The ShiChi: A Complete Guide

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The Shichi is a cross of the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua.

These designer dogs are affectionate, though also known to be aggressive.

It’s a dog that’s perfect for singles and active families. He is always ready for adventure and is a lot of fun to be around.

The Shichi is more than just a super cute and photogenic dog. He also has a fantastic personality.

You can expect him to be enthusiastic and playful, as well as loyal to the point of being on the possessive side.

This dog has a shrill, high-pitched bark, and he is not afraid to use it to voice his displeasure, especially towards suspicious strangers.

He likes to yap, so this dog isn’t for you if you’re in search of a docile and quiet pet.

Even though he can be quite serious at times, he will always be ready to play with a new toy or indulge in a new treat excitedly.

This dog is fearless, but you should be careful. Even though he has a tough personality, he could easily become injured during exercise or play.

Shichi Puppies – Before You Buy…

A ShiChi sitting on a bench looking at you
The Shichi is considered as a long-living breed.

What Price are Shichi Puppies?

You can expect a Shichi puppy fall somewhere between $300$ to $1,000.

How to Find Reputable Shichi Breeders?

Local kennel clubs are great sources of information about reputable breeders in your area. Obedience training clubs in your area also offer promising leads.

Veterinarians, groomers, boarding kennel operators, and pet supply outlets may also be good sources.

Using newspaper classified ads to locate a breeder is a gamble. Not a lot of good breeders advertise in the local classified ads because they have no need for it.

They usually have a waiting list for their puppies and have no trouble placing their dogs.

Therefore, most breeders who advertise in these sections are most likely operating a puppy mill or are backyard breeders.

3 Little-Known Facts About Shichi Puppies

  1. The Shichi is also known as Chi-Shi or Chi-Tzu.
  2. Like what many breeders claim, there is no such thing as Teacup or Mini Shichi.
  3. The parents of the Shichi are both toy breeds, and their offspring will naturally be of toy breed size.

Physical Traits of the Shichi

The Shichi measures no more than 10 inches tall and weighs between 3 to 9 lbs. Its head is round, and its ears can be erect or hanging down.

The Shichi can come in different colors, including white, cream, brown and white, brown, and black. Depending on the genetic distribution, his coat can be short like Chihuahua’s.

It can also be long and silky, and sometimes slightly wavy. If your Shichi has long hair, you can clip his coat to make it easier to maintain. Its coat will only require brushing once a week.

If you prefer it long, you will need to brush him three times a week to avoid tangles and matting.

The good news is that the Shichi is a minimal shedder, so you won’t have to worry about vacuuming the carpet every day or getting your clothes covered in dog hair.

How Big is a Full-Grown Shichi?

The Shichi can grow up to 7 to 10 inches in height and weigh about 3 to 9 lbs.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Shichi?

The life expectancy of the Shichi is 12 to 15 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Shichi

Though the physical appearance, personality, and temperament of this breed varies from dog to dog, they have the virtues of childishness, loyalty, and sobriety in common.

The Shichi is an adaptable dog and would easily cope with the ambiance and atmosphere of his family. He also does not need a lot of space, which makes him a good apartment dog.

He loves to play with his humans, even the kids. However, very young children are not ideal for him since the kids can often injure him through rough and tumble play.

He gets excited easily. He is not very open to strangers if not well-socialized and would end up yapping when they are around.

But once acquainted, he will not hesitate to show his friendliness.

He is lively and active, looking forward to a great deal of attention from his family members and spending all day with them.

Shichi puppies can present some challenges during training. However, early socialization, proper techniques, and positive reinforcement can make the job easier.

Reward you Shichi for good behavior. Allow him to mix with other pets and children in the family. Let him know your neighbors and friends and teach him how to deal with unknown faces.

Shichis are a little slow to housebreak, although kenneling them can be an effective method.

The Shichi’s Diet

A ShiChi sitting in sand

The Shichi is a toy breed, so your job of finding high-quality dog food will be fairly simple. Just start with a reputable brand and choose a recipe formulated for small or toy breeds.

While your small dog may not require as many calories each day as a much larger dog, you might be surprised to learn that small dogs need more calories per pound of bodyweight.

It is mainly because he has a very fast metabolism.

Your Shichi will burn through calories very quickly. Not only does he need a nutrient-rich and calorie-dense diet, but he needs to be fed more often than a larger dog.

Feed your ShiChi three or four small meals throughout the day.

Small-breed dog foods are rich in protein to support your dog’s lean muscle mass. They also tend to be higher in fat to account for your dog’s higher energy needs.

Keep track of your dog’s weight and make adjustments to his daily feeding if he starts to lose weight or if he gains too much weight. You can also talk to your vet for feeding recommendations.

How Much Exercise Does a Shichi Need?

These small dogs don’t need a lot of exercise, especially since they are naturally active and playful.

Give your dog about 20 minutes of exercise every day, whether you go for a short jog or walk, or you let your dog play games like fetch or flyball.

You can even get your Shichi to perform dog agility exercises. Obedience competitions may appeal to your dog as well.

Ideally, they should have two walks a day. You can bring them on energetic walks or jogs in the morning, and a shorter, gentler walk in the evening.

The Shichi is also very playful, so get him some toys for him to play with at home and you’ve got another way of burning off his pent-up energy!

Shichi Health and Conditions

Shichis are considered as long-living dogs just like their parent breeds.

If you choose to bring a Shichi into your family, you should be ready to devote many years to giving him endless amounts of love.

Because the Shichi is a crossbreed, he might inherit health issues that are commonly associated with his parent breeds. These include respiratory problems, eye problems, obesity, and hypoglycemia.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he will suffer from any of these conditions because it’s difficult to predict the specific ailments that could occur.

Both the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua parents can suffer from various eye conditions, so regularly having your Shichi’s eyes checked is important.

Because the Shichi is so small, you should never leave him outside for too long, whether it’s hot or cold.

3 Important Training Tips

  • Positive reinforcement is the best route to take when training a Shichi.

The extremely loyal nature of this breed of dog will make it eager to please you and, with the right rewards, it will soon recognize the ways and behaviors with which it can make you happy.

Remember, it is highly important that you praise your Shichi for when it is obedient and behaves well because it will be quick to learn to differentiate good acts from bad ones.

  • Keep training sessions highly interesting and enjoyable for your pet.

The Shichi has a short attention span, which may pose as a barrier when it comes to training it.

Having said that, you can overcome this characteristic of the Shichi by keeping it involved in a variety of different activities and introducing new toys in its training routines.

Be sure to keep changing up your ways of training so that every new trick that you teach your Shichi is of interest to it.

The Shichi will be eager to learn new things and flaunt them in front of you and others because it will associate them with a reward.

When you make its training routine versatile, your Shichi will be interested in everything that you teach it at least for long enough that it learns and retains it.

  • Early socialization is key when it comes to the Shichi.

Without this, your pet may develop aggression towards other people and animals and this will be hard to weed out later on.

To prevent this from happening, you must allow your pet to interact with other members of your family, friends, and other pets.

This way, it will know how to behave with outsiders and hence, will not get aggressive every time it sees a new face.

A small white ShiChi licking its face

What are the best types of toys?

The Shichi is a very active dog and will need loads of activities to occupy and entertain itself.

That being said, it is not possible to always design engaging activities for your pet or keep an eye on it while it is playing outside.

This is why it is important to get your dog interesting toys to keep it occupied when you are gone.

These toys will also help it calm itself down when it is stressed or improve its mood when it is feeling sad. You can even use these toys as rewards when training your Shichi.

When buying a toy for your pet, keep in mind that a Shichi has an average height of 7 to 10 inches and weighs only 3 to 9 pounds.

This makes it a very small, lightweight, and fragile dog that cannot play with heavy or large-sized objects.

One suitable toy for this dog breed is a Wishbone Chew Toy which is available in flavors such as bacon. Not only will your dog love chewing on it, but this toy will keep it occupied for a long time.

Moreover, the KONG Air Squeaker Tennis Ball is a great idea for this dog which loves chasing after objects.

Also, the squeaker in this ball will entertain your Shichi much more than a normal tennis ball. Apart from these, consider getting your pet a small-sized stuffed toy, such as a bear.

Your dog can cuddle and sleep with this toy, and you will not have to worry about it tearing apart the toy since a Shichi is not that physically strong.

If you are looking for a frisbee for your Shichi, make sure it is made out of rubber and is very lightweight.

Avoid buying toys with pointed or small, rounded items attached to them.

Supplements and Vitamins

As a smaller dog breed, the Shichi can be relied upon to get plenty of vitamins and minerals from a healthy and balanced diet.

However, if you’re wanting to ensure that your Shichi has healthy bones, muscles, and immunity, a few vitamin supplements can really make a difference here.

Specially formulated small dog vitamin pills or supplementary liquids to mix into dinners can be handy.

However, your Shichi might be something of a fussy eater, and being a smaller dog, this breed can be more sensitive to things like pills being added to his or her food.

In moments like this, you’d do well to consider things to add to your dog’s diet to supplement vitamin and mineral intake.

A great example is fruit or vegetables, although these need to be in small portions and not too often.

The fiber in fruit and vegetables helps to keep your Shichi’s digestive system working hard, but too much as would aggravate it.

The vitamins in something like a fresh carrot stick, or a scrumptious cube of melon or two, will boost your dog’s energy, immune system and ability to resist injury and disease.

Don’t disregard the vitamins and iron in broccoli too, although that’s best diced up finely and mixed in with your dog’s dinner.

A Shichi will often turn his or her nose up at a head of broccoli offered to them whole – and avoid the stalk, too, which is too hard to chew, swallow and process for your pet.

My Final Thoughts on the ShichiThe Shichi is a cross of the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua

Because it is a mixed breed, you can’t be sure which personality traits your Shichi will inherit from each parent.

Chihuahuas tend to be sassy little dogs, and they can be very demanding when it comes to their needs for attention.

Some dogs of this breed become very high-strung, and they have a high risk of developing problem behaviors.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, tend to be a little mischievous.

But their playfulness is always good-natured, and they do well when they are given enough personal attention.

Both of these breeds can develop a stubborn streak, but early socialization and training should prevent such problems.

When it comes to your Shichi and his interactions with children, strangers, and other animals, you never really know what to expect.

Chihuahuas are not a good choice for children because they are so small and fragile. They also don’t have the patience for rough handling.

Shih Tzus are a little better with children, but they, too, need to be handled with care.

If you have children and are planning to get a Shichi, make sure you train and socialize him from an early age to ensure that he gets along well with everyone, not just your children.

This breed may or may not get along with dogs. The Shih Tzu parent dog tends to be very dog-friendly while the Chihuahua parent dog sometimes isn’t.

Again, early socialization and training are important to ensure that your Shichi gets along with children, strangers, dogs, and other household pets.

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