Are you looking for an affectionate, intelligent, small dog, one which is high energy, yet one which loves attention? Consider the Shichon, which is known as the teddy bear dog. The Shichon is a mix of 2 breeds, gaining the most valuable characteristics of each separate breed. As a result, this dog both gives and craves affection. The Shichon is known as a loving dog.
- The Shichon is not a purebred dog; it is a crossbred between 2 dogs, the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise.
- These can arrive in a multitude of colors; several of which may be on one dog. The colors include white and black, silver, cream, chocolate, and white and brown. The colors could be solid or patchy.
- These dogs do not shed very much hair, but daily brushing of their hair does reduce matting. They are good for people with allergies.
- Do not plan to leave these dogs alone very much. They need the companionship, as do most owners.
- Shichons make excellent emotional support and therapy animals because of their gentile and intuitive nature.
- These dogs have high levels of energy. They like to play fetch and chase people around and can enjoy a half-hour walk.
- Shichons like pets and children, but because of their small size, they are easily injured. Play between children and Shichons should be supervised.
Dog breeders bred the Shichon from the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise 20 to 30 years ago. Part of the reason for the intentional mix was to produce a small dog which fit in well with families and with people who have allergies. Demand has increased since the initial pairing.
This is a small breed, most weighing between 9 and 15 pounds and between 9 and 12 inches high at the shoulder. If either of their parents were exceptionally small or large, the result would tend to be a dog outside of these normal bounds.
These dogs are known as being intelligent and extroverted. In spite of being a small dog, they do not bark very much. They would typically like a quick run in the yard a few times and then come back inside to snuggle up with the owner. They do make excellent watch dogs and tend to be on the clingy side. They are commonly known to exhibit anxiety if left alone very much.
The Shichon is known for a high level of intelligence accompanied by a stubborn streak. This can make potty training a bit difficult, though they can be trained either to go indoors on a potty pad, or outside on or off the leash.
The Shichon has inherited a few health issues. These include:
- Allergies and sensitive skin
- Dry eye syndrome
- Patellar Luxation
- Cushing’s Disease
- Gum issues
Your Shichon should probably have a veterinarian checkup at least yearly to ensure good health in your dog. This mix is prone to gain weight, so regular exercise, including a half-hour walk, is a good idea. This dog also is known to grow long hair, so routine clipping of its hair is necessary, particularly around the eyes so it can see. Also, a daily routine should include checking the ears for debris.
As with other small breed dogs, this breed needs daily brushing of its teeth to maintain its health. Your veterinarian can instruct you in this daily chore.
You should pay particular attention to the feeding of this breed, since they tend to overeat. Since they are high energy, gaining weight is not necessary; you just have to learn not to overfeed and to give adequate daily exercise.
The breed can have a variety of hair textures since their parents had different textures. Daily brushing of the hair is important to prevent matting. Regular cutting of hair is also important since this breed is known for growing long hair. A Shichon is pretty sensitive to temperature so should not be exposed to very cold or hot temperatures for extended time periods
Other Pets and Children
The Shichon should be introduced to other pets and children as a puppy and be supervised during this time. This because the mix is fairly fragile and can break a limb easily. However, this dog loves children and can get along well with other pets if the introduction is done carefully.