How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?
Good For First-Time Owners?
Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?
Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?
Tolerates Being Alone?
Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?
Affectionate With Family?
How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?
Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?
Friendly Toward Other Dogs?
Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?
Friendly Toward Strangers?
Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?
If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?
Easy To Groom?
Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?
What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.
Prone To Obesity?
Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?
Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.
Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?
Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?
How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?
Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?
Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?
Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?
Shichon is a great choice for you if you love mixed dog breeds. This small dog is a cross between popular Shih Tzy and Adorable Bichon Frise.
With so well-known and popular parent breeds you can expect to have a dog who is affectionate, loyal, gentle, and a massive people-pleaser.
These dogs are affectionate and packed with some of the best qualities from both of their parents.
Shichons go under many names, including Zuchon, and Teddy Bear dog, but they are mostly known as Shichons.
Shichons are mostly seen strolling some of the most dynamic city streets across the globe.
As such they are commonly the first choice for apartment dogs. Although they are compact and easy to move in the city, they still may end up in local shelters.
Reasons for this may vary and don’t always be connected with human negligence, sometimes just bad things happen and dogs end up alone.
If you know that Shichon is for you, make sure that you check local shelters first.
You will be surprised to learn just how many different purebred and mixed dog breeds you can find just around the corner.
Let’s see quick facts on Shichon and learn more about this mixed breed.
Real name: Shichon
Other names: Shih Tzu-Bichon mix, Zuchon, Teddy Bear dog
Origin: United States
Breed type: Mixed Breed Dogs
Weight: 9 to 15 pounds
Height: 9 to 12 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 18 years
Litter Size: 4 – 5 puppies
Color: Variety of colors, including white, cream, brown, and chocolate
Coat: Usually long and silky coat that may be curly
No one knows for sure when this bred was initially created. That being said, Shichon, as a mixed breed may have existed naturally for years if not decades, but breeders started developing them intentionally about 20 to 30 years ago.
Like the majority of mixed breeds, Shichons were probably developed somewhere across the States.
Mixed breeds are usually developed because there is a specific goal behind it. With Shichons breeders wanted to mix the two parent breeds to create a dog breed that is smaller in size, like Shih Tzu is, and has a gentle and calm personality as Bichon Frise does.
These traits are highly appreciated within dog lovers’ circles, which is why they rose in popularity in a short period.
Next to these traits, breeders wanted to make Shichon a breed more than suitable for families with allergies.
You may hear that some dogs are hypoallergenic breeds which makes them more than suitable for people with allergies, but bear in mind that all dogs shed or leave dander behind – it is a natural process. However, some breeds may shed less, and some may have shedders like German Shepherds.
To learn more about breeds that tend to shed more or less, check this dog breeds compare tool that will provide in-depth information on different dog breeds, including their grooming needs and shedding tendencies.
Shichons are mostly popular as a designer breed but they still may be found in local shelters.
Life happens, and dogs do end up alone in shelters due to numerous responses.
If you are fine with adopting a dog, make sure that you check your local shelter first. Now, let’s see what you can expect from this small size dog in terms of appearance.
Shichon Physical Appearance
If you love small-size dogs, you are in luck because adorable Shichons mostly weigh between 9 to 15 pounds, and have between 9 to 12 inches at the shoulder.
As such they are highly compact and more than suitable for apartment living. They will easily fit in smaller or bigger homes, as long as they get enough outdoor time.
Do not forget that small size dogs tend to have pee time more frequently throughout the day, compared to larger dogs. This is one of the reasons why they can not be left alone for a too long period.
Since Shichon is relatively a new breed there are no strict breed standards, but breeders do their best to stick to the measurements listed above. They usually have a medium-length tail.
You can expect them to be bigger than most Shih Tzuus in most cases. As a mixed breed dog, Shichons can look totally different. This means that even ven dogs from the same litter may look different.
Shichons come in different colors including white, brown, and chocolate. As for the coat, they may have straight hair or wavy depending on the parent’s trait that they may have inherited.
All in all, these small size dogs may have a variety of colors and coat textures. This is the beauty of getting a mixed breed, you never can know for sure how your dog will look alike.
Luckily, you know the breeds’ parents which makes it easier to assume how your dog will look alike.
Shichon owners describe these dogs as being very calm and polite. They are huge people-lovers, but they do have a mind of their own.
Thanks to their Shih Tzu side they won’t mind making a stand and express to you when they will unhappy.
Don’t think that having a small size dog means a less stubborn dog. They are energetic, will demand your love and attention, and they do their best to follow you around no matter what.
Small in size, they will always try to run their best when outside. Once indoors, Shichons will curl on your leg and monitor you closely… just so you do not get bored!
Smaller dogs tend to be big barkers, but that is not the case with friendly Shichons (this is another reason to share your town apartment with them), but that won’t stop them from informing you when someone is nearby.
Once you get this breed make sure that you implement proper house rules that your Shichon can follow.
Is furniture off limits? Or your Shichon will be allowed to share your couch with you? Is there any area of the house that is not dog-friendly?
Make sure that you communicate that with your Shichon properly, because they will try to use their cuteness and size against you.
This is why small size dogs are prone to developing small dog syndrome – a behavioral condition that is treatable but demands extra time, care, and devotion.
Shichons are also highly intuitive dogs, which makes them often the first choice for therapy and emotional support dogs.
Just like any other Shih Tzu mix they may be a bit stubborn, which can make house training a bit challenging.
Before you get this breed make sure that you fully understand what a house training is.
If you want your Shichon to be a healthy dog, you need to invest in proper grooming. That being said, you need to understand that proper grooming goes beyond regular brushing.
Yes, weekly brushing time is still a must, but grooming practice includes other steps as well.
Regular grooming should include:
- Weekly brushing
- Monthly nail trimming or grinding
- Ears cleaning
- Paws cleaning
- Weekly gums check
- Daily eye check
To make grooming easy and pain-free process make sure that you use the right grooming tools. This is the most effective way to keep brushing sessions short and fun.
If grooming sounds like too much work for you, or it is time-consuming, you can think about hiring a professional groomer. This may be costly but it will save you a significant amount of time.
If you opt for this service, you should still stick to brushing sessions. Why? Brushing time is a great way to connect with your dog further.
Dogs thrive on body language and for them, brushing time is a way of telling them that you care. Plus, this way you will check your dog’s coat for fleas and skin for any sign of skin infection. Their coats are soft and will rapidly grow until trimmed.
To avoid any tangles you should brush their hair regularly. Don’t forget that dogs with soft coats are sensitive to extreme temperatures, both colder and warmer days.
They may need to wear a sweater in cold areas and stay out of the sun in warmer places.
Are Shichons Hypoallergenic?
Shichons come with a great deal of hair, but they are considered to be small hypoallergenic dogs.
If you dislike having dog hair all over your place you will love having Shichon around they’re considered to be a low-shedding breed. Although they’re low shedders, you should still brush them at least once per week to prevent mating.
When it comes to training you should make no difference between a small size Shichon or a giant dog like Great Dane – all dogs should be trained in the same manner.
That being said, you should do your best to make training sessions that are:
- Packed with treats
Dogs are easily bored, no matter how small or big in size they might be. They all thrive on mental challenges and for them, training sessions are a great way to keep their brains running.
Did you know that dogs are more than capable of mastering basic commands at eight weeks of age?
If you miss training them properly during this period, you will have a stubborn dog who doesn’t like routine, structure, and repetition.
Use training sessions and early socialization to help your dog become a well-behaved canine citizen.
By the time early socialization ends, your dog should know the following:
- Basic dog commands
- How to walk on a leash
- What pee walks are
- How to move in the backyard
- Dog house rules
- How to behave around house visitors
- Whihc areas are off limits and which are allowed
During this period your dog will learn who serves him the food the most. Since dogs are food-driven beings, they will choose to follow the person that feeds them and make them theirs.
Once your veterinarian gives you the green light you can take your Shichon to a dog park.
Make sure that you follow your veterinarian guidelines when it comes to puppy vaccination and parasite control.
What if you are adopting an adult dog? Can they learn new tricks as well? No matter how old or young the dog might be, he can still master new tricks.
It is up to you to provide enough training sessions, dedication, and delicious treats in your Fido that will answer any commands.
What About Exercising Your Shichon?
Shichons may be small, but that doesn’t mean that they do not need exercise time to remain healthy.
If your goal isn’t hiking to running with dogs, you are in luck because these small dogs need only moderate exercise.
Up to 30 minutes of walking per day should keep them healthy and fit. Don’t forget that once you welcome your Shichon home, you are directly responsible or with him. This means that if your Fido puts on extra points you will have to provide additional exercise.
To keep his weight in balance learn how much you should feed your do, when, and how to choose high-quality food.
Add to this a good, brisk walk two to three times per day (next to indoor games) and your Shichon should have a great shape.
Shichons are generally considered to be healthy dogs.
If you choose to deal with responsible dog breeders only you should get a healthy puppy.
Responsible dog breeders will always screen puppies for the most common health issues in the breed and present you medical papers on the puppy.
Next to medical do mention responsible dog breeders will provide the following:
- Show you the facilities
- Let you meet the bitch if not both parent
- Ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are a good fit for their puppy
- Provide further tips on overall care
Some breeders might even tell you that inc case of any hardship you return the dog to them. You may be the best dog owner and your dog still may get sick. Things happen and dogs do get sick.
After all, dogs are highly playful creatures and they may run into nettles during their playtime and you will have to provide the proper care. Although unplanned things happen, that doesn’t mean that you should stop providing the best care possible.
Provide high-quality food, easy access to fresh and clean water, stick to vaccination schedule and provide proper parasite control – next to this add regular exercise and your Shichon will reach his senior years without any major health issues.
The conditions listed below are commonly seen in Shichon. Does this mean that your Shichon will experience any of the listed conditions? Simply said, no.
Your dog may reach his senior years without any major health issues, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be informed on common Shichon health issues.
Some of the most common health issues in Shichons:
- Gum disease
- Dry eye
- Sensitive skin
- Cushing’s Disease
As with all dogs, Shichons should have regular veterinarian checkups. Prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy and strong dog.
Your veterinarian is the only one who can detect health disturbances on time.
Feeding Your Shichon
Shichons will thrive on high-quality food. Make sure that you serve your Shichon diet that is formulated for a small breed with high energy.
Do not feed your puppy with senior food and vice versa. Your dog might feel full, but he will get the nutrients that he needs.
To avoid obesity, serve regular meals as your veterinarian recommends, and serve treats only as an occasional reward.
Learn which human foods are OK for your dog and which should be avoided no matter what.
For example, dogs should never eat human chocolate and onion, while they can enjoy a bite or two of fresh cucumber or carrot.
Again: To avoid obesity in Shichon stick to a regular feeding schedule.
As always, if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s diet or weight, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.
Is Shichon For You?
Shichon is a small size dog who will fit nicely in the home of a more experienced dog owner, and a first time dog owner.
As long as you manage to provide the proper care, regular exercise, high-quality food, and regular veterinarian check-ups you should have a polite and happy puppy.
If you don’t mind having regular brushing sessions, your Shichon will be a great addition to your home.
If you have never had a dog before and you find it hard to train your Shichon, feel free to ask for additional support.
All in all, if you want a small size dog who doesn’t bark a lot and hates being alone, then Shichon is a breed to consider having.
Shichons are perfect family dogs who will thrive in families of different sizes. As long as you do mind having a clingy dog, you will be happy sharing your home with clingy Shichon.
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