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ShiChi Dog (Chihuahua & Shih-Tzu Mix)

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The ShiChi is also known as Shi Chi and the Shi-Chi. She has two purebred parents, the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu and so is a mixed or crossbreed. She has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is an energetic and protective dog.

The ShiChi will need an owner happy to give her attention as she can be a bit spoiled and moody otherwise. She is not best in a house with young children and can be quite difficult to train so that will need owners with experience and patience. Put in the time though and you will be well rewarded with a loyal and faithful companion.

Here is the ShiChi at a Glance
Average height 10 to 12 inches
Average weight 5 to 18 pounds
Coat type Can be straight and short like some Chihuahuas or long and silky like a Shih Tzu or a mix
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Three times a week
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Low to moderate
Tolerance to Cold Low to good depending on coat
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Very good with socialization but best not with young ones
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization, Chihuahua side needs help with getting on with other dogs
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for the new Owner? Good to very good because of training
Trainability Difficult
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Heart Problems, Umbilical hernia, Collapsed Trachea, Hydrocephalus, Open Fontanel, Kidney and bladder problems, liver problems, eye problems,
Other Health Concerns Shivering, Allergies, Reverse sneezing, Snuffles, Ear infections, Hip Dysplasia, dental problems,
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $150 to $750
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $525 to $625

Where does the ShiChi come from?

The ShiChi is a designer dog probably created sometime in the last 10 years. This is a big trend in dog ownership at the moment with many celebrities as well as regular people having them. Designer dogs tend to be deliberately bred dogs, the offspring of two purebreds, known as first-generation breeding. There are a lot of breeders that have entered the market for designer dogs, some are good people who care about their animals but sadly many are puppy mills and bad breeders just making money from the trend. Also keep in mind despite what they may promise your dog may not be the perfect blend of two purebreds. It could inherit any traits or looks from them in fact, even amongst the same litter there can be a big difference. Here is a quick look at those parent dogs to get a feel of what could go into the ShiChi.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be in the top 14 oldest breeds around, coming from either Tibet or China. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found in paintings and documents across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were referred to as little lion dogs and 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 very much a companion dog. He wants to please and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can 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 Chihuahua

There are two theories on where the Chihuahua comes from, one says they were brought over to Mexico by Spanish traders from China where they were then bred with native dogs. The other says they descend from an ancient dog found in 9th century central and south America called the Techichi. Either could be true. In the 1850s the short-haired Chihuahua was discovered in a Mexican state called Chihuahua, which is where the name comes from. They were brought to America in the late 1800s and the AKC first registered one in 1904. The long-haired variety is thought to be a result of breeding the short-haired with long-haired dogs like the Pomeranians or the Papillons.

Today he is a confident and brave dog with an alert nature like a terrier. He is quite sensitive though and demands a lot of attention and love. He makes a good watchdog with an alert nature and can be reserved. While he may be friendly to the rest of the family he tends to have a closer bond to pone person who he will choose over all others!


The ShiChi is an energetic and lively cheeky little thing. She can be shy sometimes so socialization early on is important. When she knows you she is very loving, happy to cuddle, and will want to go everywhere with you. She is gentle and loves to play, can be protective of her family, and gets excited easily. She is wary of strangers and without proper socialization can be yappy if they are around. She loves to get attention and is very loyal.

What does the ShiChi look like

She is a small dog weighing 5 to 18 pounds and standing 10 to 12 inches tall. She can have erect ears like the Chihuahua or floppy ones like the Shih Tzu. She has a black muzzle, almond-shaped eyes that are dark, and a round face. Her coat can vary from short, medium to long, or even a mix. When longer it tends to be wavy with a shorter undercoat. Colors include cream, black, white, and brown or tan.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the ShiChi need to be?

She has a lot of energy and is fairly active though for her size that is still quite manageable even for less active owners. She could easily live in an apartment due to her small size as long as she gets outside for a couple of walks each day. On top of her indoor playtime, she should be getting at least 20 minutes of walks outdoors. Access to a yard is a bonus place for her to play and explore. She would enjoy trips to a dog park where she can have some off-leash time to run free. She would enjoy games like flyball, fetch, or playing ball.

Does she train quickly?

The ShiChi is not an easy dog to train and for that reason may be better suited to owners with some experience. While she is smart she can pick up the Chihuahua’s more difficult tendencies. Be patient, stay firm and be consistent. It may take longer than some dogs but it is important to stick with it and remain calm and positive. Use treats and praise and rewards as ways to motivate her. She can also be hard to house train too. Early socialization and training are important though so keep with it. If you need more help seek a professional trainer or go to a dog training school.

Living with a ShiChi

How much grooming is needed?

She can be moderate in terms of her maintenance needs, though that can depend on her coat, the shorter one means there is a little less to do. She should be brushed daily if she has a long coat, otherwise, two to three times a week should be enough. If you take her to a groomer and have her coat clipped short, even once a week for brushing could be enough. Give her a bath when she needs it, roughly once a month perhaps. Her ears should be checked and wiped clean once a week and her teeth should be brushed two to three times a week at least. Her nails will need to be clipped too when they get too long. It is important not to cut too low down with dog nails, if it is not something you have done before you need to research it or have a professional groomer take care of it.

What is she like with children and other animals?

With her size, she is not best suited to be around young children who can be a little rough and she is a bit fragile. She can get along fine with older children, dogs, and other pets with the help of early socialization and when raised with any of them. Chihuahuas tend to need help getting along with other dogs so she may need a little extra work in that area.

General information

While she may not be the best of watchdogs she is protective but being so small and fragile is unlikely going to be able to do much to protect you if it is ever needed! She barks occasionally and will need to be fed ½ to 1 cup of good quality dry dog food a day split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There is always the potential for any dog to inherit issues their parents may have had. Even when some breeders claim hybrid vigor for first-generation mixed dogs, there is still that chance your puppy might inherit something or be more prone to something because of sickly parents. To avoid this ask the breeder to show you parental health clearances. Visiting the puppy before buying can also help determine how well kept the place is and what kind of health other animals there might be in. Issues the ShiChi could inherit include Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Heart Problems, Umbilical hernia, Collapsed Trachea, Hydrocephalus, Open Fontanel, Kidney and bladder problems, liver problems, eye problems, Shivering, Allergies, Reverse sneezing, Snuffles, Ear infections, Hip Dysplasia and dental problems.

Costs involved in owning a ShiChi

The ShiChi puppy could cost between $150 to $750. Some of those prices may include things like chipping, initial shots, deworming and some may not. You may need to pay for these things yourself therefore along with other things like a crate, carrier, collar and leash, blood tests, and eventual spaying. These come to between $360 to $400. Other yearly costs for just basic medical and non-medical needs like food, treats, toys, shots, flea prevention, pet insurance, license, grooming, training, and checkups come to between $960 to $1160.


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Featured Image Credit: Hornfinger, 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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