Resulting from a cross between the popular dog breeds, the Shih-tzu dog and the Bichon Frise dog, the Shichon or Zuchon is gaining popularity, not only as a family pet but as a loving companion for the elderly and an endearing therapy dog.
Combining the best traits of the Shih-Tzu and Bichon Frise dog breeds, this loveable lap dog is a true descendant of royalty ? on both sides! Joyful, happy, funny and affectionate, Shichon dogs and puppies make devoted companions for singles, families with children, elderly and disabled dog lovers alike. They thrive in any environment where a lot of love and attention can be provided ? whether an apartment, country home ? or Imperial Palace! Shichon is also known as Teddy Bear Dog Breed.
As an added bonus, most Shichons inherit the hypo-allergenic, non-shedding trait of their Bichon Frise ancestors, making them a great choice for dog lovers with allergies.
Shichon Dog Breed In Brief
Origin: United StatesHeight: 9?12 inches at the shoulderWeight: 7?15 pounds average as adultsExercise Needs: LowGrooming Needs: HighLife Expectancy: 15+ yearsGood With Kids: YesTrainability: Easy
Shichon Dog Breed History
One of the newest ?designer dog breeds? to make his run at fame, the Shichon is quickly making a name for himself as not only a beautiful little pet, but also a good companion animal for seniors and an outstanding therapy dog.
While it?s unknown who, exactly, first began breeding the Shichons, they continue to grow in popularity and have become one of the more ?stable? and sensible designer breeds on today?s market.
The resulting cross of an oriental breed known as the Shih-Tzu dog with a Mediterranean dog known as the Bichon Frise dog, the ideal result is an intelligent toy dog with the sweet disposition of both breeds, the color variety of the Shih-Tzu, a soft teddy bear-like coat, and a longer nose which is said to lessen the breathing problems that are usually associated with the Shih-Tzu breed.
While the Shichon is not recognized as an official ?breed? of dog (they are a cross-breed), more and more people are turning to these designer dogs in hopes of finding quality pets without as many risks of health problems.
Shichon Dog Breed Appearance
The Shichon stands roughly 9?12 inches tall at the shoulder and is known for his endearing face, large expressive eyes, and his soft teddy-bear coat. Because of the softness of the coat and their cuddly natures, Shichon are often nicknamed ?Teddy Bears.? With their calm and friendly personalities, it?s no wonder that the snuggly nickname has stuck.
The Shichon usually has a longer coat that sheds very little, if any. This makes them the ideal toy dog for a family that has an allergy sufferer in their midst, although the longer coat does mean more time and maintenance.
Shichon puppies come in any recognized color and/or pattern, ranging from white to black, as well as parti-colors. Their coat can very from a soft silky texture to a cottony fuzz and their tails almost always curl up over the back ? all the better to happily wag when they see you.
Shichon Dog Breed Temperament
?Personality-plus? is a term that best-suits these adorable little dogs. Intelligent and quick to learn basic obedience and useful tricks, they are charming, captivating and very cuddly, making wonderful companion animals for the elderly.
Additionally, Shichons get along well with children and seem to have a great deal of patience for smaller humans. Because of their tiny size, many breeders suggest that children be at least 8?10 years of age, prior to letting them place a deposit on a puppy.
For this reason, it?s always a good practice to ask about their standards and restrictions, when it comes to potential breeders and/or pet owners.
Shichon Health Information
Like any breed of dog, the Shichon is subject to a variety of health concerns. Your best bet is, when deciding to choose a new Shichon puppy, check around with several breeders and ask about the various health issues that can affect these beautiful little dogs.
Fortunately, the Shichon is known to possess hybrid vigor, tending to make them healthier than many breeds. While this cannot guarantee you a healthy puppy, it lessens the chances of getting a puppy with congenital defects. Some of the health issues which can affect the Shichon include but are not limited to: ? Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)? Ear infections? Hip dysplasia? Elbow dysplasia? Renal dysplasia? Abnormal thyroid functioning? Hypersensitivity
Caring For Your Shichon
The Shichon is generally a fairly low-maintenance individual, when it comes to exercise requirements. Usually a good walk or a visit to the dog park will do him nicely, or he is more than willing to run off any excess energy with an engaging game of fetch in the back yard.
Fortunately, with the Shichon?s short legs, it doesn?t take very long before he?s worn out and, when the weather is too hot, chances are he won?t bother you to go out for a long run.
Shichon Grooming Needs
This is the one area where your beloved Shichon is bound to be a great deal of work. Those who insist upon maintaining these unique little dogs? long flowing coat quickly discover that it requires daily combing and regular trims to keep them looking beautiful.
This is often too much of a headache for the average pet owner. Most pet Shichons travel to the grooming salon every couple of weeks, getting their long locks cut to a shorter, cooler, and more manageable style.
A Shichon shouldn?t need to be bathed too often; once or twice a month is usually a good bet, unless you have an individual who really enjoys getting dirty.
Aside from this, the only other major grooming needs that a Boston Terrier requires are keeping his nails clipped, his ears clean and, if he will let you, his teeth brushed.
Should tooth-brushing be an issue, however, there are a variety of toys and treats now available, which help to reduce tartar build up and tooth decay.
Shichon Dog Training Tips
The Shichon is a very loving and obedient toy dog, who enjoys pleasing their human companions. Because of this, coupled with the dog?s high intelligence, they are well-suited for obedience training, learning tricks, and can even shine in agility and obstacle courses.
Most who have known Shichons will be sure to tell you that they love learning new things and seem to really enjoy performing for the enjoyment of their owners.
Is a Shichon Puppy Right For You?
The Shichon is a captivating little companion that is sure to warm your heart. Due to her low maintenance requirements, she makes an ideal pet for an elderly person, as well as making a great family dog.
Shichon puppies should be supervised with small children, however, as they can be seriously injured if accidentally dropped, fallen on or poked in the eyes and, even the gentlest of souls can still get a little nippy when prying and pinching fingers get to be too painful.
Provided you have the time to give your Shichon some love when you come home from work and the occasional lap to sit upon or lay beside, she will consider himself queen of the castle and the happiest dog in the world.
Choosing a Responsible Shichon Breeder
Now that you have decided that the Shichon is the right breed for you, it?s time to start the process of finding a responsible Shichon breeder from which to buy a healthy, well-socialized puppy.
Not all breeders are alike; there are good breeders ? and bad breeders. Don?t be in a hurry to buy the first Shichon puppy you find at the cheapest price available! To buy a puppy from a responsible Shichon breeder, you may need to pay more and wait longer.
The additional money and waiting time will be well worth it. Buy a puppy in haste from a newspaper ad, pet store or ?backyard breeder?, and you?ll likely also purchase a great deal of additional expense and heartache, since you will likely end up falling in love with a puppy with health and behavioral problems that will likely need special care, plenty of veterinary visits, regular medication ? or even euthanasia.
But do your homework and find a responsible, caring Shichon breeder who home-raises their puppies with love, screens their breeding dogs for health problems, offers a health guarantee and post sale support, and who genuinely loves the Shichon breed and is in it for the love of the breed, rather than profit, and you can be fairly well assured of getting a healthy, happy, long lived and affectionate family companion that will provide you and your family with many years of joy, laughter and companionship.