SHICHON (ZUCHON).

Shichon Facts that Every Dog Enthusiast Must Know

Zuchon or Shichon is a hybrid type of dog that is a result of a mixture of 2 different purebreds. It is a cross between the Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu. Understanding the characteristics and traits will be easier as you read on and understand the ancestry descriptions, tempers, sizes and general look of both breeds. This kind of is also known as a designer dog. Zuchon, Teddy Bear, Shih Tzu/ Bichon, Daisy Teddy Bear, Daisy Face, Rag Doll or Shichon is oftentimes fuzzy wuzzy. The appearance was taken from both breeds, but for most parts, Zuchon will adapt the double coat that has an outer coat which is quite loose, fluffy and curly while the undercoat is fine, silky and very soft. It is said that the AKC will provide the Teddy Bear an official recognition, since the breed in its own right and that may be called Zuchon after generations.

THE ORIGIN

This is a new breed of dog from the US. The mixture of Shih Tzu & Bichon Frise resulted in Zuchon has gained its famousness in households across the northern part of America. Even if this dog breed is quite new, its famousness is rapidly growing.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The undercoat is a breed is quite 3-4 inches long. Shichon is also known for being the hypo-allergenic type and it doesn’t shed much. The colors may be based on the colors of the sire and dam. A lot of the Shichons are white in color just like the Bichon Frise, but the dog may also take the color of the Shih Tzu too. The size of the breed is somehow small since Bichon Frise and Shi Tzu are both small.

THE APPEARANCE

Zuchon - Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix

Zuchon – Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix

Shichon looks like a living teddy bear with big eyes and a button nose. It is so lovable and it has a sweet personality from its younger years until it matures. Matured Shichon will only weigh around 7-18 pounds and they will continue to have long and beautiful coat that will be soft or curly depending on the sire and dam. The colors and color combinations may possibly be like chocolate patches, black, white patches, red, brown, apricot, cream and brown. The eyes might be hazel, rare golden or green in color.

CHARACTER

Shichon is also known for having the same qualities of both parent breeds. They may be courageous, alert & they really love to play around. They are very loving and they long to be with people all the time. They can be very devoted to their master and their family and because of this they cannot deal well with separation anxiety. They will be very inclined with their families for a long period of time and they can also be great pets, especially if taught how to become sociable at a young age. This dog will get along easily with kids, it might be a great idea to let Shichon become sociable during the puppy years.

When playing with young kids, they should be supervised and make sure that the dog will not get hurt, so it will not hurt the kids too. It is small in size, so the tendency to get hurt is quite higher. Possible owners must be alert that this dog tends to be smart and very independent. Shichon is easy to adjust, live and train with the right people and motivation. You will not have a hard time living with this type of dog and it can be easily trained. Shichon usually barks to alert the family that someone is around, but the dog is not an excessive barker just like other breeds.

LIFESPAN & HEALTH

The life expectancy of a Shichon is around 15 years if taken care of and given the right food to sustain the daily nutrients and with regular vet checkups too. Normally, Zuchons suffer from few health problems compared to the parents, but if a prospective owner is anxious about the probable health problems, it is a great idea to check the parentage to understand and discover other things that can help you take care of your dog accordingly.

Zuchon is prone to teeth problems if not properly taken care of, but because it is small in size, it will take a long time before the surfaces of the teeth become covered with dental caries. The bacteria on the teeth may go through the bloodstream from the gum line and it will cause serious issues later on. You can prevent this from happening by brushing the teeth oftentimes. You can use a finger brush on the pup with toothpaste meant for dogs.

Rub the teeth using the finger brush and then give the pup a treat afterwards. As soon as the pup gets older, regular brushing is badly needed. You have to brush the teeth once a day for mature Zuchon. Proper teeth brushing may help prevent dental cleanings that will be performed by a vet while the dog is sedated.

MAINTENANCEBichon Frise Shih Tzu mix

Shichon doesn’t have maintenance issues, because the dog is really easy to keep and take care of. The dog can take care of its daily exercise by playing, though you can also bring the dog for a walk at the park daily or have it play in an open area with ample supervision and with a leash of course. Its coat will require daily brushing and the dog will need regular bathing when necessary only just to keep the coat clean and very healthy. Normally, Zuchon doesn’t shed heavily, so there will be no concerns about that, which makes this dog famous among family members with allergies.

AN APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENT

Shichon can absolutely adjust to an indoor environment and it doesn’t require big space, so living inside a condo or apartment is just fine, but of course it also needs a playtime outdoor occasionally. But you have to keep in mind that this dog type is not suited to live outside of the house, since it longs for a family. There is no need to worry about the exercise, since it can do that on its own and it will not bark excessively just like other breeds. It can get along with kids and with other dogs too. You need to properly train this dog, because it is smart and it enjoys mingling with people, it craves for affection, so it can easily learn with your patience and love. It cannot do well in an environment wherein he will be left alone over a long period of time.

GROOMING NEEDS

Shichon requires little grooming and if you will keep their hair in a low maintenance or teddy bear cut, it may last for 3 months. It will be best to embody the teddy bear look for your Zuchon with regular combing, matting can be prevented. The nails should also be trimmed regularly and the hair around the eyes too. Just like other dogs, the teeth must be cleaned regularly to remove tartar and improve oral health too.

SHICHON ANCESTRY

Purebreds usually suffer from genetic disorders and difficulties brought about by years of inbreeding. Bichon Frise has been bred since the fourteenth century in Spain and it was a cross between a Barbet Water Spaniel and a Poodle. The Shih Tzu came from China and it is known then, since the 16th century. Cross breeding of Bichon Frise and the Shih Tzu results in the coming of Zuchon, which has lesser chance of getting the genetic difficulties of both or either of the parents?

FOOD AND DIET

You have to give your dog high quality and dry kibble especially meant for active and small dogs. You should be cautious in giving canned and wet foods, because this may lead to tooth decay, loss of teeth, bad breath and gum ailments too.

RECOGNIZED CLUBS

Since Zuchon is a crossbreed, it is not recognized by prime dog registries like the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club. It is only recognized by registries that accept mixed breed, crossbreeds and designer dogs like the American Canine Hybrid club & Designer Dogs Kennel Club.

SHICHON PUPS

It is so hard to repel a Zuchon pup; they are so small and fluffy. Anyone can easily get along with them. But it is so essential to keep in mind that training should start as soon as you bring the pup home. The pup must learn how to become sociable and how as it grows older. You can train the pup, but if you are not well equipped with all the needed information, then you can just enroll the pup in a kinder class, which will give him the foundation for the basic manners and better way of socializing with new people and pets too.

SHICHON HOME PREPARATION

You need to prepare your home for the coming of Shichon pup. You need to pup proof the house closest to the way you would when child proofing a home. Take away all small objects that might be swallowed, move away toxic plants from the reach of the pup, lock all the cabinet doors and make sure that all electronic wires are in place, so they will not be chewed.

You also need to buy all the supplies you will need for grooming, feeding and taking care of the pup. Some of the basic things you will need are comforter for the pup’s new place in the house, food, water dishes, chew toy, leash & collar, bed & crate. These are all sufficient to sustain the needs of the pup and to make him comfortable too with you.

You need to take the Zuchon to the vet for a pup check. A lot of vet offices offer comprehensive medical plans that cover all the basic tests and vaccines the new pup needs at a discounted rate if you will pay in advance.  You need to take the pup to a vet for food recommendations. The food must be suggested by the vet, so the pup will not get sick or will not have tooth decay.

PROPER SELECTION

There is an idea of generation when it comes to dealing with crossbred dogs. The first generation is the cross breeds whose sire and dam are purebreds. This generation will inherit 50% of the genome of every breed, in the case of the Zuchon, 50% from each of the Bichon and Shih Tzu parent. Though you cannot predict which parent’s genes will become strong, there is more predictability than the cross breeds that are not included in the first generation.

BREED BENEFITS

Purebreds usually have problems with the genes and disorders, which are brought about by generations of inbreeding. Zuchon’s sire and dam typically have skin allergies. Zuchon’s parents the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise usually have breathing & eye problems as well. It is impossible for the Zuchon to inherit the traits of the parents, but more often than not, they will be free of it. Because the Zuchon has a longer nose than a Shih Tzu, it will be less prone to inheriting breathing problems. Zuchon inherits the tear ducts from, the Bichon Frise, which may lessen the chance of having eye complications.  On the other hand, there is always a probability that the dog will have a progressive retinal atrophy or PRA, ear infections, elbow dysplasia, renal dysplasia, hip dysplasia and abnormal thyroid functions.

Taking care of a Shichon is not hard to do, you just need to make sure that the dog is regularly seen by the vet, so that you will be guided with the food, the grooming and other important things that he needs to grow healthy, happy and lively. Zuchons are super cute and they are very charming, they can be a great addition to your family. They will make sure that you will all have the best time with him, since this type of dog is very loyal to his family. He loves to be with people and may suffer from separation anxiety when left over a long period of time.