The Zuchon: A Complete Guide

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If you’re looking for the ultimate small lap dog to steal your heart, then the Zuchon is it. These little hybrids are the result of breeding the Bichon Frise with the Shih Tzu.

By just looking at them, you would think that they are also part teddy bear. They are classified as a toy dog and are little more than fluffy balls of happiness.

Zuchons are relatively low-energy dogs, which makes them a great option for small households or for people who don’t have a lot of extra outdoor space in their general area.

To better understand the Zuchon, it’s a good idea to check out the parenting dogs. The Bichon Frise was traditionally a companion to European nobles.

Their affectionate nature and small size made them the perfect choice for small children, and they were often given as gifts to princes and princesses.

They are known for being very playful and can provide lots of entertainment.

A small Zuchon sitting in the garden
The Zuchons are classified as lap dogs.

However, these dogs are very intelligent and would often escape the palace and find their way to the streets where they became the companions of beggars and were often seen in various circus acts.

The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, was bred primarily as a small guard dog for the Buddhist monks living in Tibet.

Shih Tzus were assigned to protect the holy artifact in case bandits broke in.

At some point, the monks gifted these dogs to the Chinese royal family where they became the lapdog that they are known for today.

The nobles would often assign these dogs a royal guard detail, and it was a crime punishable by death for peasants to lay their hands on these dogs.

Today Shih Tzus are known for being some of the fanciest show dogs on the planet. They have a royal strut and long, thick hair which can be styled into a multitude of crazy new hairdos.

When you combine these two breeds into the hybrid Zuchon, the results couldn’t be better.

You get a small dog who has the cute traits of the Shih Tzu with the friendly and loving nature of the Bichon Frise.

Zuchon Puppies – Before You Buy…

Zuchons are a great addition to almost any family. They get along very well with any kids you might have running around, and will even make friends with your cats.

However, with their extra-friendly nature comes an attachment issue. These dogs do not do well if they are left alone and need to be around their human companions all of the time.

These aren’t a good dog to get if you lead a busy lifestyle and there isn’t going to be somebody at home to watch them while you’re away.

What Price are Zuchon Puppies?

Most of the time, Zuchon puppies are a very affordable breed of dog. You will usually be able to bring home one of these puppies for around $800.

However, if the parenting breed was expensive, then expect to pay a bit extra.

A high-pedigree Shih Tzu or Bichon Frise can easily cost up to $2,000, and if the breeder used one of these dogs, then you may have to pay up to $1,300 for your Zuchon.

How to Find Reputable Zuchon Breeders?

These dogs are usually bred by high-end breeders who cater to nice neighborhoods in big cities. This is usually the best place to find them.

However, if you are willing to pay the shipping costs, many breeders can mail a Zuchon puppy to your front door.

The only disadvantage of this is that you won’t have any room for negotiating the price down or examining the parenting breeds.

A reputable breeder will have spent time screening the parents for any outstanding physical or behavioral issues, and usually, you won’t have to worry about this.

However, there are sometimes shady breeders who won’t properly screen their stock, and this can result in you getting a Zuchon with some serious problems.

A white Zuchon with its tongue out
The Zuchons are rather affordable dogs.

3 Little-known facts about Zuchon puppies

  1.  Zuchon puppies get along great with just about anybody. They will be very friendly with your neighbors, friends, and any other pets that you may have in your house.
  2.  Zuchon puppies often have night terrors in their puppyhood. This will result in them making a lot of noise in the middle of the night. They usually outgrow this after a few months.
  3.  Zuchons need your constant attention. Their favorite place to be is in your lap, and they will follow you everywhere around the house.

Physical Traits of the Zuchon

The Zuchon has a small torso and slightly longer legs than the Shih Tzu. It gets its body shape primarily from the Bichon Frise.

These dogs have a very thick coat of fur which they get from the Shih Tzu. It is long, and curly, and can often be quite an effort to groom.

If you don’t want their fur to get tangled, it is best to keep their coat cut short, and to brush it on a daily basis.

Zuchons have very expressive little faces, and they are known for always having a curious look on their face. Their eyes are always wide open and are usually dark brown or black.

The Zuchon’s face is rounded, and its muzzle has a bit of a square shape to it which is inherited from the Bichon Frise.

Their ears are usually long and floppy and hang loosely by the sides of their heads, and their tail is usually short and fluffy.

Some breeders will dock the Zuchon’s tail, but this can be unhealthy and should be avoided.

How Big is a Full-Grown Zuchon?

Zuchons are tiny dogs and usually grow no heavier than around 15 pounds. It’s far more common for them to weight around 13 pounds, though.

They usually stand around 10 or 11 inches tall which makes them a very short dog.

Since they are so small and lightweight, their owners will often bring them outside in special doggy backpacks or carrying crates.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Zuchon?

The Zuchon has a long life expectancy of around 14 years. This is inherited from the Shih Tzu who is a dog known for its longevity.

These dogs tend to maintain their youthful energy and demeanor well into their old age. Even at 12 years old, your Zuchon will still be trying to run around and play with their favorite toys.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Zuchon

The Zuchon is a Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu mix
The Zuchon has a small torso.

Depending on which parent they inherit the most from, Zuchons can have a moderate to a high level of intelligence.

The Bichon Frise is known for its superior intelligence and if your Zuchon inherits this then they can be taught to do a wide range of tricks and obedience training will be a breeze.

However, if they inherit more from the Shih Tzu, then you may find them to be slightly more stubborn and harder to teach.

Their temperament is very mild, and aggression is rarely ever a problem.

Sometimes they will be apprehensive or shy around strangers, but once they warm up to them and get used to their presence, they will be very friendly.

If they inherit more from the Shih Tzu, then they may have a tendency to bark at the mailman, but they do this just to let you know that somebody is at the door, and are not usually barking aggressively.

Zuchons are very playful dogs which makes them a great family pet. They love to play with kids and will chase balls around all day long.

They are also very affectionate and usually prefer to sleep in one of their human companions’ bed instead of in a crate or a doggy bed.

The Zuchon’s Diet

Zuchons are very small and rarely need more than 1 cup of food a day. It’s important not to overfeed them because their small frame isn’t built to handle a lot of extra weight.

Overfeeding can lead to the onset of dog diabetes and can cause them excessive joint pain which can make walking around hard.

Their diet should be balanced, and if possible, you should feed them primarily organic food.

How Much Exercise Does the Zuchon Need?

Zuchons are considered to be lap dogs, and they don’t need a whole lot of exercise.

They can get most of the aerobic activity that they require from just walking around the house and jumping up on large pieces of furniture.

They are social dogs, however, so it’s a good idea to take them on neighborhood walks so they can get to know the neighboring dogs.

Zuchon Health and Conditions

Zuchons tend to develop skin conditions. This is a trait that they inherit from the Bichon Frise. These can usually be treated by applying a topical ointment provided by the veterinarian.

Other than this they are usually quite healthy dogs. As long as they aren’t overfed, they won’t experience any musculoskeletal disorders either.

What are the best types of toys?

The Zuchon is a fun-loving little designer dog, and so there aren’t too many right or wrong answers you need to keep in mind when shopping for playthings for your pet.

What’s important is that you keep in mind how easily bored this breed can get. You might have to splash a little cash to make sure that your Zuchon has ample variety in what he or she has to play with.

Luckily, that love of variety means that these dogs aren’t fussy with what toys they have.

Colorful, funny things to play with are always fantastic choices, and you can be as traditional as you want – this is a quantity versus quality breed when it comes to toys!

Classic toys like a ball or a frisbee to keep your dog active in the park always work out nicely. These let your pet really burn off a ton of energy on sunny days, so keep it in mind.

However, given the intelligence of the Zuchon, give some consideration to puzzle games and mental dog toys also.

These are very smart choices because they captivate the attention of your Zuchon and help them to indulge some curiosity.

Toys that have secret compartments, unexpected texture changes and secrets for your dog to discover will capture the attention of your Zuchon and keep him or her out of mischief.

Experiment with lots of different kinds of toys, and you’ll find your Zuchon is oh so grateful to you for it!

Final Thoughts on the ZuchonA Zuchon laying in its dog bed

The Zuchon is the perfect small house pet for most people. They are very friendly and get along great with just about anybody.

Because of their small size, the Zuchon will fit in great in most small homes and apartments and doesn’t require a lot of outdoor space and activity.

These dogs are also relatively inexpensive and don’t require a lot of costly vet treatment either.

Essentially they are the perfect small family dog.

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