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| Physical Characteristics:|
Weight: 8-15 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The Shichon is found in the following colors:
Health & Longevity
Average Life Span: 13-16 years
The Shichon, also commonly called a Zuchon, is a cross between a Bichon Frise and a Shih Tzu. Like all hybrid breeds, the Shichon is less prone to hereditary diseases than their purebred counterparts. At the same time, there is the possibility that they can develop health issues common to both parent breeds.
One such health problem is patellar luxation, a condition in which the knee joint slides easily in and out of place. This dislocation of the knee results in discomfort, pain, and limping. In severe cases, patellar luxation can lead to arthritis or lameness, and surgery may be required. Another joint issue called hip dysplasia may impact some Shichons. Hip dysplasia occurs when a malformed hip joint does not allow the thighbone to fit properly into place. Lameness can result in severe cases, but this condition can be corrected with surgery. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, so ensure that your puppy’s parents have no history of the condition. It can be triggered by rapid weight gain or injury, such as falling on a slippery floor. Monitor your puppy’s activity carefully and ensure that he does not jump excessively or run on floors that may cause slippage.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones and it may affect some Shichon Dogs. Hypothyroidism can lead to issues such as hair loss, infertility, lethargy, and obesity. Treatment is available, but it will require the affected dog to take daily medication for the duration of his life.
Some Shichons may experience portosystemic shunts, which lead to blood bypassing the liver. This may result in toxins building up in the bloodstream or kidneys, and the animal may lack necessary nutrients and energy. Symptoms can include seizures, poor muscle development, and disorientation or unresponsiveness. Shunts can usually be managed with specialized diet and medications, although severe cases may require intravenous fluids, enemas, or valium.
Other health problems common to the Shichon’s parent breeds include eye issues such as cataracts and faulty tear ducts, allergies, ear infections, and breathing issues.
Temperament & Train-ability
Sometimes known as the teddy bear dog or the fuzzy wuzzy puppy, the Shichon is an adorable and affectionate dog. As with all hybrid dogs, the Shichon’s temperament can vary. In general, he is gentle, sweet, and loving, but also bold, independent, and intelligent. The Shichon wants to be the center of attention, and he loves spending time with his family. He is lively and playful with a mischievous sense of humor.
The Shichon is easily adaptable to apartment living. Due to his small size, much of his exercise needs can be met simply by playing with toys and running around the house. A short walk or two each day is enough to satisfy the rest of his exercise requirements although he does like to play games and spend time outdoors. The Shichon should be an inside dog who receives plenty of cuddle time and attention daily. He experiences separation anxiety if he is left alone for long periods of time, and he is not a good choice for owners who spend most of the day at work. The Shichon does bark, but he does not do so excessively. He can be trained to be quiet.
The Shichon is an excellent family dog who becomes very devoted to his people. In general, he gets along well with most people and pets. This is especially true if you socialize your Shichon early by exposing him to a variety of sights, sounds, people, places, and pets at a young age. Although the Shichon loves children, he should be supervised with small children. This is more to ensure the Shichon’s safety than the children’s safety, due to his tiny size. The Shichon makes a good watchdog and an excellent therapy dog as well.
The intelligent, eager to please Shichon is not difficult to train. He does have a slight independent streak, but for the most part, he wants to be obedient and make his owner happy. Clear, consistent rules and positive reinforcement should make training your Shichon a relatively easy task. Motivate him with favorite treats, extra play time, and generous praise. Housebreaking may be slightly more challenging, and crate training is highly recommended for the Shichon.
The Shichon does not shed much, but he still needs to be brushed at least every other day to prevent tangles and matting. This breed is considered “hypoallergenic” and makes a good choice for dog lovers with allergies.
Bathe your Shichon only as needed to avoid drying out his skin and damaging his natural oils. Trim his nails as needed, and be careful not to trim to the quick. Check his ears regularly for signs of infection like tenderness, redness, and odor. Brush his teeth at least 2-3 times weekly to prevent bad breath and maintain healthy gums.
On average, the Shichon should consume 1/2-1.5 cups of high-quality, dry dog food daily. A brand that is formulated for smaller breeds is recommended. Remember that the exact type and amount of food that is best for your individual dog depends on factors like age, weight, metabolism, and activity level.
The Shichon is prone to obesity, so it is important to monitor his weight and divide his food into smaller daily meals. Ensure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times.
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Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Shichon ranks a 2.5. He is healthy, gets along well with most people and pets, and does not require much exercise. He is also relatively easy to train. However, the Shichon suffers from severe separation anxiety and is not a good fit for owners who must work the majority of the day; he requires fairly extensive grooming, and he is difficult to housebreak.
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