The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix, or Shichi, is a toy dog with a plus sized personality. They are around 10 inches high and weigh up to 15lbs. This hybrid designer dog is loyal, confident, tenacious and loving. It combines the energetic, playful Shih Tzu with the sassy Chihuahua. Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes have deep eyes, medium to long coats, loving faces and sturdy bodies. Although they are very affectionate to their families, they can also be great watchdogs and even protective guard dogs. Despite being on a lapdog, apartment pet sized scale! Today we’ll look at the breed traits, characteristics, personalities and coat types that go into the cute Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix. We’ll share how to find healthy, happy Shichi puppies
- What is a Shichi?
- What do Shih Tzu Chihuahua mixes look like?
- Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix grooming and shedding
- How big are Shihchi dogs?
- Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dogs friendly?
- Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix puppies
The vocal little Shichi is prone to barking, but this dog is also smart and trainable. That means that using positive reinforcement of their quieter periods of time, you can help them to learn to sound off less often! Although energetic, they don’t need a huge amount of exercise and can have some health problems that make over heating and breathing issues a potential problem.
Where Does the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Come From?
When two different purebred dogs like the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua are bred together the result is referred to as a hybrid breed or designer dog. They are a recent mix and as such we need to delve into the history of the parent breeds to learn more about their origins.
Born to the lap of luxury, the Shih Tzu was developed in the palace of the Chinese Emperor centuries ago. These regal lap dogs are thought to be the result of crossing the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese.
The Chihuahua is thought to be a smaller version of the Techichi of the Toltec civilization. The exact ancestry of the world’s smallest recognized dog breed is a little cloudy. But there’s no debate that they’re closely associated with the Mexican State of Chihuahua, from which they get their name.
- The name Shih Tzu translates to “lion dog.”
- The breed almost disappeared during the first half of the 20th century.
- Today the lineage of all Shih Tzus can be traced back to just 7 male and 7 female Shih Tzus.
- The breed is more than 1,000 years old.
- Like human babies, Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on the top of their skull called a molera.
- The smallest living dog is a Chihuahua named Milly who stands just 3.8 inches tall.
- Chihuahuas have the biggest brains of all dog breeds in relation to their size.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Appearance
Like any hybrid, the appearance of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can vary depending upon which parent they take after. Puppies could resemble a tinier Shih Tzu with a shorter coat or a larger Chihuahua with long, flowing tresses.
Colors include black, brown, white, cream, tan, black & white, or brown & white. They usually have a round face with ears that can pop-up like the Chihuahua’s or be floppy like the Shih Tzu’s.
Grooming a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix
The coat of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua can be short, medium or long, or perhaps a mix, so grooming requirements will depend upon which parent they favor.
A longer coat will tend to be wavy and need to be brushed daily, for shorter coats, two to three brushings a week should suffice.
Neither the Shih Tzu nor the Chihuahua sheds much.
Pay close attention to their teeth, eyes, and ears Their teeth should be brushed daily, ears should have excess wax or debris removed to avoid ear infections. And the corners of the eyes should be gently cleaned with a damp cloth.
Shichis tend to stand no more than 10 inches tall and weigh between 5 and 16 pounds.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Temperament
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix will be bold, confident and independent. Although affectionate they will want to spend time together on their own terms. They are smart, sassy dogs with a spirited and lively charming personality.
However, each dog has its own personality, and when you factor in the traits of two different breeds, the outcome is quite variable. Both the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua are very loyal and adore being the center of attention. Each of these dogs also has a spirted side and snapping and growling is not uncommon for either breed.
Are Chihuahua Mixes Aggressive?
Don’t let their size fool you, Chihuahuas can be aggressive. This trait can be passed on to their mix breed puppies, but can also be avoided through picking a puppy with a friendly Chihuahua parent.
Early socialization is important for the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix as they tend to be lively and excitable.
Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes Good with Kids?
This is not the ideal breed to have around young children. The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix is small and delicate and needs to be handled with care as they can be easily injured if accidentally dropped or stepped on.
Training your Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix
Potty training is one of the first things you’ll want your Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix to learn. Unfortunately, both parent breeds have a reputation for being tough to potty train, so start establishing a daily routine right away for the best results.
The feisty little Chihuahua needs training as it also has a tendency for guarding and barking. To avoid barking while you’re away, consider crate training. If they become comfortable in their crate, it will reduce barking that results from separation anxiety.
The Shih Tzu can be a charmer, and it’s easy to let him have his way. Early socialization and positive reinforcement training that uses rewards to encourage good behaviors is the best way to get a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix to do what you want.
The Shichi is a house companion who will require short daily walks and some regular indoor or outdoor playtime.
Avoid overexerting a little dog. If he’s panting to keep up when you’re out for a walk, pick him up and carry him home.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Health
Although all purebred dog breeds come with certain health concerns, these two little dogs each have more than their share of serious health problems to contend with.
The Shih Tzu is prone to serious conformation-related problems. They’re considered a brachycephalic breed, which means that their adorable flat face causes them some serious breathing issues. The disproportion of a long back and short legs also makes them prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease, a serious and painful condition. The Shih Tzu is also at risk for a long list of eye problems including:
- Corneal ulcers
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Retinal detachment
- Third eyelid gland prolapse
For a little dog the Chihuahua has some big potential health problems and many are associated with their size. Tooth decay and gum disease are a problem because their teeth don’t have enough room in their tiny mouths. Daily teeth brushing, limiting sugar consumption, and regular dental checkups are a must for the Chihuahua. They are also prone to:
- Nectrozing meningoencephalitis
- Patellar luxation
- Heart disease
- Tracheal collapse.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Lifespan
Small dog breeds tend to live longer than large dogs, and mixes have a better average lifespan than purebred dogs. The Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 10 to 18 years and the Chihuahua has a lifespan of 14 to 16 years. So you can hope for your Shichi to live well into their teens!
Feeding Your Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix
The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix will do well on a high quality dog food that’s appropriate to their age. Small dogs like the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua are prone to obesity, so watch their calorie consumption, including treats.
Being excessively overweight can lead to heart disease and diabetes, increases wear and tear on their joints, and can shorten their lifespan.
The best food for Shih Tzu and Chihuahua puppies is high in protein and low in carbs.
Do Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
Due to the numerous structural defects and health concerns that both parent breeds are susceptible to, we regrettably cannot recommend the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix. For this reason we suggest you consider rescuing an adult dog from a shelter rather than buying a puppy.
- Both parent breeds have a risk of numerous health concerns that can be passed along to their offspring
- Can be temperamental
- They make loyal companions
- Don’t require much in the way of exercise.
Rescuing a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix
Rescuing a dog from a shelter will not only give a dog a second chance, it also gives you the opportunity to see exactly what kind of dog you’re getting. It also means you are not supporting puppy mills.
Finding a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix puppy
If you do decide to get a puppy, never buy one from a pet store as almost all of these dogs come from puppy mills. These are large breeding facilities that care far more about profits than the well-being of the animals.
It’s not uncommon for these puppies to be born into overcrowded and unsanitary conditions and receive little to no veterinary care. The huge popularity of mixed and miniature breeds has only increased the incidence of these horrendous breeding factories.
Avoid the tiniest dogs or breeders who advertise “teacup” puppies. Find a reputable breeder who does genetic health screenings on all of their breeding stock to produce puppies who are as healthy as possible. This puppy search article is a step-by-step guide to finding the puppy that’s right for you.
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Products and Accessories
These brushes were made for taming the high maintenance fur of the Shih Tzu.
Chihuahuas can be prone to dry skin and other skin problems. This shampoo is formulated to keep their coat and skin in top condition and smelling sweet.
The tiny Chihuahua is vulnerable to the cold. Check out these fabulous fashions that will keep them warm and stylish.
A harness designed for a Chihuahua will remove pressure on their delicate windpipe and also make it hard for them to slip out of it.
Similar Breed Mixes and Breeds
There are a lot of Chihuahua mixes around at the moment.
But you don’t need a Chihuahua to find a great dog.
Here are some small dogs with a healthier conformation that you might want to consider:
Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Rescues
This is a growing list of Shih Tzu and Chihuahua rescue organizations.
Post your organizations details in the comments box below if you would like us to add you to the list.
- Shih Tzu Rescue
- Shih Tzu Action Rescue
- Canada Shih Tzu Rescue
- New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue
- Chihuahua Rescue UK
- Chihuahua Rescue Australia
- Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport
- Chihuahua Rescue and Transport.
Is a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Right For Me?
Although the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix has a lot in the way of looks and personality to recommend them, this is definitely a mixed breed who will require a lot of special care.
Whether you decide on a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix or another small breed, think about adopting from a shelter.
Not only will you know exactly what you’re getting in terms of size, appearance, and temperament, you’ll also be saving the life of a dog.
Do you own a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix? We’d love to hear about him or her in the comments below!
References and resources
- Duffy et al., 2008. “Breed differences in canine aggression,” Applied Animal Behavior Science.
- Emmerson, T. 2014. “Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome: a growing problem,” Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Itoh et al. 2008, “A Retrospective Study of Intervertebral Disc Herniation in Dogs in Japan: 297 Cases,” Journal of Veterinary Medical Science.
- Christmas, RE, 1992. “Common ocular problems of Shin Tzu dogs,” The Canadian Veterinary Journal.
- Capík, I., 2010. “Periodontal Health vs. Various Preventive Means in Toy Dog Breeds,” Acta Vet. Brno.
- Kanemaki et al. 2013, “Dogs and Humans Share a Common Susceptibility Gene SRBD1 for Glaucoma Risk,” PLOS One.
I was given a 4momth old by longtime friends who realized she’d b happier elsewhere! (They’re truckers and on rd a lot) She is very smart, housebroken in 2wks. Learned sit and lay, working on wait, sits b4 eating and goes straight into crate at bedtime. And she’s still in training!!!! At 5mos now she weighs 10lbs up from 6 last month. I hadn’t heard of this mix til my friend got Zoey, now I think she’s the greatest!!! She’s energetic, but quiet, loving, and absolutely loves each of my grandkids to death! I have 5 other small dogs and they play and love each other w Zoey being the biggest. I’d recommend this breed to anyone!!!
I had one for 13 years – he was the most loving, smart guy ever, and was a breeze to train to go out to potty. I miss him so much. I wish I could find another like him. But – he was one of a kind. ❤
Tammy Mahan says
I have a 8 year old shichi female who is the sweetest ever. She was incredibly easy to potty train…she almost did it herself. She is create trained even to the point where if she sees us getting ready to leave she goes to her crate on her own. She hits the crate at around 9 each night for bed even if we are still up. She is very playful and loves her ball. She wouldn’t harm anyone…never bites even during playing. I couldn’t ask for a better dog.
Dr. J says
My Chi-tzu is a very active 16 week old male who is full of energy, loves to cuddle, eats all day, and plays all day. He is already doing tricks but he is HARD to potty train. In the past I’ve had poodles and they were easier to train. But this guy is stubborn! He’s also chewing up the pee pads as well as my furniture…….and yes he has plenty of toys. His temperament is new for me. He has a big fenced backyard to play in, but he’d rather be inside. He doesn’t want to go for walks but if we stay outback with him he’d stay all day. But if we head towards the door he’s definitely going to head for the door like a rocket! Lol
He’s very entertaining but the potty training is wearing us out.
My Shichi is now 7 months old , we got him at 6 weeks old. Hes very very smart and listens very well. Hes very attached to us tho andbhates for us to leave to go anywhere without him but hes so excited to see us when we get back. He was easy to house train because we were very consistent with taking him outside from the time we got him. Hes very playful but hes so spoiled he pouts when hes not getting the attention he wants lol. I absolutely adore him but I think I’m going to have to get another one because he likes to play his sister used to live next door and they moved and I see a difference in him . He still will grab a toy when he runs outside looking for her to play then realizes she’s not there and sits down and I swear it seems like hes heartbroken some. He misses her.
I have an 8 year old ShiChi, he was hard to train and it took a solid 3 to 4 years before he got the concept of not in the house down. He’s incredibly smart and stubborn. He’s a yapper and though I’ve spent years trying to curb this, I finally had to resort to a citronella bark collar, he curbed his excessive barking in 2 days flat. I find at least with my dog that he’s not untrainable, just incredibly strong willed. He loyal, sweet, playful, and I have never had issue with him around children. He loves to play with them. It requires monitoring, especially if children are small because they can harm him. The other thing is his climbing, he likes to climb on people so I have to make sure he doesn’t climb up on small children. But other than that he’s been good and healthy. I have to watch his knees though, which is something I don’t think this article mentioned.
Brittany Morse says
yes i have an girl Shi/Chi dog. She is sometimes good but mostly bad. she don’t listen to anything you tell her. even if you reward her to go outside to pee or poop. she still don’t listen. i have 2 other dogs and she will try to keep playing with the other dogs and they can not enjoy using the restroom. she is crate training but however she still like to pee and poop in the crate. she constantly try to bite us. I had thought I had gotten a shorkie and as time went by I end up getting an Shi.Chi. it have been several times that I want to give her up to someone else that can deal with her. they are never a dull movement at all with her. she just like to be center of attention and don’t care what she do to the others. she bite they tail, bite the leg and ear. she even tried to bit my family and I. but she can be good but if you ask me she is good 2 days of 7 days a week. good luck to whomever is looking for an dog like that.
Antonia Reed says
I have a 2year old ShihChi Isabella. She’s hard to potty train. I take her to the pad every couple of hours. She manages to pee on the pad but the poor is off. I’ve always had male Shih Tzus who were very easy to train. Other than the training she’s a very cute and loveable little girl.
Lisa Hollister says
I got my ShiChi from a friend who couldn’t potty train her. She was around a year old and already had 2 homes previously. She has been the best dog my husband and I have ever owned combined from our lifetimes! She does so many tricks, she sits on our shoulder when we’re driving like a parrot would, she sleeps under our covers in bed with us, she only barks at cats that come too close to our yard, or at men she doesn’t like or know( but we feel she may have been abused by one at some point). She is very laid back and curious in nature. She was a bit nippy when we had our daughter but was easy to train to walk away from a situation that will get her into trouble. She now sleeps on our daughter’s pillow when she takes a nap. I can’t imagine not having her in our lives. We’ll be devastated when she’s gone.
Was she hard o potty train?
Ruthie Spiller says
A coworker gave me my ShihTzu/Chicuahuas mix male. He is 7 years old. I got him when he was 5 weeks old. He was hard to train; but we love him so much. The Vet is telling me he weighs too much. He weighs 23 pounds. He is lovable and stubborn. He hates my daughter’s Chihuahuas. He loves to follow us around the house; loves to eat.
i got mines when it was 7 weeks and now it is 7 months just get a cage and get him toys and play with him and im 13
I have a 7 month old Chihuahua and Shih Tzu mix.
I got him for a present from my son and daughter just as lock down came into being. Because of this he was unable to have his injections, so for 16 weeks I made a carrier for him and went out each day in the fields behind the cottage.
Unfortunately because of this I it was just the two of us and he couldn’t play out or be house trained.
He suffers from severe separation anxiety, even if I do in another room.
Bless him he has so many issues, incessant barking is one. He hates going in the car, taking him for a walk is getting more and more harder he just barks non stop and people other dogs objects anything.. he is adorable and I love home some much.. but it is so hard, even though I active.. and love to keep myself busy I am not as young as I think I am I just want to be able to take him for walks without feeling anxiety issues myself because of the non stop barking.
Please don’t think I haven’t tried many things because I have. There are pet remedy plug in sachets of pet remedy all around the latest acquisition is a thunder shirt. No help at all soft muzzle to stop him pick everything that moves up and eating it etc etc..
We just need help and advice that’s maybe does work.
i have one too
John H says
I rescued mine from an adoption organization five months ago. He is very reserved and quiet in public places, but at home he is a playful clown. He does not have separation anxiety but he cannot resist getting into the kitchen trash when he is by himself. I have to empty my trash or put the trash can behind a shut door before I leave. Besides that he is a perfect dog.
Emma Cass says
I have a 16 month old that is mostly a Shih you/Chihuahua mix with some bichon, yorkie and Maltese mixed in, a pure mutt. She’s very sweet, terrible to potty train (she pees on my couch, but we’re working on it) and pretty obnoxious to my older dog. But so cute and charming that we forgive all her naughtiness. Wondering at what age she might mature a bit, hoping that’s 17 months!
We just lost our15.5 year old female. Sh was funny, stubborn, loyal, ferocious and beloved. She was full of “tricks” to the end and we would Love to have another friend like her!
We got her from a breeder in Bonham TX.
Alvin Neely says
I would love to have another male because he was so friendly easy twell maneo train ,we went ever
Where together .
I have a Shichi, she’s 4 years old very cuddly and spoiled. She loves being at the center of attention, she’s smart, and she tries to talk. She loves my family members and kids too, she hasn’t been doing great with other dogs. Potty training her wasn’t very difficult. She loves to play catch, does get skin allergies but is in good health overall.
jane sanford says
i have one . his name is pudgie, got him from the shelter in bath mew york . i got him back in 2015.he is my baby. i couldnt imagine life without him.
Helen Nelson says
We have a Shih Tzu chihuahuas mix. She’s 12 and spoiled- loved so much!!!!
We would really like to find another but they go so fast! We’ve been looking for months, in fact we just went out this morning but they were gone. Would love some help finding one!
Hello. I have a male Chi/Shi and he’s 17 weeks. He’s so cute. He had a brother and sister also. We weren’t able to get all three because no room. We bought him from a lady in Calhoun Ga for a great deal. He was already mat trained for the house. Love this little guy. Not sure what area you are in but maybe I will be able to get you her information if you are near Ga.
Helen Nelson says
Sorry we’re in Utah. I would love to find a female WeZee has just been perfect for us and we love her so much! Please if anyone has one closer to us please let us know!
Kenneth Hill says
how do i get i touch with the person in calhoun ,ga to buy a female?
Adele moores says
We have just got, what we thought was best for our 4 yrs old chihuahua cross tuz dog, a little pure chihuahua puppy 12 weeks old, but there just not hiting it off, I would see him go for what we paid for him to the right home. Thankyou
I just adopted Shi/Chi I love both breeds. So far he’s been doing great on the potty training and he’s a sweet thing.
gloria legaspi says
We Have mix of said breed but the first one became pure chiuhua and the other one is really a mixture with spear head and topped up ear so cute .
Well its just they keeps on fighting both are boy .
I want to know how to handle it. they both 2 months
my dog shih tzu/chihuahua has pass away last January. He has a liver failure and skin disease. I still cant accept he pass away
Joseph Cho says
I am looking for a shih Tzu/chiwauwau dog my beloved dog roo his pass away on the 3th of Feb I miss him he was my best friend he had a heart problem he he 12yrs for a men like myself who is 60 I tear for a week I still miss he was my only friend please help me find me this type of dreed
Zochitl Reyes says
Please reach out to me if you are still interested in a puppy. I have a co-worker who is giving away for free to puppies ( 2 months old). She says by accident her Chihuahua and a Shit Zu mixed and out came this beautiful puppies. Not sure where you live but the puppies are in Houston TX.
Anna Johansson says
We have a Shi tzu chihuahua mix six years old. No health problems
at all. A bit yappy with strangers. Love kids. Very playful and shares the love evenly in between familj members. A bit cheeky and a very fun dog to
Joseph Cho says
I am looking for s shih Tzu/chih
Zochitl Reyes says
I am in Houston Texas and a co-worker is giving 2 puppies this type for free to a good home. Email me if you are still interested. They are very cute and I can send you photos.