The Shichon was developed by crossing Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise. Of course, unintentional mixes between those two breed could have been there for centuries, but it was not until 1990s, when these two dogs were crossed intentionally with the intention of creating a new dog breed. It is believed, that they were first crossed in the USA with the intention of creating a teddy bear looking, sweet and gentle dog, which will make excellent family companion.
Most of the dog breeds were, or still are used for some purpose. Some are hunters, some are protectors, some are sled dogs and some are for example search and rescue dogs. The Zuchon is not use for any of those purposes and it is just a sweet companion dog. The only job they sometimes do is therapy work. The Zuchon makes excellent family companion, because they are absolutely affectionate, loving and playful dog. They should be friendly to everyone, even with strangers. The Zuchon is a good partner for kids as well, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently and with proper early socialization, Zuchons can live in a household with other dogs, cats and other pets.
Just like with all crossbreeds, even the appearance of Shichon is quite hard to predict. The Shichons coat can be pretty long and flowy, but also shorter and very curly. It depends, whether they inherit the coat from the Shih Tzu or Bichon. These dogs come in variety of colors and color combinations, commonly in white, gray, silver, cream, apricot, tan, black and chocolatte and in combinations of those colors.
What we can predict is the size of Zuchon, because both of its parent breeds are quite small dogs. The average height of Zuchon is typically between 9-12 inches, which is 22-31 cm and weight is usually between 7-15 pounds, which is 3-7 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
5) Dog for novices
If you do not have much experiences with dogs, than the Zuchon might be a good choice for you, as your first dog. Because of their eager to please personality and friendly nature, even with only little bit of training, they will still behave quite okay. Of course, if you want to have an obedient dog, which should always be the case, patient, regular and consistent training is needed. The small size, which somes in hand with small strenght and adaptability makes this dog also very good for novices, because you can always manage the dog without any problems.
Well, there is no such thing as a completely 100% hypoallergenic dog, because they all produce some dander or salive, but the Shichon is very close to be one. If you suffer from allergies, when you are around dogs, than there is a big chance, that Zuchon will not trigger the allergies. These dogs are practically non shedding dogs, which is why, they are so good for allergy sufferers.
7) Designer dog breed
The Shichon is sometimes reffered to as a designer dog breed. This term sounds fancy, but it is just another word for a crossbreed. The designer dog breed is a cross between two purebred dog breeds, in this case a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise. The difference between crossbreed and mutt is, that mutt is a dog of uncertain origin, but designer dog breed was always developed from two different purebred breeds.
Even though these dogs are small and cuddly, they are still dogs and they need regular daily outdoor exercise and walks to stay healthy and happy. These are not hyperactive dogs and their exercise needs are not the biggest, but you still have to walk them few times a day, just like any other breed. This is also very playful breed, so you can try different games with the Zuchon. Regular fun training sessions are also great way how to exercise this dog physically but also mentally. If you will not exercise your dog or if you will not give them enough attention, they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking.
In general, crossbreeds have long lifespan and small dogs also have very long lifespan, so it should not be surprising, that even the Zuchon have long lifespan. The typical lifespan is around 15 years, but it is not uncommon for this breed to live well into their late teens. If you will buy or adopt a Zuchon, he will be part of your daily life for a very long time!
Even though this is usually quite healthy dog breed with long life expectancy, they still do suffer from some health issues, just like all dogs do. The health concerns associated with this breed include patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, some respiratory problems, cataracts and hip dysplasia.