Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Facts : A Complete Guide To The Shichi

Are you ready to learn about a pint-sized canine companion that’ll steal your heart? I sure am ready to tell you about the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix.

Also known as Shichi, this dog is a crossbreed of the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua and has just as much confidence as it does cuteness. These dogs typically have a soft, fluffy coat that can vary in color, often inheriting the luxurious hair of the Shih Tzu and the expressive eyes of the Chihuahua.

With a weight range of a few pounds, this breed is a toy dog that’s the perfect size for tagging along on all your adventures. I’ve found they always behave like little angels, no matter where they go.

Shichis have a playful and affectionate demeanor, often forming strong bonds with their owners. They are known for their alertness and can be quite vocal, making them good little watchdogs. In this article, I’ll dive into everything that makes the Shichi so special – from their quirky personality to their loving nature. Let’s get started!

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Breed Summary

Breed Mix Name:Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix, Chi-Shi, Chi-Tzu, ShiChi
Size:9-12 inches
Lifespan:12-15 years
Coat:Medium length, straight or curly
Color:Tan and white is the most common
Do They Shed:Low-moderate, depending on the coat type
Temperament:Moderate, but can be aggressive
Intelligence:Gets distracted easily, short attention span
Socialization:Handles socializing well if taught at an early age
Destructive Behavior:Potentially chew on shoes or soft objects
People Skills:Can be aggressive around strangers
Good with Children:Can be hit and miss
Activity Levels:Requires very little activity throughout the day

Breed Origin & History of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

A Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

The Shichi is a relatively new mixed breed. Thus, like many designer breeds, it doesn’t have official recognition by major purebred registries. Organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), and The Kennel Club in the UK typically recognize only purebred dogs and have specific standards for each breed. However, designer breeds like the Shichi have gained popularity over the past few decades, especially for those seeking a dog with the specific traits of two beloved breeds.

The mixing of these two breeds likely started in the late 20th or early 21st centuries, as part of the trend to create dogs that combine the desirable traits of two purebreds.

Before we discuss the delightful world of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix, it’s important to understand where this charming breed comes from. In this section, I want to introduce you to the two parent breeds that contribute to the unique blend of characteristics found in the Shichi. It will give you a better appreciation of the offspring’s traits, behavior, and needs.

Shih Tzu

I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few Shih Tzus and they never failed to impress me with their character.

Shih Tzus are an ancient breed, with roots in China. They were once the cherished pets of Chinese royalty. This royal history shows in their dignified demeanor, but don’t be fooled – they’re also full of fun and affection.

From my experience, Shih Tzus are like little furry companions who love being part of the family. They’re small, usually weighing between 9 to 16 pounds, and their beautiful, flowing coats are one of their most distinctive features. These coats do require regular grooming, but I find the bonding time during brushing to be quite enjoyable.

Shih Tzu dogs are friendly and outgoing. They get along well with other pets and people, making them great for families or anyone who enjoys social dogs. They have this unique way of carrying themselves with a bit of an aristocratic air while still being approachable and cuddly.

Training Shih Tzus can be fun, as they’re quite smart. They do have a bit of a stubborn streak, but with patience and consistency, they learn quickly.

In terms of their energy levels, Shih Tzus are moderately active. They enjoy their playtime and walks, but they’re also content to curl up on your lap for a good snuggle. This balance makes them adaptable to various living situations, whether it’s an apartment or a house with a yard.


Chihuahuas originally come from Mexico, and they have a fascinating background. They’re thought to be descendants of the Techichi dogs, which were companions in ancient Mexican civilizations.

When it comes to breeding, the focus has always been on keeping Chihuahuas small. They usually weigh between 2 to 6 pounds. They have distinctive features like big eyes and ears that stand up, which makes them quite recognizable. Their coats vary a lot in color and can be either short or long.

Chihuahuas are incredibly loyal. From my experience, they often choose one person to bond with closely. They might be small, but they’re alert and can be good at letting you know when someone’s at the door.

These dogs have a lot of energy for their size. They love to play and need some exercise every day, but they don’t require long walks. Because of their size, they’re well-suited to living in apartments.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Appearance


The appearance of Shichis can vary. However, they have some notable common features.

Height and Weight

The Shichi is a small-sized dog, reflecting the stature of both its Shih Tzu and Chihuahua parents. Generally, they stand about 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder, which is just the right size for a lap dog. As for their weight, they typically range from 5 to 15 pounds. This size makes them ideal for people living in apartments or homes with limited space. They’re also great travel companions due to their compact size.


The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix has a medium-length coat that can come in a variety of colors. The most common color patterns you’ll see are tan and white, black and white, black, tan, and white, and red and white. These colors often blend in unique ways, giving each Shichi a distinctive look. No two Shichis are exactly alike, and that’s part of the fun of having one of these dogs.


The coat of a Shichi can vary quite a bit, depending on which parent breed they take after more. If the Shih Tzu genes are more dominant, the pup will likely have a longer, hypoallergenic coat. In contrast, a more Chihuahua-dominant mix might have a shorter coat with minimal shedding. The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix generally has a medium-length coat, but this can range from short to long.

If your Shichi has a longer coat, regular grooming and haircuts will be necessary to keep them looking their best. On the other hand, if they have a shorter coat, they will require less frequent grooming.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Personality

Shih Tzu and Chihuahua

This dog has a pretty mild temperament. However, it can get a little vocal and aggressive if presented with an unfamiliar face.

Having a pup with more Shih Tzu will produce a very calm, caring, and faithful dog that will rarely bark and will hardly ever cause a scene. A more Chihuahua-dominant pup will always keep you on your toes, be very loyal, and will protect you at all costs.

This breed is joyful, loving, and very faithful to its owner and family.

Further, the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix loves to play and have fun with their owner, but they are also just as happy taking a nap in the comfort of their parent’s favorite chair. These bursts of energy do not last very long as the breed has a rather short attention span.

The Chihuahua part of the breed does bring out some yipping when the dog gets excited, nervous, or when welcoming home their family. However, howling is not something that needs to be worried about. They mainly use a light bark, and only sometimes put their aggression behind it.

If the Shih Tzu is the more dominant parent, the pup will be very easy to socialize with others due to its laidback easygoing personality. If the Chihuahua is more prominent, socializing her is going to be more of a challenge. Chihuahuas tend to be a bit nippy and may try to bite someone or something they do not feel comfortable with.

How to Train a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Training a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can be both a fun and challenging experience. As someone who’s worked with many Shichis, I can tell you that their blend of Shih Tzu and Chihuahua traits means they can be stubborn but also eager to please. It’s important to approach training with patience, understanding, and a bit of creativity. Positive reinforcement is key, as these dogs respond well to treats and praise. Let’s break down the training process into two main areas: general training and socialization.


Training a Shichi requires a mix of firmness, consistency, and lots of positive reinforcement. These dogs can inherit a stubborn streak, especially from the Chihuahua side. However, with regular training and patience, managing their behavior becomes much more manageable. In my experience, treats work wonders with this breed.

For house training, be attentive to your pup’s habits. Shichis, like many toy breeds, have small bladders, so regular bathroom breaks are crucial. Watch for any signals or ‘little dances’ they do when they need to go out. Training games like fetch are great for keeping them engaged. Shichis need exercise but might not always show enthusiasm for it. Fetch helps them get the necessary activity.

Addressing barking, a trait they may get from the Chihuahua side involves using commands like ‘quiet’ or ‘stop’. Once they obey, wait a moment and then reward them.

After each training session, allow time for relaxation and play. This helps your Shichi understand that training is not just about rules, but also about having fun and bonding with you.


Socialization is crucial for Shichi puppies. Because of their mixed heritage, they can be a bit wary of strangers and new situations. From my experience, early socialization helps them become well-rounded adults. Introduce your Shichi to various people, animals, environments, and sounds in a controlled and positive way.

Puppy classes are an excellent option for both training and socialization. These classes offer a structured environment where your Shichi can learn basic commands while interacting with other dogs and people.

At home, I recommend regular, short socialization sessions. Introduce new experiences gradually, and always pair them with positive reinforcement like treats or praise.

Caring for a Shichi

Puppy Shih Tzu Mix

Their care involves a balance of physical exercise, mental stimulation, and of course, lots of love and attention.


Exercise is crucial for a Shichi, but it’s important to remember that their needs are different from larger breeds. In my experience, these dogs don’t require intense physical activity but they do need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. A daily walk is essential. I recommend keeping them on a leash during walks, especially as you’re getting to know their behaviors. Shichis can sometimes be spontaneous and may chase after things due to their curiosity.

A typical exercise routine for a Shichi should include at least one walk per day, lasting about fifteen to twenty minutes. This is usually enough to satisfy their physical needs. They might have a short attention span, so keeping their walks interesting and engaging is key. Sometimes, they might seem disinterested or easily distracted, but regular, consistent walks are important for their overall well-being.

In addition to walks, some playtime at home or in a fenced yard can be beneficial. Games that involve running, fetching, or even simple toys can provide the additional activity they need.

Mental Stimulation

Shih Tzu Mix

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for Shichis. These dogs are intelligent and can get bored if they’re not given enough mental challenges. I’ve found that puzzle toys are a great way to keep them engaged. These toys can be filled with treats and require the dog to figure out how to get to the food, which is a fun way to stimulate their brain.

Training sessions are also an excellent opportunity for mental stimulation. Short, regular training sessions that focus on new tricks or reinforcing learned behaviors can be both enjoyable and mentally enriching for your Shichi.

Social interactions, whether with other dogs or people, can also provide mental stimulation. It’s important to ensure these interactions are positive and controlled, especially if your Shichi is a bit shy or reserved.


Grooming is an essential part of their care and something I always emphasize to new Shichi owners. Regardless of whether your Shichi takes after the Shih Tzu or the Chihuahua, their grooming needs will vary based on their coat type. But don’t worry, shedding is usually minimal with this breed, thanks to the low-shedding traits of both parent breeds. Let’s break down the grooming process into different categories.

Coat Care

Coat care is a significant aspect of grooming a Shichi. If your pup has a longer coat, like that of a Shih Tzu, you’ll need to brush it weekly or even daily to prevent matting and tangles. For Shichis with shorter coats, like a Chihuahua’s, brushing can be less frequent, but regular grooming is still important to maintain skin health and coat quality.

Bathing should be done every few weeks or as needed, depending on their activity level and the condition of their coat. Use a dog-specific shampoo to keep their skin and coat healthy. Remember, the key to successful grooming is making it a positive experience, so plenty of treats and gentle handling are important.

Nail Care

Nail care is another crucial aspect of grooming. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort or even lead to health issues. I recommend checking your Shichi’s nails every few weeks. If you hear them clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, a vet or professional groomer can help. Regular nail trims not only keep their feet healthy but also prevent accidental scratches during playtime.

Dental Care

Dental care is often overlooked but it’s just as important. Shichis need regular teeth brushing to prevent dental issues like tartar buildup, gum disease, and bad breath. I suggest brushing their teeth several times a week with dog-specific toothpaste. Also, dental chews can be a good addition to their dental care routine, helping to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Feeding Guide for Your Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Eating

As a compact breed with specific nutritional needs, it’s crucial to get their diet right. This means not just focusing on the amount of dog food they eat, but also the quality and frequency of their meals.

  • Calories Per Day: 280
  • Cups of Kibble Per Day: One

Feeding Schedule

A regular feeding schedule is essential for Shichis. I recommend feeding them twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. This routine helps maintain their energy levels throughout the day and keeps their metabolism stable. Puppies might need more frequent feedings, usually three to four times a day, to support their growth and development. As they mature, you can transition them to the twice-a-day schedule. Consistency with feeding times also aids in establishing a routine, making it easier to manage other aspects of their care, like house training.

Portion Control

Portion control is crucial for preventing obesity, a common issue in small breeds like the Shichi. The general guideline is to feed an adult Shichi around 35 calories per pound of body weight per day. For puppies, the requirement is slightly higher due to their growth needs. The total daily food amount should range from a half cup to one cup, divided into two meals. It’s important to adjust portions based on your dog’s activity level, age, and overall health. Overfeeding can lead to health problems, so it’s best to stick to the recommended portion sizes.

Treats and Snacks

Treats and snacks are great for training and bonding, but it’s important to give them in moderation. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your Shichi’s daily caloric intake. Opt for healthy options like small pieces of cooked chicken or vegetables. Avoid giving them human food that can be harmful, like chocolate or grapes. Always check with your vet before introducing new treats into their diet.

Special Dietary Considerations

Every Shichi is unique, and some may have special dietary needs or sensitivities. It’s a good idea to talk to your vet about the best diet for your specific dog. Some Shichis might benefit from a diet formulated for small breeds, which is designed to meet their unique nutritional requirements. Pay attention to how your dog reacts to different foods and adjust their diet accordingly to avoid allergies or digestive issues.


Proper hydration is as important as a good diet. Make sure your Shichi has access to fresh water at all times. Small breeds can become dehydrated quickly, so check their water bowl regularly and refill it with clean water. During hot days or after exercise, they might need more water than usual.

Common Health Concerns for the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

I’ve learned that each breed has its own set of potential health issues, and the Shichi is no exception. Understanding these common health concerns can help you provide the best care for your furry friend. It’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms and to have regular vet checkups. Let’s discuss some of the health issues that are commonly seen in Shichis and what you can do to help manage or prevent them.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is a common issue I’ve seen in small breeds like the Shichi. It occurs when the kneecap slips out of place, which can cause discomfort or even lameness in severe cases. You might notice your Shichi skipping a step while walking or running, or they might hold up a leg for a few moments. Keeping them at a healthy weight can help reduce the strain on their knees. Regular, gentle exercise can also strengthen the muscles around the knee. If you notice signs of discomfort or unusual walking patterns, it’s important to consult your vet.


Obesity is a significant concern in small dogs, including Shichis. It can lead to or exacerbate other health issues like joint problems and diabetes. Monitoring their diet and ensuring they get regular exercise are key steps in preventing obesity. Be mindful of their portion sizes and treat intake. If you’re unsure about the right amount of food or exercise for your Shichi, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your vet. Regular weigh-ins can help you keep track of your pet’s weight and adjust its diet and exercise as needed.

Eye Problems

Shichis can inherit a predisposition to certain eye problems from their parent breeds, such as dry eyes or cataracts. Symptoms to watch for include redness, tearing, or cloudiness in the eyes. Regular check-ups with your vet can help catch these issues early. Keeping their face clean and trimming hair around their eyes can prevent irritation. If you notice any changes in your Shichi’s eyes or vision, it’s essential to get them examined by a vet.

Respiratory Problems

Due to their facial structure, Shichis may be prone to respiratory issues, especially if they have a shorter snout like the Shih Tzu. Signs of respiratory distress include labored breathing or excessive panting. It’s important to avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures and to use a harness instead of a collar to prevent pressure on their throat. Keeping them at a healthy weight also helps reduce respiratory strain.


Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition I’ve seen in small breeds like the Shichi. Symptoms can include weakness, lethargy, and in severe cases, seizures. It’s often seen in puppies or small dogs who don’t eat regularly. Ensuring your Shichi eats regular meals and has access to snacks can help prevent this. If you notice signs of hypoglycemia, it’s important to consult your vet immediately.

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FAQs on the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix

Is the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix good with children and other pets?

Yes, the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix, or Shichi, can be great with children and other pets, especially if they are socialized from a young age. They are generally friendly and affectionate. However, due to their small size, it’s important to supervise interactions with young children to ensure they handle the dog gently. Similarly, when introducing a Shichi to other pets, it should be done gradually and in a controlled environment to ensure all animals are comfortable and safe.

What are the grooming needs of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix?

The grooming needs of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix depend on which parent breed they take after. If their coat is more like a Shih Tzu’s, they will require regular brushing to prevent tangles and matting, and occasional baths to keep their coat clean. If they have a coat more like a Chihuahua, especially a short-haired one, their grooming needs will be less intensive, but they will still benefit from regular brushing and bathing. Regardless of coat type, all Shichis need regular nail trims and dental care.

Are Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mixes easy to train?

Training a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can be challenging due to their potential stubbornness, but it’s achievable with the right approach. They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise. Consistency and patience are key in training. They also benefit from early socialization and puppy training classes. With these methods, Shichis can learn a variety of commands and behaviors.

How much exercise does a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix need?

A Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix doesn’t require a lot of exercise. About fifteen to twenty minutes of physical activity per day is sufficient. This can include walks, playtime, or interactive games. Despite their small size, they need regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent obesity.

What kind of diet is best for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix?

A balanced diet suitable for small breed dogs is ideal for a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix. It should be rich in nutrients and appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Portion control is important to prevent overfeeding. Fresh, clean water should always be available. It’s also recommended to discuss their diet with a veterinarian, especially if the dog has any special dietary needs or health concerns.

How long does a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix live?

The Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix can live a fun, happy life of twelve to fifteen years on average.

How much does a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix cost?

The breed ranges anywhere from $300-1,000 dollars.

The Charming and Adaptable Shichi

A Shichi is an ideal match for individuals or couples residing in cozy spaces like apartments or smaller homes. Picture the quintessential day: your Shichi contentedly snuggled in your lap, the gentle sound of rain outside—pure bliss. Don’t be fooled by its petite stature; this little dynamo is a fearless guardian of its loved ones.

While Shichis don’t demand extensive physical activity, regular exercise is still vital for their well-being and offers excellent opportunities for socialization—think playful meetups in the park!

More Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mixes

Want a Shih Tzu mix or Chihuahua mix but aren’t keen on the Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:

Shih Tzu Mixes

Chihuahua Mixes

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. Thank you for this article. We have 2 puppies and together they are a handful. We are also moving so going back & forth between two houses and they do not care for traveling. We are debating about rehoming one or both but love them so worry about splitting them up also. What do you think is best for them?

  2. My Norman is 7 1/2 weeks old and I’ve had since he was 5 weeks old. He is cute and funny, but is mean he likes to bite me even though he lots of things to play with. He doesn’t like to be told no and is struggling with potty training. He is young so I’m being patient. He has slept through the night after about a week and a half of being home.

  3. We have a ShiChi he is 5 and a half months old. He is the most adorable little dog and so well behaved. He walked straight away on a lead with no problem, loves mixing with other pups even though he’s a little shy.
    He walks well off lead and runs like a whippet after a ball.
    I have had lots of dogs in my time, usually terriers and thought we might struggle with a different breed but we needn’t have worried. He is simply the best dog we could have wished for.
    Only one slight problem….toilet trying is unpredictable. Sometimes he’s brilliant, other times it’s as though he just forgets everything he has been taught but we are getting there x

  4. Where can you find shihtzu mixed with chihuahua or maltese mixed with chihuahua, where can you find these kind of puppies? Not a puppy mill

    • I live in Destin Florida and my next door neighbors white male Chihuahua got into my back yard and it’s a good possibility my black female Shih Tzu has been bread. Unfortunately they were locked up when my husband found them. We are no puppy mill and although she may not be pregnant- she’s in her prime as far as it goes with age! If you’re interested please let me know.

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