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Nicole Cosgrove

June 11, 2021
The Fo-Tzu is a mixed dog with parents who are purebreds, the Toy Fox Terrier and the Shih Tzu. He is a small cross with a life span of 12 to 15 years who can be found taking part in things like tricks, agility and watchdog. He is a lively and active dog who is also very affectionate and loving.
Here is the Fo-Tzu at a Glance
Average height 10 to 15 inches
Average weight 8 to 15 pounds
Coat type Straight and long or fine and short
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Daily for long coat, two or three times a week for the shorter one
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Low to good (depends on coat)
Tolerance to Cold Moderate to good (depends on coat)
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good but may chase them as prey so socialization can help
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Patellar luxation, kidney problems, bladder problems, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Legg-calve-Perthes, VWD, CHG,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles, reverse sneezing, skin problems,
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price Unknown
Average Annual Medical Expense $455 to $555
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $630

Where does the Fo-Tzu come from?

The Fo-Tzu is another recently developed designer dog to emerge in recent years. Designer dogs are mixed or cross breeds that are created with purpose. Most are a result from two purebreds and it then seems to be the trendy thing to give them a name that blends those parents’ names. There are a few ways you can go about finding the one you want the two main being to check out rescue centers and to look for breeders. If you want to find a breeder makes sure it is one who actually cares about what they are doing as this trend has attracted a lot of bad breeders and puppy mills who you really need to avoid giving money to. Most of the time designer dogs have no origins to tell and this is the case with the Fo-Tzu. To determine more about him we can take a brief look at the parents.

The Toy Fox Terrier

Bred in the US the Toy Fox Terrier comes from breeding Smooth Fox Terriers to make smaller dogs with toy dogs like Chihuahuas and Manchester Terriers. His purpose was to be a hunter of small critters like squirrels and to be a companion. When traveling performers saw how well he trained and performed he was also adopted into traveling circuses.

This is a smart dog who still train easily now and loves to perform still too in things like agility trials, flyball, obedience and rally. He lives a good long life and is protective and loyal. He tends to bond very closely with his owner and he will expect to be the center of everything. He is active and can have an independent side.

The Shih-Tzu

The Shih-Tzu comes from either Tibet or China and is one of the oldest breeds still around. They were treasured as companion dogs and were referred to as little lion dogs. They were docile, intelligent and happy. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England happened in 1928. In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu today is still a great companion dog. He wants to please you and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He is happiest when in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.


The Fo-Tzu is an intelligent and active dog who is always cheerful and very playful. She is also very loyal and loving with her family and loves to be spoiled. She loves to cuddle and is a very kind and friendly dog. She can be alert and prefers to be around her family all the time, preferably the center of attention. She is a great family dog and companion.

What does the Fo-Tzu look like

She is a small dog weighing 8 to 15 pounds and standing 10 to 15 inches tall. She has flappy ears, straight fur that can be fine and short like the Toy Fox, long like the Shih Tzu or even a mix. Common colors for her include black, white, tan, brown, white, chocolate, cream and golden.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Fo-Tzu need to be?

The Fo-Tzu is a slightly active dog, due to her size she is a good dog for apartment living and she can get a lot of her activity from her indoor play. She does not therefore need access to a yard but it would be a nice bonus. Along with the play she should be taken out for a walk or two each day. She would also love to visit a place where she can free like a dog park but check if there is a size limit on any local parks. Keep her mentally challenged also to keep her happy.

Does she train quickly?

She is a moderately easy dog to train as she listen to commands given, is smart and eager to please. She may even need less repetition than some other dogs and be quicker at picking it up. Early socialization and training are important for her to become the best dog she can be. Be patient though when it comes to house training as like many small dogs this can be a harder thing for some Fo-Tzus. When training be consistent and firm and use positive methods like treats, praise, rewards and encouragement.

Living with a Fo-Tzu

How much grooming is needed?

She is not a hard dog to take care of as she tends to be low shedding so there is not as much hair to clean up after her. Her coat when long can tangle so brushing daily is needed, but for the shorter coat about two to three times a week is a good idea. She is not considered to be hypo-allergenic so people with allergies should look to other dogs. She should be given a bath just when she needs it using a dog shampoo. She will also need her ears wiped clean and checked for infection once a week. There are solutions for cleaning dog ears that you can get. She should also have her teeth brushed two to three times a week, again there are brushes and pastes specific for dog use. Her nails should be clipped when they get too long. Since she may need regular trimming for her coat at a groomers anyway you could also have them clip her nails as they know not to cut too short.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is good with children, she plays with them and enjoys being active with them and will be affectionate and loving towards them. She may even want to sleep with them. She usually gets on well with other dogs and pets too. Early socialization and training are a very good idea to help with this though. Also keep in mind it may be a good idea to supervise young children when with her just because she is a small dog and they have not yet learned how to play and touch her with care.

General information

The Fo-Tzu seems to vary on how good she is at being a watchdog, some owners say she barks to alert them of strangers and some say she does not always do do. She barks rarely otherwise and will need ½ to 1 cup of good quality dry dog food each day split into at least two meals.

Health Concerns

The health concerns she could inherit from either or both parents include Patellar luxation, kidney problems, bladder problems, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Legg-calve-Perthes, VWD, CHG, Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles, reverse sneezing and skin problems. If you ask to see parental health clearances before you buy you are improving your chances at having a healthier dog. Also buy from a trusted breeder and try to visit the puppy before buying to see the conditions she is kept in.

Costs involved in owning a Fo-Tzu

The Fo-Tzu puppy could cost you anything right now, she is not easy to find so a price range is not possible to gather. Other costs you will need to cover though include a carrier and crate, collar and leash, deworming, shots, blood tests, spaying and chipping. These come to between $360 to $400. Annual costs for just essential come in medical and non-medical categories. Medical needs include just things like flea prevention, check ups, pet insurance and shots. Non-medical needs include grooming, training, license, treats, toys and food. These all come to between $985 to $1185 a year.


Looking for a Fo-Tzu Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

The Fo-Tzu is a small and attractive dog with a lot of loyalty, affection and spirit. She is good for almost anyone just take care around small children. She would be good for apartment just because of her size, exercise needs and lack of barking. If you manage to find one she will be a great new friend.

Featured Image Credit: Left – everydoghasastory, Shutterstock; Right – Yarnawee Nipatarangkoon, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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