Meet the Shichon (Zuchon) Dog Breed
What’s the recipe for one of the world’s most adorable designer dogs? Take 1 healthy, happy AKC registered Shih-tzu and cross with 1 healthy, happy AKC registered Bichon Frise. Add plenty of love and tender care, and you’ve got the Shichon, one of the cutest canine companions you’ll find anywhere.
Shichon Zuchon History
A designer dog breed, the Zuchon (Shichon) is a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Shih-Tzu. The breed is currently recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club as the Zuchon, but many designer dog breeders refer to this hybrid breed as the Shichon.
Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) come in a variety of colors (as a result of the Shih-Tzu side of the family). Colors include tan, liver, black and tan, liver and white, apricot, white, and occasionally black brindle, and black and white.
Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) have big, round, expressive brown eyes that melt hearts with relative ease and help them get away with begging at the table and the occasional accident.
Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) have a glorious, fluffy tail that is carried high over the back, and a plush coat that gives them the look of a teddy bear. Cuteness personified!
Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) are a freindly, fun-loving, playful and alert dog who possess intelligence, dignity and curiosity in abundance. Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) are highly devoted to their owners, and although they love everyone in the family, they usually bond with one person in particular, and will follow that person whereever they may go.
Yappiness is not an issue with the Shichon – this breed is fairly quiet, although they will certainly alert you to the presence of intruders, the mailman, or anyone else who should arrive at your door.
Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) are excellent with children and quite a tolerant breed where kids are concerned. That being said, any dog breed can be provoked into nipping or growling when in pain or in fear of their safety. No matter how gentle the breed, no toddler should ever be left unsupervised around a dog or puppy – both for the sake of the dog or puppy – and the toddler. The Shichon is no exception. If you have small children, you may want to wait a few years until your kids are old enough to respect a dog or puppy and treat it with kindness. Failing that, at the very least, make sure that your children are always supervised when your dog or puppy is near them.
Shichon Exercise Info
The Shichon is good for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) are active little dogs and play will take care of most of their exercise needs, but they do love walks and especially love to romp in the open.
With the Shichon, play will take care of most of their exercise needs, however your dog or puppy will gladly accompany you on a walk or visit to the local park.
Shichon Grooming Info
This mixed breed dog needs quite a bit of grooming, but the Shichon sheds very little and is said to be good for allergy suffers.
This, of course, depends on the person with the allergy problem, the severity of the allergy problem, and varies from dog to dog. There is no such thing as a “hypo-allergenic” dog breed, but several breeds (particularly mixed breeds who posess a single coat, such as the Shichon) are generally better tolerated by allergy sufferers. These dogs shed very little and have less dander.
If you are an allergy sufferer and are hoping to find a dog or puppy that you can live with, the best course of action is to spend some time (a few hours) in the presence of your breeder’s dogs and puppies to see how you respond or react. This will help you avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a puppy – then discovering that your health condition prevents you from keeping it.
Shichon Zuchon Training Info
The Shichon is fairly easy to obedience train. Housebreaking can be a bit of a challenge, however. Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) need to be constantly supervised during the first few weeks they are with you to ensure that they get the hang of your bathroom expectations of them. Being descended from the Bichon Frise (or should we say “Pees Where They Please”), makes them a somewhat more difficult to housetrain, but certainly worth the effort!
Shichon Health Info
Most hybrid dog breeds, when selectively bred from healthy parent dogs exhibit what is called “Hybrid Vigor” – natures way of passing on healthy traits and eliminating unhealthy ones. When two purebred dogs are crossed, the gene pool is virtually doubled, making genetic disorders less likely to occur in the resulting puppies.
That being said, there is no 100% guarantee when it comes to canine genetics, and recessive health traits can show up even in the offspring of healthy, disease free dogs.
Your best insurance when it comes to finding a healthy Shichon (or any purebred or mixed breed dog for that matter) is to seek out the most responsible, reputable breeder you can find. A responsible breeder will care far more about the healthy, longevity and well-being of her puppies than about making a profit. (Most responsible breeders barely break even – they breed out of love for their breed and a desire to improve on the health and temperament of their puppies with each breeding.
Shichon puppies can inherit health conditions that are prevalent in either the Bichon Frise or Shih-
Tzu dog breeds.
Shichon Right Breed Info
Zuchon (Shichon) dogs thrive on human companionship, and really shouldn’t be left by themselves for more than a couple of hours at a time. If you must be absent for long periods of time during the day or night, consider getting 2 dogs, or hiring a pet sitter to visit your precious pooch during your absence.
Shichons (Zuchons, Teddy Bears) get along really well with children and other pets, are a great choice for seniors, handicapped dog lovers and apartment dwellers. If you are looking for an absolutely adorable dog to add plenty of love, joy, laughter and companionship to your life, then a Shichon could very well be the breed for you.