Just when you think a Shih Tzu couldn’t get any cuter, you find yourself face to face with a Bichon breed. Imagine a Shih Tzu often described as having the appearance of a teddy bear, with all that warm and, in some cases, curly fur? Yes, they are just adorable. But is a Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix, also known as Shichon or Zuchon, as cute as they look in personality?
What makes a Bichon different?
They measure about 9 to 12 inches in height, and weighs between 10 and 15 pounds as an adult. They’re not much different in build than, for the lack of a better word, regular Shih Tzu, but look at that hair and eyes, and you’ll know they’re just different.
Their average lifespan is anywhere from 12 to 15 years. Long enough for you to watch them grow and enjoy their company.
Their coat, which is one of its key differences, is thick and is a combination of fine hairs on the inner side, and thicker curly hair on the outside. Thus, the teddy bear look. Their coat is usually lighter in shade, but it can change over time. Most of the time, their coat colors don’t stay the same into adulthood.
They shed very little hair, making them ideal for people with allergies, but who would love to own a cute and cuddly puppy.
What is a Bichon’s temperament?
Considering they’re a mix breed, expect a little bit of a Bichon Frise temperament and a bit of Shih Tzu’s, which is all good actually. They’re generally bold, intelligent, extroverted and active.
They make great companions as they require constant companionship. This is one of the reasons they are ideal as therapy and watch dogs.
What does a Bichon need to be happy and healthy?
Shichons are moderately active but quite flexible. They love to play, and it can be a form of exercise for them. A game of catch will more than suffice to meet their exercise requirements. Daily walks and a few outdoor trips are highly recommended.
As an intuitive breed, expect your Bichon to match or keep up with your energy level. This is why they make an excellent exercise buddy. But they’ll be happy to curl on the couch with you too.
The reason that this type of Shih Tzu sheds minimally is because the finer hair gets trapped within the fur. Their grooming needs may be moderate, but daily brushing should be a priority. Otherwise, the hair will get stuck and matted. And every 6 to 8 weeks, take them to a groomer for a haircut.
A mixed breed is not that prone to diseases as a pure breed, but annual Vet visits are recommended. Since a Bichon rarely inherits their parent’s diseases, they are generally robust. Just be on the lookout for breathing abnormalities and faulty tear ducts.
With a higher chance of becoming fat, you should follow their recommended diet, which is 1 ½ to 2 cups of dry dog feed daily. Make sure it’s good to high-quality dog food.