When a bichon frise and a Shih Tzu fall in love, a cute and fuzzy mixed breed dog going by the name of “shichon” is born. Also known as zuchon, teddy bear dog or rag doll dog, the shichon is a spunky little dog who loves to play. With two appealing purebred dogs as parents, this crossbreed is often advertised as offering the best of both worlds.
The shichon is not a purebred dog. When two different purebred dogs such as the bichon frise and the Shih Tzu are crossed, the result is a hybrid, also known as a “designer dog.” Unlike purebred dogs, hybrids are less predictable and don’t breed “true” as purebred dogs do, which is why hybrids have no breed standard to adhere to. To know what to expect in a shichon, you may have a rough idea by looking at the parents; however, consider that genetic characteristics tend to sort out randomly in hybrid dogs.
An Appealing Designer Dog
With the bichon frise and the Shih Tzu as parents, it makes sense for the shichon to be on the smaller size. On average, expect most shichons to measure anywhere between 9 and 12 inches at the withers and to weigh anywhere between 7 and 12 pounds. To have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to size, your best bet is to take a glimpse back into the last five generations. However, sometimes some pups will fool you and turn out being bigger or even smaller than their parents, warns Fuzzy Wuzzy Pups, a company run by a breeder who specializes in producing quality shichon puppies in Missouri.
Potential for a Wonderful Temperament
Shichon are known for being spunky little dogs who love to entertain their owners with their antics. With two lap dogs as parents, shichon turn out to be very affectionate dogs who crave the company of people. These smart dogs do best in a home where they can get lots of attention and where they aren’t left home alone for extended periods of time. As with all breeds of dogs, shichon puppies require a good dose of socialization with people, dogs and other animals.
Loved by Allergy Sufferers
While it’s true that no breed is 100 percent hypoallergenic, it can’t be denied that some dogs breeds are better tolerated by allergy sufferers than others. Both the bichon frise and the Shih Tzu are considered to be less likely to stir up allergies because of their type of coat. The shichon may therefore make the perfect pet for a person suffering from allergies, but it’s important to point out that there’s no guarantee that a shichon will turn out to be well tolerated by allergy sufferers. Because of this, reputable shichon breeders shouldn’t guarantee their pups as being hypoallergenic.
Use Caution in the Health Department
Sometimes unethical breeders advertise hybrids as being healthier than purebred dogs because of the broader gene pool, but this hasn’t always proven to be true. As other hybrid dogs, shichons can potentially inherit breed-specific diseases found in their parent’s lineage. A recent study conducted by the University of California, Davis found that mixed breed dogs don’t necessarily have a less likely chance to inherit canine disorders, so if you’re looking for a shichon puppy, request to see the same health clearances you’d expect from a breeder of purebreds.