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Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix (ShiChi): Breed Information, Puppy Prices & More

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Last Updated: April 10, 2024 | 10 min read | 12 Comments

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The mix of the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu makes a lively, courageous, happy, and loyal companion. These two toy breeds make an exceptional cuddle buddy that will want to sit on your lap in between play sessions. Although the ShiChi or Chi Tzu is small, their personality is unmatched. Is the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix right for you?

The Chihuahua is known for its spunky, outgoing nature, and so is the Shih Tzu. You probably couldn’t find a better combination breed as their personalities are so alike. These designer dogs are bred solely for companionship, though with their loud bark, you’d think they were guard dogs.

Similar to most toy breeds, a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is suitable for first-time dog owners. Their small size makes them perfect for a small family or a small apartment roommate. ShiChi’s thrive in most environments as they don’t require a lot of space. They’ll want to be near you and the family, but they’re likely to pick favorites. Let’s get into the details and learn more about the adorable and unforgettable ShiChi.

ShiChi
    • weight iconWeight5-12 Pounds
    • height iconHeight8-10 Inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan12-15 Years
    • color iconColorsBlack, White, Brown, Fawn, Cream, and Gray
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Exercise Needs
  • Puppy Costs

Designer Toy Breed

A “designer dog” is any mix between two purebred parents. For any mixed breed to be classified as a designer, the parents would have to be bred purely for generations until the point of being bred with another breed. A true purebred dog will have puppies with the same characteristics and temperament as their parents.

The ShiChi is one of the few mixed breeds recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Clube, the Designer Breed Registry, the Dog Registry of America, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and the International Designer Canine Registry. This makes the breed easier to find than most other designer dogs.

The benefit of owning a purebred with proper papers is you’ll have a reasonable estimate of how your puppy might act. With a designer dog, you don’t have that luxury. The puppies could take characteristics from either parent. However, this is the only huge negative to owning a designer dog (unless you care about coat color).

Designer dogs are less likely to inherit diseases than their purebred parents, which can be a lifesaver for certain breeds. Keep in mind that not all designer dogs have to be completely purebred, as some crosses require a less-even split.

Toy refers to the size of the dog breed and how likely the breed is to grow past a certain point. Toy dogs are going to be tiny: they’re the smallest breeds you can find.

Parent Breeds

Getting to know the parent breeds of any mixed pup is the best way to understand what your designer puppy might be like. Because they are a mixed breed, there is a bit of unpredictability in both personality and appearance. Let’s look at both the Chihuahua and Shih Tzu parents.

Shih Tzu

Female groomer brushing Shih Tzu at grooming salon.

Known as the “Lion Dog” by the Chinese, this breed is one of the most photographed dogs on the planet. The celebrity breed is famous for its elegance and beauty, but its personality shows an entirely different side.

These tiny pups are quite independent. Shih Tzus make excellent watchdogs because of their loud bark and because they were initially bred for this purpose.

Shih Tzus are also spunky, outgoing, alert, playful, brave, fierce, and fun-loving. They love to make friends with adults, children, and other dogs. You can bet the Shih Tzu runs up to you when you open the door, even if you’re a stranger. Just watch out for the protective nature of their fur parents.

All in all, Shih Tzus are tiny little sweethearts who are well-mannered when trained right. They require little grooming, are easy to train, and require little exercise to stay healthy. Shih Tzus live approximately 13 years and weigh no more than 16 lbs. The Shih Tzu is a great parent breed for many mixes due to their laid-back personality.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua on a scale.

Although tiny, the Chihuahua is a fierce, loyal breed that likes to make their presence known. Timid isn’t in their dictionary. These tiny pups are full of heart. They are well known for squaring up even the most giant dogs. Chihuahuas know what they want and how to get it.

These purse puppies are often loyal to one person and one person only. This doesn’t mean they aren’t friendly, as they love everyone in their extended family. However, the Chihuahua often wants affection from their favorite person and shies away from others.

Chihuahuas must be trained to promote positive behavior, as their owners often overlook this. Socializing this breed is very important, or you might have a terror on your hands. No one likes a spoiled brat. Chihuahuas can have both an apple-shaped head and a deer-shaped head.

They require little grooming, are average to train, and require a minimum amount of exercise. Chihuahuas have a lifespan of approximately 16 years and won’t weigh any more than 6 pounds. Because of their size and zest for life, they are often mixed with many other breeds.

Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix (ShiChi)

There are no records of who first created the mixed breed ShiChi, but it’s possible that they were created during the late 21st century or maybe in the early 2000s. Establishing uniformity with the breed’s characteristics, health, behavior, and temperament is difficult with any mixed breed, but it’s more difficult if they’re a recent mix without valid paperwork.

The ShiChi will likely take after their parents, so if you can ask the breeder to see the papers, you’ll have a better idea. For example, if your ShiChi’s Shih Tzu parents have a long coat, they may have a long coat. They can also inherit their coloring and behavior from their parents as well.

You’ll likely get a fearless, loyal, outgoing watchdog that loves people. Their trainability can be varied as the Shih Tzu trains more easily than the Chihuahua.

Personality & Temperament

ShiChis have a huge personality that does not match their small size. These pups love attention and are happy to spend every minute by your side. They are confident and always love to be the center of attention. ShiChis are happy to be lap dogs or carried about in a purse. Regardless of where they are, they are loyal companions and will defend you against any and all perceived threats.

ShiChis may be a bit stubborn and can become clingy, so you must have plenty of time to give to them. Watch out for small dog behavior like nipping. While it doesn’t hurt, it can become a bad habit that is hard to break. Because they are so small and cue, these petite pups can get away with a lot of bad behavior.

Appearance & Size

The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is tiny, weighing between five and 12 pounds and standing just eight to 10 inches tall as adults. They have tiny bodies with rounded heads. Expect a pup with floppy ears, though some stick up straight and adorable round to almond-shaped eyes. The eye color is usually dark, often a shade of deep brown. They frequently have a curious look, drawing everyone under their sweet spell.

Chi Tzus have rounded bodies with smooth hair. They can take after the Shih Tzu parent or Chihuahua parent and look or may seem like a mix of both parent breeds. Regardless, you can expect a fuzzy ball of cuteness.

Coat & Grooming

A Chi Tzu’s coat color ranges from black to white and everything in between, including brown, fawn, cream, and mixed. Take a look at their parents to see what the puppy litter most likely resembles.

ShiChis can have short or long coats and shed regularly. Grooming won’t be an issue if your fur baby has a short coat. It’s still necessary to brush them once weekly to keep their coat clean, as being closer to the ground means they’ll get dirtier faster. The closer your ShiChi’s coat is to the Shih Tzus, the more likely you’ll have to brush them daily to remove any clumps, mats, or tangles.

If your ShiChi has a long coat, you should bathe them at least once a month while grooming them regularly. Nails should be clipped or ground as a part of their grooming routine, and so should cleaning their ears. Look for inflammation, discharge, or foul odor. Always brush their teeth once or twice weekly to keep them from visiting the doggy dentist.

Training

Don’t make the mistake of not training a small dog. They still need just as much care as a big dog and need to be socialized early so they don’t bark at every stranger they see. Even if your puppy is well-mannered, playful, and full of energy, you still need to approach them like any other dog.

Small dogs have smaller bladders and need a good amount of potty training. A ShiChi may be difficult to potty train at first as they are also stubborn. Multiple accidents can happen overnight when they’re puppies. Have patience when teaching your ShiChi, as they have two pet parents who are proud and excitable.

This doesn’t mean they’re difficult to train. ShiChi’s just need a little bit of ego-stroking by giving praise and treats when they do something you like. If you reward them for good behavior, they quickly want to imitate it to get your attention.

Exercise & Living Conditions

Apartments are great homes for the tiny ShiChi as they require little space and almost no exercise. You won’t have to walk your companion every day. Playing with them by tossing a ball or running around the apartment for 30 minutes is enough to satisfy their exercise needs.

Play is the ShiChi’s favorite exercise method, so play with them to your heart’s content. They even like to play with small children or other adults in the house. Make sure children understand that the ShiChi is small and needs to be petted gently.

ShiChi’s are indoor dogs and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. They have bad separation anxiety and would prefer to travel with you on your shopping trips. They’re also more likely to sleep with you, so letting them on your furniture is necessary. You may want to consider crate training to keep them safe and secure when you are away.

We cannot stress the importance of training enough, as poorly trained dogs could develop “small dog syndrome,” found in small dogs that aren’t trained or socialized properly. Since the ShiChi is easy to train with positive reinforcement, this is unlikely to occur if you have the patience to train them daily.

Health

Toy breeds are often healthy but have a higher risk of hypoglycemia than the average-sized dog. This happens when you don’t feed your dog enough. You’ll likely want to feed them less due to their small stature, but they use up their energy quickly because they’re so hyperactive.

This can be remedied if you feed them in small portions multiple times daily. Make sure to go to the vet once your puppy reaches adulthood so they can determine your pup’s calorie needs.

ShiChi’s are also at risk for breathing issues and other health concerns like luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and cataracts. Overall, your ShiChi has a good chance of being healthy over the long term. Of course, proper veterinary care, lifestyle, and a healthy diet factor in. ShiChis generally have an average lifespan between 12 and 15 years.

Nutrition

Since ShiChis are small, they don’t have high-calorie needs. This also means they’re at a higher risk of becoming obese, so care should be taken when feeding these pups regularly. Look for high-quality fresh dog food or a small or toy breed-specific food formula. Age-specific recipes are a good pick as well, as puppies, adults, and senior dogs all have different nutritional needs.

Please pay attention to your dogs’ activity levels, as the more they like to play, the more they’ll want to and need to eat. Usually, half a cup to a cup of food per day is recommended for a Shi Chi, depending on their size.

However, pay attention to the number of calories in your dogs’ food instead of how many cups you should feed them daily, as dog food varies significantly in calories. You won’t want to accidentally overfeed your dog because you were going by measurements instead of calories.

As Family Pets

ShiChi’s love to be the center of attention in your household, so give them lots of love, but are they a good match for your family?

  • The ShiChi is a friendly, fun dog that loves everyone, including children and other pets.
  • Proper socialization and training help ensure they don’t bark whenever someone comes to the door.
  • They don’t require a lot of room. A small apartment is optimal to house them.
  • Grooming requirements are low if their coat is short and high if their fur is long.
  • Weekly baths are also required for longer coats.
  • ShiChi’s don’t shed, so they can be considered hypoallergenic.
  • Playing is the ShiChi’s favorite way to get exercise.
  • Lazy is a foreign word to the ShiChi. These are extremely active pups.
  • Shichi’s personality is a big dog in a small package.
  • These pups require a lot of love and praise.
  • Health problems are very minimal, and most of them have to do with being overweight or old age.
  • As long as they’re well looked after when they’re young, most health problems are unlikely to develop.

If this sounds like the companion you want to take home, keep reading below on how to find one.

Breeders & Puppy Prices

Finding the ShiChi anywhere in North America won’t be challenging, as most of their owners live on that continent. ShiChi puppies can range from about $300 to $1,200, depending on the quality, breeder, location, and availability.

A reputable breeder is essential for a mixed breed because you’ll want to see the papers of their purebred parents. You can search for rescues if you’re not interested in getting your puppy from a breeder. Contact your local Chihuahua and Shih Tzu clubs for local breeders and rescues.

ShiChi Rescues

Since both the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua are popular breeds, you might find a rescue pretty easily. They are more likely to be adopted than larger breeds, so if you see one in the shelter, I would go down and adopt it right away.

This option is cheaper, with the only negative being not knowing the dog’s parents and history. Still, these pets need loving homes and can make great companions, whether purebred or not.

Other Mixed Breeds To Consider

Both the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu are popular patent breeds for mixes. If you are unsure whether this tiny tot is right for you, there are a few others to consider. Perhaps a Shih Tzu Pomeranian, Shorkie, Shihpoo, or Chug might be a better fit. Small dogs like this generally have huge personalities, and though they are small in size, they tend to be quite a handful.

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