purebreds or hybrids.
Like all dogs, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be prone to a number of the same genetic health issues as his purebred parent breeds.
With a lifespan of between 10 – 15 years, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be susceptible to:
- Tracheal Collapse
- Patellar Luxation
- Intolerance to Hot or Cold Climates
- Dental Disease
- Ear Infections
- And Respiratory Issues
You can help combat serious health issues in your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix by ensuring you get him from a reputable source such as a qualified breeder or reputable shelter. You may also consider having your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix health screened to help prepare for or prevent potential future health issues.
Keeping routine vet visits, ensuring your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix eats a healthy, balanced diet, and maintaining grooming and exercise routines will also help enhance your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog’s vitality and quality of life.
9. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Is Not The Ideal Dog For Small Children
Because they are so small, Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs can be prone to accidental injury if handled too roughly.
Chihuahua dogs in particular are impatient with youngsters and can be nippy from time to time. Due to their small size, they are also more prone to injury than many other breeds. The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, is more gentle and sweet-natured with kids, though this breed too can be prone to injury if played with too roughly.
For this reason, we do not recommend the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix for families with small children. This is a hybrid who will do best in homes with singles, seniors, couples, or families with older, gentler kiddos.
If you do have a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix around a child, be sure and monitor their interaction to ensure everyone is getting along safely and happily. Children should also be taught how to respectfully interact with dogs to ensure they know how to read canine body language and respect the dog’s space when needed.
10. Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Dogs Should Be Socialized and Trained At An Early Age To Reduce Anxiety
In order to grow up happy and healthy, the Chihuahua Tzu Mix should be properly trained and socialized.
Because the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can tend to be a bossy little dog, it is a good idea to try and socialize and train this mix at an early age.
Properly socializing your puppy can help reduce a number of behavioral issues induced by stress and anxiety, and will make for an overall happier, healthier dog.
To socialize your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix, try introducing him to as many new experiences as possible using gentle encouragement, treats and praise.
Training should also be done just as gently. Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs are sensitive breeds who become very bonded with their people. When training your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix, use positive reinforcement techniques and refrain from punishments.
Keep training sessions short, game-like, and repetitive to help keep your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog’s interest, and give him breaks as needed.
11. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Does Best On A Quality Dog Food Specified For His Age, Weight and Activity Level
A combination of dry and wet dog food can help keep your Chih Tzu mix healthy and feeling his best.
In order to thrive, your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix should maintain a quality diet throughout his life. It is also important that your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix eats a dog food specified for his age and weight, and for each life stage, (puppyhood, adulthood and seniorhood).
Because the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be prone to dental disease, a combination of dry dog food and wet dog food can help reduce dental issues. Your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will also do best on a dog food that is rich in real animal protein, healthy carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and water.
Avoid dog foods that include fillers, additives, artificial flavors, by-products, and corn, soy, or wheat.
12. The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Is An Active Dog, Despite His Small Size
Like all dogs,the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix requires a certain amount of exercise to stay healthy.
Though small, your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is still going to need routine exercise each and every day. Fortunately, most of his exercise needs can be met with a quick, brisk walk around the block.
On cold or rainy days, you can play interactive games of fetch or tug of war with your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix for 30 to 45 minutes, and this should also help him meet his exercise needs.
Your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will not need a backyard to run and play, though he will appreciate one.
Refrain from leaving your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix outside on his own, however, even if you have a secure, fenced yard, as small dogs can be seen as prey by predatory animals.
13. Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Dogs May Not Get Along With Other Pets, But You Can Work Around This
When raised together or properly socialized, Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs can get along with other pets.
Some Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dogs will prefer being the only dog in their home, and this is especially true if you rescue an adult Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix. However, if you get a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix puppy, you can likely soclize and raise this dog around other pets just fine.
Even then, however, this hybrid could have a tendency to become bossy, demanding and sometimes aggressive around other pets, so keep an eye on this and work with your dog to help him acclimate to having pet siblings in the home.
It’s also important to remember that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a very small dog that can be easily injured by other, more playful pets in the home. Monitor dog on dog play, especially if the other dog is a larger breed or mix.
14. Your Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix’s Grooming Needs Will Vary
Depending on the coat your hybrid dog inherits from his parent breeds, his grooming needs can vary.
Depending on the type of coat your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog inherits from his parent breeds, his grooming needs will vary.
If your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix inherits his Shih Tzu parent’s coat, he will likely require a bit more upkeep, especially if you opt to let his hair grow out long.
However, most Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix owners prefer to keep their dogs hair trimmed short, as this is the easiest style to maintain.
Routine brushing will help keep your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix from becoming matted, and bathing once every two to three weeks will keep your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix looking his best.
Along with bathing and brushing, it’s also important to maintain proper dental care. Remember, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix can be especially prone to dental disease and early tooth loss, so keep up with daily brushing using a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
You should also make sure to trim your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix’s nails as needed and keep his ears clean and free of debris, wax, and moisture buildup to prevent infection.
15. Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Puppies May Be Costly, But Don’t Cut Corners
When getting your puppy, go through reputable sources like a certified breeder or shelter.
Smaller hybrid puppies can be costly, especially when going through a breeder. On average, the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix puppy costs around $500 to $1,000. This price can vary depending on the breeder and quality of the parent dogs, though it’s important not to try and cut corners to get a puppy at a bargain price.
Going through uncertified online sellers or backyard breeders may land you with a sick puppy, and this will cost you more money in the long run.
Instead, stick with breeders who are able to provide references and who can offer health certificates proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any major health issues.
You also have the option of going through a shelter or rescue to adopt your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix. Many rescues are a fraction of the price of going through a breeder, and they often provide dogs with free vet exams as well as behavioral testing before adoption.
Three Products A Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Parent Will Love
Preparing your home for your new dog can help you both start off on the right foot.
Preparation is key when bringing home a new puppy or rescue dog, and if you’ve decided that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is the right dog for you, we want to help you start off on the right foot.
We have compiled a list of our three favorite products for the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix and listed them below just for you.
Arm & Hammer Fresh Breath Toothbrushing Kit
Dental care is an important part of raising a happy and healthy dog, and you’ll need a quality toothbrushing kit to ensure your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog’s teeth are in ship shape.
One of our favorite kits is the Arm & Hammer kit listed above. This toothbrush is specifically designed for smaller dogs like the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix and includes a dog-safe toothpaste as well.
The kit helps fight against tartar and plaque, and can help reduce the chances of early tooth loss and dental disease.
Downtown Pet Supply Step In Dog Harness
Smaller dogs like the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix are more prone to suffering from tracheal collapse, especially if pressure is put on their throats from collars or leashes.
We highly recommend investing in a quality dog harness that reduces pulling and pressure on your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix’s trachea. For this reason, we’ve listed the above step-in dog harness by Downtown Pet Supply.
This harness is made of plush, comfortable, and durable material. It comes in three different sizes and several color options. Best of all, it makes walking safer and more comfortable for both you and your dog.
Wellness Complete Health Small Dog Breed Dog Food
Wellness Dog Food is a quality dog food that is free of any additives, by-products, and fillers. It is also a dry dog food that can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup on your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix dog’s teeth.
We recommend the above dog food for adult dogs, but you can also find it made specifically for small breed puppies and seniors. The particular order above is a Turkey and oatmeal formula, but you can find it in different recipes as well.
This dog food is designed for small breed dogs in mind and helps promote heart health, a strong immune system, and a healthy skin and coat.
And there you have it – everything you need to know before investing in a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on this adorable little hybrid and that you were able to make up your mind. Now it’s your turn to share! Do you think the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix would fit into your home and lifestyle?
Share your thoughts with us about this dynamic designer dog in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.