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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Shichon is a mixed dog coming from the Bichon Frise and the Shih-Tzu. He is a small dog with a life span of 15 to 18 years. He is also called the Zuchon, Teddy Bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Tzu Frise and Shichon-Teddy Bear. He participates in agility and is a bold and friendly dog suitable for families, couple or singles and happy to adapt to apartment living.

Shichons are playful and love games and fun and getting lots of attention! He is a bold and friendly dog who is well suited to live with most people. As long as you can give a little time each day outside, and play with him in or outside too along with lap time and love he will be happy.

Here is the Shichon at a Glance
Other Names Zuchon, Teddy Bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Tzu Frise and Shichon-Teddy Bear
Average height 9 to 12 inches
Average weight 8 to 25 pounds
Coat type Silky, soft, smooth
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Every couple of days
Touchiness Can be somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Depends on coat, low to good
Tolerance to Cold Good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Very good
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Excellent
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Moderately active
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high.
Major Health Concerns Bladder problems, patellar luxation, kidney problems, vaccination sensitivity, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles, reverse sneezing
Life Span 15 to 18 years
Average new Puppy Price $350 to $1250
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $300 to $400

Where does the Shichon come from?

The Shichon is a designer dog, part of a group of dogs who are deliberately bred mixed breeds. Owning a designer dog has become a very popular trend in recent years, you can find many celebrities too with designer dogs which has boosted the popularity of owning one among the public. Over the last 30 years more breeders are creating more cross breeds. Some of these breeders are doing so with care but a lot are bad breeders and puppy mills just taking advantage of the trend to make money. When buying a puppy like this take care and do some research first.

There is not much known about the origins of this dog, who first bred him and why. He is a more recent one and it is thought he originates in the US in the last 10 years. To get a better understanding of what goes into him we can look at the parents looks and temperaments, though it is important to note here that genetics cannot be controlled with this kind of breeding and there can be no guarantees when it comes to which parents they are more like or which characteristics they inherit.

The Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is believed to descend from the Barbet but precise origins are not known. When he came to Europe he was very popular with the aristocracy as a companion dog. He can be found in Spanish, English and French courts and continued to be favored for several hundred years. In the late 19th century his popularity fell and he became a common dog. Many circuses and organ grinders had one as a performing dog. They learned tricks very well and were cute to look at.

Today this dog is one of the happiest dogs could own. He loves attention, has to be at the center of everything and is a great charmer, able to win everyone over. He does have an independent side but still can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. He is playful and clever and is a quick learner.

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 Shichon is an alert dog, quite bold and lively and while he is affectionate and loyal he also has an independent streak. He loves to play and be with people so does not do well when separated for long periods. He is intelligent and since he craves attention and loves to spend time with you he tends to be easy to train. He makes a great family dog as he usually gets along well with everyone especially with early socialization. The Shichon is an easy dog to live with and is friendly forming strong bonds with family members. He is a sweet, funny and loving dog.

What does the Shichon look like

The Shichin is a small dog weighing 8 to 25 pounds and standing 9 to 12 inches tall. He can look like either parent or be more of a mix. He can have a double coat with a fine and silky under and a long wavy to curly outer. Colors can include white, cream, black, silver, apricot, red and chocolate. His face looks much like a teddy bear’s which is why he is sometimes named so. He has almond shaped eyes, hanging down ears that are feathered and a head that is well proportioned to his body.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Shichon need to be?

He likes to be active but due his size his needs are moderate. In fact he can take care of much of it with play time indoors with toys and so on. A short walk or two each day as well would be great for him. He loves to play so going to the dog park, being able to run around, playing tug of war and fetch and so on would also make him very happy. He does not need access to a yard but it is a bonus. He is well adapted to living in an apartment as long as he gets some time outside each day.

Does he train quickly?

He is easy to train because he is intelligent, eager to please and loves to spend time with you getting attention and praise. Some can be a little harder to house train though so this is something you may have to spend more time on. Early socialization and training are important to make him the best dog he can be. Be patient and firm with your training but also keep it positive, treats, rewards and praise are the way to reach him. Avoid harsh tones, becoming impatient and physical punishment, he will not respond well to it.

Living with a Shichon

How much grooming is needed?

The Shichon is low shedding and is considered to be hypoallergenic but you should visit the puppy with the person with allergies if that is an important factor for your dog. He will need to have his coat brushed regularly, at least every couple of days to keep it tangle free and looking healthy. When he gets really dirty he can have a bath but otherwise try to avoid bathing too regularly as it can affect the natural oils in his skin. For that reason too only use a gentle dog shampoo. His ears will need checking and wiping clean once a week, his teeth will need a brush at least twice a week and his toe nails clipping when they get too long.

What is he like with children and other animals?

Typically the Shichin is good with children and other dogs and pets especially with early socialization and if raised with them. He is small so children should be taught how to play and touch him safely and smaller children should be supervised until they can be more careful. He likes children, is affectionate towards them and loves to play with them.

General information

He is alert and will bark to let you know if someone is entering the home so can be a good watchdog. He does not bark a lot but will bark occasionally. He will need to be fed ½ to 2 cups of good quality dry dog food each day. This amount should be split into at least two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health concerns that he can inherit from his parents if they are not screened and you do not ask to see parental health clearances before buying. These issues include Bladder problems, patellar luxation, kidney problems, vaccination sensitivity, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles and reverse sneezing. Viisting the puppy before buying is a good way of seeing the conditions he is kept in and the general health of the other animals there which can help you avoid ending up with a sickly dog.

Costs involved in owning a Shichon

A Shichon puppy could cost between $350 to $1250. Some breeders include things like deworming, blood tests, chipping and other things along with their price. Some do not. Other costs that you may have to cover as well as the tests and micro chip are shots, neutering, a crate, carrier, collar and leash which come to between $360 to $400. Ongoing costs for food, license, training, toys and treats each year could fall between $300 to $400. Basic medical needs each year for things like vaccinations, flea prevention, check ups and pet insurance fall between $435 to $550.


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Featured Image Credit: Left: Bichon Frise (Source: Antranias, Pixabay), Right: Shih Tzu (Source: No-longer-here, Pixabay)

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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